Total knee replacement

mary3444August 21, 2013

I will be having a total knee replacement on Mon. I know some of you have had one done is there anything that helped you with the recovery.

We have a 2 1/2 hr ride to the hospital & we have to be there at 5:30 for the surgery at 7:00. Going to be a very long day but I will be glad when it is done.

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Be sure to do the necessary rehab with a physical therapist after your surgery.
It is the most important part of a successful recovery.
Keep us updated, please.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Mary, here is a site I discovered before my recent total hip replacement, for people undergoing knee and hip replacements. Moderated by an orthopedic nurse of 53 yrs!

Lots of informative articles and also forums, like this, for those anticipating surgery and those recovering. A nice "community" of people supporting each other. Hope you find it helpful and your surgery goes well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonesmart

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Why not check into a nearby motel the night before so you can get a good night's sleep and not have that lengthy drive the morning of your surgery. Holiday Inn gives special rates to pre-surgery patients at nearby hospitals.

I did that for early AM heart surgery last year. Also, a major snowstorm was predicted so we went 2 nights before, just in case, as I wanted to be sure that I would be there on time.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Had a total left knee replacement last Oct. I'm still partially numb on my knee but otherwise it's much better than the pain and not being able to straighten it like before (they tried to clean it out first but it didn't work). The therapy was both in the hospital and at my house.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Hope all goes well!

I agree, going the night before would be good!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:45PM
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From my mom's experience (knees, hips,) be conscientious about your physical therapy. She had complete recoveries from all her replacements. PT came to house and she worked on her own. Best wishes to you. Let us know how you are.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:02PM
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I had two total knee replacements 6 months apart. Best advice I can give is to be conscientious about the rehab exercises. I was lucky enough to be in a hospital where they did nothing but rehab. You had to be able to do three hours a day of rehab exercises. It was tiring and vigorous, but it did the job. Had home rehab for 6 weeks afterward, too.

My "new" knees are 8 years old now and working fine.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:35PM
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I talked to my orthopedist today about having a knee replacement. I can't do it until December, when Jody will be finished shrimping and can be home to help me with the animals. So, I will check out that website mentioned too...because I will also be needing it. Good luck to you on yours. Let us know how you do!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:19PM
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just follow mother was given things to do at home alone, but of course it took longer cause she didn'[ follow thru...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:28PM
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I had a total knee replacement September 2012. The physical therapy is the most important part of the healing. But don't let your physical therapist "push" you too hard. It will increase the swelling, and prevent achieving full range of motion. Imagine trying to bend a tube when it's full - your knee is like that when it's swollen. Also, something I used for an ice bag - take a large gallon freezer bag and fill it with 2 cups rubbing alcohol and 4 cups water, seal it, then place it in another bag (just so it doesn't leak). The consistency of the mixture freezes like a slushy, and is easy to place the bag all around your knee. And they stay frozen for hours. I only had 2 of them, and rotated them. Don't bother with the bags of frozen vegetables - for a knee replacement surgery, which is a very major surgery, you need some real cold relief. Bags of frozen vegetables thaw out quickly and aren't large enough to cover your entire knee. Also, be sure to take your pain medication exactly like it's prescribed. Many people try to cut back on it too soon, for fear of becoming 'addicted' to it. You won't, as long as you're using it as prescribed. You can't do your physical therapy if you're in pain. Gently physical therapy, regular pain medication, icing, and elevation are key to a successful recovery.

I, too, used the Bonesmart website prior to my replacement to learn how to prepare for it. It's a great website.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Hi Mary,

You've already been given great advice. I just wanted to add some words of encouragement.

Initially your progress might appear to be slow and it can be frustrating but just keep at it, follow the instructions, take your meds, do the exercises, ice your knee, elevate it, etc. and it will get better. After the slow beginning things do start to speed up.

I had my knees replaced last year. Since I had both done at the same time I stayed in the hospital for 4 days, then another 5 days at a rehab hospital. I had PT 3 times a week for another month at home and then after that I went to outpatient PT for 3 months. By the time I finished all that therapy I could ride a bicycle, walk the mall without crying, climb the stairs, bring the groceries into the house and best of all - finally sleep through the night again!

One last suggestion - when my therapy was over I slacked off - bad idea - I realized that to keep my muscles strong I needed to exercise regularly. So I've been doing Aqua Exercise 3x a week since December. It's great exercise and doesn't put too much stress on your joints.

Good luck - let us know how things went.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:54PM
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Good luck with your operation. One of my best friends is in the hospital now having had hers on Monday. She was supposed to come home tomorrow, but just emailed it will be a few more days. She ripped her knee badly and should've had this before but they cleaned it out instead which was a short term solution.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:49AM
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Hi Mary. No advice. Just wishing you a successful surgery and a speedy recovery!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:53AM
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I want to thank everyone for the advice & well wishes.

breenthumb, thank you for the link.

We have too many animals to take care of so that is why we are leaving on Mon. I am hoping to be able to come home late Tue if there is no complications.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 5:47PM
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If you're having a total knee replacement, I don't know, check with your doctor, but I and everyone else I know who's had one, has had a 4-day hospital stay. Surgery on Monday and then discharge Thursday. There isn't any way you're going home late on Tuesday if you have surgery on Monday. You need to check with your doctor so you can make adequate plans. This is a very MAJOR surgery. Go to YouTube and search for knee replacement - you'll see what all they do to your knee. No offense, but you sound very naive about this. You've taken the joint class, right? And spoken with the doctor or their assistant as to what to expect? It's an orthopedic surgeon who does hundreds of these surgeries a year, right? You don't want someone who's not an absolute specialist. I was 52 and in very good shape when I had mine done.

Also, I went to a rehab facility for a week after my hospital stay. Best thing I ever did.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Good luck with your knee surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I've had patients leave after knee replacement 2 or 3 (usually) days after surgery. They're the ones who get up and walk the day of surgery and go to physical therapy when they're supposed to, etc...the ones who lay in bed and complain that it hurts too much to even move are there for a week or more.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:57PM
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It's not uncommon for some patients who have a TKR to be discharged the next day. There were 25 patients in my knee replacement class and most of them were prepared to go home 2 days after surgery where they'll receive home visits from physical therapists and nurses to monitor their progress and check the incision. I stayed 4 days and then went to a rehab hospital for another 5 but that's because I had both knees done.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery Mary.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:10PM
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I had my left knee done about 20 years ago, and the right one done about ten years ago.

I expect things have changed a lot since then, as far as recovery time, etc, goes. I was up and walking with a walker the next day. I was in the hospital 5 days and then in rehab for 5 days in the Skilled Care Unit in the same hospital.

When I woke up from the surgery, my leg was in a machine (CPM, constant passive motion) that was moving the leg up and down at the knee.That machine went home with me, which was routine for knee replacement surgery. It was to be used day and night for several hours, but now I can't remember how long. It was taken back to the hospital by one of the visiting techs when I no longer needed it.

I remember the first day of rehab when I was told to lift my leg up high, I thought I would never be able to do that! I did though after a couple days, but it sure did hurt.

When I was discharged, I was sent home with the CPM, a walker, a quad cane, a bedside potty chair, and a "grabber," a tool to be able to reach things with. The grabber is still in constant use; a great tool that everybody should have.

At home, I stayed by myself, which was my choice. That included putting myself in and out of the CPM. I preferred being able to sleep, rest, eat, and relax whenever I wanted to. Friends and family came by in the evenings to check and bring goodies.

Mary3444, this is a time to be good to yourself. Pamper your self, and still do every bit of that grueling rehab. It does pay off.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Again I want to thank everyone for their support & info.

spehia, first of all YES I am having a TKR. I do know it is major surgery. This will be my 20th surgery so I am far from being NAIVE about what to expect when having surgery. I think you have a lot to say to me when you don't even know who I am. My orthopedic surgeon for 10 years is #1 in my state, just for your information. We have talked & if the surgery goes well & I can do 2 therapy sessions on Tue I can & will go home late Tue. Thanks for your nice comments.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:32PM
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My boss is having a TKR Monday and going home on Tuesday.
That's all I know about it. :)

Good luck, Mary.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:14PM
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mary3444 - I think I provided you with some nice comments - see Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 22:31. I could have skipped on by your message and not taken the time to reply. You're right - I don't know you. How can I know if you're naïve about surgery if I don't know you? I said I thought you were naïve about a TKR surgery, not surgery in general. I'm glad you have a good orthopedic surgeon. Hope it goes well and you're home Tuesday evening. Perhaps you'll post Wednesday morning and let us know how you're doing.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Good luck to you!! Hope it all goes well and your recovery is good.,and smooth.

As others have said,be sure to do the therapy,both at home and they should send you to outpatient therapy as well.I had therapy for 3 months and my knee is doing well,no problems at all.

I did stay in the hospital,my choice as I told my dr I would not be going home the same day or the next,as I know how I react,or I should say my body reacts to surgery.

Told him I have good ins,and I wasn't going to let the insurance dictate my care.He said it was all up to him in the end,and he listened to my concerns and I stayed the 4 days.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:12PM
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I know several people who have had wonderful results from this surgery and a couple who didn't for one reason or another. Good luck to you. I'm sure you'll be happy to be pain free.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:51AM
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I was my Dad's primary caregiver through two recent TKRs.

The first was May 2012; the second was 5-months later - SAME KNEE.

The first TKR resulted in worsening pain; no amount of PT would have helped. The prosthesis was the wrong size, and not aligned properly. (It was done by an experienced, board-certified surgeon who is the director of Joint Replacement at the hospital.)

My Dad is still recovering from his October 2012 surgery (different surgeon) - VERY SLOWLY, but we have to keep in mind that he is recovering from the trauma of TWO surgeries.

My point is (similar to sephia) is to be fully informed ahead of time. The Bonesmart website has been an invaluable source of information, and is a great support group.

The above cases are "exceptions". I have heard and read about many successful outcomes, and I wish you the best. Please keep us posted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonesmart

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:03PM
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My friend who had it last Monday got home yesterday , Sat., because she developed blood clots in her lungs. She needed to climb a flight of stairs before being released. They have you up and at it next day. How times have changed. When my mother had me via Caesarean section, she was bed ridden for a month!!!! Can you believe that? Best wishes for an easy time.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:06PM
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When my dh had his done in June the PT came to his hospital room one hour after he arrived from the recovery room, got him up, walked him to the doorway. He said I think I can go further, so they walked 2-3 doors down the hallway & back. He's had a wonderful recovery, thanks to his diligence with the PT regemine. He had a great surgeon too. But I know of no rating system that desigates a surgeon as "#1 in the state"...curious about that...

Best wishes with your surgery &recovery!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I want to thank everyone for their good wishes & advice.

I have all intentions of doing what I am told both in the hospital & in rehab.

BeeOHIO, I am sorry when I said my surgeon was #1, it was the hospital & the orthopedic floor that has been #1 for 3 years now.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Best wishes, Mary for a successful and easy surgery and recovery! Sounds like you're all set to be a good pt patient.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:46PM
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We'll all be watching for when you can let us know how you're doing. Here's hoping for smooth sailing all the way.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Thinking of you today and wishing you a speedy and uneventful recovery. Hope to hear you're back to dancing soon!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Been there, done that....a knee and two hips. The best thing I can tell you is... be faithful doing your PT. It may hurt like heck, but oh so necessary. Be kind to yourself and let someone else pamper you for awhile.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:29PM
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