Well, it’s been 8 wks, 4 days since my right total knee replacement (TKR). Do I still have pain? Oh YES! But it’s less frequent, less consistent, and less intense – MOST of the time! 🙂
According to numerous PTs and Docs, TKRs are more painful and harder to recover from than total hip replacements (THRs). So I’m not doing badly. Flexion is 121 degrees and extension is 0 degree. Need to work more on extension.
Still taking hydrocodone semi-regularly – every 2-3 days, usually pill cut in 1/2. Today my knee is a lot more painful than last several days, so took full dose – don’t even notice any sleepiness, so pain was significant. And yet, it is lessening more rapidly than usual.
Let me give y’all some tips and suggestions:
1. Take pain meds whenever you even THINK you might need them.
2. Take pain meds 30-45 min before doing your exercises
3. Put a generously sized ice pack on your knee for 10 minutes immediately after completing exercises or any intense activity of the affected joint (recipe below)
4. Keep your leg elevated when sitting or lying down – that means affected joint ABOVE level of heart
5. Did I mention taking pain meds?
6. Push yourself. Do your assigned exercises exactly as prescribed – even if it hurts (that’s why you take your pain meds before doing them).
7. Read #6 again.
8. Read #6 again.
9. Walk around some every day. Take your grandchildren for a walk. (You can walk slowly – they like to look at ants and caterpillars, and leaves and stuff, so you have an excuse to walk slowly.) If you don’t have grandchildren, borrow someone else’s.
10. Take your dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, borrow a friend’s. Or take a cat for a walk – on a leash – much more interesting! <snicker>
11. Ice pack after your walk – each time.
12. Take pain meds if they are due (whether you think you need them or not) after your walk.
13. Re-read #s 9 & 10 again.
14. Re-read #s 11 & 12 again.
Recipe for ice pack:
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 3 cups water
Pour both into a 1 qt Ziploc freezer bag. Seal, expressing extra air. Put that bag into a 1 gal Ziploc freezer bag and seal, expressing extra air. Put the packet into the freezer and leave for 4 hours. When it’s frozen, remove it and flex several times. Wrap in a small towel (hand towel or kitchen towel size). Place on knee and press to shape it as far around the knee as you can. Allow it to sit on knee for 10 min. Replace packet into freezer. Recycle as needed.
I’m still doing the list of things. Will be for a while. Still hurts – but not as badly.
- Take care with pain meds (medicalxpress.com)
- What To Consider Before Joint Replacement Surgery (earlsview.com)
- Could Low Expectations By Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Be Holding Them Back After Knee Replacement Surgery? (medicalnewstoday.com)
- High-dose Opiates Could Crack Chronic Pain (nature.com)