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Old 05-16-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
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Knee replacement challenges six months post

I am still having difficulty six months post TKR. Mostly stiffness and soreness in my muscles and IT bands and Periformus area. My walking too is still not too good. I did have to go back for a manipulation 5 weeks post surgery in December because of scarring and lack of ROM.

I over trained a bit 2 weeks ago and it seems to have set off burning/excessive soreness in my muscles and upper IT bands. Still though, I thought i would be near 100% by now.

I am also told by an athletic trainer that my muscles are too weak and need strengthening in the surgical let

Anyone have any tips or suggestions?

thank you

 
Old 05-17-2010, 07:02 AM   #2
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I, too, am at six months and can't believe I still have pain, stiffness and burning on the incision. I see my doc next week and will ask him some questions, but so far I have found more answers from my PT than the doc. And this particular doc is so well known and thought of in my city they all say he is the best. I don't need him to hold my hand, but I call him Doctor Personality.
I'm about done with my out patient PT as I have reached my Medicare cap and I don't think they will budge. So I'm pretty much on my own as far as exercise, treadmill and using an encumbent bike. If it would warm up here I may try doing the exercises in the pool. They have classes at the gym I joined, but they are too aerobic for me at this point. All therapy classes are so far from me I know I would not attend. This place is 3 to 4 minutes from my garage to the front door of the gym so it is very easy for me to go. I have been told it can take up to a year for some of us to get over this and I think I am one of them. And yet there are those that manage to get out on the golf course in a few months. I am jealous of them.
I can't plant either - if you can't get down on your knees and muck in the mud how do you plant flowers and tomatoes? It's been so cold and rainy nothing will grow now anyway.
Hoping you are all not as down and depressed as I am.

 
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Dear Barb:
Woud it work to plant some flowers, and especially tomatoes, in large containers that would enable you to reach down to plant them? Just a thought. Years ago I grew tomatoes in my garden and sure miss not being able to do that any more because I now live in an apartment. The same goes for flowers. I do have a balcony but also have a cat that loves to climb and I can't risk her falling off when the balcony doors are open - it is 6 floors down! So I have one lonely African violet in the window. Better than nothing.

There are also those new-fangled tomatoes that grow upside down hanging from something. I don't know how well they work but that is also a thought.

I hope that you will be feeling more cheery now that the summer is almost here.

Shirley H.

 
Old 05-17-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I'm glad I read this post since no one answered the ones I wrote. Sorry and I don't mean this bad...but glad I'm not the only one not hop, skiping and jumpin. I'm at almost 9 months and still have "those days" and miss getting on my hands and knees in the dirt!

 
Old 05-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I guess I don't respond (sorry to all) but when I had my TKR's, my ortho told me in advance that it would be a year before I felt somewhat back to normal physically and the complete healing of knees would take 2 years. So my expectations at 6 months was that I was glad to be walking and wondering what it would be like in another 18 months.

I guess maybe too many docs don't tell you the complete truth because too many people would get discouraged. It takes muscles at least 8 months to heal and tendons and ligaments can take up to a year. When I had my knees done 11 years ago, the average range of motion for TKR's at one year post op was 105*....not too good compared to what they are now.

I actually was talking about this with my neurosurgeon last year, 2+ years after a 6 vertebrae fusion and we talked about the reality that major orthopedic surgery like my neck or TKR's take a good 2 years to fully recover and I asked him why he hadn't told me to expect that. He said that he didn't want me to be discouraged with the slow rate of recovery. I told him I'd rather know the truth than think something was wrong or that I wasn't doing hard enough work to recover. I was used to 2 years after the knees so 2 years for the neck was what I expected and I wish he had told me. In reality, it's taken 3 years.

So I'd say to everyone....give it time. Give it at least 1 full year. I had swelling for a full year after mine. Didn't really feel like they were part of me for 2 years. But by 18 months, I could walk 3-4 miles with minimal pain and 5 miles by 2 years.

Be patient but keep working them.

That's the best 2 cents I can throw in.

Jenny

 
Old 05-18-2010, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post reply

thank you all who replied. Jenny you gave me same advice as my Orthopedist, thank you

I guess as a 53 year old very fit male, I thought I'd be much further along.

I keep meeting people who are playing tennis, hiking etc after just 4 months.

I will keep working at it and trying to keep the faith,

Many thanks again

dds

 
Old 05-19-2010, 07:58 AM   #7
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

It was nice to hear from so many of you having the same problems I am having. I guess misery loves company. Now I don't feel so geeky and like a wimp. I am on my own now as I've been dismissed from out patient therapy and will miss it. But Medicare will only carry one so far.

I did finally get a young man to clear out my tomato bed (not as good as I'd like), but better than nothing and he planted for me with my directions. I also bought a few plants and was able to stand at my patio table and plant some small pots at least to give me some color when I look outside. I'll try to do a little each day or so.

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Hi Barb70:

I am happy for you that you decided to have someone else put in your garden. I think that watching things grow is good for the spirit and that will aid in your recovery and rehab.

Shirley H.

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Old 05-31-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Quote:
Originally Posted by barb70 View Post
I, too, am at six months and can't believe I still have pain, stiffness and burning on the incision. I see my doc next week and will ask him some questions, but so far I have found more answers from my PT than the doc. And this particular doc is so well known and thought of in my city they all say he is the best. I don't need him to hold my hand, but I call him Doctor Personality.
I'm about done with my out patient PT as I have reached my Medicare cap and I don't think they will budge. So I'm pretty much on my own as far as exercise, treadmill and using an encumbent bike. If it would warm up here I may try doing the exercises in the pool. They have classes at the gym I joined, but they are too aerobic for me at this point. All therapy classes are so far from me I know I would not attend. This place is 3 to 4 minutes from my garage to the front door of the gym so it is very easy for me to go. I have been told it can take up to a year for some of us to get over this and I think I am one of them. And yet there are those that manage to get out on the golf course in a few months. I am jealous of them.
I can't plant either - if you can't get down on your knees and muck in the mud how do you plant flowers and tomatoes? It's been so cold and rainy nothing will grow now anyway.
Hoping you are all not as down and depressed as I am.
Jenny, I am at 7 months and gardening is my passion, and probably one of the reasons for my knee replacment. You get to the point that you can bend your knees enough to bend over and plant your tomato plants and using the hoe for balance is a great help. I have found that in the larger garden my son in law tilled up for me, I need to be very careful not to trip on the uneven soil, as my balance is still not all that good.
I have to say, I bought into the by six months you will be recovered. If this is recovery, blech. However its SO MUCH better than before.

 
Old 06-06-2010, 08:30 AM   #10
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I grow tomatos here also. For the last couple years I have these grow boxes that sit 2 feet off the ground, so everything is at waist height. I hope, one day, to be able to get on my knees again

Maybe after a year, right Jenny Actually my doc did tell me that. I also think we tend to feel we should be further along than we are sometimes. I know I do!
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I'll make this short and sweet... lol

I had my knee replaced Oct. 15th, 2009 so I'm coming up on my 8th mos. of recovery.

I had ACL surgery back in 1995 major rehab and I did great but as the years went by my old leg just started giving me problems. When they did my final check up on my ACL I was told 10 to 15 years down the road I would more than likely need a TKR.. well they were right.

In between this time all the issues with this leg made my muscles in the injured leg almost worthless.. no quad strength.. no strength inside the actual knee.. I over the years tended to lock my knees (the PT says it gives you a sense of security) but it's horrible on the joints.

So here I am at 8 mos. post and still doing rehab.. but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I no longer.. well try not to lock my knees any longer and most of my exercises now are to strengthen those muscles and tendons inside the knee. My quads are getting stronger too. The PT says if you had major trauma to you leg for a long period of time prior to the TKR you are going to require a longer recovery period.

I think I have completely recovered from the TKR... so much better than I was prior.. it's just strengthening now... Have full extension and a easy flex of 128 last time he measured.

Still not great at walking long distances for long periods of time but that again is explained by the PT for the work we are doing on strengthening those inner muscles of the knee.. so.. I'll just keep plugging along.

Everyone is different... and recovers at a different pace... so guess we all just need to be patient.


So much for short and sweet...

 
Old 06-06-2010, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinojen View Post
...Everyone is different... and recovers at a different pace... so guess we all just need to be patient...
All - can't express enough how much your input, acceptance, graciousness, and, yes, love has helped me in my process. I'm pre-surgical, but I've learned so much, and am so blessed and grateful I have a plan and am executing it. This is not something you enter into lightly.

For you gardeners (I'm not, but love tomatoes), those hanging tomatoes sound like the ticket. I see them all over town just bloomin' away. I'm tempted to steal some fruit! ;-D And JB's suggestion to have a raised box is also another solution. There's even some green movement afront to planting victory gardens in elevated boxes. Check it out.

And whose doctor "didn't want to discourage them" and lied to them about recovery time???!!! I want slap that doc silly! Tell me the truth, you wingnut! All that to say, we are our own best advocate. Just because the doctor says something, if it doesn't sit well with you, get another opinion. When I visited my ortho doc, I had a bevy of questions and I made her answer them until I was satisfied. I even made her show me all the prosthestics. I'm sure she was glad to see me go! lol And when I finally have a surgery date, if I'm not comfortable with the procedure as she does it, I will go to another doctor. Bret Favre just had some ortho surgery here by a very well-known doc. I'll see him! You can be polite but FIRM about your body and what's done to it.

Lastly, every knee is different, every recovery is different. And although we are fearfully and wondoursly made, the game of comparison is a futile effort.

Be encouraged --
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:34 PM   #13
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Talking about pain, all I want it to do is STOP!
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:38 PM   #14
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Smile Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

I agree with all the other posts. Every knee is different and we all recover at varying speeds.

I was 54 and in great shape when I got this operation. Yet I needed the manipulation and people who were much older and more frail seemed to heal more quickly than I did.

I am now 10 months out and continue to build strength and get more flexion. If I am not diligent about exercising the knee does get stiff...which isn't such a bad thing after all.

Keep a vision of the great life you will have when you are fully rehabbed. This operation truly can transform your life in a very wonderful way.

Last edited by Cal08; 06-12-2010 at 02:49 PM.

 
Old 06-12-2010, 07:20 AM   #15
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Re: Knee replacement challenges six months post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal08 View Post
I agree with all the other posts. Every knee is different and we all recover at varying speeds.

I was 54 and in great shape when I got this operation. Yet I needed the manipulation and people who were much older and more frail seemed to heal more quickly than I did.

I am now 10 months out and continue to build strength and get more flexion. If I am not diligent about exercising the knee does get stiff...which isn't such a bad thing after all.

Keep a vision of the great life you will have when you are fully rehabbed. This operation truly can transform you life in a very wonderful way.
Hi Cal - I am also 54, and stayed on pain meds a long time (can't take NSAIDS, so used Percocet then Norco) When I questioned my Doc about my pain (otherwise I was doing great) she said that often her younger patients (isn't it great to be considered young again?) have more pain for longer because our nerves are still firing at full speed, they feel the pain more while they and the muscles heal.
I see improvement everyday. Just got back from a 45 min bike ride (could have gone longer on the knee but it's hot in FL), which I could never have done 5 months ago!
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