TKR 5 weeks post op at 43 years old.

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I had tkr Aug 23rd. I have done everything I have been asked to do. I have been in so much pain. My range of motion is about 70°, and my knee is often tight. I do therapy at home 2 times a day. I was told that my hamstring is extremely tight. So now my husband rubs the back and front part of my leg daily. I don't know what else to do. I had the better replacement put in my leg. My dr. Said he had my knee bent full range of motion in the operating room. Now I can only get it to go so far. I'm frustrated, getting depressed. And all I do is cry. I am down to 1 crutch. Does anyone have any advice. Please...

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  • Posted

    Oh dear...I'm sorry to say your problems seem a very familiar tale.  Yes it hurts like crazy...Yes It's really stiff, yes movement is limited, and yes people do get emotional, even I did.  It's very frustrating, and the medical profession don't seem able or willing to address the problems.

    Pain killers in the early days are a must!!!!...Plenty of ice packs too.  Try to get as active as you can, but rest and sleep as and when you can too (you'll find sleeping will also be a problem, so get it as and when you can)...

    You'll find things get a lot better when the stitches are removed, as those tend to tighten the knee, but once you're free of those and it's healing nicely, it will be better.

    I wrote a blog, in real time, about my experience...It's pretty raw and I do a lot of ranting, but some say it did help them.  I can't post the link on open forum as it's not allowed, but I can send it via a private message of you're interested...It's quite funny in places too so it might cheer you up, in as much as you're not alone!

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  • Posted

    Hi Michele. . I had my right TKR on September 7th. 2 days shy of my 48th birthday. I too have the same scenario. Full range of motion before and after surgery while still under anesthesia. I have PT 3x a week. This is my 2nd week. I too do exercises at home off and on all day. My knee is so tight after resting I think it's never going to give. Icing doesn't seem to help and I do it 5x a day. I was in so much pain all night from the exercises I did before bed. My husband got up with me at 1:00 this morning to stretch my hamstring for me. I have a hard time with tightness and aching on the ITband on the outside of my thigh. Restricts me and wears on me after awhile. Everyone says I'm doing great and that it's only been 3 weeks, but this stiffness to the point I can't move at time comes make sense. I wish you well.

    Sincerely and with hope,

    Angel

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    • Posted

      Sometimes, I think trying to do too much exercise too quickly in a desperate attempt to get back to 'normality' is a mistake.  Don't forget, it's a major trauma to the leg and it 'has' to heal.  Yes we would all like to get back to normal as fast as possible, but not at the risk of slowing or hindering the healing process.

      I'm 2 1/2 years on from my operation and I've forgotten what 'normality' is...and still don't have a full range of movement, and kneeling down isn't possible...It certainly hasn't been a picnic for me.

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    • Posted

      Hi Pete

      I am 1 week after surgery ( tkr ) I was told by my Physio that the 1st 2 was are very important in getting the full range of movement at the moment I'm 10 degrees short of full Ext I did a lot of pretrainning b 4 surgery I have stopped taking my codeine 3 days ago and I did 4 complete revolutions on my exercise bike I am not a hero but I personally believe that u have 2 push yourself, including getting the wife to assist in full leg extensions 🙈🙈

      I will let u kno how I get on after I have had my staples out x Physio

      Take care

      Rob

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    • Posted

      Hi Angel, I too had surgery on the 7 September this year. I found warm packs helped me.  I did ice in the beginning but that made my leg ache.  So I do the excersises and walk around the house a lot.  The thing that has been a literal pain is the nerve pain!  It's three weeks and my swelling has gone down a lot. That does restrict the movement. So maybe it's the walking that has given me range of motion and drainage of fluid.   It's the whole leg sometimes feels so heavy and aches or feels like massive pins and needles.  I sit for a while in a normal chair and after a while get a sharp shooting pain from the top of the thigh down to the calf.. Like a sciatic pain. I go to Physio and he has helped a lot.  Take your pain meds don't be brave.  It helps you thru the excersises and helps you get more mobility.   Good luck in your recovery, it's a long journey but think of all the things you can do when you are well.  Post pictures up of the end goals.  Hang in and know there are others cheering for you.  

      Hang in

      Ellen

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle,

    I have found that there is usually tightness/hot spots along the top  knee muscles, along the inner thigh to knee and /or along the IT band which runs along the outside of the thigh. 

    You can locate hot spots with finger pressure, but I have recommended using a beaten up tennis ball or rubber ball to have clients apply circular moving press or point pressure on these spots. Hold minimum of 30 secs, but ideal 60-90 secs. Repeat. By the time you finish the spot should be less sensitive.

    You can have the hubby do a general massage after this to remove the inflammatory products you just released, but otherwise you're just teasing these muscles. They need to be released out of their spasming in order to relax.

    The knee may move under anethesia because all of the muscle is relaxed. 

    I have found a stationary bike does help with flexibility. You would have to rock back and forth as you will not be able to complete a full revolution. 

    Keep the limb warm--long pants and socks--this evens the circulation. 

    If swelling is NOT an issue for you then use the moist heat about 20-30 minutes on the thigh.

    You can ice after doing the spot treatment by the way, but no more than 20 minutes at a time. 

    Just discovered this forum today on my search to do some general posting on health. Just had to leave some tips as I am a physio in the US. Wish I could get my hands on you. There are things a physio can do but if you have a supportive hubby this can go a long way. I hope I have not overstepped bounds on this forum ...I just wanted to help.

    I'll try to check in to see if you have any other questions--

    These surgeries can do well. They are painful and can take several months for full recuperation. Your age should be an advantage. I am just finishing a patient--who had the first TKR in Jan and the last one I believe in June. The second one was toughest and as I do outpatient therapy I could not get to her until about 6 weeks post op, but she has made great strides.  Stay positive and believe that others have trod this recuperative path successfully. And you can too!cheesygrin

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle, I am right there with you! My surgery date is the day after yours so I will be following your story...and maybe we can help each other through this journey.  I "only" had a partial knee replacement, am in my mid-50's, and thought I was in pretty good shape. I had 3x a week at-home pt, did my exercises 2-3 times a day, medicated and iced on schedule. My pt ended last Thursday and since then my swelling and pain level has increased and I'm sure my rom has decreased. I'm due to start outpatient pt on Friday but am so anxious...I loved my home pt, he pushed me right up to the line between pressure and pain. I don't mean to hijack your post (will be posting my own story later today) but I wanted you to know you are not alone! Hang in there!! smile smile

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  • Posted

    Just to say there is life after a TKR!! I am 13 months down the road and can say I am glad I had it done - which was not the case in the immediate days & weeks afterwards!! I think we all have far to high expectations and don't get told enough that it takes time, pain, exercise and patience to get back on your feet. I thought that I would be hopping around after the 6-8 weeks when you could drive again. Not so! But by 3 months I wasn't thinking about every step and now use my right knee normally.  That doesn't mean to say I am looking forward to having the left one done and am trying to spin that out as long as possible! Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry for your frustration and concern. Totally understandable. However, it sounds like you're expecting too much too soon. Everyone heals differently, and your situation doesn't sound anywhere close to the boundaries of normalcy.

    Just keep working st it and doing things you need to do. Elevation is really important for reducing swelling.

    I'm a contrarian about sleep in that I recommend sleeping with a full-body pillow. Sleep on your back(at first) and put it under all of your TKR leg. They discourage pillows because you'll sleep with your knee bent. With a full-body pillow under your entire leg, the bend is much less. Yes, it will complicate straightening, but having a good night's sleep more than makes up for that.

    Good luck! Know that you're not alone--not even close--with what you're experiencing. It will get better.

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  • Posted

    Hello Michelle,

    i can only say time, I had my TKR back in May and I'm still only at about 70-75 degrees. I even had a MUA done in August without any improvement. I have done my at home PT as well as almost 18 weeks at two different clinics. Has your surgeon given you any advice? Maybe you need to do less at home and give things a rest. Are you going to a clinic in addition to doing at home PT? At 5 weeks I was to swollen to do much of anything except some very light exercises. Meds also help to relax the muscles.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michelle...I know this is a very frustrating time for you.....honestly you are still pretty fresh out of a major surgery and it is not gonna feel to great for a while.I am about the same amount of time out of my surgery...this is my 2nd replacement.Everyone recovers different.Take your pain meds.regularly for a while and keep it in your system and that should help you to move better.Id ice up as often as possible.I know im very achy right now but with time will get better .I know ots seem like it wont ,but it will.if you have a recumbent bike or something that gets you to bend your knee it can give you mor mobility and the more movement the better the bend.It s going to hurt but keep trying to bend a little more each time.I pray this gives you some peace and hope you feel better soon.
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