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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

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Hi Nana B,

Sorry for the dealy in my reply...

I'm doing great! 4 months since surgery and I definitely see /feel a difference from early January to now. I am very glad I got this done, even though I soooo nervous about it.

No blood transfusion. I had a TKA (Arthroplasty) which is less blood loss than traditional TKR. Several weeks before surgery, I had a blood test to conirm my level of red blood cells was within an acceptable range. It ws. If it wasn't, they would have given me something to build up red blood cells. That's so when you do bleed during surgery, your body is able to sustain the loss without needing a transfusion.
I was in the hospital for 4 days including the surgery day. I was given a femoral and spinal block for the surgery. The femoral, I didn't feel anything at all... not even a slight pin-prick! The spinal block felt like a mild bee-sting.... no biggie.
While in the hospital (and for a few weeks after) I was given a "cocktail" of Lyrica, Celebrex and Tylenol for pain. Definitely controllable! I also had Oxycodone for pain as needed, but really didn't need it to control pain. I also was on blood thinner meds for about 2 or 3 weeks following surgery, then baby asprin for a month.

I did end up using the oxycodone occasionally though, starting about 3 weeks after surgery till mid December, so I could sleep. My doc also gave me a presecription for Ambien so help me sleep on the weekends.

For me, the hardest part of this was using the TED hose for 6 weeks (to help prevent blood clots) and not finding a comfortable position to sleep at night. I *hated* that hose! I have... "ample" ...thighs and keeping those %$#@* heavy stockings up and not letting then roll down was a PAIN. I was sooo glad to ditch those things.

Also hard was finding a comfortable position. I ended up on the recliner for a few nights. I would recommend getting a recliner if you don't have one already. For many there is an issue with skin sensitivity for quite a period of time... even a light sheet would be uncomfortable.

One thing I would HAVE to emphysize (sp) is that you MUST be sure to do your physical therapy! Take a pain pill before going if you need to, but don't slack on doing PT at an outpatient facility or home exercises. Otherwise you will not get the straightening or bending you need to. I am going to the gym now to keep my quad muscle strong... definitely helps to keep the knee stable.

I would also look into Total Knee Arthroplasty... also known as TKA, quad-sparing or minimally invasive. The recovery time is faster, less blood loss, smaller scar (5 " instead of 9"), and you bounce back quicker. With TKA they don't cut your quad muscle so yo're able to do more with your quad than TKR.

That's about it. I would recommend havign it done. I'm 56 and it's teh best decision I made.

On a totally separate note, the name "Nana B" rings a belll... were you part of the Cruise Critic group on the Emerald Princess back in June 2010? :-)

Best of luck to you!!
With a grandbaby coming soon, it sounds like it may not be the best time to have this surgery done. But think of it this way.... your knee and pain will not get any better without the surgery. Please don't be decide against surgery because of fear. I, too, was very afraid. I actually told everyone I was thinking about changing my mind about the surgery. I, too was afraid of the pain, blood clots, loss of blood, the spinal and femoral blocks, having to pre-med with antibiotics, and the possibility of joint failure and revisions. All scary stuff... yes... but I weighed that against what my life would be without the surgery.....constant and sometimes dibilitating pain, not able to walk or dance, not able to climb stairs or participate in normal activities. I am (soon to be) 57 and I could not imagine life without activity. I had bone-on-bone arthritis and it was only going to get worse and damage/wear away the bone. I figured I was going to HAVE to have the surgery eventually if I didn't want to be bedridden in my later years, and I figured I could heal a lot quicker and bounce back faster in my 50's than I could in my 70's. That's what sealed it for me. I sucked it up (fears and all) and had it done. I can now honestly say I would do it again in a heartbeat. Only my right knee was affected by the arthritis , but if I had to get the left one done, I would. It's defintely worth it. HOWEVER, it does take committment to PT and time to recover. You won't be able to chase around little kids for several weeks (at least!) and you will have restrictions on what you can/can't do for a while. If you go this route, I would suggest that you make arrangements to take some time away from caring for kids. This is something that you would need to do for yourself so that you CAN enjoy chasing around the tykes and caring for little ones.

Best of Luck to you, Nana B! Please let us know if you decide to have this surgery done. This community is very helpful in providing support and knowing what to expect.

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