Swelling following Total Knee Replacement Surgery

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I am three weeks out from TKR surgery on my left knee. My surgeon assures me that swelling is completely normal following all that takes place during knee replacement surgery. I am curious to discover what others have experienced with SWELLING following surgery.

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  • Posted

    Totally normal Cheryl ... no concerns about that smile

    I must admit, I used a unit which we sell (lol, sorry for the plug here) and found it amazing.

    Its a little unit with ice and water inside, attached to a cuff on the knee ... Left it on 20 minutes and off, and then on again, and it worked wonders!

    Friend also tried mine and found immediate relief too.

    Hope you feel a little more comfortable now knowing it is all normal. The swelling will eventually subside.

     

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    • Posted

      I am 5 weeks following TKR Cheryl  - and my foot and calf is swollen and painful they say this is normal following this opperation, Trouble is it hampers you with walking  - I'm still using crutches  - only one around the house - but still two outside.  - must admit this has caused me slight depression as I feel I should be moving further on now - my physio tells me not to worry though and that I'm doing well.

       

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    • Posted

      Swelling is REALLY annoying! My first knee surgery went great, but the swelling was SO FRUSTRATING! It is the body's reaction to all the trauma of surgery. The body is swelling to protect the area. Problem is, though, THE SWELLING ITSELF HURTS, TOO!

      Since I first wrote this entry I discovered that swelling is normal. I also discovered from my SECOND knee surgery on my right knee that large amounts of swelling don't always happen! CRAZY! Same body, same surgeon, same hospital and VERY DIFFERENT results in regards to swelling! With my second surgery three and a half months after my first, I had very little swelling! I have NO IDEA why that was!

      I have found that compression stockings ( thigh-high), drinking lots of water to flush out toxins from meds, anesthesia, watching amounts of salt ingested, and elevating my legs way above my head are things that help. An anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen helps, too.

      I hope you experience relief very soon!??

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    • Posted

      hello I was wondering how you are doing now. I am 6 weeks out and wonder if this will ever end. I hate being so dependent and unable to do my daily routines without a limp and without pain. Just wondering if there is hope in sight
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    • Posted

      I am 3 weeks post op with my tkr. I had the left one done on March 28th with very little swelling and good outcome. This time I had the right one done on September 5th and so much swelling. When I left the hospital I was at a 93° bend. 4 days po had pt and was at 100° bend. That evening my knee ballooned and now can't get past 80°. My Dr. told me to stop Pt and give it a rest so I've just been doing my hospital exercises. Went on Celebrex hoping it would help but no relief yet. Frustrated and don't know what to do.

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    • Posted

      Hi Peggy!

      I'm thinking maybe elevating your legs WAAAY above your head might help you. Thigh-high compression stockings help, too.

      Swelling definitely prevents bend! Of course the body is TRYING to immobilizer the injury BY SWELLING. The body is saying, "GIVE ME A BREAK!!!"

      The ups and downs and daily changes are frustrating with knee replacements. TRY to be patient.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cheryl - yes perfectly normal. Your knee has been through the mill and back and the swelling will take a while to go. That is way is important to ice your knee. You will find it swells after exercising as well so don't be concerned - just ice!!! Xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Cheryl,

    Nothing to worry about,its something we all suffer and moan about lol...i spent yesterday icing and elevating mine all day as i went out to dinner saturday evening, today its much better and im 3 weeks post op,so i know it will go on being like this for a while..good luck x

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  • Posted

    Cheryl my swelling gradually reduced over approx 8 weeks. I had severe bruising from thigh to toes and did have a second surgery after 3 days as my wound burst open during physio....ouch! Even typing it makes my eyes water. 😁

    I found as new bruises appeared, the swelling changed and moved to various areas. My GP put it all in perspective for me when I was querying it one day, he said that this is probably the most violent surgery that exists. He said that apart from the obvious trauma, the entire leg is forcibly bent and straightened repeatedly....he said you don't often see an over weight orthopaedic surgeon as this is a massive workout for them.

    No wonder we're in agony for a while!

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    • Posted

      Wow! Glad I didn't know this BEFORE my surgery!

      I am SO SORRY you had your SKIN burst open at your incision! I sure hope your therapist learned something that day!

      I actually was written up as "non-compliant" by my first therapist I had the evening of my surgery. The reason? I told her I felt lightheaded and was going to faint when she had me stand!

      Well, my special wonderful nurse, Cassie walked in when this was going on. She put herself between CRAZY PT and me, supported me with her body, helped me to sit on the bed and spoke ever so gently to me. She and her aide helped me to lay down. She explained that she wanted to check my blood pressure and had her aide get me a cool washcloth for my head. She gave me a cool drink, too.

      Turns out by blood pressure was 80/58. Cassie was paying attention, and she HAD JUST WALKED IN THE ROOM! Why was CRAZY PT not hearing me? Why was she so hell-bent on achieving HER AGENDA for me?

      Well, my Cassie wasn't finished with CRAZY PT! When CRAZY PT wanted to KEEP GOING while I was now IN BED, Cassie said, " Cheryl is finished with PT for now. Please leave while I finish her vitals."

      CRAZY PT left, Cassie rolled her eyes and apologized that any if this had taken place and assured me that I was NOT in any kind of trouble because I didn't stand and try to walk WHILE I HAD LOW BLOOD PRESSURE AND FELT FAINT!

      She was that German Shepherd Dog who guards you from those who might cause you harm. Cassie, I am SURE, will go on to become a nursing INSTRUCTOR someday. What a GREAT GIFT she is to the nursing profession!!!

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    • Posted

      That's brilliant Cheryl. I was sick when they got me up the first time. Again they weren't listening when I said I felt a bit funny. They learnt quite quickly that I wasn't lying 😜

      I ended up with a brilliant physio, he didn't update my notes properly one day though so when I asked a (rather large) nurse to help me get off the cpm machine I had been on for 10 hours (physio insisted he didn't want me on it overnight) she told me she would report that I was going against medical advice and clearly didn't want to get better (all but calling me a liar). I was so upset and then really angry. I complained about her the next day and my physio apologised for not making it clear in my notes.

      Maybe she went to the same school as your crazy PT x

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    • Posted

      This sort of thing really hits you hard when you are at your most vulnerable stage, doesn't it!  I remember the midwife after my second child was born forcing me to take a bath although i told her I felt light headed. . result, I passed out while standing  in the bath, hit my head badly on the side of the bath, and had a terrible headache to go with the rest of the discomfort.   Most nursing staff are wonderful  . just a few would probably be happier in the Gestapo . . . 
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    • Posted

      I'll bet they DID!!!

      The behaviors you and I experienced were CLEARLY unacceptable.

      Each person needs to be treated as an individual.

      My background is teaching first and second graders, and I am pretty sure that issues like we both experienced would get a teacher FIRED ON THE SPOT!

      This is why it is SO IMPORTANT for each one of us to SPEAK UP when we feel we have been wronged.

      Let's all VOW to do this!

      We tell our children to tell if someone has abused them. Why should we as adults not follow the same advice?

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    • Posted

      Definitely Cheryl. I've never been much of a complainer but I've found this knee has changed the way I think. I've had to push at every step for appointments and once I reach the point of not wanting to chase anymore I complain. Once I put forward my case it always sounds so ridiculous that I have to do all this, they sort it out for me.

      The effort it takes, on top of the pain, is at times too much. I am going through the NHS as my private policy doesn't cover my knee as I've had issues for so long.

      On the other side I send cards, flowers and chocolates when someone goes above and beyond for me. I just expect to be treated with some dignity and the same way I treat others.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I know what you mean! The really great nurses and aides and PTs clearly KNOW and desire to work WITH the patient. The others...well, I think they work mostly against the patient. It is like they must BULLY to succeed. That is just throwing your weight around randomly hoping to reach SOMETHING! Pitiful and not an effective technique AT ALL!
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    • Posted

      When i was doing pt i noticed i was getting light-headed and very dizzy and about to pass out i told my therapist and thank god she listened to me. She immediately took my vitals and the readings were 51/34 thank god she listened or it could have very bad for me. So if anyone else is going through therapy and your starting to feel ill tell your therapist about it. Thank you.n

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    • Posted

      Hi Larry!

      I'm SO GLAD you had a therapist that LISTENED to you! When we are just out of surgery we are so very vulnerable! We REALLY need people to look out for our well being when we can't do it just yet!

      I had the exact same feeling as you did. It really hurt my feelings that professional people would deem me "non-compliant" just because my body was reacting to everything with a faint and dizzy feeling!

      I'm sure the therapists were trained not to be pushovers, and I get that. However, were they not ALSO trained to listen when the patient felt like they were going to FAINT and spoke up about it???

      I will never forget how thankful I was for my nurse, Cassie that day! If it were not for her I MIGHT still be suffering for several broken bones, maybe a concussion from falling due to fainting because my PTs didn't listen to what I was telling them.

      I pray that nobody else will EVER have this happen to them. Recovery is hard enough without dealing with insensitive professionals.

      I hope you are doing good, Larry!😊

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