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Old 02-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #1
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TKR 3 weeks out

Hi there. I had a TKR on my right knee on Jan 17th and have been looking at some threads here to find out how my progress is coming along.

I go to a hospital once a week for therapy and do exercises here at home everyday and go out walking, weather permitting. I have been doing more stretching exercises now and I am still very, very sore. I can get my knee to 90 degrees but it is stiff and hurts. I can take some steps without a cane.

My big issue is sleeping. I know that most talk here revolves around recovery but not much about sleeping. I get about 2 hours sleep and then pain wakes me up out of a sound sleep. It then takes me hours to get back to sleep and another 2 hours goes by and I am woken up again.

I average out about 4 hours of sleep in total and even sleeping pills don't help much. Most of my pain is at night, my pain meds during the day works and I rather not take some in the middle of the night.

What I want to know is when do things get better in the sleep department? I am frustrated, slightly depresses with slow progress and no sleep. I've been snapping at my husband due to lack of sleep who, thankfully, takes it in his stride.

 
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Getting proper sleep is a common problem following surgery. I had to sleep in my recliner with ice packs on my knee for approx 6 weeks, the bed was impossible for me.
It will get better, I can now bend my new knee 135+ degrees. I now ski and play golf/walking more than I have in years. I am 2+ years post TKR.

Good luck,
Glenn

 
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash86 View Post
Hi there. I had a TKR on my right knee on Jan 17th and have been looking at some threads here to find out how my progress is coming along.

I go to a hospital once a week for therapy and do exercises here at home everyday and go out walking, weather permitting. I have been doing more stretching exercises now and I am still very, very sore. I can get my knee to 90 degrees but it is stiff and hurts. I can take some steps without a cane.

My big issue is sleeping. I know that most talk here revolves around recovery but not much about sleeping. I get about 2 hours sleep and then pain wakes me up out of a sound sleep. It then takes me hours to get back to sleep and another 2 hours goes by and I am woken up again.

I average out about 4 hours of sleep in total and even sleeping pills don't help much. Most of my pain is at night, my pain meds during the day works and I rather not take some in the middle of the night.

What I want to know is when do things get better in the sleep department? I am frustrated, slightly depresses with slow progress and no sleep. I've been snapping at my husband due to lack of sleep who, thankfully, takes it in his stride.
Dear Crash86etc.:

I have had two hip replacements and after each one had trouble sleeping at night. I watched a lot of classic movies when I couldn't sleep and also would get up and walk around, maybe have a snack, etc. All this was OK because I was living alone at the time and the cat wasn't bothered either.

If I were you, which I am not, I would choose the pain relief pills over the sleeping pills. I have never used sleep aids and never will. I would rather deal with insomnia in the ways I chose. Often pain will waken up and keep us awake. You are lucky to have an understanding husband.

Gradually as one gets further from the surgery, sleep becomes more normal but this will be different for each person. It seems classic for pain to be worse at night which might be caused by all the activity during the day. But then you are taking the pain meds during the day, too!

Probably most of us who have had joint replacement have gone through the poor sleeping stage but it does get better. Honest!
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Thank you both for your responses. I guess it's just something that will eventually get better like any other part of this recovery. I rather not take sleeping pills but I do use them as a last resort i.e. : no real sleep for 3 or more days.

This is a longer recovery period than I had been led to believe so I guess it will all work out in its own good time.

I wish I had found this board before the op but I have found some really useful comments here and how quickly others have recovered.

 
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash86 View Post
Thank you both for your responses. I guess it's just something that will eventually get better like any other part of this recovery. I rather not take sleeping pills but I do use them as a last resort i.e. : no real sleep for 3 or more days.

This is a longer recovery period than I had been led to believe so I guess it will all work out in its own good time.

I wish I had found this board before the op but I have found some really useful comments here and how quickly others have recovered.
Dear Crash86:
I think you are much too discouraged considering the short time that has passed since your knee replacement. My goodness - it isn't even a month yet! Knees are much more complicated than hips and it took a year before I felt like I was completely back to normal. I am not trying to be negative - just realistic. I think that a doctor who had been through a joint replacement himself or herself would not be so overly optimistic as your doctor seems to be! I think most nurses would be more realistic having worked with post surgery people more than most doctors do.

I do think that surgeons have to be very upbeat or maybe none of us would have the courage to go through joint replacement!

This board is the greatest for giving realistic expectations and encouragement because we all have gone through it and can give an honest picture of what to expect. Please keep us posted on how things are going. I think you will see improvements as you go along and each one will lift your spirits. Were you to keep a diary of your progress I think you would discover that as you go along things keep getting better. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest because we are so occupied with the trees.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:29 AM   #6
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

It did get me discouraged because when I asked my surgeon how long the recovery period was he told me 4-6 weeks. So I thought that it wouldn't be too bad. I didn't actually find out until after the operation from the nurses and therapists that it was more along the line of 3-6 months.

Tomorrow will make a month since my op and while I am walking my knee is still so very swollen it makes bending it very painful. I am also getting pain in my left knee from all the stress it's going through having to take up the slack from my right knee. I can walk short distances without a cane but need it for the first few steps that are always too stiff to do without it.

I know that I am expecting too much too soon but that has always been a problem of mine. I guess if I was a bit more informed from the start I might not feel as bad. That is my own fault for not looking into things like I should have.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:47 AM   #7
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash86 View Post
It did get me discouraged because when I asked my surgeon how long the recovery period was he told me 4-6 weeks. So I thought that it wouldn't be too bad. I didn't actually find out until after the operation from the nurses and therapists that it was more along the line of 3-6 months.

Tomorrow will make a month since my op and while I am walking my knee is still so very swollen it makes bending it very painful. I am also getting pain in my left knee from all the stress it's going through having to take up the slack from my right knee. I can walk short distances without a cane but need it for the first few steps that are always too stiff to do without it.

I know that I am expecting too much too soon but that has always been a problem of mine. I guess if I was a bit more informed from the start I might not feel as bad. That is my own fault for not looking into things like I should have.
Hi:
I think you are doing very well to be able to walk short distances with a cane and impressed too that you can walk a short distance without the cane, Good for you! But don't hesitate to use your cane! Whatever helps you progress without risking falls. Always listen to your body and don't overdo activity on days that you feel you need more rest. There is no set time to start walking with or without a cane.
I found the shopping carts at stores to be wonderful "canes". I always grabbed one as soon as I could after getting out of my car. Of course also had my cane along. I have heard others praise those shopping carts.
So give yourself a pat on the back for doing so well. I am impressed.

Ah, yes - those wonderful nurses are more attuned to the realities of rehab than are the surgeons. They are such good sources of advice I have found.
Please do all the work suggested by your PT people. Follow all their suggestions as long as they don't conflict with your surgeon's advice.
Please keep us posted on how things are going.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:25 AM   #8
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Thanks Silver Swan

My first therapy session was 9 days post op, I still had my staples in. The therapist had me on an exercise bike! When he got me up on it he said ' Be prepared to scream.' and scream I did lol. I thought it was a bit cruel to get my knee to 90 degrees that soon. I got through 3-4 very slow revolutions on the bike when the pain wasn't as intense to get me up to 6 revolutions.

Every time I see my therapist I call him evil, with a smile and sometimes a grimace on my face. I know they are there to help but it sure does hurt like mad!

I will be seeing my surgeon for the first time since my discharge on Tuesday. So lets hope he's happy with my progress.

Last edited by crash86; 02-13-2013 at 07:26 AM.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash86 View Post
Thanks Silver Swan

My first therapy session was 9 days post op, I still had my staples in. The therapist had me on an exercise bike! When he got me up on it he said ' Be prepared to scream.' and scream I did lol. I thought it was a bit cruel to get my knee to 90 degrees that soon. I got through 3-4 very slow revolutions on the bike when the pain wasn't as intense to get me up to 6 revolutions.

Every time I see my therapist I call him evil, with a smile and sometimes a grimace on my face. I know they are there to help but it sure does hurt like mad!

I will be seeing my surgeon for the first time since my discharge on Tuesday. So lets hope he's happy with my progress.
Hi crash86:
I have heard some refer to Physical Therapists as Physical Terrorists and ain't it the truth! But you know the hurt will make things better odd as that sounds. Do you take your pain pill/s previous to the session? That is what they did in the rehab place I was sent to by my health insurance plan. That helped a lot.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

For what it's worth on my 1st visit to outpatient PT my therapist introduced himself and said "if you are not crying when you are here I am not doing my job" nice ! It wasn't quite that bad but you get thru it and its all good after that....

Just stay the course and keep pushing, good luck.

Glenn

 
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:51 AM   #11
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

I have noticed that since I have started bending my knee more to 90 degrees my upper thigh hurts and pulls. I tried on a pair of jeans after a month of wearing sweatpants and have noticed that the whole of my right leg seems swollen. Is that normal for the whole top of the leg to get swollen? Has it happen to anyone else?

 
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

I had a right TKR (bone on bone arthritis) on Jan 21, 2013. I thought I was prepared and would be up walking the next day. Wrong! I suppose it was a comination of several things but I wasn't able to stand or do much for 10 days. I have very thick legs. The CPM machine didn't fit, so I didn't get the opportunity to use it. Everytime the PT ladies came to stand me up, my blood pressure dropped to the point where I thought I was going to pass out. They did leg bed exercises, but it hurt so much, I ended up screaming. I left that hospital to go to a rehab center (a nightmare getting me into a personal vehicle). Found out that I was allergic to the Percocet the Dr had prescribed. It took 7 days before that was determined, then 3 days to get it out of my system. PT with extra strength Tylonel only. The first 10 steps I took with a walker made me cry with pain and joy. When I got to the Rehab center I was at 28, when I left I was at 92. I am now at 98. My goal is 105 over the next two weeks of at home PT. Although it has been 4 weeks, I consider myself at 3 weeks because of the delay in PT. I get moody, have days with no energy, and nap a lot. I am blessed with a wonderfully encouraging husband who has been a blessing in helping me.
I will say that other than the PT, the pain in the right knee is gone. When it is time I will get my left knee done, but be much better prepared.

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:41 AM   #13
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

I wish I could say I am pain free but I'm not. I don't have the same pain as before the op ( like you I had bone on bone arthritis) but the swelling makes the muscles hurt when I walk and I have pain at the top of my tibia where the implant is.

My muscles are still weak and while I can take short walks I wish I could walk further than what I am. I also find that the new batch of stretching exercises are hurting more. I know, no pain no gain

I had to switch pain meds as the ones I was taking was giving me migraines. I'm taking tramadol now which just takes the edge off of the pain but doesn't get rid of it fully.

One good bit of news is that I am sleeping much better than before so that is a big help!

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #14
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

Quote:
Originally Posted by crash86 View Post
I wish I could say I am pain free but I'm not. I don't have the same pain as before the op ( like you I had bone on bone arthritis) but the swelling makes the muscles hurt when I walk and I have pain at the top of my tibia where the implant is.

My muscles are still weak and while I can take short walks I wish I could walk further than what I am. I also find that the new batch of stretching exercises are hurting more. I know, no pain no gain

I had to switch pain meds as the ones I was taking was giving me migraines. I'm taking tramadol now which just takes the edge off of the pain but doesn't get rid of it fully.

One good bit of news is that I am sleeping much better than before so that is a big help!
I think you are doing great. by far the hardest part for me was patience. I am new to the board and just shy of 9 weeks out from my TKR. I am 43 and in fairly good shape. I very much over estimated how I would be feeling at certain stages in my recovery. I planned to return to work at 4 weeks with the understanding that I may still have some mobility issues.

Boy was I wrong.. I still had a ways to go on endurance, strength, pain, ROM, etc.. The pain was way worst that I thought it should be. The gap between my reality and my expectation was difficult to get passed. I was really worried that I made a mistake getting the surgery.

Long story short, be patient. You are on track. I am now at 130 deg, able to do yoga again, working out in ways I was unable to pre-surgery, hiking for +1 hour, and more. Yes, I still get stiff, swollen, and sore, but at 9 weeks I feel I am right where I should be.

Be patient and give your body and mind the time to heal from a MAJOR surgery. You will be amazed at how you feel in a few months just don't stress it now.

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:18 PM   #15
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Re: TKR 3 weeks out

This Thursday will make 5 weeks since my op. I know that it's still early days. I am too impatient for my own good lol. I'm 44 and do have other health issues, one being ulcerative colitis. I know that I have a problem with swelling because of this and can't take any anti inflammatory meds due to that condition.

I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow and I guess he can tell me how well I am doing. I have a few questions for him.

Thanks for the encouragement, I do appreciate it

 
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