Hints for aftercare in knee replacement?

shaddy101January 30, 2009

I posted in the other forum also, but would appreciate anyone with some insight into either aftercare, before surgery/after surgery, whatever you can give for ideas in this surgery as to what a lone person can do for themselves, before, after, and during. I have never had anything like this before, and as I am alone, don't want to trouble anyone else too much, gonna try and struggle thru this alone. would appreciate any tips, hints, perhaps something you did, or should have done, anything to give me some incentive.

Thanks a heap!!!!!!!!!

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Will you be having a full or a partial knee replacement?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 10:32PM
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complete, and full, not sparing anything, need to get back into the swing of things, have been needy for a long time already, just kept putting off. My mistake, and now, would like some help in assisting myself, is that a wimpy way out, or have I crossed the line in asking?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 4:09AM
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I personally don't feel that your question is out of line. Your doctor/surgeon, of course, should cover everything with you, including all the post-surgery stuff. Pepper him/her with all your questions!

My own experience amounted to two partial replacements done several months apart about five years ago. Yes, my surgeon asked me if I wanted them done at the same time, but I had a hard time imagining being off both legs at the same time.

Each episode amounted to a couple of days in the hospital before going home. Yes, you probably will need some hefty pain-killers for awhile. I was sent home with a contraption that automatically bent and straightened the leg. After a week or two, it was physical therapy sessions, twice a week, for a couple of months. Those sessions were super-painful as the primary purpose is to attain full range of motion, both bending and straightening. I'd say that if tears do not come to your eyes, then you aren't putting as much into it as you should. Anyway, for me, the physical therapy was the hardest, but most important, phase of the whole experience.

Since you are alone, your doctor should be able to inform you of services available to you that will enable you to recover properly. For the first month or so, you won't be able to drive, so you'll need assistance from a friend, neighbor, or some kind of paratransit service.

There is another possibility that might come into play in your particular situation, but I'm not an authority in this area so check with your doctor. Upon your discharge from the hospital, the doctor may feel that your situation (living alone) warrants a brief stay in a rehab facility. The rehab facility would have physical therapists to help with that part of your recovery, and they would also teach you how to continue your progress at home alone. The length of your stay would be dependent on a determination by the rehab facility that you are capable enough to take care of yourself at home. Again, this part should be covered by your doctor and your medical insurance coverage also is pertinent.

One more thing. My surgeon cautioned me not to engage in vigorous activities with the new knee. While I realize that medical advances and perhaps newer knee materials mean that your new knee will be much more durable than mine, most doctors five years ago were saying that you don't want to wear out or damage that replacement. Apparently, a second replacement was highly problematic. They don't last forever, and that weighs against doing knee replacements on younger patients. Again, things may have changed since then. Anyway, I was told: no running, brisk walking was okay, swimming would be great. While those cautions came as a big disappointment to me, the pain-free existence since then has been all worth it.

Let me stop here and pass the ball back to you. Of course, everyone's experience and situation is different, so please consider what others say as well.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 10:17PM
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As a former home health care worker, I can tell you that there are a lot of variables, such as your age, your weight, your general health, etc. Even the fact that you postponed having it done is a factor. It means that the surrounding muscles have been under a lot of stress for a long period of time. Yes, the therapy is very painful at first. When it comes to pain, wimps just don't get the recovery they should because they refuse to do the therapy. Only you know if you fall into this category. You will need a shower bench. Some hand grips installed in the right places in your bathroom will help tremendously. Also, you will want a hand-held shower device. Believe me, you'll love it. You don't need an expensive one. You can find them in big box stores for around $10 or $15. Ask your doctor if you should be doing exercises to build up those muscles before surgery. Some doctors will say yes, others no, depending on how bad your knees are. If the doctor recommends rehab, then please go. It will really be so much better for you, even if you are only there a couple of weeks. God Bless ! Hope it goes well for you!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:41PM
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My mother had a knee replacement several years ago. Bending the knee is very important so that scar tissue doesn't build up. She'd go for therapy in a hot pool, which helped a lot.

Unfortunately, the replacement didn't take her pain away. She has osteoarthritis in both knees. After having the first knee done, she didn't want the other knee done.

My husband's aunt had a knee replacement and everything worked out great.

I met a man who had it done 3 times and now has to wear a brace and is on morphine for the pain.

Everyone is different. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:21PM
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I had a repair of a torn meniscus 2 years ago, and had alot of physical therapy afterwards. While there, I heard how important it was to get your leg/knee muscles in good shape before the surgery, since it will help alot afterwards. You need to do stengthening exercises.
Surely your doc will send you to physical therapy for awhile afterwards, right?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Go to www.bonesmart.com. I had a total hip replacement and am facing two knee replacements, as well as back surgery.....arthritis in every joint....but I found MANY helpful questions and answers on that site.
Hip didn't turn out as I expected...1" longer than the other leg....ITB Syndrome and a lot
of scar tissue, etc. Replacement surgery is not for whimps!!! it is painful.....so good luck.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Has anyone with rheumatoid arthritis had total knee replacement surgery? How did things go for you or someone you know?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 5:30AM
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Hi Busy....I know a few with OA who have had the knee replacement, but a neighbor with RA had it a year ago. 60ish, thin and fit - his wife is a fitness instructor at the college :)

All in all, it went well. The recovery was a little tedious and initially uncomfortable for him but doable with pain meds. Kind of one of those circumstances where easy enough to handle when you know 'this is as bad as it gets' and tomorrow will be a little better. He did PT following (and did need rides, it was right knee) and today you'd never know it's not an actual joint. He's taking carpentry courses at the college, requires being down on his knees from time to time. Hikes, exercises at the Y, gardens....a little loss in range of motion but no residual pain or weakness. He'd say if there was, one of those men who are not the best patients!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:44PM
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I am in a similar situation except for the knee. I am alone and have no one to help me if I need surgery. I am checking out nice care homes to stay in until I can be independent again. I know several women that have done that.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 8:55PM
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l know this might sound silly but are legs measured before this operation my man had a very bad rugby injury which left one leg shorter and the kr is on the opposite leg and l am concerned that if a standard joint is used it could make matters worse also need more idea please of what rehab consists of walks distance etc his slim and diet very good also anyone know of any naturalsupplements to take jan thanks

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:35AM
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I was actually undergo knee replacement when I got accident 4 years ago, I can say that it really helps to get back confidence and believing my self.

Here is a link that might be useful: Knee Replacement Surgery in India

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:21AM
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