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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


My history is I had horrible knee pain 5 yrs., stabbing sharp pain from ankles to knees. knees locking up, popping out of joint, usually unable to walk. 53 yrs old. saw orthopedist several times prior to surgery, (Good Looking) did not know what questions to ask, little to no information given, however I do tend to appear confident. Surgery Jan 10. very healthy. several small prior surgeries for other things I was up and going in a remarkable amount of time. I was with the understanding this is a 6 to 12 week recovery time, In my mind I heard 3 weeks I'll be fine!!!
I was given the option for type of anestesia. I chose no spinal or epidural, I was given choice for catheter,I chose not. Asked nurse to protect my modesty in surgery she was very warm, caring.
When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump. I was very itchy but in no pain as the day progressed the itching became worse, apparantly itching is a side effect,I had to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores, pain med was changed to something that did not work well finally 3rd change worked, I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.,
On the second day I was able to go to the bathroom on my own with the walker,I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me. very alert 3 rd day. I was o.k. but while the incision site seemed numb my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car. 4th day was transfered to a recovery facility for 1 week for after care and physical therapy.
got there at 3 pm. was asked if I had had a bowell movement, no!! was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems every one had the same problem so on top of pain your dealing with constipation, I had my husband bring up magnesium and gas x. took 2 magnesium am and 2 pm. fineally went potty. gas was also a problem where gas x was a gift from God....Nurses are busy don't expect to be babied. They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in.I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.
Day 2 physical therapie, was told to make sure you get pain meds 1/2 hour prior . it made a ton of difference in ability. I loved physical therapie its a bit of work but you being coached and praised and cheered a-.lot. for about 45 min where you work both legs I was unable to lift my knee replacement leg at all and wondered if I would ever be able to again, I did in about 1 week. yea but I could walk with a walker and went up and down stairs on day 2, yes it hurts, it hurts a lot but it is different it is a very tight strong throbbing, not sharp stabbing as before.
Day 2 in rehab I sobbed uncontrollably all day. I did not know why,it was fineally determined by doctors and hospital psycologists that it was anxiety caught up with me. In preperation for surgery I had to put my business in anothers hands, clean house, pay bills,make sure there were groceries at home for family, feel guilty for Husband having to work and come to hospital every night bringing me things, feeling guilty for bothering nurses with any thing,etc.etc.
In 1 week had made big progress. however it was still very painful hard to bend. after the 3 rd day in rehab pain med is no longer delivered every 4 hours you have to ask for it, so make sure you watch the clock. and start asking 1/2 hour in advance. I continued to love physical therapie. your put on coumadin and stockings, the stockings do help relieve pain besides helping circulation.
I am now at 4 weeks, when I keep my leg down for 30 or more min. it swells and is more painful . so my 3 week time line had passed which also caused me to cry -dissapointment that I'm still recovering and not fuly functioning. At 3 weeks the pain is considerably less but still there. I like my pain med 1 every 4 hours, why suffer plus I function better not in pain. going for my 1 month check tomorrow it seems like 1 week. A nurse came to the house 2 times a week to check coumadin levels and incision etc, the staples were taken out in 10 days, some of them hurt coming out but its over fast, a physical therapist came 1 time a week at my request as the copay 35.00 a visit I can do the physical therapie myself, I have to make myself.
I figured out to put my foot on a skateboard while sitting. I can slide my leg back and forth to exercize the knee. I put my hand tight over the incision while bending. it feels better.
Every one all around had told me I've done very well compared to most but it isn't fast enough for me. I stopped using the walker after rehab and never used a cane I have to focus on walking heel to toe and not limping. its just easier to limp. but even I know thats not the way to go. Now I'm just looking forward to the day every one says I'll be so glad I did this. I keep telling my self it could be worse...........
Hi, I'm the origional poster. There are no hard answers to some of your questions it is a very individual surgery. I'm a Hairstylist and have many clients also who have had this surgery with 2 month to 6 month recoveries. I worked 3 hours a day after 14 days,I had to contend with swelling as a result of that and the stockings and ice helped a lot but otherwise working full time at 6 weeks. it is now 10 weeks since my surgery and for the most part I walk normally late in the day it gets tender. It gets stiff and actually feels good to bend it. This is a very hard surgery,harder than I anticipated but after about the 4th week I could see it was a good thing, hopefully there will be a class available to your mom with all the info she needs, I was not told about it untill after however even if I had gone I would not have known what to ask! Your able to walk with a walker right away and I stopped using it the second week. I took pain meds for 4 weeks,they don;t want you to drive while on meds. I drove week 2 when the pain med had worn off. Physical therapy was recomended 3 times a week for 6 weeks. I did all of my own 3 times a day and am very flexable can move it in many directions comfortably. the PT feels good,The machine is a good thing you can lay down and let it do the work for you. Make a circle with a rope and practice hooking it on your foot and lifting your leg with it,this way I was able to get myself in the bed and into the machine by the 5-6th day. I found shorts and t-shirts the best things to wear. The support stockings they put on you feel good. I got a potty chair and shower chair at the thrift store and put the potty chair next to my bed only for night that was a big help. start exercizing your muscles now-- squeeze tour thigh and calf muscles flex your foot- leg lifts, I understand bending it may be painfull but you can build up those muscles with out bending your knee,she will be given a book of exercises, make up 4 bags of slush ice..1 1/2 cups water 3/4 cups of rubbing alcohol and in to a 1 gallon zip loc bag-squeeze out air and double in to another bag these are wonderfull and feel good to,I put a dry washcloth next to skin first. After a few days your Mom should be fine by herself,think about taking a magnesium pill daily for a week before the surgery and keep on while on pain med it will make a big difference. Sorry typing is not my forte. Good Luck, Hope it's easy for her....
Hi,

I had a TKR on my left knee two years ago. Now my right knee is having the same kind of pain as the left one did. I anticipate having minor and major surgery in the future.

Until I get to my orthopedist, which I have an appointment with next week, I am going to try using a cane. I had different people tell me which side you are supposed to use a cane. One doctor said use it on the same side and another said use on the opposite side. Can you let me know through your experience which side worked best for you? I would be interested in hearing from you all.

Thanks for your time.

Painfree4me
1. How long was it before you could go back to work (she's a secretary)?
I'm retired so this doesn' apply to me... but it's been 6 weeks and I probably could go back to work if I had to.

2. If you went straight home after the hospital and not to a rehab hospital, how many nights did you need someone to stay with you? How many days did you need someone to stay with you all day long? (my mom lives alone and I don't have a bed for her at my house)
I went straight home on a Thursday. My husband stayed home that Friday and helped me do EVERYTHING til he returned to work on Monday. I had a potty chair sitting near the recliner during the day (not pretty but a blessing), we'd move it beside the bed for night use (again, another blessing). I had an extention for the potty in the bathroom... I still use it especially in the mornings when I first get up. Had a walker with wheels, (a life saver) It really depends on your mother and how well she starts becoming mobile. I didn't clean house or anything like that but was able to get up and go to restroom and walk around the house for exercise. She'll need help for the other things for a while.

3. Did you have to wear one of those knee exercise machine things on your knee a few times a day for an hour or so? If so, could you get it off and on yourself or did you need someone to do it for you? Yes, It's called a CPM machine. I had a therapist that made home visits for the first 3 weeks. It was part of my therapy. It helps a lot get some of the flexiblity back. At first, I needed help but then I learned how to do it myself. I took a large bath towl and folded it in half lengthwise, hooked it over my foot, pulled back and swung my leg into place on the CPM machine... I used a thin towel (we all have some, the worn out kind.)


4. How long after leaving the hospital did you need to use a walker or crutches? My surgeon only allowed walkers, no crutches. I weaned myself off in about 3 weeks to one of those canes that has four feet... that helped a lot.

5. How long after leaving the hospital was it before you could drive? My followup checkup was 3 weeks after surgery. The doctor gave me permission to drive "when I felt comfortable. I had my right knee done, the one we all use when driving so I wanted to make sure. I drove around the block a few times with my husband present to see how I would do... I now drive all the time..

6. How long did you do outpatient rehab? I think my mom was told it would be for 4 weeks, 3 times a week. Is that normal? I just finished my 2nd week and I missed a week (got sick)... again, that depends on the individual. The only thing I haven't mastered is going up and down stairs.

7. How long was it before you felt and walked normal again? I had to get myself emtionally ready for this. I just told myself to "stand up straight, don't look down and pick up that leg, don't drag it"... that took about 3 weeks. The knee "pops" when I'm walking normal. Several others that I have talked to said that is normal.

Hope this has helped you. I know I asked a lot of questions before having the surgery done. I put up with the pain for over a year and now I'm mad at myself for putting it off...I haven't met or talked to anyone that regrets doing it.
I fail to understand WHY we would use a cane on our good side rather than the wounded side.
I do have OA in both knees, feet, back but I'm the kind that has an extreme fear of being put to sleep again (bad experience in the past) so surgery is not something I even discuss with a Dr.
Non-the-less I get some pretty bad OA days with the knees, feet or spine.

I find using a cane on side that is so sore helps take weight off it the painful area and therefore I have less pain. I hold the cane straight exactly next to the leg..not out to the side. This helps me not limp from pain. Cane walks with the leg as though I had it glued there.

Using a cane of the least sore side woud not get rid of any pain, not help me keep balanced as I walk.

I really can't understand useing a cane on the non-painful side.
The textbook way to use a cane, which worked very well for me, is this:

If your right leg hurts, put the cane in your left hand, and move it in time with your right leg, leaning part of your weight on the cane.

This is considered better for two reasons. One is that it's easier to balance on two things (leg and cane) if the two things are on opposite sides of the body. The other is that it is more natural to swing your right leg and your left arm together.

Give it a try, see how it works for you. You might want a doctor, physical therapist, or longtime cane user to critique your technique.

Actors on TV (including Dr. House) don't use canes as recommended. The only time I've ever seen an actor use a cane correctly was one who really did have an injury!

Also, it might be possible for you to have surgery while awake, so don't totally rule it out.
I hope that all those who have had to endure TKR are doing well. I am on my second replacement. Did the right knee 3 years ago but never felt that it really worked until I did the left knee this summer. I am now 4 months post op and although getting better, still not where I want to be.

I had the new procedure for reducing swelling with a special cocktail of steroids, celebrex, lyrica, dextromothorphan (cough syrup) mixed with a giant syringe of my own blood directly into the joint during surgery. Logic is this speeds healing by reducing swelling. Had my surgery in the morning and I was up and walking by myself with a walker later that evening. Was able to get in and out of bed by myself. Walked so much and did so well during therapy that my insurance company denied my going to rehab as I was considered able to be independent. Boy was I dumb! Day I was being released my leg swelled from toe to hip and stayed that way for three weeks, what had been simple before became excruciating. Found out I was one of the 10% who ultimately don't respond well to this special cocktail and suffer the meds side effects of lyrica and celebrex with extreme swelling.

Degraded to being totally independent to needing help lifting my leg but was able to actually buy $10 leg lifter (looks like a stiff dog leash) where you just hook the circle end around your foot and swing that sucker anywhere you want it to go, great for getting in and out of cars as well.

A few days before my extreme swelling finally went down (swelling caused me so much pain I was downing oxycontin and percocet like it was candy) I managed to pull a quad tendon while doing home therapy, major bummer. Set me back big time. After a week of rest, I was able to start out patient PT and went for 8 weeks, at 3x per week. Was very slow going until the quad tendon healed enough to let me progress.

Now finally I can walk without a cane and have to really concentrate to avoid limping. Still have swelling when I am on my feet which of course causes pain. My first knee replacement did the same swelling thing for about 8 months before swelling became the exception and not the norm. I tend to be a sweller after all my surgeries.

I have had both general and spinal anesthesia for the knees. Spinal scares me more but is actually much better. If you can get your anesthesiologist to really listen to you they can do it right. Because of my reaction to spinals (migraine and barfing for days) my doctor just put me in very light sedation so I was awake during much of the procedure (the drilling and sawing of bone was a bit tough to listen to) and also in some pain but when I asked for more pain relief they gave it to me so overall it wasn't really that bad. When I woke up in my hospital bed I hurt less from the spinal than my other knee when I had general anesthesia.

Overall I have learned that I have to accept that it takes up to a year for a full recovery. My therapist came up with a great idea of cutting my TED stocking at the calf and using it as a compression sleeve which I still wear every day and take off only to go to sleep, it really helps with the swelling and makes it easier for me to be more aggressive with exercise.

Best I can advise people about to undergo this procedure is to be realistic. I have had a total of 11 operations and knee replacement is absolutly the most painful and the most difficult to recover from. You have to really grit your teeth, take the pain meds and fight your way to recovery. My first knee is now perfect (about time since it is 3 years) so I have to believe that one day my recent knee will get there as well. I have learned that everybody is different and so the healing is different. I find that after the first 10 days home from the hospital I felt pretty capable of surving on my own, not able to do housework but able to do my own laundry, cook simple meals (handy stool always by my side) and take care of myself. Since it wasn't my driving leg, I did drive at start of week 5, frankly when I did my driving leg, I recalled I drove at week 5 as well but not with the same confidence (sharp breaking can really hurt).

Best way to prepare for surgery is to exercise your leg as much as possible before, work on doing chair lifts to strengthen your upper body. Have simple snack food on hand like pudding, applesauce, jello, etc for taking meds as it will help your stomach tolerate the drugs. I was put on a 100mg dosage of stool softener twice a day so didn't really have problems with constipation even though my doctor also put me on huge dosage of iron as well. Dextromothophan and steroids were stopped in hospital but I continued on lyrica and celebrex for one week after coming home. Another poster advised on shorts and tee shirts, add sneakers to that list as well. Dressing tools such as stocking aid, lifter and thingy to help put your pants on, take socks off, etc. will also help to make your self sufficient. I used the CPM machine extensively in hospital but after my swelling problem doctors felt it would make things worse so I didn't have to take it home. Skateboard is also a great idea as when just sitting you can keep your knee moving, and moving constantly is key, never keep knee in same position longer than 15 minutes as it stiffens up.

Hope this helps and would love to hear form others who have the longer recovery time like me, hoping this will end quicker than three years.
1. How long was it before you could go back to work (she's a secretary)?
I was released to go back to work at 4 weeks. I was a school counselor. I had enough sick leave that I took 6. I was pretty tired the first week.

2. If you went straight home after the hospital and not to a rehab hospital, how many nights did you need someone to stay with you? I went home after the surgery. I needed pain meds every 4 hours for about 2 weeks. I would think that as long as you need regular pain med you would need someone to stay with you.

3. Did you have to wear one of those knee exercise machine things on your knee a few times a day for an hour or so? I didn't use the CPM after the first day in the hospital. I had more than 90ROM and could do a straight leg lift at full extension the day after surgery.
If so, could you get it off and on yourself or did you need someone to do it for you? Someone had to put it on for me.

4. How long after leaving the hospital did you need to use a walker or crutches? I didn't need the walker in the house after the surgery. I had the surgery in winter so I used the walker when I was outside for 2 weeks and then used 1 crutch for 2 more weeks just to be careful.
5. How long after leaving the hospital was it before you could drive? I didn't try to drive until after I stopped taking pain meds.
6. How long did you do outpatient rehab? I went 3times a week for 3weeks. At the end of PT I had 140+ ROM.
7. How long was it before you felt and walked normal again? I had surgery on Dec.18, 2006 and on April 23, 2007 when my foot hit the floor my knee felt totally normal.

I know everyone has a different recovery but my recovery was actually not as bad as the ones posted on this thread. I won't sugar coat it...there is pain. In my opinion the 2 most important things to have are elevated toilet seat and a cryotherapy unit. If I could only have one it would be the cryotherapy unit.
this is my first look at this site. Thanks for the information. I am being scheduled for double knee replacement surgery and feeling the need to connect with others. They offer a support group at the hospital but I am in Finland and do not speak the language. This only adds to my nervousness about the surgery.
You may have to look elsewhere. There are surgeon who will do the surgery. Keep looking. You may have to go to another area. I am in the Chicago area and many your age have had it done. Check out the Joint Bone Center at University of Chicago
[QUOTE=Jafra40;3828268]You may have to look elsewhere. There are surgeon who will do the surgery. Keep looking. You may have to go to another area. I am in the Chicago area and many your age have had it done. Check out the Joint Bone Center at University of Chicago[/QUOTE]

Thanks for you reply, I have found a Doc who will do it. It took awhile, but next month it will happen. They are changing there stands now one TKR on the younger.
My experience is a little different than most, so I thought I'd comment. I just turned 66, and had the TKR about 6 weeks ago. It went really well. I had an insert that fed to the knee and gave it a constant dose of pain medication after the surgery. They kept coming to ask what my pain level was, and most of the time I could reply that it was zero. They got me up the first day just a few hours after the surgery to have me stand, but I couldn't put weight on that leg as I was still quite numb from the waist down.

I came straight home the Friday after a Tuesday surgery, and didn't use a potty chair or anything to make the toilet higher. I had devised a method of getting on and off the toilet in the painful months before surgery that involved resting my elbow on the toilet tank and swiveling down to the seat. I was able to get in and out of bed without help also, just using the walker.

My surgeon likes his patients to have physical therapy 5 days a week for 2 weeks after surgery, so the therapist came the day after I came home. I recovered my range of motion relatively quickly, and my walking, with some coaching, was great! I occasionally forgot to use the walker, if I was just crossing the kitchen for a drink or something. Pretty soon, I abandoned the walker entirely. That was at about 2 weeks.

Both physical therapists I worked with advised against using a cane if I didn't need it. They would rather see me continue with the walker if I needed the stability, but they said that canes often cause a limp because we have to compensate as we use it. I didn't feel I needed it, so I never used it.

I had some swelling, but not a lot. The ice machine that circulated ice water over my knee was very helpful with that.

The CPM was also helpful, but I quit using it after a couple of weeks. I never needed help getting on and off once I got home.

After I'd been home a couple of weeks, I developed a lot of pain on the surface of the knee. It was sharp pain, as if the surgery was just yesterday. I went in to the doctor and he explained that in a few cases, the place where the nerve was cut in the surgery can get hypersensitive. On one side of the incision, the knee is quite numb, as those of you who have gone through it can testify. On the other side, the severed nerve can go crazy, and he pointed to the exact place that hurt the worst. He recommended massaging the knee and the scar, just as you would rub your head after you bumped it on the kitchen cabinet.

Now 6 weeks after the surgery, I still have that pain. Generally, walking isn't painful at all, or lying down. But sitting, even in the recliner with my knee elevated still can be very painful, in the same sharp-pain way. Sometimes the whole knee hurts from it. It's also very sensitive to clothing rubbing on it. Walking on the treadmill actually seems to help. Maybe it's improving the circulation.

In addition to the gradually increasing time on the treadmill, I'm adding ankle weights to my leg lifts, and doing some stair exercises and stretches to get more strength in my legs. I've been fairly sedentary, so I'm excited to get into better shape.

One last thing. One book I read recommended getting your weight down as much as possible before the surgery so that your knee can recover without having to bear all the extra weight of an overweight person. I'm at 145 right now, 5'7'', and that, in addition to my relative youth have probably been much in my favor.
Jan.27th I went through left knee replacement surgery. I am 47 yrs old but have freea long history of body damage. Having gone through 3 left knee and 1 right kee surgery I know I have a huge advantage in recovery along with being young. They kept me in the hospital for 3 days which seems standard. They went by in a flash, thankfully they used a pain block and it was awesome combined with the morphine I really was 90% pain free. The side note is due to all these wonderful pain items your body pretty much stops going to the bathroom. ( and the nurses demand quantity...lol.)Problem though comes when you over do laxatives,sofeners,pruin juice.....and the fact that it isnt very comfortable to sit.Oyvay. Now for the recovery...I was walking with a cane in three days I believe soley do to the wonderful machine called a CPM. They place your leg into this machine that flexes the knee up to a set bend that you can control. I was in that three times a day for 2 hours each time. AWESOME MACHINE!
Nows comes the three days I spent at a nursing home....ughhh! I have never been so tired in my life. Between the alarms,bells,buzzers,and the yelling from some disgruntled elder . I pushed my knee to acheive the 110 degree bend my surgeon had placed as my goal prior to leaving nursing home.I am now home walking still with a cain and still swollen. My question is how long before my knee is normal size?????????:confused:
The Big Mistake

I am 58 year old male with bilateral TKR in June. I have been an athlete all of my life and spent considerable time preparing for this event. Thus, I felt well prepared going into surgery. I selected a surgeon with an outstanding reputation for whom replacement rate was well above average. The hospital was rated number one in orthopedic surgery in Pennsylvania.
Bone was worn down on left knee along with scar tissue from previous surgeries made surgery longer than expected. Recovery was very difficult with pain and a very bad reaction to pain meds. I completed all PT as requested and continue with PT. I have 122 degrees of bend in both knees with 0 degrees extension in right knee and 0 degree extension in left knee. Pain continues particularly after being on my feet for any time. Specifically, knees begin to tighten and become stiff with decrease in range of motion. Going down steps and getting up from sitting is a real struggle.
My PT (up until January) schedule has been two hours nearly every day with an hour plus on the stationary bike then lifting and stretching. I doubt there is anyone working harder. I am also doing acupuncture and massage therapy.
At eight months things should be better. All of this was suppose to improve my quality of life. Instead I am worse off. Doctor has no answers. I had a 2nd opinion from another Doctor in the same practice who indicated it will take longer. My opinion is that this has been a disaster and I am much worse off now that I was a year ago. I regret the decision to have the knees replaced. I'm not seeing many ways out of this but can't imagine living with this the rest of my life.
Has anyone had trouble with Zimmer knees? Can anyone recommend a surgeon who can provide solid information on what is happening to my knees?
I had a Dr. tell me this happened with one of his patients. After much research they found she was allergic to the metal in that particular brand of knee joint. They redid the surgery and used a different joint and the lady was fine. Not sure that is your problem, but something to think about.
Hi WHS. I just celebrated the 10th anniversary of my bi-lateral TKR's. Not too many people do both at once and it can slow your recovery....not the knee recovery but your whole body.

I'll share my experience with you. I had the good extension and 120* of flexion at 8 weeks. I did everything my doc asked. I wanted to keep up with my PT and said to stop after 3 months. Why? He told me that I just needed time to heal and to stop pushing my body so hard. You can overdo the PT.

The fact is, you just went through having both legs broken above and below the knee. The bone needs to grow into the prosthesis. If you're like me, you came out of surgery taller and you muscles have to stretch and that takes months. I had anemia from the surgery for over a year despite 4 auto-transfusions.

So I stopped pushing myself and just started taking care of the rest of my body. You lose a lot of blood with these surgeries and it is extremely stressful on the body. I am about to undergo my 3rd spine surgery in 2 years and my doc is very worried. He told me ANY major orthopedic surgery such as spine or TKR's or THR's take a full 2 years for the body to recover. And he's right.

I started walking regularly about a year and half after the TKR's and the pain was gone and so was the stiffness. I eventually was able to stand for a 12 hour day at work and walk 5+ miles. But you must give yourself and your body time. Heck, it takes a full year for your body to recover just from the anesthesia.

You may be pushing to hard. My doc warned me about that as I'm a real worker after surgery(I've had 14 knee surgeries). Muscles grow VERY slowly. Bone needs to repair. I've met people with metal allergies and you usually have some kind of localized rash with that. Ask for a skin test. My doc did that prior to surgery.....tapped 2 disks of metal to the inside of my arm for 48 hours....one for each of the 2 major metals in the joint.

I just think you aren't allowing your legs to heal. All that PT may be undoing the healing that is taking place. Consider it.

As for me.....I LOVE MY KNEES! They are as pristine as they were 10 years ago. But here is something to think about. TKR's are like tires on your car. If they are rated for 30,000 miles then you can be pretty sure they will wear out at 30,000 miles. Same for knees. They will wear out if you keep pushing them. My doc restricted me to no more than 10-15 miles/week of walking and would prefer if I kept it under 10. I have and they are great.

Give it time. You're never going to be the athlete your were. That's not what TKR's are for. They are a replacement for a wheelchair which is what you were headed for. I lost so much bone in my left knee I went through the surface of the joint and had to have bone marrow drained each week for 6 months prior to surgery. I came out of surgery 2 inches taller. And since my legs were straighter, I had to get all new shoes.

I'm just glad to be out of pain and walking. You will get there. Give it time and give your legs a rest.

gentle hugs.........Jenny
I posted here earlier in October. At that time was still recovering from my second TKR. Well now I have had my third, yup you read right, my third. I went to see my surgeon for my 6 months postop visit, I was finally walking pretty good, swelling was finally pretty much gone and the only problem I had to report was a tendency for my leg to just buckle right out from under me. Well the minute the doc heard that he had a set of xrays done and saw a shadow that was new, his guess was my implant has somehow broken. So he ordered a CT scan for that same day (fortunately he is chief of surgery so able to move mountains) and had his partner also look at my films. Radiologist didn't see anything but my doc and his partner sitll felt something was wrong but were surprised that I didn't have extreme pain and they could manipulate me so easily. My docs guess was that the plastic portion of the implant must has a small break of some type that made the prosthesis slip in and out of place, when it was out, my knee would buckle and then it would slip back in. He opted to do surgery immediately but first checked with the manufacturer of the implant, J&J DuPuy knee, to check their data base and see if any other surgeon had ever seen this. My doc said it was his first experience in 30 years of doing knees, my luck, huh.

Well I agreed to go under the knife and they opted to reopen the incision and be prepared for a total revision as the worst case scenario. Ends up that was a good plan as I had the total revision of all the plastic components. Bottom line is I am so happy I trusted my doc and went along with his plan. I was up and walking same day, which was same as before, but this time walked even better. Most of the time the nurses were fussing about me moving around my room without a walker. I went straight home on day 4 and felt so good that on the way home, I talked hubby into taking me to the store to pick up some supplies. I was up and about non stop after that and going out and about on errands with hubby every day. By about day 10 I wasn't even using a cane unless I was outdoors and the ground wasn't stable (ice, grass, curbs). I still had awful pain but I didn't care because this knee was really working well. Other than the at home therapy and nurse visits I was released from therapy at the two week mark. My range of motion was so great my doctor and I decided I didn't need any more therapy and could just build back into my exercise routine at my comfort level.

The moral of the story I have come to believe is that if all the factors come together this surgery can really be as good as other posters have stated, just took me three knees to finally get it right. For a few weeks I found that I cut my TED stocking and made it into a sleeve (thigh to calf) and that it was amazing in stopping the swelling which is why I was able to get around so well. It is now 7 weeks after the revision and for the last three weeks I have been getting out of bed most days feeling like a total normal knee. It is only when on my feet all day long that I have some swelling and elevating the leg for an hour or two with ice does the trick, if I think I am going to be doing a ton of walking I take my little TED sleeve with me and just slip it on at the first sigh of swelling. My only residual complaint is soreness as the incision site, having the old scar being only 6 months old and totally reopened again has really frazzled the nerve endings so just a tiny bit of swelling sets off nerve pain and throbbing but that will get better and is just a bother but doesnt make me limp or keep me from doing stuff.

If I had to do these three knees all over again, I think after reading all the posts here I would insist on having spinal for anesthesia versus general, would insist on my own pain pump so I could control my meds, would ask for aggressive antiinflammatory solutions (like celebrex), would have ice on hand all the time (ice packs, ice machine that circulates water), would have compression sleeve for knee to contain swelling. As for therapy, I think the only reason I didn't need it this last time around was that after the first two total knees, I knew what I could do and not do and was not afraid to really bend and straighten my knee. Having that confidence made me relax and just push myself and surprisingly it was easier knowing that I could get a good range of motion (I was at 110 by the time I left the hospital on day 4) so just the knowledge made it easier to get it done. Sort of like having babies, lol, the first is the hardest and after that it isn't strange anymore so it gets easier.

Good luck to all those who still have TKR ahead of them, drive your doctor crazy asking questions and take a stand and demand to be in control.
BigBob, hate to say this but it will be different for every knee and situation. As a rule of thumb my doctor and therapist always tell me to be prepared for swelling and warmth in the joint for up to a year. I have a tendency towards swelling so always get my mind around trying to be patient as I usually end up being the patient with the year plus for swelling. But the good news is that over time, the swelling is smaller in intensity and frequency. Just listen to your body and try to avoid the things that generate the swelling and when you get the swelling listen to your body and give your joint a break. Hardest part is being patient, another poster gave some good insight when she said don't expect to be the athlete of your youth but rather rejoice in the fact that you avoid the wheelchair (my version of her words, same message).

PiedPiper, you are so right, positive attitude is so huge in recovery. I used to fight having spinal anesthesia because I had such a negative reaction to it. Once I wrapped my mind around the fact that it was the better anesthesia choice and stopped fighting the doctors, I found that although I still don't like it, I no longer have all the negative side effects. Key to your therapy is a therapist who understands you are an individual and helps you regain your joints to a place that is right for you. The therapists who practice the "one routine is best for all" are the ones that can do you harm. It is important to know what your goal in recovery is and to communicate that to whoever is helping you so that they work toward achieving your goal and not theirs. The hardest part of rehab from a total knee, other than the pain, is being patient for it does take time and in being calm and positive as each day even if it is only a tiny bit of progress is progress and is the fuel to get you to the next step. Good luck, my last surgery was my 9th orthopedic surgery and I hope my last for a very long time.
Hi All
I'm recovering from my TKR of March 9th, 2009. Everything is going good except for the PT. I'm a big man but I've never experienced so much pain from such a small person administering the PT. I know that in the end I will thank my PT for the torture of moving my new knee to such great extents. What I've found is that I can hardly walk for a day or so until the next PT appointment. It's only been a month since surgery and I think PT should be slower and less pain but I can walk on the new knee without pain so it's a definite gain. I've experienced some dizziness after some of my workouts. The swelling is almost all gone now. This is major surgery so I recommend that steady but slow is the key to recovery. i'll be able to ride my Harley in a couple of months at this pace. take care.
Boss Hog
I am a 52 yr old female and I had my TKR on March 17, 2009...making it almost 6 weeks as of this post. I was not prepared for this surgery...even though I thought I was. I have found it very difficult both mentally and physically. I have been told I am doing great in PT and better than most in some areas. I too find myself crying for no reason...figuring it's the drugs. I still have lots of pain. I've gone back to work part time ..working around my PT. I get tired very quickly and deal with swelling also. I do have a desk job...so I try to keep my leg elevated when I can. I am doing what my therapist tells me to do...working hard...but still having problems with my bend..I can only do 100 to 105 at this point. I only have a week left with PT ... since insurance won't pay for anymore..I'll do what I need to at home.

I guess what I would like to ask ...see if anyone else had this problem and if there are any suggestions...my muscles are still so tight...they cramp horribly...I had no cuts into muscles or tendons. I know each TKR and each person is different. What can I do to help the muscles relax? Will they ever feel "normal" again? I am supposed to have my other knee done...but at this rate...I need to know this knee is past this point of pain before doing the other one.

I have enjoyed reading these posts.. it's been very informative. I've needed a support group! Thanks

Patti
[QUOTE=Boss Hog;3950109]Hi All
I'm recovering from my TKR of March 9th, 2009. Everything is going good except for the PT. I'm a big man but I've never experienced so much pain from such a small person administering the PT. I know that in the end I will thank my PT for the torture of moving my new knee to such great extents. What I've found is that I can hardly walk for a day or so until the next PT appointment. It's only been a month since surgery and I think PT should be slower and less pain but I can walk on the new knee without pain so it's a definite gain. I've experienced some dizziness after some of my workouts. The swelling is almost all gone now. This is major surgery so I recommend that steady but slow is the key to recovery. i'll be able to ride my Harley in a couple of months at this pace. take care.
Boss Hog[/QUOTE]
I am only 12 days out, but my home PT is nice. She makes me work but doesn't try to kill me. I am just starting with a CPM and so far it is good. Not too uncomfortable.
Had my TKR in March and have reached a range of 155 degrees and 0 flat. Have worked so hard and couldn't have done it without my stationary bike and physio. However was on my feet for 3-4 hours one day in the weekend and hello!!! have a whole heap of fluid around my knee and pain. Feel have taken a big step backwards after making great progress. My physio has said not to stand for more than an hour at a time for now and have just returned to my job as a preschool teacher this week! Feel so frustrated to have come so far and now to go backwards. Had only just managed to sleep through the night (yaaay!!) and now back to no sleep, pain and rest again. Thank you to everyone for their posts on here as it has really helped me keep up my morale over the past 8 weeks and also to know that what I was feeling was normal.
When I had the surgery, had an epidural and wore my IPod on to help keep my mind off things - highly recommended. Was up later that day and walking on crutches from day 1 with hours on the CPU machine on the bed as well. Was in hospital for 5 days. The crutches went out the window after three weeks and have just continued to get stronger over time, making sure to fit in all the exercises religiously daily, especially the exercycle. My home is full of stairs and am sure having to get up and down them has helped heaps in my rehab. My biggest problem was pain relief as I reacted to everything except paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory twice daily.
I got on a stationary bike as soon as I could. I noticed that my knee was much more "relaxed" afterward although, the "ride" itself was a bit painful. I don't have a stationary bike at home so I had to go to the gym until I could get on my bike trainer. A trainer is a stand that holds the back wheel of your own bicycle against a roll bar that provides some kind of progressive resistance. The faster you peddle, the more resistance you get. I am 9 weeks out from my surgery and got on the trainer for the first time last night. The hardest part was getting off the bicycle afterward. The trainer makes the bike higher by an inch or two.

I have seen the floor peddles you are talking about. The nice thing about the stationary, reclining bike is you can gradually push the seat forward which forces your knee to bend a little more each time. My problem is, my other leg cannot bend as much as my TKR leg.

My new knee still "pinches" sometimes when I walk and I sometimes feel like it has "gotten off the tracks" when I inadvertently try to bend it in any direction but straight back. My old knee didn't work at all but I didn't experience any pain with it as long as I didn't overdue. As far as walking goes, the new knee is great. The pinching pain bothers me. Does anyone else experience this? How long before all the pain goes away?
I too feel like my recovery is slow,I am 9 weeks out with 114degree bend. I am back to work just 4 hours a day and feel like that is my max! My Dr and PT tell me I am doing great so I guess it is just my personality. I do see improvement every week though. Last week at my check up the PA told me that people say at 3-4 months post surgery it is like a switch goes off and the pain is gone and you start feeling normal but everyone says for complete recovery to expect 12-14 months.
Right knee... TKR on Feb. 2, 2009. I pretty much lost the first month of PT, due to pain. Medial aspect of knee was painful to the touch. I couldn't sleep in bed, couldn't find a position that didn't result in pain. Thankfully, I had a recliner in the living room in which I could spend both days and nights on my back. I used the ice water pump as often as possible to reduce swelling. I found that if I placed a thin, wet dish towel over the knee, then placed the water pad on that, and wrapped it all with an elastic bandage, it worked much better than the ice pads at therapy. At least an hour of icing per sitting worked best. Of course my quads shrank even more than they were prior to surgery. The pain of the OA for the last few years kept me from maintaining leg strength, especially in the right leg. I have been thinking that I have been lagging behind many TKR patients, but things have been going really well, lately. I was only 100/10 degrees at 6 weeks PO, and 116║ at 12 weeks. Then, the flexion started to loosen up. I was able to achieve 1║ to 1.5║ improvement at every PT session. I finally hit 130║ on June 18, 2009, 4 1/2 months PO, and extension is somewhere between 0-5║. Surgeon told me at the 4 month checkup that anywhere between 0-5║ was excellent. He said my progress was "phenomenal". (Of course he may have been pulling my leg. Pardon the pun.) I can go up stairs unaided, but still don't trust either knee, so use a handrail going down. A year ago I had to use a two-wheeled cart to carry my chain saws to and from downed trees. At two months PO I was carrying my biggest saw in my right, walking without pain inside the joint. Following surgery, the doctor stopped in recovery and confirmed that the joint was bone on bone. I have found that the Nustep machine at therapy has been particularly helpful, much more so than the stationary bike. At home I have used a towel around the ankle to pull on the lower leg, as an aid to increase flex. I have found that improvement has come much better when using a physical component, as a goal of stretching, rather than just the stretching at therapy. When stretching without a goal, pain always got in the way. Best of luck (and surgeons) to all.
I would agree about the importance of having your quad muscles in good condition before surgery. When I found the only answer to my knee problems was a replacement my PT started me doing static exercises, many of the same ones I had to do post op. I am sure that this is part of why I have achieved so much movement post op. I have found that the muscle tone is much better post op as I am able to do so much more than previously and continues to improve. My swelling is starting to reduce from my bursitis and I managed to go for an extended walk yesterday, was so satisfying! Every week I discover more that I can now do with ease - such a great feeling that all the pain has been worth it.
I have always worked out and six months prior to bi-lateral TKR I intensified my workouts and bike riding. I was in good shape before surgery and my quads were solid. Today, June 25th is the one year anniversary of my surgery and I still have two sore legs.
Was physically prepared for surgery. Selected a surgeon with lots of experience and excellent reputation and the hospital was rated number one in orthopedic surgery for the state of Pennsylvania. I had six hours of surgery with left knee more difficult because bone was worn down. The surgery hammered me! Pain was beyond anything I can adequately describe and I hallucinated on all pain meds. Along not sleeping for three weeks, I lost 20 pounds. Initial rehab was torturous. I worked very hard throughout rehab but after one year, I still have two sore knees
My selection for OS was obviously not a good one. Not sure about 2nd opinion. Do not want to make the same mistake, twice. Also, this whole thing has been very hard on me, and right now I am uncertain if I can go down that road, again
Hello. This is my first time posting. I'm 47 years old and scheduled to have my left knee replaced on July 15th. I was first diagnosed with knee arthritis at the age of 32, and at this point, I'm down to bone on bone and loaded with bone spurs. My biggest concern is around range of motion. It's been years since I could bend my knee all the way, and it seems that over the past couple of months it has become even stiffer. I can't go down stairs with alternating steps anymore because of it. Am I expected to regain any of the range of motion post-surgery? I sure hope so.
Greetings, eriu40,
I think you will be amazed at the increased range of motion, following your surgery, but it will take time. As I posted, previously, I thought my recovery was slow, as did the therapists. But, the surgeon's schedule for expected range of motion was much more conservative. As it turned out, the surgeon was correct. The surgeon's goal for me was 90║ at 3 months, even though I achieved 90║ three days after surgery. I received my new knee on 2/2/09, and hit 133║ flexion on 6/25/09. I can easily go up stairs, unaided, foot over foot, but am rather tentative going down, due to the pain from OA in my other knee. Best wishes... and please post back with any questions.
Hi eriu40
I too could only get down stairs one step at a time but could walk up and down quite soon after surgery (have 28 steps from front door to my bedroom!) and now find that I can do it very easily. I have a full range of movement in my new knee (155 degrees and 0) and after three months am very pleased I went through with it. I still have pain, although it is more discomfort these days compared with the early stages, but find I am able to do things I have been able to do for years with ease and realising just how much I was avoiding activities because they were too hard. The important thing, I feel, is to do the therapy as it gets easier every day. Good Luck!
I had my surgery April 6 of this year and I already have more range of motion than I had before the replacement. My right knee that has not been replaced actually limits me more now than my knee with the prosthesis.

My physical therapist told me that the only thing limiting me from getting a full bend in my knee was me. She said that my surgeon had bent my knee in the full range in the operating room. He had to to test the tracking. There are no more bone spurs so it all depends on how much I want to work to stretch the tendons and muscles. She did say it would be a slow process but to keep at it.

Good luck.
I am a 57 year old women who has had three TKR, yes three, one was a revision because the original failed after only 6 months. Most important thing to remember is every knee is different except that they all take longer than we like to heal. I had been walking up and down the steps, the baby way as I used to call it, for about 7 years and most of the time had to come down the stairs backwards. I can now go up like a normal adult and am getting better at going down. I think it is mostly my fear of falling since that was a normal mode of how I usually got downstairs (not the way I wanted it for sure). Range of motion usually will be good enough to do most things you couldn't do before surgery, it just takes a lot of work, time and patience. As for pain, that depends on how bad things were. I still have ocassional pain and my surgeon has to keep reminding me that TKR does not make your knee brand new, it just makes it a whole lot better. It is not always possible to cut out all the arthritis but it is SO much better than before the TKR that it is worth it. Yes even my third knee was worth it as most days I feel like a million bucks compared to how bad it was before surgery. Will I run a marathon, no but that's okay because I can walk and live life pretty much normal, I just have to remember that my knees are still like they were when I was younger and pace myself accordingly. Would I do it again, you bet I would and I would have done it a lot sooner as the stronger your muscles and your joint, the faster your recovery. You will still get to the same place it is just a matter of how long it takes. Each month will be better and then one day you just hop out of bed and think "wow, I feel great, just like a normal person". Give yourself a full year before you get to 100% of what you can get to. Don't worry about the measurement of the range, worry about what you can and can not do (walking, steps, driving, sitting, getting up off the floor). Good luck to all.
[QUOTE=eriu40;4025159]Thank you, newtail. It does me good to read everyone's postings on here, so that if things don't go as quickly as I'd like, I can remind myself that this is normal. When I had my knee scope done two years ago, I was in a panic when I still had knee pain two weeks later!

I am a nurse anesthetist who does the anesthesia for these types of procedures every day (did a TKR today). It's so strange to be on the other side of the health care equation. Yikes. I realized today that deep down, I just don't believe that I will ever be without pain again. Did anyone else feel that way pre-op, and are you glad (or not) that you finally had the operation? How about folks who are still in their 40s? How was the recovery for you? How has your quality of life improved? Thanks.[/QUOTE]

Uriu40, I am 46 and had TKR on 2/20/09, it was the third surgery on my left knee with the first one at 31. Before the TKR, I was in constant pain to the point that at the end of every day I was limping badly. The surgery was classic textbook and recovery took longer than I thought it would initally. Most likely due to my own impatients. The therapists all said I was doing wonderful and ahead of the usual time frame. I am now at 4 months and 1 week. Last week I went camping and hiking, I did dutch oven cooking for a group of 35. I got tired and a little sore but did very well. I was surprised, each day I could feel a little more stregnth. Stairs are easy again and the good part is, is that there is no pain. I force myself to push myself by thinking "If it doesn't kill me it will make me stronger." I too did not think that I would ever be without pain again, and yet now I am. Good luck to you.
9 weeks. yes I was in pain too. I had my surgery(bi lateral) in November and at 9 weeks I had good flexibility able to do my physical therapy and get around but was still in pain and having ALOT of problems with pain medication. Definitely still needing it despite the side effects. Until 12 weeks I had significant pain, then it began to change. Its definitely a 3, 6, 9 then ultimately 12 month healing process. Dont get discouraged. Many people and even the doctors make it seem so easy but it is not. Keep doing therapy, it takes constant work. I gained good flexibility however the focus of my life was physical therapy--I did it daily for nearly the first 12 weeks. Very little noticable progress every day, but each day added up.
BTW Im now nearly 8 mos and Im just now having parts of days where I feel 'normal' and move fluidily, easily and with no pain.
Hang in there. Your right on track as far as my experience goes
Don't worry about the recovery, it will be hard and painful no doubt about it. But it is a different sort of pain, scary at first but then you realize that just standing on it doesn't hurt like it used to before the surgery. The pain is from all the trauma of the surgery iteself to your bone and muscle, so in some weird way I took comfort that the arthritis pain was mostly gone and it was just surgery pain I had which I knew would ultimately go away. The most exciting thing is when you can literally get up on the day of surgery and walk with a walker. Just hang on to that vision and most important do not be afraid to take pain meds. I was on so much pain meds before the surgery that the vicodan didn't do a thing for me. My doctor understood this and immediately put me on oxycontin, percocet, celebrex, lyrica and cough medicine, yes cough medicine somehow it makes the other drugs more effective. My doctor warned me about the addictive effects of oxycontin but I didn't get addicted and I started at 10mg twice a day and moved up to 30 mg twice a day along with 2 percocet every 4 hours. If you are in too much pain to do PT you won't progress. Just be aware of the addiction possibility and take it for the pain when you need to and slowly just back off on the days when you don't need it. I am not addicted and I sure had a ton of meds. Best of luck to you.
I am so excited!! I am 3 months post surgery on the 7th of July and am finally feeling like I have made some headway! I still have pain and swelling but it seems it is bending easier and it is more of a heavy ache than actual pain! If that makes any sense.I just had to share I am so thrilled!
Hi eriu40! I'm 48, and had TKR on 5/12/09, I'll be 8 weeks PO on Tuesday! I had a knee injury in my mid 20's that required some ligament and quad surgery. I was told I was a good candidate for TKR two years ago, but silly me, I put it off! I was barely able to walk by the time I finally broke down and decided to get the surgery. I did not have full ROM due to the prior surgery, and had developed a terrible limp, and a very weird gait. I was living on etodolac, a OA drug. Eight weeks post surgery, I have 103 ROM, still working on it though. I had a walker the first week post surgery, and then went to a cane which I only use now if I'm out and about in a crowd of people or if there are curbs that I might need help with. PT is great, I go 3x per week. My husband is a little over protective, so I have not driven yet, but plan to see how it goes in an MT parking lot tomorrow. Doc said play it by ear after 6 weeks... We need a banister on our basement steps so I have not really been down in the basement yet...
If you can do any straight leg raises before surgery, get started NOW!!! It can only help after! Good Luck!
I had my TKR on May 12, 2009! So glad to hear that I am not the only cry baby! It was definitely the drugs! I also got a terrible headache from my pain pills, thank goodness I haven't needed them for the past 3 - 4 weeks!
I am 8 weeks out and have a ROM of 103ish... I have almost no swelling, and no pain at all... I do have stiffness... I'm hoping to be able to play tennis NEXT summer! I still have a weird gate due to the pre surgery pain I was in which caused me to walk funny, BAD habit! I'm finding it difficult to walk normal! But I'm getting there!:)
You may be able to appeal for more PT! I had alot of muscle cramping prior to surgery, but have not had ANY post!
Hi Ginnypan,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, as it sounds very similar to mine. I didn't have an injury, but was diagnosed with arthritis in my knee when I was 32. I'm now at the point where I can barely walk, and much of the pain I'm having is from the sciatica that they tell me I have from my wacky gait. The surgery is 9 days away, and couldn't come soon enough. I'm so tired of being in pain. I can't wait to hike again. I used to be a big hiker before things started getting really bad a few years ago.

Has anyone done any hiking post-op? If so, how has that gone? What distances are you able to go?

Thanks.
Do you think you would have been better to only have one knee done at a time? I am preparing for surgery and need both knees done but my surgeon only does one at a time. I am going for a 2nd opinion. I do have rheumatoid arthritis, which is the reason for my degeneration. Not sure whether having two done at once, with the recovery involved, is what I should do, but if I have to go off my meds (for the RA) I will be very stiff and physiotherapy will be much more difficult. Think I would like to only go through it once. Any suggestions?
Since you mentioned your method of rubbing your scar with the tip of a towel....I would like to offer a tip to anyone who might be concerned about what their scar might look like after a TKR. Almost immediately after my surgery, I started rubbing my scar and the entire area around my knee with Vitamin E Oil and Pure Cocoa Butter almost daily. This massaging was helpful not only to the healing of the scar, but I believe it was helpful to lessen the scar tissue beneth the skin. This helped the healing process of my scar very successfully. I had my surgery on 11/26/08 and now after just about 6 months later, my scar can hardly be noticed. I am confident that in another year my scar will be even LESS noticible.
>>>>[QUOTE=sleepwalkersi;4032792] Is there anyone who had the TLR and then the TKR. I am wondering how this will affect my recovery? My doctor has said we should do the left one first. My problem is not so much due to osteoarthritis... as it is to extremely lose knee joint and toooo much flex.<<<<

My surgeon told me at pre-op that both my MCL and ACl were gone (loose). So, I suspect this is one reason behind the extreme pain that I had in the medial aspect of the knee for the first month, since the surgeon had to repair the loose MCL. Of course the ACL is really gone now, since it is removed during surgery.

>>>>As I am allergic to most pain meds I am anxious about the pain management also.<<<<

Hope you can work out the pain control with the surgeon, prior to surgery. I took hydrocodone in addition to an IV drip to control pain for the first couple of days... then, just hydrocodone. I took as much as I dared without overdosing, but still had pain which I feel interfered with therapy for the first month.

>>>>As we live in a small village it will be difficult to have access to PT also. I need to be recovered enough to travel in November to the States to see my family.<<<<

My dutiful wife was a godsend, during my recovery. Do you have someone at home who can nurse you along and provide therapy encouragement?
Sleepywalkersi, I had a lateral release on my left knee is 2004 and I know what you mean, not a fun recovery. Had the TKR on this same knee in June 2008. Made the lateral release seem like a piece of cake. Between now and your surgery date do the best you can to have your quad muscles as toned as possible, don't worry about range, that will come after the surgery. I had to have my June TKR replaced again in December, my implant failed. Night and day how much easier the December surgery was over the June with all the PT and very strong muscles. The lateral release will not have any impact so I don't think you need to be concerned. Good luck, now 7 months since the second TKR I feel like a million bucks. Long and painful road to get here but worth it once I made it.
The countdown is on! Three more days until I finally have my left knee replaced. I cannot wait! I am so ready for this.

I've arranged to have eight weeks off from work. Does that seem like enough? I had a home pre-op visit from PT yesterday, and the therapist seemed concerned that that was all the time I was taking. It's making me a tad nervous. I'm a nurse anesthetist, so I do get to sit a fair amount of time, but in between cases I have to push the patient and stretcher to the recovery room. Then I head to the pre-op area to pick-up the next patient/stretcher and bring them back to the OR. Also, if I'm not amazingly uncomfortable at six weeks, I plan on flying to Ireland (a 5 1/2 hour flight). I go every year and am prepared to take it easy this year (no hiking to the end of the Cliffs of Moher!). Has anyone traveled so soon after surgery, and if so, how did it go?

Thanks!
You are brave and ambitious, it all depends on how good a shape you are in before surgery. When not in great shape for a TKR I traveled a 2 1/2 hour flight at three weeks and it was a little tough. I sat in the bulk head so was able to get a leg stretch and used a wheelchair at the airport to get to and from the gate, believe me you will need it. I was also well medicated on two percocet for the flight, so you may want to hang onto a stash. For anothe TKR, I was in great shape and traveled same flight at 2 weeks and it was a piece of cake and I only used the airport at one end, I felt strong enough to handle the walk when I arrived. Best advice I can give you for a long flight, which my doc gave me is wear your thigh high ted hose for the trip to handle compression. Do your ankle pumps continuosly to keep the joint limber and your circulation going and get up and walk around as much as you can. With heavy walking in Ireland, I would wear the TED hose as well, it will help a lot believe me. Good luck
Wow I'll second the motion.
I felt that 3-4 weeks would be enough time to at least get around a little.
I had tkr on my right knee april 23rd.I had the nerve block so had very little pain after sugery. Problem was I need 30 min notice before pt or I couldn't move my leg. I'm also 6'2'' and don't fit in a hospital bed to well. Then add a CPM machine. Thank GOD I was only there 3 days.Went homewithout the PT visits, but had a CPM machine at home for 8 days. I think it helpedI also worked out at a Gym for 6 months ptior to sugery.I returned to the GYM at 4 weeks but couldn't do the exercise bike.
The problems I had with recovery were the constipation.Don't know what to tell you to take but take something. Also putting my leg down sauch as for sitting was more painful than the surgery. You could feel the fluid rushing to my leg and it was bad.
We even went to emergency.
Started ice packing to get the swelling down and that really helped with the pain.
I'm at 11 weeks now and the knee I had tkr on is now better than my other one. I still don't have total strength yet but it doesn't hurt any more.
Looking at getting the left one done in Jan. Yippee.
Take Care
One Down (one to go)
I was put on a morphine pump and I had a pump on my femoral nerve block. I had two buttons I could push. One for the block and one for morphine. I did experience a huge amount of pain when I first woke up but by the time I got to my room it was all under control. By the time I left the hospital I was on oral meds (Vicadin). My quad set stayed numb for several weeks it seemed like. It was a weird sensation to tighten the muscles, see it bunch up but feel nothing. I thought morphine pumps were standard procedure with this type of surgery. I think the femoral block with the booster pack was kind of new but morphine pumps have been around for almost 20 years.

If you ever do this again. Ask that you receive a morphine pump to control your pain. I am really sorry you are having such a had time. Especially since it seems so unnecessary.
Hi, eriu40,

So sorry to hear you are in pain. I had a pump, following surgery, and was told I could push a button to get more pain relief, if I needed it. I never did push that button for more meds. But, I had medial pain for the first month, which interfered with the PT, and couldn't find comfort in bed, so spent the first 30 days on my back on a recliner in the living room. Took hydrocodone , as much as I dared without overdosing. It helped with the pain and also made me sleepy.

I'm rather surprised that you make no mention of having a CPM (continuous passive motion) device on your leg. I awoke with my leg strapped in the CPM, which moved the leg so slowly, that I was unaware of the movement, unless I watched it. This device moved the leg through a fairly good range of motion, so I didn't need PT, until I came home on the 4th day PO.
[QUOTE=itsanewday;4023529]Greetings, eriu40,
I think you will be amazed at the increased range of motion, following your surgery, but it will take time. As I posted, previously, I thought my recovery was slow, as did the therapists. But, the surgeon's schedule for expected range of motion was much more conservative. As it turned out, the surgeon was correct. The surgeon's goal for me was 90║ at 3 months, even though I achieved 90║ three days after surgery. I received my new knee on 2/2/09, and hit 133║ flexion on 6/25/09. I can easily go up stairs, unaided, foot over foot, but am rather tentative going down, due to the pain from OA in my other knee. Best wishes... and please post back with any questions.[/QUOTE]
I had left knee replacement 6/15/09 and will be 5 weeks tomorrow. Your message encourages me as I am discouraged that I'm only at about 100 degrees flexion. It feels like a tight band around my knee which the PT says is scar tissue. Is it really possible to break that down???
[QUOTE=Cotton1958;4041754]Hi, I just found your messageboard tonight. I found out just this past Thursday I need bilateral TKA. It will occur in about a month out from diagnosis. I have to take a total knee class this week.

My 1st Dr. told me in April to go with the shots and to move move move. Well I did all that, and even had to quit my job. So I have been pretty bummed about it all.

A lot of information here...it's great.

I am bone to bone on both knees, one's a little worse than the other. One knee is bowing. The other knee actually hurts more. I am 50 year old Female.

I'm scared to death. Anyway, I have read most posts, not all. I think my biggest problem right now is preparing my house and figuring out what to buy to get around.

I am a little bit overweight, but not sure how to lose weight the next month...although Dr. didn't say anything about it. I have tried to cut down on my overall eating...actually I have just plain lost my appetite. I hope that since I was active/standing/walking until latter April I'm not totally out of shape.

Thanks for reading : )[/QUOTE]
The most difficult time I had after my total knee replacement of my right knee on 6/222/09 was the gain of weight in the rehab center after I left the hospital. The food was anything but healthy, and numerous discussions with dietitions did no good! It did give me the drive, however to get out of there fast! I was driving just prior to the 3 week anniversary of the surgery and feel I am doing remarkably well. Yes, I continue to experience pain, but most intense pain is at night & tylenol takes care of it during the day. Good luck!
Cotton1958 you should be able to get out and about without having to buy anything - I only needed crutches for 2 - 3 weeks the latter stage using just one. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get out and about, especially as in previous knee operations I had needed crutches for up to 6 weeks. I actually found that moving about seemed to ease the pain early on and being inactive made things worse - and now 4 months later I am doing much more than pre surgery, even though some things are still a challenge. Feeling good tonight because have been pruning my roses and doing some gardening in the mid winter sun here today, and can see all sorts of plans for the spring in my garden that I will be able to achieve later in the year. Last year found gardening to be such a struggle and had hoped that it would be easier post surgery. Being able to squat again is a joy! Oh the pleasure we find in simple things and how wonderful to no longer avoid things because of the physical limitations. However do feel bummed that I will never run freely on the beach again - just fast walks now on for me I believe :)
Had bilateral knee replacements July 9th. Honestly most painful thing I have ever been through and have had over 50 fractures so take that for what its worth. Have been good about using pain meds and try to stay ahead of the curve. Progress has been rapid, walked 4 feet one day after surgery and was able to walk 1 1/8 mile today (20 days out) Gave up the walker after being home 4 days and the crutches 4 days after that. I have a treadmill that I use daily and work daily on range of motion excercises and stretching. It would be very easy to get down and limit the work because of the pain but you have to press through it. Your window to get your range of motion back is only about 6 weeks so you have to work. Get an Ice therapy machine if your insurance will pay for it, and check craigslist if not. I ice 30 minutes after each workout. Take your pain meds so you can continue your excercising. Good luck everyone!!!
Eriu40 you WILL hike again! I tried to go for a walk on uneven ground on a local island before my surgery and just couldn't do it - I was in tears because I felt so frustrated at how limited my life had become and felt so disabled. My husband and I had a holiday in Australia in July and I went for bush walks with no problems - not as fast as I once was, but I know that it will improve with time. Also was able to climb easily onto and off a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to go whale watching. It all helps to make me feel that the quality of my life is in a major improvement mode. I found that persisting with the exercise bike made such a difference, five minutes a day with no resistance several times a day and then when able gradually adding resistance. After developing the bursitis I had to drop back from 20-30 minutes a time with resistance to 5 mins with no resistance. Am now just starting to add resistance again.
I LOVE reading all of your posts! Hearing about what you've been able to accomplish since your surgery makes me feel so hopeful. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this pain will ever go away, and that I'll ever be able to do more than hobble. But when I read of hiking and gardening and ladder climbing and toilet lowering, I know that things will eventually get better.

811 Scarlett, you sound like my twin! Ha!

Can I ask you guys how old you are (I'm 47...young for a TKR), how far along you were before you started feeling like, "OK. I'm glad I did this," and what degree of flexion you're at to be able to do things like hiking and squatting, etc.? What do you think would be a reasonable goal for me to shoot for? My good leg has 145░. I know I'll never see that with my left leg again, but I sure would like more than 120░. If my pre-op flexion was 105░, do you think it's reasonable to hope and try for more than 120? If I can get enough to hike again, I can be happy with that.

Again, thank you so much for the encouragement! :D
I'm 72, and it's 8 weeks postop today. I probably had 135 degrees flexion before surgery and will be quite happy with the 120 that I've pushed up to now. I'm far from through with making progress, though, so if anyone else out there can encourage me with their news, that would be great!
[QUOTE=dpbruner;4055319]I'm 72, and it's 8 weeks postop today. I probably had 135 degrees flexion before surgery and will be quite happy with the 120 that I've pushed up to now. I'm far from through with making progress, though, so if anyone else out there can encourage me with their news, that would be great![/QUOTE]

DP, I've been told that whatever you had pre-op is likely where you'll end up post-op. (I'm a nurse anesthetist and work with loads of orthopedic surgeons who have all told me the same thing.) I've also been told that when you're younger, it comes back more quickly. I guess that's one of the benefits to being young when you have your TKR. The downside is that the prosthesis is likely not going to last your lifespan, so you're pretty much signing up for a very difficult re-do when you have it so young. There are pluses and minuses either way, I guess.

By the way, I'm so jealous of your pre-op 135░! I only had 105░ by the time I had my surgery, so I feel that anything I get past that is a real blessing. My PT thinks that if I'm persistent, I might make 130░ by the time I'm done with all this.

I heartily encourage you to keep working at it. My step-dad had his knee done at age 87. It was a long, slow recovery for him, but at 89, he has been caught (my mom doesn't allow him) climbing ladders. He says he feels great, so why not?
[QUOTE=eriu40;4054673]I LOVE reading all of your posts! Hearing about what you've been able to accomplish since your surgery makes me feel so hopeful. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this pain will ever go away, and that I'll ever be able to do more than hobble. But when I read of hiking and gardening and ladder climbing and toilet lowering, I know that things will eventually get better.

811 Scarlett, you sound like my twin! Ha!

Can I ask you guys how old you are (I'm 47...young for a TKR), how far along you were before you started feeling like, "OK. I'm glad I did this," and what degree of flexion you're at to be able to do things like hiking and squatting, etc.? What do you think would be a reasonable goal for me to shoot for? My good leg has 145░. I know I'll never see that with my left leg again, but I sure would like more than 120░. If my pre-op flexion was 105░, do you think it's reasonable to hope and try for more than 120? If I can get enough to hike again, I can be happy with that.

Again, thank you so much for the encouragement! :D[/QUOTE]

At the time of my surgery I was 53. An hour ago I turned 54. I plan to go to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to celebrate later this morning. I hope the walking doesn't do me in! My friend purchased a Fiat today and I wriggled my way around to get in. It's still hard to bend the knee comfortably, even more so to get into the small sportscar. I know we'll be going in the new car today, so it will be another challenge. That's the way life has been since 6/22/09 - one challenge after another. I do look forward to the beginning of the school year, though, so I can get back to working with my special education students. This year I won't disappoint them like I did last year when I told them that I hurt too much to take them to the Western Washington State Fair. Some of them cried. It broke my heart. I don't care how much it hurts this year. I won't have tears! It's a different kind of pain this year and my other knee isn't as bad as the right one was. I still expect to have it replaced next summer.
[QUOTE=811 Scarlett;4055623]At the time of my surgery I was 53. An hour ago I turned 54.[/QUOTE]

Happy Birthday, Scarlett! I hope you spent the day giving your new knee a good work-out! Ha! I know what you mean about squeezing into a small car...I drive a Toyota Yaris. Tight quarters... I'm so glad to hear that you'll soon be joining your students on field trips. I'm sure both you and they will be thrilled.
I just found this site when googling Knee Replacements. This is my first post and I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I'm totally scared to death that I'll end up not being able to walk right, etc. I just don't know how much pain I need to be in before doing this. I can still bike 45 to 60 miles but can't walk without pain and a limp. I've have 2 series of injections into the knee (ins. is being appealed because they say the second series doesn't "scientifically work" but my knee isn't buckling out from under me now). I'm starting to get neck, lower back and hip pain from walking poorly. Does this sound familar to anyone. My doctor comes highly recommended but he says I need to decide myself when to have the surgery. I have bone on bone in half of my right knee. Help - input?:confused:
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4056272]I just found this site when googling Knee Replacements. This is my first post and I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I'm totally scared to death that I'll end up not being able to walk right, etc. I just don't know how much pain I need to be in before doing this. I can still bike 45 to 60 miles but can't walk without pain and a limp. I've have 2 series of injections into the knee (ins. is being appealed because they say the second series doesn't "scientifically work" but my knee isn't buckling out from under me now). I'm starting to get neck, lower back and hip pain from walking poorly. Does this sound familar to anyone. My doctor comes highly recommended but he says I need to decide myself when to have the surgery. I have bone on bone in half of my right knee. Help - input?:confused:[/QUOTE]
Do it now! I was told in '07 that I was a candidate for TKR, and I waited till 5/12/09 to have it. I was in so much pain prior to the surgery that I could barely walk, and had developed a terrible limp due to the pain. I am no longer in pain, but I am having difficulty walking without the limp. I think it became a habit! I think if I had had the surgery before I let it get SO bad, my gait would be much more normal! It is getting more normal all the time, but I think I would have had an easier recovery if I had done it a sooner! I am a couple weeks short of being 49 years old, but had prior knee surgery on my quad when I was in my 20's. I have 120 degrees of flexion, and around -3 to 0 extension, or vice versa don't know which is flexion/extension! I have 10 more PT sessions, but if I am still limping at that point, I will request more!
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4056272]I just found this site when googling Knee Replacements. This is my first post and I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I'm totally scared to death that I'll end up not being able to walk right, etc. I just don't know how much pain I need to be in before doing this. I can still bike 45 to 60 miles but can't walk without pain and a limp. I've have 2 series of injections into the knee (ins. is being appealed because they say the second series doesn't "scientifically work" but my knee isn't buckling out from under me now). I'm starting to get neck, lower back and hip pain from walking poorly. Does this sound familar to anyone. My doctor comes highly recommended but he says I need to decide myself when to have the surgery. I have bone on bone in half of my right knee. Help - input?:confused:[/QUOTE]

LadyScout, I took a 66 mile bike ride one month before I had my knee replaced. In that month, the northeast had non-stop rain just about every day, and I couldn't ride. By the time the rain stopped, my knee had stiffened up so much that I could no longer even ride my bike. I'd also been walking with a limp that was getting significantly worse and was suffering from terrible sciatica. It was the sciatica, as well as the fact that everything I loved to do was taken from me that convinced me to finally get my knee done. I'd been diagnosed with arthritis at age 32 and managed to hold out until 47. I had physical therapy, three series of Syn-Visc injections, 2 cortisone shots, and a knee arthroscopy. I was down to bone on bone and loaded with bone spurs. My flexion had decreased to 105░Śnot even enough to walk down a fight of stairs normally.

I had my knee replacement four weeks ago today. Make no mistake...when you have this done, it's going to hurt A LOT for quite some time afterwards...even more than your arthritis hurts now. You just have to ask yourself would you rather deal with the pain you're having now, knowing it's only going to continue to get worse and worse, while eventually you'll be able to do less and less, and possibly end up with a limp and back problems, or would you rather have a significant amount of immediate post-op pain that is going to get better each day and bring you closer to doing some of the wonderful things that people on this site have been positing about...toboganning, hiking, gardening, squatting, climbing ladders, etc.?

Your doctor is right...only you can decide when you're ready to have this done. I would encourage you to read through this site to see others' experiences. It's helped me tremendously, both pre-op and post-op, to know that what I'm going through is not so unusual and to know how well others have done post-op. Good-luck!
I too had a limp presurgery - don't have one now! In fact I am able to more freely than I have for years. I am now (after 5 months) in very little pain and am looking forward to a pain free future. I was TERRIFIED pre surgery (as I am sure we all were) but am so pleased I did it. It has been worth the pain, struggle to do the therapy and sheer hell to get to where I am now, looking forward to a fantastic summer holiday in the new year cruising the islands in our beautiful harbour, able to get on and off our classic launch freely, climbing in and out of the dinghy easily and swimming off the back knowing I will not need my husband to lift me out of the water every time I want to cool off. You are looking down a path of increasing disability versus a pain free future.
My Bilateral TKR was done on May 13, 2009. I had two surgeons, one for each knee. My recovery has been going well, but I have now developed a sharp pain in my right knee when I bend it to take a step. I still have swelling in both knees and numbness from the surgery. After standing for a few minutes my knees feel swollen and I can barely bend them. Wondering if this is normal.

Jim
I had my knee replaced a year ago June 30th. Prior to surgery, I was offered general anesthesia or a spinal. I chose the general, plus a femoral block. That is an additional anesthesia placed into or beside the femoral artery at the upper part of the leg. It is intended to produce no pain at all for some eight hours following surgery. I came out of surgery with absolutely NO pain whatsoever. I was wide awake and kind of disappointed that I couldn't sleep longer. Was awake the entire day thereafter, and was up to the BR in the evening using a walker. They began therapy about 1:30 that same day, very mild therapy, and every day thereafter 2x a day. Began rehab in one week at the hospital, and then had to do exercises twice a day at home. It takes awhile, and you go through stages. I didn't have a lot of pain, but some. Took some vicodin if necessary. Leg swells for a long time, feels stiff, gradually goes away. But not the grinding pain I had before. Only problem I have is that when I get up from a chair, or the toilet, my knee grinds. The Dr. doesn't know why. Most people don't have that problem. Good thing is that now I've had my left knee done, the other one doesn't bother me at all, and it was very bad before. Probably was using it more in some manner. Surgery is worth it.
[QUOTE=fantail;4057058]Eriu40 I went to Australia 5 weeks ago (3.5 hour flight) and wore a compression bandage on my knee with flight socks over the top. It worked a treat and my leg coped really well - took it easy for the first day but did lots of walking from the second. Did do some of my static exercises while sitting on the plane to keep things moving too. Hope this helps. Would love to visit Ireland one day - have seen the rest of the UK but didn't get across to Ireland. Maybe one day you could come down this way and see the 'bottom of the world'.[/QUOTE]

Fantail, thanks for the advice re: compression bandage. What are flight socks, though?

I spent six weeks in Australia back in 1997, but only got to see your beautiful, green country in a three-hour peek out the airport window while on a layover there. Since, that just won't cut it, I will have to come back and do it again someday, but this time, actually leave the airport!

Ireland is so beautiful! I've been to Scotland, Wales, England, and the Isle of Man, but I still have to say that Ireland is my very, very favorite. I'm addicted and have to go every year to feed that addiction. This will be the first time I won't be able to hike all over the place. It also demonstrates to me how quickly I went downhill in the last 10 months before my knee replacement. Last year in September, I climbed Knocknarea (little mountain...a hill really—about 1800 feet or so) and hiked the Cliffs of Moher from the visitor center down to Hag's Head, which is a six mile round trip. Right before my surgery, 9 months later, it was agony to walk through the parking lot at work. To the person who was wondering whether or not to wait for the knee replacement (LadyScout), sometimes you lose what you have FAST, and your decision gets made for you.

I can't even imagine what Ireland will be like for me next year, one year out. Wow.
It is so disheartening to me to read all your succeses because I am so disappointed with my TKR. I am at 14 weeks and only 95 flex. My ortho says I may never get any better. I am grateful that the pain is better than preop right now, but post surgery was much worse than the pain I had from the arthritis and I was bone on bone. Luckily, my other knee is great. Although, I am experiencing some pain when I go down stairs in it. But unless it gets much worse, I will not have it replaced. I do not want to end up with 2 knees at 95.:(
[QUOTE=junebea;4057137]It is so disheartening to me to read all your succeses because I am so disappointed with my TKR. I am at 14 weeks and only 95 flex. My ortho says I may never get any better. I am grateful that the pain is better than preop right now, but post surgery was much worse than the pain I had from the arthritis and I was bone on bone. Luckily, my other knee is great. Although, I am experiencing some pain when I go down stairs in it. But unless it gets much worse, I will not have it replaced. I do not want to end up with 2 knees at 95.:([/QUOTE]
I wonder what kind of therapist you had after your surgery? My therapist after 10 days in a rehab hospital has really pushed me hard. At almost 9 weeks I'm at 115 when she arrives at the house and 122 today when she left. Do keep going with the therapy and you'll see a change!
[QUOTE=junebea;4057137]It is so disheartening to me to read all your succeses because I am so disappointed with my TKR. I am at 14 weeks and only 95 flex. My ortho says I may never get any better. I am grateful that the pain is better than preop right now, but post surgery was much worse than the pain I had from the arthritis and I was bone on bone. Luckily, my other knee is great. Although, I am experiencing some pain when I go down stairs in it. But unless it gets much worse, I will not have it replaced. I do not want to end up with 2 knees at 95.:([/QUOTE]

Junebea, everyone goes at their own pace. I've read such varying accounts of when people get their flexion back. For some people, it comes quickly, for some it takes longer. Some people end up with 150░+ and some never get more than 100░. I think the most important thing is the pain relief.

I agree with dpbruner. It's good to have a bossy physical therapist who pushes you a bit. I am four weeks post-op, and yesterday I hit 120░ with my PT saying, "Is that all you've got to give me? C'mon! I know you've got more than that!" and then I pushed to 123░. But, I am also only 47, and I also do the exercises until I'm nearly in tears. I HATE the pain, but I figure I have to go through it if I want the maximum amount of knee function back.

My post-op pain was, and still is, much worse than my pre-op pain, but I know that is temporary. I've read that it can take up to a year before you feel completely normal again.

Keep working at it, and take every degree that comes to you. Get a bossier PT, if need be, or be your own boss and push the daylights out of yourself, if that's not possible. And, be kind to yourself
[QUOTE=junebea;4057137]It is so disheartening to me to read all your succeses because I am so disappointed with my TKR. I am at 14 weeks and only 95 flex. My ortho says I may never get any better. I am grateful that the pain is better than preop right now, but post surgery was much worse than the pain I had from the arthritis and I was bone on bone. Luckily, my other knee is great. Although, I am experiencing some pain when I go down stairs in it. But unless it gets much worse, I will not have it replaced. I do not want to end up with 2 knees at 95.:([/QUOTE]

junebea,

Are you using a NuStep and Total Gym to work on your flex? If not these, then what procedures are being used?
Junebea, don't beat yourself up! Everyone is different. I was really worried early on because I left the hospital with only 65 flexion. My first PT was very aggressive. Sessions were hell and I gained only a few degrees. Swelling was vicious. I never stopped the therapist, but the agony in treatments was a fearful thing. He told me I had "one of those knees" that would never recover - WRONG! Then I switched PT and it has been excellent since. He works me hard, but not beyond what I can bear. I am at 12 weeks and 115 flexion, and stilll improving every session.
Every knee is different and every circumstance. Your pain threshold may be very low - mine is too.

I work hard at this leg. I have to - the other one is in very bad shape and I am waiting for a call any day to get in to have it replaced. My non-surgery leg makes it very difficult to do a lot of the strenghtening, etc. we'd like to do, but the second surgery will change that.

I had a brother-in-law that had 100 flexion on both of his legs each time he left the hospital after his TKR. That isn't me. I'm much slower, but I continue to improve and this leg is already a God-send to me, even though it is months out from complete recovery. Time and diligence are all you can bring to the table. The rest will be what it will be - but the pain will be gone!

Do not let anyone else's progress get you down. You can't afford it. However, it might not hurt to check into another therapist; be sure to find one you can really trust. That is key!
Take heart and good luck!
My second TKR has been delayed and I am going to have to travel at 7-8 weeks post op. 7 hr flight. Has anyone advice for what to do for the leg and how it went for them? I should have been at 12 wks, but my surgery was bumped. I am very concerned, but can NOT avoid this travelling.

This forum has helped me so much with the first leg and it is doing very well. Now this problem/barrier. Anything you can tell me would be gratefully appreciated.
[QUOTE=pbselk;4058111]My second TKR has been delayed and I am going to have to travel at 7-8 weeks post op. 7 hr flight. Has anyone advice for what to do for the leg and how it went for them? I should have been at 12 wks, but my surgery was bumped. I am very concerned, but can NOT avoid this travelling.[/QUOTE]

PBSelk, I will be traveling on the 27th at six weeks post-op with a six-hour flight. I've had some advice from fantail re: wearing compression stockings and doing exercises while in my seat. I'll let you know how it goes.

By the way, those were wise words of advice to junebea. Well-said.
[QUOTE=itsanewday;4058526]I took a two week road trip by auto at 6 weeks PO, and developed a flexion procedure which I could employ while riding in the passenger seat. I returned to therapy with greater flex than before I left on the trip, much to the surprise of my PTs.[/QUOTE]

Anything that might work well on a 6-hour plane ride?

BTW, what kind of health professional were you? I work in health care, too.

Today is one month since my TKR, and I hit 125░ flexion yesterday. My knee is complaining about it today, but I am trying very hard not to take anything this morning as I want to go back to my yoga class. My teacher is going to modify the class a bit so I can do my yoga from a chair.

Has anyone heard of the book [I]Knee Surgery: The Essential Guide to Total Knee Recovery[/I] by Dr. Daniel Fulham O'Neill? I'm going to stop by my bookstore today to check it out. If I like it, I'll buy it.
I read this website both before and right after my surgery to try to see what I might experience. In case others are looking for the same information I sought, I thought I would also come back and outline my recovery experience with Total Knee Replacement to add to the information. I am 55 year old female. Although I found the surgery to be more painful than I expected and the recovery slower than I expected, I have been told that I have experienced pretty much the textbook expected recovery for someone who was in moderately good shape before the surgery (by that I mean able to ride exercise bike for 30-40 minutes at a time--with a painful, fat swollen knee full time). I had early surgery on a Wednesday and went home on Saturday afternoon. I had both an epidural and a femoral block. As each one wore off, the pain increased until I needed both oral morphine (longer lasting) and dilaudid as well as shots off and on for the first 36 hours. By the time I left the hospital, I could stand, walk with a walker, shower and use the restroom, all largely on my own (that doesn't mean that help wasn't only a shout away). This is major and massive surgery and the recovery is not quick. The first week at home I did not leave home at all and really needed a lot of help. I could not do much of anything other than basic grooming and PT. A home health care nurse came to check my blood levels and a home PT came three times a week to work with me. If you only take one lesson away from this post, it is this--the first 5-6 weeks post op, recovery and resting will be a full-time job. Sleeping through the night will be difficult so plan on resting throughout the day. Do the PT. Balance pain, medication and increased mobility, flexibility, stamina. I felt as if the moment the pain decreased to allow me to reduce pain meds, I was supposed to increase either weight bearing, flexibility training or stamina increase. I used crutches when I got home (instead of a walker) because my house has many stairs. I used crutches with a normal walking stride almost full time for 3-4 weeks then went to a cane for one week. It took concerted effort to relearn walking as my leg was lined up differently than it had been for many years. Since it was my right knee, I did not drive until 5 weeks post op. At 7 weeks, I am driving and able to work (computer and desk based) (with frequent walks, stretches, isometric exercises, etc). I walk 30 minutes a day, do PT 2-3 times per day and ride a stationery bike for 20 minutes per day. I have gone to a massage therapist once a week to have them work out the kinks in my lower back and leg. I still need a light pain pill (darvocet) at bedtime about half the time and occasionally something stronger than tylenol during the day (don't drive on those days). I still ice 2-5 times per day. Bottom line, I had planned to return to work sooner than 6 weeks, but chose not to--by about 3 weeks, I did about 10-15 hours of desk work per week at home. From what I see and hear from others at my therapist's--everyone has different reactions to the surgery and everyone's tissue responds differently so that you may do the exact things as I did and achieve either a better or worse result. So much of the immediate results from the surgery seem tied to your condition before surgery and the luck (or lack thereof) associated with how much your body scars and stretches. My best advice--work hard on recovery--take the pain meds if you need them to do the PT. And really do the PT at home as directed. Line up friends to help you with things so you can focus on recovery and call them if you need it. Just had a meeting with my surgeon and he says that at this time, my knee is at about 15% of what it will be in 9-12 months.
Kiel had a great response. I had bilaterl TKR last Novem. hospital stay of 3 days then to inhouse rehab...they did expect me to have clothing...I did luckily wear sweats to surgery and have a t shirt and sweat shirt..had friends bring more later.
I needed the sweatshirt to stay warm..I got chilled alot. also shoes you can get on...not flip flops.
best of luck.. its worth it...
Yaay I did it! I took my pupils to an indoor ski field today (Snow Planet - snowplanet.co.nz) and I got onto and off a toboggan with no assistance! What an achievement for me as last year I had to be lowered onto the toboggan, my leg lifted on board and then assisted up off it at the bottom of the slope. I had so much fun zooming down the slope and walking back up (couldn't manage that either last year). I just want to go again and am now looking forward to going with my family to the ski fields in the middle of the North Island (about 4 and a half hours drive away) in another three weeks for a break. I won't be hitting the slopes but know I will be able to get about easily. However, one side effect I did encounter was my new knee got rather cold and so was very sore after about 45 minutes. I am now sitting with it up being comforted with a hot wheat bag - do you have these in other countries? They are so soothing. I wish I could post a photo of a very happy teacher doing something she couldn't manage before the surgery and now can manage - I am full of joy. I have gone from being disabled to being able to do things again. And I picked my first freesias today and my plum tree is in flower so Spring is on it's way,
I carry and card but found it of little help flying on the west coast...Seattle, LA, SF San Diego. I always allow 30min extra because they take me and my belongings aside (offer me a private room, which I decline) then wand and pat me down, even the bottoms of my feet. Oh well. it could be worse..just allow extra time especially if you are still using a cane or walker because if you are like me I was slow to get myself put back together (shoes, jacket, suitcases lined up so I can manage them etc.)
Ihave to say, one time was pretty funny because I had been dumb enough to do some plastic surgery 3mos into my bilateral TKR recovery and I had on a sort of body suit that had little metal hook and eyes all down the front...
tell me that wasn't embarassing!!
and, by the way. dont make the mistake I did and think that "oh well, Im doing better now so I can do something else too. I had no idea how much my body would resent me for adding more trauma to it. I had my bilater TKR november and some other surgery in Feb just as I was starting to feel ok...
dumb dumb dumb.
also, so happy for the female teacher back in the toboggan w/ her class! I am so happy for her. it is good and encouraging
Im still a bit stiff in doing things though I have about 140 degrees flexion. My hips are stiff...not the joint thank g-d but all the muscles/tendons from readjusting after taking up all the slack for so many years. Im 56 and had needed this surgery since I was 45 but had to wait cuz they said I was too young.
Also, so glad to hear about he temperature difference between metal and bone.
last winter right after the procedure it snowed in Seattle and Ijust could never get warm..
also, what can I do preventatively this year if I go skiiing...any ideas.
I don't think we have "hot wheat bags" here in California. I am a retired teacher but I still teach ESL (English a Second Language) to adults for our district. I'll be having the surgery the first of Nov. and I'm trying to get everything I can in before. Camping at the beach near Santa Barbara starting tomorrow, up to Hearst Castle and doing a 68 mile bike ride next month, and a 16 day cruise to Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia in Oct. Then the big TKR. Reading these posts have helped but I'm still so scared. Activity is my life - always has been. I'm allergic to tons of things and so afraid I'll get the metal/plastic inside my knee and be allergic (body won't accept it) to it.
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4062907]I don't think we have "hot wheat bags" here in California. I am a retired teacher but I still teach ESL (English a Second Language) to adults for our district. I'll be having the surgery the first of Nov. and I'm trying to get everything I can in before. Camping at the beach near Santa Barbara starting tomorrow, up to Hearst Castle and doing a 68 mile bike ride next month, and a 16 day cruise to Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia in Oct. Then the big TKR. Reading these posts have helped but I'm still so scared. Activity is my life - always has been. I'm allergic to tons of things and so afraid I'll get the metal/plastic inside my knee and be allergic (body won't accept it) to it.[/QUOTE]
Your doctor can recommend an allergist who can test you for allergy to the materials in the knee. If you are concerned, get this done before the surgery. If your doctor is not familiar with this, you should call around and find one who is. I was a triathlete (so activity was my life too). I race-walked the run portions because I could no longer run. I am 8 weeks post op and still working to regain the strength and stamina I had pre-surgery. I also used to go through the airport 2-4 times per week as a traveler and have accepted that I should allow at least 30 extra minutes at my home airport and maybe an hour elsewhere. You are going to get searched, patted down every time. The cards and scars are meaningless (at least in America).
You can and should be tested for allergies prior to your surgery. Are you allergic to jewelry? Many people who have allergies to gold are actually allergic to nickel. I was a nickel plating chemist and do not have allergies to it, but people who do have nickel allergies could have huge problems! I think most implants are titanium though and very FEW people have problems with it.
Prior to my TKR I was unable to do much but walk to my car and get to my desk, and back! My daughter just left for college and I was able to shop for almost 4 hours at IKEA for her dorm gear, and I am able to do SO much more! I lived on pain pills prior to my surgery, and I have not needed so much as a motrin tablet after the first couple of weeks post surgery when I was popping percoset like candy! The post surgery pain is intense, but does not last long... Sleeping the first month post surgery is terrible, but does get better. I am going to be 49 this week, I had my surgery in May, I had no other options due to an injury in my 20's... I was told I could have in in 2007, but waited till this year, I truly wish I had not waited so long, I let the pain get out of control! I still have stiffness if I sit or stand for a long period of time now, but the pain is totally gone! My recovery has been a little slower than someone else of my age, but it has been due to my prior injury and prior surgery, as well as diabetes!
Over all though, I am SO happy that I had the surgery, I feel great!
Looking forward to my next airport travels, thanks for the extra time advice, I was always singled out even prior to TKR, so it should be interesting! NOT looking forward to our Michigan winter though, I'm not usually a "cold" person, wonder if I will be now?
I am a 62 year old male and had TKR on the left knee on August 14th. Surgery will kick your butt, however, progress happens quickly. On the day after surgery I was walking about 50 yards with a walker. I prepared for the surgery with heavey workouts 3 days a week for 4 months prior to surgery--boy was that worth it! My leg strength was very good at the time of surgery.
2 days after surgery I was walking with one crutch and 4 days after surgery walked with no assistance from the wheel chair at the hospital entrance to the car for the trip home.
Been using a cane for stability only when walking outside but inside do not need any assistance at all.
Therapy is tough and right now I am at 90 degrees with a ways to go but progress is being made daily. I use the pain meds only before therapy at this point.
[QUOTE=taberrose;3889645]I had a Dr. tell me this happened with one of his patients. After much research they found she was allergic to the metal in that particular brand of knee joint. They redid the surgery and used a different joint and the lady was fine. Not sure that is your problem, but something to think about.[/QUOTE]

I have also heard of having an allergic reaction to the metal used in the joint.
[QUOTE=tiredbeinsick;3436349]My history is I had horrible knee pain 5 yrs., stabbing sharp pain from ankles to knees. knees locking up, popping out of joint, usually unable to walk. 53 yrs old. saw orthopedist several times prior to surgery, (Good Looking) did not know what questions to ask, little to no information given, however I do tend to appear confident. Surgery Jan 10. very healthy. several small prior surgeries for other things I was up and going in a remarkable amount of time. I was with the understanding this is a 6 to 12 week recovery time, In my mind I heard 3 weeks I'll be fine!!!
I was given the option for type of anestesia. I chose no spinal or epidural, I was given choice for catheter,I chose not. Asked nurse to protect my modesty in surgery she was very warm, caring.
When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump. I was very itchy but in no pain as the day progressed the itching became worse, apparantly itching is a side effect,I had to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores, pain med was changed to something that did not work well finally 3rd change worked, I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.,
On the second day I was able to go to the bathroom on my own with the walker,I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me. very alert 3 rd day. I was o.k. but while the incision site seemed numb my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car. 4th day was transfered to a recovery facility for 1 week for after care and physical therapy.
got there at 3 pm. was asked if I had had a bowell movement, no!! was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems every one had the same problem so on top of pain your dealing with constipation, I had my husband bring up magnesium and gas x. took 2 magnesium am and 2 pm. fineally went potty. gas was also a problem where gas x was a gift from God....Nurses are busy don't expect to be babied. They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in.I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.
Day 2 physical therapie, was told to make sure you get pain meds 1/2 hour prior . it made a ton of difference in ability. I loved physical therapie its a bit of work but you being coached and praised and cheered a-.lot. for about 45 min where you work both legs I was unable to lift my knee replacement leg at all and wondered if I would ever be able to again, I did in about 1 week. yea but I could walk with a walker and went up and down stairs on day 2, yes it hurts, it hurts a lot but it is different it is a very tight strong throbbing, not sharp stabbing as before.
Day 2 in rehab I sobbed uncontrollably all day. I did not know why,it was fineally determined by doctors and hospital psycologists that it was anxiety caught up with me. In preperation for surgery I had to put my business in anothers hands, clean house, pay bills,make sure there were groceries at home for family, feel guilty for Husband having to work and come to hospital every night bringing me things, feeling guilty for bothering nurses with any thing,etc.etc.
In 1 week had made big progress. however it was still very painful hard to bend. after the 3 rd day in rehab pain med is no longer delivered every 4 hours you have to ask for it, so make sure you watch the clock. and start asking 1/2 hour in advance. I continued to love physical therapie. your put on coumadin and stockings, the stockings do help relieve pain besides helping circulation.
I am now at 4 weeks, when I keep my leg down for 30 or more min. it swells and is more painful . so my 3 week time line had passed which also caused me to cry -dissapointment that I'm still recovering and not fuly functioning. At 3 weeks the pain is considerably less but still there. I like my pain med 1 every 4 hours, why suffer plus I function better not in pain. going for my 1 month check tomorrow it seems like 1 week. A nurse came to the house 2 times a week to check coumadin levels and incision etc, the staples were taken out in 10 days, some of them hurt coming out but its over fast, a physical therapist came 1 time a week at my request as the copay 35.00 a visit I can do the physical therapie myself, I have to make myself.
I figured out to put my foot on a skateboard while sitting. I can slide my leg back and forth to exercize the knee. I put my hand tight over the incision while bending. it feels better.
Every one all around had told me I've done very well compared to most but it isn't fast enough for me. I stopped using the walker after rehab and never used a cane I have to focus on walking heel to toe and not limping. its just easier to limp. but even I know thats not the way to go. Now I'm just looking forward to the day every one says I'll be so glad I did this. I keep telling my self it could be worse...........[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Kneejerk101;4072056][/QUOTE]
I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.
>>>>[QUOTE=Kneejerk101;4072058]I'm just now 4 weeks (I'm age 72) from my TKR (right knee) and it sounds like we all went through pretty much the same thing. I wish this "quick to cry" thing would stop. By the 3rd week I had given up the walker but now I seemed to digress. I only take Hydrocodone at bed time for pain.<<<<

I was doing much better last week at walking alone; now the pain seems greater and the knee seems stiffer. I had PT at home for the first 3 weeks and began PT outside the home last Monday. I ice it after PT and exercises but the knee remains swollen and will only bend while sitting to 185. I am so discouraged. One day I walk great - the next my legs feel weak. I think the depression is what is really getting me. My surgery was August 4th and my surgeon and PT say I'm okay....but I don't think I'm doing all that well.

The surgery (with spinal) was a piece of cake. They told me the recovery would be rough but I had no idea it would be this bad. I feel like I'm failing.<<<<[/QUOTE]

Since you are taking hydro-c only at night, it is quite possible that your "quick to cry" condition is related to withdrawal. You may need to pop a single pill, say every 6 to 8 hours to keep from getting withdrawal symptoms, until you can taper dosage when you're ready to quit the pain med. I, too, felt really depressed when I first quit hydrocodone. Then it dawned on me that I was suffering withdrawal. I had to start taking it, again, then slowly tapered the dosage to keep from going through the withdrawal. That worked.

I'm now at 7 months PO, and today, I went for a hike on a mountain trail... 5th hike in the last 2 weeks. But, like you, I often felt discouraged, during recovery. My pain was so bad for the first month, I really didn't accomplish much at therapy. So, try not to dwell on your status at this early stage. My therapists conveyed that they thought I should be progressing faster. Then, I saw my surgeon for a PO checkup, and he said he thought I was doing, "...phenomenally well." My flexion was slow to return, but now my new knee flexes almost as much as my other one, which has normal full-range motion.

Best wishes, itsanewday (age 68).
I have just had my second TKR this summer. This second surgery has me really worried.

Surgery was last Thurs. I came out about the same as the first. Post-op x-rays were perfect. I had a pain block in the front of my leg. On Sunday, I noticed that the bottom half of my leg was angling out to the side. I had physio and nurses look at it. The on-call surgeon said there was laxity in the LCL and not to worry.

I can't put any weight on the leg. If I do, the ankle is severely bent and is now incredibly painful. I can "walk" if I only use the outside edge of my foot.

There is not so much pain (certainly compared to my May surgery) but horrible wrenching in my leg. I don't have that ugly "it's going-to-explode pain, tho. For that I am very grateful, but this just isn't right. My quads are god and my flexion was 75 - now down to 55.

To be quite frank, I am worried sick. Has anyone else had something like this happen? I can't imagine rehab when there is no alignment down my leg. Has anyone had to have them go back in and "fix" a ligament? What was it like? How soon did they get it done? My leg simply isn't straight!

If anyone has something similar, I would appreciate knowing what was done about it. Time is precious right now, and I am desperate to get on with it. And I'm getting desperate to just walk.

Thanks.
I had a LTK replacement 5/4/09. I went into the surgery knowing that I would not be able to return to work for 12 weeks. 12 weeks have come and gone and I am still having stiffness in my knee. I being a nurse figured I would be back in 8 weeks..... but that has not happened. I have been did PT , continue walking and water aerobics. My range of motion is good. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up I was informed that I had a "perfect" knee. My question was why does "perfect" hurt? I was told to continue to walk. I have been walking, however to compound the problem I need the other knee replaced, so if I get to vigorous I end up with a painful right knee. I am also on coumadin so I am unable to take any anti-inflammatory meds. The depression has been horrible and I am surprised my husband has not left. I am open to any suggestions.
[QUOTE=Kytigger;4075378]I had a LTK replacement 5/4/09. I went into the surgery knowing that I would not be able to return to work for 12 weeks. 12 weeks have come and gone and I am still having stiffness in my knee. I being a nurse figured I would be back in 8 weeks..... but that has not happened. I have been did PT , continue walking and water aerobics. My range of motion is good. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up I was informed that I had a "perfect" knee. My question was why does "perfect" hurt? I was told to continue to walk. I have been walking, however to compound the problem I need the other knee replaced, so if I get to vigorous I end up with a painful right knee. I am also on coumadin so I am unable to take any anti-inflammatory meds. The depression has been horrible and I am surprised my husband has not left. I am open to any suggestions.[/QUOTE]

Greetings, Kytigger,

Even "perfect" knees hurt, because YOU HAD MAJOR SURGERY to give you that perfect knee. (Forgive me for shouting, but I, too, had no idea what was involved during "recovery", so I think it is amusing to read that you still have stiffness.) Geesh, give yourself a break (from being depressed) - you should be feeling elation that you now have a perfect knee, and will eventually have two perfect knees - WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME TO BE ALIVE, AND TO BE ABLE TO GET NEW KNEES!!!!!!!! I had my RTK on 2/02/09 (29 weeks ago), and still have stiffness after I work/use the knee. My stiffness is caused from fluid (it doesn't take much, just a few cc's) that invades the joint. One of my pt's suggested that I take anti-inflammatories, but my theory is that my leg has to learn to adapt to the result of the MAJOR SURGERY, so I prefer to let it adapt without use of meds. I did another mountain hike on a rocky trail, today... my 8th hike in the last 2 weeks. The knee is a bit stiff and sore, but it will be better, tomorrow.
I'm just at 3 mo. after my left TKR and still have stiffness, after lots of walking, etc. but my physical therapist told me to not expect it to feel really good until 1-1 1/2 years after surgery. So take heart! You're not there yet. I took hardly any pain medication...just needed it a few times to get me through PT, so medication hasn't been a problem for me. Hang in there!
[QUOTE=Kytigger;4075378]I had a LTK replacement 5/4/09. I went into the surgery knowing that I would not be able to return to work for 12 weeks. 12 weeks have come and gone and I am still having stiffness in my knee. I being a nurse figured I would be back in 8 weeks..... but that has not happened. I have been did PT , continue walking and water aerobics. My range of motion is good. When I returned to the doctor for my 12 week check up I was informed that I had a "perfect" knee. My question was why does "perfect" hurt? I was told to continue to walk. I have been walking, however to compound the problem I need the other knee replaced, so if I get to vigorous I end up with a painful right knee. I am also on coumadin so I am unable to take any anti-inflammatory meds. The depression has been horrible and I am surprised my husband has not left. I am open to any suggestions.[/QUOTE]

I know how hard this can be. My first suggestion is that you find a doctor that will discuss your depression and your pain meds. Maybe even your primary care doc can help you come up with a plan to work with available pain and depression meds to help you through this. You have had major surgery and to top it off, regardless of what people tell you, it did not turn out as you expected. So, you have had your expectations dashed. Those are not easy things to deal with. The process of major surgery often causes temporary disruptions in brain chemistry and it is appropriate to use meds to get it back in order.

Secondarily, I can also recommend (as I used it extensively) seeking out a highly qualified accupuncturist. My knee surgeon was not in favor of it, but I did my research, including talking to other knee replacement patients who had seen my Chinese medicine doctor. To stay within my surgeon's wishes, I did not allow the CMD to put needles above mid calf or below mid thigh (to keep the needles away from the knee). Many surgeons have no objection to accupuncture and then you do not have these kinds of limits. My accupunture treatments really helped me get over the hump in recovery. I also find that riding the exercise bike gives me some pain relief--no idea why.

Please do not be hard on yourself. Every person responds to this surgery differently--and it is largely a matter of genetics--what kind of scar tissue you make, the flexibility of your basic tissue, etc. Some people have much more difficult times than others and it is not because of anything they did or didn't do. Regardless, it seems that one year later, everyone is happy they did it. Small consolation right now, but please, talk to your primary doc to discuss the depression, pain and coumadin and see if they can help you come up with a plan. Please know you can get through this.
Hi all...I just had a TKR about 5 weeks ago and I still have lots of pain and swelling. I wear the the stockings, elevate my knee and ice it as much as possible, but the swelling still is there. I take the Hydro 10/500 every 4 hrs and have a Lidocane patch for my knee. None of these seem to ease the pain much. I have tried to ask my surgeon and regular physician for something different to help control the pain and they both say we can't give you anything else...take Ibprofen in between for break through pain and that doesn't do squatt either. My flexion is only @ 90 degrees and my knee has a hard time straightening. I had PT in-home for about 4 weeks and all that seemed to do it make it worse. I do the exercises on my own at my own pace at what I can stand where the therapist pushed my knee to the point of agony and was in agony the rest of the day, if anything PT made my knee worse. I'm sorry If I sound like I'm whining but I am so discouraged right now. :( Has anyone else gone through this very thing and how did you cope with it? I do get out to walk as much as possible but that tires me out in no time. I know I've only been out 5 weeks from surgery and everyone says it will get better in time. *sighs* sometimes I wonder.....thanks for listening
sorry to say but 5 weeks is just the beginning, as for the pain, cant suggest anything else.
You should be going to PT at least 3 times a week, what does your surgeon say about PT? Flex at 90 degrees after 5 weeks is about average. I had my TKR 3 months ago and am now at 118 degrees and go to PT 3 times a week. Before the opperation I decided to go to a rehab facility, stayed there 2 weeks and had PT twwice a day 6 day's a week, it really helped. I went it with about 45 degrees and left with 95 degrees. Yes it was intense and painful but worth it.
My knee is still swollen some, the surgeon & PT both said that will just take time. Remember this was major surgery and the body will take at least 1 year (or more) to recover.
Good Luck and please keep us posted.
Ken
I had my TKR on 5/12/09... I didn't think anything could top the pain of a 10 lb 6 oz baby, but TKR kicked my butt! I had a prior surgery back in the 80's that traumatized my quad, so I have had a heck of a time getting my quad built back up, still have a long way to go! I can relate to being depressed post surgery, but I really think it had a lot to do with the pain meds that I was on. Had a terrible time sleeping the first month after the surgery as well. I lived on a pain med called etodolac pre-surgery, and have not needed so much as a Motrin after the initial pain meds from the surgery! My knee doesn't hurt anymore!!! YAY!!! That is not to say that I don't have stiffness, I get that if I sit too long, or stand too long... Keeping moving seems to be the best thing! I remember having a heck of a long recovery time with my first knee surgery when I was in my 20's, the TKR seems much faster, even in my late 40's! I really want to be able to play tennis next summer, but I realize that it may take a while... I usually have less patience with my self than other people, but this is a situation where you just have to take each day as it comes! I have had a couple of milestone moments since the TKR when I have realized that I'm not walking as funny as I had been, or that the knee doesn't feel so foreign as it did a couple of days ago! Still don't enjoy driving, it makes my hamstring hurt, but a little less each day...
Have a little more patience with yourself! The advice to see your general doc is good, if he/she doesn't help you go to someone else! Your doc should listen to you! Good luck!
I all! Thank you all for your candidness about the TKR. I am 46 and had a left and right knee lateral release in June and July, respectively. The left knee is doing well but the right knee is basically just shot - bone and bone. After 3 surgeries for each knee over the past 3 years, my doc finally said it was time to do the TKR even though we were trying to wait at least one more year. I am a school principal and am on my feet all day. I've been on a cane since the lateral release. Reading your posts have helped me immensely with pre-surgery jitters. Someone talked about a cryotherapy machine. Is this really necessary or will the regular ice packs that wrap around your knee work just as well?
[QUOTE=nfordsupport;4076811]I all! Thank you all for your candidness about the TKR. I am 46 and had a left and right knee lateral release in June and July, respectively. The left knee is doing well but the right knee is basically just shot - bone and bone. After 3 surgeries for each knee over the past 3 years, my doc finally said it was time to do the TKR even though we were trying to wait at least one more year. I am a school principal and am on my feet all day. I've been on a cane since the lateral release. Reading your posts have helped me immensely with pre-surgery jitters. Someone talked about a cryotherapy machine. Is this really necessary or will the regular ice packs that wrap around your knee work just as well?[/QUOTE]

I used the cold water pump "cryotherapy machine" and found it far superior to other methods which included the dry cold wraps at therapy and bagged ice cubes. After placing a damp dish towel between the bladder and my knee to aid in conducting the 53║ temperature of the bladder, I held the bladder in place by lightly wrapping it against my knee with an Ace bandage.
Hello. I just found this site and this thread a couple of days ago and have been reading and learning.

I am a 58 year old female who just had a TKR on Aug. 17th. I spent 4 days in the hospital (the second day crying and not doing much else) because the pain was so bad and I couldn't lift my leg. I was shocked. I had no idea whatsoever what to expect after surgery. No one told me and I did not know what questions to ask prior to surgery.

When I got home a relative came over to visit on the second day and when I told her about my hospital stay and the crying, she told me that she has clients who are much older than I am who have had the surgery and that they handled it with no problems and that I "need to just suck it up". I'm still upset about that statement.:mad::eek: Don't you just love people who have never experienced this surgery yet give you advice and directives?

We had very limited PT while in the hospital and my real PT didn't start until a week and half after I got home. I go twice a week and love my therapist. Just yesterday he got my knee bent to 126 I think it was. Two days prior it was at 118. Today, the day after PT, I am stiff and swollen and it's difficult to bend. I haven't really done any of my exercises all day today except for bending my knee as much as possible while standing.

I take percocet with tylenol (8 -10 daily) and two oxycontine 12 hours apart. Nothing stops the pain and discomfort and I usually have trouble falling asleep because I can't find a comfortable position with no pain. Some nights are better than others.

Should I go out and buy a stationary bike???

I'm glad to see that others are experiencing depression as I find myself very moody and weepy still. It's so difficult to be so incapacitated. I am caring for four indoor cats and one dog so you can imagine the amount of work involved with keeping litterboxes clean and these guys all fed and their dishes washed twice daily, etc. I have some help with house cleaning and with the pets but do most of the pet cleanup myself and it's really tough.

Am I harming myself by not doing exercises the day after therapy when I'm so stiff, swollen and sore?

I'm so glad I found this forum. This is the most information I've received since deciding to have the surgery several months ago.

Thanks loads.
To the principal, as they say in the Nike commercials, "Just do it!" You won't regret it! I waited two years after I was told I could get TKR thinking 47 is too young! I was in so much pain, I was bone on bone too, and I developed a terrible walking gait that has been difficult to overcome post surgery... Don't expect much the first month, you will be in pain, and the pain meds DO help the pain, but the make you constipated, irritable, and really wreak havoc on your ability to sleep... It's a vicious circle, but once you get off the pain meds, I was able to get off 2 - 3 weeks post surgery, and have not needed any since, your life gets back to normal. I don't know what a cryotherapy machine is, I had a CPM machine. A CPM machine sits on your bed and they strap you into it immediately after your surgery and it starts bending your knee. It's a wonderful thing! I started out around 60 degrees, and after four days was up to around 80. It is on 24/7 except for when you are out of bed... It is pretty quiet, and you are so drugged up that it doesn't really bother you too much, at least it didn't bother me that much... DO invest in a good ice pack, my hospital had one that was like a large hot water bottle and it was wonderful, I wish I had asked to take one home with me! My PT has large rectangular ice packs that wrap around the knee, those are great too! Ice will be your friend! I had home PT 3X/Wk for two weeks post surgery and outpatient PT 3X per week for 38 sessions, just re-uped for an additional 4 wks at 2X per week, and I think I'll be ok at that point, if not, I'll ask for more PT and see what my insurance will approve...

shatteredangel5, YOU NEED PT!!! Beg, borrow, or steal a car to get there! See if there is a church member, or some kind of communityorganization that could provide a ride to get to PT! You really need to go!
nfordsupport I didn't have any extras at home when I returned after 4 days in hospital. I was discharged with crutches which I was able to discard very soon after. I live in a home with 28 (yes 28!!) stairs between our front door and our bedroom and presurgery had great difficulty getting up and down. Now it is simple and generally easy although I do still have days when I am stiff and sore (surgery was 18 March this year). I am still struggling to get to work full time as I am managing only 36 hours a week as a Kindergarten teacher, but have been trying to stop beating myself up over it. Was at the physiotherapists again today with swelling and pain, but am so pleased with the results so far. My husband and son spent the weekend on the slopes skiing and snowboarding and I was really pleased to be able to walk easily on the snow and get about. Last time we went, I really struggled - yet another milestone. We are having a very early spring down here and will be getting the summery gear out to wear tomorrow as the temperatures are heating up. I am so pleased with how my scar is looking, it is healing and fading so well.
[QUOTE=anuenue;4076961]Hello. I just found this site and this thread a couple of days ago and have been reading and learning.

I am a 58 year old female who just had a TKR on Aug. 17th. I spent 4 days in the hospital (the second day crying and not doing much else) because the pain was so bad and I couldn't lift my leg. I was shocked. I had no idea whatsoever what to expect after surgery. No one told me and I did not know what questions to ask prior to surgery.

When I got home a relative came over to visit on the second day and when I told her about my hospital stay and the crying, she told me that she has clients who are much older than I am who have had the surgery and that they handled it with no problems and that I "need to just suck it up". I'm still upset about that statement.:mad::eek: Don't you just love people who have never experienced this surgery yet give you advice and directives?

We had very limited PT while in the hospital and my real PT didn't start until a week and half after I got home. I go twice a week and love my therapist. Just yesterday he got my knee bent to 126 I think it was. Two days prior it was at 118. Today, the day after PT, I am stiff and swollen and it's difficult to bend. I haven't really done any of my exercises all day today except for bending my knee as much as possible while standing.

I take percocet with tylenol (8 -10 daily) and two oxycontine 12 hours apart. Nothing stops the pain and discomfort and I usually have trouble falling asleep because I can't find a comfortable position with no pain. Some nights are better than others.

Should I go out and buy a stationary bike???

I'm glad to see that others are experiencing depression as I find myself very moody and weepy still. It's so difficult to be so incapacitated. I am caring for four indoor cats and one dog so you can imagine the amount of work involved with keeping litterboxes clean and these guys all fed and their dishes washed twice daily, etc. I have some help with house cleaning and with the pets but do most of the pet cleanup myself and it's really tough.

Am I harming myself by not doing exercises the day after therapy when I'm so stiff, swollen and sore?

I'm so glad I found this forum. This is the most information I've received since deciding to have the surgery several months ago.

Thanks loads.[/QUOTE]

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I'm a female, age 72, with an Aug. 4th, 2009 surgery date. Our hospital even offered pre-op classes for knee replacement people and I was just too busy to take the time. Now I wish I had.

I do know, however, that not doing the Physical Therapy is very serious. Scar tissue will form and I can be left with a stiff leg. I've had a good couple of days and woke up this morning with a totally stiff knee. I'm icing it now and will go to PT at 9:30. This is what is so discouraging; although still periodically depressed - it's not quite as bad as it was.
It is a shame but unless you have been through a TKR you have no idea the intensity of the pain post op, how hard little things like lifting a leg a few inches can be or how demoralizing it can be to have to rely on others for help. But take heart we all here know how you feel and do care about your recovery. I have had three TKR (one failed after 6 months) and have had the full range of outcomes from horrible to terrific. Best advice I can give is to go at your own pace, it may take you longer but as long as you progress it will ultimately be okay, you have to learn to listen to your body. I used extensive pain meds and found that if I took a stool softener from day one I had no problems with constipation and I didn't get addicted. I also had trouble sleeping but found that if I got out of bed and just walked around a little bit to loosen up the stiffness I could get back to sleep. I used the ice machine and the ice packs and the ice machine is so much better for swelling. I also used the TED hose during the day and sometimes overnight if the swelling was bad. I found that when sitting I would use a skate board (heck even stick your foot on top of a rolling suitcase or a can that is lying on its side) and just gently roll my leg back and forth. Do it slowly at first and keep progressing to a better stretch and knee bend, you control the pace and the tempo and it won't be so painful as sometimes in PT and you will keep the joint loose, the more you use the joint gently, the better the joint will feel. Before aggressive PT sessions I found that using a stationary bike lossened up the joint and made it so much easier to get the flexion and extension I needed. By the time I did the third TKR it was a piece of cake because I knew what to expect and I had 95 degrees of flexion the morning after surgery. Be kind to yourself, ask for help and feel free to not worry about housework, the more you can set up your house before surgery, the less stressful it will be at home. Put things where they are easy to reach, work with your ortho case manager for the at home equipment and support. I have used the CPM machine at home for first two TKRs but opted to not use it for the third. Don't let others get you down and tell you that your progress isn't good enough, every person is different and very knee is different. A TKR doesn't mean you are 100% cured of arthritis, it just means you will be better than before but it takes time. I still have bouts of swelling and pain if I push my self too far so I just back off a bit and figure out how I can get the most out of life while being realistic that I will never have my teenage knees again. But life is good, I walk without a cane, I can go shopping, I travel and once again enjoy life with my kids and grandkids - I may still have some limitations but it is so much better than it was before the TKR. I promise all of you out there that one day you too will feel so much better and be glad you had the surgery. Hang in there and keep reading all the posts here they do help.
TO IWILLSURVIVE: Your information and that of many others here is so valuable. I wish someone with your experience and ability to communicate clearly were available at our class to educate us prior to surgery. The post op would have been so much more tollerable without the shock of the intensity of pain and lack of ability to move. I felt and often still do, like a prisoner in my own body. I can now empathize with stroke patients and people with other physical disabilities. Have you considered volunteering at your local hospital to provide information at these pre op classes? I think you'd be a valuable resource. Think about it.
What an amazing post!
Thank you. you summed it up...and have a great attitude.
I did think I would'nt have any problems after....oh well. they are tight, and my hip gets sore ( probably all those years of overcompensating the muscles/tendons are just not stretched out yet)
your attitude helped me put it in perspective.
I will say that tho I felt better at 6-8 weeks,
then significantly better at 12 weeks, then 6mos.
I am better yet today at 10 months....
today I walked 4 miles, went to Costco, Trader Joes and sat in 2 meetings !
that is WAY more than I could have done in one week prior to surgery!!
so its been rough but worth it .
I was wondering the same thing about applying heat to the area. I have one of those rice filled tubes that you put in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then lay it on the affected area.

I threw caution to the winds yesterday and popped a couple of Advil. Because I take medication for hypertention (Zestril and Toprol-XL) they don't like you to use too much ibuprofen because it can diminish the effectiveness of those meds. However, it was the best relief I've had for pain so far. Within a half hour after I took it I could move better.

As I begin my 6th week since surgery I'm still only getting 95 measurement on the bend so I'm a bit discouraged. Also, Monday I couldn't get the bike pedal all around. Then I realized the PT had moved the seat forward a bit. Did find out, however, that Walmart as exercise bikes for as low as $100 so I'm going to get one this weekend.
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4078457]Thank you all soooo much for the invaluable info and encouragement. It makes me feel so much better knowing that things will get better.

My surgeon never told me it would take up too a year (or more) to heal...he said 3-6 months and 6-8 weeks to feel comfortable with my new knee...go figure!!! :dizzy:

I need to ask if anyone has used like ben gay or icy hot/cold for the aching in the knee? I see some of you came home with the wrap around ice pump...how did you get so lucky? I never thought to ask and not sure they would have gave me one to take home. PT at the hospital had the wrap around ice packs, which I loved (they wouldn't let me have one to take home :confused:) I use the ones from like K-Mart or and they're ok.

Have a great day all!!![/QUOTE]

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I'm kind of back tracking today. Went to PT this morning and when my therapist learned I was going to see my surgeon tomorrow to check to see if I have shingles, she decided to accelerate the flexion a bit. I was only at 94 and she wanted 110 on the report for the doctor. So - with the assist of another therapist they did 3 sessions of "force" to get that reading. I felt so embarrassed because I started to cry and by the time we were finished tears were running down my cheeks and I got very sick to my stomach. Thank God I didn't throw up. I know it's very serious and I need to get that flexion higher, but I wasn't really prepared for it so it has been feeling pretty well defeated again.

I'm beginning to believe that maybe I just wasn't cut out to handle this. They are trying to keep me from having to have the bending done in a surgery - I know, but boy one of those a day would be enough for me.
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wow kneejerk101...I know how you feel. My home therapist did the same thing to me and I cried and begged him to stop (what a wuss huh?) I was embarrased also:o.

Yesterday I felt like I did when I first came home from the hospital...miserable!!! lol If I knew before surgery what I know now....I would have put it off. The left knee will have to be done sooner or later and I'm very sceptical about doing it. I'm obviously not good with pain, even though I'm told I'm taking it like a trooper :confused:

I used a ben gay patch on the back of my knee the other day and it seemed to help. I might rub some on it nights before I go to bed and see if helps. Something's got too. When I put ice on it, it seems like it swells more for some reason....yesterday it just didn't do anything no matter what I did. I'm thinking that my knee knew it was supposed to rain today?? Shrugs!! I guess there are good days and bad days....just wish the good ones would hurry up and get here...lol

Anyway..... you all have a great and pain free day :wave:
anuenue, thank you so much for your kind words. My first TKR was a nightmare as I had no idea what to expect and thought I would never survive the experience. I remember calling my sister who lived out of town in tears on the day of my discharge begging her to come down and help me cuz I didn't think hubby would really be able to do the job. God bless her she showed up a few hours after I got home and stayed with me for 10 days. My second TKR I was terrified but happy to find that in the 3 year interval, my doctor founded a joint center at the hospital dedicated to joint replacement only. I went for a visit and met patients on day 1 post op just walking around, doing PT and not in intense pain so I was okay with going forward. My pain was still great but I was able to handle it because at the joint center the nursing care was fantastic and I got whatever meds I needed around the clock. The socialization with other patients (we all went to pt twice a day and had meals together) was sort of like this board, everybody reaching out to help each other and give encouragement. Made the pain actually better if that makes sense. The hospital promoted walking distance contests and flexion and extension contests so we were self motivated to beat each other and made therapy so much easier. Also pt encouraged us to always go farther but the description they always used to go to the point of pain but not past the point of pain, my surgeon told all his patients to work hard but to not let any therapist push you beyond a reasonable level of pain that would bring you to tears. Before your admission, the hospital provided a tour of the facility and a full education class of what to expect and exercises and diet to follow before the surgery along with exercises to do after and everything was documented in a book they gave you. The book also gave a week by week progress chart for what to expect with respect to ability to walk and do things and for each week had a section where you documented your goals and tracked your progress of what you accomplished. It was an extremely helpful manual. You also met with a hospital case manager who reviewed your insurance and provided info on what would be provided at home (walker, elevated toilet seats, shower chairs, dressing aids, home nurse and pt visits, etc.). The primary focus of the program was that we were not sick so shouldn't be treated as invalids, so you wore your own clothes and it was amazing but just acting normal helped to make you feel normal. The third TKR was an emergency over the holidays due the implant failing and the joint center was closed so I wasn't sure it would go okay. But I decided to still bring my own clothes and act normal. Although I had to go to the PT dept my former therapists were there so it was still okay. I will admit to having a few run ins with the nursing staff as they were not on board but because I knew what to expect I was able to speak up and insist on things going the way I knew they should. Also because I was so much more relaxed and confident I didn't really need the support in the same way. I would encourage anyone about to undergo at TKR to search diligently for a surgeon who performs this procedure in a hospital setting that has a dedicated joint restoration center, it will make a huge difference in how smooth your recovery will go. The education and support infrastructure can't be beat and most times they are using the latest in pain control techniques. Good luck to all out there, it is still one of the hardest surgeries to undergo and recover from but it can be made so much better with the proper education and care.
I am replacing both knees at once this coming January. Is there anyone out there that had done that as well? I am 51 and in good health other than being overwait because I can no longer exercise. I am reading about not being able to lift your leg. What do I do if I can't lift either? I have a foot that keeps going numb right now. Is that normal? I want so bad to be able to hike again and to be able to actually walk without so much pain!
Are there exercises I can do to make it easier on me after surgery?
I had bilateral TKR last november (08) I also am 55, great health except about 20lbs too much for same reason.
I have to say it was a big deal to do both at the same time. it is quite painful, I think its probably more than twice the pain. It seemed exponential to me. Becasue ther is no way to avoid it.
YOu can get up and around..I could toilet, shower etc bit I could not stand for long to get myself meals...and I ended up kinda spreading out my day to 24hrs.
taking a shower in the am, going to PT, sleeping, doing PT on my own, sleeping, going to bathroom, usually unloading dishwasher at midnight or 3 am...
I spread things out in little bits that i would normally do in one fell swoop...
it was way worse than both knees hurting before surgery...but that only lasted for about 10 weeks. at 6 weeks it was better, but not that great, by 12 weeks i was backto being fully independent ..in fact back shopping at the dollar store just for the heck of it..but honestly..its still taken months to get close to 'normal'
I still feel stiff , but not painful. and am now working on strengthing my legs and hips...
its a process.
I will say that if you have a good support system its probably worth doing both at once.
For me. if I had done just one...I doubt Id have the courage to do the other.
and I am now able to walk 4 miles, ride a bike and cross my legs.
oh.
my best suggestion is get as flexible as possible NOW...I could sit 'indian' style and fully bend my knee onto seat of a chair, and sat like that before surgery. I forced myself to work out the swelling even when it hurt cuz I just love to sit like that
Im convinced thats why I am able to get so flexible now.
The strength too, but my legs were getting atrophied..and getting stronger isnt as difficult. they are big muscles..
but that flexiblity is a killer in PT afterward,
I can share more later..
oh. also, get as much around your house, your closet, your bathroom ready BEFORE surgery...get help if youre in too much pain to do it yourself.
getting things at waist height is important...
I really couldn't do much without supporting myself w/a walker afterward so bending to open drawers wasn't in the cards for me.
put packaged food ON counter for when you get home...
I suggest getting a walker ahead of time to see where you can go, what you can reach while holding on to it...
it was way to painful for me for weeks not to support myself w/ it.
have sweat pants and t shirts ...I didn't wear a normal pair of pants for months..to difficult to get on.
but you can get up and around with that walker. you can lift your legs...at least I could..it hurt but I did it.
make sure your doc understands you expect enoug pain meds to get through PT
and to get flexible...but try to mix them up. only 5-10 days on oxy (it only takes 2 weeks to get hooked) I wish I had known and asked for different meds perhaps I wouldn't have gotten so addicted.
I got addicted which was its own hell.
on the bright side. I did get full flexibility so next year at this time it will all be just a memory.
I think it's really important to do some exercises before the surgery to strengthen your muscles. I was going to a PT presurgery to help with the issues I had and she gave me exercises to do to help build my muscles. This had two benefits as it did do some strengthening but it also enabled me to know what to strive for in the early days, as they were the same as I had to do afterwards. My mind was already conditioned to how it should feel and this helped me know what I was aiming for. I am having a few problems at the moment with swelling and coping with the final hurdles to a return to full working hours along with being a wife and mother - coping with the daily chores as well etc. I feel frustrated at the lack of time I have had in my garden over the past 5 months - Spring has really sprung and the weeds are taking over, but have been trying to tell myself it won't matter if my garden isn't as beautiful as it usually is for Christmas Day, which we have outside in the Summer sun around our barbeque, hopefully my roses and perennials will be enough this year. I know it won't worry anyone but me, but I still feel frustrated. Keep telling myself this time next year it will all be a memory and I will be so mobile and feel fantastic. Reading about others successes helps, so thank you everyone for sharing your stories.
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4080074]wow kneejerk101...I know how you feel. My home therapist did the same thing to me and I cried and begged him to stop (what a wuss huh?) I was embarrased also:o.

Yesterday I felt like I did when I first came home from the hospital...miserable!!! lol If I knew before surgery what I know now....I would have put it off. The left knee will have to be done sooner or later and I'm very sceptical about doing it. I'm obviously not good with pain, even though I'm told I'm taking it like a trooper :confused:

I used a ben gay patch on the back of my knee the other day and it seemed to help. I might rub some on it nights before I go to bed and see if helps. Something's got too. When I put ice on it, it seems like it swells more for some reason....yesterday it just didn't do anything no matter what I did. I'm thinking that my knee knew it was supposed to rain today?? Shrugs!! I guess there are good days and bad days....just wish the good ones would hurry up and get here...lol

Anyway..... you all have a great and pain free day :wave:[/QUOTE]

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I had that impromtu visit with my surgeon yesterday to check a rash around the incision and God Bless him - he brought me out of the doldrums (at least for the time being). He reassured me I was doing just fine; he tested the flexion at about 95 degrees and he said for 6-weeks that's okay - I was to relax and do the exercises at home that worked best for me; that instilled the most flexion. ....stuff like "marching" lifting the knees up high - going out with the walker with wheels and just walk and walk and walk. Basically he said to just "keep at it" - keeping my PT appointments, of course.

Had a bit of a rough night with pain, however, and when I first get up I walk all hunched over until I get the kinks out - but soon I'm functioning pretty well; not without pain but I can do my housework, shower, dress, and do stairs okay...slowly....but okay. The off-again, on-again thing he said is normal. The PT's stir it up - the swelling comes back along with the pain. We treat that with ice and then go back for more.

I wish we had a swimming pool. Here in Arizona about every other house on the block has one, but not us; too expensive for maintenance. I think I may consider some therapy in a pool, however. Maybe even a hot tub. I know getting out of a nice hot shower makes me relax and seems to relax the muscles; that's another consideration.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Now I don't feel so badly about the tears I shed. LOL:wave:
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My father just had a knee replacement surgery and I will be taking him home tomorrow.
I dont know what to expect and I am quite nervous. I work and live in Tampa and he lives in Fort Myers (2 hours away). He didnt give me ANY notice that he was getting this done, so I have done NOTHING to prepare. I am planning on staying with him for 5 days and then going back to work for 2 days, then coming back.
Should I hire a nurse for those 2 days I am away? he is 58 and generally healthy. Is he going to need help going to the bathroom and showering?
Any info would help alot!
IWillSurvive....I have a primary Dr. and went to her a while ago for a follow-up and asked if she could give me something for pain and she refused saying she didn't want to step over the line with my surgeon. So yesterday (Friday) I called around to find another Ortho, found one in a town close to me...appointment is this Tuesday, so we shall see what he will do. And in the process, I am looking for another PC. Around here there's not a lot to choose from unless you want to drive. Apparently my surgeon doesn't bother with much after surgery considering pain, even in the hospital I told the nurses that the pain med wasn't cutting it, they told the surgeon and same thing. GRRRRR!!!!! lol Sometimes I feel like I'm just another way for them to make money.

I did speak up with PT. A couple times he let me off and let me decide how far to bend my knee without the agony, but that was it. I told him it was too much and how the heck was I supposed to heal doing that? He talked about scar tissue and breaking that up, which I understand, but man....the pain and swelling...I would just sit and cry after he left. He really was a nice guy but he was a "pusher".

That can idea is a good one and am going to try it today...I am looking for other ways to bend my knee. I do all of the exercises PT gave me and I do the one sitting in a chair and bending my knee under it as far back as it can go, hold, then push it back a little more. That does help to loosen up the knee but boy does it hurt afterwards lol but.....I will let ya all know how Tuesday goes and what happens, maybe I can get some relief. have a good one
[QUOTE=balln247;4081767]What i was told was 140 but you are crushing me, i am only at 112 flexion and 7 weeks out.[/QUOTE]


Really??? I swear, the only thing saving my lazy butt is prayer. :angel: The past several days - over a week, really, my knee has been so swollen and very uncomfortable. I went to church for the first time since I had my surgery on Aug 17th and it was not a pleasant experience. I should have taken some medication before going.

I have not been doing my home exercises in a very organized manner. Whenever I'm standing at the sink or looking out a window, in other words, standing in place, I keep bending that swollen knee. I have to really discipline myself to do the leg raises when sitting and watching TV or visiting with someone though. I guess all of those knee bends are paying off.

Best of luck to you.
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4081432]IWillSurvive....I have a primary Dr. and went to her a while ago for a follow-up and asked if she could give me something for pain and she refused saying she didn't want to step over the line with my surgeon. So yesterday (Friday) I called around to find another Ortho, found one in a town close to me...appointment is this Tuesday, so we shall see what he will do. And in the process, I am looking for another PC. Around here there's not a lot to choose from unless you want to drive. Apparently my surgeon doesn't bother with much after surgery considering pain, even in the hospital I told the nurses that the pain med wasn't cutting it, they told the surgeon and same thing. GRRRRR!!!!! lol Sometimes I feel like I'm just another way for them to make money.

I did speak up with PT. A couple times he let me off and let me decide how far to bend my knee without the agony, but that was it. I told him it was too much and how the heck was I supposed to heal doing that? He talked about scar tissue and breaking that up, which I understand, but man....the pain and swelling...I would just sit and cry after he left. He really was a nice guy but he was a "pusher".

That can idea is a good one and am going to try it today...I am looking for other ways to bend my knee. I do all of the exercises PT gave me and I do the one sitting in a chair and bending my knee under it as far back as it can go, hold, then push it back a little more. That does help to loosen up the knee but boy does it hurt afterwards lol but.....I will let ya all know how Tuesday goes and what happens, maybe I can get some relief. have a good one[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] A very ambitious PT wants to look good for the doctor - so the more your numbers improve (progress) the better they look. My surgeon was not pleased with the impromptu force-bend they sprung on me once the PT found out I was making a quick visit to the surgeon that afternoon. I was not told in advance so I could take some extra pain medication and obviously the intense pain left me very nauseated; almost threw up afterwards. This isn't something you spring on a 72 year old patient with high blood pressure. It's also very embarrassing to begin to cry in front of about 20 other people in the room who are getting their own PT treatment from other PTs.

If the surgeon tests your flexion and finds it in an acceptable area for the time since surgery and a PT over-rides that - it makes one wonder.


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anuenue,
I too had similaiar experience my fiest time back at church after surgery. I decided to take prescription pain pill. After doing that I can't really recall the sermon since I fell asleep. lol. Now I take ibuprofen and it helps. I still get stiff from sitting for over an hour in church, but I don't have the horrible pain as before surgery.
shatterdangel5,
My doctor told me the same thing..we have good doctors. My doctor told me this is brutal surgery on knee and with continous daily exercise along with eating more protein ( protein builds and repair tissues), I will regain good use of my leg. As a retire nurse, this made sense to me. Following his plan, I have been able to turn small corners each week of my recovery and not get discouraged along the way.
Awesome Gospelgal....it truly was easy to get discouraged when I was having aggressive therapy and a doc who really didn't care once surgery was done, but now I can look forward to progressing each day and not be in total agony...I mean there are days I am but it will get better. I'm glad to hear you're making good progress. It is a very tough surgery and I didn't realize that before the surgery because no one ever said what it was like. That sucks!!!

I, too, have a clunking noise in my knee and it also feels like it kinda slides when I walk, makes me nervous, but I guess everything is ok, the Othro didn't take x-rays to make sure nothing was wrong. I just need to quit being paranoid...LOL I will keep plugging away and when I need encouragement, I will come here....you all have been so great!!!!
Shatteredangel, I am so happy you went to a new Ortho, especially one who seems to care about your pain and suffering. I am glad you got some new pain meds, I hope they make you feel better. He also gave you the best advice to let your leg hear. Recovery is a trick of hard work mixed with common sense. If you keep doing damage while you do PT, you only go backwards not forwards. Remember you have a brand new joint so we know that works fine, you now have to work on repairing all the trauma to the muscles and ligaments and that is what I call slow and steady work. Better to only get a little progress every week and to keep moving towards recovery than to be too agressive and keep sliding backwards. A rehab specialist once told me that in there experience we all end up in the same place at about the 6 month mark. Those who go more agressive do it faster and with more pain, those who go less agressive get there slower but with less pain. BUT AT THE END WE ALL GET TO THE SAME PLACE. So be kind to yourself, listen to your body and trust me you will get there and it doesn't have to make you cry every day to do it. Will it still have to hurt, yes, only a lucky few can get through this surgery without it hurting, but the pain can be more tolerable than it has been for you. After the first week or two, there is no longer a need for excruciating pain. Keep on recovering and just compete with yourself for recovery, don't worry what other people have for range of motion and flexion, just focus on what you do to make your life better. It will be a total success. Today is a new day.
I graduated from PT today!!! I had my TKR on May 12th. I was barely able to walk prior to my surgery, and was in constant pain! I now have NO pain, and can walk anywhere I want to go! I was able to go 10 minutes on an eliptical machine yesterday with no pain or swelling afterwards! I can shop till I drop again! I didn't have full range of motion prior to my surgery, and I still don't, my best has been around 118 degrees, and I can get to -2 straight. This is about what I had prior to surgery, due to surgery 20+ years ago. I am a happy camper! I have not needed any pain meds since 2 -3 weeks post surgery, and I sleep like a baby! Don't plan to see my ortho till November, my 6 mos check up! I am planning to continue my home exercise program, and hope to be able to play tennis next summer! Good luck everyone, keep working hard!
Am wondering if the type of joint makes a difference to the amount of bend - I have a zirconium joint, that my specialist told me is more mobile. He also said it lasts longer than the titanium one, 15 years minimum rather than 10. Has anyone else got one of these - understand they cost more, around $NZ6000 for the joint. Because mine was as a result of an accident I have had it paid for by our government under a national scheme called Accident Compensation Corporation. In NZ we cannot sue anyone if there is an accident, but we pay through our tax system for medical costs as a result of an accident regardless of cause. This covers 80% of income covered while off work as a result of the injury as well. So, my surgery, time off work, and PT has all been covered.
[QUOTE=fantail;4086745]Am wondering if the type of joint makes a difference to the amount of bend - I have a zirconium joint, that my specialist told me is more mobile. He also said it lasts longer than the titanium one, 15 years minimum rather than 10. Has anyone else got one of these - understand they cost more, around $NZ6000 for the joint. Because mine was as a result of an accident I have had it paid for by our government under a national scheme called Accident Compensation Corporation. In NZ we cannot sue anyone if there is an accident, but we pay through our tax system for medical costs as a result of an accident regardless of cause. This covers 80% of income covered while off work as a result of the injury as well. So, my surgery, time off work, and PT has all been covered.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] At one point I had a complete folder on the type of prosthesis that the doctor was using but I couldn't find it this morning. I did pull out my surgical report and this is listed:

<and a rotating platform stabilized tibial insert to size 2.5, 12.5 mm thick. DePuy CMW three-bone cement.>>

There are some things on the Internet about it, but of course I don't understand any of it. I do think if more patients got a copy of their Operative Report and read words like "saw" and "drill" - you would have a very keen respect for the kind of assault you suffered to gain that mobility you were losing or had lost.

I am a little discouraged now because some old Sciatica is returning to haunt me and make PT much more difficult. Now my main problem is the pain that can occur from my knee to my waistline. I'm supposed to take it easy this weekend, but next week I resume PT.

Aug. 4th was my surgery so I'm almost 8 weeks post-op. I get around okay without a walker and a cane about drives me nuts. However, if I'm in a store I do prefer the 4-wheel walker with a built in seat so I can sit down a bit when my lower back starts to ache. I'm sure being 72 years old has a lot to do with my having these little side discomforts that someone younger doesn't have to worry about.

I do think this forum is wonderful. I couldn't figure out why my physical therapist was so intense about my only being at 95 and when I saw my surgeon he was very pleased with my progress and not at all concerned. Last week when at PI I learned that even though my flexion is only 95....(can go to 110 if forced).....that once you reach 95 doctors relax because usually the rest comes naturally as long as you keep the joint active from walking and exercises.

I do think you have a point about just what the particular joint inserted is capable of doing and I'm going to ask my surgeon when I see him on the 30th. Also forgot to mention that I got my hospital bill yesterday. After Medicare and my supplemental Sr. citizen insurance from my State (school district) retirement benefits (Pacificare) I owe the hospital $1,060.00. I had hoped it would be less.



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I think flexion is nothing but a number. What means more to me is what I can do with my new knee. I have big thighs so just the law of physics is going to make it impossible for me to have my calf bend back and tough my thigh. But I can walk up and down steps, get in and out of cars, cross my legs to give myself a pedicure, buckle my own shoes, cut my toenails etc. In other words I have enough flexion to do what I need to do. I acutally think extension is more important in order to not have a limp. My first TKR I focused on flexion and ended up not having good extension so ended up with a lot of scar tissue and a limp. My PT got super creative and had me lift my leg and rest my ankle on a high box. She then put those sand bag weights on my knee. We started with just a few pounds for a few minutes and eventually built up to 10 pounds for about 15 minutes and within a few weeks I had full extension and stretched the scar tissue without extreme pain or surgery. That is why I always encourage everyone to go at their own pace and move slowly but surely, as long as you make progress, no matter how small that is all that matters. It doesn't have to be at excrutiating pain levels, I have had PTs that killed me and PTs that were more gentle. End result was I got to the same place in about the same time. Agressive way started out faster but then had setbacks due to all the swelling and trauma, more passive way started out slower but always moved forward. Either way it will still be hard work and there will be some pain and having had three TKRs I can tell you it is much more fun to go through the recovery slow and steady.
[QUOTE=IWillSurvive;4087578]I think flexion is nothing but a number. What means more to me is what I can do with my new knee. [/QUOTE]

I agree - I am SO happy with what I can now do that I was unable to do before my surgery. Every day post surgery I set myself a small goal e.g. I live on a steep slope so I would walk one or two plants higher until several weeks later I got to the top - time for a celebration! I found doing this helped to keep my spirits up. I also did the 'little and often' exercise system where I would do as many reps as comfortable and then repeat regularly during the day rather than all in one hit. One thing that did help was to put my foot on a higher stair and then do gentle lunges stretching my knee. I found this really helped when I was very sore too I often found that when the pain was worst it helped to move rather than rest. Find the opposite now six months down track. I am on holidays (term break) and the swelling and pain I have suffered badly over the past couple of weeks has settled down and I am starting to enjoy my knee again. I was able to work comfortably in my garden yesterday and it's nice to see areas that are weed free again. The spring growth is wonderful and my roses are bursting into bloom, amazing how a garden can survive so well despite months of neglect! :)
[QUOTE=fantail;4089285]I agree - I am SO happy with what I can now do that I was unable to do before my surgery. Every day post surgery I set myself a small goal e.g. I live on a steep slope so I would walk one or two plants higher until several weeks later I got to the top - time for a celebration! I found doing this helped to keep my spirits up. I also did the 'little and often' exercise system where I would do as many reps as comfortable and then repeat regularly during the day rather than all in one hit. One thing that did help was to put my foot on a higher stair and then do gentle lunges stretching my knee. I found this really helped when I was very sore too I often found that when the pain was worst it helped to move rather than rest. Find the opposite now six months down track. I am on holidays (term break) and the swelling and pain I have suffered badly over the past couple of weeks has settled down and I am starting to enjoy my knee again. I was able to work comfortably in my garden yesterday and it's nice to see areas that are weed free again. The spring growth is wonderful and my roses are bursting into bloom, amazing how a garden can survive so well despite months of neglect! :)[/QUOTE]

Where are you from fantail? I have a garden also and it sure got weedy after my TKR in August. ...not much I can do about now though because it's fall here and then that dreaded word (snow) :eek: will be on it's way.

I'm having lots of stiffness and some pain today, I did exercise a bit by bending it what I could, still needs lots of work. I look forward to the day I can enjoy my knee again (next spring maybe? lol). I'm still going to call my Ortho and see if maybe a muscle relaxer would work.

Keil....I'm glad to see that things are going well for you and thanks for the encouragement. Any and all is appreciated. I'm grateful I can come to this board and vent if I have too and you all are so understanding, just makes my day to read your posts. Thanks for giving me the faith to keep moving forward. God Bless! :wave:
biblebarb, it is okay. It is just two months, pain at this stage of the game is very normal. Give yourself another month or two and over this time you will start to see some improvement in the pain and fatigue level every day. If you were forced to be inactive before the surgery due to your knee problems, you have to remember you just went through a HUGE trauma to your body. Childbirth was a piece of cake compared to this. I have met a few people with TKR without a lot of pain but most have incredible pain. The weaker you are at the beginning the worse the pain. I was strong for my third TRK so pain was so much better and easier after the first month. Everybody heals differently so just focus on yourself and try to achieve just a little progress every day, don't push yourself beyond excruciating pain. Recovery and exercises are going to hurt but the hurt should be tolerable not unbearable. Motion is your friend not your enemy, just getting up and walking, doing some simple flexion and extension will bring blood flow back into your knee which is important for healing. Learn to love ice, cut your TED stocking if you have swelling and wear it so it fits above and below the knee and acts as compression. When you do work around the house, wear the stocking. Pace yourself and be kind to yourself, we have all been through this and we have all managed to survive. We are all here for you, good luck in your recovery.
beerhunters, I am a 65 year old male just four weeks out from bilateral TKR. I was fortunate to find a surgeon who did the quadricep sparing procedure which drastically reduces pain and rehab time from surgery. I would encourage you to discuss this procedure with your surgeon and find another one if he can't do it. That way you can have both done at the same time, assuming there are not other factors which would preclude your having bilateral surgery, and be done with it. I am back at work, have no pain, and am walking anywhere I want to go. My only complaint is that my knees are stiff, but getting better each day, and they do stretch nicely at rehab. I have approximately a 130 degree bend in both knees. Feel free to post additional questions for me. In addition, my surgeon had me on a pretty strenuous exercise regiman before surgery to build my muscles in anticipation of muscle atrophy after surgery.
beerhunters, where are you having the surgery?
I went to the Hospital for Joint Disease while every person is different (I know you heard that before) the rehab is intense and yes at the beginning it's painful your recovery should be any where from 6 weeks (able to walk without a cane) to 1 year. This all depends on your body and the kind of operation you have.
As for me, I had TKR on the left leg on 6/12/09 and will return to work on 10/5/09 but I have some mild pain / discomfort when walking and trouble going down steps but the Doc said this will improve in time.
Ken
[QUOTE=charlieh;4090615]quadricep sparing procedure which drastically reduces pain and rehab time from surgery.
I am back at work, have no pain, and am walking anywhere I want to go.
My only complaint is that my knees are stiff, but getting better each day, and they do stretch nicely at rehab. I have approximately a 130 degree bend in both knees. [/QUOTE]

You are kidding right?!
I had bilateral TKR, am early 50's, great shape, and it took 12 full weeks to fully get around. and now. 9mos later alothough Im feeling normal --no pain..and feel like they are my knees and move with my body but still a bit stiff going downstairs or walking down slopes.
I have about 145 degree bend and -1 extension...and doing a gravity training system for full body exercise, but have trouble kneeling on the slide board and keeping my balance..also not comfortable to sit back on my heels..
I am doing great. my surgeon and PT say I am a shining example of how good the surgery can be..
Im sorry I just cant believe you had "no pain" by the end of 4 weeks.
[QUOTE=beerhunters;4090485]I am going to have left knee joint replaced in 2 weeks, then the right knee, the joints are wore out from sports officiating, the bone is deteriorating, have had 4 knee surguries

I am healthy and in good shape other than the knees, have 24/7 pain and live on hydrocondone for pain or have the joint replacement

how long will I have to wait to have the other knee done?[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] I am female, age 72 and had my right knee replaced Aug. 4th. My left knee must also be done. I am sure the decision is up to the surgeon, but my surgeon will not operate on the left until the right knee is able to flex and function comfortably and without pain. I put the surgery off for over 10 years and until finally I had no choice. I was knock-kneed all my life and when osteoarthritis wears away until you are bone-on-bone...my leg was actually mis-shapen (crooked).

The best thing to do is research on what surgeon in your area has done the most knee replacements (in a metropolitan area they usually have a reputation for being skilled in this area). I looked up his schooling, etc., and then point blank asked him how many he's done. I also asked him why he didn't use this new less invasive computer involved method I'd read about. I also read there was a special new prosthesis made especially for women - questions like that. I soon learned that every knee is different - just like our recoveries differ. I had to trust him in doing what is best for my particular needs. I did and do.

Of course I didn't go to all the classes that are offered in knee replacement at the hospital. Now I'm sorry I didn't. I might have had less anguish.

[/FONT]
gospelgirl: Thanks so much! :) Surgery is Tuesday, Oct 6. I am planning on going to a rehab for some days after leaving the hospital so we don't have to worry about pain meds and heart meds, etc. Reading all of these posts have been very helpful and encouraging. Will let you all know how it goes... All of your encouragement is very much appreciated. Looking forward to the time when I can share positive experiences to serve as support. :)
I'm 62, in pretty good health except for severe osteoarthritis. I had a full hip replacement this past February that went well, resulting in relief after a couple of years of chronic and debilitating pain. My knees both hurt intermittently and it can be kind of production to stand up from a sitting position, but it's nothing like the continual pain I was having with the hip--I can sleep nights with no trouble, and get around at work (community college teaching) although it's not always pleasant. Surgeon says one of my knees looks like it can be replaced any time I want to do it, although the other one can actually be the most painful at its worst.

My questions:

1) How much down time should I anticipate with the knee replacement? With the hip (on the same side, left) I was really down for about 3 weeks, then started driving and doing things, took another 2 weeks off work because I had the sick time, but really didn't have to. How much time will it be before I can dispense with someone around to help me (I live alone)? If I want to have surgery early in the summer when I'm not teaching, then take a trip to visit relatives later in the summer, how long will it be before I can reasonably expect to fly (given plenty of help and support on the other end)?

2) I'm apprehensive about pain meds. I apparently just can't take any opiates orally. After the hip I did OK with the pain pump, but when they discontinued it and started me on oral percocet I was sick as a dog. They gave me a medication to control vomiting, but then I just wished I could throw up and couldn't. Finally I stopped taking any pain medication after the third day because by that time pain was definitely the lesser of the evils. By that time I was so constipated that it took repeated enemas almost a week later to get me moving again, in spite of all kinds of remedies for *that.* I've had similar problems with other opiate family drugs in the past. I've heard that the knee replacement is more painful than the hip. Does anybody know what other pain control options I might push for?

--Annie
I sure would have liked to know about the quadricep sparing procedure? What is that? I had a quadricepsplasty 25 years ago, and a TKR (5/12/09) due to arthritis from the quadricepsplasty, and have had a rough time building the quad back up! I was in agony prior to my TKR, and although I tried doing some quad strengthening pre-surgery, it was just too painful! I have -2 extension, and 118 flexion after some warming up. This is what I had pre-surgery. I must say that I was surprised by the pain immediately after surgery, but was off pain meds in only a few weeks... I think I still have a couple of pain pills left in the bottle. I experience some stiffness after sitting or standing for long periods, but not the constant pain I had pre-surgery! It was totally worth it!
Hi everyone,

I just found this site while looking for recovery from TKR. It is so exciting to find so much helpful information. I had my left knee replaced, Wednesday, September 30. I am going to rehab today. Based on what my doctors, nurse and physical therapist are saying, I am somewhat of "miracle." I am morbidly obese as medically defined and have other health issues such as congestive heart failure, COPD, sleep apnea, high blood pressure etc.. I have been having knee problems for over 10 years. When I bought a new house I intentionally bought a ranch. If I had had more money, I would have tried to get a home with the laundry on the living level. I use the mobilized carts to shop. If the store does not offer that option I do not shop there. I have the handicap placard etc. I had previously been discouraged by a former physician from having the surgery due to my age (45 a the time) and weight (50 pounds less than now:().
After suffering way too long I sought out different doctors. I was blessed to have my new doctor agree with me that my lack of mobility was severely decreasing my quality of life and contributing to additional health issues. So now I am on the road to recovery and am so excited.
I will credit my recovery "miracle" to Internet surfing. I found a book...the exact title escapes me right now...Total Knee Replacement and Rehabilitation by two doctors. I did the suggested pre-surgery exercises that included straight leg lifts, quad flexes and ankle pumps. I truly believe without a doubt these exercises are making the difference in my recovery. Due to my lack of fitness the straight legs lifts were the hardest for me to do. I know when I get my right knee done next year I will be in better shape and be able to do them. The leg lifts are essential to getting in and out of the bed. The hospital also offered and I attended the pre-surgery classes that include the exercises to do before hand and what to expect.
I am glad I found this site and will be checking back to hear the joys and challenges of tkr. :angel:
good luck with your surgery. its not easy, but I have to say. its nearly a year...and im doing so much more than I could before.
I did do both at once and I have no idea if it was right or wrong way to approach it.
I think either way, its difficult and then ultimately an imporovement in lifestyle.
I have borrowed the book Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation. It is by Daniel J. Brugioni, M.D. and Jeff Falkel, Ph.D. ,P.T. It is out of print and I couldn't find it for a resonable price on ebay/amazon. It covers EVERYTHING! I have my knee surgery on Nov. 17th and have attended the hosiptals class. I've even gotten an almost new, $6.99, walker at the Goodwill. I'm ready and with this sounding board available I just know I'll get through it.
[QUOTE=ladyscout;4092398]I have borrowed the book Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation. It is by Daniel J. Brugioni, M.D. and Jeff Falkel, Ph.D. ,P.T. It is out of print and I couldn't find it for a resonable price on ebay/amazon. It covers EVERYTHING! I have my knee surgery on Nov. 17th and have attended the hosiptals class. I've even gotten an almost new, $6.99, walker at the Goodwill. I'm ready and with this sounding board available I just know I'll get through it.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Georgia"]Thanks for the suggestion on the book. I see it's for sale on Amazon (my oldest son is a programmer there so he gets it for me at a discount) and it looks very interesting.
[/FONT]
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4092460]I'm Happy to hear you are doing so well for being a few days post op. I cried like a baby for 3 weeks. I had my right knee done on July 30th. It has been a very long haul, but my Dr and Therapists claim I'm doing exceptionally well. I actually knelt on the floor to mess with the wires on mt stereo sysyem and was able to get up all by myself LOL. I had a rough time was constantly on narcotic pain meds which I recently stopped because my pain is eased with tylenol or advil. However I'm now going through narcotic withdrawals. I had been afraid to go off the pills, but I really don't have much pain anymore. I was depressed because I couldn't do anything, but now I'm doing more and more and I'm going to try to go to work as soon as I can, Part Time of course. I'm a nurse and I had been working in a nursing home, but that's not happening again LOL, Thats probably what ruined my knees in the first place. I'm going to try to get some private duty cases and see how that goes. I'm going nuts doing nothing. I' still in out patient Therapy though, so I have to work a schedule around that. Keep up the great work sounds like you are doing all the right things![/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time. [/FONT]

Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.
That book really helps me know what is happening. I was also able to talk with my doc. about the CPM (he is going to have me bring it home - my ins. covers this but my friend who had this surgery 9 mos. ago says to bring it, and the icing machine home even if it is out of pocket - worth it) and all the kinds of med., blocks, etc. It helped me feel like I an determine my life. My surgery is Nov. 17th. I'm getting all things done around the house (i.e. silver polished, pool filter cleaned, etc.). Heading out this Sat. on a 16 day cruise to Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, etc. before the surgery. A week ago I did the Lighthouse Century on my bike up by Morro Bay/Cambria. I can bike miles and miles but can barely walk. I'm scared but I've gotten as much knowledge as I can.
I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time.
Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.[/QUOTE]

I had some lower back pain and still do occasionally when I don't walk correctly. I had a nurse coming to my house weekly during the first few weeks I was home and she said the back pain was because I wasn't walking right. I have had severe pain in both knees for a long time and I realized that the nurse was right because I would baby whichever knee was bothering me most and I would get backaches. I have been walking incorrectly since surgery. I had no problems bending it or doing exercises, I just couldn't walk properly. I had forgotten how to walk LOL. Since I have started serious therapy I have learned to walk properly, but at times I revert to the way I used to walk and my back does bother me. Your therapist will help you with all of that and while in the beginning of therapy your pain may increase it doesn't last and then you'll notice an improvement. Everyone recovers at different rates, don't compare yourself with anyone else. I have a friend who is the same age as me who had her surgery in May and it took her til late August to be able to drive. She had a rough time of it. And of course I thought this would happen to me also and got very anxious. Work your therapy and do small things first around the house, do something so that you can see the improvement and you will feel better emotionally. I am currently on antidepressants because I fell into a depression because I couldn't do anything. So now I keep a list of everything I do in a day and while I'm not where I was, I am accomplishing something. Yesterday I walked 4 blocks, first time I did this and I had no pain. I did ice it when I got home to prevent any pain. I never got any pain so I'm going to try to do that everyday. It is so hard not to be able to do every day things, but you will do them eventually, your pain will diminish eventually. Give yourself some small goals each day and write them down. It is working for me, I pray it will work for you. Good Luck....................................Barb
BibleBarb,
Wow!! Thanks good..4 blocks! I like your idea of writing small goals to achieve..this really helped me. I am now 13 weeks out and am changing my mine on having this procedure done. I walk taller now and not bent over like before surgery. I am starting a daily walking program..next summer my family and I along with several families from church are driving to Yellowstone National park. This time I WIILL NOT be sitting on the sideline. I will be zippidy do dah down the trails!
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4093904]I'm having a few problems now at 9 weeks (Aug. 4th was my surgery) and my pain level has not subsided. I take 1/4th of a Hydrocdone 10-325 mg. at bed time because before I get up in the morning is my worse time.
Unfortunately I am now experience a lot of lower back discomfort and I seem to be awfully stiff; although I walk without a walker unless I go to a big store and then I take my wheeled walker with a seat in it so I can sit and rest when my back hurts.

I only measure 101 (and that's a squeeze) for the PT person. My visit to my surgeon last week was "I'll see you in a month...keep pushing it." I do get relief from Advil but I have stomach problems anyway (Reflux ...and take Nexium) so I can only take the Advil. It also can decrease the effectiveness of my high BP meds so I only take it when I have somewhere important to go.

I do feel I'm sinking a bit into depression again but I'll just have to deal with it. Have PT this morning and I have a feeling I'll get the full treatment today.[/QUOTE]

I had some lower back pain and still do occasionally when I don't walk correctly. I had a nurse coming to my house weekly during the first few weeks I was home and she said the back pain was because I wasn't walking right. I have had severe pain in both knees for a long time and I realized that the nurse was right because I would baby whichever knee was bothering me most and I would get backaches. I have been walking incorrectly since surgery. I had no problems bending it or doing exercises, I just couldn't walk properly. I had forgotten how to walk LOL. Since I have started serious therapy I have learned to walk properly, but at times I revert to the way I used to walk and my back does bother me. Your therapist will help you with all of that and while in the beginning of therapy your pain may increase it doesn't last and then you'll notice an improvement. Everyone recovers at different rates, don't compare yourself with anyone else. I have a friend who is the same age as me who had her surgery in May and it took her til late August to be able to drive. She had a rough time of it. And of course I thought this would happen to me also and got very anxious. Work your therapy and do small things first around the house, do something so that you can see the improvement and you will feel better emotionally. I am currently on antidepressants because I fell into a depression because I couldn't do anything. So now I keep a list of everything I do in a day and while I'm not where I was, I am accomplishing something. Yesterday I walked 4 blocks, first time I did this and I had no pain. I did ice it when I got home to prevent any pain. I never got any pain so I'm going to try to do that everyday. It is so hard not to be able to do every day things, but you will do them eventually, your pain will diminish eventually. Give yourself some small goals each day and write them down. It is working for me, I pray it will work for you. Good Luck....................................Barb[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] Thanks for the advice Biblebarb. I go to PT tomorrow. They are trying to work around my sciatic nerve thing, but that means they ease up on the other stuff. I will do as the surgeon says - heat and ice alternated on the lower back and hope for the best. I'm between a rock and a hard place because inactivity means more stiffness and pain...and lots of walking and exercising causes more pain in the back.
Think I'll head out now this evening for a little stroll - pain or no pain. LOL [/FONT]
[QUOTE=Kneejerk101;4094415]I had some lower back pain and still do occasionally when I don't walk correctly. I had a nurse coming to my house weekly during the first few weeks I was home and she said the back pain was because I wasn't walking right. I have had severe pain in both knees for a long time and I realized that the nurse was right because I would baby whichever knee was bothering me most and I would get backaches. I have been walking incorrectly since surgery. I had no problems bending it or doing exercises, I just couldn't walk properly. I had forgotten how to walk LOL. Since I have started serious therapy I have learned to walk properly, but at times I revert to the way I used to walk and my back does bother me. Your therapist will help you with all of that and while in the beginning of therapy your pain may increase it doesn't last and then you'll notice an improvement. Everyone recovers at different rates, don't compare yourself with anyone else. I have a friend who is the same age as me who had her surgery in May and it took her til late August to be able to drive. She had a rough time of it. And of course I thought this would happen to me also and got very anxious. Work your therapy and do small things first around the house, do something so that you can see the improvement and you will feel better emotionally. I am currently on antidepressants because I fell into a depression because I couldn't do anything. So now I keep a list of everything I do in a day and while I'm not where I was, I am accomplishing something. Yesterday I walked 4 blocks, first time I did this and I had no pain. I did ice it when I got home to prevent any pain. I never got any pain so I'm going to try to do that everyday. It is so hard not to be able to do every day things, but you will do them eventually, your pain will diminish eventually. Give yourself some small goals each day and write them down. It is working for me, I pray it will work for you. Good Luck....................................Barb[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] Thanks for the advice Biblebarb. I go to PT tomorrow. They are trying to work around my sciatic nerve thing, but that means they ease up on the other stuff. I will do as the surgeon says - heat and ice alternated on the lower back and hope for the best. I'm between a rock and a hard place because inactivity means more stiffness and pain...and lots of walking and exercising causes more pain in the back.
Think I'll head out now this evening for a little stroll - pain or no pain. LOL [/FONT][/QUOTE]

I had a lot of low back and hip pain and got a lot of relief with chiropractic and massage (also soaking in a hot bath tub). Having walked improperly for so many years, my body had adjusted to that and with the new knee and learning to walk normally, it took some time to get it all working well again. You are on the right track--it will improve--mine did. Hang in there.
Good Morning.....I have to say I'm glad I'm not the only one that is having pain and swelling (not meaning I'm glad you are) please don't take that wrong lol Sorry to hear about your back pain. That seems to happen when we over compensate with one body part when another acts up, at least I do anyway. Hopefully it won't last long for you and you can get around.

I know I can't get the swelling to go down in my knee and also it can be painful, especially when I walk for a while. I was taking my pain med's at night, but sometimes now I take them during the day. It still buckles at times and it feels like it slides when I walk (my Ortho thought I was nuts when I said that lol he's never heard of that before)...of course no one told me what it would feel like BEFORE the surgery. I ice it, bend it and try to keep it loose as much as I can, but for some reason, it seems to stay the same. Also aches clear up to my hip. My flexion is still around 90 degrees and extension stays the same. Saw my Ortho yesterday and told him all this and he told me to take it easy until I go back in 3 weeks, he didn't like the swelling part.....keep doing my simple exercises. Came home discouraged, but have been that way for a while now, it's coming on cold weather and won't be able to get out and walk like I have been. I hate winter lol

I send wishes to all of you that are having pain and hope the level stays low or not at all.
I hope your stroll was a good one! I was able to walk 4 blocks a few days ago with no pain at all, I was so happy. I think that it is the therapist helping me after many years walk properly. I'm not having much pain at all anymore and my flexion is 132 which is close to normal, however my therapist said it may not get to 140 the normal. I'm pretty much acheived most of my goals in therapy. So probably 3 more weeks or so. I'm walking straighter and not having much back pain at all. Everyone heals and recovers at different rates and have different symptoms. I'm just happy that I'm starting to fee productie again. I was a basket case my first month post surgery. I pray that you will feel better soon too.......Barb
ShatteredAngel, I know exactly how you feel. I had an issue with swelling the first month post surgery and the nurse that came to my home told me I had to keep it elevated above the level of my heart as much as possible. I knew this LOL, I'm a nurse, but I was so miserable and drugged I needed to be pushed to do things. But the elevation and ice took down the swelling and the level of pain. I would suggest you try it every time you sit or lie down for a rest. I know how discouraging this is, but know that it will get better. I am 2 months post surgery and my flexion is at 132 which is close to normal. I was encouraged by this and the other numbers the therapist gave me. It showed marked progress when I thought I wasn't doing well.Keep hanging in there and report anything unusual to your Dr. It is better to be safe than sorry. I call his nurse constantly LOL. Keep us posted on how you are doing. It does get better!........................Barb
Hi all,

I am 47 years old and had right Total Knee Replacement on August 31st. I have had numorous other surgeries on this knee, 4 others to be exact. The last one was done April 23, 2009. It was a scope where my doctor realized that I definetly needed TKR. I was in pain before the April surgery, but it was so much worse after the surgery that I knew that TKR was my only chance of someday being pain free. 10 years ago I had cartilage inplant surgery, which help get me 10 more years before needing the TKR. The other two surgeries were also scopes.
Before my surgery on August 31st my extension was +30 and my flexion was I think about 100 or so. I have been walking with a limp for years!
This week in PT my extension was +10 and flexion was 92 (with my PT pushing me SOOO hard I was crying in pain)
I know I am so far off from where I should be! I am getting more discouraged every day! I do my exercises faithfully. I have a recumbent bike at home which I am able to finnally go all the way around on. On the exercise bike at PT I go around (just barely) with the setting very high and I am in a lot of pain. The muscles in my leg are so tight and sore all the time!
My foot, my ankles and my toes bother me. They are numb at times, sore and stiff at other times. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I am constantly doing foot pumps to help with the discomfort.
I take Motrin for the pain every 6 hours. I try to avoid the pain killers but sometimes at night I do need them. I want to be able to say I am glad I had this done...but I can't do that yet. I actually regret it alot these days. I felt like I was doing well for the first few weeks but I have seemed to hit a brick wall and I can't get past it! Has anyone had similar exeriences?
This message board has been so helpful to keep me going over the last few weeks. I love hearing everyones "sucess" stories. I hope one day I too will be able to feel well enough to post one!
[QUOTE=BibleBarb;4095549]ShatteredAngel, I know exactly how you feel. I had an issue with swelling the first month post surgery and the nurse that came to my home told me I had to keep it elevated above the level of my heart as much as possible. I knew this LOL, I'm a nurse, but I was so miserable and drugged I needed to be pushed to do things. But the elevation and ice took down the swelling and the level of pain. I would suggest you try it every time you sit or lie down for a rest. I know how discouraging this is, but know that it will get better. I am 2 months post surgery and my flexion is at 132 which is close to normal. I was encouraged by this and the other numbers the therapist gave me. It showed marked progress when I thought I wasn't doing well.Keep hanging in there and report anything unusual to your Dr. It is better to be safe than sorry. I call his nurse constantly LOL. Keep us posted on how you are doing. It does get better!........................Barb[/QUOTE]

Thanks Barb for your encouragement....I am 2 months out from TKR and still not up from around 90 degrees flexion. *sighs* some day......my Ortho said my motion was good but to still "rest" the knee because of the swelling, but still do simple exercises.....I try to keep it elevated as much as possible, hasn't been above my heart. My recliner does go way back and the foot level goes up and with pillows under my knee, it's not much above my heart, but will put something else under my knee to elevate it even more.

I do have one question though: has anyone ever had the feeling that your knee moves around other than just back and forth like it should? [U]I don't know really how to explain this[/U]...it just feels like it slides side to side when I walk and my knee does buckle at times. I asked my new Ortho and he said he never heard of it sliding, maybe it's just me....I don't know. No one ever told me what the knee was supposed to feel like after it was done. I give!!!! lol:dizzy:

have a nice day all
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4096243]

I do have one question though: has anyone ever had the feeling that your knee moves around other than just back and forth like it should? [U]I don't know really how to explain this[/U]...it just feels like it slides side to side when I walk and my knee does buckle at times. I asked my new Ortho and he said he never heard of it sliding, maybe it's just me....I don't know. No one ever told me what the knee was supposed to feel like after it was done. I give!!!! lol:dizzy:

have a nice day all[/QUOTE]

I, too, had a "sliding" knee. The first time it happened I was slowly walking across the living room, and bingo, suddenly it felt like someone else's leg; I had no control of it. I lost my balance, and fell to the side, catching myself with my arms against a sofa. I told my PTs about the strange episodes of the knee buckle, but they acted like they had never heard of it. Then, at the next PO I mentioned the buckling knee to the surgeon, who explained that it happens, due to lack of muscle control of the joint. Due to my not being able to normally use the leg for several years, prior to TKR, I had lost quite a bit of muscle mass and strength. Of course this contributed to what I feel was a very slow rehabilitation, following surgery. The buckling occurred several times, during my recovery, but I am beyond it, now. Actually, can flex my quad at will, and see the muscles working. Whooopie! BTW... it would have been nice, if someone had warned me about the possibility of the buckling knee, but nobody did. If I were younger, I would seriously consider taking up PT as a second career. I found myself devising methods and strategies to work my knee/leg that worked much better than what the PTs had me do.
Hi Shatteredangel I too had trouble with my knee just not feeling right, but it has settled as time has gone by and the muscles strengthened. I am still (6months out) having a lot of trouble with swelling and I find that when there is fluid in the joint it audibly 'klunks'. I thought I was the only one to hear it and it was just how it felt but my physio can hear it too. I find I am still taking paracetamol and ibobrufen most days for pain, but it is nowhere near what I was suffering prior to surgery and I rarely limp now, only if very tired and swollen. I also have had a terrible time with my back and the only thing to have helped are the care of my osteopath and my weekly massages. I agree that we have walked incorrectly for years with our limps and struggles to get about and this has taken a toll on our bodies. My specialist reminded me recently that it takes up to two years to recover fully from a TKR and when I get too down I reflect on how far I have come and the things I can do now that I couldn't prior to the surgery. I also think how lucky we are that modern medicine can allow us to replace worn out body parts so we are not condemned to a life of disability and pain as our antecedents were. I feel for those of you heading into winter - we are currently going through a cold snap after weeks of lovely mild weather, and I have spent the past week at a conference in the south of New Zealand where it was snowing in the surrounding mountains. I really felt it in my knee. I am hoping that by the end of Summer I will be really fantastic! While at the conference I was able to wear heels for the first time in three years and get up on the dance floor and boogie. I can assure you all it felt GREAT!!!!
[QUOTE=junebea;4096789]Yes, I was in the same place as you 3 months out. Now at 5 1/2 months out I am finally getting to the place where I can say I am glad I did it even though my flex is still only about 97, I am in little to no pain and am still seeing improvement. Last week, I was finally able to walk down the stairs normally. Don't get discouraged! I was also only able to do the recumbant bike far back with difficulty and now I can do it a lot closer with ease. As long as you see improvement in the things you can do however small, you are doing well. One note, I never did agressive PT, the only therapy I have been doing since 6 weeks out has been a pool exercise class and leg machines, recumbant bike, elyptical and threadmill at the gym.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Georgia"] I'm at 9 weeks post op (female) for right knee and only at 105. A friend found me an incumbant bike at a rummage sale for $40. So now at least I'm equipped there.

My concern now is that my knee (in the area of the incision) is still very sore and generally hurts when I walk. It almost seems like there's more pain now than there was after surgery. My left knee isn't in that great of shape and is giving me pain also. I dread going to bed at night because after a couple of hours the pain begins and I can't find a comfortable position for the leg. That I don't understand because I'm definitely not putting weight on it as in walking. It's sort of like it was immediately after surgery. I feel that depression coming back again - like I'm losing ground.

After reading that "Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation" book I do see that my age, 72, is definitely a factor.[/FONT] I do need to take some responsibility for all of this; I'm 15 pounds overweight and I didn't exercise before surgery to strengthen all the supporting muscles. The book says that if the knee does get painful and swollen that this doesn't always mean you keep surging ahead with PT no matter how hard it hurts. It says to take a day off and do nothing but walk and see if that helps. Pain can also be a warning that you're over-doing it.

I see my surgeon on the 28th and I'm starting to write down all these questions as they arise.
Kneejerk101...I can totally relate to what you are feeling! I am 6 weeks PO today and only 47 years old, but I am experiencing the same problems! My scar is sore and runs very warm at times. And at night I also am unable to get comfortable. I admit it is better than when I first got home, however, I move from position to position just tring to find a place that my knee "likes"!

I also have a stange soreness/pain in my foot! My PT says it could be from swelling (although the foot doesn't look swollen) or that because it is an agressive surgery, the doctor might have pushed hard on my foot to bend the knee. I don't know what is causing it but it bothers me sometimes more than my knee!!

I see my doctor on the 27th and I too am recording everything! When I went in 10 days after surgery (the last time I saw my doctor) I didn't have anything written down and I forgot to ask about a lot of things. I won't make that mistake this time!
Dear Kneejerk:

I have had 2 hip replacements, not a total knee replacement like you, but I would just like to comment in general on your present low feelings. It seems to me, that rather than not trying hard enough, you are trying TOO HARD! Recovery from these joint replacements does not happen over night and it seems to me you are coming along nicely considering how recently you had your surgery.

Recovery takes time and we all are differnt in how much time.

I am sending you some careful hugs and hope that you will be feeling more cheery soon. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Shirley H.
[QUOTE=Silver Swan;4098403]Dear Kneejerk:

I have had 2 hip replacements, not a total knee replacement like you, but I would just like to comment in general on your present low feelings. It seems to me, that rather than not trying hard enough, you are trying TOO HARD! Recovery from these joint replacements does not happen over night and it seems to me you are coming along nicely considering how recently you had your surgery.

Recovery takes time and we all are differnt in how much time.

I am sending you some careful hugs and hope that you will be feeling more cheery soon. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Shirley H.[/QUOTE]
Thanks Shirley - I'm feeling somewhat better today. Got some sleep last night without my usual 1/4 of a Hydrochodone pill. I'll do my usual regimen of exercises today and just move on. Although the inferno of summer on the Arizona desert is giving us cool mornings and late evenings, we are now told more 100 degree heat is returning on the weekend. I know that relentless heat also plays a huge factor in the depression. Usually by October we are able to snuggle down - but not this year. My bedroom faces the South and gets all that afternoon sun - by evening when it cools, if there isn't a breeze, it doesn't cool off until morning. Yes - we have air conditioning but my husband and I do battle every year at this time - he wants it off 24/7 this time of year and I want it on just long enough to get the hot air out of my. Maybe I should call Dr. Phil. LOL
kneejerk 101,
Its ok to blow steam on this forum..we all have felt that at times. You are doing your best to survive the recovery. This is brutal surgery. I just saw my doctor on Monday and he told me at 3 months I am over the hump. It does get better, little by little. All of us have gotten frustrated. Just hang in there. All of us are here for you. When you need to vent, then vent.
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
[QUOTE=Kytigger;4099481]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[/QUOTE]

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! :eek:

Shirley H.
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
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
[QUOTE=aware1948;4101406]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....?[/QUOTE]

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. :eek:

Shirley H.
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 [B]QUITE FREAKED[B][/B][/B] 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.
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4099746]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[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Cindy, I like what you have said. Having this surgery has or will be WAY, WAY, WAY out of our "Comfort Zone".

You seem to have a VERY positive outlook on things. If you could go back, would you have the surgery again?

Is your life better after having the surgery? Even after going through it all?[/B][/COLOR]
After TKR, when I am back home after rehab, what will my life be like?

Will I spend the majority of the time in bed or will I be up and doing "normal" things, like making meals for my family, washing dishes, going to the grocery store and other stores, etc.....???

I have read here and other places, that sleeping in bed can be difficult. Why? Why are many people happier in a recliner? Should I rent one of those electric recliners that give you a "boost" up?

I know I will be going to PT for quite a few weeks after I get home. I have been through PT a few years ago. After I had major shoulder surgery. So, I know the drill. I actually enjoyed PT, it was a challenge to see how much more motion I could gain each week. :)

I know I won't be able to drive for awhile. My Husband is retired, so he will be my "Chauffer"......:D
Aware1948,
I would wait until after the holidays for tkr surgery. Enjoy your guests. Now during recovery, have friends come in to see you but no overnight guests..unless they have come to help. Early in my recovery I had people over for dinner, but my friends and family fixed dinner and cleaned up afterwards. Cindy
Suesan jean
Hey girlfriend, stop and take a deep breath and RELAX! You must have surgery on your knee or face further damage to the knee. Its ok to be scared before surgery. I am a retired nurse and have had several major surgeries in my lifetime and was scared... that's normal. My 28 year old daughter was allowed to stay with me the entire time I was in the hospital. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful daughter! She works with computers and told me, " Mom, you must look at this surgery as an upgrade. Now you will be mom 2.0!" lol My husband took 2 weeks off from work when I came home to take care of me at home. He is an engineer and a man, but we managed to work well together. My home team consisted of my husband, daughter, son, and daughter in law and all of them encouraged me and pushed me at the same time. Even today, 15 weeks out, they still push me..I need this. I am now glad I had the surgery. I walk taller and even though after sitting for over an hour I get stiff, I don't have that awful pain as before. Each week I am turning new corners in my recovery. I too have quite abit of weight to lose..joined weight watchers last week, but once I start losing the weight, my walking will be so much easier. As for your annual Thanksgiving dinner, unless the the guests can COMPLETELY take over with the cooking and cleaning up, don't give it up. Enjoy your guests and meal but realize you won't be able to cook or cleanup. I will keep you in my prayers this coming week. Have your husband keep all of us informed on your surgery and when you can get back to the computer, update us as well. Cindy
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4101816]Suesan jean
Hey girlfriend, stop and take a deep breath and RELAX! You must have surgery on your knee or face further damage to the knee. Its ok to be scared before surgery. I am a retired nurse and have had several major surgeries in my lifetime and was scared... that's normal. My 28 year old daughter was allowed to stay with me the entire time I was in the hospital. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful daughter! She works with computers and told me, " Mom, you must look at this surgery as an upgrade. Now you will be mom 2.0!" lol My husband took 2 weeks off from work when I came home to take care of me at home. He is an engineer and a man, but we managed to work well together. My home team consisted of my husband, daughter, son, and daughter in law and all of them encouraged me and pushed me at the same time. Even today, 15 weeks out, they still push me..I need this. I am now glad I had the surgery. I walk taller and even though after sitting for over an hour I get stiff, I don't have that awful pain as before. Each week I am turning new corners in my recovery. I too have quite abit of weight to lose..joined weight watchers last week, but once I start losing the weight, my walking will be so much easier. As for your annual Thanksgiving dinner, unless the the guests can COMPLETELY take over with the cooking and cleaning up, don't give it up. Enjoy your guests and meal but realize you won't be able to cook or cleanup. I will keep you in my prayers this coming week. Have your husband keep all of us informed on your surgery and when you can get back to the computer, update us as well. Cindy[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Cindy, Thank YOU for your post........:)

I am SO GLAD that you are recovering well and feeling pretty good. I think having a GOOD support system helps. :)

I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed again and weepy. I have read so many posts on this web site and even though each person has their own unique TKR experience, from really good to not good, the one main theme seems to be pain, more pain than expected, and a MUCH longer recovery time and some kind of a "side effect", either minor or major.

That [B]REALLY DOES [B]concern me. I KNOW what I have now, knee pain when I walk. I DON'T have numbness, drop foot, stinging pain, etc....

[/B][/B][/B][/COLOR] This whole unknown thing is TERRIFYING.....!!!:(

I don't know if I am really up to this surgery, the HUGE impact it will have on my life. I don't know which is better, living with my knee or taking a risk with knee surgery. Waiting many, many, many, many months for things to get better......:confused: :confused: :confused:

I have until Tuesday afternoon to decide. Because I have to call after 2:00pm to find out my surgery time. I can tell the Nurse then if it is a "go" or a "no go".
I just found this site, and am not yet sure how to get around, or even if I'm posting in the right spot.

It will take some time to re-read all the posts and get some idea of where I stand in this recovery period from KRS. Is that the correct term?

From the little browsing I've been doing, I think I'm simply not patient enough. My surgery was 3 weeks ago and I kind of had the idea that in 6 weeks I would almost be back to normal. I've had my 4th session of 12, of physical therapy (elder abuse) and it seems as tho I'm not making progress. But I really can't compare from day to day. I've GOT to compare from week to week. The exercises at PT are difficult, but I can do them. It is that knee bend angle that is pure torture. Yesterday he said he pushed it to 100 and I almost whacked him afterwards!

I was a pediatric before I was a SHM to raise my kids. I'm 78 now. I realize I can't compare myself to younger people who have had this surgery, but I bow to those who have had both knees done at one time.

Time to do some walking around the house. I have come off the walker and am using my rolling cane, so movement is less awkward. Then it is back to home exercises, and some ice packs. This business of being stuck at home without getting out is not all rest and roses!
Exit 148, you are a [B]VERY BRAVE WOMAN.....!!![B][B][/B][/B][/B]

At 78 years old having this surgery......!!! [B]WOW....!!![/B][B][/B]

I [B]TRULY HOPE [B][/B][/B] that eventually, you WILL be happy with having knee surgery and you will be able to move around without a cane.

GOOD LUCK.....!!!
I have another question about TKR.

For the rest of my life, with this new knee, do I have to keep it in motion?

Will I ever be able to forget I have a TKR and just live life the way I used to before surgery?

Or is this a lifetime commitment to motion/walking?

Not that walking is a bad thing, it WILL help me loose weight, but, will there EVER be a day that I don't have to worry about the knee stiffening up?
[QUOTE=Exit 148;4101882]My surgery was 3 weeks ago and I kind of had the idea that in 6 weeks I would almost be back to normal. I've had my 4th session of 12, of physical therapy (elder abuse)...[/QUOTE]

"Elder abuse..." OMG, that is hysterical! I'm only 47 and three-months post-op, but I refer to my physical therapist as the Physical Terrorist! Ha! It hurts, but it is so worth it. I still have inflammation and pain often, but I am so much better off than before I had the surgery. It does get frustrating, though. I want to be all better NOW.

Susanjean, yes, you will have to worry about motion for the rest of your life. You would have to worry about that whether you had the surgery or not, whether you had arthritis or not. You know what they say...if you don't use it, you lose it. There are lots of fun ways to keep your knee in motion...dancing, hiking, etc. I imagine that doing that with a pain-free knee is a heck of a lot more enjoyable than doing it with an arthritic knee. I'll let you know for sure when I'm a little further along post-op!
Suesan Jean,
Yes, I would have the surgery again. Before surgery, I could see myself getting more handicapped with my bad knee. I choose to stay active and that means to walk. Trust me..it DOES get better as time goes by. You will come home with a walker..use it. You may come home with a CPM ( continous passive motion) machine. This machine you will use in the hospital and at home for about 3 weeks. It will raise and bend the knee but it is no substitute for exercising the knee on your own. Some doctors use this machine, some don't. Everyone progresses at their own speed..you will set your's. You will do fine...just take one day at a time. One thing that really helped me with my medication was getting a clip board and everytime I took my regular meds or pain pills, I wrote down the time and medication. This way you will know when you took your last pain pill. I also marked on a calender how many times per day I exercised and little achievements I made that day. I stopped doing this when I got off the pain meds. Looking back over my notes I was very much surprised how far I have come since surgery. Cindy
Oh no! a month is nothing as far as recovery goes.
Unless they are all comming to take care of you...I did enjoy my daughter, her boyfriend, my son and my boyfriend being at my house so I wasn't alone. It was great to hear them watch tv, laugh, play games...
But be clear I needed alot of alone time and they literally took care of me, my house, my dog. At one month I was exhausted after going to PT , still in a great deal of pain, sleeping at random times of the day and up in middle of night...
so unless these are your 'comfort' people...
I say pass...
but do get the surgery when its a convenient recovery time ...and possilby based on your insurance your family will be there next year and you will feel like a new person by then!
Thank You for ALL your posts. I spent almost the entire day yesterday consumed with fear, worry and doubt. Crying a lot too.

I don't even know what to think. I am starting to find reasons why I should not have this surgery. I am NOT in pain 24/7. It only hurts when I walk, (and on just one knee) so, maybe I should wait till the pain is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD. Maybe I should wait till I loose weight, maybe, maybe, maybe.......

I am OVERWHELMED with the knowledge that recovery will probably take many, many, many pain filled months. And I STILL may be in some kind of pain, discomfort, for the rest of my life after all that I go through.

It just seems like such a brutal fix for knee pain.

I am sorry if I sound like I am a baby, I really am not. I have had two surgeries, I have lived with my knee pain for years. It is just that this surgery is HUGE.....!!! It is truly SERIOUS SURGERY on a MASSIVE scale.....!!!

This is WAY, WAY, WAY more intense than most surgeries. MUCH MORE INTENSE that I EVER could have imagined.....

The more I research about TKR, the more frightening it is. The more complications I read about the more stories of pain, the more stories of not such a good ending as hoped for.

Yet, the longer I wait, the more damage to my bones, the worse off I will be.

But, just not having to deal with the surgery and its aftermath, makes zipping around town in a motorized wheel chair seem like a better choice. Why not skip the whole horror of it....????

If this was emergency surgery like my cesearan and shoulder rotator cup surgery, where there was no time to think about it, dwell on it, research it on the internet, it would be done with and I would have had to deal with the recovery, like I did with my previous surgeries.

But, this IS elective surgery, I am electing to put myself through this medical torture. And it just is making me sick at thinking about EVERYTHING that I will go through.

Maybe sometimes too much information IS a bad thing..... I don't know.

I will keep you posted on what I decide to do.

I hope that all of you continue to improve and be pain free forever.
Susean Jean......it's understandable to have fears about surgery and it is easy to talk yourself right out of it. I had a right TKR in August of this year and I SWORE I would not go through it again but now I am thinking about doing my other knee after the first of the year (2010). I too did a LOT of research about TKR's and even watched a live surgery online just to see what I let myself in for. That about talked me out of it....but I knew if I didn't get it done now, it would only get worse (I'm 52). I had bad arthritis and bone spurs and my knee would buckle a lot. I knew I was in for more pain after surgery, but I did it anyway. Didn't think I'd ever say it, but I'm glad I did. I'm almost 3 months out and I have put away my cane (just use it for outside walking). I still have some pain and stiffness and walk with a limp, but I know I am progressing every day.

Do have the surgery dear and don't be afraid, you can only better yourself and quality of life. It will take time to heal but hang in there and stick with this boards and we together will get ya through this. Keep us posted and God Bless.
I have been on many boards and I must say this board is giving me more hope that many of the others. I will be having bilateral tkr in December. I am very nervous. I know that I need to do something. I am using a walker almost constantly because of knee pain and instability. I have used a cane for the past two years, but seemed to be losing my balance so moved onto the walker. I use a wheelchair or scooter for grocery stores etc. The knees do not hurt when I am sitting etc. but that could be the pain meds I am on. I know I should be doing exercises prior to the surgery but no one has told me what exercises. I am doing the exercises the pt gave me to strengthen the hip and knee this past summer. Does anyone know of excercises I should be doing? I have r lost over 100 pounds in preparation for the surgery. I want to be as prepared as possible.
I guess we each have to find our own moment of decision. My surgeon had said that when you come crawling and begging to him, then you will know its time. I never got to that point, but when my knee started to buckle at times, when the pain started in while sleeping and when I could no longer walk more than 30-50 steps on my own without my rolling walker, I knew that it would not get any better, and the future would be all downhill. My time had come. I've seen others that had allowed their knees to become knock-kneed. I didn't want that to happen as I would think the recovery would be longer. It all comes down to 'quality of life'. When I can't do the simple things I use to do, then my life's quality had gone down and it would only get worse. Decision time had come.

This recovery is not what I thought it would be, but I want everything to be done yesterday, so I'm my own worst enemy. BUT --I have chucked the walker, and it is just 3+ weeks. I use my rolling cane to get around the house, but at times I don't even use that when there is a table or counter close by just in case. The leg hurts, of course, but it is not just centered in that once deteriotating bony area. Since it was major surgery, the whole leg is involved, but I even see little bits of differences, when I compare the leg to a week ago. Patience! {{{{{Sigh}}}}} But I can sleep at night. I'll just be happy when I can roll over and sleep on my side.

I was supposed to give a cooking class, here in my home in another 3 weeks. I just might be able to do it, but I'm having second thoughts. Rather than letting myself dwell on it and getting myself in a huff, I am just about ready to postpone it until Spring. It was one of my post-op goals, but I'm starting to be realistic.

Meanwhile -- it is the exercises that I must keep pushing. Not just at the therapy center, but the ones I'm supposed to do at home. I'd love to just take a day off, but where does that get me. Besides --- what greater feeling than when the exercises are done!! Total collapse and self-indulgence!

Oh -- something funny. I was telling the plumber about the physical therapy. He said -- "Is that the sort of place where they slap you across the face when you walk in?" LOLOL! I told my therapist that and he laughed and added it to his collection!
[QUOTE=Suesan Jean;4102285]
I am OVERWHELMED with the knowledge that recovery will probably take many, many, many pain filled months. And I STILL may be in some kind of pain, discomfort, for the rest of my life after all that I go through.
[/QUOTE]

Recovery is different for every person. It all depends on how well you handle pain, how your body heals, how much scar tissue your body creates, how much YOU WANT TO HEAL, etc.

I am just 3 months post right TKR. I didn't like the way the narcotic drugs made me feel and so I threw them out a couple days before 2 weeks post-op and switched to 2 celebrex per day. I was released to drive at 2 weeks and did. I went back to an office job at 3 weeks and was travelling through airports and on planes a little past 4 weeks. Since my left knee is only a year or so behind the right knee, I still need pain meds for that but after a month on the celebrex, I have switched to Naproxen Sodium (a very cheap generic) and have ZERO pain in my right knee and very tolerable pain in my left.

My right knee (TKR) is still a little stiff if I sit for hours but it is actually less stiff then the left knee so for all practical purposes less than three months post-op, the stainless steel knee is well ahead of where that knee was before surgery.

Your surgeon's technique is also a key to your recovery. If he/she uses the newest muscle sparing techniques of the minimally invasive surgery (even if the scar is large) you will recover faster. If your surgeon doesn't do 100+ TKRs per year and doesn't use the muscle sparing techniques, find one that does. It is in your best interest.
Suesan Jean, you are my surgery twin! My surgery is also Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. It's my 65th birthday present to myself (Thanks, Medicare!). I'm scared, too, but I'm more scared about not being able to get around for the next 25 years (yes, I plan to live until I am 90). I must say reading this board (I love reading it, just found it today) has scared me, but better prepared for reality than not. As soon as I recover from my left TKR I plan to have the right one done. Hopefully in the spring if all goes well.
Can anyone tell me when I will feel like getting back on the computer after the surgery? I'm quite the computer user and am on it several times a day reading news blogs and e-mail and surfing around.
I'm 72 and my surgery was Aug. 4th. I got home on the 8th and since I don't have a laptop, I found that I was able to sit at my desk with reasonable comfort almost right away. I edit and design the website for classic actress, Maureen O'Hara, computer time is my biggest concern.

The knee you can't bend you just kind of adjust it. I'm at 10 weeks post op now and had and still have trouble with bouts of depression. Likewise I still get a lot of pain around the knee incision, especially at night after going to bed.
When you are used to being active and running the show, - not being at your most agile can be a bit much emotionally.

This forum has been such a great help to me because I tend to become discouraged easily. I can walk without a walker or cane, but my lower back tires easily and I have some sciatica flaring up. I'm still at only 105 flexion of the knee and have about 3 more PTs and then I'm on my own. I did find an exercise bike at a rummage sale (a friend found it for me actually) and I give myself 3 ten minute sessions each day to keep the scar tissue from forming (I hope) - along with my other exercises. I am a classic Gemini (June 15th and my middle name is June) - I tire of things quickly and have the attention span of a flea. With physical therapy this is not a good trait. I need to focus and work harder, I know that.

Take advantage of the office visits you have with your surgeon before the surgery. Write down every question that comes up and if you've got a good doctor he/she will help considerably.

Like everyone tells me - we all have different knees and different problems/conditions so one person might progress faster than another. I had a spinal block and highly recommend it.
Suesan Jean
The choice to have or not to have surgery is your's. No condemnation here if you choose not to have surgery. Five years ago I had a hysterectomy and 3 weeks later developed deadly bloodclots...unbeknown at that time, I have a blood clotting problem called Factor V. I woke one morning unable to breath and was terrified! The blood clot which formed in my left calf, had broken off and a big clot was at the apex where the pulmonary vein divides to go into each lung. If I had given into my fear, I would be in Heaven today..which is a great place, but the Lord wasn't ready for me yet. I am 15 weeks post op and I seldom take anything for pain now..only when I really over work my leg. If the Lord be willing, I plan to go with my family and friends to Yellowstone National Park next summer. I refuse to be the invisible tourist..that is a person who sits on benches or sits in the car because I am not able to walk. The pain in the first month or two is NOT PERMANENT. Yes, you will work in recovery but losing weight you still have to work at that as well. I guess what I am trying to say is, don't give into fears..that can emotionally as well as physically cripple your life. Pray about this and leave it in God's hands..that's where you will find peae. Love you, Cindy
You will be back on your computer the day you get home from the hospital. Just elevate your leg if you're using a desk top and get up and move around every 45 minutes to an hour while using the computer. You'll be just fine.

Good luck with your surgery and Godspeed.
Gospelgal - I began my association and friendship with Maureen 15 years ago. For awhile she resided in North Scottsdale so I got to see her more often. She now lives in Ireland.

Maureen herself suffers from Diabetes and has had cancer three times. When I told her I was so scared about this operation. She has this "no nonsense" very brave attitude and she quips..."Be brave - get it done." Her older sister (90), Sister Margaret Mary, a Sister of Charity nun, had the surgery 5 years ago at age 85 and so I talked to her also.

Susan Jean - I put the surgery off for 10 years and I know, had I had it done when I was younger and in better health, my recovery would be different. Realistically I know that osteoarthritis does not get better...it gets worse. Back in early July I had to be in LA for an interview for a documentary on the film "The Quiet Man" and my surgeon had to give me cortisone shots in the knee so I could make the trip (we drove - it's only 5 hour drive from Phoenix). I would hate to have to do that every time I want to leave town.

Well it's PT this morning, we shall see if I'm as upbeat when I come home. LOL
Susan Jean you are not a baby. What you are facing is scary and we all know that. We all also know that there is good news on the other side. How long it takes to get there and how hard the journey is different for each of us and even for the same of us on different knees. The only assurance is that GOOD NEWS is on the other side. I have had a total of 9 orthopedic surgeries (1 back, 1 shoulder and 7 knees with 3 of the 7 knees being TKR) and I still hate the thought of surgery and am frightened by it each time. That is normal don't be ashamed about it. I have had the surgeries with general anesthesia and with the spinal. I personally like the general better as for some reason it frightens me less but I found that I actually recover much better with the spinal so I just had to suck up my fears (and I am talking about crying like a baby just before the procedure began) and take deep gulping breaths and let my doctors do what was best for me. To my shock and surprise once I did that (sort of like surrender to their knowledge and competence) it became easier for me. Now don't get me wrong before each surgery I still drive them nuts with all my admonitions about my physical reactions to anesthesia (horrible vomiting, nausea and spinal migraines) and for the last two procedures it was a piece of cake (I can't believe I just said that, lol, but it was). Now I realize my anxiety going into the procedures must also impact my outcome after the procedures.

We can all promise you that the pain of a TKR is intense but it is possible. Pain meds are a wonderful thing, lol. My surgeon doesn't believe in pain pumps or morphine but he will give me percoset and oxycontin and that does the trick. I have learned with each narcotic pain medication to load up on stool softeners and to drink lots of fluids from day one and so far I have never had a problem with constipation and by weaning off the narcotics I have never had a problem with withdrawal and thankfully have never become addicted. For about two weeks prior to my TKR, I try to go cold turkey from pain meds (start weaning down about two weeks before that) and I find that my body responds better to pain meds because of the break.

As for getting around, my first TKR I was a hot mess because I was so afraid to move my leg because it hurt so bad. With my second I learned that by moving there was relief on the other side of the pain and with my third I was just hopping out of bed within hours of the procedure and walking unaided in about 5 days. That is not to say I didn't have a lot of pain for each one, just that I was able to better understand what to do to get past the pain. If you have kids, the best example I can give you is it was like childbirth and nursing, hard as heck the first time around but the second one not nearly as frightening. Our minds are our biggest obstacle to recovery both in being afraid and also in being unrealistic about our expectations. I am now 57 and if I could change anything it would be that I would have demanded I had the TKR sooner and I would have all those years I lost not being active and able to participate in life the way I wanted to. I am now 10 months out from my last TKR and just came back from a wedding where I danced my butt off for the first time in about 10 years. It felt so good, by the end of the reception my knees, ankles, back and feet were killing me, I could hardly walk but man did I feel so good to have been a participant in life. I popped a few darvocet and by the morning I was fine again althougth a little stiff from all the bogeying I did like a fool.

As for quadracep sparing, my surgeon does 5 to 7 TKR/week and as he tells me, I will cut whatever incision and muscles I need to in order to do the job right and how much I cut depends on what I see when I start cutting and what I encounter once I am in the knee, no more and no less. The big difference I do know is that having the TKR in a Joint Center facility (dedicated unit of a hospital that handles joint replacement only) is the way to go. The staff are specially trained and the support is so much better and therefore the recovery is much easier and less frightening. In a joint center, you are not sick so you wear your own clothes, have a bigger room to get around in, a huge recliner to make it comfortable to be out of bed and you interact with patients who just went through what you did on the same day so you can bolster each other up and even compete for who can walk further and get more flexion. My hospital sponsered races around the unit and it was infectious, every time you passed the progress board, you would look to see where you were in the race and work to be the first place winner, lol. Pain management was the number 1 goal of the staff and they realized if they could keep the swelling and pain to a minimum the patients spirits and recovery would be so much better and easier.

Good luck with your surgery and we are all here rooting for you and keeping you in our prayers and we all know that you will look back on this afterwards and be glad you did the surgery. Be patient and kind to yourself, you are right, a TKR is a very big deal and the healing is tough and might be the toughest hurdle you ever had to deal with but you will come out on the other side much better and a total winner. I can't wait to see you back on the boards with your message to others about to face a TKR that you are glad you did it.
When I think of the pain before surgery I think of it as a deteriorating pain which would only get worse as time went on. This post-op pain may hurt, but it is a healing pain and as time goes on, it will lessen.

I didn't like the morphine, but stupidly I tried to grin and bear it without using it. When I went to Percoset, I took it, but the buzz it gave me was unpleasant. I'm now on Tylenol with Codeine (Tylenol 3) and I only take it 2x a day -- or just before therapy/exercises. So I guess I should think twice about driving right now.

When I was facing surgery and a weeks in-hospital physical therapy, I was in a panic knowing I'd be away from my computer news sources. I'm a news junkie and involved in a couple of political groups. TV doesn't do it. Radio is OK, but I want my computer access. So I was delighted when I found that my Blackberry was allowed in the hospital and at therapy. Still, it was nice to be able to get back to my PC. I found, tho, that sitting for more than a few minutes was uncomfortable, as there was a knot of pain just under my lower thigh. This was very apparent at first, and it has lessened these two weeks that I've been home. But I make it a point to get up and walk a bit after an hour of sitting.

Maureen O'Hara! What wonderful memories of that lovely lady. Please send my thanks to her for being the gracious person she is.
Suesan Jean....maybe I should wait till the pain is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD. Maybe I should wait till I loose weight, maybe, maybe, maybe.......
We have all said these surgery is not a piece of cake or for sissess, but you do get BETTER. You will feel better daily in little steps unlike not having the surgery when every day you hurt and no real relief in sight until you commit to the surgery. Everyones progress and pain is different, and none of us that have been there will sugar coat it. My pain was tolerable with occasional percocet, my biggest downer was that I was not progressing quick enough. I had surgery on May 4,2009 and I "knew" I would be up and about with ease in 8 weeks........well it did not happen. It was actually not untill 4 1/2 months later that I have forgotten that my knee was not tight and swollen. I feel that I now have my life back. I can stand in the kitchen and cook for hours(my passion) with out having to sit and rest a bit, I can take my dog for walk and not limiting my walk for fear that I can not make the walk back. I have returned to work.... (thankfully I could afford to be off for 4 1/2 months) I am a nurse so I have lots of walking (not to mention that I worked in the operating room and watched MANY TKR), I can get out of a chair with out having to ask for a hand. I actually lost weight while I was recovering....... I learned that the food CANNOT walk to you, so I did not do much snacking......it hurt to walk to get it. LOL Seriously there are some horror stories but that is not the norm.....there is much more positive out there than negative. Yes the surgery is elective and having a positive attitude is most important.......but it is the big step in necessary in alleviating constant unforgiving knee pain.
LOL! Sounds like all of us!

"Maybe I should wait until it is REALLY intolerable pain! Maybe I should lose a bit (or a lot) of weight first!" "Maybe I should -------"

We all find reasons to put off the inevitable, but lets face it. We know it has to be done, it is just a matter of taking over our inner doubts and facing reality.

No one has the same story, but all the stories follow the same track. I'm still new to recovery -- 3 weeks -- but I can do simple cooking, can manage the stairs to the basement for laundry, can make the bed, and other simple tasks. I do sit alot with my leg raised and with ice on it. There is pain, but not something that is intolerable.

It is the little things, tho, that make me happy. Being able to lift my heel off the floor to get my sock on, or use my operative leg's toes to nudge my sneaker off the good leg/foot. The leg is still swollen and stiff and as someone said --- like a board --- but this was major surgery, after all. I always feel that because it is mechanical surgery, and not organic surgery, I am lucky. Bones and muscles heal in time. No organic complexities to be concerned with.

When I'm resting, which I do alot, I have to make myself get up to walk around and to get some of the exercises done. Being essentially a lazy person, that is the hardest --- but the feeling when it is done, is worth the effort.

Right now, my husband is in So. Jersey for a few days with work-related stuff, so I am alone. But I don't feel any panic. I can do for myself --- and my wireless phone and cell are glued to me!! LOL! I do feel confidant that I can do for myself, tho, and that is progress from just a week ago.

So -- If I hadn't made the decision to finally get this operation out of the way, I would still have to face all this. I made the right decision.
Suesan,

I am many pounds overweight too, due to the fact that I was unable to exercise because my knee hurt! Mine bothered me for years, I was told I was a TKR candidate two years ago, but finally after slipping about an inch on some ice this past winter, the pain became unbearable! I had my TKR on 5/12/09, and I wish I had done it sooner!

I had an epidural, I had very little pain post surgery until they removed the epidural, then I could barely breath. But I was given good pain meds and got through it. I only took pain meds for a couple of weeks post surgery, and have not needed any since. Before my surgery I lived on etodolac, and motrin. I also required a lot of help from my family because I couldn't shop or walk around for any length of time.

I still have trouble going down stairs, but going up foot over foot is fine. I can shop, I helped my daughter move into her college dorm, I am hoping to play tennis next summer!

Shockingly, I have lost weight too! Now that I can get up and move around better, the pounds are coming off!

I wish you the best! I don't regret my TKR, wish I had done it sooner!
[B]THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR POSTS, YOUR WARM WORDS, YOUR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT.......!!![B][/B][/B]:)

I feel a sense of community here, a sense of compassion. Because you are all living this experience that I will be going through very soon.

After the past few days of EXTREME anxiety, of EXTREME crying, hyper-ventilating and just all around 100% STRESSED.....!!! I have turned the corner on my nervous breakdown over this surgery.

Somehow, this afternoon, a peace settled over me about this surgery. Maybe I have cried all the tears I have (I think I have hives now, my eyes and face are all blotchy), maybe I have come to terms with it all.

I KNOW that this surgery and its aftermath will be the MOST INTENSE AND TOUGH time of my life. I KNOW I WILL be in pain, MORE then I probably could have ever imagined, but, I think I have decided to put a positive spin on all this, be MORE optimisitic. If I think positive, hopefully, EVERYTHING will turn out positive.

Actually, I think I am just tired of crying, I am tired of being afraid. It kind of feels like I am "getting tough" or more like, "toughening up". Like I am getting ready to "Do Battle.....!!!"

I know I may get a little bit weepy again, but, I am WAY past the terror and fear of the past few days. This is my life, it is what it is, and things could be a WHOLE LOT worse......

So, THANK YOU ALL for being their for me. I TRULY wish you ALL successfull recoveries and surgeries. I wish you ALL a pain free future. I wish you ALL Happiness and Joy.......:)
[QUOTE=GaterGal;4102588]Suesan Jean, you are my surgery twin! My surgery is also Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. It's my 65th birthday present to myself (Thanks, Medicare!). I'm scared, too, but I'm more scared about not being able to get around for the next 25 years (yes, I plan to live until I am 90). I must say reading this board (I love reading it, just found it today) has scared me, but better prepared for reality than not. As soon as I recover from my left TKR I plan to have the right one done. Hopefully in the spring if all goes well.
Can anyone tell me when I will feel like getting back on the computer after the surgery? I'm quite the computer user and am on it several times a day reading news blogs and e-mail and surfing around.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]GaterGal, that sure is some 65th Birthday Present to yourself......!!! ;)

How are you doing? Have you been freaked out about the surgery or have you been calm?

I wish you a successfull surgery, an excellent, minimum pain recovery and I hope you DO live another 25 years free from knee pain.....!!! :)[/B][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=Exit 148;4103324]
We all find reasons to put off the inevitable, but lets face it. We know it has to be done, it is just a matter of taking over our inner doubts and facing reality.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I FINALLY reached that point this afternoon. I am GLAD I did......:)[/B][/COLOR]

No one has the same story, but all the stories follow the same track. I'm still new to recovery -- 3 weeks -- but I can do simple cooking, can manage the stairs to the basement for laundry, can make the bed, and other simple tasks. I do sit alot with my leg raised and with ice on it. There is pain, but not something that is intolerable.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]Three weeks in, you sound like you are coming along nicely. I am happy for you. :)[/B][/COLOR]

It is the little things, tho, that make me happy. Being able to lift my heel off the floor to get my sock on, or use my operative leg's toes to nudge my sneaker off the good leg/foot. The leg is still swollen and stiff and as someone said --- like a board --- but this was major surgery, after all. I always feel that because it is mechanical surgery, and not organic surgery, I am lucky. Bones and muscles heal in time. No organic complexities to be concerned with.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]That is an interesting way to look at it.[/B][/COLOR]

When I'm resting, which I do alot, I have to make myself get up to walk around and to get some of the exercises done. Being essentially a lazy person, that is the hardest --- but the feeling when it is done, is worth the effort.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]How many times a week to you go for PT?[/B][/COLOR]

Right now, my husband is in So. Jersey for a few days with work-related stuff, so I am alone. But I don't feel any panic. I can do for myself --- and my wireless phone and cell are glued to me!! LOL! I do feel confidant that I can do for myself, tho, and that is progress from just a week ago.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]That IS progress, being home alone just after three weeks, I am IMPRESSED.....!!! You ARE a determined woman....!!! :)[/B][/COLOR]

So -- If I hadn't made the decision to finally get this operation out of the way, I would still have to face all this. I made the right decision.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Thank You for your post. It is good to hear about another positive recovery. :)

I hope you continue to improve and do well in your recovery.[/B][/COLOR]
I am sure we are all the same - have good days or weeks and then bad ones. The past few days have been great and I am feeling 'normal' again after a couple of bad weeks. These good days are happening more frequently and I am looking forward to the future knowing this is how (hopefully soon) it WILL always be. Suesan, one thing I did that helped during the surgery was have some great music on my Ipod, turned up very loud, to distract me. Even though there is sedation it helped to take my mind off what was happening. I cannot tolerate narcotics so have survived with only ibobrufen and paracetamol, but managed (and continue to do so) with these over the counter meds, along with nsaid's once daily. As others have said it is a healing pain and although bad you know it will improve with time and work. And, as a bonus you will lose that weight as you will move easier and become active again. One thing that helped me was to keep reminding myself that it wouldn't get worse, and the next day would be easier as I went through the first few weeks. A period of pain over a few weeks is not long when taking into account the length of time you will have pain free in the future. It is worth it my dear and I am looking forward to reading in the future how happy you are you have had it done. I know it has been worth the pain as my life continues to change in so many positive ways.
Hi Susan Jean,
I can't remember after reading all your posts for the past three days or so if today is your surgery day. Hope not so that I can tell you that YOU WILL NOT HEAR A THING IN SURGERY.

Also, you are so afraid of the pain. You will not feel intense pain because you will be on pain medication post surgery. Do not wait for the pain to become intense. Have the nurses give you your pain meds every 4 hours or so and then you won't have to play catchup with getting the pain down to a very manageable level. And as you may have read, the pain meds tend to make some of use weepy - they did me off and on for about three or four weeks but that's ok too. It's NOT that big a deal. I'm still on pain meds but am weaning myself off of them because the pain is not intense and is less of a problem then the pain I suffered daily pre surgery.

I'm 58 yrs old (59 on Elvis' birthday) and also missed out so much on living because of my bad knees and am hoping for a much fuller life when I'm healed. I love going to physical therapy and each week it becomes easier and easier. I'm lazy and have to discipline myself to do them at home particularly because my PT loaned me some three pound weights to tie around my ankle to do exercises (straight leg raises) and standing knee bends (heel to butt). I love the way I feel after doing my exercises and have an excuse to sit and watch TV, read or like I'm doing now...being on my laptop while icing my knee.;)

I'm so looking forward to hearing from you after your surgery. You are very fortunate to have found this forum prior to your surgery. I didn't find it until a few weeks post surgery but I'm still very grateful and happy that it did. This has been the most informative and supportive place to come to and to be.

I'm keeping you in my prayers. GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SusanJean....I should have said that I DID NOT HEAR A THING IN SURGERY. I told the doc I wanted to be out in lala land and I don't remember a thing. I don't even remember waking up. My first memory is of being wheeled into my room after it was over.

GET ONE OF THOSE LEG LIFTERS. The hospital's physical therapist loaned me one of theirs while I was in the hospital and my mom and sister purchased one for me before I went home. I loved it. It was so exciting when one day at PT I raised my leg on my own!!!! It felt like a miracle. There are so many joyful moments during your recovery when all of a sudden you'll be able to do some small feat like that.

My PT and his wife who assists him are angels. :angel: He does not push me beyond an intollerable second yet I've reached 148 flex with pain meds and (1 oxycontin and 2 percocet/tylenol) and 142 last week with just 1 oxy and 1 percocet. That's ok. It's more realistic and there is always tomorrow and next week and next month as I keep on healing to get back up to 148 and finally 150. Neither he nor I am stressing about that.

Did I mention that my surgery was on Aug 17th? I had put it off until I could no long stand the pain and was almost unable to walk. There were times post surgery where I said that I was sorry I'd had the surgery because you do get frustrated but that was BEFORE I FOUND THIS BOARD. Once I got information here and understood what was going on and what to expect, I started to heal faster because I was more relaxed. You may never have those negative feelings because you found this board PRIOR TO YOUR SURGERY. You're already many steps ahead of me.

The swelling which I find more annoying than anything, all of a sudden went way down too. [B]I'd been getting up every hour to pee for weeks and kept a commode next to my bed.[/B] That's a huge help too. I no longer need it though.

Sorry my posts are so long.
Aloha
Suesanjean,
I had a femerol nerve block plus I was out for surgery. I woke up in recovery with a pain med belt that I could push every 8 minutes ( thought it was every 30 minutes until the nurse told me different) to relieve pain. After 2 days post op, the belt was removed and I did fine. The surgery took 2 hours plus 1 hour in recovery. I was never nauseated. The hospital sent home a bedside commode and walker..my insurance payed for it. Also, I had on loan for 3 weeks a continous passive motion machine which really helped...but like I said on a previous message it is no substitute for hourly exercising the leg. Have you gone down to the motor vehicle dept for your handicap tag? In the state of Alabama it is free..the license plates cost. This tag you hang in your car front window and it is usually good for 3 years. Today I am 15 weeks out and feel very good. Yesterday I worked out at the hospital's wellness center therapy pool..the warm water feels soooo good, and never had to take anything for pain afterwards. I have been off of ibuprofen now for over 3 weeks. My doctor told me that after 3 months you are usually over the hump and it is downhill from there.
[QUOTE=anuenue;4103973]Hi Susan Jean,
[COLOR="Blue"][B]ALOHA.....!!![/B][/COLOR]
I can't remember after reading all your posts for the past three days or so if today is your surgery day. Hope not so that I can tell you that YOU WILL NOT HEAR A THING IN SURGERY.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I AM SO GLAD ABOUT THAT.....!!!

My surgery is tomorrow. I have to call the hospital in a few hours to find out what time I have to "report" to the hospital.[/B][/COLOR]

Also, you are so afraid of the pain. You will not feel intense pain because you will be on pain medication post surgery. Do not wait for the pain to become intense. Have the nurses give you your pain meds every 4 hours or so and then you won't have to play catchup with getting the pain down to a very manageable level. And as you may have read, the pain meds tend to make some of use weepy - they did me off and on for about three or four weeks but that's ok too. It's NOT that big a deal. I'm still on pain meds but am weaning myself off of them because the pain is not intense and is less of a problem then the pain I suffered daily pre surgery.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I DO know about that. A few years ago my Husband broke his ankle and had to have surgery where plates and screws were used to repair his ankle and I HAD to keep up with his pain meds. He was in QUITE A BIT of pain unfortunately the first two weeks. I remember making him take his pain meds EVERY four hours. Because if we didn't, it was tough to play "catch up"[/B][/COLOR]

I'm 58 yrs old (59 on Elvis' birthday) and also missed out so much on living because of my bad knees and am hoping for a much fuller life when I'm healed. I love going to physical therapy and each week it becomes easier and easier. I'm lazy and have to discipline myself to do them at home particularly because my PT loaned me some three pound weights to tie around my ankle to do exercises (straight leg raises) and standing knee bends (heel to butt). I love the way I feel after doing my exercises and have an excuse to sit and watch TV, read or like I'm doing now...being on my laptop while icing my knee.;)
[COLOR="Blue"][B]You and I sound ALIKE......!!! :) I am a little bit lazy too.....;)You sound like you have your PT down pat.[/B][/COLOR]

I'm so looking forward to hearing from you after your surgery. You are very fortunate to have found this forum prior to your surgery. I didn't find it until a few weeks post surgery but I'm still very grateful and happy that it did. This has been the most informative and supportive place to come to and to be.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I am SO HAPPY I found this Forum. It was just by happenstance. We are an "Around-The-World-Support-Group"......!!! :wave:Which is EXACTLY what I have needed.....!!!:) Actually, I look at all of as :angel::angel: :angel: :angel: [/B][/COLOR]

I'm keeping you in my prayers. GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Thank You for your very kind words of encouragement and hope.....!!! And yes, I WILL post [B]during my rehab. Most of the places I have contacted have free WiFi, so I can bring my Lap Top.

My Family and Friends want to be kept in the loop of how I am improving.

I hope that You continue to improve too.....!!! :)[/B][/B][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=anuenue;4103983]SusanJean....I should have said that I DID NOT HEAR A THING IN SURGERY. I told the doc I wanted to be out in lala land and I don't remember a thing. I don't even remember waking up. My first memory is of being wheeled into my room after it was over.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I wonder what mine will be.....??? ;)[/B][/COLOR]

GET ONE OF THOSE LEG LIFTERS. The hospital's physical therapist loaned me one of theirs while I was in the hospital and my mom and sister purchased one for me before I went home. I loved it. It was so exciting when one day at PT I raised my leg on my own!!!! It felt like a miracle. There are so many joyful moments during your recovery when all of a sudden you'll be able to do some small feat like that.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I WILL make sure that I DO....!!![/B][/COLOR]

My PT and his wife who assists him are angels. :angel: He does not push me beyond an intollerable second yet I've reached 148 flex with pain meds and (1 oxycontin and 2 percocet/tylenol) and 142 last week with just 1 oxy and 1 percocet. That's ok. It's more realistic and there is always tomorrow and next week and next month as I keep on healing to get back up to 148 and finally 150. Neither he nor I am stressing about that.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I am glad that you feel good wbout your PT and are comfortable with your progress. :)[/B][/COLOR]

Did I mention that my surgery was on Aug 17th? I had put it off until I could no long stand the pain and was almost unable to walk. There were times post surgery where I said that I was sorry I'd had the surgery because you do get frustrated but that was BEFORE I FOUND THIS BOARD. Once I got information here and understood what was going on and what to expect, I started to heal faster because I was more relaxed. You may never have those negative feelings because you found this board PRIOR TO YOUR SURGERY. You're already many steps ahead of me.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]Yes, this is a WONDERFULL place. It is like we are right by each others side, with words of encouragement and kindness. I am Thankfull for ALL OF YOU.....!!!:angel: :angel:[/B][/COLOR]

The swelling which I find more annoying than anything, all of a sudden went way down too. [B]I'd been getting up every hour to pee for weeks and kept a commode next to my bed.[/B] That's a huge help too. I no longer need it though.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]That is GREAT....!!! See, one day at a time, things DO improve......!!! :)[/B][/COLOR]

Sorry my posts are so long.
Aloha[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]I like long posts. :) There is more knowledge for me to learn.....:)[/B][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4104009]Suesanjean,
I had a femerol nerve block plus I was out for surgery. I woke up in recovery with a pain med belt that I could push every 8 minutes ( thought it was every 30 minutes until the nurse told me different) to relieve pain. After 2 days post op, the belt was removed and I did fine. The surgery took 2 hours plus 1 hour in recovery. I was never nauseated. The hospital sent home a bedside commode and walker..my insurance payed for it. Also, I had on loan for 3 weeks a continous passive motion machine which really helped...but like I said on a previous message it is no substitute for hourly exercising the leg. Have you gone down to the motor vehicle dept for your handicap tag?
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I already have one that I "inherited" from my Mom.....;);)[/B][/COLOR]

In the state of Alabama it is free..the license plates cost. This tag you hang in your car front window and it is usually good for 3 years. Today I am 15 weeks out and feel very good.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I am very Happy to hear that you are doing SO WELL.....!!!:) hope that I am just as fortunate.[/B][/COLOR]

Yesterday I worked out at the hospital's wellness center therapy pool..the warm water feels soooo good, and never had to take anything for pain afterwards.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]The pool sounds like it would be FABULOUS.....!!!:) We have a pool in our back yard, but it is closed for the season now. I will have to check into pools in my area (with warm water of course....!!!;))[/B][/COLOR]

I have been off of ibuprofen now for over 3 weeks. My doctor told me that after 3 months you are usually over the hump and it is downhill from there.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]You really do sound like your TKR went EXTREMELY WELL.....!!! How FANTASTIC for you....!!! :)

Thank You for all your posts too.....!!! :)[/B][/COLOR]
Hi Friends,
Let's all keep Suesan Jean in our thoughts and prayers. I believe that today is her surgery day.
My equipment was delivered to my home today--commode, cane, walker, cpm machine and an ice machine--like a giant blood pressure cuff. Has anyone used the ice machine? My surgery is tomorrow at 7 a.m. So I will be off the boards for awhile.
Yes! Thoughts and prayers for GaterGal and SueSan tomorrow. A big step, but a step for change in the quality of life.

I sure wish I had found this site before I had my TKR.Good information here.

About the ice water bag and ice container. Evidently the one I used in the hospital was mine, and came home with me. Frankly, I don't use it. Too much fuss. I'd rather use a regular ice pack, and I use a gismo that is loaded with pellets that freeze.

I get tired a lot, but I have to keep reminding myself that I lost a couple pints during surgery. Altho I used my own donated 2 pints, I still lost about another pint thru the drain.A need for patience!!
Oh, I didn't realize that GaterGal is having her surgery tomorrow. Best of luck to you, GaterGal. I don't know what an ice machine is. I used two large bags of frozen peas (inter changeable - when one thaws, I have a backup), place one at a time in a pillowcase or at least place it on a thin(ish) single layer of fabric. Then a few weeks later, I purchased an ice pack (very heavy) from my PT and use both that and the frozen peas based on the amount of swelling. I'm on my fifth or sixth package of frozen peas.
[QUOTE=GaterGal;4104194]My equipment was delivered to my home today--commode, cane, walker, cpm machine and an ice machine--like a giant blood pressure cuff. Has anyone used the ice machine? My surgery is tomorrow at 7 a.m. So I will be off the boards for awhile.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]The Ice Machine is like a giant blood pressure cuff....????:confused:[/B][/COLOR]
Well, Ladies, this is [B]IT.....!!![B][/B][/B]

My TKR is tomorrow, I have to be at the Hospital at 8:15am. My surgery is scheduled at 10:15am.

To [B]ALL MY TKR "SISTERS" :), Margaret, Cindy, Exit 148, eriu40, antelyn77, Shatteredangel5, FDW, Gater Gal, Kneejerk101, IWillsurvive, kytigger, ginnypan1, and anuenue, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.....!!! :angel::angel::angel::angel::angel:[/B]

Thank You ALL for being there for me, you have no idea HOW important you have all been. You have been a lifeline the past few days.

I WILL post again when I get to rehab, when I have access to a computer. And, of course I WILL continue to post as the days, weeks and months progress. :)

Talk to you all soon.....!!!:wave:
Gater Gal, GOOD LUCK.....!!! :)

I truly hope that your surgery is 100% successfull.....!!! :)

And I look forward to our sharing our TKR post surgery progress.

We can support and encourage each other as the days and weeks go by.

And I KNOW that ALL our Friends here will support and encourage us too....:)
[QUOTE=eriu40;4104331]I do have another question though. Even with the "cocktail" I will be given, will I STILL be able to hear the surgery? :(

I REALLY DON'T want to hear ANYTHING.....!!!:eek:[/B][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Susan, I am a nurse anesthetist who had a total knee replacement in July. I give the anesthesia for knee replacements several times a week. If you decide to have a spinal with sedation, there is a chance that you may hear things. If you choose to have a general anesthetic with femoral nerve block or epidural, you should hear nothing.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]At the Joint Class last week at the Hospital, we were told that the Anestheseologist will discuss the 3 options: General, Epidural or Interthecal. The Nurse seemed to encourage the Enterthecal, plus the Q Pump. I guess I will find out tomorrow.[/B][/COLOR]

The reason I had no fear about having my knee replacement, is that I see these operations all the time. I know that even though it's a big deal for the patient, the surgeons do these surgeries over and over and over, and could probably do them in their sleep. It's really a very routine and easy thing for them.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]My Doctor says he does at least two a week. That's ALOT of people that need new knees....!!![/B][/COLOR]

The only advice I can give you is the same advice my dad gave me, which a surgeon had given him years ago...if you decide to focus on the pain, you will indeed have a great deal of pain. If you choose to be optimistic about your future and recovery, you will make much faster progress. I just had my 3-month post-surgical check-up, and my surgeon told me that I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I should be. I attribute this to my dad's advice.
[COLOR="Blue"][B]I AM a VERY optimistic person, so I have been told my entire life. But, this surgery, being told that it was my only option for my knee, was just OVERWHELMING.

But, as of yesterday, I am past that, and on to the "accentuate the positive" thought process. Things could be worse. At least there IS a fix for bum knees. Which, of course I AM Thankfull. :)[/B][/COLOR]

Good luck with the surgery tomorrow.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"][B]Thank You....!!!

And, I hope that you continue to improve in "leaps and bounds".......:D[/B][/COLOR]
SusanJean and Gatorgal, an official welcome to the land of brand new knees. I hope your surgery today goes super and that you wake up excited about the prospect of a better life in the days ahead. I know you will have pain but believe me when I tell you that you will get through this pain and just hang in there. Remember to take your pain meds as you need them, don't let the pain get a total grip on you. As you feel better, slowly wean yourself off the narcotic stuff to avoid withdrawal. Keep drinking and remember those stool softeners work wonders. Be patient with yourself and remember that healing takes time but it does happen. Big hello to you both. :wave:

Exit 148 your PT is crazy to want you to do deep knee bends, PT's need to tailor rehab to match a patients needs and lifestyles. My goal was never to have a certain flexion but rather to be able to do things I need to do, like walk unaided, sit in movies, drive, get in and out of cars, chairs, etc.

For one of my TKRs, I did hear a lot of noise and actually spoke with the anesthesiologist a few times, that was because they wanted to keep my sedation very light and would adjust it as I told them I could feel pain during the surgery. A few times I didn't even have to talk to them, I must have been grimacing because they would lean down and tell me they were giving me more sedation. Before the surgery they told me I would hear and be able to communicate with them but also they gave me some sort of tranquilizer so I was not agitated about hearing things. It really wasn't bad and I had no nightmares about it later so guess I handled it okay. I was only mildly sedated because of I have lots of nausea and vomiting with anesthesia but for the next TKR they had my notes on file and were able to put me under deeper so I didn't hear things but I also didn't get sick.

TKRs are super tough but I have never met anyone who regretted the decision (after the initial bout of pain in the early days where I think we all wonder if we were nuts to have done this, lol) so if you are bone on bone and in pain, go for it, you will not regret it.
Susan Jean and Gatorgal, I hope your surgeries go well! I am new to the boards and don't get a chance to be on as much as I would like! I, like many others didn't find the boards until a couple of weeks after my surgery (Aug 31st). I was looking for answers to all I was feeling and I found more answers here than any where else!!!!

I personally LOVE the ice machine. I am 7 weeks PO and I still use it every night. I generally wake up feeling much better. I bought an ice pack like they use at PT that I use during the day as needed for the swelling.

I unfortunatly don't feel that I am progressing as quickly as many of you. I am only 47 years old so I think I am expected to heal much faster...but it isn't happening!
I was only able to reach 96 degrees in bending on Monday at PT and I still do not have any where close to full extension! I am doing my exercises every day but I returned to a some what normal routine at 4 or 5 weeks PO so maybe I am doing too much! I just can't seem to get my knee to bend. It is like there is a lock on it and it just will not go any further! Does any one have any suggestions for what more I can do? I know it takes time...I just would like to feel like I am making more progress.

I am going for my 8 week checkup next Tuesday and I have many questions and I hope my surgeon has the answers!
Hey, everybody! I'm 8 hours out of surgery and feeling okay! I'm in the cpm machine, have the compression things merrily inflating along on my other leg. I was hoping to lose 50 pounds in the next few days in the hospital (lol) but unfortunately I have an appetite and just ate lunch! But I eschewed (ptl) the buyers and chips and ordered fruit and cottage cheese. I haven't slept yet. And I'm not drugged out. Just taking in what I need and haven't had any the past hour. O hope I'm not jinxing my recovery by writing this. By the way, lest you wonder how I am posting this, I didn't think my iPhone would work in my (private!) room (all joints get private rooms!) but it does.
OH! How great to hear from you, GaterGal!! So unexpected!

You sound terrific! Take one hour at a time and think positive thoughts!

You are in a great position, with your I-thingy, to allow others who follow you thru surgery and recovery, to see what actually happens. Tell the therapist that we are 'watching'!!

I had my Blackberry with me and it was wonderful to be in touch with the outer world.

Continued prayers and healing.
GATERGAL, first of all, CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS BE TO GOD for bringing you out of surgery safely. Now be on guard in the morning when you wake. Before you put your foot down on the floor, be sure they have administered some pain medication, particularly morphine at least 30 min prior. The anesthesia will have worn off and the pain will rear its ugly head. With morphine and whatever else they'll give you for the pain, you will be able to get moving. Just hang in there. It gets better and better every day. It may (or may not) seem like an eternity in the beginning but it does get better. And you have this board for support.

Can't wait for daily updates from you. I hope and pray that SUESAN is doing just as well as you are.
[QUOTE=beerhunters;4104916]never again, this is so painful[/QUOTE]

You feel just as I did and I'm sure many, many others did as well. :eek: When did you have your surgery???? This surgery is a huge pain. I hated the first two weeks. But the day I started therapy, everything started looking up.:D Each week at therapy things get easier and easier. In the hospital, the day after surgery, i was just shocked at the pain and was upset with the nursing staff for not giving me pain meds as the anesthesia was wearing off. I thought that was really negligent of them. Then when I got home, it was really annoying to have to use that strap thing to get my leg on and off the bed each time. But one day at therapy, I was able to lift my leg on my own and that was cause for celebration.

Things just keep looking up but boy oh boy does it take patience and I am not a patient person at all. Hopefully you have someone to help you and sort of wait on you as you get better and better.

Please come back daily or at least often to let everyone know how you're doing and to get some support and encourgement.
Beerhunters -- are you just about one week post-op? Difficult time. I'm no judge of how anyone should feel in any stated time, but those first two weeks were difficult.

I'm 4 weeks tomorrow, and I will never forget that first step and the weight on my operative leg. The therapist said the second step would be better --- and I didn't know how it could be --- but it was!

That foot thingie that helps lift your leg almost became part of me --- but before I knew it, I could do some small leg raises without it.

It really was a step-by step, day by day experience, with constant accomplishments when looking back.

I've know of two people who had both legs done at once as they were afraid that they wouldn't do the second one if the first was difficult. But both said that if they had to do it over again, they would do one at a time, as the progress was encouraging and they would have gone back for the second.

We, however have different levels of pain. (To me, natural childbirth was a snap as compared to this surgery) Getting over those first couple of weeks was a relief. I can't compare day by day, as much as week by week. You might feel better in a week. Take those meds and don't be shy about it. You will know when to ease off.

Do let us know how you are coming along.

What a great find, this board was!!
Gatergal well done! You have passed the first hurdle - getting your new knee, it's all uphill from now. In a few weeks you will be feeling so pleased you have had it done as you start to realise what is now so much easier than before the surgery. How fantastic to have your IPhone or Blackberry in hospital with you so you can go online. Didn't think I would want to when I was in so left my laptop at home and really missed it. Isn't modern technology wonderful!!!

I have realised that perhaps some of my pain lately has been because I got a bit lazy about using my exercycle. I have been diligent for the past week, making sure I spend some time on it every day and especially five minutes first thing every morning. What a difference! I have been so much more comfortable - haven't taken any pain relief for 3 or 4 days (except my nsaid's) and am moving really well. I had kept up with some of my exercises but obviously the cycle does the trick for me. I just sit there pedaling away reading my book helping my knee. Will make sure I really keep it up now!
Thinking about you GaterGal, and hope you are coping. There is the relief of getting the actual surgery behind you and now is the day by day effort. Stay strong and determined. And don't skimp on the pain meds!

Also thinking about SueSan. It would have been great to have an advocate stand in for her. I hadn't found this site when I had my surgery, and altho I had my Blackberry, I had a son go to my other cyberfriends to give a report immediately after surgery. I pray she is coping.

Oh -- At therapy, I can do the stationary bike. At home, the angle of my bike is different, and I can't make a complete cycle. But I am still trying. Happness will be when the leg will go all the way around!!

Question about turning over in bed ---. I had read about NOT lying on the side of the operated knee, or turning the operative knee over the good knee at an angle. I've been sleeping on my back, BUT now have been turning at night -- trying to keep the operative leg in a position that doesn't twist the knee. Anyone have any suggestions? I am a side to side sleeper and sleeping on my back is just not my thing.
[QUOTE=GaterGal;4104986]Hey, everybody! I'm 8 hours out of surgery and feeling okay! I'm in the cpm machine, have the compression things merrily inflating along on my other leg. I was hoping to lose 50 pounds in the next few days in the hospital (lol) but unfortunately I have an appetite and just ate lunch! But I eschewed (ptl) the buyers and chips and ordered fruit and cottage cheese. I haven't slept yet. And I'm not drugged out. Just taking in what I need and haven't had any the past hour. O hope I'm not jinxing my recovery by writing this. By the way, lest you wonder how I am posting this, I didn't think my iPhone would work in my (private!) room (all joints get private rooms!) but it does.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] It sounds like you are doing great. My first couple of days after surgery now seem a bit of a blur. I had a spinal block and that Versed sedation they give with it can really play havoc with the brain. I remember doing PT and talking with people - but the content and time seem weird. By the third day I was more with it. My son said after the surgery my surgeon came and said, "She did great - - - - she just doesn't stop talking, does she?" Lord knows what I said.

In the hospital I had that morphine pump right inside the incision so it really wasn't until a week or so later after the staples came out and stuff and PT started in earnest that I begin to have pain. But as you will note on forum, we all have slightly different experiences. I'm 72 so I have all kinds of arthritis and sciatica to make things more challenging. I'm 12 weeks post-op now.

I still have rough times at night. It seems as soon as I crawl in bed and straighten the leg out I get a lot of pain. I also have two lesions that appeared a month ago on the right side of the incision scar that at that time we assumed was an insect bite. The areas aren't getting better and pain and now they suspect shingles. Go to a dermatologist next Tuesday.

Keep the faith and keep in touch. I'm off to PT this morning and my leg is stiff as a board. They'll fix that in short time.....ouch!

June[/FONT]
Hey Gatorgirl, glad to hear you are feeling so good, hope it lasts. The new improvements in medications and treatments are amazing in how they impact comfort levels in recovery. You survived the surgery feeling great so you know that ultimately you will be bouncing around and happy you did this. Let's hope SusanJean also has a good experience.

Exit148, some knee mfgs advertise 150 degrees flexion but it all depends. When I was young and skinny as a rail, I could never do those yoga cross legs on the floor or other stuff like that, so that is why I don't worry about numbers. Surgeons goals are 90 or better. I didn't do PT for my third knee and didn't do all the exercises, I just sort of went back to normal living and lots of swimming. I have better bend in this knee than in the other which had 16 weeks of PT, go figure. As you do more you will bend more it is just automatic, point is to keep doing. I did the compression as a sleeve, cut it off at the mid calf and it is easier to get on, will cover from below the knee to thigh, use roll on adhesive called It Stays to keep it up, works like a charm and rinses off with water. I wore that sleeve whenever I was on my feet for hours at a time and if I go to a park with my grandkids, I will still put it on as it provides nice light support and minimizes swelling from being too active.

Beerhunter, hang in there it will get better we promise you!:)

The more surgeons realize that they need to keep improving techniques to reduce pain and swelling the easier this procedure will be on us. My folks had bilateral knees in their late 70's about 20 years ago. They stayed drugged on CPM for 5 days before even being able to get out of bed so things have really changed a lot since then.
KittiKat62, I had my TKR at 48, but I had had prior surgery that caused my quad to come back MUCH more slowly. I felt like my progress should have been faster too, but everyone heals at their own rate! I'm now 5 mos post TKR and able to do everything I want to do! I have only 118 degrees of flexion, that is slightly better than what I had pre-surgery, so flexion and extension numbers, in my opinion, are kind of like clothing sizes, you just can't get hung up on the size, you go with what is comfortable for you! I agree with IWillSurvive that your PT is crazy Exit 148!
Glad to hear GaterGal's surgery went well! Looking forward to hearing how Suesan is doing!
Hi Exit148:

Regarding sleeping on your side post knee surgery - if I were you I would ask your knee surgeon about sleeping on your side.

I have had hip replacements and had to sleep on my back for weeks, too, and could hardly wait to get back to sleeping on my side. But I did not do that until getting permission from my hip surgeon at I think it was my 6 week post surgery exam.

Better to be safe than sorry, Exit! ;)

Shirley H.
GaterGal --- Let it all out! Groan, moan, and then just lie back when PT is over --- as you have earned your rest! Have you had your first shower yet? What a wonderful feeling! I wasn't prepared for the big part PT was to have in the whole picture. I learned pretty fast while in the hospital, tho! LOL!

It was nice to have the drain removed, but I had a problem when mine was taken out. Since I still had a bit of drainage, it simply moved into my tissues and gravity allowed it to go to my lower leg. Large and painful bruising! And my lower leg became quite swollen. Gradually it was all absorbed, but I somehow wish the drain had been left in longer. I had been on Plavix before surgery (not a blood thinner, but an anti-platlet sticker) That probably added to the problem, of course, along with the post-surgical blood thinner.

I've been googling the knee ROM - range of motion - to see just where I should be and where I should go. I don't know if I am allowed to copy/paste it here, so I won't, but essentially said that everyones range varies. Most cases have about 90' by 6 weeks. (I was at 95' on the machine while in the hospital) At one year - up to 125' flexion, but usually 105 to 110 is satisfactory. There was no age mentioned. I've copied the statement out and will show it to the PT tomorrow. I also, plan to call my orthopod tomorrow and ask him what is realistic for one my age. I planned yo be armed!! I don't want to HATE going to PT, as all the exercises are excellent and I do them well. It is just when he makes those extra 3 flexes to get the number he wants that I see stars. I do see results with my own flexes when I do home exercises, so it isn't as tho I'm not trying to help myself.

My DH is now home, so I am not alone, but I did just fine on my own. One more week till the next visit with the surgeon. Hopefully I'll be able to drive soon.

Question --- when did you all feel comfortable with supermarket shopping?

Thinking about SueSan. Hopefully she is finding it something she can tolerate. She was so afraid. Prayers for her continue.
Just tell your PT to stop pushing for those numbers! The important thing is that you are working on your movement and getting better. I am a very flexible person, can touch my elbows to the floor without bending my knees etc so obviously I am delighted to have a great range of motion in my knee despite being told before surgery I wouldn't have the bend I have in my other leg. I feel blessed to have them now both the same - they weren't before surgery. My husband who has two wonderful, healthy natural knees has never been able to sit cross legged and isn't flexible. We accept this variation in 'normal' people so shouldn't it be the same for we bionics? Being able to do what we need, pain free, with our new knees is the most important thing.
I will be walking all I can
9 days PO
still have mucho pain
flex is getting better, almos 100 degree

my surgery was at kootenai medical center in Cour d alene Idaho, do not ever have you surgery there, their post off care sucks, and they are a magnate hospital, must have paid for it

the bar above the bed for me grab and so I can help move myself, it broke loose thursday and then again friday, both times I plopped back into bed and that was very painful, told the nurse about it both times it happened, and then on friday night the whole bar cam down and racked in the nuts, I was in so much pain, the nurse station heard me yelling and came to check it out, she couldnt believe what she was seeing, I should sue their ass for their incompetence

then they wouldnt help me move in bed after that

the family home health care I have been getting is remarkable, they all are so good!!

this is friday, on tues they finnally approved me using the CPM machine at home that I used the hospital, thought they would send me home with it, leg feels so much better using it everyday
Good morning all....I see a lot has been going on since I was last here. Way to go gatorgirl on your surgery, now that that's over, you have a new journey in your life. It's awesome for day by day progress. At first, i was like...that ain't no way I'm going to get to where this one is or bend my knee like that person, BUT....as we all have said, we all make our own progress at our own pace. Keep at it, even though it hurts, it does get better. People on this board on so encouraging. If you feel down or blue and feel that you're not progressing like you should be, come here!!! Trust me, you will feel better about things when you leave. My prayers are with you dear.

I guess with shopping, I was doing it sooner probably than I should have been, because did I ever pay for it afterward. even now at 8 weeks PO I get stiffer than a board....owie!!! The thing that amazes me about being in a store with a cane? Some people can be so rude, then here are the ones that can be really understanding (thank God for small favors!!). And driving.....I released myself to drive about 3 weeks ago. I hate to rely one someone to take me places (yea, I know...LOL) soooo, I got myself into the truck (very carefully mind you lol) and drove down back to our campground to see if I could do it and now I drive whenever I have to too, which saves my hubby from taking time out of his busy schedule. Like everyone says here, it depends on each individual. Take 'er slow and don't feel you "have" to be at a certain point at a certain time in your recovery. I did that and got very depressed over it, untill I came here and everyone "set me straight" LOL

Suesan......hope your doing well, my thoughts and prayers are with you.....keep your chin up girl, we're here for you!!!!!
Gatergal it is wonderful to learn that you are doing so well. Doesn't it feel great to be free of all 'attachments' and be up to the warpaint again. That was when I really felt on the road to recovery.

Looking forward to hearing how Suesan is doing.

Reading through many of your postings I cannot believe what your PT's are asking of you! I found my PT's to be very encouraging and supportive and they only ever pushed me to do 'just one or two more'. I had hoped to be able to squat after this surgery and I just can't, despite doing so much work, so I talked to my surgeon and he said it is not usual to be able to after this so now I feel better about that. I can get down a bit lower that before the surgery, but that was one of my aims. I had another achievement yesterday, I was in a hurry and I jogged down a hallway without even thinking about it! I thought I would never be able to run in any shape or form again so I was just buzzing. I don't plan to return to the world of jogging but do plan to go for walks in the evenings now summer is nearly here - a beautiful day here and I can hear the jetskis and waterskiers out on the water from my deck. I live near the sea (Upper Waitemata Harbour in Auckland) and love thinking about how much fun I will have in the water this summer. Last year my husband had to physically help me on and off our launch and this year I will be able to go swimming off the back any time without help. What freedom.
Silver Swan
I love my grab bar..so that's what you call it. I move it out alittle way from the mattress to make up the bed.

GatorGal,
You will love your pool to do exercises..I work out at the therapy pool. I walk in place for 10 minutes, then do knee lifts..forward and backwards as well, and then squat in the pool. For you at the beginning, just walk around your pool. PT usually comes out about 3x/week. You will feel better when you get back home. My husband was on call 24hrs the first week. Then I was able to get up to use the bedside commode on my own..even in the night. As I did my hourly walking around the house, I was straightenning up the house as I went. My greatest challenge was getting over the fear my surgical leg would buckle under me..it did the day after surgery and I developed a fear. Rememer, when you step down, surgical leg first. When you step up good leg first.

I wonder how Suesan Jean is doing?
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4107322]Hi Shatteredangel5
Sorry to hear girlfriend you are not having such a good day. I can identify with you about rainy days and my leg not feeling to good...really it is my nonsurgical leg which gives me discomfort. I do envy Fantail and Gatorgal living in warm climates. How many weeks post op are you?[/QUOTE]

Hi Gospelgal.......thanks for your kind words, it's nice to have friends on here. I am around 10 weeks PO. I can definately see a difference since surgery and how I get around. I have my days where it feels like it did right after the surgery but I am doing w/out my cane inside and take it with me when I go somewhere just for safety purposes. My knee still tends to buckle without warning and that can be really annoying, usually I'm around something I can grab onto (thankfully).

I do envy people who live in warmer climates, at least when it's going on winter here LOL I hate winter....I am so afraid of falling this year. That's all I would need. I'll just have to make sure my hubby is right next to me when I venture outside. I do wish I had a pool to get into, that would be sooo nice, but guess my bath tub will have to do lol

Company is coming tonight, so maybe that will lift my spirits somewhat.
I'm not getting any responses by starting a new thread with the following questions so here I am hoping to receive some thoughts and suggestions.


[COLOR="Red"][B][U]HOW LONG DO WE NEED TO GO TO PT AFTER TKR???[/U][/B][/COLOR]

My surgery was on Aug. 17th. My PT is very simple and I don't feel that there is anything I am doing at PT that I can't accomplish at home with 3 and 5 lb ankle weights which I have. I do love their recumbnt bike however. I have a 21 speed bike at home which I'm afraid to ride yet because of dismounting (I'd be dismounting on my operated on knee).

My flex with my therapist pushing on my leg is between 145 and 148 so far. Although I love my PT and his wife who assists him and who does a great job, I feel that I no longer need to go. I really can't afford it either. My co-pay is $34 weekly, I'm not working and pay out of pocket for my medical insurance. I have a small pension, and many living expenses that are new to me after taking early retirement and moving 2 years ago to be near my elderly parents . My very simple living expenses, (rent, utilities, 3 pets and their medical, food and other expenses, my own medical expenses,utilities, rent and everything else, etc. etc. etc. are becoming overwhelming. Being single, my now very small income is not sufficient to cover all my expenses.

I know if I quit PT now my PT will be very disappointed but I just don't see what the exercises are doing for me that, like I said above, I can't accomplish at home on my own. I do have difficulty walking.any distance. It's really painful and I am in pain for hours after going grocery shopping or to Walmart for instance. It's also an hour's drive to and from.

My pain level and meds are another subject that I will post my questions about later.

Thanks much.
Shatteredangel5, hope the feedback here from your TKR friends has cheered you up already. Thanks for the stairs tip. When I go home I have to step up one to the house and didn't know how I was going to do that. I am still waiting to be discharged today. The doctor who signs the order is still in surgery.
Aneunue, I'm only 3days post, sondon't know much to help you. But it sounds like you are doing really well. If you have the Personal motivation to keep on keeping on, why pay for more therapy? Plus, you live in Hawaii and can get outdoors. Can you write a little weekly PT plan and stick to it? Aloha!
[QUOTE=Exit 148;4106269]GaterGal --- Let it all out! Groan, moan, and then just lie back when PT is over --- as you have earned your rest! Have you had your first shower yet? What a wonderful feeling! I wasn't prepared for the big part PT was to have in the whole picture. I learned pretty fast while in the hospital, tho! LOL!

It was nice to have the drain removed, but I had a problem when mine was taken out. Since I still had a bit of drainage, it simply moved into my tissues and gravity allowed it to go to my lower leg. Large and painful bruising! And my lower leg became quite swollen. Gradually it was all absorbed, but I somehow wish the drain had been left in longer. I had been on Plavix before surgery (not a blood thinner, but an anti-platlet sticker) That probably added to the problem, of course, along with the post-surgical blood thinner.

I've been googling the knee ROM - range of motion - to see just where I should be and where I should go. I don't know if I am allowed to copy/paste it here, so I won't, but essentially said that everyones range varies. Most cases have about 90' by 6 weeks. (I was at 95' on the machine while in the hospital) At one year - up to 125' flexion, but usually 105 to 110 is satisfactory. There was no age mentioned. I've copied the statement out and will show it to the PT tomorrow. I also, plan to call my orthopod tomorrow and ask him what is realistic for one my age. I planned yo be armed!! I don't want to HATE going to PT, as all the exercises are excellent and I do them well. It is just when he makes those extra 3 flexes to get the number he wants that I see stars. I do see results with my own flexes when I do home exercises, so it isn't as tho I'm not trying to help myself.

My DH is now home, so I am not alone, but I did just fine on my own. One more week till the next visit with the surgeon. Hopefully I'll be able to drive soon.

Question --- when did you all feel comfortable with supermarket shopping?

Thinking about SueSan. Hopefully she is finding it something she can tolerate. She was so afraid. Prayers for her continue.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] Wanted to share with you what my PT told me a couple of days ago. I'm nearing the end of my outside PT (12 weeks Post Op) and have only two sessions next week.

Out of the blue the therapist (and she is a very intense lady) just told me to do the heel slide, bring up the knee and without any straining or outside pressure/help, she did a measurement with a reading of 100. No pain, just a comfortable position. Then she explained that the goal was that we keep improving and at this point, if I were younger and more athletic (playing tennis or whatever) they'd shoot for 120. However, if this flexion point allows me to do what I would normally do...then they don't push for more. That would be up to me.

I'm on a roller coaster. One day I'm walking like a pro (no limping or awkward walk) and the next day I'm all stiff and sore (both knees). Since my left knee is next for surgery, it's beginning to balk with pain as I keep putting more strain on it. Now I lead with the new knee because it works better. LOL I think there's a message there.

This whole thing is a good/bad/good/bad situation...but that book "Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation - The Knee Owner's Manual" by Daniel Brugioni, MD and Jeff Falkel, Ph.D., PT, CSCS was a God-send. I feel much more secure now just having it. I've book-marked places that apply to me and it's a comfort to have. I forgot who recommended it but THANK YOU. I'm so glad I happened by this forum. [/FONT]
[QUOTE=shatteredangel5;4106612]Good morning all....I see a lot has been going on since I was last here. Way to go gatorgirl on your surgery, now that that's over, you have a new journey in your life. It's awesome for day by day progress. At first, i was like...that ain't no way I'm going to get to where this one is or bend my knee like that person, BUT....as we all have said, we all make our own progress at our own pace. Keep at it, even though it hurts, it does get better. People on this board on so encouraging. If you feel down or blue and feel that you're not progressing like you should be, come here!!! Trust me, you will feel better about things when you leave. My prayers are with you dear.

I guess with shopping, I was doing it sooner probably than I should have been, because did I ever pay for it afterward. even now at 8 weeks PO I get stiffer than a board....owie!!! The thing that amazes me about being in a store with a cane? Some people can be so rude, then here are the ones that can be really understanding (thank God for small favors!!). And driving.....I released myself to drive about 3 weeks ago. I hate to rely one someone to take me places (yea, I know...LOL) soooo, I got myself into the truck (very carefully mind you lol) and drove down back to our campground to see if I could do it and now I drive whenever I have to too, which saves my hubby from taking time out of his busy schedule. Like everyone says here, it depends on each individual. Take 'er slow and don't feel you "have" to be at a certain point at a certain time in your recovery. I did that and got very depressed over it, untill I came here and everyone "set me straight" LOL

Suesan......hope your doing well, my thoughts and prayers are with you.....keep your chin up girl, we're here for you!!!!![/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]The shopping thing I accomplished within 3 days of returning home after the surgery. My husband goes to the supermarket every day to get his paper and a donut. I didn't have any problem getting in and out of the car, so I had him let me off at the front door of the market...and I just plopped my butt down on one of those electric carts and swish..... I was off to do my own shopping. I LOVEd it. After a week or two I became brave and gave up the cart and just used a regular grocery cart to lean on and got what I needed. The store is huge so it's a good place to get exercise.

However, going to the mall (my modem crashed so I had to go to the Qwest store) I'm not so brave. I take my 4 wheel walker that has a seat and if I get tired I can just sit down in the seat it provides and rest a minute. Either way - the sooner you start going out for an occasional lunch with a friend or do some shopping, the more human you feel again. [/FONT]
Anuenue,
Pt therapy depends on the doctor and insurance company. My insurance would on pay for 12 weeks..this doesn't count home pt. I chose not to go with pt therapy after home therapy. My husband's company pays for our membership to a near by wellness center and I chose to work out in their therapy pool when they don't use it..usually the hours are between 9:00am -11 ;00am. I google searched for exercises for TKR after surgery and I do those plus water aerobics in the pool...a class is going on the the nearby large pool when I work out. I had two major surgeries this past year and since my insurance only pays 80% I didn't want to add additional expenses with PT. I am walking better than a lady at church who had surgery in May and went 12 weeks for PT. Please excuse me for not inclduing you living in a lovely climate..Hawaii. Hang in there..things WILL get better as time goes by. You must be around 10 weeks post op. I went the first time to the grocery store around that time and it was hard on me. Even yesterday at Sam's, I was tired and hurting..I had not been to the pool in several days. Today I could stand for over 1 hour to make 2 pies for Sunday dinner tomorrow...I couldn't do this before surgery. How is your pain level?..from 1 to 10?
Hello wonderful support group! :) I'm baaaccckkk! Well, I had right knee TKR on Oct. 6. Was released from the hospital on Oct. 9 and went to a live-in rehabilitation place, which I very strongly recommend, then released home this past Thursday Oct. 22. And what a journey it has been. I am 46 years old and this is the 3rd knee surgery this year. I had a lateral release on my left knee in May 2009 and the lateral release on my right knee in June 2009. The left knee never got a real break (no pun intended) since the right one continued with swelling to the point I was using a cane. By the time my ortho and I decided to go ahead with the TKR since it was negatively impacting my quality of life, not only was I on a cane but my right knee became actually deformed. It was HUGE and if my toes were pointing the straight, the knee just sort of "caved in" to the left knee. It was not a pretty site. So needless to say, I was looking forward to the replacement. Since there was so much damage (bone on bone and such), my operation lasted 3 hours! It has been pretty slow but consistent progress. My in home physical therapist came to the house today. I am at 90 degrees flexion and only 9 on extension. He assures me that I will continue to improve. Reading all of the success stories in this group has definitely helped. Like some who have written, I must have cried every day I was in the hospital. Nevertheless, the pain is much more manageable since using stool softener does not make me have to compromise use of the pain meds. You guys have been such a blessing to me. I thank you!!! Will let you know how the rest of the therapy goes! Hang in there!!! nfordsupport :)
[QUOTE=beerhunters;4107861]how soon did anyone drive after surgery[/QUOTE]
I didn't drive for about a month. Used the opportunity to try to teach my 23 year old daughter to drive - has had a learners license for years (can learn to drive from age 15 here) but still hasn't sat her road test to get it. In the end felt so frustrated I just took over the wheel. And no she still hasn't sat her road test! Wonder if she ever will.... our son I managed to hold off until he was 17 as I didn't feel he had the maturity until then and he still did lots of damage in his first three months. :confused:
[B]HELLO, HELLO, HELLO.......!!! :)[/B]

I am here at the Rehab Facility. I got here a few hour's ago. It is kind of a depressing place, the people here are VERY VERY OLD.....

When I picked this place, the woman I spoke with told me there was PT on the weekends, but now that I am here, there is NOT.:(

Well, I am five days post surgery. It has been interesting to say the least.

I had to be taken off the morphine drip because it was making me VERY, VERY, VERY nauseaus. Then I was in some intense pain before they figured out to give me "Torredal", WONDERFULL STUFF.....!!!:)

When the Q-Pump was taken off on Friday, I had the most horrible pain hit my knee, WOW.....!!! Back to the Torredal and other meds. I think that one being used is OxyCodin. It's a very tiny pill but works well, unfortunately it makes me VERY SLEEPY....

My red blood cell counts were very low, so I was given the pint I had donated for myself last week and another pint of blood. I was supposed to arrive at Rebab yesterday, but, I was very light headed and I had a temp of 102.

I am fine now, at least as far as I know......

The PT had the hospital had mw walking out in to the hallway and back. I think this is going to be a long haul.

I haven't had a shower since Wednesday, I feel GROSS.....!!!

I am looking forward to being able to take a shower.

Well, let me go and rest. I will talk to you all later. :)

How is Gater Gal doing? I haven't scrolled back, I guess I should.
Nfordsupport.
So glad you are back! This has been a hard year for you with the different knee surgeries. I am glad that you got your pain under good management. Also glad you are taking your stool softners. When I went for the knee repacement class, the instructor told us that the only people who were eligible for rehab hosp. were medicare patients. Blue Cross of Alabama was not covering it unless circumstances required it. Glad you are on the road to great recovery.

SuesanJean,
Girlfriend it is so good to hear from you..all of us were hoping you were doing ok. Now you are offically a member of our "select" club..knee replacement. Now fill us in post op.

Beerhunter
You and I are of like minds...at least at this point..about having the other knee done. You mentioned n a previous post about the hospital where you had surgery was a magnate hospital. What does that mean? You are taking your pain med a little close..every 3 hours. Can you call your surgeon and ask for a stronger strength? So instead of every 3 hours you can get by with every 4-6 hours?

Anuenue
You arew about 10 weeks out now. The pain should be letting up to the point that regular OTC pain med will help...ask your doctor if you can take ibuprofen..it works on pain by reducing inflammation. Take it easy with your chores..rest between each chore.
I think I have found the place to be. I am going to have bilateral TKR on December 8 and I have been looking for some answers. You people are amazing. I think I have a better idea of some of the "challenges" that I will be facing. Right now I am nervous but know that it is something that must be done. I am a 64 year old retired teacher. I think my knees are where they are because I always bent down to help students and was on my feet constantly until the last three years when the pain started. I've been retired three years and I've been two years on a cane and 5 months on a walker. Very little stability and lots of pain. All of your wonderful advice is soooooo helpful. Right now I'm looking for the exercises I should be doing before surgery. I do the pt exercises they gave me last spring...should I be doing more? I know I will be back a lot to see how the new knees are doing for all of you.
Thanks for helping so many people!!!! :wave:
Suesan it is great to hear from you and know you are 'out the other side' and have joined we bionic people. I am sure in about 6 weeks (if not sooner) you will be so pleased you went ahead with the surgery. I get a bit confused really about the meds you guys use because we have different names for them. I reacted to all the opiates and had only over the counter paracetamol and ibobrufen (panadol and nurofen plus which has a little codeine in it) but had to take them 4 hourly, for about 4 months anuenue, as I was still getting lots of pain. I, before I found all of you wonderful people, felt something was wrong as a friend's father who had a TKR 6 months before me said he had less pain than before after 3 months. My surgeon reassured me that I was normal and that I needed to give myself time to heal. Beerhunters, if I had an office job I believe I could have returned after 6-8 weeks, but having a physical one, on my feet at least 8 hours a day, has dragged it out much longer. BTW I have never used weights in my exercise programme and am now doing just simple exercises and lots of exercycle. Haven't tried the treadmill, maybe should give it a go - however I do climb stairs constantly as there are 28 from my front door to my bedroom and to get from one area or room to another is a set of 7 stairs at least to go up and down. My home is built on the side of a hill and at times I do wish we lived on one level not 6 :eek:

I think we just need to remember that we all heal at different rates and feel pain in different ways. The important thing is that we did this massive thing and made a choice to change our lives forever.m:)
[QUOTE=gospelgal;4108248]Nfordsupport.
So glad you are back! This has been a hard year for you with the different knee surgeries. I am glad that you got your pain under good management. Also glad you are taking your stool softners. When I went for the knee repacement class, the instructor told us that the only people who were eligible for rehab hosp. were medicare patients. Blue Cross of Alabama was not covering it unless circumstances required it. Glad you are on the road to great recovery.

SuesanJean,
Girlfriend it is so good to hear from you..all of us were hoping you were doing ok. Now you are offically a member of our "select" club..knee replacement. Now fill us in post op.

Beerhunter
You and I are of like minds...at least at this point..about having the other knee done. You mentioned n a previous post about the hospital where you had surgery was a magnate hospital. What does that mean? You are taking your pain med a little close..every 3 hours. Can you call your surgeon and ask for a stronger strength? So instead of every 3 hours you can get by with every 4-6 hours?

Anuenue
You arew about 10 weeks out now. The pain should be letting up to the point that regular OTC pain med will help...ask your doctor if you can take ibuprofen..it works on pain by reducing inflammation. Take it easy with your chores..rest between each chore.[/QUOTE]

the instructions on the meds to take 2 tabs every 6 hours, instead I take one every 3 hrs and it keeps the pain in check and doesnt have the peaks and valleys of pain, waiting until the pain gets real bad, and then taking meds it takes too long to get rid of the pain, this way it keeps the inflamation at reasonable level


magnete hospital is a status given to centers with nurses that acheive a certain status, do a google search on magnate hospitals, that is how i learned about it
I wonder what the recovery from the knee scope surgery is any guide line to how I will recover from the TKR

the knee scope revorery was excellent for me, walking right away and using few meds

wonder if that makes the TKR recovery will be quicker
Jeanob welcome! If you can handle the pain, any exercises that build your strength in your quad muscles will be very helpful in your recovery. If your hospital has a joint surgery center with classes, then definitly go as early as possible as it will help. If you can ask for a tour of the joint center and meet real live patients on their first day postop in PT, it will give you the best sense of what to expect. Probably the exercises you learned in PT will help and if your insurance will pay for it, have your doctor send you back to PT to have them help you. Leg raises, bending, using weights,etc. all help. The trauma to your bones and your quad muscles is intense from the surgery. Both hurt like heck (IMHO) but the quad takes so much longer to heal, if the muscles are really strong the healing is faster and easier. Get your house ready if you can to be easy to get around, if someone can stay with you for the first two weeks or so, take advantage of it. You can do this and we all guarantee that you will feel better afterwards and that you will once again be able to do many things that you used to do. Suggest you read back over a ton of these posts to get a sense of everybodys experiences and how we all coped. Support is here for you from all of us. Good luck.
[QUOTE=Jeanob;4108398]I think I have found the place to be. I am going to have bilateral TKR on December 8 and I have been looking for some answers. You people are amazing. I think I have a better idea of some of the "challenges" that I will be facing. Right now I am nervous but know that it is something that must be done. I am a 64 year old retired teacher. I think my knees are where they are because I always bent down to help students and was on my feet constantly until the last three years when the pain started. I've been retired three years and I've been two years on a cane and 5 months on a walker. Very little stability and lots of pain. All of your wonderful advice is soooooo helpful. Right now I'm looking for the exercises I should be doing before surgery. I do the pt exercises they gave me last spring...should I be doing more? I know I will be back a lot to see how the new knees are doing for all of you.
Thanks for helping so many people!!!! :wave:[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] Check with your surgeon. Aside from the blood work and chest x-ray 3 weeks prior, Mine gave me a full packet of information from pre-op exercises to classes held at the hospital for prospective TKR patients. Of course, I chose to ignore that prep exercises (much was for PT in a swimming pool because my osteoarthritis was already advanced) and now I'm sorry I did. It's hard to build up muscles that were lax to begin with. I have done my right knee....the left knee is next. Two weeks ago I wouldn't have even "mentioned" the other needy knee. LOL

My surgeon is fairly candid about the whole experience - he spared no punches as to the depth of dedication to rehab. I'm 72, and also retired from a school district. I was administrative assistant to school psychologists. Although I have lived in the Phoenix, AZ area for 35 years, I'm originally from Illinois (Ashton - a village between Rochelle and Dixon - about 100 miles southwest of Chicago). Weather here is conducive to being outside so walking I can do just about every day. I don't envy those patients who have inclement weather, ice and snow to deal with.



[/FONT]
[QUOTE=beerhunters;4108537]how long will it feel like one leg is longer than the other, the leg with the new knee feels longer[/QUOTE]

Beerhunter, it probably is longer! Seriously if your operated leg was deformed, bowed, etc from the wearing down of the bone and years of bone on bone grinding, the surgery can make that leg as much as 1/4 inch or more longer. I had to wear a heel lift in my non operated leg until I had it done and now I have two longer and straighter legs. For the first time in my life I am not bowlegged and I love it, had to hem all my pants, lol.

Anuenue and Jennie have you tried wearing your compression TED hose as a sleeve (cut foot off and wear it from calf over knee to thigh) when you go to PT, do housework and in general just around the house with all that activity. You can buy great adhesive glue stick called It Stays to keep it up so it doesn't roll, glue washes off with water and one bottle lasts forever. Maybe the compression sleeve will help keep the swelling down, swelling always equals pain so that may help with the pain. For my second TKR I wore this sleeve for about 5 months literally every day from morning to night. Hunt online and you can find TED hose in white for about $10 a pair, wash them by hand and in morning they are dry. Keep one leg as the Sunday best leg for going out and the other as the ratty runny everyday leg, lol.
jennie39, I guess I am about 2 weeks behind you. Mu surgery was 8/31 and when I went to PT a week ago I was only at 96 flexion! Last week my PT "advanced" my theropy a notch and I paid for it in severe swelling and heat in my scar. They relaxed my PT routine for the rest of the week and now I dread to go to theropy today! I am so afraid that I lost some degrees in flexion and I have to see my surgeon tomorrow! I know he is going to be looking for better numbers from me. I am doing everything I have been told, I just don't understand why my knee will not bend. I am so afaid that my surgeon will suggest "crackin' the knee to break up scar tissue. I have heard such horror stories about this. Do any of you know about this procedure?

Avenue, I am 8 weeks PO and I still have pain. My surgeon told me at my 2 week check-up that they will not perscribe any more pain killers for me...what I had was all I was getting! At that point i only had 12-15 pills left. I have been very dilligent using them and now only have 2 left. I tryed saving them for PT days because they were pushing me so much. I have been getting by for the most part on 2 Motrin and then three hours later 2 Tylenol. I follow this pattern through the day and I have gotten by so far...although there are days I wish I had more pain pills!!!!
[QUOTE=KittyCat62;4108766]
Avenue, I am 8 weeks PO and I still have pain. My surgeon told me at my 2 week check-up that they will not perscribe any more pain killers for me...what I had was all I was getting! At that point i only had 12-15 pills left. I have been very dilligent using them and now only have 2 left. I tryed saving them for PT days because they were pushing me so much. I have been getting by for the most part on 2 Motrin and then three hours later 2 Tylenol. I follow this pattern through the day and I have gotten by so far...although there are days I wish I had more pain pills!!!![/QUOTE]

My God, KITTYCAT62, how dare your surgeon refuse you any more pain meds. These doctors have no idea what this surgery or recovery feels like. At any rate, thank you so much for telling me about the good results you're getting with Motrin and Tylenol. I'm going to run over to the drug store and buy both and give it a try. I'd much rather take those than the pain meds. I really want to get off the pain meds because of the side effects. At least I'm well over the depression they caused me.

I cut waaaaay back on them and only take them when I need them. I'm proud to say that yesterday after coming home from church, the cemetery to place flowers on my Dad's grave, a quick trip through Costco (could the make the store any BIGGER???), and the long drive, I took two acedamenophen(sp) and later one percocet and was able to walk for the equivalent of 4 blocks with my cane for the first time in two years!!!

I think I'm addicted to the pain meds because I can't sleep at night without them. I haven't been taking them at night because I want to save them for the day time when I have pain (only when I walk or stand). I feel horrible at night and can't sleep - it's not painful, I just feel really sort of anxious and unsettled and can't sleep no matter how tired I am.
I agree that if PT's have colds or symptoms, to STAY home. I would have showed them the door also and tell them not to come back until they are healthy or find a substitute for therapy. I don't know about anybody else, but I don't think any of us can afford to be sick right after surgery. I make sure I disinfect after people leave my home....counter tops, sink, bathroom, door knobs. Maybe I'm being paranoid but better safe than sorry? I don't know but I have become more aware of infections now than before, all because of reading that you need to be careful of the new knee and getting infections......even after a year or two. Boy...I guess I'm paranoid!!!!!! Does anyone else feel this way or is it just me?

Depression sucks...period! It's easy to get depressed now, especially if you're out in the country and you see nothing (but 4 walls) or nobody for long periods of time. I mean my hubby sees people all the time, meaning "men" friends. But, I don't like to hang out with men all the time. Kind of nice to have a woman to talk too once in a while. My kids have been great for the most part, they call me almost every day and get over when they can....only one of them has a license (I have 4 kids and a grandbaby....stink pot that he is LOL but I love them all). Thank God for kids huh!!

It's been nice weather here for a few days (in the 60's) so I have gone for walks and have taken care of my flower beds for the winter (eewwww...what a word LOL). I envy you guys in a warmer climate....especially Hawaii...wow!!!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful pain free day. Thanks all for listening to my rantings.





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