TKR and hips....

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am at week 12 post TKR and my knee seems seems to be healing fairly well. I have a bend of about 115 and general function is improving. I drove my car for the first time yesterday, which will help me regain some independence smile

However....,I still cannot walk outside the house without two crutches. My Physio puts this down to loss of muscle function in my hips, and thinks I may need a further OA clinic appointment as I have only ever had an X-ray of my right knee.

My question is, is it as unusual as I think still to be on two crutches? Frankly I feel much more disabled now than I did before the op, as at least then I could do a supermarket shop, carry an umbrella etc. Although I have to admit that I have been avoiding activities that need mobility for more years than I care to remember.

Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi!

    I'm now 11 weeks post op and only had crutches for a couple of days in hospital and then was told to use walking sticks which were gone by five weeks. My bend has always been pretty poor but I can walk without problems except for stairs which I'm still trying to walk up and down normally. I drove at six weeks but long distances are extremely painful! I would think that you are in an unusual situation having to still use two crutches to walk but I understand from reading posts etc, that the long wait to actually have a TKR operation can cause deterioration in muscles and affect hips, backs etc and perhaps that's what has happened? I would persue the medical practitioners and get the problem solved ASAP so that you can enjoy walking again.

    Good luck and take care.??

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    • Posted

      Thanks Glenda, and I'm glad you're doing well smile Have just been to see a private Physio (the other one is nhs) and he confirms that it's years of poor mobility that have caused the problem. He says he's not going to lie to me, I have a lot of work to do, but if I 'exercise until my muscles hurt' on a consistent basis, he 'hopes' I'll be able to walk short distances (100 yes or so )without crutches and can build ability from there.

      So that's my aim- 4 weeks solid work, then review smile

      Thanks again and all the best to you x

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  • Posted

    You're doing just fine.  Two things...

    1. Goal is zero degrees straight and greater than 120 degrees bent (0 / +120)...full range of motion.  I started at -14 / +84 and finished PT at -1 / +128.  Takes time and work with a PT.  After that...

    2. You have to hit the gym.  Your leg muscles are weak and atrophied...have to build them back up.  Leg presses and curls, squats, etc. Little to no weight but lots of reps to start (4 sets of 12-15).  Have to build endurance before strength.  Increase weight slowly.  Strong muscles support and take pressure off the knee.  Recovery does not end with PT...gotta rebuild the leg muscles.  I joined Planet Fitness...$10/month unlimited.  No brainer.

    "Never give up!  Never surrender!" - Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chico and well done to you smile

      My physios don't seem too keen on actual measurements but last time was 110 / 0 and he says the bend is better now.....so I'm happy with my progress in that front.

      And I'm sure you're right about rebuilding the muscles. I just hadn't realised it would be like this, and neither had my husband or family. So there's a general air of 'this isn't going so well' about, and I have to counteract that with work, work, work! I would join a gym but there isn't one nearby (I live in a rural area) so it's up to me to maintain my motivation.....

      I feel a bit more confident tonight, just got to keep at it! 

      Thanks again smile

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    • Posted

      I spent a lot of time on the "bonesmart" website.  MDs, NPs, RNs...lots of GREAT info to download.  So I was fully prepared for the length of time this would take.  I rehabbed from a right hip replacement in six weeks after getting home from a rehab place.  Six days a week, five hours a day in a gym that also had a therapy pool.  FANTASTIC.  I was emphatically warned that the knee would be more painful and take a lot longer to rehab.  Marathon vs. sprint.

      Problem with the knee was that the doc said no water immersion for 6 weeks so out went the pool.  Getting back to one now.  In fact, doing leg exercises in a pool is way better than the gym.  The bouyancy of the water takes the pressure off the knee/hip/whatever.

      My daughter is a graduate nutritionist plus ACSM and ACE certified personal trainer so I have her as a great physical and motivational resource.  That's how I can recommend the exercises, weights, sets and reps.  ACSM is the "gold standard" for certification; she's been doing it for 16 years so she knows what she's doing...

      What I wasn't prepared for was the pain.  Home one day and my wife called a rehab place; they came and took me away...barely remember it.  She just couldn't handle me...I don't blame her.  I was in a lot of pain and trying to do things I shouldn't have.  Actually thought I was going to gig with my band that Saturday night...what an idiot.  So they locked me away for a week.  My other problem is that I'm immune to almost all opioids (Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Oxycontin, etc.) so I had to deal with more pain than others since the drugs dulled it a bit but never really relieved the pain.  Got off that crap in four weeks.  Horrible constipation...rather have the pain.  

      Lots of ice.  Check out BioFreeze...best cooling agent I've found.  Warning: Walking "funny" because of the knee can throw out your back and cause sciatica.  I'm battling that right now.  Chiropractor recommended by the knee surgeon.  Cortisone shots, Lyrica, Celebrex, 800mg Ibuprophin...nothing worked.  What does work well is one of those $25 battery-powered TENS units.  Helps block the nerve pain.

      I'd love to put off the second knee for at least a year...we'll see...

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  • Posted

    Hi nextoneplease. Something I realised recently is that if we want a good result we need to exercise and build up muscle strength. Not just knee exercise. We need to build up all over muscle strength. Stretching our tendons and allowing our bodies to regain or become better than our previous selves. The exercise and a positive attitude is key. As for walking with aids, I would see my surgeon ASAP. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Lyn, thanks for your helpful reply smile

      Im sure you're right, I have got so unfit, with my knee holding me back for at least ten years, that I have to rebuild strength pretty much all over. Feels a bit like a full time job really !

      I have been discharged from my surgeon's care as they just check the knee itself is healing, and that's that (in my area under the NHS, that's how it is). I'd need a re-referral from my GP for a surgical reassessment sad. So I think I'll try concentrated exercise then go back to them if needs be.......

      thanks again and all the best x

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