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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

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Thank you IWillSurvive. I read your reply and agree with it, I just find it hard to deal with the pain and I know it will get better. When I am not exercising I keep my knee elevated and iced. If there was no such thing as pain meds ice in my opinion is the next best thing. I was wearing a compression stocking for the first month but stopped once I was thru with the blood thinner medication but I will restart using it or even try an ace wrap to see if it helps. Without trying to be negative after having gone thru 10 surgeries I am worried about returning to work and holding a job. It seems that since my knee started acting up prior to the first TKR I have not been able to keep a job because of time missed due to pain. I understand my knee will never be 100 percent but if the pain level gets down to a 2-3 I will be happy, I am hoping and my doctor agrees that before I can go back to work I need to be able to walk 2-3 miles without discomfort. Since the surgery the swelling has gone down alot but not completely getting around is easier but not great. If you can call it a walk is about a small block or less and afterwards I am beat. My biggest complaint is the shere boredom of healing if it was not for my kids I would be losing it.
Norman, hang in there buddy. We all can relate on some level with the frustration with the pain and recovery of TKR surgery. All I can say is that post op, it is usually a case of it gets worse before it gets better. Hopefully you are soon on the road to it getting better. The swelling and fluid is not that unusual for TKR, so do not panic too much yet. The little red spots don't sound good and I suggest you see your surgeon asap to check for infection. Don't be afraid to raise the alarm, I know you are past the point of the home nurse visits but your ortho should be willing to see you, if necessary call them and tell them you think you have an infection at the wound site. This can be serious stuff so get it checked out, you have nothing to lose with being cautious and everything to gain. Jerseyboy is right, if infected they will just put you on good high dose of antibiotics and check it out carefully.

As for the swimming, once your incision has completely healed you will be cleared to use the pool so you can swim with your kids. Caution in water, the buoyancy is great and you will feel like you can do anything, be careful and don't overdo it as even though working out in water doesn't hurt as much as working out with floor exercises you are still using the same muscles and if you overdo it you will feel the pain afterwards big time, believe me I have been a victim of my own enthusiasm in water.

Hopefully you will start to feel better soon, it is hard but try to stay upbeat and don't be afraid to pamper and baby yourself for a few days. I don't think it will set you back and you might just need the break to let your muscles and tendons heal from all the therapy. Hang on to a target, 5 weeks is still early, give it some more time before expecting to consistently feeling better and being glad about this surgery. Just about everybody who has had it has had their moments where they wondered if they were crazy to do it or not but after a while I don't know anybody who hasn't ultimately been happy that they had the TKR done. I am sure that one day you too will be happy you had it done. Keep us posted and we are all here for you so if you need to vent, just go ahead and let it out.

Jerseyboy, good luck tomorrow. Glad you and your doctors have found something that works for the pain, hope you have an easy time of it with this surgery.
Don't know what state you live it but maybe you should look into getting a handicap parking pass. In most states they are very easy to get, some require a form to be filled out and signed by a doctor. Some states for temporary, you can just walk into a local police station with a cane and get it right there and it is good for 6 months I think. When walking is a bear it sure helps to be able to at least park close to where ever you are going. I remember for a long time if I had to walk across the parking lot as soon as I got to the door of my destination I was about ready to cry and ready to be carried back to the car. I know this is frustrating especially since your first TKR seems to have been easier. Taking pain meds before and after PT is not that unusual especially in the early days and you are still early in your recovery. I remember my PT fussing at other patients who didn't take their pain meds because then they couldn't do the exercises. I found that constant gentle movement to avoid stiffness was very helpful in keeping the joint limber. Years later, I still can't keep my knees still for too long so it may always be there. Have you tried the TED hose as a sleeve to help with swelling and to give extra support? Hang in there buddy, try to focus on maybe one month out and just work towards that goal and before you know it you will be there and then on this site encouraging others that this will get better.
[QUOTE=barb70;4284974]I have been wearing the darn Ted Hose now and then because after all of this time I feel they give me some support and help prevent swelling which I still have a bit of.
As long as I'm not out in the hot humid weather, which I'm not, they are not bad..../QUOTE]

barb, have you tried cutting them at the mid calf so your lower leg and foot don't have to be covered? You would be surprised how much cooler it is that way. I had my TKR in the summer and wore them like this every day from morning til night, even in the pool, lol. SW Florida is very hot and with my hot flashes if I could take it, trust me it really made a difference when they were cut. Used them to cover knee from about 3 inches below the knee to the thigh:):). Good luck with the traveling and do those ankle pumps every 15 minutes or so. I flew when I was 2 weeks post TKR for a 3 hour flight and my ortho told me to make sure I did the ankle pumps for the whole flight. I also sat in the bulkhead so had lots of leg room to stretch my leg out full and was fine. Of course I was still on coumadin which helped. Good luck with your traveling and have a great time.
[QUOTE=jerseyboy;4769885]WOW, it's hard to beleive it's been almost a year on my left TKR. 3-31-11 was the 1 year mark on my RTKR. Time flies when your having fun. A quick update for anyone who might be interested. The right knee is moving pretty good and has better extension and flex than the left one does. The left leg gets sore after being on my feet all day, which is most days in my job :) Overall, things are better than pre-op and yes, even after all I have been through, I would definately do it again![/QUOTE]

Hey Jerseyboy, good to hear from you. Just like you, it's been a year on my first knee LTKR on 02-1-10, and the second RTKR is coming up on July 19. My left knee still swells and is uncomfortable from swelling when I've been on my feet all day, but like you, everything is so much better than before and I would do it all over again. I'm leaving on a week hiking trip next week into New Mexico, and a 10 day Girls Trip to Montana, fly fishing and camping in Glacier National Park in August. We are river rafting and hiking and doing most anything we think we can do. Please note we are all over 50 and one of us in our sixties. Point made, I could have never dreamed of doing this one year ago I was in so much pain. So all of you thinking about a TKR, find a good doctor, go to all of your rehab. and have a good time.

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