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Old 04-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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Life after 2 TKR

Just wanted to check in. I had first TKR on Feb. 2010, and 2nd one July 2010, and want everyone to know who are having problems, life gets much better. I am 54 yr. old female and could hardly walk because of the pain I lived with daily. I am riding a bicycle and average of twelve miles a week and can walk two miles without pain. I do have a good bicycle which is called a Townie which places your foot closer to the ground and is a longer frame. Not so scared of falling. Last summer I fly fished in Montana rivers for two weeks and had no issues. My left knee still swells and gets really stiff, but after icing, it will go down. The reason I think I had such a good recovery is I did exactly what the doctor said to do, and spent roughly 12 weeks of therapy on each knee. So stay positive, work hard and the rewards are great.
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LTKR 2-1-2010
RTKR 7-19-2010

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

That's great that you had two good TKR surgery experiences in 2010. I had my right knee TKR last April which went very well and I just had my left TKR 4 weeks ago (3/23/12). Most of the soreness from being worked on in surgery is gone (faster than last year's which took 3 months to disappear.) Given that you had your surgeries in 2010, you SHOULD NOT BE HAVING ANY SWELLING at this point. It takes about 4 to 6 months for your body to adjust to the prosthetics and after that, you are "supposed" to forget that you even have artificial knees. (Particularly if you, like me, have done everything your surgeon asked of you post surgery as far as rehab.) You might want to check with your surgeon as to why your knee still gets swollen two years after replacement. He might need to do an MRI to make sure the prosthetic is intact and that it didn't get knocked out of place for any unknown reason, and to check that no pieces of the prosthetic have broken off that might be causing you the swelling. (I don't know if your surgeon told you after your surgeries, but it is highly recommended by most prosthetic knee manufacturers, that you go for annual x-rays and placement checkups for the rest of your life, just in case something got accidentally knocked out of kilter.) Because I had my TKR's done two weeks apart, one year apart, starting in 2013 (next March), my surgeon said he will split the difference and have me come in for those annual checkups in the "middle" week between when I had each of my surgeries done. (4/5/11 for the right one and 3/23/12 for the left.) That means I will go see him the last week of March every year from now on. Just suggesting you ask your surgeon about this. (And if he used the Stryker Triathlon gender specific brand TKR model, you definitely need to do this, per the Stryker manufacturer's recommendations.)

Let me know what happens and if they can solve your swelling problem permanently!

*******

 
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

I have followed up with all my X-rays and the doctor stated that sometimes people will have swelling after being on their feet all day. I teach and some days I do stand up more than others. It is not huge swelling, but swelling none the least. I'm just so happy to be able to do just about anything I want to do now. In the past I suffered with so much pain it had began to limit my activities to the point of not being able to grocery shop or do the simple things in life. So I will take a little swelling above the knee sometimes.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

glad to hear that you all are doing so much. I am May 29 for my tkr and freaking out as it gets closer. Wanting to back out, but the pain keeps telling me you "got to do" this. But I am scared.
thanks for all of you all's information and updates. It helps us that are going into this.

 
Old 04-24-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

nana b: Whatever you do, DO NOT BACK OUT of having your TKR!! I was nervous last year for my first one because I didn't know what to expect afterward, but I was not going to back out because it hurt way too much. And, as I indicated in earlier posts, I was not sorry that I had it done. Yes, it's hard work doing the post surgery rehab, but if you do EVERYTHING the surgeon asks of you, I PROMISE you will have a great outcome!

When my left knee started going bad again this past December (even though my surgeon scoped it during last year's right knee TKR surgery), I was actually GLAD that the left one deteriorated as fast as it did so I could get my surgeon to replace it last month! That way, I no longer have the need for either replacement hanging over me, and once I'm done rehabbing the left knee, I can get back to my life.

If you find you're getting really anxious about this, ask your doctor for anxiety medication leading up to the night before you go in for the surgery. It will help take the edge off your fear. (Xanax works best for me.)

Good luck and keep me posted.

*******

 
Old 04-24-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

nana b: Whatever you do, DO NOT BACK OUT of having your TKR!! I was nervous last year for my first one because I didn't know what to expect afterward, but I was not going to back out because it hurt way too much. And, as I indicated in earlier posts, I was not sorry that I had it done. Yes, it's hard work doing the post surgery rehab, but if you do EVERYTHING the surgeon asks of you, I PROMISE you will have a great outcome!

When my left knee started going bad again this past December (even though my surgeon scoped it during last year's right knee TKR surgery), I was actually GLAD that the left one deteriorated as fast as it did so I could get my surgeon to replace it last month! That way, I no longer have the need for either replacement hanging over me, and once I'm done rehabbing the left knee, I can get back to my life.

If you find you're getting really anxious about this, ask your doctor for anxiety medication leading up to the night before you go in for the surgery. It will help take the edge off your fear. (Xanax works best for me.)

Good luck and keep me posted.

*******

 
Old 04-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Life after 2 TKR

Quote:
Originally Posted by ******* View Post
nana b: Whatever you do, DO NOT BACK OUT of having your TKR!! I was nervous last year for my first one because I didn't know what to expect afterward, but I was not going to back out because it hurt way too much. And, as I indicated in earlier posts, I was not sorry that I had it done. Yes, it's hard work doing the post surgery rehab, but if you do EVERYTHING the surgeon asks of you, I PROMISE you will have a great outcome!

When my left knee started going bad again this past December (even though my surgeon scoped it during last year's right knee TKR surgery), I was actually GLAD that the left one deteriorated as fast as it did so I could get my surgeon to replace it last month! That way, I no longer have the need for either replacement hanging over me, and once I'm done rehabbing the left knee, I can get back to my life.

If you find you're getting really anxious about this, ask your doctor for anxiety medication leading up to the night before you go in for the surgery. It will help take the edge off your fear. (Xanax works best for me.)

Good luck and keep me posted.

*******
I am now 10 days post TKR surgery and have 110 to 0 TRM. walked out of the hospital without needing crutches. My only issue is Pain Management. I know my quality of life will be better as already I can walk normally. When did you stop taking pain meds before PT? This is my stumbling block at the moment. I would like to know your experience?

 
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

Hi AussieBill1962 - Glad everything went well with your TKR. Just keep doing everything they tell you in PT and you'll do fine.

As for painkillers, I was given them around the clock in the hospital even though we started group physical therapy the day after my surgery. Once they switched me back to my Tylenol/Codeine, I was able to cut back fairly quickly on its use once I got home. I do still have to take it on occasion, but the soreness from THIS TKR (as opposed to last year's right TKR) is going away MUCH FASTER. Last year, it took 3 1/2 months for the soreness to completely disappear. I am now only 5 WEEKS post surgery this time and most of the soreness from my left TKR is gone! Big difference, to say the least. I try to stick with icing the knee instead, post therapy, because I really don't like having to take the Tylenol/Cod if I can avoid it.

The trick is to stay AHEAD of the pain. If you know you're going to have a very intense PT session, take the painkiller about an hour before your session, and the pain won't be as bad. I mean, if you need the painkiller, you need it. Don't forget, you just had MAJOR surgery only TEN DAYS AGO!!! Don't worry, you won't get addicted to the painkillers. It's going to be too short a period that you will need them for you to get addicted. (I was told this by my surgeon.)

Hope this helps.

******* (Carol)

Last edited by ldy12; 04-25-2012 at 03:11 PM. Reason: answered wrong member; spelling

 
Old 04-25-2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

Thank you for the info *******.

My Doctor is away for the next week. I have no actual support regarding PT just doing the same exercises as in the hospital. I talked to the Physio I was using prior to Surgery and she is going to work with me and PT after I see my Doctor in a week, but things fell apart a bit with no Physio or Nurse available this week. I decided to not get up and Ice my knee last night and slept until 5 AM. Woke up with a swollen angry knee. I have been icing the knee every 3 hours or so until last night.
I will email the doctors office as I have a lot of questions, and was released from the hospital with no instructions other than to take the meds as written on the boxes. I ran out of Endone and had to get the doctor's office to mail me another script which will run out again before I see him. I have been taking the meds as you have indicated just prior to PT.
I seem to be on track with a few little hiccups. Just need some direction as in what am I supposed to do next and can I/should I be taking anti-inflammatory meds? Do I need to continue with the other meds I have been given to take at night with new scripts or finish what has been given to me and just use the Endone with PT. Good range of movement, walking and muscles in leg are fairly strong. Just a bit sensitive and incision is starting to hurt a bit. Confident it will all work out. Thank you.

 
Old 04-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

Hi AussieBill1962 -

That's terrible that they gave you NO specific exercises to do or set you up with a local physical therapy clinic post surgery to guide you! Same with the pain meds. What's with your medical team? Judging by your member name, I presume you're in Australia. The lack of guidance you have received would NEVER HAPPEN at most hospitals here in the U.S., and you DEFINITELY would have gotten the kind of care I'm getting from my Ortho surgeon and physical therapist both pre and post surgery!

Is there a covering Ortho surgeon who can see you while yours is away? Maybe he/she can get you set up with a PT clinic near home, and give you refills and more guidance on the use of your pain killers. In the meantime, just kind of follow my regimen I outlined above.



<removed>


As for the anti-inflammatory meds, I would hold off until you can ask your surgeon as I don't know what would work best for you. Plus, you have to be careful about mixing painkillers with NSAIDS!

Regards,
Carol

Last edited by ldy12; 04-25-2012 at 07:44 PM. Reason: grammar correction; more info

 
Old 04-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

I needed that encouragement the anxiety meds is a great idea. The pain tonight is so bad that I want it over, but I am just scared. The threat of blood clots, being diabetic and the fear of antiobotics for everything that I have done scares me since I have had cdiff before. I probably will need the encouragement right on up to the time.

 
Old 04-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #12
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Re: Life after 2 TKR

Hi nanab - I completely understand where you're coming from as I went through this last year when I was scheduled for my first knee replacement surgery last April 5th! I think I drove my friends and relatives (and possibly my surgeon!) a bit nuts reassuring me that all would turn out well. And as I've noted in past posts, it did indeed turn out beyond my expectations. (To the point that when my left knee started going bad again in December, I was actually GLAD it went bad so fast. That way, I was able to convince my surgeon that I wanted the left knee done on the earliest March date that I would be the first case of the day! I told him I just could not function with such pain and uncertainty hanging over me any longer than necessary and I wanted the knee replaced ASAP!) And, as I've told you, it's a good thing he readily agreed to do it this spring, because when he opened my knee to prepare it for the prosthetic, he found the condition of the knee a LOT WORSE than he originally expected! So he felt good that he was able to make me happy and give me another great outcome.

Seriously, though, I really think you should ask your doctor for anxiety meds to tide you over till surgery. (As motivated as I was this time around for my left knee TKR surgery, I still required some Xanax in the few weeks before surgery.

Let me know what you want to do about personal communication so I can help you.

Carol (*******)

Last edited by moderator2; 04-27-2012 at 05:35 AM.

 
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