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Author Topic: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do  (Read 10290 times)

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Offline Fogie

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Hi there, I am new here, think this is a fantastic website.  For years my knees dislocated but not very often not until the lads came along and they got progressively worse.  So then I decided to get the tto done on my right knee.  So on the 17th April, it was done.  When I woke up, my surgeon just told me that I had a nerve block and when that wears off I will be in alot of pain because they said they had to do alot more work to my knee than they anticipated and that I am to wear the brace for the next six  to eight weeks at least and put my feet up.  I came home after 3 days.  Then I had my stitches taken out on the 27th which I only glanced at and was shocked to see how many staples I had that the nurse decided to just take half out that day and the rest out the following morning.  I am on alot of painkillers I think, 2 Solpodol 3 times a day and 1 Difene 2 times a day.  I have an appointment now coming up on the 8th May and hopefully everything will be successful.  Just wandering is there any specific questions I should ask him.  Also the shower any tips, its seem impossible having a shower without getting my brace and bandages wet.  Just want to know is there anything I can be doing to help my recovery aswell.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 03:45:28 PM by Fogie »

Offline bigal177

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you got to keep your leg elevated when resting and also regular icing will help with swelling and pain

Offline helencatherine

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Hey fogie :-)

Keep your leg elevated like bigal says, also try ice your knee but only for short periods of time, 20minutes or so every hour as too much icing can cause more damage than good.  Try not to put too much weight down on your recovering leg, each surgeon has different way of planning the recovery but I'm pretty sure he or she won't want you to fully weightbear.  Keep ontop of your meds, try to take them on time lol I keep forgetting and oh my god don't I know it when I do!! Rest rest and rest is the best thing for now, keep wiggling your toes to help with circulation etc oh and it helps to use your good leg to help lift your recovering one :-D hope everything goes well! And don't hesitate to ask questions x I had a tto plus mpfl recon and a scope done 3 weeks ago, I'm still slightly sore, bruising's appearing and my foot's swelling but I can honestly say I feel so much better than I did two weeks ago lol x

Offline lululocket

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Hi fogie! Welcome!

Have you seen a physiotherapist yet? As well as giving exercises, they can be a great source of encouragement in the days between seeing the surgeon, who may well just not care until the bone is healed at week 6-8 as it won't be 'interesting'.
If you're not doing any exercises, you should probably start foot pumps (pull your toes towards your hip, then point down again, x20), and quad sets (try to get your kneecap to slid up towards your hip and push the back of your knee down towards the bed). Glute clenches (squeezing your butt cheeks together!) are also good as you don't want that muscle to forget it exists! You can do all of those with the brace on by the way.

On the shower, once i had all of the stitches out I was allowed to get my scar wet. All the dressings were taken off at that point. I was still wearing a big brace and also a compression stocking, but could take them both off and sit on a plastic chair in the shower. (I say that like it's easy, but it wasn't...). Can you email your OS to check whether that is allowed? Or do you still have dressings on.

Because I knew that would happen after two weeks, I just didn't bother showering for the beginning, and would use a washcloth in the bathroom to get as clean as I could, usually asking somebody to help with the foot I couldn't reach! I got my mum to wash my hair in a washing up bowl!

If you really need to get in, I know that some people get plastic covers, or binbag/towel/rubber band contraptions, but I've never tried it so I'll leave that to someone else for advice!

How are you doing for pain? And happiness? We're here if you need to chat.
Lulu
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline lululocket

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important
I'd like to say on my exercise suggestions by the way - that is if you've had just a TTO. I just reread and realised you may have had other stuff done.
I don't know much about other procedures, so actually can I say please check what you've had done? Sorry!
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline Fogie

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Hi Bigal, Helencatheri & Lululocket thanks for the great advice & support.  My foot is still bruised and leg swollen but not as bad as I thought it would be.  I had really horrific visions of how it would be but thankfully no, not as bad as I thought.  I just saw physio while in hospital to show me how to use crutches on steps and she told me to flex my foot towards my hip and clench thigh muscle but she never told me how many times or how often.    Tried shower once lol !  Everything got wet with binbag & rubberband didn't work for me.  So I decided to leave it be for a while.  I have still got bandages on under stocking & brace.  I have no email for my surgeon but I have an appointment with him tuesday (3 weeks post op ).  I did read some great tips on this website about washing hair lying over side of couch (maybe that was you).  I did wake up last two nights in a little pan alright but I reckon my husband probably tapped my leg during the night oooooh it was sore then.  I do get a bit fed up sometimes because not use to being so dependant and indoors with feet up for so long.  My 3 boys snaps me out of it and really enjoy doing the stuff with them, I didn't have time to do with them before :)  I suppose I think I wouldn't be able to have survived so far without my husband taking time off work.    I am going to ask the OS what he actually done in theatre & hopefully I will know & understand more.  Thanks again and will let ye know what happens tuesday, hopefully it will be all good news !

Offline lululocket

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Hi Fogie,

I'm glad the swelling isn't as bad as you thought. Ice and keeping the knee elevated (on a wedge of pillows so it's above your heart ideally) make a big difference. You can also try arnica for bruising (a cream). Oh I'm sorry about the shower! I know somebody here had a trick with putting a towel around the leg inside the binbag, and then elastic and .....something. It all sounded too hard for me so I decided to just be a little stinky for a little longer.

It sounds like you've been left a little bit in the dark still about your surgery (don't worry, it happened to me with my first TTT and I got better eventually). Information is really important I think. Make sure you write down questions for your OS because after he's poked and prodded you, you'll probably be so flustered that when he asks if you have any questions they will all fly out of your head!

On the physio exercises - what you're describing is exactly what I was talking about, so that's good. Do some - even these three days before you see your OS will be helpful.

The foot pumps; my physio told me to do 20 at a time, every 2-3 hours, but I did them more often than that because they felt good to me. They are important to keep blood moving in your legs and stop it from pooling. REALLY important! So do them!
With the clenching the thigh muscle, that's a quad set. The aim of them is to try and keep your muscles awake - when you stay still, you get muscle atrophy. After just two weeks of not moving, they will start to disappear because your ever efficient body thinks they are no longer necessary. You can grow muscles back, but (trust me), it is much much better if you don't lose them in the first place. It is inevitable that you'll see your thigh shrink compared to the other one, but if you keep doing quad sets you can limit that. I was doing 10 at a time, holding each one for 5 seconds, then a quick rest. I'd do that 4 times (so 40 in total). I was told to do it 4-5 times a day, but it was  almost always just 4 times (before getting dressed, lunchtime, dinnertime, before going to sleep).
You weren't given glute clenches, but they're not going to hurt your knee, so you may as well do them to try and keep the muscle atrophy at bay - it will pay off later.

Kneegeeks has an explanation of rehab phases here that I highly recommend.
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/node/1119
The foot pumps are under prevent DVT
The quad sets are under maintaining quads tone
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline Fogie

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Hi lululocket,

Thanks very much, you are right I was kept in the dark about my surgery.  Of course I didn't ask the questions either, I just went with what they thought I should do.  They also want me to do my other knee, but I'm not sure if I will be able, having 3 young boys, a 7 yr old, 5 yr old and 2 year old, my poor husband is finding it tough.  Anyway that might be a long time off, I could change my mind again, when it dislocates I don't be long screaming to get it fixed.  My boys just keep saying to me that they can't wait for me to play soccer & chasing with them : )

I am going to ask alot of questions this time so that I will hopefully know what they exactly did with me and when will my legs will be back to normal.  I am suppose to be going to a concert in 2 weeks time but I am thinking maybe its not a good idea and a wedding the following week and we were suppose to be going on holidays the week after that.  Had great plans before operation.  I think I will wait & see closer to the date to make up my mind because its nice having something to look forward to especially when I have been feeling a bit down today, feeling restricted in what I can or can't do.  To lift my leg I'm using a belt because the fear that my other knee might give way.  Thanks very much again for all the information and the link, you have been so helpful  : )

Offline Lorikeet

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I agree about writing questions down before your appointment. I knew I should do it before my recent appointments and somehow forgot anyway...remembered a couple things and forgot a couple too. Also, I find the OS tends to move you along pretty quickly so having it written down is good for prompting before you are out on the street again with unanswered questions. All that said, I have found my physio to be far more helpful than the OS in the post-op period for just about everything...and I've seen her only twice so far.

I have heard about some people going out for events fairly soon after surgery so I'd guess it's doable...but remember it's pretty likely it will wipe you out for a couple of days so good to weigh up your options there. As for your holiday, probably not a great idea if you expect to be on your feet a lot. I'm sure some people have managed it but everyone is different in their healing so you can't really predict it very well. As you say, though, you might have a better idea closer to the time.

Be patient with yourself because you have a long recovery ahead. Sometimes it will see like things are progressing well and other times it will feel like it's just so slow to get back your mobility...at least that's been my experience.
04/4/2012 Left knee TTT, LR, arthroscopy

Offline Fogie

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Hi Lorikeet,  I hope you are keeping well, thanks very much.  Im already feeling fairly tired the last two days & feeling very light headed for some reason.  So I think I will definitely cancel holiday, too much travelling.  Is it normal to be feeling so tired?

Offline Lorikeet

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Re: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 05:53:04 PM »
There's a lot of healing going on after this surgery so it's normal to be tired much of the time. You may find you start feeling really energetic at some points...but I have found the down side was I tended to overdo things...your body will definitely let you know if that is the case. Not sure about the light-headedness..someone else might be able to give ideas...I get it too but assume it's my low bp.

Sorry it's looking best to cancel your holiday plans. Of course it wn't be much of a holiday if you aren't up to it either.
04/4/2012 Left knee TTT, LR, arthroscopy

Offline lululocket

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Re: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 10:47:29 PM »
There are a few key phases of recovery, and everyone hits them at different points. While the bone is still growing back, most things in public are more difficult than usualy as you are fragile and don't want to risk falling. But it's not impossible! This bone healing phase often takes about 6 weeks to heal, but there is some variation. In this phase, most people have partial weight allowed, although if the angles/screws etc are in a different pattern, you might be allowed full weight bearing. I reckon a holiday without allowing full weight bearing would be okay if it was a sitting still holiday, with travel done in a car (driven by someone else) so that you can stop when you want. I wouldn't fancy negotiating a really busy airport or train station unless I had a wheelchair, in which case it would be possible. I wouldn't have been happy if I'd been moving around a lot on crutches, or trying to be up and about each day - I reckon you need a few hours of sofa time in this phase.
I reckon it really depends on the holiday, and how much unpredictable stuff you'd encounter. If it's a spa holiday and someone drives you there - go for it! It'll be great! If it's a skiing holiday...cancel!
Concert is manageable if you make preparations beforehand - you may need to call and say you're temporarily disabled and need a seat with space in front of it, and get yourself a taxi there and back. A wedding may be ok if you haven't got too much travel, if you can sit down a lot, and take the day afterwards off work to rest as it may hit you quite hard.

My first 'big' outing is in two weeks, which will be just over 10 weeks after surgery. I'm going to walk in a (slow) 10 minute procession, but only because it's a really important ceremony for me, and I know I can take one crutch if I really need to because it's so slow! I also managed to go to a restaurant at week 7 with no problems at all, although I was pretty slow just getting from the taxi to the table and back.
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline Fogie

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Re: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 08:30:43 PM »
Thanks again Loriket & Lululocket, I too have low blood pressure, sometimes it even goes below 90.  My gp told me to raise the bottom of the bed to help it rise.  I am to put partial weight on my leg.  One day I feel great & I'm going and the next I'm not, I can't make up my mind.  The concert I was thinking of borrowing a wheel chair just in case I can't get a taxi back to the car & we may not get parking near the venue.  The holiday is a relaxing holiday but I will be travelling in the car for the whole day.  Im lucky about the wedding because thats near by.  Good luck with the walk & I will look forward to hearing how you get on.

Had my OS appointment today, the journey up was good.  Then when I went for my xray, they told me they found it hard to get my knee straight alignment in the xray that it seems to be turning in and they told me to say it to him. So I did & he said it thats ok.  Had the questions in my pocket but never asked.  I think I was put out by what the radiographer said and what my os said next that there was light red gooey stuff coming out of the top of my wound, its just a small bit but he started talking about putting me on antibiotics and then decided not to.  Instead I must go up to the wound clinic next week & they will change my dressing again & keep an eye on it.  He also told me that I should try & do straight leg lifts with brace on.  Also He will see me in 3 weeks time when I will be 6 weeks post op.  I am to be wearing a dunbar brace at 30 degrees.  The brace I have on at the moment, I can't bend my knee at all.  I found out also that I will be starting physio then & bending my knee & by the look of  his face I got the impression that its going to be a bit painfull.  He prodded my leg a bit & on the way home I was in alot of pain  :(   Not too bad now though thank god.  I will see what way my wound is next week, and if all is good I think I will go.  Must have something to look forward to   :)

Offline Lorikeet

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Re: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 06:08:08 PM »
The low bp can be a bit of a pain sometimes although I'm glad I inherited the low instead of the high that runs in my family.

I hope the wound heals up okay without any extra treatment. It's quite possible it will be fine when you go back to the clinic next week. My OS had me working on the straight leg raise from about 9 days post op...I managed to do them just before my 3 week visit but now I've been told not to do them by my physio as they aren't the best way to gain back the strength in those muscles...or something like that. Bending the knee is definitely not fun but it might not be as painful as you expect. It's still pretty early days for you, especially since you are still in a brace for a while.

04/4/2012 Left knee TTT, LR, arthroscopy

Offline Fogie

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Re: New here & 2 weeks after TTO and don't know what I can or cant do
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 06:32:35 PM »
Thats great to hear Lorikeet, that it may not be that painfull after all, ah well I will know in another 3 weeks.  Tried the SLR, not a hope it seems to feel like dead weight my leg.  I am doing the foot & quad muscle excercises more, I have set 5 alarms in my phone to remind me every day coz sometimes the time just flies by & I forget.  As I am doing more excercises it seems to get a bit sore around the knee sometimes and sometimes I feel like there is needles pricking me and then it just goes away. ???















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