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!

@ellerbracke

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 When possible I use the handicapped stalls in public places, the toilets are higher. I can do the lower ones, it's just more challenging.
JK

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@artscaping

@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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Still not there, not sure I ever will be…………….. sadly.

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@ellerbracke

Still not there, not sure I ever will be…………….. sadly.

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Ha! Mine’s a year out and it is nowhere near feeling like a “real” knee!

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@ellerbracke @clbs @artscaping @contentandwell Final update for this thread. I saw Alex today and discussed the recent bursitis-type pain and overdoing the exercise and not elevating and icing. He said, remember I told you progress would not be linear? Indeed that is one of the first things he told me. I'm still okay to do anything, but, he said, need to ice and elevate after the relatively heavy exercise. All we did today was lymphatic massage, no gait checking or measuring so I don't know how far I slid back. Now I am working out again, and will be paying attention to icing etc. Onward!

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@saeternes

@ellerbracke @clbs @artscaping @contentandwell Final update for this thread. I saw Alex today and discussed the recent bursitis-type pain and overdoing the exercise and not elevating and icing. He said, remember I told you progress would not be linear? Indeed that is one of the first things he told me. I'm still okay to do anything, but, he said, need to ice and elevate after the relatively heavy exercise. All we did today was lymphatic massage, no gait checking or measuring so I don't know how far I slid back. Now I am working out again, and will be paying attention to icing etc. Onward!

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@saeternes I am jealous of all of the people who get some type of massage at PT. I have never had that!
After looking at responses from you, @ellerbracke @clbs and @artscaping I am beginning to think that maybe I just had lower expectations than many others, or higher tolerance! I have become more conscious of my knees but honestly, the second one really does not give me any discomfort except when I really overdo. The right one, done either in 2012 or 2013 hurts more easily.
JK

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@contentandwell

@saeternes I am jealous of all of the people who get some type of massage at PT. I have never had that!
After looking at responses from you, @ellerbracke @clbs and @artscaping I am beginning to think that maybe I just had lower expectations than many others, or higher tolerance! I have become more conscious of my knees but honestly, the second one really does not give me any discomfort except when I really overdo. The right one, done either in 2012 or 2013 hurts more easily.
JK

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Since this thread is about to close – yes, I would have loved any kind of massage, lymphatic or otherwise, from my PT people. No go. But I had absolute support, yes. Regarding elevating/icing/rest….. did not do nearly enough, I think. At 2 months basically none, unless in real pain. Icing, that is. Elevating, nope. As far as expectations: yes, I did hope for a 90% normal knee feeling (other than the darn impossibility of using it to kneel on), but it looks like I have to settle for a 65% normal feeling. Again, not necessarily painful, not necessarily aching, somewhere in between, depending on what I do, what the weather does, but definitely less than 80% satisfactory compared to my own knee. Do I live with it? Yes, quite successfully. Does it limit my activities? Yes, to a certain extent. Do I regret not knowing about or trying alternatives like stem cells – absolutely.

In practice: whatever activity I do, be it exercise, or yard work, or walking, or hiking, both knees are involved more or less to the same extent. And when the TKR knee, and only that one, each time has aches or pains, and the other one does not, then it is not a question of weak knees in general, it IS the TKR knee that is not as “good” as the original one.

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@saeternes, @contentandwell : I failed to repeat (JK may remember early posts) or to mention that I ended up with a clicking knee joint. Each step I take, it makes a barely audible sound, and definitely a clicking sensation. So there goes the impossibility of it ever being normal. Also, this is not an unknown or very unusual side effect of TKR. 😕

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@ellerbracke

@saeternes, @contentandwell : I failed to repeat (JK may remember early posts) or to mention that I ended up with a clicking knee joint. Each step I take, it makes a barely audible sound, and definitely a clicking sensation. So there goes the impossibility of it ever being normal. Also, this is not an unknown or very unusual side effect of TKR. 😕

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@ellerbracke I do remember that. I guess that happens sometimes, it did not happen with either of my knees and they are not the same brand. I had a boss who had a clicking hip and they told him they did a recall on it and said they would replace it. He said no, he would rather live with the clicking than have another surgery. I think I agree with him, especially since the clicking is not very audible to other people.
I guess I am pretty content with both of my knees, the L one, done in 10.17 more than the right done about 4 or 5 years earlier. I would love to be able to kneel but it is what it is. I can manage it somewhat with a pillow under my knees.
JK

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