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Old 06-10-2009, 02:54 AM   #61
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Good luck Phil keep working on getting that movement - the pain is worth the results! I am really pleased because have just had the go ahead to get back on my exercise bike - no resistance for only 5 mins at a time, but feel that's moving forward again. Since developing the bursitis I have been very despondent, but things are starting to settle down and I'm now hoping to get back to work over the next couple of weeks. Am finding myself doing things I haven't been able to do since my accident, like sitting down on a set of steps when out with my husband in the weekend and then getting up again without assistance and I felt like cheering with joy. What a wonderful change is happening to my life as I find I am no longer living with a disability that was impacting o the quality of my life to a level I just hadn't realised!

 
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:59 PM   #62
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

My TKR was 3 weeks ago. I still have only 65 degree bend. Has anyone else had as slow a start? I am getting very concerned.

I am working my knee as hard and as often as I can throughout the day. Physio is only once a week; I had expected 3x a week, so that is concerning me as well.

Any encouragement or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:09 AM   #63
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Thumbs up Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

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.

 
Old 06-11-2009, 09:49 AM   #64
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

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?

 
Old 06-12-2009, 12:07 AM   #65
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Don't know. Still in a lot 7 weeks out.

 
Old 06-12-2009, 05:17 PM   #66
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

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.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #67
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I too feel like my recovery is slow,I am 9 weeks out with 114degree bend. I am back to work just 4 hours a day and feel like that is my max! My Dr and PT tell me I am doing great so I guess it is just my personality. I do see improvement every week though. Last week at my check up the PA told me that people say at 3-4 months post surgery it is like a switch goes off and the pain is gone and you start feeling normal but everyone says for complete recovery to expect 12-14 months.

 
Old 06-21-2009, 08:42 PM   #68
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Right knee... TKR on Feb. 2, 2009. I pretty much lost the first month of PT, due to pain. Medial aspect of knee was painful to the touch. I couldn't sleep in bed, couldn't find a position that didn't result in pain. Thankfully, I had a recliner in the living room in which I could spend both days and nights on my back. I used the ice water pump as often as possible to reduce swelling. I found that if I placed a thin, wet dish towel over the knee, then placed the water pad on that, and wrapped it all with an elastic bandage, it worked much better than the ice pads at therapy. At least an hour of icing per sitting worked best. Of course my quads shrank even more than they were prior to surgery. The pain of the OA for the last few years kept me from maintaining leg strength, especially in the right leg. I have been thinking that I have been lagging behind many TKR patients, but things have been going really well, lately. I was only 100/10 degrees at 6 weeks PO, and 116º at 12 weeks. Then, the flexion started to loosen up. I was able to achieve 1º to 1.5º improvement at every PT session. I finally hit 130º on June 18, 2009, 4 1/2 months PO, and extension is somewhere between 0-5º. Surgeon told me at the 4 month checkup that anywhere between 0-5º was excellent. He said my progress was "phenomenal". (Of course he may have been pulling my leg. Pardon the pun.) I can go up stairs unaided, but still don't trust either knee, so use a handrail going down. A year ago I had to use a two-wheeled cart to carry my chain saws to and from downed trees. At two months PO I was carrying my biggest saw in my right, walking without pain inside the joint. Following surgery, the doctor stopped in recovery and confirmed that the joint was bone on bone. I have found that the Nustep machine at therapy has been particularly helpful, much more so than the stationary bike. At home I have used a towel around the ankle to pull on the lower leg, as an aid to increase flex. I have found that improvement has come much better when using a physical component, as a goal of stretching, rather than just the stretching at therapy. When stretching without a goal, pain always got in the way. Best of luck (and surgeons) to all.

 
Old 06-23-2009, 07:36 AM   #69
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

The orthopedic community used to have patients put off TKR as long as possible but, recently, the philosophy has changed because they found the results were better if the patient's muscles had not deteriorated. I was lucky because even though walking was not really possible, my OA did not stop me from riding my bicycle. In fact, 2 days before the surgery I completed a 67 mile organized ride. My legs were in the best shape possible which is why my recovery has been relatively swift. I agree with your doctor, considering your condition before the surgery you are doing phenomenally well.

 
Old 06-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #70
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

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.

 
Old 06-24-2009, 11:12 PM   #71
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I would agree about the importance of having your quad muscles in good condition before surgery. When I found the only answer to my knee problems was a replacement my PT started me doing static exercises, many of the same ones I had to do post op. I am sure that this is part of why I have achieved so much movement post op. I have found that the muscle tone is much better post op as I am able to do so much more than previously and continues to improve. My swelling is starting to reduce from my bursitis and I managed to go for an extended walk yesterday, was so satisfying! Every week I discover more that I can now do with ease - such a great feeling that all the pain has been worth it.

 
Old 06-25-2009, 04:54 AM   #72
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I have always worked out and six months prior to bi-lateral TKR I intensified my workouts and bike riding. I was in good shape before surgery and my quads were solid. Today, June 25th is the one year anniversary of my surgery and I still have two sore legs.

 
Old 06-25-2009, 06:48 AM   #73
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I was told that there was a possibility of a bad result no matter what I or the doctor did. It worried me to no end. It is worrisome to have two sore knees a year after surgery. Has your surgeon given you any explanation as to why you might still be having pain? Are you having a bad reaction to some of the prosthesis components? If your surgeon has no good answer, get a second opinion.

 
Old 06-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #74
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Was physically prepared for surgery. Selected a surgeon with lots of experience and excellent reputation and the hospital was rated number one in orthopedic surgery for the state of Pennsylvania. I had six hours of surgery with left knee more difficult because bone was worn down. The surgery hammered me! Pain was beyond anything I can adequately describe and I hallucinated on all pain meds. Along not sleeping for three weeks, I lost 20 pounds. Initial rehab was torturous. I worked very hard throughout rehab but after one year, I still have two sore knees
My selection for OS was obviously not a good one. Not sure about 2nd opinion. Do not want to make the same mistake, twice. Also, this whole thing has been very hard on me, and right now I am uncertain if I can go down that road, again

 
Old 06-26-2009, 07:53 PM   #75
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Hello. This is my first time posting. I'm 47 years old and scheduled to have my left knee replaced on July 15th. I was first diagnosed with knee arthritis at the age of 32, and at this point, I'm down to bone on bone and loaded with bone spurs. My biggest concern is around range of motion. It's been years since I could bend my knee all the way, and it seems that over the past couple of months it has become even stiffer. I can't go down stairs with alternating steps anymore because of it. Am I expected to regain any of the range of motion post-surgery? I sure hope so.

 
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