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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

To all of you who have posted on this thread, I commend you for your candor and thoughtful comments. I don't want to repeat the things that have already been said, but I will emphasize a few points. One is that it seems rather strange to me that you did not have meds provided to you at the time of surgery. With this type of surgery, it is absolutely necessary to control pain before, during, and immediately after the surgery in order to minimize (as much as possible, which varies from person to person) subsequent pain. I would definitely question your doctor, and go so far as to suggest that you change doctors, in order to get your pain situation under control, and to avoid a repeat should you decide to have the other knee done.

I am a 60 year old female. I had almost no movement in my left knee by the time I had it replaced at the age of 45. The problems began when I was 20, playing basketball, and I totally blew out my knee. The doctor thought I was dislocating my patella. It took years to get a doctor to consider the fact that a female actually is more likely to hurt her knees playing sports than a male. Anyway, fast forward after many intermediate surgeries to my knee replacement. In my case, the pain went down pretty much immediately after my surgery. The replacement did resolve many problems with my knee. I can't remember when or how often I needed pain meds back then, but I'm sure it was not for long. Rehab, though, in those days was forced bending of my knee by the therapist. I laid on my stomach and he forced my knee to bend. Let me tell you that THAT was painful. In the end, though, I recovered much faster than expected.

Three years ago, I had my right knee replaced. Now that was a different story. Sure, I was older, but things just did not go as smoothly, beginning with a hematoma that sent me back to surgery. I took more pain meds than the first time around. My rehab took longer than the first time around. But I am walking fairly well, although I have other issues that contribute to the right knee not working as well as the left.

I have explained all of this to say that I, too, had a severe problem when I had my first knee replacement. It is in fact true for some people that the recovery goes quickly. The doctor was not entirely wrong. And for the same people, another replacement might end up going quite differently.

The thing about recovering from orthopedic surgeries is that (and believe me when I say that I have had many of them) you need to think past your present condition. You need to say to yourself, "In two weeks, this will be a bad dream and I will be feeling better." And after those two weeks, you tell yourself, "In another two weeks, I will be able to do even more than I am doing today." And so on. You cannot get stuck in the muck of your misery. You have to think beyond it. Focus forward, not down.

As for having the other knee done, kayjaylv, my suggestion to you is to wait until you are feeling a bit better to make any decision, but definitely put it off for now. I would also suggest that you see a pain management specialist who can help you sort out your situation with pain meds. He can steer you towards the best route for you to take. Don't assume you should not take your pain meds, because that is obviously not working. On the other hand, you are right to be concerned since you have had issues with them in the past. But seek the help of a professional rather than deciding on your own.

I commend your wife for her support, and I wish you well. Please continue to converse with us so that we can help you through this as much as possible. Good luck!
It definitely sounds as if your head is in a better place than when you started this thread. Whether that is because you got a chance to air some of your concerns, you have your pain situation under control, or you can really start to see progress in your recovery, I don't know. Chances are that it's a little of all of those.

Thanks for clearing up the pain med situation. I understand all of it other than that you are going to a surgical center rather than a hospital unless a surgical center IS a hospital in your area. Around here where I live, that term means outpatient surgeries and tests only. But it sounds as if your facility is perhaps out- and in-patient. I hope I have that part right.

I still don't get the part about you having to bring your own meds, though, unless that is another feature of your surgical center. I certainly never have to provide my own pain meds, or any meds for that matter, except for my migraine medication which the hospital does not carry in their pharmacy.

In any case, I am very pleased to learn that you are making steady progress. Fifteen years ago, I used a CPM machine, but not 3 years ago. CPM machines are rarely used around here any more, except under certain situations such as when the patient is unable to get out of bed for conventional PT. I still think they are very valuable, even for the mobile patient, because it can be used at any time of the day between regular PT sessions. I imagine that it boils down to costs. It sounds as if, in your case, you are making very good use of it given your range of motion. That will set you on a very good course. Make sure to maintain that range of motion while you are recovering from your other knee replacement, though.

It sounds as if you are making a sage decision to go forward with the other TKR. Get it over with and be done. I think that's how I would feel if I were you. Make sure you get plenty of rest leading up to the second surgery, because your body will still be recovering from the first round when you go in for round two. I guess that would be my key advice at this stage. Except, of course, to continue to remain positive, even if you have a minor setback from time to time, and keep your mind looking toward the horizon and not the discomfort you are feeling at the moment. Before long, it will all be behind you.

Great job! Keep up the good work!!!

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