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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


My history is I had horrible knee pain 5 yrs., stabbing sharp pain from ankles to knees. knees locking up, popping out of joint, usually unable to walk. 53 yrs old. saw orthopedist several times prior to surgery, (Good Looking) did not know what questions to ask, little to no information given, however I do tend to appear confident. Surgery Jan 10. very healthy. several small prior surgeries for other things I was up and going in a remarkable amount of time. I was with the understanding this is a 6 to 12 week recovery time, In my mind I heard 3 weeks I'll be fine!!!
I was given the option for type of anestesia. I chose no spinal or epidural, I was given choice for catheter,I chose not. Asked nurse to protect my modesty in surgery she was very warm, caring.
When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump. I was very itchy but in no pain as the day progressed the itching became worse, apparantly itching is a side effect,I had to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores, pain med was changed to something that did not work well finally 3rd change worked, I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.,
On the second day I was able to go to the bathroom on my own with the walker,I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me. very alert 3 rd day. I was o.k. but while the incision site seemed numb my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car. 4th day was transfered to a recovery facility for 1 week for after care and physical therapy.
got there at 3 pm. was asked if I had had a bowell movement, no!! was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems every one had the same problem so on top of pain your dealing with constipation, I had my husband bring up magnesium and gas x. took 2 magnesium am and 2 pm. fineally went potty. gas was also a problem where gas x was a gift from God....Nurses are busy don't expect to be babied. They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in.I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.
Day 2 physical therapie, was told to make sure you get pain meds 1/2 hour prior . it made a ton of difference in ability. I loved physical therapie its a bit of work but you being coached and praised and cheered a-.lot. for about 45 min where you work both legs I was unable to lift my knee replacement leg at all and wondered if I would ever be able to again, I did in about 1 week. yea but I could walk with a walker and went up and down stairs on day 2, yes it hurts, it hurts a lot but it is different it is a very tight strong throbbing, not sharp stabbing as before.
Day 2 in rehab I sobbed uncontrollably all day. I did not know why,it was fineally determined by doctors and hospital psycologists that it was anxiety caught up with me. In preperation for surgery I had to put my business in anothers hands, clean house, pay bills,make sure there were groceries at home for family, feel guilty for Husband having to work and come to hospital every night bringing me things, feeling guilty for bothering nurses with any thing,etc.etc.
In 1 week had made big progress. however it was still very painful hard to bend. after the 3 rd day in rehab pain med is no longer delivered every 4 hours you have to ask for it, so make sure you watch the clock. and start asking 1/2 hour in advance. I continued to love physical therapie. your put on coumadin and stockings, the stockings do help relieve pain besides helping circulation.
I am now at 4 weeks, when I keep my leg down for 30 or more min. it swells and is more painful . so my 3 week time line had passed which also caused me to cry -dissapointment that I'm still recovering and not fuly functioning. At 3 weeks the pain is considerably less but still there. I like my pain med 1 every 4 hours, why suffer plus I function better not in pain. going for my 1 month check tomorrow it seems like 1 week. A nurse came to the house 2 times a week to check coumadin levels and incision etc, the staples were taken out in 10 days, some of them hurt coming out but its over fast, a physical therapist came 1 time a week at my request as the copay 35.00 a visit I can do the physical therapie myself, I have to make myself.
I figured out to put my foot on a skateboard while sitting. I can slide my leg back and forth to exercize the knee. I put my hand tight over the incision while bending. it feels better.
Every one all around had told me I've done very well compared to most but it isn't fast enough for me. I stopped using the walker after rehab and never used a cane I have to focus on walking heel to toe and not limping. its just easier to limp. but even I know thats not the way to go. Now I'm just looking forward to the day every one says I'll be so glad I did this. I keep telling my self it could be worse...........
Well, I'm the triplet of the bunch!!!!!! 52, had TKR (left) 8/08 and going back in a few days for the right one. Tuned in to see what people had to say b/c much of it is a blur. The itching and crying happened to me - itching from the meds AND crying from the meds - I couldn't stop - I wasn't sad - as I was crying I was laughing - Why am I crying???? It IS from the meds.

Everything you said could have been me!! I love my new knee - that's why I was not hesitant to go back in for the other - that, and I can't bear weight on it!! For some reason, I am more nervous this time, and without reason as the first one went so well!

And thanks for reminding me about the meds - I remember asking one time "Isn't it time for my meds" and the response was that I had to request meds. And I had awful headaches - I am packing coffee and Coke b/c EVERYTHING was de-caf - not sure if it was caffeine-withdrawal, but I'm taking my own caffeine and hoping for the best.
Hi,

I had a TKR on my left knee two years ago. Now my right knee is having the same kind of pain as the left one did. I anticipate having minor and major surgery in the future.

Until I get to my orthopedist, which I have an appointment with next week, I am going to try using a cane. I had different people tell me which side you are supposed to use a cane. One doctor said use it on the same side and another said use on the opposite side. Can you let me know through your experience which side worked best for you? I would be interested in hearing from you all.

Thanks for your time.

Painfree4me
[QUOTE=painfree4me;3524859]Hi,

One doctor said use it on the same side and another said use on the opposite side. Can you let me know through your experience which side worked best for you? I would be interested in hearing from you all.

Thanks for your time.

Painfree4me[/QUOTE]


Use it on the opposite side or you will end up walking like House (TV show)
I hope that all those who have had to endure TKR are doing well. I am on my second replacement. Did the right knee 3 years ago but never felt that it really worked until I did the left knee this summer. I am now 4 months post op and although getting better, still not where I want to be.

I had the new procedure for reducing swelling with a special cocktail of steroids, celebrex, lyrica, dextromothorphan (cough syrup) mixed with a giant syringe of my own blood directly into the joint during surgery. Logic is this speeds healing by reducing swelling. Had my surgery in the morning and I was up and walking by myself with a walker later that evening. Was able to get in and out of bed by myself. Walked so much and did so well during therapy that my insurance company denied my going to rehab as I was considered able to be independent. Boy was I dumb! Day I was being released my leg swelled from toe to hip and stayed that way for three weeks, what had been simple before became excruciating. Found out I was one of the 10% who ultimately don't respond well to this special cocktail and suffer the meds side effects of lyrica and celebrex with extreme swelling.

Degraded to being totally independent to needing help lifting my leg but was able to actually buy $10 leg lifter (looks like a stiff dog leash) where you just hook the circle end around your foot and swing that sucker anywhere you want it to go, great for getting in and out of cars as well.

A few days before my extreme swelling finally went down (swelling caused me so much pain I was downing oxycontin and percocet like it was candy) I managed to pull a quad tendon while doing home therapy, major bummer. Set me back big time. After a week of rest, I was able to start out patient PT and went for 8 weeks, at 3x per week. Was very slow going until the quad tendon healed enough to let me progress.

Now finally I can walk without a cane and have to really concentrate to avoid limping. Still have swelling when I am on my feet which of course causes pain. My first knee replacement did the same swelling thing for about 8 months before swelling became the exception and not the norm. I tend to be a sweller after all my surgeries.

I have had both general and spinal anesthesia for the knees. Spinal scares me more but is actually much better. If you can get your anesthesiologist to really listen to you they can do it right. Because of my reaction to spinals (migraine and barfing for days) my doctor just put me in very light sedation so I was awake during much of the procedure (the drilling and sawing of bone was a bit tough to listen to) and also in some pain but when I asked for more pain relief they gave it to me so overall it wasn't really that bad. When I woke up in my hospital bed I hurt less from the spinal than my other knee when I had general anesthesia.

Overall I have learned that I have to accept that it takes up to a year for a full recovery. My therapist came up with a great idea of cutting my TED stocking at the calf and using it as a compression sleeve which I still wear every day and take off only to go to sleep, it really helps with the swelling and makes it easier for me to be more aggressive with exercise.

Best I can advise people about to undergo this procedure is to be realistic. I have had a total of 11 operations and knee replacement is absolutly the most painful and the most difficult to recover from. You have to really grit your teeth, take the pain meds and fight your way to recovery. My first knee is now perfect (about time since it is 3 years) so I have to believe that one day my recent knee will get there as well. I have learned that everybody is different and so the healing is different. I find that after the first 10 days home from the hospital I felt pretty capable of surving on my own, not able to do housework but able to do my own laundry, cook simple meals (handy stool always by my side) and take care of myself. Since it wasn't my driving leg, I did drive at start of week 5, frankly when I did my driving leg, I recalled I drove at week 5 as well but not with the same confidence (sharp breaking can really hurt).

Best way to prepare for surgery is to exercise your leg as much as possible before, work on doing chair lifts to strengthen your upper body. Have simple snack food on hand like pudding, applesauce, jello, etc for taking meds as it will help your stomach tolerate the drugs. I was put on a 100mg dosage of stool softener twice a day so didn't really have problems with constipation even though my doctor also put me on huge dosage of iron as well. Dextromothophan and steroids were stopped in hospital but I continued on lyrica and celebrex for one week after coming home. Another poster advised on shorts and tee shirts, add sneakers to that list as well. Dressing tools such as stocking aid, lifter and thingy to help put your pants on, take socks off, etc. will also help to make your self sufficient. I used the CPM machine extensively in hospital but after my swelling problem doctors felt it would make things worse so I didn't have to take it home. Skateboard is also a great idea as when just sitting you can keep your knee moving, and moving constantly is key, never keep knee in same position longer than 15 minutes as it stiffens up.

Hope this helps and would love to hear form others who have the longer recovery time like me, hoping this will end quicker than three years.
[QUOTE=IWillSurvive;3776024]. Skateboard is also a great idea as when just sitting you can keep your knee moving, and moving constantly is key, never keep knee in same position longer than 15 minutes as it stiffens up.

[/QUOTE]

Now that sounds like good advice. I've never heard of the skate board idea before but I like the idea, sounds logical. I'm gonna remember that advice. Thank you.
I've never had a replacement but it's most likely "somewhere" down the road for me, so I have benifited from reading this thread.
I had a horrifying experience last time I was put to sleep and vow noone is ever putting me to sleep again unless it's a matter of life and death. I do plan on a spinal when my knee finally gives up.
My experience is a little different than most, so I thought I'd comment. I just turned 66, and had the TKR about 6 weeks ago. It went really well. I had an insert that fed to the knee and gave it a constant dose of pain medication after the surgery. They kept coming to ask what my pain level was, and most of the time I could reply that it was zero. They got me up the first day just a few hours after the surgery to have me stand, but I couldn't put weight on that leg as I was still quite numb from the waist down.

I came straight home the Friday after a Tuesday surgery, and didn't use a potty chair or anything to make the toilet higher. I had devised a method of getting on and off the toilet in the painful months before surgery that involved resting my elbow on the toilet tank and swiveling down to the seat. I was able to get in and out of bed without help also, just using the walker.

My surgeon likes his patients to have physical therapy 5 days a week for 2 weeks after surgery, so the therapist came the day after I came home. I recovered my range of motion relatively quickly, and my walking, with some coaching, was great! I occasionally forgot to use the walker, if I was just crossing the kitchen for a drink or something. Pretty soon, I abandoned the walker entirely. That was at about 2 weeks.

Both physical therapists I worked with advised against using a cane if I didn't need it. They would rather see me continue with the walker if I needed the stability, but they said that canes often cause a limp because we have to compensate as we use it. I didn't feel I needed it, so I never used it.

I had some swelling, but not a lot. The ice machine that circulated ice water over my knee was very helpful with that.

The CPM was also helpful, but I quit using it after a couple of weeks. I never needed help getting on and off once I got home.

After I'd been home a couple of weeks, I developed a lot of pain on the surface of the knee. It was sharp pain, as if the surgery was just yesterday. I went in to the doctor and he explained that in a few cases, the place where the nerve was cut in the surgery can get hypersensitive. On one side of the incision, the knee is quite numb, as those of you who have gone through it can testify. On the other side, the severed nerve can go crazy, and he pointed to the exact place that hurt the worst. He recommended massaging the knee and the scar, just as you would rub your head after you bumped it on the kitchen cabinet.

Now 6 weeks after the surgery, I still have that pain. Generally, walking isn't painful at all, or lying down. But sitting, even in the recliner with my knee elevated still can be very painful, in the same sharp-pain way. Sometimes the whole knee hurts from it. It's also very sensitive to clothing rubbing on it. Walking on the treadmill actually seems to help. Maybe it's improving the circulation.

In addition to the gradually increasing time on the treadmill, I'm adding ankle weights to my leg lifts, and doing some stair exercises and stretches to get more strength in my legs. I've been fairly sedentary, so I'm excited to get into better shape.

One last thing. One book I read recommended getting your weight down as much as possible before the surgery so that your knee can recover without having to bear all the extra weight of an overweight person. I'm at 145 right now, 5'7'', and that, in addition to my relative youth have probably been much in my favor.
Jan.27th I went through left knee replacement surgery. I am 47 yrs old but have freea long history of body damage. Having gone through 3 left knee and 1 right kee surgery I know I have a huge advantage in recovery along with being young. They kept me in the hospital for 3 days which seems standard. They went by in a flash, thankfully they used a pain block and it was awesome combined with the morphine I really was 90% pain free. The side note is due to all these wonderful pain items your body pretty much stops going to the bathroom. ( and the nurses demand quantity...lol.)Problem though comes when you over do laxatives,sofeners,pruin juice.....and the fact that it isnt very comfortable to sit.Oyvay. Now for the recovery...I was walking with a cane in three days I believe soley do to the wonderful machine called a CPM. They place your leg into this machine that flexes the knee up to a set bend that you can control. I was in that three times a day for 2 hours each time. AWESOME MACHINE!
Nows comes the three days I spent at a nursing home....ughhh! I have never been so tired in my life. Between the alarms,bells,buzzers,and the yelling from some disgruntled elder . I pushed my knee to acheive the 110 degree bend my surgeon had placed as my goal prior to leaving nursing home.I am now home walking still with a cain and still swollen. My question is how long before my knee is normal size?????????:confused:
The Big Mistake

I am 58 year old male with bilateral TKR in June. I have been an athlete all of my life and spent considerable time preparing for this event. Thus, I felt well prepared going into surgery. I selected a surgeon with an outstanding reputation for whom replacement rate was well above average. The hospital was rated number one in orthopedic surgery in Pennsylvania.
Bone was worn down on left knee along with scar tissue from previous surgeries made surgery longer than expected. Recovery was very difficult with pain and a very bad reaction to pain meds. I completed all PT as requested and continue with PT. I have 122 degrees of bend in both knees with 0 degrees extension in right knee and 0 degree extension in left knee. Pain continues particularly after being on my feet for any time. Specifically, knees begin to tighten and become stiff with decrease in range of motion. Going down steps and getting up from sitting is a real struggle.
My PT (up until January) schedule has been two hours nearly every day with an hour plus on the stationary bike then lifting and stretching. I doubt there is anyone working harder. I am also doing acupuncture and massage therapy.
At eight months things should be better. All of this was suppose to improve my quality of life. Instead I am worse off. Doctor has no answers. I had a 2nd opinion from another Doctor in the same practice who indicated it will take longer. My opinion is that this has been a disaster and I am much worse off now that I was a year ago. I regret the decision to have the knees replaced. I'm not seeing many ways out of this but can't imagine living with this the rest of my life.
Has anyone had trouble with Zimmer knees? Can anyone recommend a surgeon who can provide solid information on what is happening to my knees?
Hi WHS. I just celebrated the 10th anniversary of my bi-lateral TKR's. Not too many people do both at once and it can slow your recovery....not the knee recovery but your whole body.

I'll share my experience with you. I had the good extension and 120* of flexion at 8 weeks. I did everything my doc asked. I wanted to keep up with my PT and said to stop after 3 months. Why? He told me that I just needed time to heal and to stop pushing my body so hard. You can overdo the PT.

The fact is, you just went through having both legs broken above and below the knee. The bone needs to grow into the prosthesis. If you're like me, you came out of surgery taller and you muscles have to stretch and that takes months. I had anemia from the surgery for over a year despite 4 auto-transfusions.

So I stopped pushing myself and just started taking care of the rest of my body. You lose a lot of blood with these surgeries and it is extremely stressful on the body. I am about to undergo my 3rd spine surgery in 2 years and my doc is very worried. He told me ANY major orthopedic surgery such as spine or TKR's or THR's take a full 2 years for the body to recover. And he's right.

I started walking regularly about a year and half after the TKR's and the pain was gone and so was the stiffness. I eventually was able to stand for a 12 hour day at work and walk 5+ miles. But you must give yourself and your body time. Heck, it takes a full year for your body to recover just from the anesthesia.

You may be pushing to hard. My doc warned me about that as I'm a real worker after surgery(I've had 14 knee surgeries). Muscles grow VERY slowly. Bone needs to repair. I've met people with metal allergies and you usually have some kind of localized rash with that. Ask for a skin test. My doc did that prior to surgery.....tapped 2 disks of metal to the inside of my arm for 48 hours....one for each of the 2 major metals in the joint.

I just think you aren't allowing your legs to heal. All that PT may be undoing the healing that is taking place. Consider it.

As for me.....I LOVE MY KNEES! They are as pristine as they were 10 years ago. But here is something to think about. TKR's are like tires on your car. If they are rated for 30,000 miles then you can be pretty sure they will wear out at 30,000 miles. Same for knees. They will wear out if you keep pushing them. My doc restricted me to no more than 10-15 miles/week of walking and would prefer if I kept it under 10. I have and they are great.

Give it time. You're never going to be the athlete your were. That's not what TKR's are for. They are a replacement for a wheelchair which is what you were headed for. I lost so much bone in my left knee I went through the surface of the joint and had to have bone marrow drained each week for 6 months prior to surgery. I came out of surgery 2 inches taller. And since my legs were straighter, I had to get all new shoes.

I'm just glad to be out of pain and walking. You will get there. Give it time and give your legs a rest.

gentle hugs.........Jenny
I posted here earlier in October. At that time was still recovering from my second TKR. Well now I have had my third, yup you read right, my third. I went to see my surgeon for my 6 months postop visit, I was finally walking pretty good, swelling was finally pretty much gone and the only problem I had to report was a tendency for my leg to just buckle right out from under me. Well the minute the doc heard that he had a set of xrays done and saw a shadow that was new, his guess was my implant has somehow broken. So he ordered a CT scan for that same day (fortunately he is chief of surgery so able to move mountains) and had his partner also look at my films. Radiologist didn't see anything but my doc and his partner sitll felt something was wrong but were surprised that I didn't have extreme pain and they could manipulate me so easily. My docs guess was that the plastic portion of the implant must has a small break of some type that made the prosthesis slip in and out of place, when it was out, my knee would buckle and then it would slip back in. He opted to do surgery immediately but first checked with the manufacturer of the implant, J&J DuPuy knee, to check their data base and see if any other surgeon had ever seen this. My doc said it was his first experience in 30 years of doing knees, my luck, huh.

Well I agreed to go under the knife and they opted to reopen the incision and be prepared for a total revision as the worst case scenario. Ends up that was a good plan as I had the total revision of all the plastic components. Bottom line is I am so happy I trusted my doc and went along with his plan. I was up and walking same day, which was same as before, but this time walked even better. Most of the time the nurses were fussing about me moving around my room without a walker. I went straight home on day 4 and felt so good that on the way home, I talked hubby into taking me to the store to pick up some supplies. I was up and about non stop after that and going out and about on errands with hubby every day. By about day 10 I wasn't even using a cane unless I was outdoors and the ground wasn't stable (ice, grass, curbs). I still had awful pain but I didn't care because this knee was really working well. Other than the at home therapy and nurse visits I was released from therapy at the two week mark. My range of motion was so great my doctor and I decided I didn't need any more therapy and could just build back into my exercise routine at my comfort level.

The moral of the story I have come to believe is that if all the factors come together this surgery can really be as good as other posters have stated, just took me three knees to finally get it right. For a few weeks I found that I cut my TED stocking and made it into a sleeve (thigh to calf) and that it was amazing in stopping the swelling which is why I was able to get around so well. It is now 7 weeks after the revision and for the last three weeks I have been getting out of bed most days feeling like a total normal knee. It is only when on my feet all day long that I have some swelling and elevating the leg for an hour or two with ice does the trick, if I think I am going to be doing a ton of walking I take my little TED sleeve with me and just slip it on at the first sigh of swelling. My only residual complaint is soreness as the incision site, having the old scar being only 6 months old and totally reopened again has really frazzled the nerve endings so just a tiny bit of swelling sets off nerve pain and throbbing but that will get better and is just a bother but doesnt make me limp or keep me from doing stuff.

If I had to do these three knees all over again, I think after reading all the posts here I would insist on having spinal for anesthesia versus general, would insist on my own pain pump so I could control my meds, would ask for aggressive antiinflammatory solutions (like celebrex), would have ice on hand all the time (ice packs, ice machine that circulates water), would have compression sleeve for knee to contain swelling. As for therapy, I think the only reason I didn't need it this last time around was that after the first two total knees, I knew what I could do and not do and was not afraid to really bend and straighten my knee. Having that confidence made me relax and just push myself and surprisingly it was easier knowing that I could get a good range of motion (I was at 110 by the time I left the hospital on day 4) so just the knowledge made it easier to get it done. Sort of like having babies, lol, the first is the hardest and after that it isn't strange anymore so it gets easier.

Good luck to all those who still have TKR ahead of them, drive your doctor crazy asking questions and take a stand and demand to be in control.
BigBob, hate to say this but it will be different for every knee and situation. As a rule of thumb my doctor and therapist always tell me to be prepared for swelling and warmth in the joint for up to a year. I have a tendency towards swelling so always get my mind around trying to be patient as I usually end up being the patient with the year plus for swelling. But the good news is that over time, the swelling is smaller in intensity and frequency. Just listen to your body and try to avoid the things that generate the swelling and when you get the swelling listen to your body and give your joint a break. Hardest part is being patient, another poster gave some good insight when she said don't expect to be the athlete of your youth but rather rejoice in the fact that you avoid the wheelchair (my version of her words, same message).

PiedPiper, you are so right, positive attitude is so huge in recovery. I used to fight having spinal anesthesia because I had such a negative reaction to it. Once I wrapped my mind around the fact that it was the better anesthesia choice and stopped fighting the doctors, I found that although I still don't like it, I no longer have all the negative side effects. Key to your therapy is a therapist who understands you are an individual and helps you regain your joints to a place that is right for you. The therapists who practice the "one routine is best for all" are the ones that can do you harm. It is important to know what your goal in recovery is and to communicate that to whoever is helping you so that they work toward achieving your goal and not theirs. The hardest part of rehab from a total knee, other than the pain, is being patient for it does take time and in being calm and positive as each day even if it is only a tiny bit of progress is progress and is the fuel to get you to the next step. Good luck, my last surgery was my 9th orthopedic surgery and I hope my last for a very long time.
Had my TKR in March and have reached a range of 155 degrees and 0 flat. Have worked so hard and couldn't have done it without my stationary bike and physio. However was on my feet for 3-4 hours one day in the weekend and hello!!! have a whole heap of fluid around my knee and pain. Feel have taken a big step backwards after making great progress. My physio has said not to stand for more than an hour at a time for now and have just returned to my job as a preschool teacher this week! Feel so frustrated to have come so far and now to go backwards. Had only just managed to sleep through the night (yaaay!!) and now back to no sleep, pain and rest again. Thank you to everyone for their posts on here as it has really helped me keep up my morale over the past 8 weeks and also to know that what I was feeling was normal.
When I had the surgery, had an epidural and wore my IPod on to help keep my mind off things - highly recommended. Was up later that day and walking on crutches from day 1 with hours on the CPU machine on the bed as well. Was in hospital for 5 days. The crutches went out the window after three weeks and have just continued to get stronger over time, making sure to fit in all the exercises religiously daily, especially the exercycle. My home is full of stairs and am sure having to get up and down them has helped heaps in my rehab. My biggest problem was pain relief as I reacted to everything except paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory twice daily.
Know what you mean. I am 7 weeks out and only at 88%. It's so hard because I am so swollen all the time. My PT came twice a week and gave me exercises to do everyday. I was released from home PT a week ago and have been on my own since then because the closest place for outpatient PT is 45 minutes away. I did start a pool exercise class called Aqua Arthritis at my local Rec Center and it works on Range of Motion. So far, I have been the only student, so it has been like getting PT. They are trained by the Arthritis Foundation and since it has just been me they are working on what I need. I was where you are at 3 weeks and even though I haven't come as far as I would like either there has been improvement. Has your PT suggested getting on an exercise bike. Everyone says it helps a lot. I myself have a Stride cycle which is basically the pedals on a stand that sits on the floor. I do it 3 times a day for 5 minutes. I belong to a gym and have tried the recumbant bike, but can't get a full rotation on that. I can on the Stride Cycle. I also do the ellipical at the gym for 5 minutes 3 times a week and the treadmill. My PT suggested walking backwards for 5 minutes at .5 mph 'cause you have to bend more backwards. You do need someone to start and stop the treadmill for you. I go with my husband and he does it for me. Good luck and keep on working. It will get better.
I got on a stationary bike as soon as I could. I noticed that my knee was much more "relaxed" afterward although, the "ride" itself was a bit painful. I don't have a stationary bike at home so I had to go to the gym until I could get on my bike trainer. A trainer is a stand that holds the back wheel of your own bicycle against a roll bar that provides some kind of progressive resistance. The faster you peddle, the more resistance you get. I am 9 weeks out from my surgery and got on the trainer for the first time last night. The hardest part was getting off the bicycle afterward. The trainer makes the bike higher by an inch or two.

I have seen the floor peddles you are talking about. The nice thing about the stationary, reclining bike is you can gradually push the seat forward which forces your knee to bend a little more each time. My problem is, my other leg cannot bend as much as my TKR leg.

My new knee still "pinches" sometimes when I walk and I sometimes feel like it has "gotten off the tracks" when I inadvertently try to bend it in any direction but straight back. My old knee didn't work at all but I didn't experience any pain with it as long as I didn't overdue. As far as walking goes, the new knee is great. The pinching pain bothers me. Does anyone else experience this? How long before all the pain goes away?
Still got pain 12 weeks out. Have been on a exercise bike daily since I was released from hospital, first going backwards no resistance until I could get a full circle going. Was up to 30 mins with 4 levels of resistance (out of 8 levels) by week 6. Set back with bursitis (fluid in the new joint) and am now only 5 mins at a time with no resistance several times a day. I have found the bike seems to 'loosen' things up and seems to help with the pain. I am only now managing to get some decent sleep although the pain does still wake me and I need to take some codeine nightly. My meds now minimal just anti flams twice daily and paracetamol when needed. I am still getting PT weekly.
KatyHex is so right on. I had the same knee replaced within a 6 month period. The first time, my muscles were soup because of the many years of inactivity, even riding a bike was impossible. I had end stage pure bone on bone that my doctor said he was surprised I could even stand on it. Recovery was painful, frustrating and so very long. At 6 months the implant came out of position, they believe a piece that rotates somehow broke, but my muscle tone was pretty good from all the aggressive rehab. I had a total revision and at five days was walking unaided and at about two weeks was where I was after 6 months on the first go round. My doctor was so pleased that I never had to even go to PT, the therapist I had for home care the first two weeks was always on me about slowing down as I was going way too fast. Key is to have those quad muscles in as good condition as possible and it can be a cake walk. Good luck to all.
Greetings, eriu40,
I think you will be amazed at the increased range of motion, following your surgery, but it will take time. As I posted, previously, I thought my recovery was slow, as did the therapists. But, the surgeon's schedule for expected range of motion was much more conservative. As it turned out, the surgeon was correct. The surgeon's goal for me was 90º at 3 months, even though I achieved 90º three days after surgery. I received my new knee on 2/2/09, and hit 133º flexion on 6/25/09. I can easily go up stairs, unaided, foot over foot, but am rather tentative going down, due to the pain from OA in my other knee. Best wishes... and please post back with any questions.
Hi eriu40
I too could only get down stairs one step at a time but could walk up and down quite soon after surgery (have 28 steps from front door to my bedroom!) and now find that I can do it very easily. I have a full range of movement in my new knee (155 degrees and 0) and after three months am very pleased I went through with it. I still have pain, although it is more discomfort these days compared with the early stages, but find I am able to do things I have been able to do for years with ease and realising just how much I was avoiding activities because they were too hard. The important thing, I feel, is to do the therapy as it gets easier every day. Good Luck!
Taberrose, thanks so much! I can't wait for the day when I can go hiking again! I was a huge hiker up until about three or so years ago. Now, I can barely make it from my car to my house, and I also limp pretty much all the time. Giving up hiking was probably the most difficult thing for me, and I miss it all the time.

I'll have to remind myself constantly that the recovery is more difficult and takes longer than a lot of people (including myself) might think, while remembering that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm scheduled to go back to work 8 weeks post-op. Does that sound reasonable to people? I'm a nurse anesthetist who spends a good amount of time sitting in a chair, although I do have to walk and push a stretcher from the OR to the recovery area in between cases. I could have someone else push the stretcher for me, if necessary, I think.
Junebea, the pain and flexion issues could be from the swelling. Have you tried things like the ice machines that cool for a long as you want, I used to just sit and wear mine for hours at a time and while sleeping. Also a great trick my therapist taught me for the swelling was to use my TED compression hose, just cut the foot off at the lower calf and use it like a compression sleeve, it will give you compression from the mid calf to the thigh, that with elevation and ice can do wonders for swelling. I used to wear my sleeve for almost 4 months whenever I was on my feet, put it on before you even get up out of bed, only take it off to sleep overnight. Told my surgeon I was doing it and he loved the idea, best of all it worked and wearing it for PT and icing first I was able to get more flexion. Good luck.
Junebea, I am so glad you tried the compression sleeve, I knew it would work for you! Learn to love it, it will be your new best friend. I hunted online until I found them for about $10/pair in white so I have a lot. I also got some great glue called It Stays that is a roll on and keeps the stocking from rolling, washes right off with water.

When you go back to work, make sure even if you aren't wearing one, you have a spare in your handbag so if you notice your leg starting to swell you put it on right away. My best suggestion is to put the comporession sleeve on BEFORE you swell, it works better and won't cut off circulation. I used mine for PT and it was easier to get flexion and also used it in my pool, pool exercises are great for TKR recovery. I

f you find your scar is sensitive, you can use a simple gauze pad over the incision and then the stocking won't rub. Also have your PT teach you how to rub the scar tissue with a terry towel, sounds crazy but your scar can be very sensitive and you have to desensitize it, only takes a few minutes at a time and you will notice a dramatic improvement in a few days. Often PT forgets to tell you this little secret and having anything touch your scar can be a killer unless you desensitize it.

Continue with the recovery and just remember that it takes time but you will get there, only person you need to be in a race with is yourself. I have done this 3 times and each time it does get better because I know more about my body and learn more tricks. I guess practice makes perfect, sort of like nursing babies, the first one is the hardest, lol.
The countdown is on! Three more days until I finally have my left knee replaced. I cannot wait! I am so ready for this.

I've arranged to have eight weeks off from work. Does that seem like enough? I had a home pre-op visit from PT yesterday, and the therapist seemed concerned that that was all the time I was taking. It's making me a tad nervous. I'm a nurse anesthetist, so I do get to sit a fair amount of time, but in between cases I have to push the patient and stretcher to the recovery room. Then I head to the pre-op area to pick-up the next patient/stretcher and bring them back to the OR. Also, if I'm not amazingly uncomfortable at six weeks, I plan on flying to Ireland (a 5 1/2 hour flight). I go every year and am prepared to take it easy this year (no hiking to the end of the Cliffs of Moher!). Has anyone traveled so soon after surgery, and if so, how did it go?

Thanks!
Thanks KatyHex and New Day. I did have a femoral nerve block (which worked beautifully for the first 14 hours or so) along with the Morphine pump. They switched me over from Morphine to Percocet, as I was hardly using the pump with the block in place. Thursday morning, they took me back down to the recovery room, so they could do another block. Unfortunately, the second block didn't work at all, which can happen the second time around, as a lot of the nerves are still mildly bathed in the local from the first block—you don't get the leg twitches that let's the anesth. person know they're in the right area. Unfortunately, the hospital I'm in doesn't do femoral nerve catheters. They do at the hospital that I work for, but that doesn't help me at all, does it?

So, here I am at 3:30 a.m., hurting. I've got the TEDs stocking on to try to keep swelling down, and I'm in the CPM 3 to 4 times a day. Beileve it or not, that's where I feel most comfortable.

I still don't have the muscle strength to even move my leg 1 or 2 inches on my own. Oh well. I've got to go because I keep catching myself typing completely strange things that have nothing to do with arthritis or replacement. I'd better just snooze a wee bit longer. I can't even re-read this...I'm falling over and practically drooling!
[QUOTE=itsanewday;4023529]Greetings, eriu40,
I think you will be amazed at the increased range of motion, following your surgery, but it will take time. As I posted, previously, I thought my recovery was slow, as did the therapists. But, the surgeon's schedule for expected range of motion was much more conservative. As it turned out, the surgeon was correct. The surgeon's goal for me was 90º at 3 months, even though I achieved 90º three days after surgery. I received my new knee on 2/2/09, and hit 133º flexion on 6/25/09. I can easily go up stairs, unaided, foot over foot, but am rather tentative going down, due to the pain from OA in my other knee. Best wishes... and please post back with any questions.[/QUOTE]
I had left knee replacement 6/15/09 and will be 5 weeks tomorrow. Your message encourages me as I am discouraged that I'm only at about 100 degrees flexion. It feels like a tight band around my knee which the PT says is scar tissue. Is it really possible to break that down???
[QUOTE=Cotton1958;4041754]Hi, I just found your messageboard tonight. I found out just this past Thursday I need bilateral TKA. It will occur in about a month out from diagnosis. I have to take a total knee class this week.

My 1st Dr. told me in April to go with the shots and to move move move. Well I did all that, and even had to quit my job. So I have been pretty bummed about it all.

A lot of information here...it's great.

I am bone to bone on both knees, one's a little worse than the other. One knee is bowing. The other knee actually hurts more. I am 50 year old Female.

I'm scared to death. Anyway, I have read most posts, not all. I think my biggest problem right now is preparing my house and figuring out what to buy to get around.

I am a little bit overweight, but not sure how to lose weight the next month...although Dr. didn't say anything about it. I have tried to cut down on my overall eating...actually I have just plain lost my appetite. I hope that since I was active/standing/walking until latter April I'm not totally out of shape.

Thanks for reading : )[/QUOTE]
The most difficult time I had after my total knee replacement of my right knee on 6/222/09 was the gain of weight in the rehab center after I left the hospital. The food was anything but healthy, and numerous discussions with dietitions did no good! It did give me the drive, however to get out of there fast! I was driving just prior to the 3 week anniversary of the surgery and feel I am doing remarkably well. Yes, I continue to experience pain, but most intense pain is at night & tylenol takes care of it during the day. Good luck!
Eriu40 you WILL hike again! I tried to go for a walk on uneven ground on a local island before my surgery and just couldn't do it - I was in tears because I felt so frustrated at how limited my life had become and felt so disabled. My husband and I had a holiday in Australia in July and I went for bush walks with no problems - not as fast as I once was, but I know that it will improve with time. Also was able to climb easily onto and off a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to go whale watching. It all helps to make me feel that the quality of my life is in a major improvement mode. I found that persisting with the exercise bike made such a difference, five minutes a day with no resistance several times a day and then when able gradually adding resistance. After developing the bursitis I had to drop back from 20-30 minutes a time with resistance to 5 mins with no resistance. Am now just starting to add resistance again.
[QUOTE=dpbruner;4055319]I'm 72, and it's 8 weeks postop today. I probably had 135 degrees flexion before surgery and will be quite happy with the 120 that I've pushed up to now. I'm far from through with making progress, though, so if anyone else out there can encourage me with their news, that would be great![/QUOTE]

DP, I've been told that whatever you had pre-op is likely where you'll end up post-op. (I'm a nurse anesthetist and work with loads of orthopedic surgeons who have all told me the same thing.) I've also been told that when you're younger, it comes back more quickly. I guess that's one of the benefits to being young when you have your TKR. The downside is that the prosthesis is likely not going to last your lifespan, so you're pretty much signing up for a very difficult re-do when you have it so young. There are pluses and minuses either way, I guess.

By the way, I'm so jealous of your pre-op 135°! I only had 105° by the time I had my surgery, so I feel that anything I get past that is a real blessing. My PT thinks that if I'm persistent, I might make 130° by the time I'm done with all this.

I heartily encourage you to keep working at it. My step-dad had his knee done at age 87. It was a long, slow recovery for him, but at 89, he has been caught (my mom doesn't allow him) climbing ladders. He says he feels great, so why not?
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4056272]I just found this site when googling Knee Replacements. This is my first post and I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I'm totally scared to death that I'll end up not being able to walk right, etc. I just don't know how much pain I need to be in before doing this. I can still bike 45 to 60 miles but can't walk without pain and a limp. I've have 2 series of injections into the knee (ins. is being appealed because they say the second series doesn't "scientifically work" but my knee isn't buckling out from under me now). I'm starting to get neck, lower back and hip pain from walking poorly. Does this sound familar to anyone. My doctor comes highly recommended but he says I need to decide myself when to have the surgery. I have bone on bone in half of my right knee. Help - input?:confused:[/QUOTE]
Do it now! I was told in '07 that I was a candidate for TKR, and I waited till 5/12/09 to have it. I was in so much pain prior to the surgery that I could barely walk, and had developed a terrible limp due to the pain. I am no longer in pain, but I am having difficulty walking without the limp. I think it became a habit! I think if I had had the surgery before I let it get SO bad, my gait would be much more normal! It is getting more normal all the time, but I think I would have had an easier recovery if I had done it a sooner! I am a couple weeks short of being 49 years old, but had prior knee surgery on my quad when I was in my 20's. I have 120 degrees of flexion, and around -3 to 0 extension, or vice versa don't know which is flexion/extension! I have 10 more PT sessions, but if I am still limping at that point, I will request more!
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4056272]I just found this site when googling Knee Replacements. This is my first post and I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I'm totally scared to death that I'll end up not being able to walk right, etc. I just don't know how much pain I need to be in before doing this. I can still bike 45 to 60 miles but can't walk without pain and a limp. I've have 2 series of injections into the knee (ins. is being appealed because they say the second series doesn't "scientifically work" but my knee isn't buckling out from under me now). I'm starting to get neck, lower back and hip pain from walking poorly. Does this sound familar to anyone. My doctor comes highly recommended but he says I need to decide myself when to have the surgery. I have bone on bone in half of my right knee. Help - input?:confused:[/QUOTE]

LadyScout, I took a 66 mile bike ride one month before I had my knee replaced. In that month, the northeast had non-stop rain just about every day, and I couldn't ride. By the time the rain stopped, my knee had stiffened up so much that I could no longer even ride my bike. I'd also been walking with a limp that was getting significantly worse and was suffering from terrible sciatica. It was the sciatica, as well as the fact that everything I loved to do was taken from me that convinced me to finally get my knee done. I'd been diagnosed with arthritis at age 32 and managed to hold out until 47. I had physical therapy, three series of Syn-Visc injections, 2 cortisone shots, and a knee arthroscopy. I was down to bone on bone and loaded with bone spurs. My flexion had decreased to 105°—not even enough to walk down a fight of stairs normally.

I had my knee replacement four weeks ago today. Make no mistake...when you have this done, it's going to hurt A LOT for quite some time afterwards...even more than your arthritis hurts now. You just have to ask yourself would you rather deal with the pain you're having now, knowing it's only going to continue to get worse and worse, while eventually you'll be able to do less and less, and possibly end up with a limp and back problems, or would you rather have a significant amount of immediate post-op pain that is going to get better each day and bring you closer to doing some of the wonderful things that people on this site have been positing about...toboganning, hiking, gardening, squatting, climbing ladders, etc.?

Your doctor is right...only you can decide when you're ready to have this done. I would encourage you to read through this site to see others' experiences. It's helped me tremendously, both pre-op and post-op, to know that what I'm going through is not so unusual and to know how well others have done post-op. Good-luck!
I had my knee replaced a year ago June 30th. Prior to surgery, I was offered general anesthesia or a spinal. I chose the general, plus a femoral block. That is an additional anesthesia placed into or beside the femoral artery at the upper part of the leg. It is intended to produce no pain at all for some eight hours following surgery. I came out of surgery with absolutely NO pain whatsoever. I was wide awake and kind of disappointed that I couldn't sleep longer. Was awake the entire day thereafter, and was up to the BR in the evening using a walker. They began therapy about 1:30 that same day, very mild therapy, and every day thereafter 2x a day. Began rehab in one week at the hospital, and then had to do exercises twice a day at home. It takes awhile, and you go through stages. I didn't have a lot of pain, but some. Took some vicodin if necessary. Leg swells for a long time, feels stiff, gradually goes away. But not the grinding pain I had before. Only problem I have is that when I get up from a chair, or the toilet, my knee grinds. The Dr. doesn't know why. Most people don't have that problem. Good thing is that now I've had my left knee done, the other one doesn't bother me at all, and it was very bad before. Probably was using it more in some manner. Surgery is worth it.
[QUOTE=fantail;4057058]Eriu40 I went to Australia 5 weeks ago (3.5 hour flight) and wore a compression bandage on my knee with flight socks over the top. It worked a treat and my leg coped really well - took it easy for the first day but did lots of walking from the second. Did do some of my static exercises while sitting on the plane to keep things moving too. Hope this helps. Would love to visit Ireland one day - have seen the rest of the UK but didn't get across to Ireland. Maybe one day you could come down this way and see the 'bottom of the world'.[/QUOTE]

Fantail, thanks for the advice re: compression bandage. What are flight socks, though?

I spent six weeks in Australia back in 1997, but only got to see your beautiful, green country in a three-hour peek out the airport window while on a layover there. Since, that just won't cut it, I will have to come back and do it again someday, but this time, actually leave the airport!

Ireland is so beautiful! I've been to Scotland, Wales, England, and the Isle of Man, but I still have to say that Ireland is my very, very favorite. I'm addicted and have to go every year to feed that addiction. This will be the first time I won't be able to hike all over the place. It also demonstrates to me how quickly I went downhill in the last 10 months before my knee replacement. Last year in September, I climbed Knocknarea (little mountain...a hill really—about 1800 feet or so) and hiked the Cliffs of Moher from the visitor center down to Hag's Head, which is a six mile round trip. Right before my surgery, 9 months later, it was agony to walk through the parking lot at work. To the person who was wondering whether or not to wait for the knee replacement (LadyScout), sometimes you lose what you have FAST, and your decision gets made for you.

I can't even imagine what Ireland will be like for me next year, one year out. Wow.
Junebea, don't beat yourself up! Everyone is different. I was really worried early on because I left the hospital with only 65 flexion. My first PT was very aggressive. Sessions were hell and I gained only a few degrees. Swelling was vicious. I never stopped the therapist, but the agony in treatments was a fearful thing. He told me I had "one of those knees" that would never recover - WRONG! Then I switched PT and it has been excellent since. He works me hard, but not beyond what I can bear. I am at 12 weeks and 115 flexion, and stilll improving every session.
Every knee is different and every circumstance. Your pain threshold may be very low - mine is too.

I work hard at this leg. I have to - the other one is in very bad shape and I am waiting for a call any day to get in to have it replaced. My non-surgery leg makes it very difficult to do a lot of the strenghtening, etc. we'd like to do, but the second surgery will change that.

I had a brother-in-law that had 100 flexion on both of his legs each time he left the hospital after his TKR. That isn't me. I'm much slower, but I continue to improve and this leg is already a God-send to me, even though it is months out from complete recovery. Time and diligence are all you can bring to the table. The rest will be what it will be - but the pain will be gone!

Do not let anyone else's progress get you down. You can't afford it. However, it might not hurt to check into another therapist; be sure to find one you can really trust. That is key!
Take heart and good luck!
I read this website both before and right after my surgery to try to see what I might experience. In case others are looking for the same information I sought, I thought I would also come back and outline my recovery experience with Total Knee Replacement to add to the information. I am 55 year old female. Although I found the surgery to be more painful than I expected and the recovery slower than I expected, I have been told that I have experienced pretty much the textbook expected recovery for someone who was in moderately good shape before the surgery (by that I mean able to ride exercise bike for 30-40 minutes at a time--with a painful, fat swollen knee full time). I had early surgery on a Wednesday and went home on Saturday afternoon. I had both an epidural and a femoral block. As each one wore off, the pain increased until I needed both oral morphine (longer lasting) and dilaudid as well as shots off and on for the first 36 hours. By the time I left the hospital, I could stand, walk with a walker, shower and use the restroom, all largely on my own (that doesn't mean that help wasn't only a shout away). This is major and massive surgery and the recovery is not quick. The first week at home I did not leave home at all and really needed a lot of help. I could not do much of anything other than basic grooming and PT. A home health care nurse came to check my blood levels and a home PT came three times a week to work with me. If you only take one lesson away from this post, it is this--the first 5-6 weeks post op, recovery and resting will be a full-time job. Sleeping through the night will be difficult so plan on resting throughout the day. Do the PT. Balance pain, medication and increased mobility, flexibility, stamina. I felt as if the moment the pain decreased to allow me to reduce pain meds, I was supposed to increase either weight bearing, flexibility training or stamina increase. I used crutches when I got home (instead of a walker) because my house has many stairs. I used crutches with a normal walking stride almost full time for 3-4 weeks then went to a cane for one week. It took concerted effort to relearn walking as my leg was lined up differently than it had been for many years. Since it was my right knee, I did not drive until 5 weeks post op. At 7 weeks, I am driving and able to work (computer and desk based) (with frequent walks, stretches, isometric exercises, etc). I walk 30 minutes a day, do PT 2-3 times per day and ride a stationery bike for 20 minutes per day. I have gone to a massage therapist once a week to have them work out the kinks in my lower back and leg. I still need a light pain pill (darvocet) at bedtime about half the time and occasionally something stronger than tylenol during the day (don't drive on those days). I still ice 2-5 times per day. Bottom line, I had planned to return to work sooner than 6 weeks, but chose not to--by about 3 weeks, I did about 10-15 hours of desk work per week at home. From what I see and hear from others at my therapist's--everyone has different reactions to the surgery and everyone's tissue responds differently so that you may do the exact things as I did and achieve either a better or worse result. So much of the immediate results from the surgery seem tied to your condition before surgery and the luck (or lack thereof) associated with how much your body scars and stretches. My best advice--work hard on recovery--take the pain meds if you need them to do the PT. And really do the PT at home as directed. Line up friends to help you with things so you can focus on recovery and call them if you need it. Just had a meeting with my surgeon and he says that at this time, my knee is at about 15% of what it will be in 9-12 months.
I am a 62 year old male and had TKR on the left knee on August 14th. Surgery will kick your butt, however, progress happens quickly. On the day after surgery I was walking about 50 yards with a walker. I prepared for the surgery with heavey workouts 3 days a week for 4 months prior to surgery--boy was that worth it! My leg strength was very good at the time of surgery.
2 days after surgery I was walking with one crutch and 4 days after surgery walked with no assistance from the wheel chair at the hospital entrance to the car for the trip home.
Been using a cane for stability only when walking outside but inside do not need any assistance at all.
Therapy is tough and right now I am at 90 degrees with a ways to go but progress is being made daily. I use the pain meds only before therapy at this point.
[QUOTE=tiredbeinsick;3436349]My history is I had horrible knee pain 5 yrs., stabbing sharp pain from ankles to knees. knees locking up, popping out of joint, usually unable to walk. 53 yrs old. saw orthopedist several times prior to surgery, (Good Looking) did not know what questions to ask, little to no information given, however I do tend to appear confident. Surgery Jan 10. very healthy. several small prior surgeries for other things I was up and going in a remarkable amount of time. I was with the understanding this is a 6 to 12 week recovery time, In my mind I heard 3 weeks I'll be fine!!!
I was given the option for type of anestesia. I chose no spinal or epidural, I was given choice for catheter,I chose not. Asked nurse to protect my modesty in surgery she was very warm, caring.
When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump. I was very itchy but in no pain as the day progressed the itching became worse, apparantly itching is a side effect,I had to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores, pain med was changed to something that did not work well finally 3rd change worked, I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.,
On the second day I was able to go to the bathroom on my own with the walker,I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me. very alert 3 rd day. I was o.k. but while the incision site seemed numb my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car. 4th day was transfered to a recovery facility for 1 week for after care and physical therapy.
got there at 3 pm. was asked if I had had a bowell movement, no!! was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems every one had the same problem so on top of pain your dealing with constipation, I had my husband bring up magnesium and gas x. took 2 magnesium am and 2 pm. fineally went potty. gas was also a problem where gas x was a gift from God....Nurses are busy don't expect to be babied. They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in.I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.
Day 2 physical therapie, was told to make sure you get pain meds 1/2 hour prior . it made a ton of difference in ability. I loved physical therapie its a bit of work but you being coached and praised and cheered a-.lot. for about 45 min where you work both legs I was unable to lift my knee replacement leg at all and wondered if I would ever be able to again, I did in about 1 week. yea but I could walk with a walker and went up and down stairs on day 2, yes it hurts, it hurts a lot but it is different it is a very tight strong throbbing, not sharp stabbing as before.
Day 2 in rehab I sobbed uncontrollably all day. I did not know why,it was fineally determined by doctors and hospital psycologists that it was anxiety caught up with me. In preperation for surgery I had to put my business in anothers hands, clean house, pay bills,make sure there were groceries at home for family, feel guilty for Husband having to work and come to hospital every night bringing me things, feeling guilty for bothering nurses with any thing,etc.etc.
In 1 week had made big progress. however it was still very painful hard to bend. after the 3 rd day in rehab pain med is no longer delivered every 4 hours you have to ask for it, so make sure you watch the clock. and start asking 1/2 hour in advance. I continued to love physical therapie. your put on coumadin and stockings, the stockings do help relieve pain besides helping circulation.
I am now at 4 weeks, when I keep my leg down for 30 or more min. it swells and is more painful . so my 3 week time line had passed which also caused me to cry -dissapointment that I'm still recovering and not fuly functioning. At 3 weeks the pain is considerably less but still there. I like my pain med 1 every 4 hours, why suffer plus I function better not in pain. going for my 1 month check tomorrow it seems like 1 week. A nurse came to the house 2 times a week to check coumadin levels and incision etc, the staples were taken out in 10 days, some of them hurt coming out but its over fast, a physical therapist came 1 time a week at my request as the copay 35.00 a visit I can do the physical therapie myself, I have to make myself.
I figured out to put my foot on a skateboard while sitting. I can slide my leg back and forth to exercize the knee. I put my hand tight over the incision while bending. it feels better.
Every one all around had told me I've done very well compared to most but it isn't fast enough for me. I stopped using the walker after rehab and never used a cane I have to focus on walking heel to toe and not limping. its just easier to limp. but even I know thats not the way to go. Now I'm just looking forward to the day every one says I'll be so glad I did this. I keep telling my self it could be worse...........[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Kneejerk101;4072056][/QUOTE]
I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.
>>>>[QUOTE=Kneejerk101;4072058]I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.<<<<

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.<<<<[/QUOTE]

Since you are taking hydro-c only at night, it is quite possible that your "quick to cry" condition is related to withdrawal. You may need to pop a single pill, say every 6 to 8 hours to keep from getting withdrawal symptoms, until you can taper dosage when you're ready to quit the pain med. I, too, felt really depressed when I first quit hydrocodone. Then it dawned on me that I was suffering withdrawal. I had to start taking it, again, then slowly tapered the dosage to keep from going through the withdrawal. That worked.

I'm now at 7 months PO, and today, I went for a hike on a mountain trail... 5th hike in the last 2 weeks. But, like you, I often felt discouraged, during recovery. My pain was so bad for the first month, I really didn't accomplish much at therapy. So, try not to dwell on your status at this early stage. My therapists conveyed that they thought I should be progressing faster. Then, I saw my surgeon for a PO checkup, and he said he thought I was doing, "...phenomenally well." My flexion was slow to return, but now my new knee flexes almost as much as my other one, which has normal full-range motion.

Best wishes, itsanewday (age 68).
You will get better in time. I have had in total, five total knee replacement, my right knee has had to be replaced three times and my left twice. I am only 43 and I recovered well. However, I was born with a genetic bone disorder which allows my joints to dislocate at will and without warning. I have had approximately 35 operations and I'm now suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, but my new knee joints are working fine. I have two fully functioning knees, (in as much as they have a full bend), and just want to say that you need to recover at your own pace. Please trust me when I say that as long as you exercise your joints (hips or knees), and work through the discomfort, you will be fine and dandy. I hope this has helped. Just remember that ultimately pain is a warning sign and if you are in too much pain, to tell your physiotherapist.
[QUOTE=dpbruner;4072841]I'm 72 also, and will be at 3 months post-op on the 15th of this month. My knee is doing fantastically well; feels normal when I get up in the morning, but stiff by the end of the day. Hang in there, by all means do your PT and you'll be so glad when you get to 2-3 months.[/QUOTE]

I'm so happy to hear that. I'll be at two months post-op on the 15th, and I definitely don't feel normal yet! It's improved significantly, though. I'm off of the Vicodin, and the pain doesn't wake me up as often. It's more of a stiffness now, I'd say.

I got back from Ireland on Saturday. The flight there was fine. I wore my TEDS stockings, did ankle pumps about a gazillion times, and walked the aisles. The flight home was a different story, though. I did all the same things, but my leg swelled up like a big balloon and killed me. I think it's probably because I did so much while I was in Ireland and got on the plane with a fairly swollen leg to start with. Also, since I did so much walking, I used my crutches constantly. I thought it would help keep the swelling down, but I think I may have done myself a disservice, as I've lost quite a bit of strength. Also, I was only able to do my PT once a day instead of twice, as by the time I got in at night, my leg was so swollen and painful, I could barely bend it. I'm already seeing an improvement again, though, in the three days since I've been home. Back to work.

Speaking of, I'm going back to my job tomorrow. I'm a little nervous about that, since my surgeon had recommended that I take three months off rather than two, but I need the money. I'm going to ease into it though...five hours a day for the rest of this week, then six for a few days, seven, then back up to eight. I'm a nurse anesthetist, so my job involves sitting in a chair, alternating with walking between cases to drop one patient off and pick up the next. I have PT tonight, and I'm going to ask my therapist for some more exercises I can do from my chair.
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4072470]I can't thank everyone on this site for such sharing. I'm facing TKR in Nov. and reading these posts takes lots of the fear away. Thank you all.[/QUOTE]

LadyScout, I agree entirely. Though, I'm a nurse anesthetist and actually see these operations all the time, I had no idea what to expect post-op. It helped me tremendously to see that my experience was not so different from everyone else's, and that as difficult as it was at times, it was normal. It also helps SO MUCH to hear how well everyone does once they get past the hard part! I'll be there soon, too!
Eriu I am pleased that you are home safe and sound. What a shame your leg was so swollen on the way home! Do take your return to work as slowly as you can. My knee has been giving a lot of problems for the past 10 days or so - went to my PT for some soft tissue work this afternoon after work because it is full of fluid again. I am finding the last few hours to full time really hard. Am now attempting to work 4 1/2 days a week but it is taking its toll. I decided today that if I can get the appropriate medical certificate from my specialist I will say that I will aim for full time in the new year after our summer holidays. I think that will take the pressure off me.
Your trip to Ireland sounds great - despite the leg issues. I may be going there this winter (was last there in 1999). I have a website on actress Maureen O'Hara and she's a personal friend. I am in Phoenix, so I would have the 9 hour flight from San Francisco. Last time in left from LA - to Shannon.

Sure wish I had the money to go business class to pamper my knee - but that isn't going to happen. LOL

We are establishing a Legacy Center (museum) honoring Maureen in Glengarriff County Cork - hoping to open in 2010.
[QUOTE=Kytigger;4075378]I had a LTK replacement 5/4/09. I went into the surgery knowing that I would not be able to return to work for 12 weeks. 12 weeks have come and gone and I am still having stiffness in my knee. I being a nurse figured I would be back in 8 weeks..... but that has not happened. I have been did PT , continue walking and water aerobics. My range of motion is good. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up I was informed that I had a "perfect" knee. My question was why does "perfect" hurt? I was told to continue to walk. I have been walking, however to compound the problem I need the other knee replaced, so if I get to vigorous I end up with a painful right knee. I am also on coumadin so I am unable to take any anti-inflammatory meds. The depression has been horrible and I am surprised my husband has not left. I am open to any suggestions.[/QUOTE]

Greetings, Kytigger,

Even "perfect" knees hurt, because YOU HAD MAJOR SURGERY to give you that perfect knee. (Forgive me for shouting, but I, too, had no idea what was involved during "recovery", so I think it is amusing to read that you still have stiffness.) Geesh, give yourself a break (from being depressed) - you should be feeling elation that you now have a perfect knee, and will eventually have two perfect knees - WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME TO BE ALIVE, AND TO BE ABLE TO GET NEW KNEES!!!!!!!! I had my RTK on 2/02/09 (29 weeks ago), and still have stiffness after I work/use the knee. My stiffness is caused from fluid (it doesn't take much, just a few cc's) that invades the joint. One of my pt's suggested that I take anti-inflammatories, but my theory is that my leg has to learn to adapt to the result of the MAJOR SURGERY, so I prefer to let it adapt without use of meds. I did another mountain hike on a rocky trail, today... my 8th hike in the last 2 weeks. The knee is a bit stiff and sore, but it will be better, tomorrow.
Hi all...I just had a TKR about 5 weeks ago and I still have lots of pain and swelling. I wear the the stockings, elevate my knee and ice it as much as possible, but the swelling still is there. I take the Hydro 10/500 every 4 hrs and have a Lidocane patch for my knee. None of these seem to ease the pain much. I have tried to ask my surgeon and regular physician for something different to help control the pain and they both say we can't give you anything else...take Ibprofen in between for break through pain and that doesn't do squatt either. My flexion is only @ 90 degrees and my knee has a hard time straightening. I had PT in-home for about 4 weeks and all that seemed to do it make it worse. I do the exercises on my own at my own pace at what I can stand where the therapist pushed my knee to the point of agony and was in agony the rest of the day, if anything PT made my knee worse. I'm sorry If I sound like I'm whining but I am so discouraged right now. :( Has anyone else gone through this very thing and how did you cope with it? I do get out to walk as much as possible but that tires me out in no time. I know I've only been out 5 weeks from surgery and everyone says it will get better in time. *sighs* sometimes I wonder.....thanks for listening
I had my TKR on 5/12/09... I didn't think anything could top the pain of a 10 lb 6 oz baby, but TKR kicked my butt! I had a prior surgery back in the 80's that traumatized my quad, so I have had a heck of a time getting my quad built back up, still have a long way to go! I can relate to being depressed post surgery, but I really think it had a lot to do with the pain meds that I was on. Had a terrible time sleeping the first month after the surgery as well. I lived on a pain med called etodolac pre-surgery, and have not needed so much as a Motrin after the initial pain meds from the surgery! My knee doesn't hurt anymore!!! YAY!!! That is not to say that I don't have stiffness, I get that if I sit too long, or stand too long... Keeping moving seems to be the best thing! I remember having a heck of a long recovery time with my first knee surgery when I was in my 20's, the TKR seems much faster, even in my late 40's! I really want to be able to play tennis next summer, but I realize that it may take a while... I usually have less patience with my self than other people, but this is a situation where you just have to take each day as it comes! I have had a couple of milestone moments since the TKR when I have realized that I'm not walking as funny as I had been, or that the knee doesn't feel so foreign as it did a couple of days ago! Still don't enjoy driving, it makes my hamstring hurt, but a little less each day...
Have a little more patience with yourself! The advice to see your general doc is good, if he/she doesn't help you go to someone else! Your doc should listen to you! Good luck!
Oh KEIL, thank you SO MUCH for your kind response. I think about my cousins attitude toward me daily because that isn't the only uninformed, mean spirited comment they've made to me. There are comments each time I see them and unfortunately I have to see them again today. I've decided that when they ask how I'm doing, I'll just say "great" from now on. I won't give any details or share any feelings and I won't respond to any of their comments ever.

I will go out and buy a stationary bike although I have a beautiful, new bike to ride around town for exercise. I can't use it now obviously. But the stationary bike will be great during the rainy season which is just around the corner here in Hawaii. My 85 year old mom who is in great shape will be able to use it also.

I go to PT tomorrow and can't wait to tell my therapist what you said about my progress. He has the best sense of humor (as does his wife who assists him). He told me that I'm welcome to hobble into his facility but don't I dare hobble out. Love them both. I so look forward to going twice a week.
It is a shame but unless you have been through a TKR you have no idea the intensity of the pain post op, how hard little things like lifting a leg a few inches can be or how demoralizing it can be to have to rely on others for help. But take heart we all here know how you feel and do care about your recovery. I have had three TKR (one failed after 6 months) and have had the full range of outcomes from horrible to terrific. Best advice I can give is to go at your own pace, it may take you longer but as long as you progress it will ultimately be okay, you have to learn to listen to your body. I used extensive pain meds and found that if I took a stool softener from day one I had no problems with constipation and I didn't get addicted. I also had trouble sleeping but found that if I got out of bed and just walked around a little bit to loosen up the stiffness I could get back to sleep. I used the ice machine and the ice packs and the ice machine is so much better for swelling. I also used the TED hose during the day and sometimes overnight if the swelling was bad. I found that when sitting I would use a skate board (heck even stick your foot on top of a rolling suitcase or a can that is lying on its side) and just gently roll my leg back and forth. Do it slowly at first and keep progressing to a better stretch and knee bend, you control the pace and the tempo and it won't be so painful as sometimes in PT and you will keep the joint loose, the more you use the joint gently, the better the joint will feel. Before aggressive PT sessions I found that using a stationary bike lossened up the joint and made it so much easier to get the flexion and extension I needed. By the time I did the third TKR it was a piece of cake because I knew what to expect and I had 95 degrees of flexion the morning after surgery. Be kind to yourself, ask for help and feel free to not worry about housework, the more you can set up your house before surgery, the less stressful it will be at home. Put things where they are easy to reach, work with your ortho case manager for the at home equipment and support. I have used the CPM machine at home for first two TKRs but opted to not use it for the third. Don't let others get you down and tell you that your progress isn't good enough, every person is different and very knee is different. A TKR doesn't mean you are 100% cured of arthritis, it just means you will be better than before but it takes time. I still have bouts of swelling and pain if I push my self too far so I just back off a bit and figure out how I can get the most out of life while being realistic that I will never have my teenage knees again. But life is good, I walk without a cane, I can go shopping, I travel and once again enjoy life with my kids and grandkids - I may still have some limitations but it is so much better than it was before the TKR. I promise all of you out there that one day you too will feel so much better and be glad you had the surgery. Hang in there and keep reading all the posts here they do help.
When you are swollen and in lots of pain, first, make sure you are icing at least 6 times a day. Lay on a sofa or bed and build up pillows so your knee is above your heart. When I did not feel up to building the mountain of pillows I would lay flat on the sofa and and put my leg up the wall or on the back of the sofa. Wrap ice materials all the way around the knee and hold in place with something somewhat snug. So long as you are using decent ice materials (that are not going to burn your skin), you should do this for at least 20 minutes per time. My PT froze half filled dixie cups of water and would have me rub that ice directly on the spots that hurt the worst for up to 3-5 minutes per area (again, do not burn the skin). I started doing that on the sorest spots at home. My IT band was very sore, but I cannot really get ice on it unless my leg is bent so I iced with it bent as well as up.

At almost 12 weeks, I still find that doing the leg exercises ultimately helps to reduce the pain, particularly the ones that involve lifting from a bent position to a straight position. If you cannot get to PT, have friends come by and encourage you in your home-based exercises. If you have no bike, lay on your back and pedal in the air like we all did in crazy grade school PE. Can you get in a swimming pool or bath yet? I found that bending in water is another way to encourage movement. Can you get your doctor to authorize home-based PT under the circumstances? If not, at least get your PT to give you a program and enlist friends to come by and encourage you. Is there someone who lives closer to your PT that you could stay with during the week?

Other things to reduce inflammation--temporarily stop eating things that create inflammation in our bodies--red meat, dairy--anything with trans fats or saturated fat and nitrite, plants from the nightshade family. Increase things that reduce inflammation--most nuts, tumeric, ginger, garlic, onion.

I do know there are many kinds of pain meds and if you are having a bad reaction from one, ask your doctor to prescribe a different kind. If you have to choose between pain meds and working on straightening and flexion, you need to continue to try alternative pain meds so you can work on increasing range of motion. You may be one of the unlucky one who has particularly dense tissue that does not stretch easily. You are going to have to work harder than the lucky ones with very stretchy tissue. Your therapy will hurt more than theirs will. Each person's experience is unique. Talk with your doctor or their assistant--they can help come up with solutions. They have seen far more people than those of us on this board--don't be afraid to tell them your issues.
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4078457]Thank you all soooo much for the invaluable info and encouragement. It makes me feel so much better knowing that things will get better.

My surgeon never told me it would take up too a year (or more) to heal...he said 3-6 months and 6-8 weeks to feel comfortable with my new knee...go figure!!! :dizzy:

I need to ask if anyone has used like ben gay or icy hot/cold for the aching in the knee? I see some of you came home with the wrap around ice pump...how did you get so lucky? I never thought to ask and not sure they would have gave me one to take home. PT at the hospital had the wrap around ice packs, which I loved (they wouldn't let me have one to take home :confused:) I use the ones from like K-Mart or and they're ok.

Have a great day all!!![/QUOTE]

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I'm kind of back tracking today. Went to PT this morning and when my therapist learned I was going to see my surgeon tomorrow to check to see if I have shingles, she decided to accelerate the flexion a bit. I was only at 94 and she wanted 110 on the report for the doctor. So - with the assist of another therapist they did 3 sessions of "force" to get that reading. I felt so embarrassed because I started to cry and by the time we were finished tears were running down my cheeks and I got very sick to my stomach. Thank God I didn't throw up. I know it's very serious and I need to get that flexion higher, but I wasn't really prepared for it so it has been feeling pretty well defeated again.

I'm beginning to believe that maybe I just wasn't cut out to handle this. They are trying to keep me from having to have the bending done in a surgery - I know, but boy one of those a day would be enough for me.
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kneejerk101
WOW a PT that forced you to go from 94 to 110?!?!?!?!
Yes you need to get the flex higher but to get you to 110 just because your going to see the Doc??? yes after 6 weeks you should be at 110 (or better) but not all at one time, question thePT about why they haven't been a little more agressive with your flex motion. the one thing you don't want is the operation to bend the knee, I understand its a "last resort" for most doctors.
Keep up your exercises and good luck
Ken
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4080074]wow kneejerk101...I know how you feel. My home therapist did the same thing to me and I cried and begged him to stop (what a wuss huh?) I was embarrased also:o.

Yesterday I felt like I did when I first came home from the hospital...miserable!!! lol If I knew before surgery what I know now....I would have put it off. The left knee will have to be done sooner or later and I'm very sceptical about doing it. I'm obviously not good with pain, even though I'm told I'm taking it like a trooper :confused:

I used a ben gay patch on the back of my knee the other day and it seemed to help. I might rub some on it nights before I go to bed and see if helps. Something's got too. When I put ice on it, it seems like it swells more for some reason....yesterday it just didn't do anything no matter what I did. I'm thinking that my knee knew it was supposed to rain today?? Shrugs!! I guess there are good days and bad days....just wish the good ones would hurry up and get here...lol

Anyway..... you all have a great and pain free day :wave:[/QUOTE]

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I had that impromtu visit with my surgeon yesterday to check a rash around the incision and God Bless him - he brought me out of the doldrums (at least for the time being). He reassured me I was doing just fine; he tested the flexion at about 95 degrees and he said for 6-weeks that's okay - I was to relax and do the exercises at home that worked best for me; that instilled the most flexion. ....stuff like "marching" lifting the knees up high - going out with the walker with wheels and just walk and walk and walk. Basically he said to just "keep at it" - keeping my PT appointments, of course.

Had a bit of a rough night with pain, however, and when I first get up I walk all hunched over until I get the kinks out - but soon I'm functioning pretty well; not without pain but I can do my housework, shower, dress, and do stairs okay...slowly....but okay. The off-again, on-again thing he said is normal. The PT's stir it up - the swelling comes back along with the pain. We treat that with ice and then go back for more.

I wish we had a swimming pool. Here in Arizona about every other house on the block has one, but not us; too expensive for maintenance. I think I may consider some therapy in a pool, however. Maybe even a hot tub. I know getting out of a nice hot shower makes me relax and seems to relax the muscles; that's another consideration.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Now I don't feel so badly about the tears I shed. LOL:wave:
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[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4081432]IWillSurvive....I have a primary Dr. and went to her a while ago for a follow-up and asked if she could give me something for pain and she refused saying she didn't want to step over the line with my surgeon. So yesterday (Friday) I called around to find another Ortho, found one in a town close to me...appointment is this Tuesday, so we shall see what he will do. And in the process, I am looking for another PC. Around here there's not a lot to choose from unless you want to drive. Apparently my surgeon doesn't bother with much after surgery considering pain, even in the hospital I told the nurses that the pain med wasn't cutting it, they told the surgeon and same thing. GRRRRR!!!!! lol Sometimes I feel like I'm just another way for them to make money.

I did speak up with PT. A couple times he let me off and let me decide how far to bend my knee without the agony, but that was it. I told him it was too much and how the heck was I supposed to heal doing that? He talked about scar tissue and breaking that up, which I understand, but man....the pain and swelling...I would just sit and cry after he left. He really was a nice guy but he was a "pusher".

That can idea is a good one and am going to try it today...I am looking for other ways to bend my knee. I do all of the exercises PT gave me and I do the one sitting in a chair and bending my knee under it as far back as it can go, hold, then push it back a little more. That does help to loosen up the knee but boy does it hurt afterwards lol but.....I will let ya all know how Tuesday goes and what happens, maybe I can get some relief. have a good one[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] A very ambitious PT wants to look good for the doctor - so the more your numbers improve (progress) the better they look. My surgeon was not pleased with the impromptu force-bend they sprung on me once the PT found out I was making a quick visit to the surgeon that afternoon. I was not told in advance so I could take some extra pain medication and obviously the intense pain left me very nauseated; almost threw up afterwards. This isn't something you spring on a 72 year old patient with high blood pressure. It's also very embarrassing to begin to cry in front of about 20 other people in the room who are getting their own PT treatment from other PTs.

If the surgeon tests your flexion and finds it in an acceptable area for the time since surgery and a PT over-rides that - it makes one wonder.


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anuenue,
I too had similaiar experience my fiest time back at church after surgery. I decided to take prescription pain pill. After doing that I can't really recall the sermon since I fell asleep. lol. Now I take ibuprofen and it helps. I still get stiff from sitting for over an hour in church, but I don't have the horrible pain as before surgery.
[QUOTE=antelyn77;4085815]155 !! really.
I am at about 145 and its been months of hard hard work.
I had bilateral and one is MUCH easier to move than the other...my doc said that is great.

How the h did any of you deal with the pain and swelling to get such flexion?

My PT said 120 is expected. some knees dont get that far. Her father had his done 2 weeks after me and never got to 130! in fact had to go in to have the Doc unstick it...and he only did one knee!
(which,now to me seems like it would be a piece of cake.)

this was the most painful, agonizing ordeal.
Im glad I did it now, Im getting around fine, walked 2 miles no problem,
I ONLY sit cross legged and 'indian' style....but Im still not at 155
are you sure?[/QUOTE]

It's true according to my physio who measured me everytime I went - I can put my calf flush with the back of my thigh and it was hard to get there, but I was determined. However, I still am having trouble with swelling and pain. Despite the swelling and pain I still have my full range. I too was told I would be lucky to get to 120 so I feel truly blessed to have what I had before my accident, but feel frustrated to have been doing really well from March until June when my swelling started. I think it is miraculous that we can have our knees replaced to give us back a life without the disability and pain we once suffered.
One lesson I have learnt through this process is that I have to listen to my body and rest when I am in pain and my body is telling me to. I have neglected my much loved garden for months and can see the weeds sprouting madly as we are now into spring. however I know that it will be waiting for me when I feel able and it will be back under control again and return to its previous glory as my pain and swelling diminishes with time. This Christmas my family will have to turn a blind eye as we have our barbie Christmas dinner and just enjoy each others company without weed spotting. I work hard to have it at its best for Christmas as we always eat out in the sun (most years the rain stays away) and am probably the only one who can see the neglect.
As Iwillsurvive said, we have to give it time and I am as guilty as anyone of wanting to be fit and well within three months and beating up on myself for not leaping tall buildings already!
Thank you again everyone for sharing your stories as it really helps me to keep my spirits up and helping me to believe that I will get there in the end.
[QUOTE=fantail;4086745]Am wondering if the type of joint makes a difference to the amount of bend - I have a zirconium joint, that my specialist told me is more mobile. He also said it lasts longer than the titanium one, 15 years minimum rather than 10. Has anyone else got one of these - understand they cost more, around $NZ6000 for the joint. Because mine was as a result of an accident I have had it paid for by our government under a national scheme called Accident Compensation Corporation. In NZ we cannot sue anyone if there is an accident, but we pay through our tax system for medical costs as a result of an accident regardless of cause. This covers 80% of income covered while off work as a result of the injury as well. So, my surgery, time off work, and PT has all been covered.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] At one point I had a complete folder on the type of prosthesis that the doctor was using but I couldn't find it this morning. I did pull out my surgical report and this is listed:

<>

There are some things on the Internet about it, but of course I don't understand any of it. I do think if more patients got a copy of their Operative Report and read words like "saw" and "drill" - you would have a very keen respect for the kind of assault you suffered to gain that mobility you were losing or had lost.

I am a little discouraged now because some old Sciatica is returning to haunt me and make PT much more difficult. Now my main problem is the pain that can occur from my knee to my waistline. I'm supposed to take it easy this weekend, but next week I resume PT.

Aug. 4th was my surgery so I'm almost 8 weeks post-op. I get around okay without a walker and a cane about drives me nuts. However, if I'm in a store I do prefer the 4-wheel walker with a built in seat so I can sit down a bit when my lower back starts to ache. I'm sure being 72 years old has a lot to do with my having these little side discomforts that someone younger doesn't have to worry about.

I do think this forum is wonderful. I couldn't figure out why my physical therapist was so intense about my only being at 95 and when I saw my surgeon he was very pleased with my progress and not at all concerned. Last week when at PI I learned that even though my flexion is only 95....(can go to 110 if forced).....that once you reach 95 doctors relax because usually the rest comes naturally as long as you keep the joint active from walking and exercises.

I do think you have a point about just what the particular joint inserted is capable of doing and I'm going to ask my surgeon when I see him on the 30th. Also forgot to mention that I got my hospital bill yesterday. After Medicare and my supplemental Sr. citizen insurance from my State (school district) retirement benefits (Pacificare) I owe the hospital $1,060.00. I had hoped it would be less.



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[QUOTE=fantail;4089285]I agree - I am SO happy with what I can now do that I was unable to do before my surgery. Every day post surgery I set myself a small goal e.g. I live on a steep slope so I would walk one or two plants higher until several weeks later I got to the top - time for a celebration! I found doing this helped to keep my spirits up. I also did the 'little and often' exercise system where I would do as many reps as comfortable and then repeat regularly during the day rather than all in one hit. One thing that did help was to put my foot on a higher stair and then do gentle lunges stretching my knee. I found this really helped when I was very sore too I often found that when the pain was worst it helped to move rather than rest. Find the opposite now six months down track. I am on holidays (term break) and the swelling and pain I have suffered badly over the past couple of weeks has settled down and I am starting to enjoy my knee again. I was able to work comfortably in my garden yesterday and it's nice to see areas that are weed free again. The spring growth is wonderful and my roses are bursting into bloom, amazing how a garden can survive so well despite months of neglect! :)[/QUOTE]

Where are you from fantail? I have a garden also and it sure got weedy after my TKR in August. ...not much I can do about now though because it's fall here and then that dreaded word (snow) :eek: will be on it's way.

I'm having lots of stiffness and some pain today, I did exercise a bit by bending it what I could, still needs lots of work. I look forward to the day I can enjoy my knee again (next spring maybe? lol). I'm still going to call my Ortho and see if maybe a muscle relaxer would work.

Keil....I'm glad to see that things are going well for you and thanks for the encouragement. Any and all is appreciated. I'm grateful I can come to this board and vent if I have too and you all are so understanding, just makes my day to read your posts. Thanks for giving me the faith to keep moving forward. God Bless! :wave:
There are so very many posts concerning knee replacement I'll never get through them all. I had a Right TKA July 30th 2009. My Dr definately minimized what was to happen. The pain was horrendous and even with pain meds that didn't even help much. I cried alot and still do from time to time. I'm a nurse and because of my arthritis I've been out of work since june of 2009. I am going out of my mind sitting home. Oh I can drive and go out, but tere are only so many places to go. I'm still in Outpatient Therapy. I'm doing well but suffer in pain afterwards. I cannot go bavk to nursing as I knew it, but maybe private duty. I'm depressed and exhausted because I tire so easily and wonder how I'm ever going to work if I can't clean house for 2 hours without getting exhausted. Anyone have these issues or overcome these issues. I really need sme support. Thanx.............Barb
beerhunters, I am a 65 year old male just four weeks out from bilateral TKR. I was fortunate to find a surgeon who did the quadricep sparing procedure which drastically reduces pain and rehab time from surgery. I would encourage you to discuss this procedure with your surgeon and find another one if he can't do it. That way you can have both done at the same time, assuming there are not other factors which would preclude your having bilateral surgery, and be done with it. I am back at work, have no pain, and am walking anywhere I want to go. My only complaint is that my knees are stiff, but getting better each day, and they do stretch nicely at rehab. I have approximately a 130 degree bend in both knees. Feel free to post additional questions for me. In addition, my surgeon had me on a pretty strenuous exercise regiman before surgery to build my muscles in anticipation of muscle atrophy after surgery.
beerhunters, where are you having the surgery?
I went to the Hospital for Joint Disease while every person is different (I know you heard that before) the rehab is intense and yes at the beginning it's painful your recovery should be any where from 6 weeks (able to walk without a cane) to 1 year. This all depends on your body and the kind of operation you have.
As for me, I had TKR on the left leg on 6/12/09 and will return to work on 10/5/09 but I have some mild pain / discomfort when walking and trouble going down steps but the Doc said this will improve in time.
Ken
[QUOTE=charlieh;4090615]quadricep sparing procedure which drastically reduces pain and rehab time from surgery.
I am back at work, have no pain, and am walking anywhere I want to go.
My only complaint is that my knees are stiff, but getting better each day, and they do stretch nicely at rehab. I have approximately a 130 degree bend in both knees. [/QUOTE]

You are kidding right?!
I had bilateral TKR, am early 50's, great shape, and it took 12 full weeks to fully get around. and now. 9mos later alothough Im feeling normal --no pain..and feel like they are my knees and move with my body but still a bit stiff going downstairs or walking down slopes.
I have about 145 degree bend and -1 extension...and doing a gravity training system for full body exercise, but have trouble kneeling on the slide board and keeping my balance..also not comfortable to sit back on my heels..
I am doing great. my surgeon and PT say I am a shining example of how good the surgery can be..
Im sorry I just cant believe you had "no pain" by the end of 4 weeks.
I'm 62, in pretty good health except for severe osteoarthritis. I had a full hip replacement this past February that went well, resulting in relief after a couple of years of chronic and debilitating pain. My knees both hurt intermittently and it can be kind of production to stand up from a sitting position, but it's nothing like the continual pain I was having with the hip--I can sleep nights with no trouble, and get around at work (community college teaching) although it's not always pleasant. Surgeon says one of my knees looks like it can be replaced any time I want to do it, although the other one can actually be the most painful at its worst.

My questions:

1) How much down time should I anticipate with the knee replacement? With the hip (on the same side, left) I was really down for about 3 weeks, then started driving and doing things, took another 2 weeks off work because I had the sick time, but really didn't have to. How much time will it be before I can dispense with someone around to help me (I live alone)? If I want to have surgery early in the summer when I'm not teaching, then take a trip to visit relatives later in the summer, how long will it be before I can reasonably expect to fly (given plenty of help and support on the other end)?

2) I'm apprehensive about pain meds. I apparently just can't take any opiates orally. After the hip I did OK with the pain pump, but when they discontinued it and started me on oral percocet I was sick as a dog. They gave me a medication to control vomiting, but then I just wished I could throw up and couldn't. Finally I stopped taking any pain medication after the third day because by that time pain was definitely the lesser of the evils. By that time I was so constipated that it took repeated enemas almost a week later to get me moving again, in spite of all kinds of remedies for *that.* I've had similar problems with other opiate family drugs in the past. I've heard that the knee replacement is more painful than the hip. Does anybody know what other pain control options I might push for?

--Annie
I sure would have liked to know about the quadricep sparing procedure? What is that? I had a quadricepsplasty 25 years ago, and a TKR (5/12/09) due to arthritis from the quadricepsplasty, and have had a rough time building the quad back up! I was in agony prior to my TKR, and although I tried doing some quad strengthening pre-surgery, it was just too painful! I have -2 extension, and 118 flexion after some warming up. This is what I had pre-surgery. I must say that I was surprised by the pain immediately after surgery, but was off pain meds in only a few weeks... I think I still have a couple of pain pills left in the bottle. I experience some stiffness after sitting or standing for long periods, but not the constant pain I had pre-surgery! It was totally worth it!
Hi everyone,

I just found this site while looking for recovery from TKR. It is so exciting to find so much helpful information. I had my left knee replaced, Wednesday, September 30. I am going to rehab today. Based on what my doctors, nurse and physical therapist are saying, I am somewhat of "miracle." I am morbidly obese as medically defined and have other health issues such as congestive heart failure, COPD, sleep apnea, high blood pressure etc.. I have been having knee problems for over 10 years. When I bought a new house I intentionally bought a ranch. If I had had more money, I would have tried to get a home with the laundry on the living level. I use the mobilized carts to shop. If the store does not offer that option I do not shop there. I have the handicap placard etc. I had previously been discouraged by a former physician from having the surgery due to my age (45 a the time) and weight (50 pounds less than now:().
After suffering way too long I sought out different doctors. I was blessed to have my new doctor agree with me that my lack of mobility was severely decreasing my quality of life and contributing to additional health issues. So now I am on the road to recovery and am so excited.
I will credit my recovery "miracle" to Internet surfing. I found a book...the exact title escapes me right now...Total Knee Replacement and Rehabilitation by two doctors. I did the suggested pre-surgery exercises that included straight leg lifts, quad flexes and ankle pumps. I truly believe without a doubt these exercises are making the difference in my recovery. Due to my lack of fitness the straight legs lifts were the hardest for me to do. I know when I get my right knee done next year I will be in better shape and be able to do them. The leg lifts are essential to getting in and out of the bed. The hospital also offered and I attended the pre-surgery classes that include the exercises to do before hand and what to expect.
I am glad I found this site and will be checking back to hear the joys and challenges of tkr. :angel:
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4092460]I'm Happy to hear you are doing so well for being a few days post op. I cried like a baby for 3 weeks. I had my right knee done on July 30th. It has been a very long haul, but my Dr and Therapists claim I'm doing exceptionally well. I actually knelt on the floor to mess with the wires on mt stereo sysyem and was able to get up all by myself LOL. I had a rough time was constantly on narcotic pain meds which I recently stopped because my pain is eased with tylenol or advil. However I'm now going through narcotic withdrawals. I had been afraid to go off the pills, but I really don't have much pain anymore. I was depressed because I couldn't do anything, but now I'm doing more and more and I'm going to try to go to work as soon as I can, Part Time of course. I'm a nurse and I had been working in a nursing home, but that's not happening again LOL, Thats probably what ruined my knees in the first place. I'm going to try to get some private duty cases and see how that goes. I'm going nuts doing nothing. I' still in out patient Therapy though, so I have to work a schedule around that. Keep up the great work sounds like you are doing all the right things![/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time. [/FONT]

Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.
I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time.
Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.[/QUOTE]

I had some lower back pain and still do occasionally when I don't walk correctly. I had a nurse coming to my house weekly during the first few weeks I was home and she said the back pain was because I wasn't walking right. I have had severe pain in both knees for a long time and I realized that the nurse was right because I would baby whichever knee was bothering me most and I would get backaches. I have been walking incorrectly since surgery. I had no problems bending it or doing exercises, I just couldn't walk properly. I had forgotten how to walk LOL. Since I have started serious therapy I have learned to walk properly, but at times I revert to the way I used to walk and my back does bother me. Your therapist will help you with all of that and while in the beginning of therapy your pain may increase it doesn't last and then you'll notice an improvement. Everyone recovers at different rates, don't compare yourself with anyone else. I have a friend who is the same age as me who had her surgery in May and it took her til late August to be able to drive. She had a rough time of it. And of course I thought this would happen to me also and got very anxious. Work your therapy and do small things first around the house, do something so that you can see the improvement and you will feel better emotionally. I am currently on antidepressants because I fell into a depression because I couldn't do anything. So now I keep a list of everything I do in a day and while I'm not where I was, I am accomplishing something. Yesterday I walked 4 blocks, first time I did this and I had no pain. I did ice it when I got home to prevent any pain. I never got any pain so I'm going to try to do that everyday. It is so hard not to be able to do every day things, but you will do them eventually, your pain will diminish eventually. Give yourself some small goals each day and write them down. It is working for me, I pray it will work for you. Good Luck....................................Barb
BibleBarb,
Wow!! Thanks good..4 blocks! I like your idea of writing small goals to achieve..this really helped me. I am now 13 weeks out and am changing my mine on having this procedure done. I walk taller now and not bent over like before surgery. I am starting a daily walking program..next summer my family and I along with several families from church are driving to Yellowstone National park. This time I WIILL NOT be sitting on the sideline. I will be zippidy do dah down the trails!
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4093904]I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time.
Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.[/QUOTE]

I had some lower back pain and still do occasionally when I don't walk correctly. I had a nurse coming to my house weekly during the first few weeks I was home and she said the back pain was because I wasn't walking right. I have had severe pain in both knees for a long time and I realized that the nurse was right because I would baby whichever knee was bothering me most and I would get backaches. I have been walking incorrectly since surgery. I had no problems bending it or doing exercises, I just couldn't walk properly. I had forgotten how to walk LOL. Since I have started serious therapy I have learned to walk properly, but at times I revert to the way I used to walk and my back does bother me. Your therapist will help you with all of that and while in the beginning of therapy your pain may increase it doesn't last and then you'll notice an improvement. Everyone recovers at different rates, don't compare yourself with anyone else. I have a friend who is the same age as me who had her surgery in May and it took her til late August to be able to drive. She had a rough time of it. And of course I thought this would happen to me also and got very anxious. Work your therapy and do small things first around the house, do something so that you can see the improvement and you will feel better emotionally. I am currently on antidepressants because I fell into a depression because I couldn't do anything. So now I keep a list of everything I do in a day and while I'm not where I was, I am accomplishing something. Yesterday I walked 4 blocks, first time I did this and I had no pain. I did ice it when I got home to prevent any pain. I never got any pain so I'm going to try to do that everyday. It is so hard not to be able to do every day things, but you will do them eventually, your pain will diminish eventually. Give yourself some small goals each day and write them down. It is working for me, I pray it will work for you. Good Luck....................................Barb[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] Thanks for the advice Biblebarb. I go to PT tomorrow. They are trying to work around my sciatic nerve thing, but that means they ease up on the other stuff. I will do as the surgeon says - heat and ice alternated on the lower back and hope for the best. I'm between a rock and a hard place because inactivity means more stiffness and pain...and lots of walking and exercising causes more pain in the back.
Think I'll head out now this evening for a little stroll - pain or no pain. LOL [/FONT]
Hi all,

I am 47 years old and had right Total Knee Replacement on August 31st. I have had numorous other surgeries on this knee, 4 others to be exact. The last one was done April 23, 2009. It was a scope where my doctor realized that I definetly needed TKR. I was in pain before the April surgery, but it was so much worse after the surgery that I knew that TKR was my only chance of someday being pain free. 10 years ago I had cartilage inplant surgery, which help get me 10 more years before needing the TKR. The other two surgeries were also scopes.
Before my surgery on August 31st my extension was +30 and my flexion was I think about 100 or so. I have been walking with a limp for years!
This week in PT my extension was +10 and flexion was 92 (with my PT pushing me SOOO hard I was crying in pain)
I know I am so far off from where I should be! I am getting more discouraged every day! I do my exercises faithfully. I have a recumbent bike at home which I am able to finnally go all the way around on. On the exercise bike at PT I go around (just barely) with the setting very high and I am in a lot of pain. The muscles in my leg are so tight and sore all the time!
My foot, my ankles and my toes bother me. They are numb at times, sore and stiff at other times. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I am constantly doing foot pumps to help with the discomfort.
I take Motrin for the pain every 6 hours. I try to avoid the pain killers but sometimes at night I do need them. I want to be able to say I am glad I had this done...but I can't do that yet. I actually regret it alot these days. I felt like I was doing well for the first few weeks but I have seemed to hit a brick wall and I can't get past it! Has anyone had similar exeriences?
This message board has been so helpful to keep me going over the last few weeks. I love hearing everyones "sucess" stories. I hope one day I too will be able to feel well enough to post one!
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4095549]ShatteredAngel, I know exactly how you feel. I had an issue with swelling the first month post surgery and the nurse that came to my home told me I had to keep it elevated above the level of my heart as much as possible. I knew this LOL, I'm a nurse, but I was so miserable and drugged I needed to be pushed to do things. But the elevation and ice took down the swelling and the level of pain. I would suggest you try it every time you sit or lie down for a rest. I know how discouraging this is, but know that it will get better. I am 2 months post surgery and my flexion is at 132 which is close to normal. I was encouraged by this and the other numbers the therapist gave me. It showed marked progress when I thought I wasn't doing well.Keep hanging in there and report anything unusual to your Dr. It is better to be safe than sorry. I call his nurse constantly LOL. Keep us posted on how you are doing. It does get better!........................Barb[/QUOTE]

Thanks Barb for your encouragement....I am 2 months out from TKR and still not up from around 90 degrees flexion. *sighs* some day......my Ortho said my motion was good but to still "rest" the knee because of the swelling, but still do simple exercises.....I try to keep it elevated as much as possible, hasn't been above my heart. My recliner does go way back and the foot level goes up and with pillows under my knee, it's not much above my heart, but will put something else under my knee to elevate it even more.

I do have one question though: has anyone ever had the feeling that your knee moves around other than just back and forth like it should? [U]I don't know really how to explain this[/U]...it just feels like it slides side to side when I walk and my knee does buckle at times. I asked my new Ortho and he said he never heard of it sliding, maybe it's just me....I don't know. No one ever told me what the knee was supposed to feel like after it was done. I give!!!! lol:dizzy:

have a nice day all
Hi Shatteredangel I too had trouble with my knee just not feeling right, but it has settled as time has gone by and the muscles strengthened. I am still (6months out) having a lot of trouble with swelling and I find that when there is fluid in the joint it audibly 'klunks'. I thought I was the only one to hear it and it was just how it felt but my physio can hear it too. I find I am still taking paracetamol and ibobrufen most days for pain, but it is nowhere near what I was suffering prior to surgery and I rarely limp now, only if very tired and swollen. I also have had a terrible time with my back and the only thing to have helped are the care of my osteopath and my weekly massages. I agree that we have walked incorrectly for years with our limps and struggles to get about and this has taken a toll on our bodies. My specialist reminded me recently that it takes up to two years to recover fully from a TKR and when I get too down I reflect on how far I have come and the things I can do now that I couldn't prior to the surgery. I also think how lucky we are that modern medicine can allow us to replace worn out body parts so we are not condemned to a life of disability and pain as our antecedents were. I feel for those of you heading into winter - we are currently going through a cold snap after weeks of lovely mild weather, and I have spent the past week at a conference in the south of New Zealand where it was snowing in the surrounding mountains. I really felt it in my knee. I am hoping that by the end of Summer I will be really fantastic! While at the conference I was able to wear heels for the first time in three years and get up on the dance floor and boogie. I can assure you all it felt GREAT!!!!
Kneejerk101...I can totally relate to what you are feeling! I am 6 weeks PO today and only 47 years old, but I am experiencing the same problems! My scar is sore and runs very warm at times. And at night I also am unable to get comfortable. I admit it is better than when I first got home, however, I move from position to position just tring to find a place that my knee "likes"!

I also have a stange soreness/pain in my foot! My PT says it could be from swelling (although the foot doesn't look swollen) or that because it is an agressive surgery, the doctor might have pushed hard on my foot to bend the knee. I don't know what is causing it but it bothers me sometimes more than my knee!!

I see my doctor on the 27th and I too am recording everything! When I went in 10 days after surgery (the last time I saw my doctor) I didn't have anything written down and I forgot to ask about a lot of things. I won't make that mistake this time!
Dear Kneejerk:

I have had 2 hip replacements, not a total knee replacement like you, but I would just like to comment in general on your present low feelings. It seems to me, that rather than not trying hard enough, you are trying TOO HARD! Recovery from these joint replacements does not happen over night and it seems to me you are coming along nicely considering how recently you had your surgery.

Recovery takes time and we all are differnt in how much time.

I am sending you some careful hugs and hope that you will be feeling more cheery soon. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Shirley H.
[QUOTE=Silver Swan;4098403]Dear Kneejerk:

I have had 2 hip replacements, not a total knee replacement like you, but I would just like to comment in general on your present low feelings. It seems to me, that rather than not trying hard enough, you are trying TOO HARD! Recovery from these joint replacements does not happen over night and it seems to me you are coming along nicely considering how recently you had your surgery.

Recovery takes time and we all are differnt in how much time.

I am sending you some careful hugs and hope that you will be feeling more cheery soon. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Shirley H.[/QUOTE]
Thanks Shirley - I'm feeling somewhat better today. Got some sleep last night without my usual 1/4 of a Hydrochodone pill. I'll do my usual regimen of exercises today and just move on. Although the inferno of summer on the Arizona desert is giving us cool mornings and late evenings, we are now told more 100 degree heat is returning on the weekend. I know that relentless heat also plays a huge factor in the depression. Usually by October we are able to snuggle down - but not this year. My bedroom faces the South and gets all that afternoon sun - by evening when it cools, if there isn't a breeze, it doesn't cool off until morning. Yes - we have air conditioning but my husband and I do battle every year at this time - he wants it off 24/7 this time of year and I want it on just long enough to get the hot air out of my. Maybe I should call Dr. Phil. LOL
You're right Gospelgal, we are for each other. I have so enjoyed coming to this board because we have all been there and are a real comfort for someone else. If one of us don't have an answer, someone does, so vent away people...LOL

Over the weekend, my knee kept buckling under me almost every time I stepped on it, so I got my cane out for support. It was very annoying. I am hoping next time I go to the doc, he might be able to shed some light on why this happens...who knows!!

I get depressed at times also, I've always suffered from this, so I guess I can say maybe it's "normal" for me?? IF that's the right word..lol But, I know being depressed is not easy to cope with and having someone to talk too can relieve some of the side effects of depression......that's why this board is here....for encouragement, compassion and just plain friendship. Kudo's to all of you out there....you're a great bunch!!!!!! :p
I think the worst part about having had a TKR is you really do not know what to expect until you have been there. I had my surgery on May 4th and was told that I could probably return to work in 12 weeks ( I am a nurse pounding the floor for 12 hours). I being the utmost optimist knew I would be ready sooner. I did my physical therapy as prescribed and was doing really well. I only had two sessions of out patient therapy because I was doing water aerobics in my pool. I would walk, stretch and do the steps. I would then walk and walk alot. I also have a recumbent bicycle that I used. But it seemed that every time I worked out I would have swelling and my knee just did not feel like it belonged to me. I think the best way to describe it was that it felt like a wooden knee from about six inches above and below my knee. I had pain but it was not a big issue I knew it was suppose to hurt. I got hit with depression....... oh what a monster. Looking back I realize that we are not all text book cases we are individual patient with individual healing. My depression stemmed from unrealistic goals. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up there was no way I was ready to return to work, and I was just told by my orthopod that I had a "perfect" knee. Well let me tell you that perfect "HURT". My physician said that we all heal differently and that I was still healing. He also felt that the medical society did an injustice to their patient when they put a time frame on heaing after a major surgery. I must say I left feeling very ambivalent when I left the office I had been given a reason but I knew I was not ready to return to work. I continued to walk the advice of my physician was to keep walking. Then one morning about 6 weeks later I did not have that dead feeling in my knee. I noticed I was walking and it was not hurting. I went to visit my son who lives in sunny Florida and has 14 steps to his door. It was awkward when I arrived climbing all those steps but after up and down about 8 times a day, going to the beach and walking in water that by the time I left 7 days later I was "almost" taking steps normally. I know my depression was because I expected to much to soon. I also have a clotting issue so I was more concern about throwing a clot post op then any other part of the surgery. My advice to anyone about to have the surgery it "patience". Keep moving, rest, take your pain medication and most definitely take stool softeners. ICE and ICE some more. Expect your knee to be swollen, stiff and painful but also know it will pass.


Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Donna
[QUOTE=Kytigger;4099481]I think the worst part about having had a TKR is you really do not know what to expect until you have been there. I had my surgery on May 4th and was told that I could probably return to work in 12 weeks ( I am a nurse pounding the floor for 12 hours). I being the utmost optimist knew I would be ready sooner. I did my physical therapy as prescribed and was doing really well. I only had two sessions of out patient therapy because I was doing water aerobics in my pool. I would walk, stretch and do the steps. I would then walk and walk alot. I also have a recumbent bicycle that I used. But it seemed that every time I worked out I would have swelling and my knee just did not feel like it belonged to me. I think the best way to describe it was that it felt like a wooden knee from about six inches above and below my knee. I had pain but it was not a big issue I knew it was suppose to hurt. I got hit with depression....... oh what a monster. Looking back I realize that we are not all text book cases we are individual patient with individual healing. My depression stemmed from unrealistic goals. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up there was no way I was ready to return to work, and I was just told by my orthopod that I had a "perfect" knee. Well let me tell you that perfect "HURT". My physician said that we all heal differently and that I was still healing. He also felt that the medical society did an injustice to their patient when they put a time frame on heaing after a major surgery. I must say I left feeling very ambivalent when I left the office I had been given a reason but I knew I was not ready to return to work. I continued to walk the advice of my physician was to keep walking. Then one morning about 6 weeks later I did not have that dead feeling in my knee. I noticed I was walking and it was not hurting. I went to visit my son who lives in sunny Florida and has 14 steps to his door. It was awkward when I arrived climbing all those steps but after up and down about 8 times a day, going to the beach and walking in water that by the time I left 7 days later I was "almost" taking steps normally. I know my depression was because I expected to much to soon. I also have a clotting issue so I was more concern about throwing a clot post op then any other part of the surgery. My advice to anyone about to have the surgery it "patience". Keep moving, rest, take your pain medication and most definitely take stool softeners. ICE and ICE some more. Expect your knee to be swollen, stiff and painful but also know it will pass.


Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Donna[/QUOTE]

Dear Kytigger:

Thanks for reminding everyone that "it takes as long as it takes" because each of us heals differently and in an individual time frame. No one can set a time for your healing! :eek:

Shirley H.
This is a GREAT message board....!!! It is the first place where I am reading about all types of TKR surgeries, experiences and recoveries. Not just worst case scenario, total disaster TKR's. I am encouraged, but still VERY, VERY, VERY scared.....!!!

I am scheduled to have TKR next week, October 21st and I have been [B]QUITE FREAKED[B][/B][/B] about the whole thing.

I am 53 years old and I have been living with right knee pain for years and I just dealt with it. Every morning I would pop a handfull of Aleeve and off I would go. The pain has been getting worse over time and a few weeks ago, something happened while I was in the Kitchen making Dinner, an UNBELIEVEABLE pain just shot through my right knee and things just have gone downhill since then. I have actually started limping and I can not walk around much at all. As I told my family, my knee only hurts when I stand or walk....;)

I went to my Orthopedic Doctor hoping he could do a quick fix, or give me drugs, shots of some kind, but, he took a look at my x-rays and was like, "How LONG have you been living with knee pain?"

He showed me my x-rays and pointed out where my knee is bone on bone and where a depression is being formed from the bone crushing into it. He said that the ONLY option for me was TKR, I asked about drugs, shots, etc... And he said No, those were only temporary fixes.

I am many, many, many pounds overweight. I KNOW that being this heavy will not help, I brought up my concern with my Doctor a few days ago. He seems to think that having the TKR will enhance my lifestyle and help me get back into shape because now it WON'T hurt to walk or stand for a few minutes at a time.

Now that I am just a few days away from my surgery, there are thoughts and questions just whirling about my head.....

Like, will the epidural hurt, how much pain will I be in after surgery, how much pain will I be in during recovery, how long will it take to say, "I am glad I did this", will going up and down stairs be tricky/scary, should I go home after surgey and have the PT person come to my house or should I go to rehab, is this a HUGE mistake, will I regret it, what if something goes wrong and I have other/more problems then what I have now, why can't my Doctor just give me some pills, can't something be injected into the knee, like a gel or something, should I put off surgery till I loose a substantial amount of weight (which could be next year OR never....), how long do these new knees last for, will being heavy reduce their "lifespan", can I donate blood with an artificial knee, and finally, should I talk myself out of this surgery.....???

I am used to be "in charge" of my life and home. I am having difficulty accepting the fact that my Husband will be "in charge", taking care of me, being the "caregiver", not me. That is my roll, I have nursed him through back, knee and ankle surgeries and recoveries. I have taken care of my Daughter when she has been ill. People don't take care of me. It is a very strange place to be.

A part of me really does NOT want to have this surgery but, another part of me KNOWS that I have reached a fork in the road concerning my knee. I can keep going like I am and most likely end up having to have an electric wheelchair. And THAT would be MOST DISTRESSING at my age.

Or, I can suck it up, be brave, and try and help myself have a better quality of life. When I was at the Joint Class at the hospital last week, I looked around at all the "old" people in the room and realized that if these people in their late 60's and 70's can do this, SO CAN I......!!! (I think.....;))

I am hopefull that all WILL go well with this surgery, but, I am also scared of ALL the "What If's"......

After reading all the posts, it seems like TKR's are kind of like gambling, some turn out REALLY WELL, some are QUITE GOOD, some are just good, some a just OK, some are Not so good, some are kind of bad and unfortunately, some are very bad. I just have to hope that mine WILL fall into the "Really Well" category. Time will tell.

Reading all of your posts is helpfull, insightfull, truthfull and yes, a bit scary too.

Thank You All for posting.
Suesan Jean - go for it!! Your life will be hard for a couple of months, but even from the beginning you will know that it is a 'new' life. Yes it is very painful, yes at times you will wonder OMG what have I done, but as the weeks pass you will realise that things you avoided or couldn't do are possible again. I have times still 6 months down the track when I am am very sore, but it is a different pain to presurgery. When you return home you will be fairly immobile, but each day gives more mobility and it gets easier as time passes. Maybe you can have Thanksgiving at your place if everyone brings the food TO you, use your lack of mobility as an excuse (ha ha). From what I know of Thanksgiving it is the sharing of the meal that is important. We don't have Thanksgiving here in NZ, but have our own special times of course. You will be up to doing a few things for the meal, but maybe some of your friends and family can come and help you in your home to keep up your tradition.
Aware1948 maybe this would be an opportunity for your family to take care of you while you recover? There's no way you will be up to looking after them! My daughter moved home for a couple of months to help look after me, but after a couple of weeks I felt the tables were turning but it was lovely to have her around.
Have had a lovely day working in my garden in the spring sunshine. Am sore, tired, but happy!
Margaret
[QUOTE=fantail;4101657]Suesan Jean - go for it!! Your life will be hard for a couple of months, but even from the beginning you will know that it is a 'new' life. Yes it is very painful, yes at times you will wonder OMG what have I done, but as the weeks pass you will realise that things you avoided or couldn't do are possible again. I have times still 6 months down the track when I am am very sore, but it is a different pain to presurgery. When you return home you will be fairly immobile, but each day gives more mobility and it gets easier as time passes. Maybe you can have Thanksgiving at your place if everyone brings the food TO you, use your lack of mobility as an excuse (ha ha). From what I know of Thanksgiving it is the sharing of the meal that is important. We don't have Thanksgiving here in NZ, but have our own special times of course. You will be up to doing a few things for the meal, but maybe some of your friends and family can come and help you in your home to keep up your tradition.
Aware1948 maybe this would be an opportunity for your family to take care of you while you recover? There's no way you will be up to looking after them! My daughter moved home for a couple of months to help look after me, but after a couple of weeks I felt the tables were turning but it was lovely to have her around.
Have had a lovely day working in my garden in the spring sunshine. Am sore, tired, but happy!
Margaret[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Margaret, Thank YOU for your reply....!!! :) I DO appreciate it....!!!

I am glad that you are coming along well with your recovery. It sounds like you are "sure and steady" in your process.

I guess I am QUITE a bit surprised that recovery is a MANY months process. I didn't think it would take so long.

I hope I will be really mobile and like I used to be by next May. I have plans to fly out to Colorado for my Nephew's High School Graduation and in June, my Daughter will be graduating from High School and I NEED to be ready for that. Besides the party, I promised her that I will take her to Newport, Rhode Island, to see all the amazing mansions and that I WILL walk around with her. Not just sit and wait for her to be done, like I normally do with her when we go places.

Plus, I am planning a BIG 50th Birthday Party for my Husband for next August. I guess you could say that I HAVE GOALS.....!!! :jester:

What is it like in New Zealand? I have never spoken with someone from New Zealand. NEAT......!!! :wave: :)[/B][/COLOR]
Hello Everyone! I haven't posted in a bit because I went back to work five weeks before my official return-to-work date, and between that and PT three times a week, I've been pretty exhausted by the time I get home.

I have a question—has anyone had an experience similar to this? I am three months post-op from my left TKR and making great progress. Though, I get a bit of swelling and discomfort toward the end of the work week, I've been getting stronger and stronger with the PT. I'm doing the side leg raises with five pound weights on my ankle with no difficulty. Last weekend, I was lying on my right side and bent my left leg up toward my chest to try to remove a sock. When I tried to lift the leg (just like the side leg raises, only with a bent knee instead of straight leg), I discovered that I cannot get the lower part of my leg, below the knee to raise along with my thigh. My thigh and knee come up a bit, but my foot remains down on the other foot. My surgeon said he's never seen this before. He lifted my flexed leg up the other day, and then let go of my ankle while holding my knee. The pain was so excruciating and sudden, that I cried. Neither he nor my physical therapist has seen this before, and I'm a little worried about knee instability. I would hate to take a tumble and do damage. It seems that there is an area of weakness on the outside of my knee, that will not allow the lower part of my leg to be supported in a right side-lying position. It works fine in every other position, with knee bent or straight. The physical therapist tested me for laxity in my lateral collateral ligament, and that seems to be fine. She said she can't think of any other exercises to strengthen around there, other than the ones I am already doing. I don't know what to make of this or what do about it. Any thoughts on the matter would be welcome. Thanks!
Suesan jean
Hey girlfriend, stop and take a deep breath and RELAX! You must have surgery on your knee or face further damage to the knee. Its ok to be scared before surgery. I am a retired nurse and have had several major surgeries in my lifetime and was scared... that's normal. My 28 year old daughter was allowed to stay with me the entire time I was in the hospital. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful daughter! She works with computers and told me, " Mom, you must look at this surgery as an upgrade. Now you will be mom 2.0!" lol My husband took 2 weeks off from work when I came home to take care of me at home. He is an engineer and a man, but we managed to work well together. My home team consisted of my husband, daughter, son, and daughter in law and all of them encouraged me and pushed me at the same time. Even today, 15 weeks out, they still push me..I need this. I am now glad I had the surgery. I walk taller and even though after sitting for over an hour I get stiff, I don't have that awful pain as before. Each week I am turning new corners in my recovery. I too have quite abit of weight to lose..joined weight watchers last week, but once I start losing the weight, my walking will be so much easier. As for your annual Thanksgiving dinner, unless the the guests can COMPLETELY take over with the cooking and cleaning up, don't give it up. Enjoy your guests and meal but realize you won't be able to cook or cleanup. I will keep you in my prayers this coming week. Have your husband keep all of us informed on your surgery and when you can get back to the computer, update us as well. Cindy
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4101816]Suesan jean
Hey girlfriend, stop and take a deep breath and RELAX! You must have surgery on your knee or face further damage to the knee. Its ok to be scared before surgery. I am a retired nurse and have had several major surgeries in my lifetime and was scared... that's normal. My 28 year old daughter was allowed to stay with me the entire time I was in the hospital. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful daughter! She works with computers and told me, " Mom, you must look at this surgery as an upgrade. Now you will be mom 2.0!" lol My husband took 2 weeks off from work when I came home to take care of me at home. He is an engineer and a man, but we managed to work well together. My home team consisted of my husband, daughter, son, and daughter in law and all of them encouraged me and pushed me at the same time. Even today, 15 weeks out, they still push me..I need this. I am now glad I had the surgery. I walk taller and even though after sitting for over an hour I get stiff, I don't have that awful pain as before. Each week I am turning new corners in my recovery. I too have quite abit of weight to lose..joined weight watchers last week, but once I start losing the weight, my walking will be so much easier. As for your annual Thanksgiving dinner, unless the the guests can COMPLETELY take over with the cooking and cleaning up, don't give it up. Enjoy your guests and meal but realize you won't be able to cook or cleanup. I will keep you in my prayers this coming week. Have your husband keep all of us informed on your surgery and when you can get back to the computer, update us as well. Cindy[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Cindy, Thank YOU for your post........:)

I am SO GLAD that you are recovering well and feeling pretty good. I think having a GOOD support system helps. :)

I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed again and weepy. I have read so many posts on this web site and even though each person has their own unique TKR experience, from really good to not good, the one main theme seems to be pain, more pain than expected, and a MUCH longer recovery time and some kind of a "side effect", either minor or major.

That [B]REALLY DOES [B]concern me. I KNOW what I have now, knee pain when I walk. I DON'T have numbness, drop foot, stinging pain, etc....

[/B][/B][/B][/COLOR] This whole unknown thing is TERRIFYING.....!!!:(

I don't know if I am really up to this surgery, the HUGE impact it will have on my life. I don't know which is better, living with my knee or taking a risk with knee surgery. Waiting many, many, many, many months for things to get better......:confused: :confused: :confused:

I have until Tuesday afternoon to decide. Because I have to call after 2:00pm to find out my surgery time. I can tell the Nurse then if it is a "go" or a "no go".
I just found this site, and am not yet sure how to get around, or even if I'm posting in the right spot.

It will take some time to re-read all the posts and get some idea of where I stand in this recovery period from KRS. Is that the correct term?

From the little browsing I've been doing, I think I'm simply not patient enough. My surgery was 3 weeks ago and I kind of had the idea that in 6 weeks I would almost be back to normal. I've had my 4th session of 12, of physical therapy (elder abuse) and it seems as tho I'm not making progress. But I really can't compare from day to day. I've GOT to compare from week to week. The exercises at PT are difficult, but I can do them. It is that knee bend angle that is pure torture. Yesterday he said he pushed it to 100 and I almost whacked him afterwards!

I was a pediatric before I was a SHM to raise my kids. I'm 78 now. I realize I can't compare myself to younger people who have had this surgery, but I bow to those who have had both knees done at one time.

Time to do some walking around the house. I have come off the walker and am using my rolling cane, so movement is less awkward. Then it is back to home exercises, and some ice packs. This business of being stuck at home without getting out is not all rest and roses!
I'm 72 and my surgery was Aug. 4th. I got home on the 8th and since I don't have a laptop, I found that I was able to sit at my desk with reasonable comfort almost right away. I edit and design the website for classic actress, Maureen O'Hara, computer time is my biggest concern.

The knee you can't bend you just kind of adjust it. I'm at 10 weeks post op now and had and still have trouble with bouts of depression. Likewise I still get a lot of pain around the knee incision, especially at night after going to bed.
When you are used to being active and running the show, - not being at your most agile can be a bit much emotionally.

This forum has been such a great help to me because I tend to become discouraged easily. I can walk without a walker or cane, but my lower back tires easily and I have some sciatica flaring up. I'm still at only 105 flexion of the knee and have about 3 more PTs and then I'm on my own. I did find an exercise bike at a rummage sale (a friend found it for me actually) and I give myself 3 ten minute sessions each day to keep the scar tissue from forming (I hope) - along with my other exercises. I am a classic Gemini (June 15th and my middle name is June) - I tire of things quickly and have the attention span of a flea. With physical therapy this is not a good trait. I need to focus and work harder, I know that.

Take advantage of the office visits you have with your surgeon before the surgery. Write down every question that comes up and if you've got a good doctor he/she will help considerably.

Like everyone tells me - we all have different knees and different problems/conditions so one person might progress faster than another. I had a spinal block and highly recommend it.
Gospelgal - I began my association and friendship with Maureen 15 years ago. For awhile she resided in North Scottsdale so I got to see her more often. She now lives in Ireland.

Maureen herself suffers from Diabetes and has had cancer three times. When I told her I was so scared about this operation. She has this "no nonsense" very brave attitude and she quips..."Be brave - get it done." Her older sister (90), Sister Margaret Mary, a Sister of Charity nun, had the surgery 5 years ago at age 85 and so I talked to her also.

Susan Jean - I put the surgery off for 10 years and I know, had I had it done when I was younger and in better health, my recovery would be different. Realistically I know that osteoarthritis does not get better...it gets worse. Back in early July I had to be in LA for an interview for a documentary on the film "The Quiet Man" and my surgeon had to give me cortisone shots in the knee so I could make the trip (we drove - it's only 5 hour drive from Phoenix). I would hate to have to do that every time I want to leave town.

Well it's PT this morning, we shall see if I'm as upbeat when I come home. LOL
Susan Jean you are not a baby. What you are facing is scary and we all know that. We all also know that there is good news on the other side. How long it takes to get there and how hard the journey is different for each of us and even for the same of us on different knees. The only assurance is that GOOD NEWS is on the other side. I have had a total of 9 orthopedic surgeries (1 back, 1 shoulder and 7 knees with 3 of the 7 knees being TKR) and I still hate the thought of surgery and am frightened by it each time. That is normal don't be ashamed about it. I have had the surgeries with general anesthesia and with the spinal. I personally like the general better as for some reason it frightens me less but I found that I actually recover much better with the spinal so I just had to suck up my fears (and I am talking about crying like a baby just before the procedure began) and take deep gulping breaths and let my doctors do what was best for me. To my shock and surprise once I did that (sort of like surrender to their knowledge and competence) it became easier for me. Now don't get me wrong before each surgery I still drive them nuts with all my admonitions about my physical reactions to anesthesia (horrible vomiting, nausea and spinal migraines) and for the last two procedures it was a piece of cake (I can't believe I just said that, lol, but it was). Now I realize my anxiety going into the procedures must also impact my outcome after the procedures.

We can all promise you that the pain of a TKR is intense but it is possible. Pain meds are a wonderful thing, lol. My surgeon doesn't believe in pain pumps or morphine but he will give me percoset and oxycontin and that does the trick. I have learned with each narcotic pain medication to load up on stool softeners and to drink lots of fluids from day one and so far I have never had a problem with constipation and by weaning off the narcotics I have never had a problem with withdrawal and thankfully have never become addicted. For about two weeks prior to my TKR, I try to go cold turkey from pain meds (start weaning down about two weeks before that) and I find that my body responds better to pain meds because of the break.

As for getting around, my first TKR I was a hot mess because I was so afraid to move my leg because it hurt so bad. With my second I learned that by moving there was relief on the other side of the pain and with my third I was just hopping out of bed within hours of the procedure and walking unaided in about 5 days. That is not to say I didn't have a lot of pain for each one, just that I was able to better understand what to do to get past the pain. If you have kids, the best example I can give you is it was like childbirth and nursing, hard as heck the first time around but the second one not nearly as frightening. Our minds are our biggest obstacle to recovery both in being afraid and also in being unrealistic about our expectations. I am now 57 and if I could change anything it would be that I would have demanded I had the TKR sooner and I would have all those years I lost not being active and able to participate in life the way I wanted to. I am now 10 months out from my last TKR and just came back from a wedding where I danced my butt off for the first time in about 10 years. It felt so good, by the end of the reception my knees, ankles, back and feet were killing me, I could hardly walk but man did I feel so good to have been a participant in life. I popped a few darvocet and by the morning I was fine again althougth a little stiff from all the bogeying I did like a fool.

As for quadracep sparing, my surgeon does 5 to 7 TKR/week and as he tells me, I will cut whatever incision and muscles I need to in order to do the job right and how much I cut depends on what I see when I start cutting and what I encounter once I am in the knee, no more and no less. The big difference I do know is that having the TKR in a Joint Center facility (dedicated unit of a hospital that handles joint replacement only) is the way to go. The staff are specially trained and the support is so much better and therefore the recovery is much easier and less frightening. In a joint center, you are not sick so you wear your own clothes, have a bigger room to get around in, a huge recliner to make it comfortable to be out of bed and you interact with patients who just went through what you did on the same day so you can bolster each other up and even compete for who can walk further and get more flexion. My hospital sponsered races around the unit and it was infectious, every time you passed the progress board, you would look to see where you were in the race and work to be the first place winner, lol. Pain management was the number 1 goal of the staff and they realized if they could keep the swelling and pain to a minimum the patients spirits and recovery would be so much better and easier.

Good luck with your surgery and we are all here rooting for you and keeping you in our prayers and we all know that you will look back on this afterwards and be glad you did the surgery. Be patient and kind to yourself, you are right, a TKR is a very big deal and the healing is tough and might be the toughest hurdle you ever had to deal with but you will come out on the other side much better and a total winner. I can't wait to see you back on the boards with your message to others about to face a TKR that you are glad you did it.
When I think of the pain before surgery I think of it as a deteriorating pain which would only get worse as time went on. This post-op pain may hurt, but it is a healing pain and as time goes on, it will lessen.

I didn't like the morphine, but stupidly I tried to grin and bear it without using it. When I went to Percoset, I took it, but the buzz it gave me was unpleasant. I'm now on Tylenol with Codeine (Tylenol 3) and I only take it 2x a day -- or just before therapy/exercises. So I guess I should think twice about driving right now.

When I was facing surgery and a weeks in-hospital physical therapy, I was in a panic knowing I'd be away from my computer news sources. I'm a news junkie and involved in a couple of political groups. TV doesn't do it. Radio is OK, but I want my computer access. So I was delighted when I found that my Blackberry was allowed in the hospital and at therapy. Still, it was nice to be able to get back to my PC. I found, tho, that sitting for more than a few minutes was uncomfortable, as there was a knot of pain just under my lower thigh. This was very apparent at first, and it has lessened these two weeks that I've been home. But I make it a point to get up and walk a bit after an hour of sitting.

Maureen O'Hara! What wonderful memories of that lovely lady. Please send my thanks to her for being the gracious person she is.
LOL! Sounds like all of us!

"Maybe I should wait until it is REALLY intolerable pain! Maybe I should lose a bit (or a lot) of weight first!" "Maybe I should -------"

We all find reasons to put off the inevitable, but lets face it. We know it has to be done, it is just a matter of taking over our inner doubts and facing reality.

No one has the same story, but all the stories follow the same track. I'm still new to recovery -- 3 weeks -- but I can do simple cooking, can manage the stairs to the basement for laundry, can make the bed, and other simple tasks. I do sit alot with my leg raised and with ice on it. There is pain, but not something that is intolerable.

It is the little things, tho, that make me happy. Being able to lift my heel off the floor to get my sock on, or use my operative leg's toes to nudge my sneaker off the good leg/foot. The leg is still swollen and stiff and as someone said --- like a board --- but this was major surgery, after all. I always feel that because it is mechanical surgery, and not organic surgery, I am lucky. Bones and muscles heal in time. No organic complexities to be concerned with.

When I'm resting, which I do alot, I have to make myself get up to walk around and to get some of the exercises done. Being essentially a lazy person, that is the hardest --- but the feeling when it is done, is worth the effort.

Right now, my husband is in So. Jersey for a few days with work-related stuff, so I am alone. But I don't feel any panic. I can do for myself --- and my wireless phone and cell are glued to me!! LOL! I do feel confidant that I can do for myself, tho, and that is progress from just a week ago.

So -- If I hadn't made the decision to finally get this operation out of the way, I would still have to face all this. I made the right decision.
Suesan,

I am many pounds overweight too, due to the fact that I was unable to exercise because my knee hurt! Mine bothered me for years, I was told I was a TKR candidate two years ago, but finally after slipping about an inch on some ice this past winter, the pain became unbearable! I had my TKR on 5/12/09, and I wish I had done it sooner!

I had an epidural, I had very little pain post surgery until they removed the epidural, then I could barely breath. But I was given good pain meds and got through it. I only took pain meds for a couple of weeks post surgery, and have not needed any since. Before my surgery I lived on etodolac, and motrin. I also required a lot of help from my family because I couldn't shop or walk around for any length of time.

I still have trouble going down stairs, but going up foot over foot is fine. I can shop, I helped my daughter move into her college dorm, I am hoping to play tennis next summer!

Shockingly, I have lost weight too! Now that I can get up and move around better, the pounds are coming off!

I wish you the best! I don't regret my TKR, wish I had done it sooner!
[QUOTE=Exit 148;4103324]
We all find reasons to put off the inevitable, but lets face it. We know it has to be done, it is just a matter of taking over our inner doubts and facing reality.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I FINALLY reached that point this afternoon. I am GLAD I did......:)[/B][/COLOR]

No one has the same story, but all the stories follow the same track. I'm still new to recovery -- 3 weeks -- but I can do simple cooking, can manage the stairs to the basement for laundry, can make the bed, and other simple tasks. I do sit alot with my leg raised and with ice on it. There is pain, but not something that is intolerable.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]Three weeks in, you sound like you are coming along nicely. I am happy for you. :)[/B][/COLOR]

It is the little things, tho, that make me happy. Being able to lift my heel off the floor to get my sock on, or use my operative leg's toes to nudge my sneaker off the good leg/foot. The leg is still swollen and stiff and as someone said --- like a board --- but this was major surgery, after all. I always feel that because it is mechanical surgery, and not organic surgery, I am lucky. Bones and muscles heal in time. No organic complexities to be concerned with.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]That is an interesting way to look at it.[/B][/COLOR]

When I'm resting, which I do alot, I have to make myself get up to walk around and to get some of the exercises done. Being essentially a lazy person, that is the hardest --- but the feeling when it is done, is worth the effort.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]How many times a week to you go for PT?[/B][/COLOR]

Right now, my husband is in So. Jersey for a few days with work-related stuff, so I am alone. But I don't feel any panic. I can do for myself --- and my wireless phone and cell are glued to me!! LOL! I do feel confidant that I can do for myself, tho, and that is progress from just a week ago.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]That IS progress, being home alone just after three weeks, I am IMPRESSED.....!!! You ARE a determined woman....!!! :)[/B][/COLOR]

So -- If I hadn't made the decision to finally get this operation out of the way, I would still have to face all this. I made the right decision.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Thank You for your post. It is good to hear about another positive recovery. :)

I hope you continue to improve and do well in your recovery.[/B][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4103873]SuesanJean
Are you going ahead with your surgery tomorrow?[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Right now, at this moment in time, I am. I somehow, seem to be at peace with the whole thing.

I am still a little bit nervous, but, I am NOT in hysteria mode anymore.

I am looking at the BIG picture of ten, twenty, thirty years down the road. How this surgery is inevitable.

I do have another question though. Even with the "cocktail" I will be given, will I STILL be able to hear the surgery? :(

I don't have an IPOD, my Daughter does not either. SHOULD I borrow one from somebody????

I REALLY DON'T want to hear ANYTHING.....!!!:eek:[/B][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=anuenue;4103973]Hi Susan Jean,
[COLOR="Blue"][B]ALOHA.....!!![/B][/COLOR]
I can't remember after reading all your posts for the past three days or so if today is your surgery day. Hope not so that I can tell you that YOU WILL NOT HEAR A THING IN SURGERY.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I AM SO GLAD ABOUT THAT.....!!!

My surgery is tomorrow. I have to call the hospital in a few hours to find out what time I have to "report" to the hospital.[/B][/COLOR]

Also, you are so afraid of the pain. You will not feel intense pain because you will be on pain medication post surgery. Do not wait for the pain to become intense. Have the nurses give you your pain meds every 4 hours or so and then you won't have to play catchup with getting the pain down to a very manageable level. And as you may have read, the pain meds tend to make some of use weepy - they did me off and on for about three or four weeks but that's ok too. It's NOT that big a deal. I'm still on pain meds but am weaning myself off of them because the pain is not intense and is less of a problem then the pain I suffered daily pre surgery.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I DO know about that. A few years ago my Husband broke his ankle and had to have surgery where plates and screws were used to repair his ankle and I HAD to keep up with his pain meds. He was in QUITE A BIT of pain unfortunately the first two weeks. I remember making him take his pain meds EVERY four hours. Because if we didn't, it was tough to play "catch up"[/B][/COLOR]

I'm 58 yrs old (59 on Elvis' birthday) and also missed out so much on living because of my bad knees and am hoping for a much fuller life when I'm healed. I love going to physical therapy and each week it becomes easier and easier. I'm lazy and have to discipline myself to do them at home particularly because my PT loaned me some three pound weights to tie around my ankle to do exercises (straight leg raises) and standing knee bends (heel to butt). I love the way I feel after doing my exercises and have an excuse to sit and watch TV, read or like I'm doing now...being on my laptop while icing my knee.;)
[COLOR="Blue"][B]You and I sound ALIKE......!!! :) I am a little bit lazy too.....;)You sound like you have your PT down pat.[/B][/COLOR]

I'm so looking forward to hearing from you after your surgery. You are very fortunate to have found this forum prior to your surgery. I didn't find it until a few weeks post surgery but I'm still very grateful and happy that it did. This has been the most informative and supportive place to come to and to be.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I am SO HAPPY I found this Forum. It was just by happenstance. We are an "Around-The-World-Support-Group"......!!! :wave:Which is EXACTLY what I have needed.....!!!:) Actually, I look at all of as :angel::angel: :angel: :angel: [/B][/COLOR]

I'm keeping you in my prayers. GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Thank You for your very kind words of encouragement and hope.....!!! And yes, I WILL post [B]during my rehab. Most of the places I have contacted have free WiFi, so I can bring my Lap Top.

My Family and Friends want to be kept in the loop of how I am improving.

I hope that You continue to improve too.....!!! :)[/B][/B][/COLOR]
Oh, I didn't realize that GaterGal is having her surgery tomorrow. Best of luck to you, GaterGal. I don't know what an ice machine is. I used two large bags of frozen peas (inter changeable - when one thaws, I have a backup), place one at a time in a pillowcase or at least place it on a thin(ish) single layer of fabric. Then a few weeks later, I purchased an ice pack (very heavy) from my PT and use both that and the frozen peas based on the amount of swelling. I'm on my fifth or sixth package of frozen peas.
OH! How great to hear from you, GaterGal!! So unexpected!

You sound terrific! Take one hour at a time and think positive thoughts!

You are in a great position, with your I-thingy, to allow others who follow you thru surgery and recovery, to see what actually happens. Tell the therapist that we are 'watching'!!

I had my Blackberry with me and it was wonderful to be in touch with the outer world.

Continued prayers and healing.
Gatergal well done! You have passed the first hurdle - getting your new knee, it's all uphill from now. In a few weeks you will be feeling so pleased you have had it done as you start to realise what is now so much easier than before the surgery. How fantastic to have your IPhone or Blackberry in hospital with you so you can go online. Didn't think I would want to when I was in so left my laptop at home and really missed it. Isn't modern technology wonderful!!!

I have realised that perhaps some of my pain lately has been because I got a bit lazy about using my exercycle. I have been diligent for the past week, making sure I spend some time on it every day and especially five minutes first thing every morning. What a difference! I have been so much more comfortable - haven't taken any pain relief for 3 or 4 days (except my nsaid's) and am moving really well. I had kept up with some of my exercises but obviously the cycle does the trick for me. I just sit there pedaling away reading my book helping my knee. Will make sure I really keep it up now!
Hey Gatorgirl, glad to hear you are feeling so good, hope it lasts. The new improvements in medications and treatments are amazing in how they impact comfort levels in recovery. You survived the surgery feeling great so you know that ultimately you will be bouncing around and happy you did this. Let's hope SusanJean also has a good experience.

Exit148, some knee mfgs advertise 150 degrees flexion but it all depends. When I was young and skinny as a rail, I could never do those yoga cross legs on the floor or other stuff like that, so that is why I don't worry about numbers. Surgeons goals are 90 or better. I didn't do PT for my third knee and didn't do all the exercises, I just sort of went back to normal living and lots of swimming. I have better bend in this knee than in the other which had 16 weeks of PT, go figure. As you do more you will bend more it is just automatic, point is to keep doing. I did the compression as a sleeve, cut it off at the mid calf and it is easier to get on, will cover from below the knee to thigh, use roll on adhesive called It Stays to keep it up, works like a charm and rinses off with water. I wore that sleeve whenever I was on my feet for hours at a time and if I go to a park with my grandkids, I will still put it on as it provides nice light support and minimizes swelling from being too active.

Beerhunter, hang in there it will get better we promise you!:)

The more surgeons realize that they need to keep improving techniques to reduce pain and swelling the easier this procedure will be on us. My folks had bilateral knees in their late 70's about 20 years ago. They stayed drugged on CPM for 5 days before even being able to get out of bed so things have really changed a lot since then.
[QUOTE=Exit 148;4105637]
Oh -- At therapy, I can do the stationary bike. At home, the angle of my bike is different, and I can't make a complete cycle. But I am still trying. Happness will be when the leg will go all the way around!!

Question about turning over in bed ---. I had read about NOT lying on the side of the operated knee, or turning the operative knee over the good knee at an angle. I've been sleeping on my back, BUT now have been turning at night -- trying to keep the operative leg in a position that doesn't twist the knee. Anyone have any suggestions? I am a side to side sleeper and sleeping on my back is just not my thing.[/QUOTE]

I still remember the excitement when I managed to go full circle on my cycle, first when going backwards and then the big one - forwards!!! It was such a big thing and every time I get on my bike I can still feel in awe of what my new knee lets me do - keep up the good work!

I have lain on my operated side from very early on - tried even in hospital and half managed it. Hadn't ever heard of not lying on it. I cannot sleep on my back - my back just gets too sore and am only comfortable on my side. I haven't had any problems and have full movement in my knee - 150+ and don't believe I have any twisting happening. Has anyone else heard about this one?
Good morning all....I see a lot has been going on since I was last here. Way to go gatorgirl on your surgery, now that that's over, you have a new journey in your life. It's awesome for day by day progress. At first, i was like...that ain't no way I'm going to get to where this one is or bend my knee like that person, BUT....as we all have said, we all make our own progress at our own pace. Keep at it, even though it hurts, it does get better. People on this board on so encouraging. If you feel down or blue and feel that you're not progressing like you should be, come here!!! Trust me, you will feel better about things when you leave. My prayers are with you dear.

I guess with shopping, I was doing it sooner probably than I should have been, because did I ever pay for it afterward. even now at 8 weeks PO I get stiffer than a board....owie!!! The thing that amazes me about being in a store with a cane? Some people can be so rude, then here are the ones that can be really understanding (thank God for small favors!!). And driving.....I released myself to drive about 3 weeks ago. I hate to rely one someone to take me places (yea, I know...LOL) soooo, I got myself into the truck (very carefully mind you lol) and drove down back to our campground to see if I could do it and now I drive whenever I have to too, which saves my hubby from taking time out of his busy schedule. Like everyone says here, it depends on each individual. Take 'er slow and don't feel you "have" to be at a certain point at a certain time in your recovery. I did that and got very depressed over it, untill I came here and everyone "set me straight" LOL

Suesan......hope your doing well, my thoughts and prayers are with you.....keep your chin up girl, we're here for you!!!!!
I totally agree that this board is so encouraging! It has been such a boost for me! I have felt so discouraged most of the time because my knee just doesn't "want" to bend, but after listening to others going through the same thing I don't feel like such a failure!

My PT is so agressive it is not funny! Last week I was put on the "total gym machine" doing almost a squat type of exercise and I have been so sore and swollen ever since! I am really having trouble getting the swelling to go down. I have been icing all the time and laying with my legs elevated. The muscles in my leg is buning and sooooo sore! I felt like I was finnally coming along and this week I am in so much pain again! This week when I went to PT I wasn't able to do any of my exercises...it was too painful! I have an appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday and I am afraid he is going to think I am not doing very well because of this horrible set back! It is so frustrating!!!!

beerhunters...sorry to hear of your bad experiences! Hopefully things are better now! I agree with you that being in the CPM machine makes your leg feel better. As much of a pain it is to get into and out of I really missed it when it was gone! Enjoy it while you have it!!!

Exit 148...I have been shopping quite a few times and I am 7...almoset 8 weeks PO. Each time it was a little easier. I probably had my first experience at 4 or 5 weeks PO...it didn't go well...very stiff and sore!!!! But each time gets better...although I dread grocery shopping and send someone else if possible LOL! I can't wait to be able to "enjoy" REAL shopping again!!!

As far as driving...when I went for my 2 week check up I was told that I could drive if I met the following criteria:
1. I was off the pain killers (narcotics) motrin/tylenol is fine
2. I could endure sitting for at least a half hour (this was hard for me the first few weeks)
3. I could push the petals comfortably (I had my right knee replaced)

I had no one to take me to PT once they released me from home theropy so I had no choice...I had to bite the bullet and try to drive. I took a "test drive" with my husband when there wasn't much traffic and I "passed" the "test"!!! I think I was driving at around 4 weeks PO...just small trips! Just getting that little bit of independace is very uplifting!
Gatergal it is wonderful to learn that you are doing so well. Doesn't it feel great to be free of all 'attachments' and be up to the warpaint again. That was when I really felt on the road to recovery.

Looking forward to hearing how Suesan is doing.

Reading through many of your postings I cannot believe what your PT's are asking of you! I found my PT's to be very encouraging and supportive and they only ever pushed me to do 'just one or two more'. I had hoped to be able to squat after this surgery and I just can't, despite doing so much work, so I talked to my surgeon and he said it is not usual to be able to after this so now I feel better about that. I can get down a bit lower that before the surgery, but that was one of my aims. I had another achievement yesterday, I was in a hurry and I jogged down a hallway without even thinking about it! I thought I would never be able to run in any shape or form again so I was just buzzing. I don't plan to return to the world of jogging but do plan to go for walks in the evenings now summer is nearly here - a beautiful day here and I can hear the jetskis and waterskiers out on the water from my deck. I live near the sea (Upper Waitemata Harbour in Auckland) and love thinking about how much fun I will have in the water this summer. Last year my husband had to physically help me on and off our launch and this year I will be able to go swimming off the back any time without help. What freedom.
GaterGal --- you sound so positive! Great attitude, too. I knew that as soon as I wanted to wear ear-rings that I was on the way. Will you be going to a live-in re-hab, or do it from home?

I had a long talk with the PT - Brian - and he understood what I was saying, but he explained what he was trying to accomplish, too. He said he would go a little easier on me with the ROM, and he did --- to a point. It still hurt like h***! When I get my adrenalin going, I shake and I was at that point today. I had reached 100 in the ROM last week. But after missing 2 sessions this week, I lost 5 points and was down to 95. But 2 1/2 hours of constant therapy is quite a long time, and I was both stiff and sore when I got home. Over the week-end, I plan to push myself a bit more in that backward leg/knee slide to see if I can regain those 5 points by Monday. He did say that after 4 to 6 weeks, the therapy should get a little easier. Maybe when the knee swelling eases I will see a difference.

I will Survive --- I'm curious. Where is your 3rd knee? LOL! Your ideas for the exercise bike sounds good. I can just about make a complete rotation by going backward. Forward is another kettle of fish. The PT (Brian) said to go back and forth and push it a bit. Eventually I will make the rotation. The bikes at PT are easier. My home one covers a wider range.

Fantail --- Going into summer will be great for you. I'd read that people who do a lot of water exercises find greater flexion with their knee operations. We only have a pool --- and it is now closed for the winter, but next spring I plan to put it to good use. Your area sounds beautiful! I must google map it to get a feel for the location.

SueSan should be thinking about being discharged soon. I'm anxious to hear her story. But if she is going to be in a live-in re-hab, then it might be a while yet. I hope she is doing OK.
I Will Survive --- I used the pillow for my operative leg, as you suggested, and it was both comfortable and took away my fear of twisting the knee. I did sleep on both sides last night and it was wonderful! Normally I'm a light sleeper (aren't all women?) but not being confined to my back made such a difference. AND -- rather than getting up every 2 hours to go to the BR, I only got up once. Over-all, my best night so far in these 4+ weeks!

A rainy day today, and one of those that usually makes the knees ache, but I don't feel it in my new knee. It's not really cold, but I think I will put a log in the fireplace just to make it a bit cozier. Maybe I should wait until my ice pack session?

GospelGal -- HeeHee! DH has used his cell when he is in a store, but he would keep saying things like -- "It's a bit crowded here" - "Ma'am --- that's my cart!" - "Now where did I put the cart" - "I've got to get back to you, I can't talk, and wheel the cart at the same time" LOLOL!

I'm going to try to drive on the block today, and maybe, with DH's help, go to a supermarket. So much easier if I can get back to that part of my life.

I should research to see when this knee swelling should go down. The lower leg is much better, but it feels like a knot around the knee when I bend it. In the hospital, the lower leg was both grossly swollen, and tender to touch, but a doppler showed no clots. There is still a tender spot down there.

I'm starting to tackle all the threads from page one. It will take some time, but it will be interesting to see just where I stand as compared to earlier posters.

GaterGal --- Good luck getting home, and give a pat to Oreo. She will be your constant companion for a few days, until she knows you are home to stay!

It would be great to hear from SueSan. Hope she is coming along OK.
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4106612]Good morning all....I see a lot has been going on since I was last here. Way to go gatorgirl on your surgery, now that that's over, you have a new journey in your life. It's awesome for day by day progress. At first, i was like...that ain't no way I'm going to get to where this one is or bend my knee like that person, BUT....as we all have said, we all make our own progress at our own pace. Keep at it, even though it hurts, it does get better. People on this board on so encouraging. If you feel down or blue and feel that you're not progressing like you should be, come here!!! Trust me, you will feel better about things when you leave. My prayers are with you dear.

I guess with shopping, I was doing it sooner probably than I should have been, because did I ever pay for it afterward. even now at 8 weeks PO I get stiffer than a board....owie!!! The thing that amazes me about being in a store with a cane? Some people can be so rude, then here are the ones that can be really understanding (thank God for small favors!!). And driving.....I released myself to drive about 3 weeks ago. I hate to rely one someone to take me places (yea, I know...LOL) soooo, I got myself into the truck (very carefully mind you lol) and drove down back to our campground to see if I could do it and now I drive whenever I have to too, which saves my hubby from taking time out of his busy schedule. Like everyone says here, it depends on each individual. Take 'er slow and don't feel you "have" to be at a certain point at a certain time in your recovery. I did that and got very depressed over it, untill I came here and everyone "set me straight" LOL

Suesan......hope your doing well, my thoughts and prayers are with you.....keep your chin up girl, we're here for you!!!!![/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]The shopping thing I accomplished within 3 days of returning home after the surgery. My husband goes to the supermarket every day to get his paper and a donut. I didn't have any problem getting in and out of the car, so I had him let me off at the front door of the market...and I just plopped my butt down on one of those electric carts and swish..... I was off to do my own shopping. I LOVEd it. After a week or two I became brave and gave up the cart and just used a regular grocery cart to lean on and got what I needed. The store is huge so it's a good place to get exercise.

However, going to the mall (my modem crashed so I had to go to the Qwest store) I'm not so brave. I take my 4 wheel walker that has a seat and if I get tired I can just sit down in the seat it provides and rest a minute. Either way - the sooner you start going out for an occasional lunch with a friend or do some shopping, the more human you feel again. [/FONT]
Anuenue -- After reading the different accounts here, it seems as tho PT is different from person to person -- as well as the PT people themselves. I can imagine that your personal PT couple would not want to lose a customer, but since you think you can do most of them at home, then why not? Actually, maybe a talk with the surgeon would be in order and let him judge.

About a recumbant bike versus a regular one. I just love my recumbant, but I've heard of people who have turned their regular bikes into a stationary one. They remove the rear wheel or do something to make the rear wheel useless and the bike is on a rack to allow 'biking' without going anywhere. Could that be a thought?

Also -- would there be exercises on line? You are only 2 months post-op, but maybe your Doctor could explain if having that much pain on walking is usual. Was that while pushing a cart?

I did drive today, AND went to the supermarket. Wrong day to do that! I never do food shopping on a Saturday and I can see why! It was crowded, I was overdressed, so I was sweating. It is a big store, and I walked more than I have in the past month -- much more. Was I bushed when I got home. A bit stupid, actually. I really should have eased myself into it after only 1 month post-op. The driving part was just fine, tho. No need to have that worry anymore.

Something to think about -------. Yesterday at PT, there was a woman on the table next to me who had had her TKR done the same time as mine -- 4 weeks ago. She said that when she went to the surgeon to have the staples removed, she was walking out, using her walker, on the office porch that was protected with a non-skid mat. The rear leg of her walker caught the edge of the mat and down she went!! She said she somehow protected her operative knee as she went down and the Doctor rushed to her immediately. She was fine, but a bit shaken. (really!!!) But just a reminder that even with the safety and comfort of using a walker, you have to be extra careful I think we all fear falling right now. I use a "rolling cane", and even tho there is a brake on it, I'm so conscious of what stupid thing I could do to go down. I guess this fear will pass. Hopefully.
Anuenue,
Pt therapy depends on the doctor and insurance company. My insurance would on pay for 12 weeks..this doesn't count home pt. I chose not to go with pt therapy after home therapy. My husband's company pays for our membership to a near by wellness center and I chose to work out in their therapy pool when they don't use it..usually the hours are between 9:00am -11 ;00am. I google searched for exercises for TKR after surgery and I do those plus water aerobics in the pool...a class is going on the the nearby large pool when I work out. I had two major surgeries this past year and since my insurance only pays 80% I didn't want to add additional expenses with PT. I am walking better than a lady at church who had surgery in May and went 12 weeks for PT. Please excuse me for not inclduing you living in a lovely climate..Hawaii. Hang in there..things WILL get better as time goes by. You must be around 10 weeks post op. I went the first time to the grocery store around that time and it was hard on me. Even yesterday at Sam's, I was tired and hurting..I had not been to the pool in several days. Today I could stand for over 1 hour to make 2 pies for Sunday dinner tomorrow...I couldn't do this before surgery. How is your pain level?..from 1 to 10?
Hello wonderful support group! :) I'm baaaccckkk! Well, I had right knee TKR on Oct. 6. Was released from the hospital on Oct. 9 and went to a live-in rehabilitation place, which I very strongly recommend, then released home this past Thursday Oct. 22. And what a journey it has been. I am 46 years old and this is the 3rd knee surgery this year. I had a lateral release on my left knee in May 2009 and the lateral release on my right knee in June 2009. The left knee never got a real break (no pun intended) since the right one continued with swelling to the point I was using a cane. By the time my ortho and I decided to go ahead with the TKR since it was negatively impacting my quality of life, not only was I on a cane but my right knee became actually deformed. It was HUGE and if my toes were pointing the straight, the knee just sort of "caved in" to the left knee. It was not a pretty site. So needless to say, I was looking forward to the replacement. Since there was so much damage (bone on bone and such), my operation lasted 3 hours! It has been pretty slow but consistent progress. My in home physical therapist came to the house today. I am at 90 degrees flexion and only 9 on extension. He assures me that I will continue to improve. Reading all of the success stories in this group has definitely helped. Like some who have written, I must have cried every day I was in the hospital. Nevertheless, the pain is much more manageable since using stool softener does not make me have to compromise use of the pain meds. You guys have been such a blessing to me. I thank you!!! Will let you know how the rest of the therapy goes! Hang in there!!! nfordsupport :)
Gatorgal
Did you "ever" get home from the hospital..last time you reported in you were still waiting at 7;00pm.
Suesan it is great to hear from you and know you are 'out the other side' and have joined we bionic people. I am sure in about 6 weeks (if not sooner) you will be so pleased you went ahead with the surgery. I get a bit confused really about the meds you guys use because we have different names for them. I reacted to all the opiates and had only over the counter paracetamol and ibobrufen (panadol and nurofen plus which has a little codeine in it) but had to take them 4 hourly, for about 4 months anuenue, as I was still getting lots of pain. I, before I found all of you wonderful people, felt something was wrong as a friend's father who had a TKR 6 months before me said he had less pain than before after 3 months. My surgeon reassured me that I was normal and that I needed to give myself time to heal. Beerhunters, if I had an office job I believe I could have returned after 6-8 weeks, but having a physical one, on my feet at least 8 hours a day, has dragged it out much longer. BTW I have never used weights in my exercise programme and am now doing just simple exercises and lots of exercycle. Haven't tried the treadmill, maybe should give it a go - however I do climb stairs constantly as there are 28 from my front door to my bedroom and to get from one area or room to another is a set of 7 stairs at least to go up and down. My home is built on the side of a hill and at times I do wish we lived on one level not 6 :eek:

I think we just need to remember that we all heal at different rates and feel pain in different ways. The important thing is that we did this massive thing and made a choice to change our lives forever.m:)
[QUOTE=beerhunters;4108537]how long will it feel like one leg is longer than the other, the leg with the new knee feels longer[/QUOTE]

Beerhunter, it probably is longer! Seriously if your operated leg was deformed, bowed, etc from the wearing down of the bone and years of bone on bone grinding, the surgery can make that leg as much as 1/4 inch or more longer. I had to wear a heel lift in my non operated leg until I had it done and now I have two longer and straighter legs. For the first time in my life I am not bowlegged and I love it, had to hem all my pants, lol.

Anuenue and Jennie have you tried wearing your compression TED hose as a sleeve (cut foot off and wear it from calf over knee to thigh) when you go to PT, do housework and in general just around the house with all that activity. You can buy great adhesive glue stick called It Stays to keep it up so it doesn't roll, glue washes off with water and one bottle lasts forever. Maybe the compression sleeve will help keep the swelling down, swelling always equals pain so that may help with the pain. For my second TKR I wore this sleeve for about 5 months literally every day from morning to night. Hunt online and you can find TED hose in white for about $10 a pair, wash them by hand and in morning they are dry. Keep one leg as the Sunday best leg for going out and the other as the ratty runny everyday leg, lol.
[QUOTE=KittyCat62;4108766]
Avenue, I am 8 weeks PO and I still have pain. My surgeon told me at my 2 week check-up that they will not perscribe any more pain killers for me...what I had was all I was getting! At that point i only had 12-15 pills left. I have been very dilligent using them and now only have 2 left. I tryed saving them for PT days because they were pushing me so much. I have been getting by for the most part on 2 Motrin and then three hours later 2 Tylenol. I follow this pattern through the day and I have gotten by so far...although there are days I wish I had more pain pills!!!![/QUOTE]

My God, KITTYCAT62, how dare your surgeon refuse you any more pain meds. These doctors have no idea what this surgery or recovery feels like. At any rate, thank you so much for telling me about the good results you're getting with Motrin and Tylenol. I'm going to run over to the drug store and buy both and give it a try. I'd much rather take those than the pain meds. I really want to get off the pain meds because of the side effects. At least I'm well over the depression they caused me.

I cut waaaaay back on them and only take them when I need them. I'm proud to say that yesterday after coming home from church, the cemetery to place flowers on my Dad's grave, a quick trip through Costco (could the make the store any BIGGER???), and the long drive, I took two acedamenophen(sp) and later one percocet and was able to walk for the equivalent of 4 blocks with my cane for the first time in two years!!!

I think I'm addicted to the pain meds because I can't sleep at night without them. I haven't been taking them at night because I want to save them for the day time when I have pain (only when I walk or stand). I feel horrible at night and can't sleep - it's not painful, I just feel really sort of anxious and unsettled and can't sleep no matter how tired I am.





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