Mako Robotic Arm TKR Two Months

Posted by saeternes @saeternes, Jan 24, 2020

At the two month mark, lots of things still surprise me about the entire process of knee replacement. On the positive side, I got to 136 flexion today. My data from the pressure-sensitive treadmill shows I am doing much better in terms of equally weighting my two legs in a walk, and rolling through my foot. I don't really experience anything that can be called pain anymore, although I'll explain that more below. I'm able to walk quite a bit and am exercising almost daily, with a 30 minute walk, and either 45 minutes on the bike or 45 minutes on weights, as well as the exercises the PT has given me. On the negative side, although I get 0 degree extension on the table, when I walk, my knee is still slightly bent. PT and I discussed today the difference between ability to do something and ease of use. We want me to get to the point where it is easy for me to extend and bend my leg without thinking or trying. I am going to keep working on the extension with that in mind, even though technically I'm at 0. I notice when turning from side to side in bed that I have to be very careful to avoid something at the low level of the pain scale (not really pain but discomfort), and even pulling my leg up while lying down (sliding foot toward butt) is not without some unpleasant sensations. So although there is no real pain, there is some discomfort. I am working hard on the rehabilitation but wondering how long this will continue to be the case.

@ellerbracke in terms of whether the knee is made to go beyond 135 deg, Alex said he has not heard anything about that but that could be because people rarely get that far when they see him – their benefits run out, so how far they continue after 120 or 125 is not known to him. However, he is going to ask around and see if anyone knows. I guess if your friend can put her foot against her butt in the water, it must be okay!

@saeternes

@contentandwell Thanks for that link and the info. I will try it later. I have had a bit of a setback due to my own decision to lay off elevating, icing, and resting. I was doing so well I thought hey, I can stop all that now and just exercise more. I think I triggered some bursitis or another kind of reaction by overdoing and exercising too much, and by forcing the bend too fast. Now I am resting for a few days and hope I can get back to exercising next week. This is truly a long process no matter what, and I have learned my lesson: be conservative about stopping the usual RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) – also the lymphatic massage, which helps with swelling. I see PT next Friday and it will have been two weeks, since I was out of town. Thanks again.

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@saeternes, Thank you so much for admitting that you were pushing your TKR rehab a bit too fast including forcing the bend too fast. Last month I reviewed most of the posts about problems with TKR recovery. It does seem like those that had the best results set a moderate rehab pace. Here are the results……..for your review.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-can-you-do-to-extend-the-life-of-your-tkr-and-mobility/
And thank you @contentwell for finding those tips and tricks that will benefit all of us.
Be safe and protected. Chris

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@artscaping Thanks for the link, lots of good advice there. For me I think it was more that I thought everything was okay and thus slacked off on RICE. I did add walking to my usual exercises (recumbent bike, weights, stretches) and they also may have tipped me over the edge. I'm not really "admitting" anything – I am happy to post the good and the bad, so as to have a true record. I have no desire to make things seem better than they are. Thank again.

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@saeternes

@artscaping Thanks for the link, lots of good advice there. For me I think it was more that I thought everything was okay and thus slacked off on RICE. I did add walking to my usual exercises (recumbent bike, weights, stretches) and they also may have tipped me over the edge. I'm not really "admitting" anything – I am happy to post the good and the bad, so as to have a true record. I have no desire to make things seem better than they are. Thank again.

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@saeternes Oh dear, I am so sorry that I chose the word “admitting”. May you be free of suffering. Chris

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@saeternes

@contentandwell Thanks for that link and the info. I will try it later. I have had a bit of a setback due to my own decision to lay off elevating, icing, and resting. I was doing so well I thought hey, I can stop all that now and just exercise more. I think I triggered some bursitis or another kind of reaction by overdoing and exercising too much, and by forcing the bend too fast. Now I am resting for a few days and hope I can get back to exercising next week. This is truly a long process no matter what, and I have learned my lesson: be conservative about stopping the usual RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) – also the lymphatic massage, which helps with swelling. I see PT next Friday and it will have been two weeks, since I was out of town. Thanks again.

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@saeternes you sound like me, I am too apt to push things also. I think sometimes I just think I’m invincible. Not good. 😖
JK

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@artscaping It's okay, no worries. I'm really trying my best to record everything whether good or bad. When I was deciding on what kind of knee replacement to go for, I searched endlessly for information. I hope my posts will be of use to someone else searching.

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Well the bursitis has gone away so after missing almost a week of exercising, I'm back to it. I'll cut my walking down and be very careful to ice and elevate after exercise. Darn, I had hoped I was moving toward "normal" but clearly this will be a longer process. I see PT on Friday so we'll see how far I have backslid.

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@saeternes: I’m sure you will get back to feeling somewhat normal soon. Setbacks, for whatever reason or cause, are par for the course.
With heavy rain – up to 7” in 36 hours looming – I defied reason and overdid yard work. Guess what? Yes, I pay for it.
Regarding the general definition of “normal”, after almost 17 months my knee still has a pretty constant low-grade ache or slight discomfort, and does not feel natural, still aware of “foreign-ness”. Whether this is I being overly sensitive, or expecting too much, or using it too much for too many strenuous activities, or I am just stuck with a less than perfect knee, I don’t know. However, it works fine, and before the surgery I was in a lot of pain, so it is what it is. Also being straightforward about TKR results, long term.

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@ellerbracke I appreciate your long-term update, and I too will post much later to let everyone know how it is going. I asked two friends with TRK, one 2-3 years ago and one 1.5 years ago, whether they every think about their knee. NO! they proclaimed. Then told me how at dinner parties they had to get up and walk around because their knee would get stiff, they had to move it around in the morning after nighttime stiffness, one tried to find the highest chair in the room because she had trouble getting up, and so on. I know they are happy with their knees but to me that is thinking about your knee – it isn't just a normal knee. Sure, better than what they had before, they don't feel the pain they once had. But they clearly have to think about it. I guess it is all relative.

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@saeternes

@ellerbracke I appreciate your long-term update, and I too will post much later to let everyone know how it is going. I asked two friends with TRK, one 2-3 years ago and one 1.5 years ago, whether they every think about their knee. NO! they proclaimed. Then told me how at dinner parties they had to get up and walk around because their knee would get stiff, they had to move it around in the morning after nighttime stiffness, one tried to find the highest chair in the room because she had trouble getting up, and so on. I know they are happy with their knees but to me that is thinking about your knee – it isn't just a normal knee. Sure, better than what they had before, they don't feel the pain they once had. But they clearly have to think about it. I guess it is all relative.

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Glad I’m not alone with minor knee issues long-term. However, I’m happy to report that I at least have no morning or other stiffness, and the only time I really notice trouble with low seating is when having to use the X-low commodes common in airports and other public places. Still, I definitely am aware of the TKR knee, just in different ways. Now I’ll leave you alone for a while and be content to hear about and applaud your ongoing rehabilitation.

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@ellerbracke Well we'll see. When my friends asked if I was happy with my new knee, I said ask me in a year.

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@saeternes

@ellerbracke I appreciate your long-term update, and I too will post much later to let everyone know how it is going. I asked two friends with TRK, one 2-3 years ago and one 1.5 years ago, whether they every think about their knee. NO! they proclaimed. Then told me how at dinner parties they had to get up and walk around because their knee would get stiff, they had to move it around in the morning after nighttime stiffness, one tried to find the highest chair in the room because she had trouble getting up, and so on. I know they are happy with their knees but to me that is thinking about your knee – it isn't just a normal knee. Sure, better than what they had before, they don't feel the pain they once had. But they clearly have to think about it. I guess it is all relative.

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@saeternes it definitely is all relative. If I’m sitting for a prolonged length of time, my knee is stiff when I stand. When I overdo exercise my knee is somewhat uncomfortable that night. I don’t consider these to be thinking about them all of the time though. I guess I would say it’s a new normal, and I sort of ignore it! What else can I do? If I let these minor discomforts bother me I’d be less happy. I have too many other things that really do bother me.
JK

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@saeternes

@ellerbracke Well we'll see. When my friends asked if I was happy with my new knee, I said ask me in a year.

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@saeternes great response. It takes a year until you think it is your own knee when you get up and walk-across the room. You will make it.

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