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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


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Hello. I just found this site and this thread a couple of days ago and have been reading and learning.

I am a 58 year old female who just had a TKR on Aug. 17th. I spent 4 days in the hospital (the second day crying and not doing much else) because the pain was so bad and I couldn't lift my leg. I was shocked. I had no idea whatsoever what to expect after surgery. No one told me and I did not know what questions to ask prior to surgery.

When I got home a relative came over to visit on the second day and when I told her about my hospital stay and the crying, she told me that she has clients who are much older than I am who have had the surgery and that they handled it with no problems and that I "need to just suck it up". I'm still upset about that statement.:mad::eek: Don't you just love people who have never experienced this surgery yet give you advice and directives?

We had very limited PT while in the hospital and my real PT didn't start until a week and half after I got home. I go twice a week and love my therapist. Just yesterday he got my knee bent to 126 I think it was. Two days prior it was at 118. Today, the day after PT, I am stiff and swollen and it's difficult to bend. I haven't really done any of my exercises all day today except for bending my knee as much as possible while standing.

I take percocet with tylenol (8 -10 daily) and two oxycontine 12 hours apart. Nothing stops the pain and discomfort and I usually have trouble falling asleep because I can't find a comfortable position with no pain. Some nights are better than others.

Should I go out and buy a stationary bike???

I'm glad to see that others are experiencing depression as I find myself very moody and weepy still. It's so difficult to be so incapacitated. I am caring for four indoor cats and one dog so you can imagine the amount of work involved with keeping litterboxes clean and these guys all fed and their dishes washed twice daily, etc. I have some help with house cleaning and with the pets but do most of the pet cleanup myself and it's really tough.

Am I harming myself by not doing exercises the day after therapy when I'm so stiff, swollen and sore?

I'm so glad I found this forum. This is the most information I've received since deciding to have the surgery several months ago.

Thanks loads.
[QUOTE=anuenue;4076961]Hello. I just found this site and this thread a couple of days ago and have been reading and learning.

I am a 58 year old female who just had a TKR on Aug. 17th. I spent 4 days in the hospital (the second day crying and not doing much else) because the pain was so bad and I couldn't lift my leg. I was shocked. I had no idea whatsoever what to expect after surgery. No one told me and I did not know what questions to ask prior to surgery.

When I got home a relative came over to visit on the second day and when I told her about my hospital stay and the crying, she told me that she has clients who are much older than I am who have had the surgery and that they handled it with no problems and that I "need to just suck it up". I'm still upset about that statement.:mad::eek: Don't you just love people who have never experienced this surgery yet give you advice and directives?

We had very limited PT while in the hospital and my real PT didn't start until a week and half after I got home. I go twice a week and love my therapist. Just yesterday he got my knee bent to 126 I think it was. Two days prior it was at 118. Today, the day after PT, I am stiff and swollen and it's difficult to bend. I haven't really done any of my exercises all day today except for bending my knee as much as possible while standing.

I take percocet with tylenol (8 -10 daily) and two oxycontine 12 hours apart. Nothing stops the pain and discomfort and I usually have trouble falling asleep because I can't find a comfortable position with no pain. Some nights are better than others.

Should I go out and buy a stationary bike???

I'm glad to see that others are experiencing depression as I find myself very moody and weepy still. It's so difficult to be so incapacitated. I am caring for four indoor cats and one dog so you can imagine the amount of work involved with keeping litterboxes clean and these guys all fed and their dishes washed twice daily, etc. I have some help with house cleaning and with the pets but do most of the pet cleanup myself and it's really tough.

Am I harming myself by not doing exercises the day after therapy when I'm so stiff, swollen and sore?

I'm so glad I found this forum. This is the most information I've received since deciding to have the surgery several months ago.

Thanks loads.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][/FONT]

I'm a female, age 72, with an Aug. 4th, 2009 surgery date. Our hospital even offered pre-op classes for knee replacement people and I was just too busy to take the time. Now I wish I had.

I do know, however, that not doing the Physical Therapy is very serious. Scar tissue will form and I can be left with a stiff leg. I've had a good couple of days and woke up this morning with a totally stiff knee. I'm icing it now and will go to PT at 9:30. This is what is so discouraging; although still periodically depressed - it's not quite as bad as it was.
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!
Thank You for ALL your posts. I spent almost the entire day yesterday consumed with fear, worry and doubt. Crying a lot too.

I don't even know what to think. I am starting to find reasons why I should not have this surgery. I am NOT in pain 24/7. It only hurts when I walk, (and on just one knee) so, maybe I should wait till the pain is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD. Maybe I should wait till I loose weight, maybe, maybe, maybe.......

I am OVERWHELMED with the knowledge that recovery will probably take many, many, many pain filled months. And I STILL may be in some kind of pain, discomfort, for the rest of my life after all that I go through.

It just seems like such a brutal fix for knee pain.

I am sorry if I sound like I am a baby, I really am not. I have had two surgeries, I have lived with my knee pain for years. It is just that this surgery is HUGE.....!!! It is truly SERIOUS SURGERY on a MASSIVE scale.....!!!

This is WAY, WAY, WAY more intense than most surgeries. MUCH MORE INTENSE that I EVER could have imagined.....

The more I research about TKR, the more frightening it is. The more complications I read about the more stories of pain, the more stories of not such a good ending as hoped for.

Yet, the longer I wait, the more damage to my bones, the worse off I will be.

But, just not having to deal with the surgery and its aftermath, makes zipping around town in a motorized wheel chair seem like a better choice. Why not skip the whole horror of it....????

If this was emergency surgery like my cesearan and shoulder rotator cup surgery, where there was no time to think about it, dwell on it, research it on the internet, it would be done with and I would have had to deal with the recovery, like I did with my previous surgeries.

But, this IS elective surgery, I am electing to put myself through this medical torture. And it just is making me sick at thinking about EVERYTHING that I will go through.

Maybe sometimes too much information IS a bad thing..... I don't know.

I will keep you posted on what I decide to do.

I hope that all of you continue to improve and be pain free forever.
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.
[B]THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR POSTS, YOUR WARM WORDS, YOUR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT.......!!![B][/B][/B]:)

I feel a sense of community here, a sense of compassion. Because you are all living this experience that I will be going through very soon.

After the past few days of EXTREME anxiety, of EXTREME crying, hyper-ventilating and just all around 100% STRESSED.....!!! I have turned the corner on my nervous breakdown over this surgery.

Somehow, this afternoon, a peace settled over me about this surgery. Maybe I have cried all the tears I have (I think I have hives now, my eyes and face are all blotchy), maybe I have come to terms with it all.

I KNOW that this surgery and its aftermath will be the MOST INTENSE AND TOUGH time of my life. I KNOW I WILL be in pain, MORE then I probably could have ever imagined, but, I think I have decided to put a positive spin on all this, be MORE optimisitic. If I think positive, hopefully, EVERYTHING will turn out positive.

Actually, I think I am just tired of crying, I am tired of being afraid. It kind of feels like I am "getting tough" or more like, "toughening up". Like I am getting ready to "Do Battle.....!!!"

I know I may get a little bit weepy again, but, I am WAY past the terror and fear of the past few days. This is my life, it is what it is, and things could be a WHOLE LOT worse......

So, THANK YOU ALL for being their for me. I TRULY wish you ALL successfull recoveries and surgeries. I wish you ALL a pain free future. I wish you ALL Happiness and Joy.......:)
Exit148 you need to seriously tell your PT to just back off. Seriously you have to stand up for yourself and not let your PT push you to achieve his/her goals but to achieve YOUR goals. For my first knee I had to tell my PT, I respect you and appreciate your help but NO you can not force my knee to bend to suit your need to the point where I am crying and ready to vomit, that is just not necessary, I am a 50 year old not a young kid. She was shocked and then said you're right, I apologize and after that we got along fine.

As for sleeping on your side I did it as soon as I got home, I can't stand sleeping on my back unless it is in a hospital bed with the back raised and even then don't really like it. A large soft pillow was how I did it and the bed to myself. I turned over on my side and just stretched the operated leg out straight and to the side and rested it on top of a pillow the long way so it supported the whole leg (this was sort of legs side by side not one on top of the other in the traditional side sense). I would alternate between keeping the leg completely straight and with a slight bend, this way it didn't freeze in place and since I was getting up to pee every two hours all night, it was never in the same position for more than two hours. I would sleep on both sides but preferred the side where the operated knee could be on the top, although even when it was on the bottom I had it resting on the pillow (operated leg on top was in front, operated leg on bottom was in back, think of your legs in a V so that is why I hogged the bed to myself, sent hubby to another room). The pillow served to make it soft around all the tender areas and also kept my spine aligned so as to not cause back pain. As soon as I felt comfortable I then would flop onto my tummy (my preferred sleeping style) and still rest the operated leg on the pillow so my knee was never pressing into anything hard or stiff (I love my mattress hard as a rock) and began to sleep for longer stretches. When I woke up to pee or found myself stiff I found that if I got out of bed and walked around the house for a few minutes, I would feel better, get all the kinks out and then get back in bed. Didn't get a through the night sleep for months but overall still got decent sleep, just interrupted sleep.

For my third knee I was such a pro (or nut) that I went grocery shopping with hubby on the way home from hospital, lol. We were staying with friends (I live in FL but love my surgeon in PA) for my recuperation and wanted some of my favorite snacks, beverages, more stool softeners, etc. and rather than be mad because he got the wrong stuff I convinced him to take me to the store). I didn't have a walker in the car so had him bring me the shopping cart to the car and used that as my walker and was fine. I think I was so excited to be up and about so soon that I was on an adrenaline happy high, feeling no pain and just freedom, lol. I got home to my girlfriend and she was yelling at me that I was nuts but was so much better than when I had TKR number 2 done 6 months before that and stayed with her but had a much more difficult recovery and could barely move for weeks. Just goes to show that every single knee is different and healing and recovery is pretty much just a luck of the draw and you never know what version you are going to get, I have had the worst and the best and I like the best so much more.





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