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  • Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

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    Old 10-13-2009, 02:00 PM   #376
    shatteredangel5
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    You're right Gospelgal, we are for each other. I have so enjoyed coming to this board because we have all been there and are a real comfort for someone else. If one of us don't have an answer, someone does, so vent away people...LOL

    Over the weekend, my knee kept buckling under me almost every time I stepped on it, so I got my cane out for support. It was very annoying. I am hoping next time I go to the doc, he might be able to shed some light on why this happens...who knows!!

    I get depressed at times also, I've always suffered from this, so I guess I can say maybe it's "normal" for me?? IF that's the right word..lol But, I know being depressed is not easy to cope with and having someone to talk too can relieve some of the side effects of depression......that's why this board is here....for encouragement, compassion and just plain friendship. Kudo's to all of you out there....you're a great bunch!!!!!!

     
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    Old 10-13-2009, 09:11 PM   #377
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    I had a bad day yesterday - left work early and just lay on my bed reading for a couple of hours. Our bodies have been through so much and I believe it does catch up with us somewhere. I too had great difficulty in the first few months with sleeping and found a pillow between the knees helped me to get comfy so I could manage to catch a few hours. And, sleep does help to make us all feel better - lack of sleep through pain has got to be the worst and it all contributes to the depression doesn't it. I have days when I am so stiff and sore - all over really - and others when I feel really good and can see what life will be like in the future. I have so enjoyed not having to seek out lifts (elevators) after having to rely on them for so long and last week I had one day when I just couldn't face a set of stairs to the first floor! Felt such a failure until I had a talk to myself and remembered how well I have been doing. Guess it's all the old three steps forward, two back story! Thanks for sharing your lives with me everyone, it really is making it easier to know I am not alone!

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 04:26 AM   #378
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    I think the worst part about having had a TKR is you really do not know what to expect until you have been there. I had my surgery on May 4th and was told that I could probably return to work in 12 weeks ( I am a nurse pounding the floor for 12 hours). I being the utmost optimist knew I would be ready sooner. I did my physical therapy as prescribed and was doing really well. I only had two sessions of out patient therapy because I was doing water aerobics in my pool. I would walk, stretch and do the steps. I would then walk and walk alot. I also have a recumbent bicycle that I used. But it seemed that every time I worked out I would have swelling and my knee just did not feel like it belonged to me. I think the best way to describe it was that it felt like a wooden knee from about six inches above and below my knee. I had pain but it was not a big issue I knew it was suppose to hurt. I got hit with depression....... oh what a monster. Looking back I realize that we are not all text book cases we are individual patient with individual healing. My depression stemmed from unrealistic goals. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up there was no way I was ready to return to work, and I was just told by my orthopod that I had a "perfect" knee. Well let me tell you that perfect "HURT". My physician said that we all heal differently and that I was still healing. He also felt that the medical society did an injustice to their patient when they put a time frame on heaing after a major surgery. I must say I left feeling very ambivalent when I left the office I had been given a reason but I knew I was not ready to return to work. I continued to walk the advice of my physician was to keep walking. Then one morning about 6 weeks later I did not have that dead feeling in my knee. I noticed I was walking and it was not hurting. I went to visit my son who lives in sunny Florida and has 14 steps to his door. It was awkward when I arrived climbing all those steps but after up and down about 8 times a day, going to the beach and walking in water that by the time I left 7 days later I was "almost" taking steps normally. I know my depression was because I expected to much to soon. I also have a clotting issue so I was more concern about throwing a clot post op then any other part of the surgery. My advice to anyone about to have the surgery it "patience". Keep moving, rest, take your pain medication and most definitely take stool softeners. ICE and ICE some more. Expect your knee to be swollen, stiff and painful but also know it will pass.


    Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Donna

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 04:40 AM   #379
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kytigger View Post
    I think the worst part about having had a TKR is you really do not know what to expect until you have been there. I had my surgery on May 4th and was told that I could probably return to work in 12 weeks ( I am a nurse pounding the floor for 12 hours). I being the utmost optimist knew I would be ready sooner. I did my physical therapy as prescribed and was doing really well. I only had two sessions of out patient therapy because I was doing water aerobics in my pool. I would walk, stretch and do the steps. I would then walk and walk alot. I also have a recumbent bicycle that I used. But it seemed that every time I worked out I would have swelling and my knee just did not feel like it belonged to me. I think the best way to describe it was that it felt like a wooden knee from about six inches above and below my knee. I had pain but it was not a big issue I knew it was suppose to hurt. I got hit with depression....... oh what a monster. Looking back I realize that we are not all text book cases we are individual patient with individual healing. My depression stemmed from unrealistic goals. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up there was no way I was ready to return to work, and I was just told by my orthopod that I had a "perfect" knee. Well let me tell you that perfect "HURT". My physician said that we all heal differently and that I was still healing. He also felt that the medical society did an injustice to their patient when they put a time frame on heaing after a major surgery. I must say I left feeling very ambivalent when I left the office I had been given a reason but I knew I was not ready to return to work. I continued to walk the advice of my physician was to keep walking. Then one morning about 6 weeks later I did not have that dead feeling in my knee. I noticed I was walking and it was not hurting. I went to visit my son who lives in sunny Florida and has 14 steps to his door. It was awkward when I arrived climbing all those steps but after up and down about 8 times a day, going to the beach and walking in water that by the time I left 7 days later I was "almost" taking steps normally. I know my depression was because I expected to much to soon. I also have a clotting issue so I was more concern about throwing a clot post op then any other part of the surgery. My advice to anyone about to have the surgery it "patience". Keep moving, rest, take your pain medication and most definitely take stool softeners. ICE and ICE some more. Expect your knee to be swollen, stiff and painful but also know it will pass.


    Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Donna
    Dear Kytigger:

    Thanks for reminding everyone that "it takes as long as it takes" because each of us heals differently and in an individual time frame. No one can set a time for your healing!

    Shirley H.

    Last edited by Silver Swan; 10-14-2009 at 04:41 AM.

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 08:39 AM   #380
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Wow Donna, your situation is almost identical to mine. I am also a nurse, I had been working in Geriatrics Long Term Care for over 20 yrs. I know realistically I cannot return to pounding the floors as you call it because I had my right knee replaced July 30th and my left knee is not that great. Well I have been doing wonderful the past 3 weeks or so and decided to go off all narcotic pain meds because I was considering maybe taking a private duty case. I went through a heck of a withdrawal and now 3 weeks later I'm having pain again. I was taking the pain meds every 4 hours not to let the pain get too bad, big mistake, I got addicted. Well 3 days ago I was offered a very low keyed private duty case right near my home. Of course I jumped at it. But right after that the pain started. I guess all the narcs are now out of my system. I have an appt with my surgeon today and I just don't know whether or not to get another script and just take it prn. Ibuprophen is not touching this pain and niether is ice. I went this morning to check out the patient to be sure I could handle it and it is low key, but I don't want to be limping and in pain. This is a 5 day a week case. I have also dealt with horrible depression which I know that getting out of the house and working will help that tremendously. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I'm scared to death LOL. What to you do for pain relief? You are 2 months ahead of me with your surgery. Do you still have alot of pain? I know about that night time pain it is awful, but mine has subsided some. I have no choice but to take this job or face financial ruin LOL. But I really feel it will do me good to feel useful again. What's your opinion on this? Feel better. Talk to ya soon........Barb

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 08:57 AM   #381
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    My knee sometimes feels like its, "Clunking" and at other times grinding. My therapist said that the muscles need to get stronger and that should stop. Well I'm done with therapy and have to continue to exercise because I still have those feelings. And like the impulsive nut that I am I took a private duty case that starts tomorrow and LOL 3 days ago my pain started up again. I still think that getting out of the house, helping someone else as well as helping my finances will make me feel alot better, but the last thing I needed now was pain to start up again Yeeeesh!!!! Plus like you I get tired very easily and need to build up endurance. How can I possibly do that hanging out at home. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing going back to work, but it is a low key case and I'm not going to be doing much more than what I'm doing home, so it should be OK. I just don't understand why this pain is back. I didn't do anything I shouldn't do. LOL, it's probably Psychosomatic cuz I know I gotta go to work LOL. How have you been doing? Well, I hope Take Care..........Barb

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 11:21 AM   #382
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Kytigger,
    All of us on this board has had our share of depression. When I look back on the pain I endured before surgery, then going through surgery, and then beginning recovery, it seems overwhelming at times. Let's face it, all of us has had to go outside our comfort zone and life has become different. That is why it is so important to take back the things you use to do on a regular bases. Life continously changes but also we must maintain things we have enjoyed in the past. I sure hope this makes sense to everyone. Like the rest of you, this board has been a blessing to me. Cindy

     
    Old 10-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #383
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Hi gospelgal and BibleBarb:

    I agree with both of you that sometimes it is a good idea to go ahead and do some of the normal things even before we feel completely ready. There have been days after this 2nd hip replacement that I have had to really talk myself into driving to get some needed shoppinjg done. All the times turned out OK but it was not easy to get myself into that car and on the way. There is something called "work hardening" that was used when I was a vocational rehab counselor for this state decades ago.

    We get out of the habit of doing things after we have been away for awhile. Of course we have to use our common sense with this. But I can attest that many times we can do more than we think we can do. Just be careful!

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 10-15-2009, 01:38 PM   #384
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    silver swan ( Shirley)
    I like the concept " work hardening". I too have to push myself to do things after surgery. To tell the truth, I have had major surgery in the past, but never like this in recovery. My biggest challenge right now is sitting down in chairs at restaurants..I am tall. It hurts to bend the knee that much. Cindy

     
    Old 10-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #385
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Hi Cindy:
    I do think that knee replacements are harder to recover from than the hip replacements. I sure hope I never have to have a knee replaced! Hope that new knee of yours starts giving you less pain when sitting down. Ouch.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 10-16-2009, 02:25 PM   #386
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    So, based on your replies, it would be best for me NOT to schedule my TKR one month before my family of 10 comes to visit for the holidays?? Sounds like the best thing is to wait until after the first of the year....?

     
    Old 10-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #387
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aware1948 View Post
    So, based on your replies, it would be best for me NOT to schedule my TKR one month before my family of 10 comes to visit for the holidays?? Sounds like the best thing is to wait until after the first of the year....?
    Good heavens, girl! I would wait many MONTHS before having 10 family members come to my home for a visit after joint surgery.! I have had no knee replacements - just 2 hip replacements and knees are much more complicated than hips, the way I understand it. There is no way I would want to have even ONE person visit if I would have to entertain or wait on him/her.

    Shirley H.

     
    Old 10-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #388
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    Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    I had my first flying experience after TKR today! Had to go to St. Louis from Detroit for a job interview. Getting through security in Detroit was easy, there was a special lane that I was ushered through, I had to stand in a tube where I felt like I was going to be "beamed up", but they sent me through and all was well. On the return trip, I set of the alarm, and was pulled aside where a TSA guard wanded me from head to toe repeatedly, and then proceeded to do a pat down, all over, if front of God and everyone in the airport! It was SO weird! I was given a card to carry for traveling purposes, not one TSA employee even looked at it... All in all, it wasn't a bad day, I was able to use the moving sidewalks in the airports and finally ventured a trip on the escalator!

     
    Old 10-16-2009, 11:05 PM   #389
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    Smile Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    This is a GREAT message board....!!! It is the first place where I am reading about all types of TKR surgeries, experiences and recoveries. Not just worst case scenario, total disaster TKR's. I am encouraged, but still VERY, VERY, VERY scared.....!!!

    I am scheduled to have TKR next week, October 21st and I have been QUITE FREAKED about the whole thing.

    I am 53 years old and I have been living with right knee pain for years and I just dealt with it. Every morning I would pop a handfull of Aleeve and off I would go. The pain has been getting worse over time and a few weeks ago, something happened while I was in the Kitchen making Dinner, an UNBELIEVEABLE pain just shot through my right knee and things just have gone downhill since then. I have actually started limping and I can not walk around much at all. As I told my family, my knee only hurts when I stand or walk....

    I went to my Orthopedic Doctor hoping he could do a quick fix, or give me drugs, shots of some kind, but, he took a look at my x-rays and was like, "How LONG have you been living with knee pain?"

    He showed me my x-rays and pointed out where my knee is bone on bone and where a depression is being formed from the bone crushing into it. He said that the ONLY option for me was TKR, I asked about drugs, shots, etc... And he said No, those were only temporary fixes.

    I am many, many, many pounds overweight. I KNOW that being this heavy will not help, I brought up my concern with my Doctor a few days ago. He seems to think that having the TKR will enhance my lifestyle and help me get back into shape because now it WON'T hurt to walk or stand for a few minutes at a time.

    Now that I am just a few days away from my surgery, there are thoughts and questions just whirling about my head.....

    Like, will the epidural hurt, how much pain will I be in after surgery, how much pain will I be in during recovery, how long will it take to say, "I am glad I did this", will going up and down stairs be tricky/scary, should I go home after surgey and have the PT person come to my house or should I go to rehab, is this a HUGE mistake, will I regret it, what if something goes wrong and I have other/more problems then what I have now, why can't my Doctor just give me some pills, can't something be injected into the knee, like a gel or something, should I put off surgery till I loose a substantial amount of weight (which could be next year OR never....), how long do these new knees last for, will being heavy reduce their "lifespan", can I donate blood with an artificial knee, and finally, should I talk myself out of this surgery.....???

    I am used to be "in charge" of my life and home. I am having difficulty accepting the fact that my Husband will be "in charge", taking care of me, being the "caregiver", not me. That is my roll, I have nursed him through back, knee and ankle surgeries and recoveries. I have taken care of my Daughter when she has been ill. People don't take care of me. It is a very strange place to be.

    A part of me really does NOT want to have this surgery but, another part of me KNOWS that I have reached a fork in the road concerning my knee. I can keep going like I am and most likely end up having to have an electric wheelchair. And THAT would be MOST DISTRESSING at my age.

    Or, I can suck it up, be brave, and try and help myself have a better quality of life. When I was at the Joint Class at the hospital last week, I looked around at all the "old" people in the room and realized that if these people in their late 60's and 70's can do this, SO CAN I......!!! (I think.....)

    I am hopefull that all WILL go well with this surgery, but, I am also scared of ALL the "What If's"......

    After reading all the posts, it seems like TKR's are kind of like gambling, some turn out REALLY WELL, some are QUITE GOOD, some are just good, some a just OK, some are Not so good, some are kind of bad and unfortunately, some are very bad. I just have to hope that mine WILL fall into the "Really Well" category. Time will tell.

    Reading all of your posts is helpfull, insightfull, truthfull and yes, a bit scary too.

    Thank You All for posting.

    Last edited by Suesan Jean; 10-16-2009 at 11:30 PM.

     
    Old 10-16-2009, 11:17 PM   #390
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    Smile Re: Total Knee Replacement: Recovery - Things I wish I knew!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aware1948 View Post
    So, based on your replies, it would be best for me NOT to schedule my TKR one month before my family of 10 comes to visit for the holidays?? Sounds like the best thing is to wait until after the first of the year....?
    So, I guess that if my TKR is scheduled for next week, I am NUTS to be thinking that I can still host my annual Thanksgiving Dinner next month for 12 people....??!!

    This would have been my 20th Thanksgiving....!!! HOW could, how CAN I give that up.....???

    I guess I will have to wait and see how I feel. My siblings seem to think I WON'T be up for it. My little Brother is ALREADY planning on hosting Thanksgiving at his house.

    Last edited by Suesan Jean; 10-17-2009 at 12:33 AM.

     
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