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Total Knee Replacement: Swelling

Joint Replacements | Last Active: Aug 7, 2023 | Replies (60)

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Thanks for the encouraging and thoughtful reply. I do elevate using pillows and have started twice a week orthopedic physical therapy. The sessions are very helpful but my range of motion is from 6 to 66 degrees at this point. Without their specialized equipment I find it much more difficult to incrementally increase the ROM especially given my swelling.

I am currently using a walker and am just beginning to take a few steps with a cane. My therapist said I am in the lower percentile for range of motion at this point but we all know everyone is different. He and I both I agree that my progress should be measured week to week against myself not others. We have discussed upping my visits from 2 to 3 per week but it is proving difficult as they are very busy.

I am aware of massage and it’s benefits. Does your PT person do this?

I guess my main issue is I have always been a very competitive and able athlete and it is very frustrating not to be able to steadily improve because the swelling prevents me from doing the exercises. It seems like if I exercise I swell and if I don’t exercise I swell. I’d hate to think how swollen I’d be had I not been using the ice machine hours per day.

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Replies to "Thanks for the encouraging and thoughtful reply. I do elevate using pillows and have started twice..."

Hello, I am sorry to hear that you are having a lot of swelling, but wow, 10 days is really early in the recovery process.

You have a wise therapist. I wish all of them would acknowledge that every body is different, and entitled to individual an individual treatment schedule. Ask the PT to show you strategies for increasing range of motion without their equipment. Most are very willing to show you how to improvise.

The hardest thing for me to believe, when I had my first hip replacement, was how many things were affected by "one little incision" - then I realized that my bones had been cut and hammered, muscles and ligaments moved and bruised, nerves cut and damaged, and blood lost - my body was in distress. For some people there is pain, swelling, numbness, weakness, muscle spasms, or all of these.
Everyone heals at their own rate, and it can be different with every surgery.

Apparently, your body has decided to slow you down by swelling, you just have to respect that and keep doing what you can. Just find that fine line between exercise/rest/ice and overdoing it.

One of the beautiful things about connect is that we are all walking the path back to health, and can encourage one another.

I'm wishing you lessmswelling and more range of motion in the coming week.

Good evening @ginzy53, I think you have said it succinctly. Everyone is different and you need to proceed as comfortably as you can. In answer to your question about massage, MFR is more of a treatment than a massage. Therapists in MFR have studied for several years and passed different levels of expertise. My MFR therapist has an "Expert" rating. She has been here for me for at least 5 years as I have progressed with the symptoms of small fiber neuropathy. I see her twice a week now so that my daily life can be more pain tolerable. I can predict that as the condition continues to progress, I may need to receive treatment 3 times a week.

I, too, have always been an athletic advocate.....tennis, golf, and an activity called Inn to Inn walking. We cover about 40-50 miles a week and have walked in many beautiful places. I have great memories. My walks right now while recovering are 1 mile or under. It has been hard for me to let go of the activities I so enjoyed. Several years ago, I replaced some of those adventuresome efforts with my volunteer role on Connect. That has been a wonderful choice on top of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.

Have you discovered new activities?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.