New knee + a week

I'm into the tricky bit now, recovery after two years of being barely able to walk. I'm doing the exercises three times a day and find the bending easier than the straightening. I saw the physio yesterday who was pleased with my progress and who prescribed 1,000 paces a day ! im going to build up gradually as I'm still not easy!

The overwhelming feeling is fatigue. I'm not fighting that.

I'd be interested to know other people's experiences of this recovery period.

To get motivated I'm trying to note what I'm achieving, so far the new knee helps me to get up from seated. A major advance.

25 Replies

  • I have no experience of knee replacement, but it's wonderful that you are persevering with your physio. You are brave and you will get there. My husband is heading to knee replacement time and I will encourage him as I follow your posts. Love Shirli

  • I want to get my life back Shirli! I hope your husband has a good surgeon. My sister had a different experience and hers disrupted the muscles and made more swelling than necessary. Mine, like the guy who did my husbands hip is known for having a gentle touch.

    At the moment curling up on the bed with the cat and looking at the autumn leaves outside feels just right

  • Well done, Cathie, or perhaps I should say Well Doing. I think it's very important to note one's progress, however small the increments, though getting up from seated sounds a massive step!

    You are a splendid exemplar

    I'm in Oxford, waiting to judge the painting competition for JIA. Some excellent work going up on the walls as I type this.

    Jo x

  • I must just tell you this .,,, for a micro-second, I thought you were 'curling'. What a difference between that and 'curling up'! J

  • The cats curling too!

    I wonder where in Oxford the competition s? I sometimes went to painting sessions at the jam factory. I hope your body is supporting you.

    If I was in Oxford just now I'd go to lunch at al shami, a nice Lebanese restaurant. We used to use them as caterers for events too.

  • Oh yes and my sister recommended I wear a skirt in case I got swelling, and though I don't need it, it's very comfortable. It doesn't have pockets though so I'm having to buy a round the neck pouch thing for the iPhone pedometer. Found a nice Nepalese one online at etsy. Sigh!

  • Sounds as if you're doing extremely well! I found getting the leg flat much more difficult too,my physio said that I might well not achieve that completely as my knee had been in such a bad state (avascular necrosis). I remember that you said that yours was a bad one, so you may be in the same situation.

    I think you are entering the worst phase, wanting to make progress, but being limited by understandable fatigue. It's so easy to get impatient, and discouraged, but from my experience I would say that slow and sure is fine. Don't forget that you have had major surgery, and only a week ago! The exercises get boring, I did them to music to liven things up a bit, the knee is a more complicated joint than the hip so don't compare your progress to that of your other half!

    You have all along had a positive attitude to this operation, and I am sure that you will get there. The thing that carried me through was the knowledge that although it was painful at times trying to make progress, it was nothing like the excruciating pain I had before the operation.

    Good luck, you'll get there, remember that rest is as important as exercise. It's worth it in the end!! Mavis x

  • ThanksMavis, I thought that people's encouragement would be Important. Why can cats stay immobile for ages, then jump up neatly and run off !

  • Because cats rule the world? M x

  • Good luck with your recovery Cathie xx

  • As long as you do the exercises you will be fine. You will have days when you don't feel like doing and then listen to your body and if you have a day when you can't make sure you do them the next day. You will be fine darling don't give up.xxxx

  • Thanks Sylvi, I hope you're doing ok too

  • For me straightening was good it was the 6 weeks non weight bearing that was an issue. I used the 'hanging' exercise - fairly large rolled up towel under ankle. If you use a recliner watch how your ankle 'lies' as you may need something underneath. I would build slowly to 1000 paces as that sounds a lot at the moment especially if you were struggling lots before as if you do too much it does not give the inside chance to heal. The swelling has to go down to get the bending. Farm

  • Yes I'm planning to build up. Cant get my pedometer to work ! No problem about overdoing it from this end. I dont have too much swelling due to the way they did the op. Nothing compared to my sister for instance. WHich is a good thing isnt it, but shows how surgeons vary.

  • My knee op was done on the 20th October, I was in hospital for 4 days, I was given an epidural and sedative, I could have chosen a general but was told that I will recover better after an epidural, I'm not sure I would choose that again though. The swelling and bruising came out after I had been home a few days and I couldn't do without the ice packs. Trying to walk every day, I had a physio session on Friday where I used the air gravity treadmill for 15 minutes did some knee bends and step up onto a bench using operated knee first .. bit shaky at that one, the thigh muscle down the front of my leg has switched itself off and I really need to keep trying to work it. Still taking pain meds and knee is very stiff, can't sit still for long and the tiredness is overwhelming, I fell asleep with a cup of tea in my hand. Keep up the exercise Cathie there will be not so good days but as the physio says that is normal appreciate the good days and keep going we will get there, my goal is to be able to ride my bike again and there is no reason why I won't be able to. Best wishes xx

  • Sorry about the pain and swelling, I hope that starts to subside! I have a floor peddler and physio says I can try that gently at the end of next week. Keep warm and rested though!

  • Wishing you well Cathie, you seem to be taking a very sensible approach.

  • Well done you. xxx

  • Thanks to all for support and reassurance. These dark November days don't exactly encourage you to leap out of bed, so a cuddle with the cat after exercises is just the job!

  • hi cathie

    Sounds like you are making really good progress. I felt exhausted after both my knee ops so it is important to rest as well as keeping up with those exercises. Cats are an essential part of the treatment programme :) It took about 12 weeks to get my leg straight again, the surgeon was doubtful it would straighten after several years of being bent. But I was determined to prove him wrong and just kept squeezing the knee down, against a rolled up towel every hour of the day. So best of luck, all the hard work does pay off in the end so try and keep motivated and positive lots of love xx

  • Tomato soup and cats! Essential healing factors.

    I think the physio, a wee bit at a time is doable. I'm having to learn how to use my sticks differently too as I was leaning on them and now need to be more upright. These little exchanges are reassuring me, I hope they're clarifying things for some people too.

  • My physio has said to stretch my arms up over my head and really stretch out because I am getting hunched up using the crutches, it's lovely to have a big stretch .. just don't topple over.

  • I've been doing this exercise lying down. Over the past year or so I developed horrible pain in right shoulder. So this kind of stretching does help. And pain has gone to a large extent!

  • So happy for you, Cathie! Keep up with your amazing progress! Hugs for sure!

  • THANKS for the encouragement. the exercises dont seem too bad, broken up throughout the day and I can get up from sitting more easily already - that was a big problem.

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