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    Old 08-30-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
    roses4evver
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    Who has had a TKR????

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a 45 yr old female who will be having to have a TKR ASAP- for very early severe osteoarthritis. I have a job where I walk or stand all day long. To put it mildly I would have it done in a heartbeat if I had the money. A 50% loss in salary is a lot. So it's save, save, save & pray my knees will hold out. I just want to know how old you were when you had a TKR done? What was your recovery period? How was PT involved, how long? What kind of job you had to go back to if any?, and did you have the TKR bi-latterally?
    I am trully jusk sick over all this!

    Or any other infor you have to offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Take Care
    Roses
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    *~* "Cherish every moment you share with your love, drink life every second you can, love like there will be no tomorrow!" *~*

     
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    Old 09-05-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
    Nana23
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    I had my left knee done 8 years ago and have to go see the orthopedist Thursday because I am once again experiencing discomfort--but not nearly what I experienced before I had it. I was in the hospital 4 days with p.t. and went home on a walker. I drove after 3 weeks and 3 days because I felt much better--but couldn't walk far when I got there. Physical therapy on an outpatient basis lasted another 3 weeks, but I was trying really hard. I was 51 at the time and weighed 85 pounds more. At that time I was an LPN and am now retired. The pain was not nearly as bad as I expected and I was off all pain meds within a month. Now I occassionally need a Vicodin or two.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 08:08 PM   #3
    roses4evver
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Nanna,

    Why are you having problems just 8 yrs after the surgery? I'm assuming you were working those 8 yrs? How long before you returned to work? What kind of job did you have then?

    Sorry for all the questions...
    Good to know it wasn't as bad as you thought.
    Thanks for replying!
    Take Care
    Roses
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    Old 09-06-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Hi,

    I am 35 years old and have been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in most of my joints.
    I just had a TKR on my left knee on July 18th of this year. I also had bi-lateral hip replacements (4 months apart) back in 1997. I was somewhat prepared for this since I went through two hip replacements.

    I was in the hospital for a week which included inpatient physical rehab. After surgery, you will probably be put on morphine pump unless you're allergic to it. I got sick from the morphine, it made me quite naseau and they told me this was normal. About two days later, they put me on Vicoden.

    I had 30 staples in my knee which was removed two weeks later by a visiting nurse. I also had at home PT for four weeks which included light bending and stretching knee exercises. Last week, I saw my doctor for my 6 week post-op follow up visit and he said my knee x-rays looked good. He then gave me a referral script for outpatient PT. I've only gone twice so far.

    I also still follow my at home PT regimen. I have been instructed to bend my knee as much as I can tolerate and am now at about 90 degrees. I do have pain but it usually subsides by taking Vicodin or extra strength tylenol (usually take it a half hour before doing exercise). I alternate between the two depending on the amount of pain I have. Usually I take one vicodin and in 4-6 hours take two tylenols, this seems to work for me. I am also able to drive but not walk long distances.

    One concern I have now is that the long incision area on my knee has not all closed up yet. I have one spot where the knee joint bends where the scab fell off and some puss oozed out. The rest of the incision is now a nice long scar which I am putting Mederma on to smooth it out. My doctor saw this at my post-op visit and told me to keep it covered with a bandaid. However, every time I shower, it gets wet and when I remove the bandaid to put another one on, the new scab pulls off and then it bleeds a little and puss comes out of it again. I hope this is normal and am thinking that it's harder for this area to heal since it's right where the knee joint moves. For this reason, I am not doing a lot of heavy exercises at the PT office. They want to make sure that the entire incision is healed first. So, for now I am getting Electric Stim and Ultra Sound followed by light exrcises. Has anyone had a problem with part of the incision not healing as quick as the rest?

    I have been out of work since the surgery. My job requires field work so I have been on medical leave during this time. I plan to return to work in October as this is when my medical leave runs out.

    Anyway, I hope this answers some of your questions and if you have any more, please feel free to ask! When are you having it done? Good luck with your upcoming TKR.

     
    Old 09-06-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
    roses4evver
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Hi Painfree,

    Thank you so much for responding! Your story is extremely interesting to me but all these pain meds are making me very tired & can hardly keep my eyes open. I have a couple meetings Thurs & Fri at work in the evening. I will definately write before the weekend is over. I will write soon...ok

    Roses
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    Old 09-08-2006, 07:03 PM   #6
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Painfree4me,

    Thanks again for responding. I just can't believe what you have been throught at the tender age of 35! No, I'm not allergic to morphine. Is at home PT the norm after surgery? How often do they want you to go to outpatient rehab?

    I've had arthritis for 15 yrs. I hyper-extended my knee back in April & it wouldn't heal, so I had to have a scope done. That is what showed what was so wrong with my knee. In may my Rheumie said I had Rheumatoid, lupus & diabetes (she said all were mid range). My knee grew worse & worse & I was off work for 3 1/2 mo. I have been back to work a month now & am worse shape that you can image. I'm worried cause I have such a high amount of pain 24/7. As of today the pain pills just don't work anymore. I alternate every 4 hrs between 2ultral & 3 tylenol then 2 darvocet then in middle if the night I take 1 vicoden. Today the meds just stopped working. I'm wearing a knee brace nearly around the clock to take the pressure off the compartments of the knee.

    I just had my last hyalgen injection over a week ago. It hasn't changed anything either. The aspiration she did at the time of the injection was a lot of bloody fluid. I've never had blood in it before even though it has been aspirated every week the last 6 wks. I'm concerned about infection setting in too.
    It has been nearly 6 wks post op, what does your Dr say? Is sit normal?

    I will be holding off as long as possible. It looks like it will be sooner than I would like though, within the next 2 mo I think or before. I am beside myself with how much it hurts & I'm no wimp...lol. The Dr's asked me how in the world did I work all last yr? The answer is I'm young & I just kept going while popping Tylenol like candy. Now this all has stopped me dead in my tracks....They said the lupus has done a great deal of damage. There is no cartlidge at all in my left knee & the right is on it's way too.

    was the surgery as bad as you thought it would be? I'm hoping I can get them both done at once. My job I can go back & fight for because of my seniority at the hospital, but 60 % pay isn't much.

    How soon did you get up & walk with a walker? With wanting them both done I want to be able to walk around a little bit at least enough for stretching & potty breaks. Did you have that brace at home that moves your knee while you sleep?

    Thanks so much for all your information.
    Take Care & recooperate!
    Roses
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    *~* "Cherish every moment you share with your love, drink life every second you can, love like there will be no tomorrow!" *~*

     
    Old 09-09-2006, 02:00 PM   #7
    painfree4me
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Roses,

    Personally, I would not get two knees done at the same time because you will need to have strength to walk. Your knee will feel very tight and standing up the day after surgery will be a struggle. It is good to have one good knee otherwise, you will need a lot more assistance going to the potty and just doing simple things like getting out of bed to sit on a chair. If both knees have to be done, I would do them a few months apart. A PT therapist will get you out of bed the day after surgery (even if you are in no mood) and have you use the walker even if it is just to go across the room. You must get up to get your blood circulated. You may also get a foot pump at the end of your bed to assist with circulation. Each day someone will come and help you get up and walk, sit on a chair and get you knee to move.

    After, I was transferred to rehab dept. where you do exercises in a gym in group and one on one setting. They will also teach you how to perform daily activites (occupational therapy) using special equipment like a grab reacher in the kitchen. You will be taught how to properly climb stairs with your crutches as well. I eventually used crutches. I left the hospital on crutches but at home only used one crutch and then a cane. You should also be given a sheet of paper with all the exercises you can do in bed, a chair, standing up. The more diligent you are with exercise, the faster the recovery pending no other complications.

    If your left knee is significantly worse than the right, take care of the worse one first. I am going to wait much longer for my other knee next time. But it sounds to me like you are definitely ready to have your left knee (the worse one) done due to all the pain meds you are taking. I was not even taking any pain meds prior to surgery, just my anti-inflammatories and an occasional tylenol. My chief complaint was lack of mobility where I could not bend the knee and climb steps too well. I guess my anti-inflammatories helped with the pain but I had to stop them a week before surgery as they cause excessive bleeding. Also, I had arthroscopic surgery four years ago and had no cartlidge in my knee.

    So, please book your surgery ASAP because there can be a long wait depending on your doctor's surgery schedule. I had to schedule mine two months later after my doctor agreed to do the surgery as there were no earlier dates. But this gave me plenty of time to notify my employer and take care of last minute details at work.

    Yes, at home PT is the norm. A Rehab Coordinator will set you up with a visiting nurse/rehab facility or a skilled nursing facility if you do not have anyone at home to assist you. In my case, since I had one person to help me out at home I was given at home PT. I had a nurse visit only two times and a PT therapist come twice/three times a week for about 4 weeks. The nurse basically evaluates how you are doing a day after you return from hospital. Then a week later returns to remove the staples in your knee. That is a little uncomfortable cause they're so many (it feels like pinching skin) but tolerable.

    The hospital social worker will set you up with the necessary equipment you'll need at home. In my case, I already had most of it from my hip surgeries. You most likely will need your own set of crutches, raised toilet, shower chair, sock aide, long shoe horn, grabber to reach things, walker (if you need it), and a cane. All this will be ordered and provided to you a day or two before you go home. This should also be covered under your insurance plan.

    After my 6 week post-op appt., my doctor saw my scab that fell off and covered it with a bandaid. I since called him to inform that the little area where I bend my knee still continues to have some puss after I take a shower. He advised to keep it covered and use an anti-biotic ointment. He said there is really no way to keep it 100% dry when showering and said as long as I am not taking a bath or using dirty water, just keep it covered with a bandaid. I am to call him back in 10 days to let him know how that goes.

    My doctor prescribed outpatient 2 times a week for 8 weeks. They will only do electric stim and ultra sound due to the small wound that I now have covered with a bandaid. When this heals, then they will start me doing heavy exercise. For now, I continue doing my at home exercise.

    If there are any other questions, I am here to answer. If you would like to talk to me, send me a private message. Good luck!

     
    Old 09-09-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Roses,

    I forgot to also mention that prior to surgery, you should donate your own blood because any major surgery you risk losing a lot of blood. Getting a blood transfusion (if needed) with your own blood is safer and will help you to recover faster than using an anonymous donor's blood.

    For both hips and knee surgeries, I lost a lot of blood and was glad that I had donated my own prior to surgery. Your doctor usually sets this up with their own or affliated blood donor facility about the same time you go for pre-op testing. You may also require medical clearance if you have a heart condition or a medical history.

    And one last thing, it is recommended that you start taking Iron pills - 65mg or Ferrous Sulfate Tabs - 325 mg about a month before your surgery. It is a good idea to take this before you donate your own blood also.

    Well, I hope this info helps!

    Last edited by painfree4me; 09-09-2006 at 02:22 PM.

     
    Old 09-09-2006, 04:58 PM   #9
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    A small note:
    If you live alone you may not be allowed to return home very soon after the surgery.

    My elderly mother lived alone and even though she has no other health problems to worry about other than the TKR on one knee, she was forced to enter a nursing home PT wing for 2 months before they allowed her to go home to live alone after TKR.
    Mainly cuz she had to prove she was physically able to climb stairs before the Dr would let her go home to her upstairs apt.

    I have a neigbor who lives alone in a ground floor apt and after THR on one hip they made her go to a nurseing home PT wing..but she hated it passonately and so only stayed 10 days. Dr refused to allow her to go home and be alone all night so she hired a person to come and stay all night at her apartment for a one more week. She privately paid the person $200 per night just to sleep there.
    She had Home Nurseing therapists and a privately paid house cleaner during the day and the other hired over night person all night.

    Last edited by snowmelts; 09-09-2006 at 05:02 PM.

     
    Old 09-10-2006, 12:39 AM   #10
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Thank you everyone for all your responses!

    I am more than ready to have surgery NOW. I'm up late cause I can't sleep, even with the Vicodin pill. Just to painful.

    As the weeks go by my good knee (RT) is not so good any more. But it is better than the LT which is the absolute worst. Yes, since May I have had to alternate EVERY 4 hrs between 2 Ultram plus 3 extra strength Tylenol....and then 2 Darvocet. Then once during the night I take a Vicodine. This has been going on for 2 1/2 mo. Now all the pain pills are only working at 1/2 their potency. I'm working all day on my feet at the hospital with a bloody fluid filled Lt knee, wearing a Don Joy brace, & limping all day. I can't put all my weight on that left knee nor straighten it completely & have bad pain in the back of it also for 2 wks. I guess that's from the fluid buildup. I'm having some problems with my feet/ankles/hips due to not being able to walk right. I am going to call my Ortho Dr Mon & try & set something up with surgery. I just can't keep going on like this. Even when I have gotten it aspirated it is filled with fluid again by the next morning.

    The reason I need to have both knees replaced at once is because all my time is used up at work. As it stands now I have no time available at work so my job will probably be posted. But because of seniority I know I will get it back when I return. I could not take off work again anytime from the time of recooperation of one knee replacement until a yr later. I know my other knee will not wait that long at all, not 1/2 that long. Plus the Rt knee is getting worse by the week. My husband will be able to take 2 wks off to be home with me. Is that enough time for me to be able to get up if I need to on my own????? With getting them both done will I be able to drive in 2 wks? I was thinking of the PT involved. Do you think without any complications that I could be back to work walking all day in 4 mo?

    I already have crutches.

    [ REMOVED ]

    How many wks post op are you? What can't you do now?

    Take Care
    Roses
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    *~* "Cherish every moment you share with your love, drink life every second you can, love like there will be no tomorrow!" *~*

    Last edited by moderator2; 09-10-2006 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Please read and follow the posting rules.

     
    Old 09-10-2006, 03:09 PM   #11
    painfree4me
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    Hi Roses,

    I'm so sorry you had to wait this long with your bad knees. This is how I was with my hips, where the cartlidge just snapped on me and from that day on I was in such agonizing pain, it affected my whole life.

    If your hubby is able to take the time off, I would recommend that he take off the second week when you are most likely home from the hospital. Chances are you will not be released before one week especially since you are having both knees done. Consult with your doctor about this though.

    You should also inquire if your hospital has a rehab unit in the same hospital, otherwise you may need to transfer to after three-four days after your surgery.

    Another thing is, you will not be able to drive for at least 6 weeks, esp. since you won't be able to bend your right knee to drive.

    Right now, I am going on 8 weeks post-op. I still have difficulty walking outside with a cane for long duration. Plus I am waiting for my wound to heal b4 I start heavy duty exercise. You probably will need the most amount of medical leave you're entitled to.

    Now, if your hubby cannot stay with you after his 2 week vacation, you may want to check out getting a home health aide. This can be arranged through the hospital social worker or you may want to check out a nursing facility if you don't have anyone else to help you out.

    Hope you feel better and keep us posted!!

     
    Old 10-08-2006, 05:32 PM   #12
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    Re: Who has had a TKR????

    hello painfree4me,

    I was wondering how you are doing now that you are more than 8 wks post of of TKR? Did your Dr say the wound leaking puss was normal? You have tremendous strength going through 2 hip replacements & TKR all before 35 yrs old!!! I am so happy you were able to have your surgeries that were needed.

    You have severe Osteo, correct? I was wondering if you have any other forms of arthritis, autoimmune diseases or even diabetes? I have posted about my Ortho Dr's(2 of them) & my Rheumatologist all are against any kind of TKR suddenly. I posted in the Lupus forum under "Trying hard to deal with SLE". Another thing their saying now is my bones will not be strong enough to support a prostesis in 5-7 yrs with my job walking all day, Saying my bones would splinter/break off & then even bigger problems with possible amputation. I have osteo, connective tissue disease, rheumatoid, lupus, diabetic, & post meapausal too. Do you have any view on this?

    Take care of yourself!
    Good luck with your recovery!
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