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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

Hi thrutime!

I agree with you that having your knees replaced within a year of each other is the best thing - I'm really looking forward to getting MY left knee replaced this spring. (My surgeon had repaired a minor meniscal tear during last April's right knee replacement surgery - I'd been compensating with my left leg and developed the tear about a month before the replacement surgery. He, at first, optimistically thought he'd bought me about 4 to 5 years before I would need the left knee done.) Unfortunately, in early December, the knee started bothering me again and I had my first cortisone shot. The surgeon looked at the x-rays and said that I had a little room left, but he was downgrading his optimism to 2 to 3 years or less. This month, I've already been to him 3 times and had my second cortisone shot in the left knee on Monday. He had sent me to get EMG testing on both legs (electro conductivity tests). After the right leg test back on Wednesday, I developed bad back pain. He had me come in Thursday to evaluate what was going on. I told the surgeon that my pain tolerance threshold was shot to heck and I can't function like this with the knee pain and back pain, and could I PLEASE have the knee replaced this spring. He agreed it is time. First, though, he wants to get my back pain issue squared away and resolved - I'm going Monday for a spinal MRI, and to a pain management doctor on Wednesday. Then it's back to my surgeon on the 30th to see the whole picture of what is going on. He's 99.99% sure that he'll do the surgery in late April, because he told me to get any other medical procedures done by the end of February. I would have to start all my pre-surg testing and clearance appointments by mid-March at the earliest. The surgeon's physician assistant told me Monday that if he does it this spring, we're catching this BEFORE the knee is as far gone as the right one was when I came to him in October of 2010, and thus, he'll probably have to cut less bone to fit the prosthetic knee in. Also, that should make for an easier and shorter recovery period. (I HOPE!) My surgeon knows I'm a real trouper and that I rarely complain unless things are as bad as they've now gotten. Last year, I did EVERYTHING they asked of me post surgery and, as I approach the one year mark on my right replacement, have very little residual soreness in that knee. They tell you it takes about a year for the soreness from being worked on in surgery, to completely go away. I told the surgeon Thursday that I'm willing to put up with that soreness again for the first 3 months post surgery because I know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and my left knee replacement will turn out as great as the right one did. (I'm 56, so, since I'm not an uber athlete, I figure the knee replacements should last me the rest of my life!)

I have complete trust in my surgeon who is considered the top Orthopedic surgeon for knee and hip replacements in the county where I live. He's been named to the Top Doctors in the U.S. list for 11 YEARS RUNNING! He also has a Ph.D. and has patents on two or three replacement models! And he has the most AWESOME bedside manner on top of that! Of all the surgeons I've had to deal with in the last 30 years for one thing or another, he is the kindest, most caring surgeon I've had the pleasure to be under the care of! They broke the mold when they made this guy!!! He was MEANT to do this!

As for the insomnia, I didn't have that problem. You were probably just uncomfortable having to sleep on your back with your surgery leg kept straight while sleeping, for about six weeks, so the knee would not heal in the bent position (NOT a good thing to have happen!) I admit it was tough, because I usually sleep on my side, but I toughed it out and it paid off.
(I didn't have to wait six weeks for my range of motion to increase. My ROM at my first PT session at the rehab place was 110 degrees - not too shabby for one week out from surgery! As the weeks went by and I had frequent PT sessions at home, my range of motion increased to a final level of 135 degrees!! MORE than I'll ever need and 10 degrees ROM above the average person's ROM WITHOUT surgery!)

If you're still taking the benadryl and NSAIDS, try and cut back so you don't get addicted. They can have a harmful synergistic effect (heightened effects on the body) that can be potentially dangerous. Hopefully, since you had your surgeries in '08 and '09, you've gotten past the insomnia because of discomfort and don't have to take those meds anymore. BE CAREFUL!

I cannot WAIT to be in your company of having both knees replaced and finally getting my mobility back WITHOUT PAIN!!!

Gotta run.


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