Swelling and TKR

Wobblylegs
Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
edited 11. Jun 2016, 11:03 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi Guys,

Just wanted to pick your brains and ask about your experiences again as you've all been so helpful over this last few months. Yes, months, can't believe I'm actually 3 months out today from my TKR!

I know everyone is different but I still want to know lol.

I do my PT religiously still and I'm now walking a little further, although if I try to walk too far things start to hurt. My osteo pointed out that as I couldn't walk far before the op I shouldn't set too much store by that. But I am getting increasingly frustrated by this very slow process. So your stories would be great!

My questions are - how long did the swelling last? And how long before you could say yes I'm better than before the op.

Hugs to everyone on this pathway.
Wobbly xxx

Comments

  • Helenbothknees
    Helenbothknees Member Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wobbly,

    Well, I thought I was an expert on this subject, but when it comes to exact timescales I can't remember! I looked at my own book which I wrote about this, based on my posts which you can probably still find on here, and found the following:

    At three months I was still in a lot of pain, trying to cut down on medication and finding it hard.

    My walking was improving, but still caused pain sometimes, although I remarked that, like you, I'd hardly been able to walk before the op so it might take a while. I reckoned it was the muscles and ligaments which hurt, not the knees, as the pain was very different to arthritic pain.

    I was trying to find exercise classes I could go to, since they'd stopped my physio. However, most of them were beyond me. I ended up at a hydrotherapy class at the local swimming pool, run by a lady who'd had two TKRs herself. I did exercises in the shallow end, and even swam a little, but it was still hard at first.

    I don't mention swelling, and I don't remember, but pain and swelling go together so I'm not surprised. I expect I either used ice or ignored it - possibly the latter, knowing me!

    I was definitely feeling better, and doing more, than before the op, but it was indeed a frustratingly slow process. I know how you feel. However, barely a month later I went on holiday to Madeira without even taking any sticks, and really enjoyed it. So hang in there; it gets better.

    As you say, everyone is different. I think your main problem is probably lack of patience....but that is indeed the pot calling the kettle black. :)
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks HBK for being so quick of the mark,

    I think you may be right! I don't have ANY patience with me! I use a stick mainly because my balance is rubbish due to the MS but I'm not leaning on it. Unless I walk too far and then a slight limp comes back. No joint pain though at all.

    As you know I've done the whole thing on paracetamol, but I still know if I miss a dose. Yes the pain is mainly in ligaments, tendons and muscles etc I suspect. We don't seem to have a hydrotherapy pool near me though :cry:

    I guess I just keep plodding on and trying to be patient! :roll:

    Wobbly x
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lol I think I'm losing the plot! I can't even blame pain medication in my case. I've just looked back and realised I was worried about the exact same thing after doing too much 3 weeks ago!!

    Obviously I've done too much again! How's that for no patience! Doh! :roll:
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,165
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Has you know I am an hip person, and around 11 weeks post op. I can walk very far with this back , but I still get swelling from the hip , dont forget the inside has a lot of healing to do..you really are doing well.. :)
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Barbara x

    It sounds as though you are coping well?
  • Helenbothknees
    Helenbothknees Member Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wobbly,

    We don't have a hydrotherapy pool here either. I simply went along to the local authority leisure centre, explained my situation, and asked if they had anything suitable. They recommended Ann's hydrotherapy class in the swimming pool. We were a mixture - me, a couple of other people later on after TKRs, a few people with learning difficulties, one or two people who just seemed not that well. It was for anyone who couldn't really cope with a normal swimming session and wanted some attention from someone who could help a bit. I don't think Ann was qualified specifically in this, but she'd had two TKRs herself, and was a fitness instructor, so she just suggested things I could do.

    I don't know what they'll have in your area, but it might be worth asking around.
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks HBK,

    I'll try asking and see what they say! I know the nearest one to me is crazy making. The music is upbeat and very loud, I can tolerate upbeat music but not the shouting instructions over it through a megaphone :too-hot:

    Leaves me exhausted just listening lol

    My physio let go of me at week 5/6 as she said she couldn't give me anymore 'challenges' so my range of motion is great. It's just strength building I worry about. My mix of MS and Arthur is not great as my left leg is already much weaker and now the RTKR! You have to laugh at the lunacy of you'd cry eh?
    With the build up for years to the op and now 3 months since my legs are seriously weak!

    Thanks again for your great advice.
    Xx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,165
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry wobby I meant I can't walk very far with this back..not that I can walk far.. :lol: you will get there just dont overdo things..x
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Barbara, i did realise what you meant as I have the same issues with my back.

    I do have another question for those with a TKR, I still have a pain on the outside of my knee which is persistent and frustrating. It feels when I bend it as though it's tight elastic inside my leg. Sorry for the description but that how it feels lol. It can also throb or just be stabbing pains.

    Anyone ever experienced this?
  • Helenbothknees
    Helenbothknees Member Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wobbly, I had all sorts of pains in my legs for the first year, a few afterwards, and even occasionally now. No-one ever seemed to know what they were, but they seemed to think they weren't anything to worry about. Tight elastic feel sounds like it might be scar tissue, but that's a guess. I don't know how bad your pain is of course, and if it's really bad and persists of course you should get it checked out, and do that anyway if you're worried. But from my experience, it sounds like part of the normal healing process, which I was told would take about a year, and I'd say takes more like 2-3 years altogether!
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks HBK,

    You are always so quick to answer and reassure I could hug you! It's annoying that physio on the NHS dismisses so quickly. Because I had good range she just didn't want to see me anymore and these kind of questions could have been asked.

    As you can tell I'm a real worrier and medical stuff just scares me! Could do with you round the corner from me to share a cuppa with, but in second thoughts I'd probably drive you daft!

    The elastic band feeling has been there from the start and no one seemed to know what it was. But the throbbing is new I'm coping so I don't think it can be that bad. But then I have coped all through with paracetamol so I'm used to putting up with pain.

    I wish someone would educate us prior to the op about all this stuff.

    Thanks again as always I could just hug you guys you're all so amazing and selfless.
    xxxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,368
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ditto :wink:

    The only thing I'd add is that it's just possible your MS might be a factor so, if in doubt, get it checked out.
  • Wobblylegs
    Wobblylegs Member Posts: 95
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky another good point x

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