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Old 08-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #211
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I am a 62 year old male and had TKR on the left knee on August 14th. Surgery will kick your butt, however, progress happens quickly. On the day after surgery I was walking about 50 yards with a walker. I prepared for the surgery with heavey workouts 3 days a week for 4 months prior to surgery--boy was that worth it! My leg strength was very good at the time of surgery.
2 days after surgery I was walking with one crutch and 4 days after surgery walked with no assistance from the wheel chair at the hospital entrance to the car for the trip home.
Been using a cane for stability only when walking outside but inside do not need any assistance at all.
Therapy is tough and right now I am at 90 degrees with a ways to go but progress is being made daily. I use the pain meds only before therapy at this point.

 
Old 08-24-2009, 04:19 PM   #212
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Quote:
Originally Posted by taberrose View Post
I had a Dr. tell me this happened with one of his patients. After much research they found she was allergic to the metal in that particular brand of knee joint. They redid the surgery and used a different joint and the lady was fine. Not sure that is your problem, but something to think about.
I have also heard of having an allergic reaction to the metal used in the joint.

 
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:50 AM   #213
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I went to see my specialist for my five month check up this week and he said he would see me again in 5 years! Walked out feeling so happy to think that I have come so far over the past months. He also said that I would take another 18 months to be 'fully healed' which makes me feel I can relax a little and take some of the pressure off myself. I worked for 36 hours last week and feel really tired. Hopefully this week will be easier. Spring has come early here, so feel sure that helps as we can feel that summer is on it's way and haven't needed a fire or heater for the past ten days. Picking spring flowers and looking forward to lots of summertime activities.

 
Old 08-31-2009, 09:17 AM   #214
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Gosh - I had to check where you lived when you were talking about spring! Your post is so wonderful. I'm getting my knee done at the being of Nov. (our winter) and figure even in southern California it is a good time to be "recovering".

 
Old 09-01-2009, 04:19 AM   #215
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I am really pleased that I had my knee done in Autumn. I was able to get around in skirts and 3/4 pants for the first few weeks while my scar was healing and then of course once winter set in I was quite happy to be indoors and resting rather than enjoying all the great activities that summer makes available. I am now at the point where I am much more active as spring unfolds and I can start to take advantage of the nicer weather. My next task is tackling my weedy, overgrown garden when the weather complies and it isn't a wet weekend. If I ever need to get my other knee done I would definitely plan it for Autumn (Fall) again

 
Old 09-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #216
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Hi Fantail
Good to hear you are doing well. I had a TKR on 6/12/09 in NYC and live here in the States, I decided on the spring so I could go walking and get around once I was able and that worked for me.
As for the weeding... ask your surgeon about kneeling on the new knee, I heard from a friend it can be painful.
as a suggestion, he uses a firm piece of 4 inch thick foam padding to kneel on
Good luck with the new knee
Ken

 
Old 09-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #217
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Thanks Ken
I have a fantastic small seat that swivels at the base and is really easy to use for gardening - it has an adjustable height. I have been unable to kneel for several years and found this to be the perfect solution to my gardening problems. It is also easy on the back
Margaret

 
Old 09-02-2009, 08:07 AM   #218
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

sounds great
Ken

 
Old 09-05-2009, 04:11 AM   #219
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Whoops having a cold snap, the early spring must have been an illusion - writing this in front of the fire. Had a hard week - am finding the last 4 hour a week hurdle to full time work just too hard still. My job is very physical and am on my feet all day, but keep hoping that I will get there in the next few weeks.

 
Old 09-05-2009, 06:35 AM   #220
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

you will...
it takes time, I remember when I had my THR it took at least 1 year before I started to feel better (I was 55 at the time)
now with my TKR I have noticed its taking longer for the rehab and I have to work harder. but it's worth it in the end.
Ken

 
Old 09-05-2009, 04:51 PM   #221
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredbeinsick View Post
My history is I had horrible knee pain 5 yrs., stabbing sharp pain from ankles to knees. knees locking up, popping out of joint, usually unable to walk. 53 yrs old. saw orthopedist several times prior to surgery, (Good Looking) did not know what questions to ask, little to no information given, however I do tend to appear confident. Surgery Jan 10. very healthy. several small prior surgeries for other things I was up and going in a remarkable amount of time. I was with the understanding this is a 6 to 12 week recovery time, In my mind I heard 3 weeks I'll be fine!!!
I was given the option for type of anestesia. I chose no spinal or epidural, I was given choice for catheter,I chose not. Asked nurse to protect my modesty in surgery she was very warm, caring.
When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump. I was very itchy but in no pain as the day progressed the itching became worse, apparantly itching is a side effect,I had to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores, pain med was changed to something that did not work well finally 3rd change worked, I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.,
On the second day I was able to go to the bathroom on my own with the walker,I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me. very alert 3 rd day. I was o.k. but while the incision site seemed numb my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car. 4th day was transfered to a recovery facility for 1 week for after care and physical therapy.
got there at 3 pm. was asked if I had had a bowell movement, no!! was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems every one had the same problem so on top of pain your dealing with constipation, I had my husband bring up magnesium and gas x. took 2 magnesium am and 2 pm. fineally went potty. gas was also a problem where gas x was a gift from God....Nurses are busy don't expect to be babied. They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in.I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.
Day 2 physical therapie, was told to make sure you get pain meds 1/2 hour prior . it made a ton of difference in ability. I loved physical therapie its a bit of work but you being coached and praised and cheered a-.lot. for about 45 min where you work both legs I was unable to lift my knee replacement leg at all and wondered if I would ever be able to again, I did in about 1 week. yea but I could walk with a walker and went up and down stairs on day 2, yes it hurts, it hurts a lot but it is different it is a very tight strong throbbing, not sharp stabbing as before.
Day 2 in rehab I sobbed uncontrollably all day. I did not know why,it was fineally determined by doctors and hospital psycologists that it was anxiety caught up with me. In preperation for surgery I had to put my business in anothers hands, clean house, pay bills,make sure there were groceries at home for family, feel guilty for Husband having to work and come to hospital every night bringing me things, feeling guilty for bothering nurses with any thing,etc.etc.
In 1 week had made big progress. however it was still very painful hard to bend. after the 3 rd day in rehab pain med is no longer delivered every 4 hours you have to ask for it, so make sure you watch the clock. and start asking 1/2 hour in advance. I continued to love physical therapie. your put on coumadin and stockings, the stockings do help relieve pain besides helping circulation.
I am now at 4 weeks, when I keep my leg down for 30 or more min. it swells and is more painful . so my 3 week time line had passed which also caused me to cry -dissapointment that I'm still recovering and not fuly functioning. At 3 weeks the pain is considerably less but still there. I like my pain med 1 every 4 hours, why suffer plus I function better not in pain. going for my 1 month check tomorrow it seems like 1 week. A nurse came to the house 2 times a week to check coumadin levels and incision etc, the staples were taken out in 10 days, some of them hurt coming out but its over fast, a physical therapist came 1 time a week at my request as the copay 35.00 a visit I can do the physical therapie myself, I have to make myself.
I figured out to put my foot on a skateboard while sitting. I can slide my leg back and forth to exercize the knee. I put my hand tight over the incision while bending. it feels better.
Every one all around had told me I've done very well compared to most but it isn't fast enough for me. I stopped using the walker after rehab and never used a cane I have to focus on walking heel to toe and not limping. its just easier to limp. but even I know thats not the way to go. Now I'm just looking forward to the day every one says I'll be so glad I did this. I keep telling my self it could be worse...........

 
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:00 PM   #222
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.

 
Old 09-06-2009, 02:00 AM   #223
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

>>>>
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneejerk101 View Post
I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.<<<<

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.<<<<
Since you are taking hydro-c only at night, it is quite possible that your "quick to cry" condition is related to withdrawal. You may need to pop a single pill, say every 6 to 8 hours to keep from getting withdrawal symptoms, until you can taper dosage when you're ready to quit the pain med. I, too, felt really depressed when I first quit hydrocodone. Then it dawned on me that I was suffering withdrawal. I had to start taking it, again, then slowly tapered the dosage to keep from going through the withdrawal. That worked.

I'm now at 7 months PO, and today, I went for a hike on a mountain trail... 5th hike in the last 2 weeks. But, like you, I often felt discouraged, during recovery. My pain was so bad for the first month, I really didn't accomplish much at therapy. So, try not to dwell on your status at this early stage. My therapists conveyed that they thought I should be progressing faster. Then, I saw my surgeon for a PO checkup, and he said he thought I was doing, "...phenomenally well." My flexion was slow to return, but now my new knee flexes almost as much as my other one, which has normal full-range motion.

Best wishes, itsanewday (age 68).

Last edited by itsanewday; 09-06-2009 at 02:28 AM.

 
Old 09-06-2009, 06:31 AM   #224
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

You will get better in time. I have had in total, five total knee replacement, my right knee has had to be replaced three times and my left twice. I am only 43 and I recovered well. However, I was born with a genetic bone disorder which allows my joints to dislocate at will and without warning. I have had approximately 35 operations and I'm now suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, but my new knee joints are working fine. I have two fully functioning knees, (in as much as they have a full bend), and just want to say that you need to recover at your own pace. Please trust me when I say that as long as you exercise your joints (hips or knees), and work through the discomfort, you will be fine and dandy. I hope this has helped. Just remember that ultimately pain is a warning sign and if you are in too much pain, to tell your physiotherapist.

 
Old 09-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #225
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Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

I can't thank everyone on this site for such sharing. I'm facing TKR in Nov. and reading these posts takes lots of the fear away. Thank you all.

 
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