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  • I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

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    Old 06-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
    nana b
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    Unhappy I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    I have had my right knee scoped 3 times. The most recently 2 weeks ago. the dr said the knee is in bad shape and will need TKR in 6-8mths. I am 52 yrs old. I am scared to be honest with you. I am a diabetic so I am already dealing with health issues. but right now I am in alot of pain with my knee. I can not get on my knee. It has alot of arthritis in it. Is this knee surgery as painful afterwards as everyone makes it sounds and will I be able to return to keeping babies at my home in a month. I need to because it is part of our income. I just want some advice and some help.

     
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    Old 06-20-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Well, you don't want to put it off too long. The main problem with delaying joint replacement is that arthritis interferes with activity, which can lead to muscle loss in the leg and other problems. You say you have diabetes, well, being unable to exercise makes it a lot harder to control diabetes.

    A month might be a little early to return to an active job that requires you on your feet a lot. How many babies? Are we talking about little babies or toddlers? Toddlers are a lot harder to keep up with!

    You may want to get a second opinion from another surgeon before scheduling the TKR. You definitely want to talk to your family doctor about getting all your other health problems in optimal control beforehand. Any exercise you can do, swimming, weight lifting for your upper body, anything will build up your fitness and make recovery easier.

     
    Old 06-21-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
    nana b
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    yes, I am trying to do my exercises as best I can. I keep 2yr old, 1yr old, and 3mth old. So I am a busy lady. My diabetes is controlled by exercise and diet so that is good right now. My worse thing right now is that I can't sleep well. I am a side sleeper and it hurst even though I put a pillow between my knees and prop the other one on a pillow. Any suggestions on how to sleep on my side. I know that I am recovering from the arthroscopy and before that it was the pain of the torn cartilidge and the worn out knee too. How do you sleep? I keep reading that it only gets worse after the TKR too.
    Also after surgery are you in alot of pain or do that control that pretty well with pain killers.
    thanks for helping me. I am new to all of this.

     
    Old 06-22-2011, 04:10 AM   #4
    glennxyz
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Hoping to be active/mobile after 4 weeks is pushing it, given the children's ages you will need 8 weeks post TKR in my opinion before you can watch the kids again. I am one of the more successful stories here on this board and I was bascically useless for the 1st 6 weeks. You will be using a CPM machine 4-6 hours a day for the 1st month. Sleep is an issue for about 6 weeks, had to sleep in my recliner to get any rest at all.
    For me, after 6 weeks the progress each day was significant, btw, I have no other health issues and I am 56.
    Its now been 8 months since surgery and I feel great and can do any activity.

    Its a difficult dilema for you given the financial situation, as been suggested get other opinions, I saw 4 surgeons before pulling the trigger.

    Best of luck,
    Glenn

     
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    Old 06-23-2011, 08:55 PM   #5
    cricut
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Like you I put it off until I could hardly walk with out help. I was 52 when I had one knee done in February and the other done last July. It is so worth every moment of rehabilitation and everything you must go through. You need at least 8 weeks before even thinking about returning to a semi normal routine. You must do the rehab. because this is what makes all the difference. I just returned from a five day fly fishing trip where I fished 6 to 8 hours a day walking streams and having a blast. My husband could not keep up with me. Could not do this before my surgery. My left knee for what ever reason still swells, but I am not in any pain. Life is much happier now that I can walk pain free, go up and down stairs again, and sleep w/o waking up during the night because of pain.
    So go for it and don't look back.
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    Old 06-24-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    You have been such a big help. I return to the dr for post op arthroscopy of both knees in 2 more weeks. I plan on discussing my options then. I have a couple of questions that are really bothering me.
    1. the time I have to take off from work (keeping children in my home) without pay
    2. please tell me about the pain when you wake up from surgery - is it real bad or controlled by the pain medicine??? Is the pain the worse when you are having therapy?? or when is it the worse???
    3. from what I have read the day of surgery you have a chather in - so I gather you don't get up that day
    4. did you take blood thinner shots?
    5. I have read that you have to take antiobotics anytime you have anything sickness wise or treatment such as dental cleaning, is that correct?
    6. How long did you use a walker for?
    7. Did you stay in the hospital for 3-5 days?
    8. I am having so much trouble sleeping at night due to the pain. I am a side sleeper so I put a pillow between my kneeds. any other suggestions...nights are the worse! I am still occasionally having to take demerol for pain, too.
    9. I can not at all get down on my knees and if I get down on the floor. it is almost impossible to get up without someone helping me.

    please give any more suggestions.
    thanks

     
    Old 06-25-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nana b View Post
    You have been such a big help. I return to the dr for post op arthroscopy of both knees in 2 more weeks. I plan on discussing my options then. I have a couple of questions that are really bothering me.
    1. the time I have to take off from work (keeping children in my home) without pay
    2. please tell me about the pain when you wake up from surgery - is it real bad or controlled by the pain medicine??? Is the pain the worse when you are having therapy?? or when is it the worse???
    3. from what I have read the day of surgery you have a chather in - so I gather you don't get up that day
    4. did you take blood thinner shots?
    5. I have read that you have to take antiobotics anytime you have anything sickness wise or treatment such as dental cleaning, is that correct?
    6. How long did you use a walker for?
    7. Did you stay in the hospital for 3-5 days?
    8. I am having so much trouble sleeping at night due to the pain. I am a side sleeper so I put a pillow between my kneeds. any other suggestions...nights are the worse! I am still occasionally having to take demerol for pain, too.
    9. I can not at all get down on my knees and if I get down on the floor. it is almost impossible to get up without someone helping me.

    please give any more suggestions.
    thanks
    If you are one of the lucky ones you might be able to go back to caring for children in a few months, but if you are like me there is no way. I spent three days in the hospital and then three weeks in a rehab facility and then had a PT come to my home three times a week for a month. Then started outpatient therapy. That was over one and a half years ago. I still have constant pain. I've done water therapy, which did not help me one bit. Seeing another doctor now and still have gone back to PT. My insurance ran out for that so they have a program where I can go in and use the equipment anytime I want, but have no hands on therapy. Since the therapists know me so well they are nice about suggestions and helping me anyway. I also belong to a fitness club where I can use their equipment.
    And, yes, you wil need to take an anti biotic before even teeth cleaning for a few years depending on your doctor. Some say forever. I am in the middle of a dental implant and always take four amoxicillan before any work done or any cleaning.
    I can't recall how long I used a walker until I graduated to a cane. I still keep the cane in the car in case I need to do a lot of walking. The pain after you wake up after surgery is bad, but nothing you can't tolerate because they give you so much "good stuff" which is taken away after you go home. I did have it in the rehab facility, but have more pain now than I did then since I don't have the good meds. But I am not of the norm. Most people are up and about doing whatever they want by now. I have had several X-rays and they show all to be well. Not in my book since I have this constant pain. I have found that wearing the compression hose seems to give me a bit of support so keep those around. I think I was supposed to wear them for six weeks during the day following surgery.
    Good luck to you, but do not plan on going back to caring for children in such a short time. That's all you would need is to lose your balance while carrying an infant. I have enough trouble caring for my self still, but remember I am not one of the usual people. And now I find the other knee will need a TKR and that freaks me out.

     
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    Old 07-04-2011, 07:18 AM   #8
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Hi. I had a knee replacement one month ago. I'm still recovering. I have read the other post and I agree, you need help in place when you come home.
    The first two weeks home I really required help getting up and down from bed, showering, etc. Then for the past two weeks I'm able to care for myself but not able yet to do housework, grocery shopping, etc.
    My doctor did offer if I wanted to go to rehab in a facility but lucky for me I had help arraigned.
    I can now use a cane instead of the walker. I go to six hours of rehab a week and I'm feeling stronger and better each week. I did a lot of research prior to surgery on what makes a successful recovery and all the articles stated the therapy was very important so I do my exercises at home every day plus go to therapy. Now, at night I still have a problem resting and it seems that there is not a comfortable position really but I expect that to improve. Before the surgery I was up at night with aches and pains as well.
    I have read many stores where people love their knee replacement once the healed and I'm looking forward to being able to do the things I love again. I was in pain for years with this knee prior to this surgery so it's wonderful to know that I will be able to walk without pain again.
    Just make sure that you have help at home, plan on not being able to do much around the house for 6-8 weeks. If you don't have this support talk to your doctor so that a rehab facility can be looked into at least for the first few weeks. Best of luck. So far, I'm thankful that I had the surgery.

     
    Old 07-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    >>>>>8. I am having so much trouble sleeping at night due to the pain. I am a side sleeper so I put a pillow between my kneeds. any other suggestions...nights are the worse!>>>>

    I am a side-sleeper also, and for me, a regular pillow wasn't much help in finding a painfree position at night. However, I used one of our memory foam pillows (with the high and low bumps) and that works wonders! I put the curved-side on the bad knee and put my good knee on top. It also helps if you want to sleep in a side-scissors position (on your side/stomach with bad knee on top and bent, crossing over your good leg. The bad knee rests on the curved side of the pillow.)

    I, too was going back and forth about having TKR. I was scared about having the spinal block, femoral block, blood clots, the need to take antibiotics for dental work and other infections, etc. I am 56 and have bone-on-bone arthritis with osteopenia. What convinced me to go forward with the surgery is coming to terms with knowing that my knee will not get any better on it's own, and will actually get worse as I wear down the bone. Also, It's faster to heal when your 56 than when you're 66. :-) Bottom line is, it will eventually have to be done anyway if I want to avoid being housebound in my 60's.
    I wanted to wait until after swimming season, though, so my surgery is scheduled for 10/3. Best of luck to you!

     
    Old 07-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
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    Re: I need advice with TKR - to do it or put it off

    Hello! Yes, sleep is difficult after a knee replacement. I had mine 5 1/2 weeks ago and I am finally sleeping most of the night. It's difficult to get comfortable but keep in mind that with time, it will get better. I do not take pain medication now before bed but I did the first month and that helped some.
    I also put a pillow under my surgical knee and it helped some.
    I think it was just time that made the difference. I did sleep several times in my recliner chair.
    I was speaking with some other people with knee replacements at physical therapy and they all had the same problem with resting. So hang in there, it does get better with time.
    I am able to sleep on my stomach now, sides and back.
    Best wishes to you.

     
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