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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


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My husband had Total Knee Replacement surgery 13 days ago. I came across this website and it was so helpful to me that I decided to tell our story.

My husband is 58 years old and has suffered with severe knee pain (in both knees) for the last several months. Due to the pain level, he had been VERY INACTIVE for a very long time. He had gotten to the point that he would drive to the end of the driveway to check the mail and wait in the truck while I went shopping. His quality of life had gone down so much that we felt that it was time to do something.

We made an appointment with the doctor. On the first visit, they took x-rays and saw that he knees were "bone on bone" in both legs. Although he was considered young for this surgery, it was basically his only alternative. After discussing our options, we chose to go with a partial knee replacement in hopes that it would buy a few years before eventually having to have a total knee replacement. The doctor was concerned that a partial would not support his weight (because he is over 300 hundred pounds), but felt that he was a bit young to do a total knee replacement. So we scheduled a partial knee replacement surgery. I informed the office that I was scheduled to attend a conference out of town 5 days after surgery and they assured me that I could still go ahead with the plans - he would be able to take care of himself by that time. NOT!

He had the surgery on a Friday. Before starting, they scoped the knee and determined that a partial would not be effective since his entire knee was in bad shape. They had to end up doing a Total Knee Replacement.

The surgery lasted for 2 hours. He was awake during the entire procedure. When he returned from recovery, he was talking and laughing and doing fine.

The following morning, we were so excited with the outcome. The physical therapists came in and got him up. He walked around the hospital floor with no problems. We realized later that the nerve block was still in effect!

That afternoon, after sitting in a chair for most of the day, he was ready to get back in the bed. He made it to the bed and began feeling lightheaded. He completely passed out while sitting on the edge of the bed. I had my arms around his waist and was afraid that if I let go that he would slide off of the bed, so I had to call for help. Help arrived and when he woke up, he began throwing up. They didn't seem to be overly concerned. They felt that it was medication related and likely from the trauma to the leg/body.

The following morning, he did his exercises again, but was beginning to feel pain and asking for pain meds.

On the 3rd day after surgery, they told us that they were sending us home. Of course it took most of the day to get the paperwork done, so we didn't get home until that evening. While waiting to go home, they made sure that we had access to a walker and had a potty chair delivered....that is when I began to get a little concerned....I am not cut out to be a nurse.....

When we got home, we put him in his recliner - big mistake. Although he was very comfy, when it was time to get up, he was unable to. We had to call his sister and our daughter to help. Needless to say, he has not used his recliner again. He has been sitting in a chair from our back patio (because it has two hard armrests that he needs in order to stand up).

The following day, I realized that I would need to cancel my trip because there was absolutely NO WAY that he would be able to take care of himself while I was out of town. At this point, he was unable to get in or out of the bed without help. He was also unable to do his physical therapy exercises without help. He had been told to do "straight leg lifts" and at this point, he was not able to lift his leg at all. He was having to use a portable toilet (because it sits up higher than a regular toilet). Also, we had a rented a device that had to be filled with ice water every 3-4 hours that was connected to a wrap that went around the knee and provided cold and pressure to the knee to reduce swelling. I am not exactly sure who the doctor's office thought would be doing all of this when they told me to go ahead with my plans to attend the conference....

Each day has gotten a little easier. He found a way to use his belt to lift his leg to help him get into the bed. After doing the exercises 3 times each day, little by little he was able to do a little more on his own.

Today is the 13th day after surgery. He had his staples removed today. He took his last shot in the stomach today (to prevent blood clots). He was finally able to remove the stockings (to prevent bloodclots). At this point, he is able to do his physical therapy exercises without help. He can lift his leg, but has difficulty holding it in the air for 5 seconds.) Yesterday was the first day that he stayed at home all day without someone there to help him.

So, to the spouses of those scheduled to have this surgery, I would suggest that you make arrangements to be there to help for at least a week, possibly longer. I think that the length of recovery depends on the physical shape of the patient, but in our case, it has taken a little longer due to his weight and his inactivity prior to the surgery.

I will do my best to give updates as time allows. Please let me know if our story was helpful to you.
[QUOTE=wifeofpatient;4753194]My husband had Total Knee Replacement surgery 13 days ago. I came across this website and it was so helpful to me that I decided to tell our story.

My husband is 58 years old and has suffered with severe knee pain (in both knees) for the last several months. Due to the pain level, he had been VERY INACTIVE for a very long time. He had gotten to the point that he would drive to the end of the driveway to check the mail and wait in the truck while I went shopping. His quality of life had gone down so much that we felt that it was time to do something.

We made an appointment with the doctor. On the first visit, they took x-rays and saw that he knees were "bone on bone" in both legs. Although he was considered young for this surgery, it was basically his only alternative. After discussing our options, we chose to go with a partial knee replacement in hopes that it would buy a few years before eventually having to have a total knee replacement. The doctor was concerned that a partial would not support his weight (because he is over 300 hundred pounds), but felt that he was a bit young to do a total knee replacement. So we scheduled a partial knee replacement surgery. I informed the office that I was scheduled to attend a conference out of town 5 days after surgery and they assured me that I could still go ahead with the plans - he would be able to take care of himself by that time. NOT!

He had the surgery on a Friday. Before starting, they scoped the knee and determined that a partial would not be effective since his entire knee was in bad shape. They had to end up doing a Total Knee Replacement.

The surgery lasted for 2 hours. He was awake during the entire procedure. When he returned from recovery, he was talking and laughing and doing fine.

The following morning, we were so excited with the outcome. The physical therapists came in and got him up. He walked around the hospital floor with no problems. We realized later that the nerve block was still in effect!

That afternoon, after sitting in a chair for most of the day, he was ready to get back in the bed. He made it to the bed and began feeling lightheaded. He completely passed out while sitting on the edge of the bed. I had my arms around his waist and was afraid that if I let go that he would slide off of the bed, so I had to call for help. Help arrived and when he woke up, he began throwing up. They didn't seem to be overly concerned. They felt that it was medication related and likely from the trauma to the leg/body.

The following morning, he did his exercises again, but was beginning to feel pain and asking for pain meds.

On the 3rd day after surgery, they told us that they were sending us home. Of course it took most of the day to get the paperwork done, so we didn't get home until that evening. While waiting to go home, they made sure that we had access to a walker and had a potty chair delivered....that is when I began to get a little concerned....I am not cut out to be a nurse.....

When we got home, we put him in his recliner - big mistake. Although he was very comfy, when it was time to get up, he was unable to. We had to call his sister and our daughter to help. Needless to say, he has not used his recliner again. He has been sitting in a chair from our back patio (because it has two hard armrests that he needs in order to stand up).

The following day, I realized that I would need to cancel my trip because there was absolutely NO WAY that he would be able to take care of himself while I was out of town. At this point, he was unable to get in or out of the bed without help. He was also unable to do his physical therapy exercises without help. He had been told to do "straight leg lifts" and at this point, he was not able to lift his leg at all. He was having to use a portable toilet (because it sits up higher than a regular toilet). Also, we had a rented a device that had to be filled with ice water every 3-4 hours that was connected to a wrap that went around the knee and provided cold and pressure to the knee to reduce swelling. I am not exactly sure who the doctor's office thought would be doing all of this when they told me to go ahead with my plans to attend the conference....

Each day has gotten a little easier. He found a way to use his belt to lift his leg to help him get into the bed. After doing the exercises 3 times each day, little by little he was able to do a little more on his own.

Today is the 13th day after surgery. He had his staples removed today. He took his last shot in the stomach today (to prevent blood clots). He was finally able to remove the stockings (to prevent bloodclots). At this point, he is able to do his physical therapy exercises without help. He can lift his leg, but has difficulty holding it in the air for 5 seconds.) Yesterday was the first day that he stayed at home all day without someone there to help him.

So, to the spouses of those scheduled to have this surgery, I would suggest that you make arrangements to be there to help for at least a week, possibly longer. I think that the length of recovery depends on the physical shape of the patient, but in our case, it has taken a little longer due to his weight and his inactivity prior to the surgery.

I will do my best to give updates as time allows. Please let me know if our story was helpful to you.[/QUOTE]





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