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?

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?

New Surgery Journey

So here I am. I’m about to take another journey through another surgery. I’m having a second total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. Some of you may recall me having TKR last great on my left knee. In just a few days I’ll be getting my right knee done.

I’ll admit I didn’t think I would need it. I heard the stories about once you complete the first one you typically have to get the second one done to. Still, I didn’t think I would need it. After all I was felling pretty good.

Then one morning I could barely make it to the bathroom. So, of course I went to see my general doctor first. He gave me a pain shot and some pain pills.

Yea, I thought I was good to go. Not even a month later I scheduling an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon (knee dr). So we took the cheaper route and tried the shot. The shot should last 3-4 months. Mine lasted maybe a month. It was hard trying to make it two more months. I had my year follow up scheduled, so I was determined to wait it out. During that two month time I was at urgent care twice, and had a knot on my knee. Let’s not forget I work in retail too. Yes, there were some rough days.

I did make it to see the Dr. I’ll also admit I just wanted to hear one thing. Yea, I can be a bit impatient. However, I did the X-ray and listened to all the options. You never know what you’ll discover when you pay attention.

After he went through my options I quickly realized I still wanted the surgery. Why? While the other options were a lot less evasive, a little less expensive, BUT a lot lower percentage of working. All those options were about a 30% chance of working. If they worked I’d still be back in about 7 months to a year to have it done again. Still, those are great options if you are unable to have surgery and need the pain relief.

So here I am just under two weeks out to my surgery. I’m probably the only person that’s excited about having surgery. Truthfully I just want to be able to walk without out all the pain. I’m use to being on the go, and I’m ready to get back to that.

If you’ve had TKR I’d love to hear your experience. If you have questions about my experience, feel free to ask. Follow my blog to follow my journey through pre surgery, recovery and the healing process.

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.