... bending in physical therapy, I still can't flatten it. It is very stiff and this bending is only achieved with much effort. I am so discouraged and worried. Is this normal? When do you feel more normal?
That is completely normal. You're expecting an awful lot too soon. Keep doing the exercises and you'll get there. Don't be worried or discouraged. You've just had a major joint replaced, nerves and muscles moved around and you need time to heal. I had it done about six years ago and I have total range of motion back. It does take time and patience though. Pushing too hard can be just as bad for you as not trying hard enough. If your physical therapist isn't fussing at you for not trying hard enough, then don't worry. Slow and steady is the best method for you. Hang in there and don't be discouraged.
Lisa 01 gave great advice. This is a big surgery and it takes time- up to a year to recover. If you go into it knowing/thinking that- it makes it much easier than pressuring yourself that you have to be able to run a marathon a month after having it done. Make small goals- but realistic goals. I did things like "OK- I can bend it 90 degrees, by next friday (for example) I will bend it 100 degrees". And I worked towards that goal. You need to talk to the therapist to make sure the goals are not too difficult or too easy. You want to have to work for it- but it has to be reachable. Walking up and down the stairs with no cane or crutches 2 weeks post op is not real. (for example). Hang in there. Every day is better than the day before it and knowing that was very helpful to my psych. Keep in touch- I will cheer you on if you need.
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