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Total Knee Replacement: Swelling

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

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Gordy - The formation of scar tissue can be a problem, and like everything else in surgery, it is very individual. As is when it is time to push limits and when to listen to your body. Perhaps it is time for a talk with your surgeon about your concerns?

You mentioned lack of specialized equipment at home - your PT can work with you on using common items in your home to substitute. After one knee repair surgery, I was taught to use a webbing strap around my ankle to gently pull my knee into a deeper bend. All I remember of the exercise after 25 years it how much it hurt - but it worked. (Just one of many tricks learned over the years.)

Also Chris (@artscaping) has talked a lot here about MFR (myofascial release) therapy, which keeps the fascia loose. I believe that process, with massage will help as far as preventing scar tissue formation. Also, lymphatic drainage massage, which can be done by you at home, can help move the fluid to reduce swelling. A good PT or massage therapist can show you how to use it in your specific case.

Those are my thoughts for the day - anything give you ideas?
Hang in there - this is a road race, not a sprint.

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Replies to "Gordy - The formation of scar tissue can be a problem, and like everything else in..."

My PT person has given me a number of home substitutes for their equipment including the idea you suggested as well as using a cookie sheet underfoot to do leg slides while on carpeting. Clever!

I have my 2 week post op appointment with the surgeon this Tuesday. Apparently all staples and sutures will be removed and X-rays taken. I look forward to the visit, his assessment of my healing and the chance to get some questions answered. At the top of my list of concerns: controlling swelling, range of motion, scar tissue formation and the most effective plan to manage those 3 simultaneously.

Being this is my first TKR my observations for success up to this point are:
1. Eat healthy meals and get as much sleep as possible.
2. Do the rehab! It hurts but is the only way to improve.
3. Take all your meds as prescribed. Drink plenty of water.
4. Get into a daily routine including, meals, meds, rest, rehab, ice, repeat.
5. Maintain a social life whether online or in person. Have friends over, go for car rides (as a passenger) etc. it’s a great diversion and very physically and mentally stimulating. You’ll be surprised!

Lastly, this is a marathon not a sprint. Listen closely to your body. Go slow but DO push yourself. Remember, the mind and body are amazing instruments and are often capable of far more than we understand.