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It’s Two Years Since My TKR

I just re-read my 20-month post tkr post. Nothing much has changed, actually. There is one change, however. Now that I have reached the two year point, I do not have to take antibiotics whenever I go to the dentist. That’s great, in my opinion.

I attribute my success to the fact that I have diligently exercised every day. Starting out it was the rehab-type exercises. We all know the tremendous amount of work involved in doing that. I enjoyed it, however. I’ve always enjoyed exercising. I feel frustrated and “fat” when I don’t do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. I also eat a healthy diet.

I have been very fortunate that I have not had any infections or other ill health along the way. My scar has healed wonderfully. In fact, it’s a trophy of sorts. 🙂

My prosthesis is obviously the correct size. After reading comments from other tkr patients, I feel very fortunate with this.

My knee clicked for only a couple of weeks. I wrote a blog post about that. I haven’t had any problem with that since.

Stairs are still a big bite. Going downstairs is more painful. Going upstairs is more of a strain on my “good” knee. I’m not overweight, either.

If I sit in a traditional office-style chair, it is not fun getting out of it. After sitting in the chair for about 15 minutes, it usually takes a few minutes for my tkr leg to adjust and “straighten out” upon standing up. It can be very painful. I believe this is related to my extensive nerve damage. (I’ve written another post about that. It was caused by bone spurs).

When using a public restroom, the height of the toilet seat is a concern. Most times I need to use the hand rails. If there are not any, I look around for something else to hold onto. If there is nothing to hold onto, I wish I was a male… (they can stand and take care of their #1 business…my attempt at a joke).

If I bend my tkr beyond a certain point, it is extremely painful. I just don’t bend it beyond that point. (Remember that joke..”Hey, doc..it hurts when I do this,” says the patient. “Don’t do it” replies the doctor.)

It is painful when I first start to ride my stationary bike. My tkr does start to “warm up” after about two minutes.

My tkr swells up a bit after exercising more than about 30 minutes. The swelling is no where near what it was during the recuperation exercise process. Sometimes put ice on it, other times I don’t. It’s not that big of a deal.

I can walk without pain. I can function on a daily basis without pain. The thrill of that cannot be described in words.

My tkr has about 115 flexibility. That’s better than it was prior to my tkr. I’m not worried about it.

I can kneel, but it is very slow and deliberate. And, it’s uncomfortable. I only do it when necessary. And, it’s done on a cushioned surface.

I don’t participate in any impact sports or perform any sudden movements of my tkr. There’s a snow tubing expedition coming up that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Snow shoeing is doable, though. 🙂

My “good” knee makes crunching sounds regularly. This occurs when I go up stairs or just walk. That’s not what I want to hear.

My “good” knee also swells up and is a bit tender after exercising or doing stairs. That’s not what I want to see.

I can lay flat and my tkr leg will settle into position without much pain. Somedays it takes longer than other days. No big deal.

I can sleep through the entire night. That’s right. It does happen, just takes a LONG time.
I can even sleep on my tkr side without pain. Usually, though, it is painful to stand up after laying on that side.

Well, that’s all I can think of now. Overall…all the PAIN, sleepless nights and frustration of having a tkr is worth it to me. Not once during the original recuperation did I regret having the surgery. Not once since have I regretted it.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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14 Responses

  1. Sounds wonderful! Mine is doing quite good also…..but, my hubby bought a Corvette (I know, I know) and getting in and out of THAT is a sight to behold! I won’t ever be able to drive it by myself though…..lol……

    The rainy weather still makes my leg ache, more so than just the cold weather.

    I’m pleased…..overall.

  2. I am 4 weeks out, glad I had it done but having most issues with extension. I had a muscle spasm in my hamstring when in the hospital that has given me all sorts of fits during the rehab process.

    Glad you posted your process, a great inspiration to us with our tkr!

  3. I’m 11 months and 3 weeks post op TKR. I’m so glad you posted. I read your post and nodded my head as I read. My TKR has a little more flexion, almost full extenstion, very little pain and as you say, when I stand it sometimes takes a few seconds that feel like hours to get to full length. It settles into full extensin when lying down but also takes a few seconds to do that also. No swelling noted but I didn’t have much swelling during rehab either.
    I now have surgery scheduled for March for a bone spur originating from the back of my heel impinging on my Achilles Tendon which is very painful. For a while after the TKR, I thought that pain was part of the TKR. Only after 6 months TKR did I find out it was a bone spur which will now be removed.
    I feel like the poster that says she feels her life has changed tremendously. I too feel as though there are many things I can’t do any longer. Skiing is out. Running, jumping is out. I can walk and with the spur being removed soon, I should be doing that painfree soon. I had no choice in having a TKR and I have to remind myself of that. The knee was injured and repaired from skiing; no arthritis but it was getting very unstable and I wouldn’t have been able to walk if not for the TKR. I suppose it will never be as good as the real natural thing and sometimes I mourn that.
    I’m grateful for the fact that this technology exists that allows me to walk.

    • Who and how did they determine that you had a bone spur in the back of your heel impinging on your Achilles Tendon? I have been doing PT for my Achilles Tendon since I felt the exercises for TKR had caused me to injury my Achilles Tendon but they do not seem to be helping. So maybe I need to get a diagnoses since it has been six months.

      • Jim, I thought it was pain from having a TKR. After about 6 months I started doing stretching exercises for the Achilles Tendon THEN went to my ortho who did an exam by feeling it only and told me it was inflamed. He said to do exercises..which I was already doing. Another month passed and finally I gave up and made an appointment with a podiatrist who did an x ray. The x ray showed the bone spur but he said anyone over 40 has them and the first thing he wanted to try was decreasing the inflammation. He told me the first thing is no exercises, Voltran creme twice a day and ice paks often. This took the swelling down but it continued to be painful. On the second visit he verified the swelling was down and it was still painful so the spur had to be removed as it was still digging into the Achilles even though it wasn’t swollen any longer. They try to avoid the surgery and that’s why he wanted to see what would happen if the swelling was gone. He knew when the pain persisted that the bone spur was too big to be left in place and surgery was necessary.
        Good luck to you. It takes two months of no weight bearing after the surgery to let the Achilles Tendon heal and he said ABSOLUTELY NO WEIGHT BEARING. I just want to be able to stand and walk without pain. The knee is fine..it’s the Achilles Tendon that is painful.

        • An update:
          I had the bone spur removed and the Achilles Tendon repaired and have been on crutches and in a wheelchair for almost 3 weeks. I have 5 more weeks till I can put weight on it and until then I won’t know the outcome of this surgery.

          • I had my appointment to understand what is going on in my Achilles Tendon area.

            I have calcification where the Achilles Tendon connects to the back of the heel. Dr. said it is referred to as pump bump in women. So he is having me do three things:

            o wear an SP Walker (aircast) except when driving.

            o wear WonderZorb (WonderSpur Soft Blue) in my shoes and/or aircast.

            o apply DEXAMETH PHO 4MG/ML using an Action Patch (Smart Iontophoresis System).

            It may take a year or more to clear it up completely but may reoccur. Aircast for 4 to 6 weeks. Meds for 3 to 5 weeks. WonderZorb ongoing (this is a heel pad).

  4. I am about 2 years out from a TKR on my left knee. Some strange things are starting to happen, however. Every now and then I get clicking sounds which I have learned to live with. Normally, I am pain free, except now my knee locks up when in the bent position while sitting in a chair. It causes me excruitiating pain, and I have a real hard time getting it to go straight. When I finally do, it makes a loud clunking sound. It is happening more and more. I have even noticed it now when in the straight position I can’t get it to bend without the pain, and the clunk. After it finally goes to where I want it to go, it doesn’t hurt anymore. Has anyone ever heard of this? I believe I have a Stryker knee. I am going to be 50. I am to young to be debilitated.

  5. Debbie, I agree with Ann. That does not sound right about your
    knee locking up on you and making loud sounds. Definitely see
    your surgeon and have him do xrays to see what’s going on.
    I am 16 months out with my left knee and 7 months with my right.
    I still get soreness in both knees but nothing would term as pain.
    Am wondering how long it takes for the soreness and stiffness to
    go away or will it always be there? I also do not regret getting my
    TKR’s as I was in a lot of pain before getting them.

  6. Thanks for your up-date. It was very encouraging to me. I am 7 months since my TKR right knee & I have clicking sounds when I bend the knee. It’s not really painful, more aggrevating. But it was helpful to read some comments others left of what their OS said the clicking is. I do my stretching & exercises daily still and have really come to enjoy it. My knee feels better afterwards which is a nice reward. I continue to work on losing weight. I have about 30 more pounds to lose to reach the “ideal” weight for my height. I’ve lost 38 since I started that goal almost 2 yrs. ago. I do need to have my left knee replaced also at some point. I am hoping to get the right one to a place I feel comfortable with tackling the recovery process on the left.

  7. I am now 8wks post op from the Achilles Tendon repair and bone spur removal. I’m finally walking with assist. A cane or crutch is needed if I stand on it much because of the swelling but I’m healing once again!

  8. Thanks for keeping us updated. I am finally going to get into a foot & ankle doctor to see why I am having the same thing you described. Appt: 6/1…
    But I don’t look forward to 8 weeks without weight bearing.

  9. JIM:

    I was so diappointed that I had to have the Achilles/Bone Spur surgery and I was not casted but put into a Night Splint after surgery which let me escape the rehab of getting my foot back to 90 degrees flexion. After 3 weeks, I could remove the splint and point and flex the foot WITHOUT resistance then put the splint back on. AT 6 weeks he allowed me to weight bear though initially he cautioned that it would be 8wks non weightbearing. It was very painful to try to walk when allowed and I had to use crutches and do partial weight bearing for a week or so. The pain was in the bottom of my foot..not the back where the spur was. That part felt great. No spur and no horrendous pain back there. It’s restretching the tendon in the bottom of the foot that hurts.
    After about 1 1/2 weeks, I switched to one crutch then at 2 weeks a cane occasionally and today is 8wks post op walking without assist. I do have to elevevate it as soon as the swelling starts. I’m so thankful to be this far along once again. Take your time ….if Achilles has to be detached, don’t take a chance on weight bearing and causing it to be detached which happens sometimes to people that move too quckly through this. Good luck to you and
    let me know what the podiatrist says after your exam.
    copy and paste….my blog where I update my progress on the TKA and the foot.

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