so frustrated , so many questions

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thought I would update you all on my progress (I use the term loosley) I am 10 days post tkr. I feel much better now meds are under control and the brain is very willing.Sadly the knee is not. Excercising is very difficult due to massive swelling and bandages.Will I ever be able to lay on my back and lift my leg? Will I ever sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch? Will things improve when staples are removed(friday) is it painful? so many questions ! !

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes, yes and no!  Staple removal isn't painful as such, but some of them might make you jump a little!

    Very early days for you in what is a very long recovery.  Personally, I felt the turning point for me with my first TKR was around 12 weeks, although we are all different.

    Just a question of hanging in there - no other option really.

    Lynn X 2 TKR's

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  • Posted

    Hi Dotty Lotty I am two weeks post op and feel much the same. I have so many questions, but not got my first Physio appointment until end of April, I don't know if I should remove the dressing (wound only got steristrips on it). I feel fine to be making dinner and doing light housework, but not sure if I am overdoing it. I don't know if I should bend my leg up to the point it hurts, or beyond. It is all rather hit and miss once you are discharged from the hospital.
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    • Posted

      Oh Roo, I am so sorry you have to wait so long for PT! That's horrible. It sounds like you have exercises to work on, so that's good. I hope you surprise the heck out of the PT with your abilities. You only got steristrips, what? I'm trying to remember how long I had to wait until I could in the shower. I'm pretty sure it was about two days after my stitches were removed, so about 16 days after my surgery. And my PT had me bending until it hurt. But the first stretches of any of the exercises were really more about getting me to move. But the last 2/3 of each was a good push. When I worked on my own, I would get to that place that the pain started and hold it. And the next time I would either do the same or try to go just a little beyond it. It's a fine line, so use caution, but make sure you are seeing progress.
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    • Posted

      Hi Roo, so sorry you have to wait so long for physio! Does your local hospital have a rehab dept? That's where I got some help in the first weeks after the op. They then got me into hydrotherapy which is much easier on the knee than ordinary physio. But I agree, it can really be hit & miss, and the first couple of weeks are so important! I felt totally in the dark when I came home.

      Steristrips? if in doubt, see your GP or better still, phone your surgeon's office - they'll be able to advise you. When excercising, at this early stage, don't push too hard. It's better if you run through your paces more often, than doing too much and then suffering.

      As for housework, I was warned while in hospital not to do any vacuuming or really wild sweeping, because it can twist the knee before it's ready. I'm 9 weeks now, doing the vacuuming, but carefully.

      You seem to be doing really well, Roo, if you're already tackling meals and some housework. Stay positive, & I hope you find some answers here.

        Denise from Oz

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise you seem to be making really good progress too. I have to admit, I am really enjoying my time to relax. I am a primary teacher and also run the school allotment, plus have my own cake business. All of this is on hold and I am enjoying the luxury of not being able to do anything except my exercises, rest and reading in the Spring sunshine.

      I see from this forum that each experience is so different, definitely no text book cases. Good luck with your rehab.

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  • Posted

    Oh Dotty, so sorry. Yes, it will all get better. I wasn't able to leave the hospital until I could lift my leg. I got it on day 7, so you should have it soon. Do you have someone that can support your leg as you are lifting it. I found it was more about mind over matter. As I started walking without the walker, I had to force myself to visualize my steps because I'd been walking improperly for months and my body just didn't realize it knew how to do it. Keep icing it, several times a day, that will eventually help with the swelling. Mine still aren't normal looking and it's almost 6 months. Don't give up on yourself yet. Sleep will come, but it's a long horrendous wait. Take naps whenever you can, so that you are giving your body the rest that it needs (especially on the emotional side of things). And yes, once the staples are removed, there will be a difference, but gradually. Around my third week I really noticed the most improvement. But, we are all different and you could be there sooner (or later). You've got support here.
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  • Posted

    that was exactly how I ws feeling, I had my op four weeks ago today and only had heavy bandages removed last Tuesday, so up until then I could do no exercises.  have been making up for it this week and can now lift my leg with ease cannot do the heel slides very well.  Still sadly not sleeping did have one good night but apart from that wake nearly every two hours.  But must say during the day the leg is a lot better, I potter around for an hour then exercise and put on the ice packs and it does seem to work.  So fingers crossed you will feel better in a week or so.
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  • Posted

    Hi dotty I can't do leg lifts eithe , and sleeping is about the same as you my bandages were taken off the day after op so haven't got that problems first physio session tomorrow would love to have a shower but can't manage getting in and out of bath yet  will have to share experience of staple removal on Friday take care xx
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Steristrips can come off about a week after you come out of hospital.  The scar should be healing nicely then and only dried blood visible, which you can easily sponge off.

    Shame that you have to wait so long for your first physio, mine was a week after leaving hospital, but hard work all the same.

    Patsy

    1st TKR Dec 2012 2nd TKR Sept 2014

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  • Posted

    Hi Dotty Lotty ... I was totally like you and still am to be honest and I'm 8 weeks post tkr op. I knew about the pain and that exercise was a must buy never realised how emotional I would feel and also the lack of sleep!!! I'm still up and down at the moment but I exercise everyday as much as possible. I was told by my physio to reach the point of pain and then push a little harder each time. I never pushed myself to the point where I couldn't stand the pain. My leg was straight verbally from day 1 but bend took a little longer but I perceivered and I'm nearly at full bend (which my physio said would be 120 but consultant said I could try for 125 which I'm almost at).

    I was told that the whole process would be long, up to a year and I didn't fully appreciate that it would be. It is an horrendous operation and I'm beginning to realise that it will take a long while and u fortunately there will be set backs but I'm assured it will be worth it in the end!!

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  • Posted

    Poor Dotty, the first couple of weeks really are the pits, aren't they?! I'm 4 1/2 weeks post TKR, so those horrid early days are not far behind me.

    Yes, you will be able to lift your leg, but when? That's the million dollar question. Every recovery is unique, so don't compare yourself unfavourably with anyone else. Today is the first day I've been able to do a fairly good extended leg lift without it REALLY hurting.

    Sleep? Ah, the ever elusive land of Nod. You'll probably find it comes and goes, last night I didn't sleep for more than an hour at a time, but I've also has a night where I did 6 hours. It's absolutely vital that you rest in the day,especially after a rough night. To quote another Forum, " don't stand if you can sit, dont sit if you can lie down, and don't be awake if you can be asleep"! Wise words indeed!

    Personally, I've found week three going into four a bit of a turning point, with things becoming a little easier. Trouble is, as soon as I start feeling a bit more human, I overdo things, especially around the house. Please don't do that, you end up feeling wretched and useless.

    Be kind to yourself and to your knee, rest, ice, elevate, and above all try to be patient. This will pass, but in its own time.

    Take care xx

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    • Posted

      thankyou terri, I  shall take your advice, actually sleeping in the day seems to be easier than at night, I thnk its because my knee has nowhwere to flop to when its against the back of the sofa. I guess I am too eager to get going, the  brain is well in front of the knee. Thanks for the  pep talk
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