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Old 06-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #76
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Greetings, eriu40,
I think you will be amazed at the increased range of motion, following your surgery, but it will take time. As I posted, previously, I thought my recovery was slow, as did the therapists. But, the surgeon's schedule for expected range of motion was much more conservative. As it turned out, the surgeon was correct. The surgeon's goal for me was 90º at 3 months, even though I achieved 90º three days after surgery. I received my new knee on 2/2/09, and hit 133º flexion on 6/25/09. I can easily go up stairs, unaided, foot over foot, but am rather tentative going down, due to the pain from OA in my other knee. Best wishes... and please post back with any questions.

 
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:13 PM   #77
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Hi eriu40
I too could only get down stairs one step at a time but could walk up and down quite soon after surgery (have 28 steps from front door to my bedroom!) and now find that I can do it very easily. I have a full range of movement in my new knee (155 degrees and 0) and after three months am very pleased I went through with it. I still have pain, although it is more discomfort these days compared with the early stages, but find I am able to do things I have been able to do for years with ease and realising just how much I was avoiding activities because they were too hard. The important thing, I feel, is to do the therapy as it gets easier every day. Good Luck!

Last edited by fantail; 06-27-2009 at 10:14 PM.

 
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:30 PM   #78
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I had my surgery April 6 of this year and I already have more range of motion than I had before the replacement. My right knee that has not been replaced actually limits me more now than my knee with the prosthesis.

My physical therapist told me that the only thing limiting me from getting a full bend in my knee was me. She said that my surgeon had bent my knee in the full range in the operating room. He had to to test the tracking. There are no more bone spurs so it all depends on how much I want to work to stretch the tendons and muscles. She did say it would be a slow process but to keep at it.

Good luck.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 07:17 PM   #79
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

155°! I'll have me some of that! Can I ask you what your range of motion was before the surgery? Right now, I'm at about 100-110°. I'd really like to get some ROM back. I've not been able to bend my left knee all the way for years now. I went to physical therapy for it back in 2004. I hope the length of time I've been dealing with this doesn't limit me in regaining range of motion.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 07:19 PM   #80
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Thanks, Katy. I'm going to have to ask my surgeon what he gets for ROM in the operating room so I'll have a goal to work toward. The advice you guys have is awesome!

 
Old 06-29-2009, 07:24 PM   #81
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Thank you, newtail. It does me good to read everyone's postings on here, so that if things don't go as quickly as I'd like, I can remind myself that this is normal. When I had my knee scope done two years ago, I was in a panic when I still had knee pain two weeks later!

I am a nurse anesthetist who does the anesthesia for these types of procedures every day (did a TKR today). It's so strange to be on the other side of the health care equation. Yikes. I realized today that deep down, I just don't believe that I will ever be without pain again. Did anyone else feel that way pre-op, and are you glad (or not) that you finally had the operation? How about folks who are still in their 40s? How was the recovery for you? How has your quality of life improved? Thanks.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 10:34 PM   #82
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I am a 57 year old women who has had three TKR, yes three, one was a revision because the original failed after only 6 months. Most important thing to remember is every knee is different except that they all take longer than we like to heal. I had been walking up and down the steps, the baby way as I used to call it, for about 7 years and most of the time had to come down the stairs backwards. I can now go up like a normal adult and am getting better at going down. I think it is mostly my fear of falling since that was a normal mode of how I usually got downstairs (not the way I wanted it for sure). Range of motion usually will be good enough to do most things you couldn't do before surgery, it just takes a lot of work, time and patience. As for pain, that depends on how bad things were. I still have ocassional pain and my surgeon has to keep reminding me that TKR does not make your knee brand new, it just makes it a whole lot better. It is not always possible to cut out all the arthritis but it is SO much better than before the TKR that it is worth it. Yes even my third knee was worth it as most days I feel like a million bucks compared to how bad it was before surgery. Will I run a marathon, no but that's okay because I can walk and live life pretty much normal, I just have to remember that my knees are still like they were when I was younger and pace myself accordingly. Would I do it again, you bet I would and I would have done it a lot sooner as the stronger your muscles and your joint, the faster your recovery. You will still get to the same place it is just a matter of how long it takes. Each month will be better and then one day you just hop out of bed and think "wow, I feel great, just like a normal person". Give yourself a full year before you get to 100% of what you can get to. Don't worry about the measurement of the range, worry about what you can and can not do (walking, steps, driving, sitting, getting up off the floor). Good luck to all.

 
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:57 AM   #83
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eriu40 View Post
Thank you, newtail. It does me good to read everyone's postings on here, so that if things don't go as quickly as I'd like, I can remind myself that this is normal. When I had my knee scope done two years ago, I was in a panic when I still had knee pain two weeks later!

I am a nurse anesthetist who does the anesthesia for these types of procedures every day (did a TKR today). It's so strange to be on the other side of the health care equation. Yikes. I realized today that deep down, I just don't believe that I will ever be without pain again. Did anyone else feel that way pre-op, and are you glad (or not) that you finally had the operation? How about folks who are still in their 40s? How was the recovery for you? How has your quality of life improved? Thanks.
Uriu40, I am 46 and had TKR on 2/20/09, it was the third surgery on my left knee with the first one at 31. Before the TKR, I was in constant pain to the point that at the end of every day I was limping badly. The surgery was classic textbook and recovery took longer than I thought it would initally. Most likely due to my own impatients. The therapists all said I was doing wonderful and ahead of the usual time frame. I am now at 4 months and 1 week. Last week I went camping and hiking, I did dutch oven cooking for a group of 35. I got tired and a little sore but did very well. I was surprised, each day I could feel a little more stregnth. Stairs are easy again and the good part is, is that there is no pain. I force myself to push myself by thinking "If it doesn't kill me it will make me stronger." I too did not think that I would ever be without pain again, and yet now I am. Good luck to you.

 
Old 07-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #84
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

When does the pain end? I am 9 weeks post op and still in pain. I am only at 90% flexion also. Can't seem to get the swelling down either.

 
Old 07-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #85
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

9 weeks. yes I was in pain too. I had my surgery(bi lateral) in November and at 9 weeks I had good flexibility able to do my physical therapy and get around but was still in pain and having ALOT of problems with pain medication. Definitely still needing it despite the side effects. Until 12 weeks I had significant pain, then it began to change. Its definitely a 3, 6, 9 then ultimately 12 month healing process. Dont get discouraged. Many people and even the doctors make it seem so easy but it is not. Keep doing therapy, it takes constant work. I gained good flexibility however the focus of my life was physical therapy--I did it daily for nearly the first 12 weeks. Very little noticable progress every day, but each day added up.
BTW Im now nearly 8 mos and Im just now having parts of days where I feel 'normal' and move fluidily, easily and with no pain.
Hang in there. Your right on track as far as my experience goes

 
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:25 AM   #86
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Thanks! Good to know it gets better at 12 weeks as I have to go back to work then. I keep working at PT, but progress is slow on flex. What are you using for pain. I am trying not to use Vicodin except at night, but that means I have to take two 650 mg Tylenol every 8 hours during the day plus 2 100 mg Celebrex. My doctor is OK with this. He prescribed my Oxidodin 10 mg if I wanted at night, but warned me that I could get addicted to it, so only gave me 14 tabs. Now I'm scared to take it!

 
Old 07-03-2009, 03:19 AM   #87
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Taberrose, thanks so much! I can't wait for the day when I can go hiking again! I was a huge hiker up until about three or so years ago. Now, I can barely make it from my car to my house, and I also limp pretty much all the time. Giving up hiking was probably the most difficult thing for me, and I miss it all the time.

I'll have to remind myself constantly that the recovery is more difficult and takes longer than a lot of people (including myself) might think, while remembering that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm scheduled to go back to work 8 weeks post-op. Does that sound reasonable to people? I'm a nurse anesthetist who spends a good amount of time sitting in a chair, although I do have to walk and push a stretcher from the OR to the recovery area in between cases. I could have someone else push the stretcher for me, if necessary, I think.

 
Old 07-03-2009, 03:23 AM   #88
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Thanks for that, IWillSurvive. I am so looking forward to my knee replacement on 7/15, but am a little afraid of the recovery! It's nice to hear how well someone is doing so far out.

 
Old 07-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #89
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Junebea, the pain and flexion issues could be from the swelling. Have you tried things like the ice machines that cool for a long as you want, I used to just sit and wear mine for hours at a time and while sleeping. Also a great trick my therapist taught me for the swelling was to use my TED compression hose, just cut the foot off at the lower calf and use it like a compression sleeve, it will give you compression from the mid calf to the thigh, that with elevation and ice can do wonders for swelling. I used to wear my sleeve for almost 4 months whenever I was on my feet, put it on before you even get up out of bed, only take it off to sleep overnight. Told my surgeon I was doing it and he loved the idea, best of all it worked and wearing it for PT and icing first I was able to get more flexion. Good luck.

 
Old 07-03-2009, 08:31 AM   #90
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Don't worry about the recovery, it will be hard and painful no doubt about it. But it is a different sort of pain, scary at first but then you realize that just standing on it doesn't hurt like it used to before the surgery. The pain is from all the trauma of the surgery iteself to your bone and muscle, so in some weird way I took comfort that the arthritis pain was mostly gone and it was just surgery pain I had which I knew would ultimately go away. The most exciting thing is when you can literally get up on the day of surgery and walk with a walker. Just hang on to that vision and most important do not be afraid to take pain meds. I was on so much pain meds before the surgery that the vicodan didn't do a thing for me. My doctor understood this and immediately put me on oxycontin, percocet, celebrex, lyrica and cough medicine, yes cough medicine somehow it makes the other drugs more effective. My doctor warned me about the addictive effects of oxycontin but I didn't get addicted and I started at 10mg twice a day and moved up to 30 mg twice a day along with 2 percocet every 4 hours. If you are in too much pain to do PT you won't progress. Just be aware of the addiction possibility and take it for the pain when you need to and slowly just back off on the days when you don't need it. I am not addicted and I sure had a ton of meds. Best of luck to you.

 
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