TKR = Totally Kraptastic Recovery

On this day of Thanksgiving I would love to be writing about today’s feast. About the recipes I’m trying, or about the traditions we keep alive year after year. Instead, I’m writing about my new knee.

I am 17 days post-op. Seventeen long days. Each of those 17 days so far has challenged me, pushed me, and damn near broken me.  


first peek at my new knee

This recovery is hella hard. Crazy hard. No amount of advanced research could have prepared me for how hard this is. The thing that is different about TKR compared to my other surgeries, is that after 17 days, I don’t feel any better. How strange to have spent more than two weeks getting to know my repaired knee without feeling  better. Intellectually, I know that I am doing better and am making progress, but I don’t feel it. Every day, my in-home physical therapist measures the angle at which I can bend and flex my repaired knee. Progress is underway, but it is slow going. PT is brutal in all the ways one would imagine: pain, cursing, swelling, cursing, stiffness, cursing. 

PT al fresco

 Recovery for a TKR averages in the neighborhood of 12 weeks and can stretch out even longer in terms of making noticeable physical progress. I’ve read many times that the pain from a TKR can last 6 weeks.  I can very easily imagine that. So far I’ve had nearly constant pain that is only slightly alleviated by some strong-ass narcotics. Getting used to constant pain requires an attitude adjustment on a whole ‘nother level. I’m still adjusting.  

which is worse: the swelling or the bruising?

 Thankfully, the bruising is mostly gone. The swelling is hanging around, though, and likes to announce its presence each time I take a few steps. 

The fleecy sled in the photo above is my CPM (continual passive motion) machine. For two hours at a time, three times a day, my repaired knee gets bent and straightened over and over. After a while it feels like I’m constantly moving, even when I’m not hooked up to the CPM.

This Thanksgiving, my thoughts are not about the feast. When I glance at the clock today, it won’t be related to how long the pie has been in the oven, but about how long it’s been since I had a pain pill. Instead of chopping veggies, I’ll be trying to cut a deal with the universe for some super-fast healing. Rather than slowing down to enjoy the holiday, I’ll be trying to figure out how to make time go faster, so I can be done with this totally kraptastic recovery. 


8 Comments on “TKR = Totally Kraptastic Recovery”

  1. Eddie says:

    Boy was I wrong. I was thinking Turkey Killers Repent and expected an anti-thanksgiving post. This is much worse and not nearly as funny. Please stop having operations. The game may be fun, but the real-life version sucks. I hope you will be able to literally kick off the new year with the rest of us.

  2. Oh my, speedy recovery wishes from this side of the pond!

  3. David Benbow says:

    You continue to amaze me. I’ve lost count how many surgeries you’ve had in the past few years, but you still push yourself and muscle through it. I guess it’s like the old saying, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    Happy thanksgiving and here’s hoping for a surgery-free 2016.

  4. Oh how awful for you. May you feel significant relief soon. ❤
    Diana xo

  5. Barb Fernald says:

    Yikes. Not quite like arthroscopy, that. Looks painful and discouraging. But, somehow I feel you will get ahead of this. And the sooner the better. Here’s hoping your recovery starts to speed up.

  6. […] this week, join with me in sending loving, healing thoughts The Pink Underbelly’s way as she recovers from knee […]

  7. The Accidental Amazon says:

    Bloody hell, Nancy! How did I miss this when you first posted it?? This and your carpal tunnel surgery. Crap. I would have sent you some good physical therapy mojo right away. Jeesh. I am a homecare PT, but I like to think I’m a kind one. I hope you had/have really good cold packs and that you are much, much better now. xoxo, Kathi

  8. […] TKR = Totally Kraptastic Recovery → […]

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