It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Knee & Hip Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-30-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: lafayette ga usa
Posts: 2
speedtwin50 HB User
Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

I'm writing for my wife who had both knees replaced about 2 months ago. She is still having a lot of pain in both legs, generating up and down from the knees although it comes and goes. She hasn't been able to sleep an entire night through since surgery and is extremely depressed. She can bend both knees about 90 degrees, which is all she could do before surgery. She also has chills which come and go. Doc says Xrays are OK, doesn't have much to say about the other problems. She is certain that her knees will never get any better than they are now and I'm looking for some reassurance that it's still too early to be depressed. Can anyone share some light on the above? I'm at my wits end and don't know where to go from here. Thanks for any suggestions you can supply.

 
Old 03-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Bragg, CA USA
Posts: 82
California Ann HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

I had bilateal tkr's in the mid 90's. I was in my mid 40's but had ostioarthritis pretty bad. I worked as hard as I could before and after this surgery to strengthen the muscles of the knee. I know I was on the younger side for the majority of people for this type of surgery. I found the thing that hepled me the best as a heated swmming pool. I did all my physical therepy in a pool. I just started out slowly walking. She can add more things as she feels better. You could even use a hot tub. I hope she feels better soon. It is never easy but if she keeps up with her therapy she will get to feeling soon.

Ann

 
The Following User Says Thank You to California Ann For This Useful Post:
speedtwin50 (03-31-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 03-31-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,894
Blog Entries: 12
jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

I had bi-laterals in 1999 at age 47. Some thoughts.....

The chills may be from the anemia that comes from having bi-lats. Even with 4 units of my own blood, I was still anemic for a year. Get her on iron supplements and take them with orange juice...makes it better absorbed. If she is constipated from the pain meds, consider getting a slow release iron.

On the range of motion(ROM)....I agree with CA Ann....working in a warm pool can help. Call around and find some place that has warm water therapy. I also had a tough time getting mine to bend but I did it finally did but pulling my legs back by myself, instead of having them pushed. That way I could feel how much my knees could take and could do more than the PT did.

She will gain more motion with time. At 1 year post-op, she will have gained more motion just from healing and swelling going down and walking. She must use those knees to gain more motion. It is scar tissue that is causing them to not move well and the more you sit, the worse it gets. You have to force yourself to get up and move. I was 85* at 6 weeks and 120*+ at 12 weeks so you can do it. I needed the swelling inside my knees to go down to progress.

Depression is very normal after TKR and even more so after bi-lats. It's from the anesthesia and drugs and all the pain. NORMAL! Tell her she will come out of it with time. It just takes time for the body to process all the stuff that's been pumped into her. Check the board....there are whole threads about post replacement depression.

As for sleep, if she is still taking any pain meds, they are the culprits in sleep problems. They interfere with sleep. She'll sleep better when she's off the pain meds. If she is off and it's pain disrupting sleep, then ask about something to help her sleep like a week or 2 of Ambien or Lunesta. Sometimes it takes the re-setting of the brain to get your sleeping again and flushing the pain meds out of the body.

I had bi-laterals because I had no choice.....other medical problems made it necessary but I know my doc won't do them unless they are medically necessary. They leave you weak and in so much pain that it just isn't worth it. And you just don't have the energy to rehab well. I wish someone had told your wife. It was the worst surgical experience of my life and I've had some tough surgeries. I would NEVER recommend anyone having both done at once.

I'm here if you have more questions.

hugs.........Jenny

 
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post:
speedtwin50 (03-31-2011)
Old 05-02-2011, 02:33 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Maui Girl HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedtwin50 View Post
I'm writing for my wife who had both knees replaced about 2 months ago. She is still having a lot of pain in both legs, generating up and down from the knees although it comes and goes. She hasn't been able to sleep an entire night through since surgery and is extremely depressed. She can bend both knees about 90 degrees, which is all she could do before surgery. She also has chills which come and go. Doc says Xrays are OK, doesn't have much to say about the other problems. She is certain that her knees will never get any better than they are now and I'm looking for some reassurance that it's still too early to be depressed. Can anyone share some light on the above? I'm at my wits end and don't know where to go from here. Thanks for any suggestions you can supply.
I had a bilateral 6 weeks ago. I am experiencing many of the same problems. The pain is different than before the surgery but, it is just as debilitating. I am forcing myself to exercise and walk, walk, walk. I have heard that it can take a year to recover so, at least, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there!

 
Old 05-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #5
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: lafayette ga usa
Posts: 2
speedtwin50 HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

Since I wrote the first comment, things have improved. My wife has gotten past the depression, finally, and sleep has returned along with the better disposition. She's been walking and riding her little 'bicycle' on a daily basis, so I'm much less inclined to run screaming into the night like I was when I wrote the first message. Thanks to all who responded; to those experiencing the same difficulties as my wife was earlier, I can say that it looks like things improve after all! She hung in, and so should all others!!

 
The Following User Says Thank You to speedtwin50 For This Useful Post:
Maui Girl (05-04-2011)
Old 07-13-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Posts: 1
tkrinfla HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

I really appreciate the info posted here. I had bilateral tkr 3 weeks ago and I'm really wanting to sleep through the night. It can really be depressing so I was happy to read that others have the same issue. Why is it that misery loves company! I do very well during the day and look forward to my walks with my son. PT is a life saver. I can bend one knee 117 degrees and the other 113. Night however brings a whole new world of depression. I know that I am doing very well, but the swelling remains and of course that causes discomfort. And I wake up after 3 hours of sleep. Most nights I am up for 2-3 hours before I can fall back to sleep. Last night I was up for 4 hours. UGHHH! Has anyone been able to do anything to help reduce the swelling or is it just time? Am I better to just try to stay on tylenol and forget the heavy duty pain meds? Will that help the sleeping?

 
Old 07-13-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,894
Blog Entries: 12
jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

The pain meds can really upset the sleep cycle. Depending on what you are using, stopping them well before bedtime can help. But some stay in the body and until you stop, forget about a good night's sleep.

I always used to sleep with ice packs on my knees to help with swelling. I even put them all around my knees with ACE bandages with a layer of clothing between me and the ice packs(gel type packs). Mind you, I'd then have freezing cold feet so hubby kept slippers on the radiators and he'd change my slippers during the night for me so my feet stayed warm(had mine done in the winter). You can now get microwave slippers to warm up the feet.

But I think one of the biggest things that helped me with swelling in my knees was massage. The VNA PT who came to my home would massage my calves and showed my husband how to do it so I got regular calf massages during the day to get the fluid out. And I slept with my legs elevated but straight.

Ask your doc if he/she could give you a sleep med like Ambien so you can sleep through the night and not use the pain meds. Have to admit, that once you start sleeping the entire night, every part of you feels better. It is important.

Jenny

 
Old 08-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Lanark, IL, USA
Posts: 2
artizan HB User
Re: Bilateral knee replacement, how long to recovery?

I hope she is in therapy and/or faithfully doing her therapy exercises at home daily! It is hard I know as I am 9 weeks out from double knee replacements. I still have pain but was aggressive with my therapy initially so I had a 115 degree bend at 5 weeks. I ride my exercise bike at home starting with the seat elevated so as not to overbend my knees and have lowered the seat gradually increasing the bend. Doing the hard work of therapy is the only way to get more range of motion! I do understand the lack of sleep, the leg pain (not just in the knee) and the possibility of depression. I think you should contact the doctor again or go to your general physician to see about antidepressants; make sure she is getting proper pain meds & sleep aids; and get her into therapy if she is not there now. I know my husband has had a rough time with me and my surgery as well. Two months is too early to have everything back to "normal" and the progress at this point for me has slowed some making it more frustrating. Keep at it as some people say it takes 6 months to a year. Good luck to you both.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Bilateral Knee Surgery Decision used2b Knee & Hip Problems 8 04-27-2013 05:40 PM
Constant knee joint pain logger Knee & Hip Problems 2 11-14-2012 05:06 PM
Bilateral TKR -- discharged home or rehab? waldosmom Knee & Hip Problems 23 02-07-2011 08:22 PM
Bilateral Total Knee Replacement floating island Knee & Hip Problems 43 01-18-2011 10:30 PM
Need Some Advice-Knee Problems-Multiple Surgeries verydisciplined Knee & Hip Problems 81 09-13-2010 07:08 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



SweetPeainSF (48), janewhite1 (47), Silver Swan (31), jennybyc (26), SpineAZ (24), Grumpyathome (21), james079 (20), ldy12 (19), glennxyz (17), tiredbeinsick (17)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1005), Apollo123 (906), Titchou (850), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:50 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!