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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


Hello All,

This is my first time to post with a question. I had Rt. TKR 9 weeks ago and have really had a rough time. First of all, this was the most painful surgery I've ever had and I've had many.. 4 lumbar surgeries including a fusion that ws quite complicated. I also have other health issues...Fibro, an inflamatory thyroid disease called Hashimoto's. Chronic daily back pain for at least 8 years. From the get go the Ortho. said this would be tough for me. but I didn't realize how tough.

I managed to get through PT and was able to reach all of the goals set for me. The Doc ws pleased with that. Right after surgery I was so swollen it even swelled in the opposite leg. It was in the most pain I had ever been in. I also had to have two units of blood post op and verry low BP.

I went along with what ever the PT's said to do, but there were times when I felt excruciating pain and begged them to slow it down a bit. Every time I had therapy the pain and swellinng were so bad I'd be in bed for a day and a half. Now, when I do any of my home exercizes my knee flares up and gets very hot and turns red and almost purple. Just walking around is very painful. I thought the pain would be better by now. So, I was wondering if anyone else has had similar issues after TKR. I'm not sleeping well and am having some depression. Would really appreciate and input.

Thanks so much,
Connie
Thank you Jersey for your reply. I appreciate it..It's really difficult to know what is normal and what is cause for concern. Does your knee feel tight, like something to big is in your knee ? Mine feels as if there's a tight band around it, squeezing it. It feels so abnormal.
I have been adding Ibuprophen to my pain meds, but that doesn't give me much relief. I'm on pretty strong meds as it is and that caused problems after surgery, because I'd built up such a tolerance.
Anyway, I will continue to ice, elevate and tqke meds......thanks so much. I hope that you do better also...

Take good care, Connie
Hi Connie
Welcome to the club! This is the second time I have had a TKR on the same knee in 3 years. So far 10 surgeries total on the same knee. It seems like I am reading about my knee as opposed to yours. My last surgery was May 19th and depending on my activity it either hurts pretty bad or just plain hurts. With activity meaning trying to pretend things are normal I have swelling redness heat and yes I have called the Dr. on call numerous times on weekends or in the evening when the pain is pretty bad. Some swelling along with everything you described is normal however if the pain gets too bad the knee gets too hot and you start running a fever then you call immediately or if you have very pronounced redness samething. After all that I have been thru and going thru there is no quick remedy for healing. It is very important to stay proactive with therapy but that does not mean over doing it as I have done. When I am watching TV I either have a pillow under my foot or keep my leg straight, you have to be able to get your extension between 0-5 to get the best results on the new joint. I hope this makes some sense.
Norman
[QUOTE=Connie620;4293393]Thank you Jersey for your reply. I appreciate it..It's really difficult to know what is normal and what is cause for concern. Does your knee feel tight, like something to big is in your knee ? Mine feels as if there's a tight band around it, squeezing it. It feels so abnormal.
I have been adding Ibuprophen to my pain meds, but that doesn't give me much relief. I'm on pretty strong meds as it is and that caused problems after surgery, because I'd built up such a tolerance.
Anyway, I will continue to ice, elevate and tqke meds......thanks so much. I hope that you do better also...

Take good care, Connie[/QUOTE]

Hi Connie, As far as any tight feeling??? No, and I would go on to say that with the left knee, it's just the opposite! Almost like a loose feeling, but because of the poor extension I got from the right, the doctor hyper extended the left, to help me get a better extension. One thing is for sure, and that's the strength in the left quad is far less that the right. I have tried using the cane some, but I feel very unstable with it so am mostly still using the walker, which in and of itself is depressing!

The funny thing is I honestly don't remember how I felt day by day with the right knee. I took daily photo's of the incision, but didn't do a time line of how I was feeling and what progress I made. If I had that I could see from day to day how much better, or worse I am doing.

If you don't do anything else work on extension. My right knee is somewhere around -8 and I will tell you that when I stand on my feet longer than a couple minutes at a time, I get very fatigued!
Hi Norman, Nice to meet you and thank you for your response. This helps me so much to know I'm not alone here. Oh, I know many people have TKR, very common, but it's new to me and I've had about 12 surgeries in my lifetime and never one that hurt like this one. What's more,I've talked to a friend who had his knee done in Jan. and said he doesn't have pain and felt great after about 2 months. I guess being that we're all different, some folks breeze by and others....well, you know what I mean.

I cannot fathom having as many knee surgeries as you have . I'm so sorry, Norman. How on earth did all this happen, if you don't mind my asking. Yes, we had our s very close to the same time. Mine was May 24th. Did you have an epidural with yours ? I was supposed to but am allergic to Marcaine and they were afraid to try anything else n the same category. At least then I would have been numb the first 24 hrs.

I'm hoping that I will begin to feel somewhat normal pretty soon. Right now, nothing about this feels normal. I hope this for you , as well.
Take good care , Norman and don't overdo...lool
Hi Jersey, So your's feels loose. Interesting..mine feells as if the whole thing is just too big for my knee.
My gosh, you had yours very close together. You're braver than I am. After this, I said I will never have another. I don't think my body could handle it. I just have too many other health issues gong on. I understand about he fatigue though. My leg feels as if t just won't go if I walk too far or am up on my feet for a certain length of tme. Get tired out very easily.
Did you have the Stryker system put in your knee ? That's what my Doc used. Just curious..
Well, it's about time to do some stretching and settle down to a movie.

Take care..I enjoy hearing from you.
Connie
Hi there,

I know that most of these Drs. who do the TKR surgeries are good Drs....I think because I worked in the medicaal field for many years, I got an inside view of what goes on.

Surgeons, I believe, do not want to hear many complaints after the fact. One surgeon I had who removed a malignant growth from my forehead and in the process cut through an important nerve that left me with terrible headaches...he said I would probably have numbness there and when I called to tell him about this pain, he said" well, I can't do anything about that..you'll just have tofind someone to give you pain meds. He was considered to be a very skilled Doc. That was 6 yrs ago and to this day, I still have headaches from that surgery.
The Doc who did my knee keeps 2 OR's goign at the same time. Does 300 a year ! Yikes..I can't imagine...he's all about speed.

Take care and I'm wishing you well....
Connie ( hop-a-long)
Hi Charlie,

I keep trying to be positive, but just now after doing a little laundry and some stretching, I can hardly walk.. How are you doing now ? Having much pain ? I hear more and more about revision surgeries. Seems that it happens quite often.
There was somethihng on TV the other day (I didn't see it, my sister did) about TKR and how unnecessary some are. But, when you're having daily pain and severe arthritis and your leg keepsgiving away...what's a person to do. there aren't many options.

Take care and wishing you pain free days...
[QUOTE=NFenske;4295328]I have also noticed another fact of life especially here in Va. with the heat and humidity plus the changes in the weather all of it effects how I feel. Whats so stupid for me concerning all of this I knew what to expect. A revision is much more involved than a regular TKR plus considering all that my knee has been thru why do I expect so much so soon?[/QUOTE]


Norman, I think it is perfectly nomal to want to feel good. Even if we know in advance what to expect, after so much pain, our bodies just long for painfree times... pain is one of the great equlizers...even the strongest people can get knocked down by pain. I had heard that revisions were worse, not sure why though.. Were most of your surgeries revisions ? I'm still trying to understand why 10 ? I'd like to hear the story...

Hang in there and I'll do the same...
Okay Connie
Here goes, Back in 2000 I was close to 400lbs and worked as an electrician( there is alot of work which requires you to be on your knees ). I started all of this with a torn meniscus. The second and third surgery were to fix the original. The fourth surgery I went to a different surgeon who opened my knee up to do a realignment of course the only constant so far is lots of pain. My fifth surgery the surgeon opend it up again and after very close looking he found my patella was grinding on bone to fix this the tendon was cut and my patella was moved and reattached using three screws. Number 6 four and half years later it started hurting again which prompted a scope to remove scar tissue etc. Number 7 was a partial knee replacement with the hope that this would correct however within 6 months I had my first TKR ( all of this on my left knee ) I ended up going to a different Dr. after finding out I was eligible for VA benefits. I truly believe I did not do what was required to get my knee to heal properly anyway after about 18months the VA scoped my knee #9 for yet again alot of scar tissue. My knee has never been right since the first TKR and the pain just would not go away. I was sent to see another Dr at another hospital who after examing me felt that a knee revision would correct my problem, He said that the vertical alignment was fine but my knee joint was too loose plus it was internally rotated. Going back to the VA the surgeon there did not bother to look at the other Dr.s notes and examined my knee for about 30 seconds said there was nothing wrong with my knee and it would be something I have to live with. I asked him who made him GOD. Well anyway #10 was on May 19th and needless to say I will be dammed if I ever go back to the VA for my knee again. Now I weigh around 270 so weight is not the issue that part was done 2002 with a WLS another long story.
I don't know what happened to my post, but it went bye bye as I was typing..anyway, what is WLS if you don't mind my asking ?
What I said in the other post was that it
s no wonder your knee is like it is after all it's been through. I am gllad that you were able to lose the weight.That has to help..keep up the good work.
Thanks for the tip about the cooling stuff for the knee. I'll have to try it.
[QUOTE=alohadebk;4298562]Mine feels just like you describe! Tight, swollen & like thers's this big, heavy thing inside me. I am starting to adjust to it I guess, (new normal? Hope not!). For me it's more noticeable in evenings before bed & first thing in morning when I arise. Feels like there's a 10 lb cement block where my knee shoukd be. Hearing you & a few others describe similar feelings at least makes me feel like I'm not crazy!
Clunk, clunk!!

Debbie[/QUOTE]

I too feel the same way when I hear from others about their misery so I know I'm not the only one. This support group really helps me know that I can vent and rant and rave and everyone understands, I hope. My family certainly does not. I try not to even mention anything to them as they think that by now I am spending too much time thinking about my knee and not getting out there and doing more. Well, darn, I would sure like to be able to be in the yard clearing out the weeds in the tomato patch and doing the baking I have always done for everyone. But it is just not possible for me to climb into that garden and weed, etc. And standing for so long to bake is impossible along with the Sciatica and the knee pain. And now I have a tooth that I know needs extracting. What a complainer I am. I hope I don't bore all of you. If so, just give me a kick in the you-know-what and tell me to shut up.
I spent all day yesterday going to a birthday lunch and then later visiting my brother-in-law in a nursing home. I was gone from 10 AM until 5 PM and had been up since 4:30 AM. My entire leg was so swollen I had to elevate it with ice on the knee and fell asleep after reading one page in my book.
I don't remember how long I used the walker. My mind is a blank. I know I found using the cane difficult at first, but now I am an expert. As far along as I am I still keep the cane in the car in case I should need it. Two days this past week I did some walking and standing - more than usual and did not use the cane. Really hate it, but I think that is why both times by the end of the day I have had so much swelling in my ankle and lower leg. Could that be possible after so many months?
Trying to shop using the cane, carrying a purse and packages is not easy.
[QUOTE=jerseyboy;4303741]If I were you Barb, I would get back into bed and elevate and ice NOW. If your leg is so swollen that you can't put a shoe on, you don't need to be up walking around.[/QUOTE]

I have things to do and places to go so getting into bed is not an option. I go around bare foot in the house. I never get into bed, but spend time keeping my couch from jumping up. That way I am near the phone, my books, TV and a great place to nap. Can't nap in bed.
It's better this morning, not 100%, but better. The temp now is in the high 80s with about 85% humidity. And it is only 9 AM. When I got in my car yesterday after it sat outside for a few hours the temp was 108 degrees and by the time I got home - only seven miles it had cooled down to 95 degrees.
Seems I was just complaining about the ice and snow.
Does this pain ever go away???
I'm right here with you guys on the pain. Holy crap! I spent the entire day in bed until I was so tired of laying down I had to get up. So, here I am. I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor tomorrow, I'm not sure what if anything he will say. This morning I went on the bike for 15 minutes, most of the time 3/4 way around back and forth, finally got 100% around thought my knee was going to explode. After that I went on the bed and did the leg hang for 5 minutes only, that's all I could stand. Then bed and ice the rest of the day.

Barb, please do anything you have to to stay cool. It's not even that hot down here in Florida. Norm, hang in there, this too shall pass!

Really hugh difference between right and left!
[QUOTE=NFenske;4305499]I thought I was the only one who sometimes neglected their exercises. It seems the more humid and heat the more pain and discomfort. I called the nurse today about my knee, I am worried that when I see the Dr. the 26th. I will not have progressed fast enough. The fact I still need a cane can only walk so far I get wore out pretty quick etc. is really driving me nuts. Then I received a letter from Social Security denying my claim for disability ( I am going to appeal ) I swear I feel like I am heading in a downward spiral.[/QUOTE]

Norm, I got disability back in "99 because of my back. By that time I'd had 4 back surgeries, complications from the first that caused me to have a second 3 weeks later. Spinal fluid leak ( messy) and scary. Then 2 more a few years down the line. Each time I went back to work , but after the spinal fusion in '95 my back had just had it. I tried to work, but the pain from working was just too hard and I was not able to focus while taking pain meds. It took me getting an attorney to get my SSD. I was denied 3 times and then we asked for a hearing at some point and that was when I was awarded full disability. They always deny you the first few times and then tell you that you can have a hearing with the judge. Guess they're counting on many giving up and some do by that time. Don't know how I would have gotten by without it. Anyway, don't give up...
Take care, connie
I am only 4 weeks out. I agree it is more painful than childbirth. I can tell you that by the end of the day my knee is red and hot. Resting on and off all day and iceing when ever I can does help but it gets old after awhile. I am not able to get the 90 degree bend. I can lift my leg, but they had to take my knee cap and I'm pretty sure that is making things harder.
Without trying to sound too negative towards others I am sure some TKRS are the best thing since sliced bread. I truly believe some people do extremely well post op and as time goes on within a few months they are doing great. I am by no means the expert on knees but after 10 surgeries total on my left knee 2 of which are TKRS there is no way it will ever be normal again. There is always going to be some level of pain ( hopefully minimal ) including some swelling and I have gotten to accept this. As of now the pain stinks my walking is very slow activity is next to nothing. I have been in constant pain all weekend I just do not know anymore.
[QUOTE=lionsm13;4309408]He may be doing well at 4 weeks, but he is still in "very early recovery" and has a long way to go. I think that recovery varies with all of us.

I did not really start to get the swelling that I have now until week 10 or 11, which is what really spooked me.

I tried to explain this to my PT's, both of them, and they say [B]over and over [/B]that it is typical as does my OS.

It seems odd to me, but it is what it is...

Our bodies can only heal as fast they can...[/QUOTE]

L, Is it ppossible that you are over doing it ? I never know anymore. I can walk just a short distance and wam ! My knee swells like it did weeks ago and gets very reddish purple ? I don't remember, but does yours change colors ? Have you been back to the Dr. recently ? It seems as though the surgeons don't want to spend much time with you after they;ve done their thing.

I read somewhere about a man who was having terrible problems with pain, swelling, etc. His Dr. asked if he was still doing extension exercizes and when he said yes , he told him not to do that anymore. His knee got much better after that. I think lots of this is trial and error...

Hang in there ! Connie
[QUOTE=wanttobebetter;4308492]I am only 4 weeks out. I agree it is more painful than childbirth. I can tell you that by the end of the day my knee is red and hot. Resting on and off all day and iceing when ever I can does help but it gets old after awhile. I am not able to get the 90 degree bend. I can lift my leg, but they had to take my knee cap and I'm pretty sure that is making things harder.[/QUOTE]

Hi W, I like have had almost constant swelling and redness since my surgery. I am now 12 weeks out. I am very disappointed that I'm not further along by now. I try not to compare , but it's hard not to at times. I am going to stop my extensions for a bit and see if that makes a difference. At 4 weeks out though I did exactly what the PT's said and I believe they helpedme a great deal.
I hope that you improve and take care !
Connie
[QUOTE=Connie620;4309603]Hi W, I like have had almost constant swelling and redness since my surgery. I am now 12 weeks out. I am very disappointed that I'm not further along by now. I try not to compare , but it's hard not to at times. I am going to stop my extensions for a bit and see if that makes a difference. At 4 weeks out though I did exactly what the PT's said and I believe they helpedme a great deal.
I hope that you improve and take care !
Connie[/QUOTE]

Do any of you believe the weather has anything to do with the pain or swelling? I have heard that it does, but wonder.......
I had my surgery in November - a long time ago. I still have pain every day and yesterday it rained all day and I could barely move. I had that fall last month right on the knee, but the X-ray showed no damage. Then last week we had so much heat and humidity my ankle and lower leg blew up and looked like an elephant's leg. My Internist said to take two water pills for three days and I think that helped somewhat. Now I'm taking one a day to see if that will get it back to normal. No swelling on the knee ever. But I don't think I should be having this pain after such a long time and the doc says everything looks good. Well, not to me it doesn't feel good and it is so depressing after all of this time not to be able to do the things I would like.
The incision does not look bad, but it sure feels bad inside and outside.
Even in this heat I have been wearing the compression hose because I think I find a bit of support with them on. Will it ever end?
[QUOTE=lionsm13;4309740]Connie; one thing I know is that when ever I start to feel better, the more I do...and then I usually pay for it as you do... LOLOL!! So it seems it is a vicisous circle with these TKR's.[/QUOTE]

That's how I feel ..A vicious cycle. I always have to lie down and rest after I do an activity. You play-you pay ! lol





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