I've had both knees replaced -- the right was done 1 and 1/2 years ago, and the left was done 1 year ago. The right knee has been swelling and is stiff at the end of the day, and sometimes in the morning. I can't put any weight on my right knee either. To do floor exercises, I have to lower myself like I'm doing a plank, then get up like a giraffe. I've been icing it in the morning and at night, and elevating it too. I'm very busy though -- working full time in a preschool where I hardly ever sit down for 7 hours. I do housework and go up and down stairs and have been climbing a ladder to do painting on a house we're renovating. Am I just doing too much or should I expect my knee to respond better to ice and elevation? Thanks for any feedback.View Thread
I've done really well with total knee replacements in one knee last July of 2012, and the other knee in January of 2013. Therapy was successful -- I had a lot of flexibility and strength in both knees. Now that I'm on my own, and not going to weekly therapy sessions, I've noticed that both knees are stiffer than usual, and are more swollen. What am I doing wrong? Both knees are strong, and I can walk up and downstairs, and do all my daily chores. Is it just that I'm not doing as many exercises as before? I'm not riding a stationary bicycle anymore either. I only did that in outpatient therapy. Could that be the missing ingredient to my exercise routine? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.View Thread
I had my TKR on my right knee 6 months ago, and I'm so glad I did. I did all the exercises prescribed before surgery, and built myself up as strong as possible. After surgery, I listened to music with a strong beat and practiced tightening the muscles around my knee, getting my leg 1-inch off the bed, even before they started physical therapy the next day. I studied to be a Music Therapist years ago, and knew that music can be a great distraction. You can't be "into" music and feel pain at the same time, usually. The beat also makes repetitions of any physical activity much more bearable. I kept on doing the PT routines and took my pain meds whenever needed. That's the big secret that PT's want you to know -- that if you take your pain meds, you'll me able to exercise and bear the pain. Without them, you'll not want to exercise and the knee doesn't get strong and limber, and you won't be able to climb stairs, etc. I'm looking forward to getting my left knee done this January. Then, I'll be able to walk the dog again without pain. There is a good article in the Prevention magazine from a couple months back about TKR.View Thread
You sound like you're making good progress. As far as I know, just six weeks from surgery and still taking oxycodone, but cutting back, is completely normal. You should be checking with your surgeon on this -- they will help you switch to a different pain med when necessary. I had Hydrocodone after the Oxycodone, then Tylenol after that. I was also on Meloxicam which is an anti inflammatory drug, and I still take that, 6 months from surgery. I hardly have to take any Tylenol now at all, but I still have to elevate my knee at night and ice occasionally. I'm a pianist, and pedaling for hours takes a toll on my knee.View Thread
Thanks -- I'll look into that. I've just been scooting the bench back so as not to have such a bend. I'm having less pain now since my knee has become more flexible and less swollen. I think I just started playing too quickly after my replacement -- I needed to get back to work to pay my bills.View Thread
I had a Total Knee Replacement about 6 weeks ago, and am doing great, except when I pedal the piano. I play for church, and it seems that after I've pedaled, my knee swells up much more than usual, and the pain is much worse too. I'm at the piano off and on throughout the service, and about 10 minutes at a time. Does anyone else have this kind of problem, or does anyone know if keeping your knee at this angle while applying pressure downward would account for the additional swelling and pain? I'm doing 80 deep knee bends, 80 stair steps and riding the bicycle easily at therapy, and driving a car, so I'm concerned about this since it's my job. Thanks for any help.View Thread
YPease, thanks for the response. Please read my post titled "Good results with TKR" of 8-9-12. I'm doing great. I forgot to say that my pain is well controlled with a minimum amount of pain pills. I take them as suggested by my doc -- about 30 minutes before the physical therapist comes, and as needed -- especially during the night so I can sleep. I'm walking up and down my 8 stairs in the house several times a day now. My other knee is due for TKR in the middle of September though, and it has problems with stairs, so I have to go down sideways until it's fixed. I'm so excited to be able to do things in the future that I'd given up on. There's a YMCA about 5 minutes away too, and I'm looking forward to working out. I'm thinking of buying a recumbent bicycle and going to the park. I can sit at the computer now, and instead of just letting my leg hang down, I slide back and forth in my chair (with rollers) and it bends my knee. When I'm busy reading email, etc. I'm hardly aware of the tightness in my knee, and can go to the 110 degrees that the therapist is getting now. So glad you're having success too. It sounds as if you also are aggressive about your progress, and not passive as a lot of people are. I think that makes a huge difference.View Thread
Before my surgery, I looked online for other people's accounts of their TKR experiences, such as on this site. After reading so many negative accounts, I was happy to read from one person who said the people who had bad experiences will be the ones most likely to post, and the people with positive experiences are too busy getting on with their lives and happy to be free from the pain they used to experience that they hardly post. So, I want to let others know that I believe there are a lot more people who have good experiences with TKR than not. I did exercises faithfully for my back before I ever had TKR, so my muscles were already strong. I'd lost some weight, but was still about 30 pounds too heavy before the surgery too. I was used to doing everything for myself, since I live alone -- gardening, home improvement and maintenance, walking the dog daily, and had 5 part-time jobs as a musician. So, I was fairly strong and capable of caring for myself, with no other large health issues other than the herniated disks in my back. I had the TKR in my right knee 12 days ago, and am now walking without a cane with a very good gait. I loved the physical therapy exercises and the CPM (Constant Passive Movement machine). I used deep breathing and music to get me through the hardest part of the exercises, when they were pushing me to the next level of strength and flexibility training. I was able to go home after 4 days in the hospital, and I had family and friends who came a few times to deliver a few supplies that I couldn't get before going into the hospital. I had already reorganized stuff for easy access, bought a foldable reacher for my walker basket, bought easy-on clothes, and had the house clean as recommended by the hospital. I've had great in-home physical therapy and continue to do all the suggested exercises -- doing them all at once, then working them into daily routines too. I'm used to eating healthy, so the suggested whole wheat bread, bran cereal, low-fat milk, vegetables and low-fat protein sources cooked simply without high-fat gravies, etc. wasn't a problem for me. In fact, my insurance plan sends 10 microwaveable meals to the home, and I threw away all the white bread and cookies they sent me. That doesn't build health and I was surprised they'd include those items. I did enjoy the low-fat, low sugar bran muffins my brother brought me -- that was the greatest treat of all. I'll be able to drive in another 2 weeks or so, and I've arranged for people to drive me to doc's and therapy appointments. I'll be going back to work in a little over 2 weeks after surgery. I've heard other success stories such as mine, and my therapists say most people could have such success if they do their pre-op exercises, then take their pain meds and do their post-op exercises and follow their doctor's directions. I hope this helps those who are looking for some encouragement.View Thread
My TKR is scheduled for late July on my right knee. I had a left knee operation way back in high school (1963), and I have a big scar like you see on Frankenstein's head on that knee. The doc took out the left meniscus cartilage and he said he scraped the kneecap clean. I think knee surgery has probably advanced light years from that time, so I'm hopeful for relief from the pain of degenerative arthritis that set in soon after that operation. I'm going for a pre-op class on TKR this week, and some of my questions may be answered there, but I was hoping some of you who've been through it might help me with these 3 questions: 1. I know I need to have a regular chair with arms to help me get up. Is it good to have a chair a little on the high side -- does this make it easier? 2. I have a recliner, but I have to push down on the foot part to get out -- the lever for lowering the foot of the chair no longer works. Will I have enough muscle to push down on this after I get out of the hospital, or would I be stuck? (I'm 65, but am in good physical shape -- I do exercises everyday and am only about 30 pounds overweight.) 3. I know you're supposed to go downstairs on the bad and up with the good, but can you go downstairs sideways? I've had to go downstairs sideways for about a year now -- the patella hurts too much to go up facing forward. Thanks for any info you can give me. I'm using Music Therapy also for pain management and for the repetitive exercises -- as a musician, and a one-time Music Therapy major, I know the value of this type of therapy. Thanks again!View Thread
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