Update - Manual bend under anastetic

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Spent an hour and a quarter with my surgeon this afternoon - who, on a side note had an emergency appendicitis operation on saturday and was back in his practice on monday!! - and we came to the conclusion that i have to go back into hospital on november 4. my bend at 6 weeks is 80 and has not improved in the past 3 weeks. nothing, zilch, nada. in his experience if you do not get this bend in the first week or two, you will never get up to 120 or 140. and at 51 i am very young to live with such a limited knee bend. so neither of us really see any option.

for those of you in the same situation: i will go in and they will put me under for a 10 minutes. during this time they will gently bend the knee. i will also get a pain catheter for 48 hours and during this time i will be on the knee bendy machine the whole time, day and night. i then come off the pain catheter and i have to continue for another 24 hours on the bendy machine relying on oral medication. as you can imagine, i then need to be stringent and rigorous with my exercises and will go to physio 3 times a week.

there are no guarantees that this will get my bend back but if i didn't do it, i would regret to taking the chance for the rest of my life. 80 is just rubbish so i am thinking optimistic

in the meantime he has given me different pain meds to see if i can stomach them so we know what works post op, incl. one with codeine. i am also getting lyrica which should be interesting as i have read lots about it on here. not sure how this will help but happy to try anything at this point.

that's the news. came out feeling tearful despite knowing what the outcome would be in my heart of hearts. i will post an update once i have had it and let you know if the whole thing was worth it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Britta

    i really feel for you...but I also hope everything works out well for you.

     Too am 6 weeks post op and at physio yesterday I reached 88% bend it's the straightening that's my problem ....but even at 76 I too don't really want to limp but what you say about the manipulation sounds rough. But if it works for you then that will be wonderful

    chin up 

    I will be thinking of you 

    Jean x

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    • Posted

      Jean, I've mentioned a couple of excercises that really helped me on the straight and were not particuarly painful.

      1st, roll up a towel to about 4" diameter , lay on your back put the roll under your ankle so that your knee will be a couple inches off the bed. then tighten the entire leg and push down on the knee using the tightned musles. Hold for a count of 15....repeat 10 times and do 3 sets, resting between sets.

      2nd, Lay face down on the bed with your leg hanging off slightly above the knee. Let it hang for count of 10, rest between each time. Do this  10 times. Be sure and ice afterwards. Slowly you will see straight happen

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    • Posted

      thanks, jean!  i agree with you, whatever age you want mobilty, limping is a no no at any age.  oldfatguy has given us some good tips below and for certain things it just takes time and patience.  once i have had it bent, i will need to start all over again with my exercises.  sigh!!
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  • Posted

    Britta....From this note, I assume the same guy that does the knee does general surgery or was he the one that had the appendectomy.  These scope type appendectomy and gall bladder surgeries are fantastic. A horribly obese friend of mine (plays santa clause without padding and fake beard) had the gall bladder done last Thursday and went back to work Monday with only the restriction of no lifting over 10 lbs. He heads up a non-traditional adult ed program at a local university. I have never heard anyone else hear that 120 in 2 or 3 week eriod. It took me 6-8 weeks minimum on all four surgeries where therapy was required aqnd that was one on one therapy 2-3 times weekly. Personally, I always did better on the straight as a special set of excercises for thaat were really effective. I think the manual manipulation will be much easier that you would imagine. Sounds almost barbaric but the docs say it's more mental than physical. I never used the machine as they have about mothballed them in this part of the country. We normally start with 4 weeks of 3x's a week, then go to twice weekly 4-6 weeks then once weekly if still needed. Some are lucky and bounce back in 4-6 weeks but most take longer. The basic concept is the therapist teaches you the proper method and continually adds new excerises on each visit, then expects you to do them twice a day at home except for the ones that use special expensive equipment. Bet you'll do great. Apparently you are an intelligent and generally, a very upbeat person who will have a quick grasp on the situation.
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    • Posted

      oldfatguy! thanks for the compliment and the words of encouragement.  i just wish i had a higher pain threshhold.  my surgeon admitted that he thought i was probably a bit of a whimp.  i blame the fact that we never really got the pain meds sorted out in hospital.

      so during my consultation he tells me that 90% of all his patients get a 120-140 bend.  to prove it, he brings up a video of an 83 year old patient he operated on last year - both leg!  there she is, 3 days after her second operation, doing her yoga exercises in bed!!  this included pulling up both knees to her body and hugging them.  can you believe this.  i mean ... seriously?  i can't do that 6 weeks post op and 3 days post op i was as stiff as a board.

      p.s. my surgeon had to undergo an appendectomy. next time, he tells me, he would not come back so quickly as he got no thanks.  ha, that sounds familiar!

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Britta.  My heart goes out to you!  You are being positive so that is a really good sign.  I am 11 weeks post op and have not had my bend measured for 2 weeks. My knee is so swollen that my physio said I need it drained before I go back to have further physio therapy.  I have been at 95 bend for about 6 weeks with no improvement on the bend.  Straight is very good and I can walk ok and I am still doing exercises. I feel that the bend has improved since my last measurement but after reading what you said, I wonder if I will need the same.  I am just coming up to 54 and so fed up with the whole knee replacement thing😪😪Anyway, stay strong my love and it will all work out. Good luck and let us know how you get on. Xx
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    • Posted

      hi ruby ... when you say "drain", what does that mean? does she mean a lymphatic massage? i just went for one of those again today as my knee was soooo tight last night i actually - for the first time ever - had to get up and get my ice bag at 4 a.m.! or does she mean literally with a little tube inserted?

      if your knee is so swollen, it must be hard to go beyond 95? all i can say from my experience is that improvement has to be constant or the flipping thing sticks! and once stuck, unsticking it is difficult to say the least.

      does your other knee need doing? mine does ... sigh!! i can totally understand your general state of fed-up-ness. same here. which is why i said let's do it, no point in dragging it out ad infinitum!

      good luck with the drainage :-)

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  • Posted

    I feel for you. ....  I know you will brave it out and come out the other side ... Once we are 'in' we just move forward with it. Good luck!
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  • Posted

    You have to accept his advice, Britta, and, although it sounds an ordeal, It seems as if they're sorting pain control out very well for you. 

    I'm sure it will be worth it for you. As you say, you have the rest of your life ahead of you and want to have the chance of living it well. It sounds as if you have a caring surgeon. I really hope it goes well for you. Good luck. Jen x

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    • Posted

      thanks, jen!  yes, my surgeon is really great.  i think he blames himself for scaring the living daylights out of me so he spent extra time with me today so we could really sort out what we were going to do.  and i agree, i just have to follow his advice.  fingers crossed the new meds turn out to do the trick.
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  • Posted

    Good luck britta, obviously some of us arel uckier than others and you seem to have drawn the short straw. On 2nd day post  op my surgeon came onto the ward, grabbed hold of my lower leg and pushed it back to my bum. You could have heard my scream a maile away but he said it was like warm plastic. It had to be molded then or it would be stuck.I hated him then but my bend is 115, my straight 0 and I drove 50 miles today to see my grandson. Not bad for 5 weeks.So perhaps he was cruel to be kind. Please don't worry you will be fine after this. z
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    • Posted

      ha! carol ... do you think our surgeons are related?  that is exactly what my surgeon tried doing on the day of my operation (post op, of course) and my reaction was like yours.  only it scared the living daylight out of me so that NOBODY could touch my leg after that.  thanks for your words of encouragement.  please god, may it come true!

      congrats on driving 50 miles.  i can't drive yet, obviously :-(

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    • Posted

      Believe me Britta the last twenty were getting difficult, especially as I was stuck in road works and had to keep lifting my foot to the brake (right hand drive remember). Luckily my hubby has just been given the go ahead to drive after his stroke so he drove back. Pretty tense as he hasn't driven for six months. The laugh was though that  we were getting fuel before the journey and who should be there but my surgeon! He had told me not to drive until he had seen  me again. My husband wondered why I was hiding my face when he came back from the pay  kiosk. I don't care because I met my new grandsonat last. 

       

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    • Posted

      Congratulations on the driving! Bet it was worth it to see your new grandson. So funny about seeing your surgeon at the petrol station 😊 That sort of thing happens in Wales😊 
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    • Posted

      Carol, well done you, what a role model you are. 5 weeks and driving all that way keep up the good work you are going to be fine, and how was that beautiful little boy.? You should be so proud of yourself. Love from tucks x
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