Total Knee Revision- 3 weeks post op

Published November 27, 2016 by Tracey

I just finished home health care and starting out patient physical therapy next week so figured now is a good time to post an update.

This knee replacement has been more painful than my last one…at least I think so.  I feel like I was having a lot of tourniquet pain which made my quad kill.  I keep massaging it.  I researched tourniquet pain as I recalled in the recovery room the nurse saying I was experiencing a lot of it and then during my hospital stay the nurses gave me valium to help with the tourniquet pain.  I guess not every doctor uses a tourniquet and as with anything there are pros and cons.  A plus is obviously with less blood the surgeon has a better visual of the work area and supposedly it helps with cement adhesion.  One study I read said patients where a tourniquet was used experienced more pain afterwards and it took more time to get quad control for the first 6 months.  However, at 12 months both tourniquet and non-tourniquet patients were on the same level.  I am going to have to check to see if my precious doctor used a tourniquet on the first TKR.

The picture below right after my 2 week post-op when they removed the DermaBond tape.


At 3 weeks post-op, the scar is looking pretty good but still have a lot of swelling around joint itself.


I was getting frustrated with home health therapy as I couldn’t get passed 75 degrees of flexion even though I worked religiously on physical therapy.  Extension is fine and moving into negative.  At this time with my first replacement I was much further along with the bending, so with the additional use of a home CPM I thought for sure I would better.  On the last day of home health the therapist determined that my knee cap wasn’t moving and everything was really tight which was a main reason I wasn’t getting any flexion.

This made sense since my surgeon did tell me being a revision and all the instability I was having he “tightened” things up.  The therapist performed some manual manipulation around my knee joint for an hour.  By the end, you could start to see the outline of a knee and the knee cap actually started to move.  It wasn’t too painful until that evening and the next day then I was sore!!!!  But the soreness paid off as the next day on the CPM I got to 87-90 degrees!!!  Still a long way from where I want and need to be, but at least I know I am not going crazy.

I can get around with one crutch fine and even no crutches for short distances in the house.  Sleeping is still tough.  Just can’t get comfortable.

My main issue is everything feels so tight especially the back of the knee and my quad pain.  Time will heal it I know but I am impatient especially since this is the second time in less than a year on the same knee.

Time to ice and more therapy.  Remember every surgery is different, every healing process is different.  Stay Positive and Keep Moving!!!


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