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Knee replacement help :(

(26 Posts)
Hatingliferightnow Sat 25-Nov-17 16:18:34

Hi All,

I'm not expecting any magical replies but needed to vent

I had knee replacement four weeks ago and cannot straighten or bend knee at all. I should be at about a 100 degree bend by now but am on about 10 degrees at a push! It's also so very very painful.

I can't stop crying and wishing I would have never had it done. I'm really trying but I think it's psychological. The physio has been trying to help but I think that she's getting fed up with me.

I have two children who need me but I can't do anything. My parents are currently staying with me but even they are getting frustrated and keep saying I should try harder. They have to go back home soon. I'm feeling so low and constantly cry. All I want to do is sleep and don't want to get up in morning as each day the same. I try and then become distressed when I can't do it.

Thank you for reading.

cakeymccakington Sat 25-Nov-17 16:20:25

Can you speak to the consultant?

What exercises have you been doing?

My mum has had both of her knees replaced and the recovery is LONG.
It's possible to do too much exercise as well as not enough so I think I'd speak to the consultant and see what s/he thinks

SauvignonBlanche Sat 25-Nov-17 16:21:45

When are you being seen by your surgeon?

Hatingliferightnow Sat 25-Nov-17 16:27:13

Thank you for reply. The consultant appointment is on 11th December. I asked physio if she thought I should contact him and she said she would seek advice from senior. I suppose I underestimated how long the recovery would be. I just wish I could bend it more by now as this would make life easier.

I have been trying to bend whilst on chair and bed. Trying to do heel slides. Pushing thigh into bed etc. I'm trying to follow the exercises in booklet but haven't even progressed past the ones I should have completed in hospital

SauvignonBlanche Sat 25-Nov-17 17:36:13

What was your flexion on discharge?

Chewbecca Sat 25-Nov-17 18:31:53

Recovery won't be really fast so don't be too hard on yourself.

It is critical to do your exercises, several times a day. Are you doing them in full and regularly?

Aquatherapy can be brilliant for getting the knee moving again too, it is far easier to bend it in warm water - can you look into that?

Hatingliferightnow Sun 26-Nov-17 09:43:09

I had no flexion on discharge. I was feeling so unwell with the medication that Physio's decided that I should go home and rest first.

I am doing my exercises several times per day but get so frustrated when it doesn't bend anymore than the previous day. Every day feels like Groundhog Day 😒

I have considered aqua therapy but I have to wait until I am at 6 weeks until I am allowed to completely submerge my knee in water.

I will keep trying

Chewbecca Sun 26-Nov-17 10:01:02

Hmm, the spire bushey in Herts (I think that's where it is) has knee patients in their aqua pool on day 2 post op and every day before they leave, really gets it moving.

Hatingliferightnow Sun 26-Nov-17 10:33:58

That's really interesting Chewbecca I've been under strict instructions not to submerge! The water therapy makes so much sense!

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Mon 27-Nov-17 12:20:07

my DM had a knee replacement 6 or so weeks ago, and she really struggled initially to bend because her thigh muscle at the front (not sure of the exact name) was rock solid, as though it had gone into spasm. So her initial physio worked on that (roll a golf ball or wine bottle up and down it) to loosen it off, before the proper knee exercises could make a difference. Also heat pads/hot water bottles.

if any of that sounds like it might help, try the treatments, I don't think they can do any harm.

Best of luck to you, this was DM's second knee, and I know how hard she's hard to work, just to get to the point where she could sleep in a bed, rather than on the sofa. IM(very limited)E, you should be getting more professional help, so start being a squeaky wheel with the GP and physio. Also try and get hold of the consultant's secretary, we've found them incredibly helpful at getting messages to and reports and prescriptions from the consultant.

Hatingliferightnow Mon 27-Nov-17 12:59:33

Hi MyVisionsComeFromSoup, thank you for your message. Your poor mum having to have 2 new knees. I never want to go through this again. I managed to get to 30 degrees yesterday. I woke up feeling more positive today but then the pain is back with a vengeance. I did think of calling consultant secretary but he made it clear that it's over to me for 6 weeks. I will speak to physio about muscle tightness this week. My whole knee just feels so tight and swollen 😒

Bechetdiagnosed Mon 27-Nov-17 20:48:30

I had a hip replacement and found the recovery slow and painful.

Be kind to yourself and be patient. At four weeks you are very early in the recovery process. Keep up with the painkillers and rest and ice in between exercises. flowers

ozymandiusking Mon 27-Nov-17 21:05:18

Are you still taking pain killers? You do need to. You can't expect to reach 100 degrees flexion yet. Patients should be doing the exercises before the operation. You still need to be walking with a stick.
One of the exercises I was given was to slide a round ( donut ) of fabric placed under the heel and to slide it up and down the bed. I put a flat piece of wood on top of the bottom sheet which made this much easier.
Do remember knee replacement is a very painful operation ( far worse than hip replacements) and people recover at different rates, and have varying pain thresh holds. You will get better eventually.
You MUST do the exercises though, and take your pain killers regularly.
Good luck

Hatingliferightnow Tue 28-Nov-17 10:25:26

Thank you, I did lots of exercise prior to the operation to ensure quads strong as possible. I am taking pain killers and doing exercises but can only do bare minimum. I have tried to slide a bag under heel with no success. Seeing physio this week so will see what she says. I wish I could be left alone to allow swelling to go down. I cry every day regarding the lack of progress 😓

Bechetdiagnosed Tue 28-Nov-17 21:50:42

I’m 8 months down the line after a hip replacement. I cannot lie on that side and it still feels very tender.

I was told it takes a full year to recover.

I really think your recovery so far sounds normal. Your knee has been yanked about, pulled apart and sliced up. It will take some time for the tissues to fully heal. I know it’s hard (I cried many times too during my recovery) but you need to not be so hard on yourself and rest and recuperate.

Elevating your leg and icing regularly will help with the swelling. It will improve, it just needs time flowers

Hatingliferightnow Wed 29-Nov-17 09:56:46

Thank you Bechetdiagnosed Sorry to hear you have had long journey to recovery. I'm sure it will be worth it when you get there. Thank you for supportive words. It's just so hard when you are so used to being active. Everything such an effort. I will keep on elevating and icing. 😊

OrangeCarpet Wed 29-Nov-17 10:57:51

You need to get some of the inflammation down to get more movement. You should ice every 2 hours for 20 mins throughout the day. Ice pack top and bottom of knee. Elevate the knee to above your heart level as much as possible. Do this by lying on Sofa or bed and putting pillows under your leg to raise it.

smellybeanpole Wed 29-Nov-17 20:38:54

slow and steady wins the race. flowers

mando12345 Fri 01-Dec-17 08:27:11

I hope you're feeling a bit better today.
This is a link to a thread about knee replacements where an eminent consultant (that my husband has seen) contributes. If you read the whole thread there is some advice that may be relevant to you.

Hatingliferightnow Fri 01-Dec-17 08:43:07

Morning, thank you for your advice. It's def slow progress. Still feeling low and trying to keep positive. Will keep plodding on 😊

Hatingliferightnow Tue 12-Dec-17 10:06:49

Almost at 6 weeks up to 45 degrees. It hurts so much to bend and also hurts so much after I bend. I can't take anymore. I'm literally crying all day every day. I'm so low. My 2 poor children are want to get excited for Christmas and I can't cope.

OrangeCarpet Fri 15-Dec-17 17:44:13

Well done for getting to 45. Have you been to your go about your pain and how low you feel? Has the inflammation gone down at all?

Hatingliferightnow Fri 15-Dec-17 17:54:30

Hi OrangeCarpet thank you for message. I’ve been told I need a manipulation if I don’t get further soon. I’m stuck st 45. It’s so swollen and inflamed still. It’s difficult as the more I do the more swollen it becomes. I’m hoping to see GP next week as still feeling so low. I want my old life back

Joneseygirl77 Fri 15-Dec-17 20:15:08

OP my DF was in exactly the same situation as you when he had his first knee replacement about 8 years ago. He had limited flexibility in his knee 6 weeks post op and ended up going back in for a manipulation. The manipulation worked wonders although it was a very very long recovery period. He is able to go to the gym, cycle, go on long walks now however it did take over 12mo before he was ‘right’
He has subsequently had his other knee replaced so it didn’t put him off.

It’s a major op and the recovery is very long and slow so try not to get too frustrated. Find yourself a good physio ideally one who works closely with ortho surgeons and keep going with your exercises. I know it feels like slow progress but every day you will be making a small difference. Good luck flowers

Hatingliferightnow Fri 15-Dec-17 20:37:06

Thank you Joneseygirl77, it's good to hear others experiences. I've read mixed views re manipulations as some report that they don't work and some say that they can cause extreme swelling and set you back.

I don't think I realised how intense and prolonged recover would be. Especially with having young children. I'm trying to stay positive.

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