So it has been 11 weeks since my total knee replacement. I am trying to stay positive, but this has been more downs than ups. Physical therapy had been slow. I really thought since I have done this twice before this would be so much easier.
Quick recap: Same knee had a partial which had to be converted to a total due to a stress fracture. All was great with the total and PT went smoothly however about 7 months in I started noticing some issues. Bone scan showed loosening of the prosthesis so about a year after the first TKR I had to have a second one. In 2 years my poor right knee has had 3 major surgeries 😦
Back to the present, physical therapy and using the CPM machine I couldn’t get past 90 degrees and this was after it was warmed up and at the end of PT. This was very frustrating as I was working on it hard. I wasn’t too worried at first because I knew longer stems were put in the top and bottom and my orthopedic surgeon told me he tightened up a lot of the ligaments and such. Three weeks stuck at 90 degrees flexion was enough for him….time for a manipulation under anesthesia. This was done 2 weeks ago. The report stated they got a firm end point at about 80 degrees…in reality it was probably 90 since that was what I was getting at PT and I am sure they didn’t measure the same way. At that point, “firm” pressure was applied (thank goodness I was knocked out!!!!) and they could feel/ hear the scar tissue breaking. When completed the measurement was 125 degrees.
I went to physical therapy the same day…a couple hours after the procedure. The doc said he injected numbing medicine but, WOW it still hurt. My knee was very swollen so they couldn’t get it to do too much but was easily at 95 degrees with all the swelling and with no warming it up. Okay I will take that. 2 weeks later, I am still slightly swollen and the best we have gotten is 108 degrees with a lot of outside help. Typically it has been 98- 104 degrees. I was told not to fret yet but I am getting nervous and frustrated. Next week, I am signed up for the pool physical therapy for 3 visits so hopefully that will help. I am praying that my two regular physical therapy appointments this week show more progress.
So for now I will continue icing and elevating and taking the anti-inflammatory to get the swelling down. Thank goodness my husband doesn’t mind hurting me…lol…and it helpful when trying to apply pressure to get more from it.
Something new that I have experienced with physical therapy is taping and cupping. I admit I was skeptical at first but both techniques have helped. The taping was done to help reduce the swelling and I could see the difference.
The other technique were have been using is cupping. The first time I heard of cupping was with the Olympic athletes. When the therapist asked if she could try it I said sure at this point we can try anything. We used the cupping multiple times with success. It definitely helped with the swelling and pain. We also used it to relax some of the muscles and it was amazing on a knot I had it my calf. We used both fixed and moving therapy.
Update: PT today (1/17)…111 degrees and 113 with someone applying a little pressure! Progress!!!!