TKR 3 Months Post Op

I’m just my 3 months post op appointment last week. This journey has proved to be different than the last one. Not worse, just different. I know my doctor said each surgery is different and acts different.

One major thing that I’ve noticed at this point is that my knee is stronger than the other one was at this point. However, I did go back to work and on the second day my entire leg gave out. Still, it is not accruing like the other. So I still think that’s a plus.

My bend is also better. I’m at 118° bend. They want you to be at 120°. My other knee only reached 113°!!!! Another thing that’s better is the fact that nerve sensitivity is not nearly as bad as last time!

There are a few down points. This time I seemed to put more strain on my shoulder. It was so bad I had to do PT on my shoulder too. I also had to get some steroid pills for a little bit of inflammation on the back of my knee.

So, overall, I still think this one was better. Could have been the pre surgery exercises, more knowledge or both.

If you are having issues, don’t be afraid to address it with your Dr as soon as possible. Follow all the Dr instructions. You are not the Dr. If you are planning to have surgery and still concerned, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Most importantly, don’t compare your journey to someone else. Your body is different. You will heal differently. Suggestions are great, especially when it comes to come best practices. Ultimately your doctor will be your best resource.

I have 9 more months until I’m completely healed. I’ll definitely be back for more updates between now and then. If you have questions don’t be afraid to ask!

2 Months Post Op TKR

I’ve reached my two month post op. I saw my doctor this week. I was pretty pleased with the visit. It was a short visit too. That made it even better.

I did address two issues, the pain in the back of my knee and still not sleeping through the night. I did get a few good nights, then it was back to about two hours. Y’all, when he pressed on my knee where it hurt, I almost jumped out the chair!!! I wanted to scream so bad. I didn’t though. He did give me some exercises to do and some steroids. I had to see my doctor about the sleeping issue. That was my plan anyway.

I do feel that I’m getting stronger. It was easier to get in my jeep. It was also easier going down the steps at my apartment today. So both of those are plusses. I was supposed to be done with PT, but he sent in a few more weeks because I was concerned about my strength with the stairs.

When I visited my general doctor the following day about my shoulder pain, he gave me something for sleep. Yea, it’s not working. I may have too many meds in my system too. Time to flush my system a little. When he looked at my shoulder he said I have a strained rotator cuff. Yep, more PT. I’m assuming it came from me pushing up with that arm during the healing process.

I have about another month to build my energy level back up before going back to work. So I’ll start a walking program. Overall pretty good progress.

Where are you in your healing progress?

Having Surgery? Had Surgery?

My quick update: My recovery process is going pretty good right now. I missed almost a week and half of physical therapy because my therapist was out with a suck family member. So between that and all the rain and dropping temperature have me a slight setback and made me very stiff. I’m getting back in the groove of things.

With that being said, this post isn’t really all about me. It’s about you. Maybe you are thinking about total/partial or some other knee surgery, or any surgery really. Maybe, your surgery is scheduled and you need more information or advice. Maybe you’ve had your TKR and don’t know what to do now. This is for you all.

When a doctor tells you need to have surgery it can be a scary and nervous moment. Even more so if you’ve never heard of it before. It’s completely normal and to be expected. I know when I was first told a total knee replacement was needed I felt all kinds of butterflies in my stomach. After all, you always hear the horror stories, rarely the positive. Today, I’m going to weave in bits of both from my journeys. Most of my journey will be centered around my last surgeries, which were total knee replacements. I’ve had others over the years that not limited to the knees.

When you find out you need to have surgery, what do you do? The key is ALWAYS research. Don’t just go off one website either. When I found out I had to have a TKR, I was pulling up information daily. Yes my doctor was awesome both times with the expectations I should have. I felt like I needed more. Granted, 80% of what I found was the exact same thing he said. Some he hadn’t mentioned, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. It just made me more informed. When doing your research remember that most people post their horror stories, not the good stories. While you’re doing research, you find you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. I kept my doctor and nurse on speed dial. I even had a nurse from my insurance company assigned to me.

So now you decided to do the surgery, right? You’ve done your research. What do you do leading up to the surgery? The most obvious, yet, most ignored answer, FOLLOW ALL OF THE DOCTOR INSTRUCTIONS!!! This should be a no brainer, but we as people can be hardheaded sometimes. The instructions they give you will be beneficial going into surgery and coming out of surgery.

I always tell people to prepare in other ways as much as possible. What do I mean? When I had my breast reduction it was very important to have shirts and dresses that didn’t require me to lift my arms much. For my TKR, you want accessible items. A raised toilet, raised bed, shorts, extra pillows, and other things that will help. I found that this is a question to ask others who have been through it some of their BEST practices. Try to stay with the positive aspects. It’s important to go into surgery with a positive attitude.

So you’ve had your surgery and headed home. My word of advice is again, FOLLOW ALL DOCTORS ORDERS! If there is something you can’t do or it makes the pain worse, contact your doctor. Don’t overdo it. With my TKR I was able to exercise laying down. I would bend my leg while laying on my side. However, I was cautious to not over bend it. While recovering, don’t be afraid or proud to ask for help. If you have family or friends that can help in the beginning, let them. Just don’t get dependent on it. That can be your worst enemy.

With my TKR I had a roller coaster of emotions. The pain was up and down in the beginning with all surgeries. Also with the TKR my sleep is way off. I’m saying this not to scare you, instead to give you a heads up. You’re body is going through some rough stuff with surgery, so some things might change with your body.

I hope all of your surgeries go just fine and you have a speedy recovery. Keep your head up!!!! If there are any questions I can answer from my personal experience, I will.

Total Knee replacement Week 5

I’m halfway through week 5 of my post – op recovery. This has been an interesting journey so far.

I have started driving a little bit. Nothing too much just yet. I did drive in Atlanta a little on the way home. I’ve mostly been going between my house and my mom’s house. There is a little pain, but not much. The more I do it, the less the pain.

As far as the overall pain, it has gotten better. I can now go almost all day without any pain medicine except for when I have physical therapy. PT on the other hand is a bit more rough than it was last year. I seem to be okay at home lifting my leg, but when I get to PT, that’s a whole entire different kind of beast!! I still continue to push through because I know it’s only making me stronger, but sometimes, I just want to quit. Don’t worry, I don’t.

The one thing I think isn’t going as well is me standing from an average chair height. I can do it, but it hurts like crazy, especially if I sit for a while. I’ve only been able to sit for an hour. That’s probably my two biggest concerns. I have just under two months to strengthen it. Hopefully between PT and getting some serious walking in it will get stronger. I do notice it isn’t buckling as much as it was last year. So that’s a plus for sure.

Again, I’m overall pleased with the results from the surgery. I know the healing process takes time and no two surgeries will be the same. I will continue to take it one day at a time as I move forward.

My New Item

Receiving new items is always special. I’m thankful for all of them. However, the one thing I’m most grateful for is my new knee. Yes, a new knee.

No I’m not completely healed yet, but I’m threaded in the right direction. There’s some pain now, but I remind myself that I could be at work wondering how I will make it through the day, or how many more pain pills will I have to take. Knowing I’ll be better when I go back to work is definitely something to be grateful for.

This new knee, the total knee replacement, is the new item I’m most grateful for today.

What new item are you most grateful for?

Post Up Week 2 (TKR2)

I finally made it through well two. I will say this, I’m so glad this is a short week. Y’all don’t understand how tiring three appointments in three days are. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I was a bit more mobile.

I had my staples taken out at my two week follow up and two physical therapy sessions. My incision looks good. He said my knee looks good too. I’m currently bending at 91°. He thought that was great. In PT I was finally able to lift my leg while in a sitting position. Now to be able to do it laying down will be great. I’m hoping to be doing that by the end of the holiday weekend.

I’ve begun to enter the stage where my nerves are beginning to fire up. What does that really mean? It means I don’t want anything to touch my knee! It’s not full fledged just yet, only in spots. So I have to begin forcing my knee to accept touches. I do this by rubbing different materials across it. I normally just do a light feather like rub. It’ll hurt like crazy, but it’ll start to get better eventually.

My pain level has decreased significantly. I’m almost strictly on Motrin. Still major stiffness, but my swelling has went down too. If you are about to have surgery make sure you get those compression socks. I think those really help with my swelling.

One thing I found out about 15 minutes into the drive, I can’t do more than 15 minutes in a car yet. My doctor main office is 45-50 minutes out. Yes I decided to keep him when he stopped coming to here because he did great work on my other knee. When I tell you that drive had me all kinds of uncomfortable, it was crazy. I was practically laying in the front seat. Glad we didn’t have anyone with us.

Overall my progress is good. I feel my strength growing.

Post Op TKR Part 3

I’m officially one week post op for my second total knee replacement. This journey has been a little different, and in some ways a bit better. While I may complain a little about the pain a specific moment, I’m not complaining about the surgery or the process.

I notable difference is the bandage on my leg. Last year it was wrapped up in a lot gauze, bandages (sticky and non sticky), and a large ace wrap. My physical therapist cleaned it and used less the day after I got out the hospital. THIS TIME it is like one huge bandage (yes I still have staples) and a machine called pico°7. The picture below shows you the pico. It supposed to help the healing processes and reduce swelling. I take it off today and just use basic bandage after I shower.

With this you can’t get it wet, so instead of taking a full shower in two days, I had to wait seven days!!! It doesn’t hurt, most of the time I don’t even know it’s there.

Another difference is my mobility. I think I mentioned in a previous blog that I was sent pre surgery exercises to do the week before. Even though I wasn’t able to do all of them and the quantity they suggested, I think it aided in my better mobility. I’m doing things in week 1 that I wasn’t able to do until week 2 or 3 before.

Some things are still equally difficult. Things like lifting my leg to get in the bed is next to impossible. Of course I’m still on my walker. I’ll have that for a while.

Overall I’m grateful for the better recovery process right now. I’m looking forward to more pain free days than before.

That’s about all I have for now. You can shoot me with questions you may have.

Surgery Journey PT 2

Here we are. The day before the surgery. Normally I go I into surgery pretty calm. This time, for some reason I’m a bit nervous. I’m ready, just nervous.

Last year I had almost a month to prepare physically and mentally. This time, two weeks! Yes, I knew it when I selected it from the options given. Still, I was a bit surprised it got here this quick.

If you are preparing for surgery always keep in mind the cost and/or deductible if they pertain to you. Know what your insurance will pay. My doctor normally wants full payment upfront. Crazy I know. However, he does try to work with you. For me doing the surgery now has a few benefits. Of course the major one is to get rid of the pain. A huge second one is that my deductible has been meet. So instead of paying over $30,000 I’m paying. $2,000. Big difference. That in itself is a relief off my shoulders.

As I prepare for this second surgery I think of the benefits since I’ve had one knee replaced already. It’s those thoughts that keep me calm. For instance, I know what to expect pain wise after surgery. People can tell you all day long, but unless you experience it, you won’t really know. I also know know how to prepare for my recovery a better.

I also am grateful for having my family therefor their support. knowing I have them their to help me is one ofthe major things that truly keep me calm as we approach my surgery. There is nothing more valuable than that!

I think that’s about it for this round. I’ll be back later after surgery in a few days.

Were you nervous coming up to your surgery? How did you handle it?

Total Knee Replacement…Final Chapter

Well, here I am, in my final chapter of my Total Knee Replacement. Well not final, final chapter. As I stated before, it takes a solid year to completely heal from this. As it stands, I returned to December fourth. Was I ready? Physically, yes I think so. My doctor thinks so. Mentally, don’t think I was.

On my last visit he tested my leg by bending it, stretching it straight out and the strength by having me do a squat and a one legged squat. Yes, that one legged squat hurt. I was a touch stiff as it was early in the morning and hadn’t completed my exercises that morning yet. He did tell me to to focus on those squats and lunges for strengthening my quads. So for the past month and half that’s what I’ve been working on. I’ve increased my steps. I haven’t done much walking due to the weather here. However, I’ve done some light workout inside on the Wii and Xbox.

The one thing I am still having slight issues with is my energy level. When I first went back to work I got winded after 15 minutes of a light workout. Needless to say, going back to work was tough. It’s great that I have some great co-workers and an understanding supervisor.

After a month and half of being back at work I’ve noticed my energy level is doing better. Some days I struggle, but overall, it’s better. I have almost no pain when I’m working and moving. I have some pain sometimes at night. I’m still working on strengthening my quads everyday. My knee only buckles when I’m extremely tired.

Overall I’m satisfied with the results. I don’t struggle through pain just to make through the day with tons of pain medicine. Do I recommend getting the surgery? If it is needed and there are not any other options, then, yes, I do recommend having the surgery.

Thank you for following me through this journey.