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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

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[QUOTE=NorineP;4128517]I am 62 and had tkr on my right knee on October 19. My PT is at home and I was doing very well until this past tuesday. I had reached a 130 flex but my straight angle is not doing well. I must have pushed too hard on tuesday and now I can't bend my knee back at all. The doctor's nurse and the PT think I may have strained a muscle. Has anyone else had this happen. Now I feel like I'm going backwards after doing so well. I'm concerned because I have surgery on my other knee coming up December 14 and I was really hoping the right knee would be doing better before the surgery on my left knee.

It is comforting to know that healing seems to take much longer than 5 weeks. :)[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] I am age 72 and my surgery was Aug. 4th - so I'm now 4-1/2 months post op. As I've said before, it's like a roller coaster.....just when you think you are gaining ground, you take two steps backwards. When I finished my professional PT I was only at 105 flexion. When I saw my surgeon last week I was 115.

It's the recumbent bike that saves me. I do at least 20 minutes a day in two sessions and that helps keep the scar tissue from forming. If I'm lax on my other exercises, the bike is always there. I put on my iPod and listen to Sousa Marches and other face tempo music.

Since I never kept a journal of any kind about the TKR experience I decided to write a little piece on it and send it to my surgeon. It reads as follows:

[CENTER][B]What I’ve learned (so far) about/from Total Knee Replacement Surgery[/B]

[FONT="Georgia"]Surgery Date: 8-04-09[/CENTER]

In this decade total knee replacement (“TKR” to us seasoned recipients) is about as common as a tonsillectomy in my childhood during the 40s. Since I am only four months post op at this writing, I’m hardly an authority on this procedure. I do know that at this point in time I have run a gamut of emotions. Maybe it only happens to aging neurotic grandmothers like myself, I don’t know. I recall vividly those first few weeks after surgery having episodes of weeping in frustration – not from any great pain…but because each new day did not seem to be bringing me closer to some kind of normal mobility.

For some reason I didn’t recognize that with each passing day I was improving. I had quickly dropped the assistive devices; first the walker (that was gone in a few days), then the cane…and in two weeks I was walking about the house with only minimal difficulty. Even though I was told before surgery that this procedure wasn’t for the faint of heart – I heard the words, …but I didn’t really listen to them.

Okay – now back to lessons learned. I learned that this is not a “competition.” The minute you mention TKR to a friend they all know somebody who has had the surgery and were allegedly out playing tennis in no time at all. I began to feel that if I didn’t have the same range of motion as John Doe at 5 weeks post-op…I was somehow failing in my road to recovery. Then the anguish set in. What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right.
If I were to give advice to someone who needs TKR surgery I would first emphatically recommend they select the best possible surgeon who has done many knee replacements. So you get an accomplished surgeon and he does his part. He uses his skills to replace your joint…and now you are suddenly left to do your part…… Now there’s the rub. This is an overwhelming responsibility. I knew about it…I read all about it prior to my surgery, but the reality of it all was a whole ‘nuther story.

I thought I had some reserve of common sense, but I couldn’t seem to figure out that since all knee conditions and all people are not the same, recovery could not be exactly the same.

Before surgery I presented as an overweight, sedentary, 72-year-old woman, who had every opportunity to lose weight and take classes in preparation for this procedure but I chose to put it all aside. If I’m hurting a bit more now I have no one to blame but myself. One good reality check for me after surgery was to actually read the surgeon’s report of the procedure. Whoa! That was indeed an eye opener. Then you begin to understand why this knee rehab thing can be an uphill battle. It’s also best to write down questions you have and ask your surgeon on your follow-up visits. He’s the expert.

Another awakening is going to a store and suddenly having a keen respect for those you see walking with a cane, walker, or riding in that electric cart to do their shopping. As with any life experience…pleasant or unpleasant, it brings you to another level of awareness.

I still have a long way down that old TKR lonesome road but after all this pontificating over lessons learned, I realize it’s probably some of my other genetic aging maladies that will take me down – not my knees.



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