8 weeks Post TKR: Can I bear weight? Tips on improving mobility please

Posted by bushy @bushy, Tue, Apr 7 3:25pm

Hi Group! I am 8 weeks post TKR, and my Physical Therapy Office closed (COvid-19) before my Rehab was complete. I have been pretty good about doing it on my own, but have some questions; I’ve been walking short distances since week 6-use the cane only for longer distance-up to half mile. Still have pain and stiffness, and I’m not sure I should be weight bearing very much. I would call my ortho office–but I have a feeling it would be faster get some answers from this site.

Hi @bushy, I'm a year post TKR and did all my rehab at home. The hospital did provide PT the day of and the second day after surgery. They showed me the different exercises to do at home plus the walking. Sounds like you are doing much more walking than I did. I did walk in circles in my driveway and partially down the street with my walker at first and then started using a cane. I was fortunate to have a combo elliptical & recumbent exercise bike at home which I used for 30 to 45 minutes a day the first few weeks or so. What helped me most with the pain and stiffness was icing and elevating. My problem is I thought I was elevating enough during the day and I was not. If you have a patient portal you can log into or if you can call your surgeon or PT care team that would be a good thing to get advice.

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@bushy allow me to call in the troops so we can keep you moving by bringing @babette @ellerbracke @bill54321 and @lecoeur13 into the conversation. It's tough not to be able to get PT as you're recovering from knee replacement, but you've got fellow members to help and offer tips. I modified the title of your discussion to attract more attention.

Additionally, here are some discussions that you might find helpful:
– Having knee replacement: how to prepare and questions about PT https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/im-having-knee-replacement-l-on-june-20th-any-suggestions-on-how/

@saeternes shared her experience at 8 week here:
– Mako Robotic Arm TKR Two Months https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mako-robotic-arm-tkr-two-months/

And @artscaping started this discussion to help people get the most out of their TKR
– What can you do to extend the life of your TKR and mobility? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-can-you-do-to-extend-the-life-of-your-tkr-and-mobility/

Bushy, What exercises are you doing besides walking?

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@bushy first, I want to say, on anything like that you need to check with your doctor, or perhaps your PT place has a portal or is open for questions. I think the doctor is the best source though. We are all different, and different doctors have different preferences.
That being said, i believe I was told I could do what I could tolerate. My doctor did not want painful PT, he is adamant about that, and he is a very highly regarded orthopedist with an impressive success record.
As @johnbishop suggested, is your doctor at a hospital where you can send him a message on the portal? I prefer that form of communication to phone calls because when you call the doctor hears what the person who answers these calls tells him, whereas if the message is on the portal he gets the complete message.
I will be interested in hearing what your doctor says. I expect if it’s not causing pain, either when you do it, or afterward, he will say it’s fine.
JK

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At 8 weeks, total knees are made to take weight. I suggest you go to our patient Physical Therapy.

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@bill54321

At 8 weeks, total knees are made to take weight. I suggest you go to our patient Physical Therapy.

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Friendly reminder @bill54321. Advertising of services is not permitted on Mayo Clinic Connect. As @bushy states her PT rehab is curtailed given the current situation with COVID-19. Hence her query to fellow members who have had successful TKRs.

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Sorry, I did not see the Coronavirus part. Of course she should stay home. Some physical therapists are giving tutorial over the internet. Suggesting services is not adverising.

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@bill54321

Sorry, I did not see the Coronavirus part. Of course she should stay home. Some physical therapists are giving tutorial over the internet. Suggesting services is not adverising.

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@bill54321, ah, I think the mis-understanding is because of an unfortunate typo. In your message, you said "our patient services". I think you might have meant "out patient services". I jumped to the conclusion that you were advertising your services. Gosh, the pitfalls of texting.

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@colleenyoung

@bushy allow me to call in the troops so we can keep you moving by bringing @babette @ellerbracke @bill54321 and @lecoeur13 into the conversation. It's tough not to be able to get PT as you're recovering from knee replacement, but you've got fellow members to help and offer tips. I modified the title of your discussion to attract more attention.

Additionally, here are some discussions that you might find helpful:
– Having knee replacement: how to prepare and questions about PT https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/im-having-knee-replacement-l-on-june-20th-any-suggestions-on-how/

@saeternes shared her experience at 8 week here:
– Mako Robotic Arm TKR Two Months https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mako-robotic-arm-tkr-two-months/

And @artscaping started this discussion to help people get the most out of their TKR
– What can you do to extend the life of your TKR and mobility? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-can-you-do-to-extend-the-life-of-your-tkr-and-mobility/

Bushy, What exercises are you doing besides walking?

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I am doing flexion exercises and stretching. Don't have access to a stationary bike but perhaps I canstart riding my bike-(I'm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State-so that is of course weather dependent :>)

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@contentandwell

@bushy first, I want to say, on anything like that you need to check with your doctor, or perhaps your PT place has a portal or is open for questions. I think the doctor is the best source though. We are all different, and different doctors have different preferences.
That being said, i believe I was told I could do what I could tolerate. My doctor did not want painful PT, he is adamant about that, and he is a very highly regarded orthopedist with an impressive success record.
As @johnbishop suggested, is your doctor at a hospital where you can send him a message on the portal? I prefer that form of communication to phone calls because when you call the doctor hears what the person who answers these calls tells him, whereas if the message is on the portal he gets the complete message.
I will be interested in hearing what your doctor says. I expect if it’s not causing pain, either when you do it, or afterward, he will say it’s fine.
JK

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I finished all but my last three sessions with my PT group, with good progress. The increased pain of this last week has me a little concerned, cuz I guess I expect it to heal progressively-with no hills and valleys. I will call my ortho office for advice-although getting thru is somewhat problematic right now.

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At the time, I was suggesting the patient go to any out patient Physical Therapist 6 weeks is vety a short short time to not have professional rehab. Contractures and bad habits can develop with submission to pain. However, a good Physicl Therapy program will leave the routine to follow in writting. Walking with a cane requires a heel strike, extending at mid-stance and a toe off. Any flat footed strike is a prelude to a contracture.

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@bushy

I am doing flexion exercises and stretching. Don't have access to a stationary bike but perhaps I canstart riding my bike-(I'm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State-so that is of course weather dependent :>)

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Call Jake Monlux (Twin) Brother) in Hannesville, and ask him

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@bushy: I suggest you check the daily/weekly progress log posted by @saeternes after her TKR. Start checking perhaps 4 months ago, or perhaps she will see this and guide you to her posts. I think one of her first posts were “TKR day 2”, or something like that. Her progress and recovery is very detailed, and is pretty typical for someone in good shape, and compliant with the rehab. At 8 weeks there should be no problem to have the leg weight bearing. I ditched my walker after 4 days, a cane after 1 to 2 weeks. Regarding improving mobility, unfortunately the very best recommendation I have is unworkable now due to the virus: get into a pool. Movement in water is so much easier and less painful, and speeds recovery.
Incidentally, we love the Olympic peninsula – one of our favorite places to go. Have been multiple times (about what you’d expect from people living in SC….!?). And contrary to the more crowded attractions, what stuck in my mind the most was Neah Bay, the Makah Indian museum, and the hike down to view Cape Flattery (and on a depressing note, the many signs advertising help for alcoholism treatment in that area).
Keep up your spirits, and hang in there. Even after 19 months I still see small, incremental improvements with the artificial knee.

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Oh! Those big beautiful cedar trees walkng the Olympic Peninsula. My twin brother lives in Hannesville. The Northern tip of the land is like Palo Alto. The Isotherms and Isobars in the weather over that spot creates a year around good climate. What a wonderful place to live.

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