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Old 11-29-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Leg swelling following TKR

Has anyone had trouble with their lower leg swell after a TKR? My surgery was on Sept. 21 and periodically it seems not just my knee swells, but all the way down to my foot. It does seem to be after riding in the car or being on my feet for a longer period of time. I expected my knee to swell, but not the leg too.

 
Old 11-29-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

Hi, yes, my lower leg and ankle does swell also. I had mine done about three weeks after you, but it has swollen off and on since surgery. Ususally it is when I haven't put it up on pillows and have been on it all day. I just flew also and I kept my foot and leg moving but I did swell a little. I put it up on pillows for the night and it is usually better the next day.

 
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:50 PM   #3
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

Hi I had my surgery in March and I too also have problems with my leg swelling. I find I need to elevate my leg lots to help with this. It has been aggravated with my developing bursitis 3 months after the surgery that I have an ongoing problem with. I find I have to be careful not to do too much in one day, and am trying to listen to my leg telling me when to sit down and rest - not something I am good at.

Last edited by fantail; 11-29-2009 at 07:51 PM.

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

LOL! I think you have lots of company! My knee was done on Sept 24, and after an initial leg swelling, about twice the size of normal, it all went down --- except for the knee area.

BUT- my leg still swells each day. In the morning, before getting out of bed, it seems almost normal, but is probably due to lying down. After getting up, gravity takes over and by the end of the day, the lower leg is more swollen than the other.

I wonder if the lymphatic system is affected by the surgery? I guess I could wear an elastic stocking now, as I did earlier, but it is too much fuss. I do sit with my leg elevated alot -- or whenever I can.

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

How long did it take for your leg to go down? I am still battling swelling from ankle to thigh, although not as bad as the knee itself. I went to PT today and they put a pretty snug wrap on me from foot to thigh that I have to leave on for two days, if I can stand it. It isn't really painful, just uncomfortable. We are hoping that this will help to squeeze the fluid out.
I find too that in the morning I am the best, then the darn thing tightens up over the course of the day and feels stiff. I love keeping it elevated. That is where I am happiest but I find that my household duties don't get done very well when I am elevating.

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:31 PM   #6
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

I would say that the gross swelling I had in the hospital, lasted at least a month. It went down gradually. I used foot to thigh elastic stockings, but it just gave support, and didn't squeeze out the edema that much.

After they took out the drain for the excessive post-op bleeding, I still had residual bleeding in the leg and that gave me a massive 'bruise' look that was also painful to touch. It finally absorbed and that sort of pain went away.The actual leg swelling was uncomfortable, but not painful.

Sounds like they are looking out for you at PT.

 
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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Re: Leg swelling following TKR

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJules40 View Post
Has anyone had trouble with their lower leg swell after a TKR? My surgery was on Sept. 21 and periodically it seems not just my knee swells, but all the way down to my foot. It does seem to be after riding in the car or being on my feet for a longer period of time. I expected my knee to swell, but not the leg too.
My surgery was early in August so I'm 4 months post op. It's a good idea to write these questions down and when you have your follow-up check-ups with your surgeon, tell him about them. I've also had increased pain in my knee since my professional PT ended. I do my exercises daily, but some days I also noticed swelling and soreness in the tissue.

On my 4 month check-up with the surgeon yesterday we had a long talk. I was happy that he was able to get 115 range of motion from the knee (Thank God for the encombant (msp) bike I found at a rummage sale. Several 10 minute sessions a day on the bike keeps that scar tissue from forming. I showed him the exercises I was doing and he told me the ones that would help...and which ones to throw out.

I also told him how discouraged I was because of this roller coaster "now I'm doing better...now I'm not" routine. He told me for the first year, that's the way it can be and to just "keep pushing it." My surgeon has a great sense of humor, but he is very candid and I can trust him to tell me the truth.

This is not like most surgery. It is not only "elective" - but more difficult because much of the recovery depends not on the passage of time after surgery....but it's up to the patient to be disciplined and do the PT and try to keep sane with all the pain. That's a lot of responsibility and if you don't surge ahead...a patient can feel like they are failing. I spent at least the first 4 week on crying binges.

Again - sit down with your surgeon and if he's worth his salt, he'll tell you what you need to know and if you're scared or depressed...tell him that, too. If you continue to feel worse...ask for a copy of the surgical report (you have that right) and when you read what they had to do to your bones to insert that new joint, you'll understand why recovery could be long and tedious.

Last edited by NewMe101; 12-10-2009 at 05:48 AM.

 
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