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  • Pushed too hard in PT?

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    Old 12-13-2009, 08:11 AM   #16
    ladyscout
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Thank you so much for the post. I just finished another night of getting up and walking a bit to relieve the pain and discomfort. I'm also retired, though I do still teach Adult Ed. ESL two nights a week, mostly because I enjoy it. I have always been active and even though I had breast cancer surgery- no chemo or radiation - in Aug. '08, this is a much harder and more painful time. I can also go up my stairs, holding on but I sleep with a pillow between my legs and only seem even a little OK with the surgery knee on top. I'm going to try and go to a small holiday resturant dinner Tues. and a neighbor is having an Open House Sunday from 4-7 so I'll try that. My poor dog hasn't been to the park since Nov. 16th (day before the surgery). Just last night I was saying I wish I knew when this leg would feel like mine. It feels like it is wrapped tightly with packing tape and that maybe a vein has been closed to the lower part of my leg. Anyway I guess I'll go up and do my exercises before getting dressed for the day of reading, etc. Thank again for the response.

    Last edited by ladyscout; 12-16-2009 at 07:54 AM.

     
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    Old 12-16-2009, 08:00 AM   #17
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    I went back to read these articles because they give me hope when I'm feeling down. I was 4 weeks post-op yesterday. I have started massaging my knee and area around it. This seems to make it feel better. I tried walking down my stairs normally but that really put a strain on the knee. Decided to wait to try that again. My partner wants to go on a cruise next month and I've just told him I just couldn't at 8 weeks. I just don't think he "gets the pain" and discomfort. I drove to the bank at about 8:30 last night because there weren't many people on the road and it's only about 5 blocks away. It was a bit scary for my first time behind the wheel. This is surely "one day and a time" and I spend most of my time wishing the days to go by faster - I am doing my exercises and PT regularly. Ugh - another day to face.

     
    Old 12-16-2009, 05:41 PM   #18
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Ladyscout -- was your surgery on your driving leg?

    I have automatic shift, and my surgery was on my left leg, but I still had my husband with me the first time I drove. Getting the leg in and out of the car was the worst part. The driving was just fine.

    As time has passed I find bending my leg getting in and out of the cart gets better and better. What I have a problem with is if I park next to another car and there isn't room to open the driver door wide.

    Thank goodness for shopping carts in the supermarket! But I was in Borders yesterday and bought a ton of books. All they have are those carry baskets for books. I used my rolling cane to get around and did just fine, --- but the weight of that basket has made my back feel like it did shortly after surgery. GRRRRRRRRR! It will ease up but I have to remember that I'm vunerable to muscle overuse or strain

    I'm 2 1/2 months now. I've found that I can't judge how I'm doing day to day. But when I look back a week --- then I can see differences. In the beginning I wondered if I would ever go thru this again with the other leg. But now that I can see those difficult first weeks do ease up and as improvement continues, then I am willing to undergo the other leg. I still feel the tightness in the knee, and there is atill swelling, but not what it was like earlier.

    The key is --- patience!

     
    Old 12-17-2009, 07:10 AM   #19
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Thanks - it is morning after another night of horrible sleep due to pain. I just hate the thought of facing the whole day. My son and a friend I've never met, and his 2 cats- arrive tonight from Sacramento for a week stay. They have never seen me unable to get around and "do it all". My other son arrives Tues. I so hope I'm up to this.

     
    Old 12-18-2009, 12:18 AM   #20
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    I hope you have a great visit with your son and his friend. Make sure you DON'T try and be your usual self and 'do it all'. Try and sit back and get them to do it. I had my daughter staying with me in the early stages and I had to learn to let her do things and then pick up bits as I could manage. You WILL get there - this is the hardest part. Just keep up the exercises and in a few months you will be so pleased with the changes in your life. Every week I look back and realise something else I can now do. This week it was semi squatting to get to the back of a low cupboard rather than straining my back to reach. I was at work and those around me couldn't understand why I suddenly stood up and punched the air, I felt so good.

     
    Old 12-18-2009, 06:43 AM   #21
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ladyscout View Post
    Thanks - it is morning after another night of horrible sleep due to pain. I just hate the thought of facing the whole day. My son and a friend I've never met, and his 2 cats- arrive tonight from Sacramento for a week stay. They have never seen me unable to get around and "do it all". My other son arrives Tues. I so hope I'm up to this.
    Don't do anymore than you can without causing you extra pain. Your son's are grown and can fend for themselves and friends and cats, and should even help you! I know it is hard to give over the reins to someone else, but this is an important time in your healing. Don't be shy about telling your sons that you are in pain and need their help. They will be glad to help and should be glad to help.

    I understand how difficult the thought of facing the day is when the night before was full of pain. Take it easy and rest as often as you can. Do what you have to do to get through. Sometimes it's better to step back and then go forward. I have had a lot of one step back two steps forward days.

     
    Old 12-19-2009, 04:47 AM   #22
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NorineP View Post
    I am 62 and had tkr on my right knee on October 19. My PT is at home and I was doing very well until this past tuesday. I had reached a 130 flex but my straight angle is not doing well. I must have pushed too hard on tuesday and now I can't bend my knee back at all. The doctor's nurse and the PT think I may have strained a muscle. Has anyone else had this happen. Now I feel like I'm going backwards after doing so well. I'm concerned because I have surgery on my other knee coming up December 14 and I was really hoping the right knee would be doing better before the surgery on my left knee.

    It is comforting to know that healing seems to take much longer than 5 weeks.
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"] I am age 72 and my surgery was Aug. 4th - so I'm now 4-1/2 months post op. As I've said before, it's like a roller coaster.....just when you think you are gaining ground, you take two steps backwards. When I finished my professional PT I was only at 105 flexion. When I saw my surgeon last week I was 115.

    It's the recumbent bike that saves me. I do at least 20 minutes a day in two sessions and that helps keep the scar tissue from forming. If I'm lax on my other exercises, the bike is always there. I put on my iPod and listen to Sousa Marches and other face tempo music.

    Since I never kept a journal of any kind about the TKR experience I decided to write a little piece on it and send it to my surgeon. It reads as follows:

    What I’ve learned (so far) about/from Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    Surgery Date: 8-04-09


    In this decade total knee replacement (“TKR” to us seasoned recipients) is about as common as a tonsillectomy in my childhood during the 40s. Since I am only four months post op at this writing, I’m hardly an authority on this procedure. I do know that at this point in time I have run a gamut of emotions. Maybe it only happens to aging neurotic grandmothers like myself, I don’t know. I recall vividly those first few weeks after surgery having episodes of weeping in frustration – not from any great pain…but because each new day did not seem to be bringing me closer to some kind of normal mobility.

    For some reason I didn’t recognize that with each passing day I was improving. I had quickly dropped the assistive devices; first the walker (that was gone in a few days), then the cane…and in two weeks I was walking about the house with only minimal difficulty. Even though I was told before surgery that this procedure wasn’t for the faint of heart – I heard the words, …but I didn’t really listen to them.

    Okay – now back to lessons learned. I learned that this is not a “competition.” The minute you mention TKR to a friend they all know somebody who has had the surgery and were allegedly out playing tennis in no time at all. I began to feel that if I didn’t have the same range of motion as John Doe at 5 weeks post-op…I was somehow failing in my road to recovery. Then the anguish set in. What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right.
    If I were to give advice to someone who needs TKR surgery I would first emphatically recommend they select the best possible surgeon who has done many knee replacements. So you get an accomplished surgeon and he does his part. He uses his skills to replace your joint…and now you are suddenly left to do your part…… Now there’s the rub. This is an overwhelming responsibility. I knew about it…I read all about it prior to my surgery, but the reality of it all was a whole ‘nuther story.

    I thought I had some reserve of common sense, but I couldn’t seem to figure out that since all knee conditions and all people are not the same, recovery could not be exactly the same.

    Before surgery I presented as an overweight, sedentary, 72-year-old woman, who had every opportunity to lose weight and take classes in preparation for this procedure but I chose to put it all aside. If I’m hurting a bit more now I have no one to blame but myself. One good reality check for me after surgery was to actually read the surgeon’s report of the procedure. Whoa! That was indeed an eye opener. Then you begin to understand why this knee rehab thing can be an uphill battle. It’s also best to write down questions you have and ask your surgeon on your follow-up visits. He’s the expert.

    Another awakening is going to a store and suddenly having a keen respect for those you see walking with a cane, walker, or riding in that electric cart to do their shopping. As with any life experience…pleasant or unpleasant, it brings you to another level of awareness.

    I still have a long way down that old TKR lonesome road but after all this pontificating over lessons learned, I realize it’s probably some of my other genetic aging maladies that will take me down – not my knees.

    Later.


    June

     
    Old 12-19-2009, 08:57 AM   #23
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    I copied your "What I've Learned" and taking it to my PT so he can show others that feel as I do -and you do/did. I have tried to be an "outstanding" example of progress but I haven't been and that has despressed me. I asked the PT yesterday "How come everyone else in these rooms look like they are handling the pain and improvement better than me?" He said it just looked that way to me but it wasn't the reality. I was in great shape, having just finished a 67 mile, metric century, bike ride the month before the surgery and it has still been awful. Don't second guess that doing the exercises before the surgery could help. It didn't help me. Thanks for writing this - I ran another copy for me to read if I can't find it again on this site. Gives me comfort.

     
    Old 12-20-2009, 04:39 AM   #24
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ladyscout View Post
    I copied your "What I've Learned" and taking it to my PT so he can show others that feel as I do -and you do/did. I have tried to be an "outstanding" example of progress but I haven't been and that has despressed me. I asked the PT yesterday "How come everyone else in these rooms look like they are handling the pain and improvement better than me?" He said it just looked that way to me but it wasn't the reality. I was in great shape, having just finished a 67 mile, metric century, bike ride the month before the surgery and it has still been awful. Don't second guess that doing the exercises before the surgery could help. It didn't help me. Thanks for writing this - I ran another copy for me to read if I can't find it again on this site. Gives me comfort.
    I have to admit that my most recent visit to my surgeon last week was a turning point for me. I kind of just spilled my guts. I actually felt like I had failed him, the physical therapist...yes..and mostly failed myself. He looked me in the eye and said, "Don't you trust me to tell you truth? If I had any concerns I'd tell you." It's true. One of the reasons I liked him so much was the fact that he was very candid; he didn't mince words. After all he'd been taking care of me for almost 5 years as I postponed the surgery year after year. He said he wouldn't operate on me until I was ready. Meanwhile he'd help me out with cortisone shots if I had some big event to attend or trip to make. My right leg was actually crooked because of a knock-kneed status I'd had all my life...and when you add the osteoarthritis with aging and you've got a real malformation.

    Then we went over all the exercises I was doing and he told me the ones that would be the most benefit to me at this point...and the ones that were a waste of time...always stressing the bike above all. Adding the heat and message in the incision area helped tremendously before range of motion exercises.

    When I told him my concern about the returning pain so long after surgery he simply said, "That's going to happen - just keep pushing it."

    Another thing I recommend is, after you have finished your professional PT visits, and if you are pleased with your therapist, take a moment to email or write a letter to his/her boss. Let them know how much you appreciated their help and expertise in this battle to regain mobility - they deserve those accolades with the sometimes unpleasant job they have to do. They also have a tremendous responsibility in you recovery.;

     
    Old 12-20-2009, 06:02 AM   #25
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    Re: Pushed too hard in PT?

    June and LadyScout, Thank you for your posts. It always helps me to when I can read and understand what others are going through or have gone through. I read and reread these posts so many times, especially when I feel down or when it feels like I am never going to make any improvement, knowing full well that I see improvement every day. It is not a race with myself or anyone else. Full recovery takes as long as it takes.

    Thank you again for writing.

     
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