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Author Topic: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021  (Read 307 times)

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Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« on: April 24, 2021, 08:01:19 PM »
Background - I had an HTO on the right leg in Dec 2018 and the metal Tomofix late out Jan 2019, due to Covid have had to wait for a TKR.

The week before admission I had my pre-assessment check, the day after a Covid test, and then my family and I had to self-isolate from then on, getting the results back three days before I was due in hospital.

Day 1 29/3/21 Admission Day and Operation Day Monday
Turned up at hospital not having ate since the night before, and only drank water up until an hour before I went in, temperature checked, Covid questions answered, I was shown to my room.
From then on I was seen by the nurses, physio, my consultantís registrar, the anesthetist, and then my consultant, all questions asked and answered, crutches in place, forms signed I was ready for new knee.
I was given a spinal and sedation and donít remember anything else until I came round. I was out start to finish for about 2 hours. I have a massive bandage round my leg.
Wasnít allowed to get out of bed, but was waited on. Had a call from my consultant during the evening to say my operation had all gone well and he was pleased. However, I had a really bad night, only one hour sleep. I had a dose of IV antibiotics at 3am and I had to have a dose of Morphine at about 4am. My blood pressure and oxygen levels were taken every 2 hours. I was uncomfortable as I sleep on my side normally and I bend my legs, of course that was not possible as the bandage restricted my movement.

Day 2 30/3/21 Tues
After last night I was very tired, but had a busy morning, lots of tablets, breakfast, nurses, physio, my consultant visited, said as I had a cryocuff that afternoon the bandage could come off and be replaced by the cryocuff, and I could use it as much as I wanted. The physio was there when my consultant came in, and was just getting me to do a single leg raise, which I managed in some fashion, both were impressed. During the afternoon I was seen by the physio again and taken for a walk on my crutches along the corridor, given the all clear to walk along the corridor on my own. Managed ok, leg was sore and achey. I had a bit more sleep and morphine during the night.

Day 3 31/3/21 Wed
Again, another busy morning getting ready to go home. I had a lovely shower with help. Physio took me to try the stairs on my crutches; I went down 3 stairs using the hand rail, and back up 3 stairs. Tried it again and managed it ok, the physio passed me to go home. I had a call from my consultant to check on my progress.
I am going home! Itís lovely to be home but I had  terrible night sleep, kept waking up and then couldnít get comfortable, eventually I put a small pillow (Ikea do some leg sized cushions) between my knees and ankles and managed to turn on my side and sleep for about 1 hour before turning over. I took a dose of morphine during the night.

Day 4 1/4/21 Thurs
Had a better night sleep, dosed up on my pain meds. I had help from my husband to have a shower, best feeling as a have a shower stool to sit on. I rested lots, using my cryocuff on and off all day and night. Gave in and had a sleep in the afternoon as I couldnít keep my eyes open. I walked around the house and did my physio exercises.

Day 5 2/4/21 Good Fri
What a crap night, woke up lots of times, very tired this morning. I went for a walk in the garden, up and down the garden path; it was lovely to be in the garden in the fresh air. I gave in and had a sleep in the afternoon, but got uncomfortable and cut it short. Iíve kept up all the pain meds.

Day 6 3/4/21 Sat
Iím tired today so I did my physio exercises but no extra walking except going to use the bathroom. Iíve kept on top of all the pain meds.

Day 7 4/4/21 Easter Sun
Had quite a good day, had a walk outside, be it only along the garden path. Seem to have the pain under control now, but I cut down on two of the doses of codeine to one tablet to make them get to Tuesday when I can get some more. I was supposed to be given 2 weeksí worth of pain relief and found out I had 5 daysí worth, so I am panicking about pain relief over the bank holiday weekend.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 04:20:32 PM »
Day 8 5/4/21 Easter Mon
I had a very bad night sleep, had about 1 hour sleep all night. I couldnít get comfortable mainly because of the pain. I had a bit of a meltdown during the night.  I had cut down on the meds as I was running out, must get some more tomorrow. The cryo cuff wouldnít relieve some of the pain. I took a dose of morphine during the night which got me an hourís sleep. Hospital forgot the bank holiday weekend and the surgeries are not open; I messaged the GP surgery with an urgent request for pain relief. I had a very emotional day, crying all the time for no reason. I have sat and rested and my husband insisted I had a lie down after lunch, again couldnít get comfortable so got up.

Day 9 6/4/21 Tues
Had a much better night sleep, dosed up on pain relief before bed, I slept between 1 -2 hours before waking up uncomfortable. I used my cryocuff on and off during the night, itís part of my pain relief. Felt better having slept better, more mobile as well. Bruising is calming down on the top of my leg. My GP surgery text me at 7.30am to say the prescription had been send to the pharmacy ready to collect. I also had a sleep in the afternoon. Walked around indoors as it was bitterly cold outside and have done all my physio exercises. I have used my cryocuff a lot over the last 8 days and would recommend. Walking is getting easier, best so far, as swelling is starting to go subside. I noticed a red rash starting from under my dressing (I am allergic to Elastoplast and micropore tape amongst other things).

Day 10 7/4/21 Wed
I had a bad night sleep as the rash had developed, and was very itchy. I used the cryocuff to calm it down during the night. Monitored it during the day and as it had got worse; I called my consultants secretary, who has the week off, not helpful. Managed to get hold of another secretary, who I explained what the problem was, she said she would try to get hold his registrar. I also phoned the GP surgery, who promised me a call back. By late afternoon I had not heard from anyone, so I phoned the hospital. They contacted my consultant. They said could I get in to them, ďYesĒ. I went to the hospital, where they were waiting for me. A nursing Sister checked my temperature, blood pressure and oxygen level. She had a look at the rash and asked some questions. Then I was seen by a doctor who said to air on the side of caution he would prescribe me some antibiotics and also to take some Piriton to stop the itching. I couldnít wait to start the Piriton as the itching was unbearable, anything touching it made it worse. On the way to the hospital the on call doctor from the GP surgery phoned me and I explained that I was going on my way to the hospital.

Day 11 8/4/21 Thurs
I slept slightly better, still waking up every few hours. It still itched but during the day the pain of the itching subsided a little. Where the rash was made it harder to walk and do my physio exercises. I took all my doses of antibiotics and Piriton along with my other meds, feel a little dopey and kept nodding off to sleep. I have had a sleep in the afternoon. The rash has spread out on the leg a little more but the itching has subsided quite a bit, and more bearable.

Day 12 9/4/21 Fri
Slept ok considering, I wake up every 1-3 hours, mainly because I get uncomfortable and have to change positions. I tend to sleep on my side with a small pillow between my legs supporting my knee and my ankle. When I wake up I move on to my back and straighten both legs, both of which hurt. I need to have the left knee replaced so it is taken the extra force and has started to rebel. I do some of the physio exercises to release the pain. I refill my cryocuff and settle down again. I phone the hospital doctor with an update on the rash, that it has spread, and he said leave it for a couple more days, so the antibiotics/Piriton has had time to work. I need to phone him of Sunday. I had a sleep in the afternoon. Walked up and down in the house and did my physio exercises. I had trouble on occasions to bend my leg when walking.

Day 13 10/4/21 Sat
Slept a bit better, I didnít need to take the morphine during the night to top up my pain relief as on previous nights. Checked out the rash, itís started on the opposite side of the dressing now and has spread a little more up the leg. Have done my physio exercises and walked up and down the house a fair few times today. I did not have a sleep in the afternoon as I felt awake but I did rest my leg on the sofa. I have kept up all my pain relief, antibiotics and Piriton. I can bend my leg about 80 degrees today and found walking easier. I have sat in a chair quite a bit today with my leg bent and trying to bend it a little more.

Day 14 11/4/21 Sun
I slept ok with the normal waking up every 1-3 hours. As requested I phoned the hospital doctor that saw me a few days ago, to tell him about the rash. He told me to get an appointment with my consultant. Took it easy today, did physio exercises. I have used the cryo cuff a lot today.  Rash has not got any worse today. Kept up with the antibiotics, pain relief and Piriton, I feel that I rattle with all the tablets I am taking.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 10:53:02 PM »
Day 15 12/4/21 Mon
Tried getting an appointment with my consultant but I couldnít get passed the secretary. Very frustrating with everything a have been through this week! Iíve finished taking the blood thinning tablets today. Went to my GP surgery, the nurse took the dressing off my knee very carefully, checked the wound and said thereís no infection and clipped a couple of stitches out. Covered with a different dressing and put in something that would help heal the odd bit that had the skin taken off when the dressing came off. She asked about the pain, as she had noted that I had requested more pain relief. Itís a little bit better now the dressing has been changed.

Day 16 13/4/21 Tues
Had a better day although the new dressing is starting to make my skin itch, I wanted to leave it on until tomorrow if possible. So kept taking the Piriton to relieve the itching and kept up with all the pain relief. Did my physio exercises and sat a fair bit with my leg down on the floor trying to bend it just that little bit more. Iím still wearing the delightful stockings, got to wear them for six weeks.

Day 17 14/4/21 Wed
I have had a good day today. I took the dressing off this morning following my shower. I put shorts on so the wound could dry out and not be rubbed by trousers. It looks good, although skin is very dry where the dressing was causing a rash. The rash has died down since the dressing has been removed. I have just ordered some E45 cream to massage into the skin around the wound area. This afternoon I had a physio appointment. After making notes on what I have had done previously, some goals that I want to achieve, about the allergies, and pain relief, we got down to the job of finding out what I can do. She measured my flex and it was 90degrees, so that was one goal I had achieved as they want you to be able to bend 90 degrees by week 2-3.  She watched me walk, I explained about the tightness in my muscles. She said some people walked with a stiff (wooden) leg or flick it out to the side, and to watch for these. I can relate to both of these!! She showed me some exercises to stretch the muscles to help, and some other exercises to help me bend and straighten my knee. Hopefully they will help. It was easier to walk out that it was to walk in to my appointment. I am booked into see the physio in 2 weeksí time. Finished taking the antibiotics today and am going to stop taking the Piriton as I do not have dressings on that can irritate the skin. I have set myself a goal for tomorrow, to take a short walk outside the house and garden, my husband is coming with me.

Day 18 15/4/21 Thurs
I slept fairly well last night in comparison to the previous nights. I am massaging E45 cream to start moisturizing the skin which is very dry and scaly. I can manage to sit with my knee bent now. This afternoon I went for a bit of a walk, I managed to walk 5 houses along and back. My leg felt tight to start with and I had to concentrate really hard on trying to bend it when I walk. It felt a bit looser when I got back but tired so I had a sleep in the afternoon. I used my cryocuff to keep the swelling to a minimum following my walk.

Day 19 16/4/21 Fri
I had a couple of hourís good sleep, and a few hours when I just couldnít get comfortable, as I had an aching pain in my hip. I started my new physio exercises, which were emailed through yesterday. I have 7 exercises for now, with another 4 for next week. I went for another walk outside this afternoon, I walked 6 houses along today, increased by 1 house today, and I have walked around indoors more. I found it was easier to walk bending my knee today and didnít have to concentrate so hard. My calf muscle feels tight still but not so much as a few days ago. Still taking pain relief to get through physio and walking.

Day 20 17/4/21 Sat
I had the best nightís sleep so far since I had my TKR, actually slept until 4am, visit to the toilet and then back to sleep until my tablet alarm went off at 6am. Done physio exercises during the day, some of them have to be done once a day; others 2-4 times a day. Gets confusing! I also went out for a walk increased it by 2 houses, along with extra walking around the house and garden. Iím still using the cryocuff, taking pain relief, massaging with E45 cream and using 2 crutches. Towards the evening my leg feels a little tight / swollen, not sure if I have overdone the walking today.

Day 21 18/4/21 Sun
My new knee is 3 weeks old today! I have plodded away at my physio exercises, using the cryocuff, taking pain relief and massaging E45 in and around my scar. I went for a walk along the road not increasing it today. I have sat in the garden today, taking care not to let the sun on my scar.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2021, 09:47:15 PM »
Day 22 19/4/21 Mon
I slept better last night, I slept until 4.20am. I went for a longer walk increasing it by one house. I sat in the garden as the weather was lovely, enjoyed being outside and watched my husband cut the grass, and I pottered around the garden looking at the weeds growing.

Day 23 20/4/21 Tues
I slept better last night, it was 4.45am. I increased the walking today by a couple of houses, felt better at walking, carried on the physio exercises and the cryocuff afterwards. I sat in the garden again today, catching up on my Vitamin D.

Day 24 21/4/21 Wed
Wow, I slept until 5.20am longest sleep since I have had my new knee. My knee felt tight and after doing some straightening and bending exercises it felt better. I went for a walk, which is becoming easier.

Day 25 22/4/21 Thurs
I am definitely sleeping better, although I keep waking up and have to stretch out my knee, as my muscles are quite tight still. I do stretching and bending to relieve the tightness. The muscles in my thigh and calf seem to not relax properly, so always seem tight.

Day 26 23/4/21 Fri
I have worked hard on my physio today, bending, stretching, sliding, and rolling my leg. Had a sit down whilst we had friends round, but went for a walk afterwards. Itís definitely getting easier walking. Getting up and down is becoming easier as the swelling and bruising is going down. I have not been using my cryocuff as much, but using it after physio and walking.

Day 27 24/4/21 Sat
I had a lovely sleep, only waking up twice, turned over and went back to sleep, after stretching my leg. I have been doing my physio exercises regularly. I walked the furthest since my new knee, walked an extra 6 houses today. I live on a road that is a figure of eight; my aim is to walk round half the 8 tomorrow, approx.  24-28 houses. I have had a good day, sitting in the garden in the sun.

Day 28 25/4/21 Sun
I have walked the furthest today since my TKR, my husband came with me to make sure I was ok. It felt good, it stretched my muscles, but later they rebelled and tightened up a bit. It tired me out and I slept fairly well

Days 29 - 35 Week 5
Mon - I realized that I have not received my 6 week follow up appointment yet, so I rung Orthopedic Appointments today, only to be told that on my records I am not showing as had the knee replacement, my last entry was for the outpatients appointment. They said they would contact my consultantís secretary and would get back to me. The next day I phoned his secretary, who had the email but she hadnít done anything about it. I asked if it would make a difference if I forwarded her a copy of the discharge papers, so I emailed them to her, she said I would hear from the appointments team by the end of the week. Letís wait and see!!!
Wed - I have woken up with had pains from the muscles in my hip, thigh, through my knee and into my calf, the last few days. I have tried to ease it by doing stretching and physio exercises, but it just felt like my whole leg was going to cramp up. This week I have had an appointment with my physio, who ran through how I was getting on. I was having a bad day and I only got 95degree bend. I explained about the muscle tightness, and we went through what I was doing, how I eased it off, and the exercises I was doing. She showed me some new exercises, stretches and explained that although I used a pillow between my knees at night, maybe I should use two, as the leg/ankle is lower than the hip and is pulling on the muscle, so not relaxing when I am asleep. That night I used the extra pillow and I had the best night sleep so far. It is all about lining up the hip, the knee and the ankle up so itís not straining. Sitting with your legs further apart helps too.
Fri Ė Phoned the appointments team as I hadnít heard from them, after a fashion I managed to secure an appointment next week to see my consultant.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 09:21:02 PM »
Days 36 Ė 42 Week 6

This week I have increased the distance I am walking and trying to stand more upright when walking on my crutches. I have still had some of the tightness in my leg muscles, but have slept better as I have taken extra pain relief before bedtime.

Iím still using my cryocuff after physio exercises and going for a walk. I am wearing training shoes around the house as I find they are more supportive than having bare feet. I try to walk either with one crutch or no crutches from chair to chair, small distances but give up when it hurts

I been to see my consultant this week, he watched me walk into his room on my crutches, and said I used them with confidence. I ought to as I have used them after 5 knee operations!! He was surprised that I was still on two crutches; he asked if I had tried without one or none.
We discussed the allergic reaction I had, had a look at the scar, and then he checked how far I could bend my leg, followed by straightening my knee. He thought it was about 100 degrees. He went to show me the x-rays taken a couple of days after my knee replacement but they hadnít been uploaded to my record. I had my operation at a private hospital on the NHS.
I asked him what he had done to my muscles, he said ďnothingĒ. I told him about the muscle pains and cramping feeling I was getting, from hip to ankle. He explained that my nerves/muscles were so used to feeling pain that the signals to my brain were so used to it. It needs to be helped to along with the ďmind over matterĒ. I came away and thought about how to overcome the cramping pain.

We finished up with making a further appointment in 6-8 weeks, when I would have a full set of       x-rays on both knees to see how the right leg looks after having the knee replacement, and on the left to see what damage is causes me problems and to make plans to move forward.

Day 43 Ė 50 Week 7

Following my consultants appointment I tried to concentrate on positive thinking about the cramps and muscle. Every time my leg cramped up, I have tried to relax and think it doesnít hurt! I am trying to walk more around the house without my crutches or with just one. I am walking further outside using the two crutches like walking poles, opposite leg with opposite crutch. I am determined to walk in to see my consultant without at least one crutch next time.
I have adjusted some of my physio exercises making them a little harder. I ordered a mini leg cycle to help with strength and bend in my leg.
Day 51 Ė 57 Week 8

I have kept up my physio exercises, the muscles are easing a little, and I feel like Iím finally getting somewhere. I have also been to the swimming pool, to do some physio exercises in. I tried to move my leg up and down, bending it as far as I can. I also walked along the length of the pool and tried front crawl leg kick. As I cannot bend my leg and have differing strength in my legs I find I cannot go straight!

I am still taking pain relief, and on a really bad day had a dose of morphine to ease the pain and get some sleep. I am in general sleeping better as the muscles are easing and not waking me up so often.

I have been pottering in my garden, planting up some pots and enjoying the sunshine. I have been walking around the garden with one crutch or without my crutches, as my confidence is growing, but when I have done too much  my leg tells me and I have to sit down.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2021, 10:12:39 PM »
Month 3

I have seen the physio once this month, she watched me walk along the corridor, corrected my posture, and made me look forward when I was walking.  It easier to walk when the ground is flat, but when I go for a walk the ground is up and down where the pavement has been dug up. I practiced stepping up on a step with my operated leg, confidence is big issue. I managed to step up and down until it hurt. She asked me about the muscle cramps, I explained about it easing but it gets very tight above the knee. She massaged the area, which eased it a bit. She has given me some new exercises.

I have been using my mini leg cycle every day as part of my physio. I have tried to walk around the house and in the garden with no crutches, but find I need to use one/two crutches by the evening.

 I have been to the swimming pool 3 times every week, and I have put some exercises into the pool to make them non weight bearing but I have to be careful not to overdo it, easier said than done!! I push myself but then regret it later.

I have been doing some more gardening, getting carried away doing too much! Iím still using my cryo-cuff on both knees during the evening to get the swelling down. I am still taking anti-inflammatories and painkillers every day but some of that is due to my other knee hurting.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2021, 05:39:13 PM »
Month 4 July 2021   

I got called in early for my appointment so that I could have X-rays on both knees before appointment with consultant. I walked in to his room holding one crutch as I wanted to show him that I could manage to walk on my own, although I used it to walk in and out of the surgery. He asked me how I was doing, I said I was still having problems with the muscles in the right leg but it had eased slightly since I have been to the pool. He checked how far I could bend and straighten it, which he thought was ok at the present time. He showed me my x-rays on both knees and was very pleased with the replacement on the right knee. He showed me all the parts he had replaced and why it needed it. Then we looked at my x-rays for my left knee, showed me where my 10 year old osteotomy was and the state of my knee. We discussed the pain I am having and the locking of the knee, he explained that there was not a lot of gap between the bones and also some boney growths which are catching on each other causing it to lock. We decided on a TKR on left knee in about 3 monthsí time. I asked him about more physio as normally you get 6 sessions and I have session 5 next week.

I am using my cryo-cuff every evening before bed to get the swelling to go down, itís my best friend! I am also taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories every day and still using one crutch when outside the house.

I have been to physio and she measured my bend in my knee at 90 degrees, she asked how I was getting on, why is it you can do all the exercises at physio session but at home it is more difficult. My leg muscles/nerves were painful. She showed me some new exercises but ended up massaging and manipulating my knee to 115 degrees, that was painful, good job I had a mask on so she could see the faces I was pulling!!! She told me about some more exercises I could do in the pool using a pool noodle and the steps.

The weather has not helped this month as it is unusually hot in the UK, it has made it more swollen stiff, and am unable to bend more than 90 degrees. I have used my exercise bike a couple of times and find it painful and tight to start with but eased off after a while. I am still going to the pool 3 times a week, swimming and doing physio exercises.

I had another physio session this month, the physio watched me walk along the corridor and listened to the problems I was having with my ankle and I had to take off my shoes and she did all sorts of muscle tests and show her what I could do and couldnít do and she suggested I buy a ďToes UpĒ foot brace. As I have foot drop, which is causing me to lift my knee/leg higher to clear the floor or stairs. She has given me some extra exercises for my ankle/foot, some stretches to help the muscles in the thigh.

I am enjoying doing my physio in the pool, I have increased my time in the pool from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, although I could stay in longer but I pay for it the next day in pain in my knees.

Conclusion Ė the arthritic pain has gone, but I have nerve/muscle pain and foot drop now.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: Wonkey Donkey's Total Knee Replacement - March 2021
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2021, 05:46:38 PM »
Month 5 - August 2021

Physio watched me walk up and down and said you look stiff. I explained that I was having a bad time. I had fallen over the week before, over my foot and banged my other knee which was very painful. She checked both knees, asked about the foot brace I had bought and whether that was helping. I had bought a neoprene brace which attaches to the laces of my shoes. She was going to contact my consultant and explain the situation.

Over the last two weeks I have tried to ring my consultantís secretary over 20 times and either left a message or got voicemail letting me know her working hours. I was getting frustrated as at my appointments my consultant says if you have a problem get through to my secretary. Eventually I got through and got the earliest appointment in three weeksí time.

Just come back from physio session number 8. She explained what she had written to my consultant about my foot drop and nerve sensations down my leg and in my foot. I explained that I now have tingling in my thumb and cannot put my big toe on a hard floor without shoes on. She told me to include that and wear the brace when see my consultant next week. We went through my plaster/tape allergy, thought it was worth trying taping my knee where I get the most pain when bending my knee. So I came away with blue Rock Tape up and across my leg and another lot to put on myself if I donít come out in a rash. She gave me some more exercises to do in the pool with a noodle, stretching and bending.

Conclusion Ė Drop foot is helped by wearing the brace; pain is controlled by anti-inflammatories and Co-Dydramol, using my crutches when needed, and definitely using them outside. It is frustrating as I thought I would be pain free once I got over the operation pain, I have good days where I have no pain in my TKR leg, and then I feel worse on some days than before the TKR, but my left knee is catching/locking more often than previously and I know I need a TKR but I feel I couldnít cope if I get drop foot on that leg as well!