5 months post TKR: Stopped doing exercises and dealing with pain

Posted by marbowl @marbowl, Sat, May 30 3:07am

I’m 5 months post TKR. I’m a nurse and am working swab clinic for the Coronavirus. I’m ashamed to admit ( especially being a nurse) I stopped doing my knee excecises. I’m walking about 10,000 steps a day. At night my knee hurts and Burns and my leg is usually swollen. I’m taking Tramadol to help me sleep, because Of the pain ( I usually never took any pain medication for anything except Tylenol) But at night the burning and sometimes a certain way I turn a certain pain wakes me up. I’m not at home, I’m away because of the assignment. I think it’s all probably because I stopped doing my exercises. I’m just exhausted when I get home. Does anyone agree with this.? Sorry long winded it’s 4:00 am and I’m awake again and have to get up in two hours to work.

@msstoppainnagginme : I think your knee pain is probably more from over-use, being on your feet so much. The knee exercises are mostly to regain muscle strength, and to attain as much flexibility as possible. The major progress usually happens within the first few months, even though slight improvements will continue for at least a year. As @saeternes posted, she is at the 6 month point and has slacked off with the specific knee exercises. I eased off around 7 months post surgery. If you ever have a day off, do you still have the same pain and swelling? That might give you a clue if it’s work, not enough knee exercises, or perhaps something different (scar tissue?) is developing.

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Hello @marbowl, I would like to welcome you to Connect along with @ellenbracke and other members. Thank you for doing what you do. I'm sorry to hear about the pain and not being able sleep. I'm a little over a year out from my TKR and I agree with @ellerbracke that the pain is probably from over-use. 10,000 steps is a lot but I'm guessing pretty average for an RN. I'm guessing there is not much chance in your work of elevating the leg during your work day. I know that along with an ice pack helped my leg swelling in the first months. I also have lymphedema and must wear compression socks. Another thing that may help at night is to put a pillow under your mattress at the bottom of the bed to raise the legs a little. I still do this to help with my swelling.

There is another discussion that might be helpful for you.

Chronic,debilitating pain after knee replacement: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronicdebilitating-pain-after-knee-replacement/

Does the swelling in your leg go away overnight?

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@ellerbracke

@msstoppainnagginme : I think your knee pain is probably more from over-use, being on your feet so much. The knee exercises are mostly to regain muscle strength, and to attain as much flexibility as possible. The major progress usually happens within the first few months, even though slight improvements will continue for at least a year. As @saeternes posted, she is at the 6 month point and has slacked off with the specific knee exercises. I eased off around 7 months post surgery. If you ever have a day off, do you still have the same pain and swelling? That might give you a clue if it’s work, not enough knee exercises, or perhaps something different (scar tissue?) is developing.

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@ellerbracke I'm sorry to say but u sent the msg to the wrong person. I'm having alot of discomfort from my left knee & trying to learn as much as I can from reading all & trying to find the right Surgeon in nyc. Currently not adviseable for me to get this trtmnt due to other health issue's. I'm so sorry about the underlines but I can't remove them my settings are hard for me to fix on my cellphone. I also will be keeping everyone posted when I start my knee replacement surgery. & I live on a 5th flr walk-up & can not afford to move currently.

I do believe the wonderful hard working Nurse/@marbowl is the person you should send msg to I just happened to be awake & saw her post. & I too agree that she should stay off her feet & try to rest more.
That's it 4now.

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@johnbishop

Hello @marbowl, I would like to welcome you to Connect along with @ellenbracke and other members. Thank you for doing what you do. I'm sorry to hear about the pain and not being able sleep. I'm a little over a year out from my TKR and I agree with @ellerbracke that the pain is probably from over-use. 10,000 steps is a lot but I'm guessing pretty average for an RN. I'm guessing there is not much chance in your work of elevating the leg during your work day. I know that along with an ice pack helped my leg swelling in the first months. I also have lymphedema and must wear compression socks. Another thing that may help at night is to put a pillow under your mattress at the bottom of the bed to raise the legs a little. I still do this to help with my swelling.

There is another discussion that might be helpful for you.

Chronic,debilitating pain after knee replacement: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronicdebilitating-pain-after-knee-replacement/

Does the swelling in your leg go away overnight?

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Thank you for your response. My normal job I can do 15,000-16,000 steps, but the job I'm doing is different but ony feet most of day. I elevate my leg at night, but I haven't been doing my ice packs. I had the machine at home and it helped. I'll get some ice packs,as I'm staying in a hotel so I'll find something. I'm guessing that from the response s I'm getting, it's probably overuse.

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@marbowl

Thank you for your response. My normal job I can do 15,000-16,000 steps, but the job I'm doing is different but ony feet most of day. I elevate my leg at night, but I haven't been doing my ice packs. I had the machine at home and it helped. I'll get some ice packs,as I'm staying in a hotel so I'll find something. I'm guessing that from the response s I'm getting, it's probably overuse.

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@marbowl Please do not be ashamed to admit that you have discontinued your exercises. You have plenty on your plate as it is and are to be admired to be working in the situation you are in.

As others have said, the knee exercises are primarily to strengthen, so not doing them will cause a lag in that, plus you may possibly not achieve the flex you would be able to if you were able to continue them. Your pain is simply from being on your feet so much. I hope this situation improves soon and you will able to resume your normal activities.
JK

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@contentandwell

@marbowl Please do not be ashamed to admit that you have discontinued your exercises. You have plenty on your plate as it is and are to be admired to be working in the situation you are in.

As others have said, the knee exercises are primarily to strengthen, so not doing them will cause a lag in that, plus you may possibly not achieve the flex you would be able to if you were able to continue them. Your pain is simply from being on your feet so much. I hope this situation improves soon and you will able to resume your normal activities.
JK

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Thank you !

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@marbowl I also had swelling when I picked up the walking, so it is not surprising, considering how much you have to be on your feet. If there is any way during lunch or break to put your leg up and get some ice on the knee, that would also help. As @ellerbracke mentioned, I stopped being so serious about the specific knee exercises at around 5-6 months, but now I will have to pick it up again, especially the bending. I found a doctor's website, which of course I can't find again, in which he advised a much longer time on bending and extension–i.e. when you sit down to watch TV (if one has that luxury), bend the knee up and keep it there, pulled in hard and with pressure, for 30-60 minutes. I have never done that, but I have held it for 10 minutes, let it go, then do it again, and I think that helped me with gaining flexion. Best of luck!

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@saeternes

@marbowl I also had swelling when I picked up the walking, so it is not surprising, considering how much you have to be on your feet. If there is any way during lunch or break to put your leg up and get some ice on the knee, that would also help. As @ellerbracke mentioned, I stopped being so serious about the specific knee exercises at around 5-6 months, but now I will have to pick it up again, especially the bending. I found a doctor's website, which of course I can't find again, in which he advised a much longer time on bending and extension–i.e. when you sit down to watch TV (if one has that luxury), bend the knee up and keep it there, pulled in hard and with pressure, for 30-60 minutes. I have never done that, but I have held it for 10 minutes, let it go, then do it again, and I think that helped me with gaining flexion. Best of luck!

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Thank you for your response. I was doing the bending when I was at home, but since returning to work I have stopped doing it, you remindrde of that. I also have my stretch strap with me, so I'm going to make a point of doing it at night before I go to bed.

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@msstoppainnagginme

@ellerbracke I'm sorry to say but u sent the msg to the wrong person. I'm having alot of discomfort from my left knee & trying to learn as much as I can from reading all & trying to find the right Surgeon in nyc. Currently not adviseable for me to get this trtmnt due to other health issue's. I'm so sorry about the underlines but I can't remove them my settings are hard for me to fix on my cellphone. I also will be keeping everyone posted when I start my knee replacement surgery. & I live on a 5th flr walk-up & can not afford to move currently.

I do believe the wonderful hard working Nurse/@marbowl is the person you should send msg to I just happened to be awake & saw her post. & I too agree that she should stay off her feet & try to rest more.
That's it 4now.

Jump to this post

Thanks for catching my mistake. Seems like eventually in a roundabout way my post was read by the person it was intended for, anyway.

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Probably from over doing it on feet all day. I’d recommend compression hose. I’m 5 months out and if I am up and about even with movement for much of the day I’ll have swelling. I’m retired so I can avoid this on most days, however compression hose would likely be beneficial for you. Elevate when you can. Ice with pain. I still ice after 2 -3 mile hikes. I had bilateral replacements. Still doing my exercises as I will loose the max bend in my left knee if I don't. Also review with your doctor regarding the pain.

Hoping for the best,

Ellen

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