Recovery from Total Knee Replacement

Posted , 7 users are following.

I am male 58yrs old. I had my left knee replaced in feb 2012 recovery was long and painful with sleepless nights and long days of pain but I got through . The important things in my opinion are theses..... regular light exercises pain control and the regular use of ice . Good tip here buy a strip of tubular support bandage onto knee opening at top buy 3 cool box ice blocks and when required slip them into the pouch created by the bandage position as required elevate and relax . Do this site few times per day and night if required. ..... Now I have just had my rIght knee replaced and 2 weeks in haverror very little pain or swelling. ...I don't go to PT I did once and came home in agony never again . So I do my exercises every day at my pace and increase as I become stronger I don't ever hurt myself or cause more pain ... so my recipe for success is

1.pain control

2.ice packs

3.daily light exercises keep that joint moving

4.rest it's not a race

5.get your partner to massage your leg it's heaven and it helps.

6.use bio oil on the scar

7.remember your new knee is your friend use it . The pain will go and you will get your life back ...

POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi from NZ Sam

    I have come home from Pt unable to move some days.

    Love your hint about the tubi grip.

    Im a care support worker and i never thought of that. Going to do that.

    Ill be in hospital 21 june thyroid removal .at least in walking a bit

    Thanks for the tip

    L

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  • Posted

    Totally agree. We have to keep up the exercise, ice etc.

    best wishes,

    sue

     

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  • Posted

    21 weeks BTKR: I never felt any relief from ice. I don't get it. I wish I did. The hospital even sent me home with two ice machines! (one for each leg) I still have some swelling left around the knee cap on both legs in the exact same place and I know this can take up to a year or more to go down. I hope so!  I agree about some Physical Therapists want to crack whip and over-do it on us poor peeps. I had a PT lady from hell on the morning after my surgery who forced my knee to bend and was harsh to me. (I even had good ROM) I screamed so loud my doctor could hear me down the hall! Found out my blood pressure was low due to the pain meds and they shooed away the PT to get it under control. But I learned that day what a good PT was and what a bad PT was. Eventually I got a sweet gentle nurse who really helped me get up and stand on my legs for the first time on the second day. She did things differently and helped me hold the bed railing. So some PT's have an issue with pride. We have to be somewhat gentle, yet push ourselves at a  pace we can survive with. I also agree about the pain med. I was so afraid of taking too much when I was released to come home. I hate drugs as it is. I rarely take anything. My prescription for my thyroid is even natural. But in the case of recovery for knee replacement we need it. I needed it longer than I thought I would and I was very conservative! I kept hearing about the opiate addiction crisis on the News and it freaked me out thinking I WAS TAKING THE SAME THING!! Looking back now, I wouldn't have been so concerned about it. Your own body will TELL YOU when it's time to ease off the  meds. I don't have an addictive personality either, so I know I was being wise. Just as I was heading into my 3rd month, I was able to wean off my percocet, as I felt so much better. I still have a backup supply for days when I think I may need it. But it's getting more spaced out now. 

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    • Posted

      That is interesting Carri....I don't know what I would of done without the ice machine the hospital gave me. I used it 24/7 for the first month or so after my TKR.  I am 5 months post TKR and still use my ice machine when I over do it.  I am not sure it really stops the pain...for me I just don't think about when I am using it...

      I couldn't take any pain killers because they made me so sick.  Everybody really is different!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi, when I was in hospital they kept bringing me the bags of ice, I hated it and it even hurt me when I tried to use it it was too cold if that makes sense, this whole TKR thing is about finding YOUR comfort zone in relation to recovery from pain meds to how you sleep in bed so the trick with the ice is as I described , now the important thing here is don't ever put the ice block next to your skin it will hurt .. use the tubing and if 1 layer is still too cold then use a small micro fibre cloth next to your skin pull the tubing over it so its all nice and smooth then drop the blocks in .. one each side and you can get 1/2 ones I put that at front what you are looking for is a gradual reduction in temperature reducing swelling and therefore reducing pain...try and create a regime that works for you , in particular  near bedtime so you can try and get some sleep my advice here is and I tend to go to bed around 10pm

      9pm painkillers I TAKE 2 X SOLPADOL AND 2 X ASPRIN, ( also a sleeping tablet if required) leg massage, ice packs for 45 mins  then bed , make sure your packs are put back in freezer ready for next time. and don't just apply the packs when your knee is the size of a football - do it every 2-3hrs again going back to my comment POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE - YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF THIS SITUATION DONT LET THE PAIN RULE YOU 

      I have also mentioned massage , I use Alovera cream and my wife is quite aggressive with pressure it does hurt to start with but again worth it ….

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  • Posted

    Well said Sam!  
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  • Posted

    2 other tips here and these work for me but are a bit out there and may not be for everyone.. if in extreme pain wrap your knee in clingfilm , yes clingfilm not tight and not too much I found this online let me know please if it works for anyone else, I also put magnesium flakes into a bowl of hot water and soak my feet again very relaxing and apparently magnesium relaxes your muscles among other things.
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  • Posted

    Agree with all this I am just over a week post op. I found out about a thing called a Cryo Cuff Cooler on a guys blog about his knee surgery and bought one on Amazon it is fantastic and makes the regular non-messy no hassle icing, including during the nights when pain can be bad, easy-peasey! 
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  • Posted

    Kaiser gave me my ice machines. My ice machines had the velcro straps that wrapped around your knee with tubing that pushed cold water through the tubes (hard to explain!) The ice was only in the machine part that was on the floor. So It never felt that cold to me. My husband would load it up with frozen water bottles as ice and then fill it up with water. Just having the velcro straps on both knees was not all that comfortable. The last thing I wanted was to feel more pressure on my legs! But I did do this for the better part of 2 1/2 months. I don't ice anymore. Should I? My knees don't hurt anymore in the sense that I feel the need to ice. It's my stinkin foot that hurts now (heel spur) Argh....

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    • Posted

      I’ve a similar thing called a cryo-cuff bought from amazon it’s fabulous. As it’s main purpose is to reduce swelling and inflammation and therefore pain I’d say just use as needed. For example you might have an extra active day on your feet and find your knee IS painful and a bit swollen so then would use it or use prophylactically when you know something you’ve done could get a reaction like that. 
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  • Posted

    I agree and think some physios push too hard , no need to force knee andbe in agony after . 
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    • Posted

      When I had my left knee done in 2012 I went to see PT and he is very lucky I didn't bend him ..hence I don't use them ...I went to see my surgeon last week for my 2 weeks post op check and dressings off .. I could bend my knee 90 degree leg raise and all the rest .. he mentiomed PT. ..but only once a after my comments he fell quiet ..no wet behind the ears kid who has learnt all they know from a book and screams of patients is going anywhere near me

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  • Posted

    Just had a look at the cryo cuffs on Amazon they look very good so if they are affordable for you  go for it , I think everyone on here is of the opinion that the ice is the key...

    Good luck everyone its not an easy path we are on but its worth it in the end , 3 weeks today since my surgery and I cant believe how good I feel .. I have ben lucky with this one  

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  • Posted

    Yes and I’d say no need for the motor version unless you are incapacitated to the extent you could’nt hold the flask up for it to fill the cuff. 
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  • Posted

    Hi folks I thought I would pass on my recent experience concerning my recent TKR (25/05/18) after enjoying for the most part an easy recovery I started getting pain in my leg , from my thigh down to my calf and stiffness in my knee . I mentioned before about massage and my other half did the honours …I asked that she be quite aggressive and really put pressure on which she did, and I hit the roof the pain was bad to say the least , my muscles seemed lumpy and as I say very tight now a few days in the difference is amazing stiffness is reduced as is the pain and swelling . So worth a try - aggressive massage  10 mins twice per day 
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