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Recovery from TKR

WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
edited 25. May 2016, 13:01 in Living with Arthritis archive
So I haven't posted for a while as I was getting on so well! The new knee was getting better and I was dealing okay with it and life was slowly becoming bearable again considering the other joints with Arthur!

So last week I was feeling so very well that I had a short walk along the sea front (just 10 minutes) on a day out with no crutches woo hoo!! So on Thursday I walked around a local shopping centre and visited 2 shops (only briefly) and went out for lunch. I remember thinking this is it I'm well on the road now!

I then decided, as I was doing so well, to walk around a small park near us on Friday with no crutches AND around 2 large shops too but with one crutch.

So why am I posting? Well, I've had a miserable weekend of suffering maybe because of that, I don't know? Today I'm still suffering, I was having short bursts of pain free walking in the house and now I'm not, the knee is swollen and I'm back to doing 2 X 10 minute walks plus my PT exercises and the rest of the time just resting / elevating / icing.

I'm now 10 weeks and 3 days post op and suffering some (probably unnecessary) concern over whether I have done any harm to my new knee? Can the experienced amongst you give me some reassurance please? There is no sharp pain, no more heat than before and just a bit more swelling but it just feels sore and doesn't like too much walking. I also have to use one crutch again?

I'm assuming I've just overdone it and set myself back a little? No one tells you before your op that it goes on this long! I really expected to be doing really well by now?

Thanks all for being so awesome with your support.
Wobbly X
:swim-shark:

Comments

  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wobbly, please don't worry. It sounds to me like you've overdone things a bit, that's all. It happens to all of us.

    Nearly four years after my bilateral TKR I can't remember the details, so I just looked back to what I wrote at the time. You can find it somewhere here if you do a search I think. At ten weeks, I was still taking a lot of codeine, trying to cut it down, but finding I was in pain if I did. And I don't think you can harm your new knee - just cause pain and swelling, which will go if you rest and ice.

    They can't tell you how things will go, because everyone is different. I was told it would take about a year to get back to normality, but I reckon it was nearer two! Things got better, but carried on improving for a very long time, and I took painkillers for ages. It takes a long, long time to get back to normal. It sounds to me as though you're doing fine.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yup. I, too, would doubt you've done any harm to the TKR, Wobbly, but it can be all too easy to assume that, because things feel good and the outer scar has healed, everything underneath it is healed too. But that takes much longer.

    Think what's been done...all the tissues and nerves that have been cut through; the kneecap and quadriceps muscle have to be clamped to one side; tendons are often cut. All these have to knit together again and settle in place and that takes longer than the scar that can be seen on the outside.

    Because he'd done some work on my ligaments during my knee revision op, my surgeon made me wear an enormous thigh to ankle support for several weeks just to protect it. (I looked as if I was opening the batting :lol: )

    I think it's great that you feel capable of all this but that doesn't mean to say you should do it. Not yet, at least. Keep doing the physio, resting, elevating and icing and short walks. Build up gradually and even if you feel fine after a demanding day, have two or three more restful days before trying something similar. You're getting there :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you again, Helenbothknees and Stickywicket, you really are awesome to answer me so quickly. I think you are probably right. I knew it in intuitively but it's just really nice to get some outside validation from those who really understand.

    My surgeon told me that it would take about a year but the improvements would be so slight in the last four months I wouldn't notice. My H said if it's a year then 10 weeks is only a fifth of this! I had also heard that it can bet better for up to two years. I think it's because I felt as though I had gone backwards.

    I'm taking your advice sticky and going back to where I was a week again with the resting and icing and Physio exercises with just short walks. OMG it's so depressing though, I keep finding myself so tearful.

    Thanks for coming to the rescue again. I'll probably be back very soon lol
    xxx :cheers:
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wobblylegs wrote:
    OMG it's so depressing though, I keep finding myself so tearful.

    That, too, can be due to the anaesthetic, I believe. Plus, I guess, your emotions have been put through a grinder for the last few weeks / months.

    You've put a lot of effort into this recovery. Patience, I'm told (repeatedly :wink: ) is a virtue :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky, yes people tell me patience is a virtue, unfortunately I don't think I'm very virtuous as I have no patience with myself at all but loads for other people! :D
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wobbly, when they were handing out patience I wasn't even in the queue! I know how you feel. Unfortunately, this just takes time...but it's worth it in the long run.
  • WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Helenbothknees, I wish there was a way of clicking like on these posts :D
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It sounds to me like an abundance of over-confidence has taken its toll, just as HBK and Sticky have said. It must be so tempting to push yourself that little bit further because things are feeling better . . . and further . . . and . . . OUCH is not a surprising outcome.

    I' ve only had open and closed synovectomies on my knees (my first made it into surgical textbooks!) but even so it took some months before things got back to my 'normal'. I look back with fond memories of what normal meant back then. :wink: Please rest over the next couple of days and ice the knee if required: rest means rest, so no extended walking, break household activities into smaller chunks so you can put your feet up in between and remember my golden rule: stop when you think you can do more (because it's more than likely that you can't without inducing payback). I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks DD, I always appreciate your advice, I will consider myself told now as my H has constantly reminded me today about my 'perfectionism' and how I push myself too hard!

    So, I've just been able to tell him I'm not alone with that. I'm back to baby steps for a while. I just keep thinking that at this stage I expects to be able to do more. But I can now see that a lady I shared a hospital ward was right! She was having her third knee revision and told me we will all travel a different path but in 12 months we will all be at the same destination!

    Hugs all xxx
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your kind words, I'm under the cosh at the moment so maybe not in the best place to reply! You have a great deal on your plate with the OA and MS, there's no doubt about that. I learned very early on in life that I could do what I could do and that was it. Never compare yourself to others who have undergone similar experiences because their health conditions will vary so will be very different to yours.

    Do what you can, when you can, carefully and be content. It's not rocket science but can be tricky. I send hugs. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • WobblylegsWobblylegs Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks DD, I really needed that virtual hug today, so thanks so much for realising that :)

    I think watching my other half having to do everything has added to my frustration. He is so very supportive but as you know it's so nice to be able to do just a small amount yourself. I was already disabled enough without this taking so long.

    Considering it's not rocket science I'm one very dim lady when it comes to looking after me. :sland-shark:

    I've always found it hard to know when enough is enough. So much so that my GP applauded me when I said I was going to take ill health retirement, by then I was 58 and I've had MS since I was 35. So I've never been good at taking advice! But this new knee sure know's who is boss and it's not me lol!

    Speak soon, sending a hug back xxx
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That struck a chord with me, I remember going to my GP after my diagnosis of OA in April 2011 (this would have been in the May) to ask for anti-depressants and her response was 'At long last! You've finally asked for help!' (Or words to that effect.)

    None of us know when enough is enough because we become accustomed to things being hard-going (especially if female so trying to run a family plus house) so we keep flogging on. I have learned to appreciate watching others do the stuff I once could, comforting myself that I am saving my precious energies for the things I want to do. I did that today even though it wasn't the perfect activity. :wink: Upgrading a rollator is not my idea of fun but it's necessary, 'nuff said. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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