Advice

Posted , 17 users are following.

Hi,

I am looking for advice about knee relacements and would love to hear from anyone who has had a positive experience after knee replacement surgery.

I am 64 years old and hyave suffered from knee arthritus for several years. It is steadily getting worse and have been advised that I need a knee replacement. I have had several steroid injections and although they helped at first they no longer give me any relief.

I find that my knee is at it's worst in the morning and I can only come down the stairs one step at a time. Gradually after a hot shower it improves slightly but there is still pain there when walking. I do not have any pain when sitting down or at night when I go to bed. The pain is at it's worst when walking. I am quite a keen walker and at the moment I can still walk a few miles and block the pain out. The surgeons I have seen tell me my X rays are quite bad and seem surprised that I can cope. I would love to have a knee replacement but there seem to be so many people who have negative experiences I am not sure whether it is the right thing to do.

I have had some experience with surgery during the last few years, as I had an accident some years ago and fractured my hip. I was given a hip replacement which was fine and I managed to go back to work 3 months later.

Unfortunately,

I had to have this hip implant removed and undewent a hip revision. Again this was fine and I returned to work 3 months later.

More recently I have had foot surgery and have just about recovered from the operation and I really wish I was brave enough to undergo a knee replacement but there seem to be so many people who are unhappy after having the operation that I am not sure that it is the right thing to do.

I would also be keen to know whether you are able to do more after the operation. At the moment, I struggle with going up and down stairs and would like to know whether that becomes easier after the recovery period. Do you find that you are able to walk further distances. I know that the recovery can be quite long but I would love to hear from anyone who feels that it was worthwhile and they are pleased with the outcome of the operation.

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  • Posted

    Hi there I had my left knee done June last year so am almost one year now. My op went very well with no complications and I was back at work after 6 weeks - desk based.  Admittedly I don't do a lot of walking but when I do go out I gave no problems with my left knee only my right one now and am trying to decide when to take the plunge and have the second op.  I can't kneel on the new knee because it is very uncomfortable and gather this will continue to be the case. I think once your knees have no cartilidge left then a tkr is the only thing that can make a difference. Others will probably come on and give you more information. If you do go fr it just make sure you do all your exercises   The first 2weeks are the worst then every couple of days after that I could see improvements. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Christine I had my op nearly six weeks ago and I definitely had a very positive experience. I had a spinal block for the actual op and was tapping along to music on the theatre radio and chatting with the staff, all went very quickly. I was sore after the op, but not much more than the pre op pain I was getting from the arthritis. I have enjoyed the recovery period, I am a primary teacher and it was great to spend time doing things I wanted (catching up on box sets, books on my kindle etc) without feeling guilty. The physio told me to stop using crutches after three weeks as they were a hindrance more than anything. In the first few weeks, sleep is difficult, but I found it helpful to take my pain relief just before bed and putting a small pillow between my knees for comfort. Like you, I am a keen walker and can't wait to get out there again. I appreciate that I may be one of the lucky ones to have had a trouble free experience, but I feel it is just as important to share this as those who have had a tougher time than me. I am 54, but my mum had a smooth experience too and she is in her seventies. Please feel free to ask me any questions, I can honestly say was the best decision I have made in a long time.
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  • Posted

    I had my left TKR in January 2013 and right one in July 2013. I had a spinal for both of them but was more prepared when I had the second one - with headphones to listen to music and a book to read whilst they were operating. I accepted all painkillers offered whilst in hospital and did all the exercises recommended. I walked without crutches whilst in hospital.

    My main regrets about the operations are that I suffered for 7 or 8 years before I had them - I was referred to a consultant for something else which needed sorting first and my consultant thought I was too young at first to have them done. I was 57 when I had them done.

    I have been able to do housework and gardening that I had neglected for years. I can walk as far as I want now and am now faster than my husband! When we go on holiday I can explore areas for hours (this was not possible before.) The only thing I find difficult is kneeling - it feels strange.

    Every knee is different but my opinion is have the operation whilst you are still young enough to reap the benefits.

    Good Luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine.  I'm 3 months post op from my knee replacement (which really isn't that far out in terms of this op, keep that in mind).

    I had bone on bone arthritis in the bad knee and walking was extremely painful. I'm now able to walk freely with MUCH less pain.  I ride my bike too.  I don't ever think I'll be pain free as there is tendon damage from the knee down but I would do this surgery over without thinking about it, knowing what I know.  IT IS NOT EASY RECOVERY! I think a lot of us didn't expect that part to be so painful, sleepless, frustrating etc.  Having said that I know mine just gets slowly better.  Right now I still get swelling and still ice and elevate after working outside or a walk or ride. They say at 6 months we should be doing pretty well.

    I have some range of motion limitations but don't mind.  Walking without wincing is a real pleasure again.  I look forward to hiking and fishing again, going to the zoo or museum and other activities.  I hope you make the right decision.  I will say if you decide to go ahead, work hard at getting the leg in shape (quads). The surgeon said that made a big difference with me.   Best of luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi christine

    first of all, a large number of us on this forum are here because we were either having difficulty, or feeling the need for support from other knee replacement patients!  there are probably a lot of people out there who have had knee replacemnts with a lot less pain and struggle than many of us have experienced, buyt they probably haven't felt the need to go to a forum like this.  there have been some people on this forum who have had stellar recoveries, with little pain, and achieved excellent bend and extension without a great deal of problem. However, there are others who have found the whole experience very trying . .the pain level for most of us seems to be above what we expected, and it is generally accepted to be alot more difficult than a hip replacement. However, as you are suffering consderable pain and impingement of your ability to walk extensively, you may be at the right stage for a knee replacement. i often say I would not go through this again . . but I have to adit that my knee was not THAT bad before, and i think perhaps I was a bit precipitate in having it done. At 70, I thought it better not to wait until I, and my husband at 80, was unable to cope with the after effects.  the first few weeks are pretty horrifble, and I think that is true for pretty well everyone, with some exceptions, and you may be one of them!!!  At six weeks, though, I was able to walk two kms. a day with only average pain, and now at 16 weeks, I am coping with pretty well everything although still have problems going down stairs.  I think perhaps I was not hard enough on myself in the first couple of weeks, when I had no decent painkillers, and should have pushed for more bend at that time.  Advice. . no-one can really make up your mind for you, but I hope whatever you decide is the best. . It sounds as if you are suffering quite badly and although this will be hard to begin with, in the end you should be reaping the benefits.  it is a long job though. . at four months, I can still see I have aLONG way to go . . 

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine ,,as you have read , it is a painful experience and takes quite a while to recover, the only thing I would say to you is ,, you are in pain now , which will only get worse , there's nothing out there medication wise to ease your pain , so by having the operation  - yes you will be in pain but at least theres a chance of recovery and virtual pain free existence . There will always be some kind of discomfort but nothing like you are going through now . For me in the end I felt I had no choice but to have the operation, Just be prepared for a road of hard work and recovery, good luck 
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  • Posted

    Hi Christine,

    I had a right total knee replacement two years ago. All went well.  Pain gone, no swelling. Able to go up and down stairs. I would highly recommend this surgery.

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  • Posted

    Positive experience after knee replacement surgery, if tha tis what you are looking for Christine it's ME definitely.

    I had TKR 3 years ago and it is like having my llife back, there is no other way of describing it.

    Had osteo arthritis in both my knees since I was in my teens. I am now the same age as you.

    Stairs are no problem as long as they have rail or banisters.

    Otherwise down step (pavement) or downhill is still a bit difficult but not nearly as bad as it was. Walking withut a stick.

    I think I was just lucky to have an excellent consultant and lots of phsio afterwards.

    Don't get me wrong here, it is hard work to begin with but well well worth it for a successful result.

    I would advise anyne to just go for it.

    Sarah

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  • Posted

    I had tkr 3monthd ago and although it was very painful with a really hard recovery am glad I had it done as I can now straighten my leg and no longer have arthritis !

    Most of us on here have asked questions on symptoms not covered by the doctors and it is very reassuring to get helpful advice ie best shoes to wear how to get comfy on bed and to know that we are not alone getting only an hour or so sleep

    Good luck with your decision and keep in touch

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine, having a tkr is no walk in the park, however, each persons experience is different, although we all have some similarities, pain, sensations etc. I think as long as you go into the procedure aware that some days you will have pain, some days you may be a bit down then you will be fine. I wish someone had been completely honest with me before I had the op, I was totally unprepared for what lay ahead. At almost 8 weeks post op I now feel better than I have for a few years. I still have a way to go but I would not hesitate to have the op again. Keep in touch with this forum and everyone here will help you get through the bad days and celebrate the triumphs. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      I do agree with you christine!  My sister in law, who has had both knees done, said before the operation that it 'wasn't as bad as people think'.  When I came home she said 'Oh, isn't it terrible. . I have never cried so much . . etc. etc. . .Either tell the truth, or don't say anything is my opinion!  I understand that she didn't want to scare me to death, but I would have preferred to be more prepared!

       

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  • Posted

    I would never try to mislead anyone about my experience. Christine asked if anyone could relate a positive experience and I answered honestly. I appreciate that I may have been extremely lucky, but I thought it was all much better than I anticipated. Prior to the op I had been on this forum and was almost going to cancel in the light of what I had read, so glad I didn't.
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    • Posted

      I think it's important that people like you tell your side of things as well!  It always worries me that our experiences may frighten some people into not having the operation, and I am sure there are loads of people with positive experiences out there who have not looked for a forum like this because they had no need of advice or support!  I am not sure if you have been lucky, or some of us have been unlucky!  One would need a really extensive investigation which a forum like this cannot possibly give.  Of course, I am glad NOW that I have had it done, although today it's actually worse than yesterday . .but that's the way of the TKR for lots of us!  Statistics show that 90 per cent of people are happy with the outcome . . some of the other ten per cent probably didn't take seriously the advice to exercise, exercise exercise. . and some poor people are the unlucky ones who have a bad result, like Veronica. . .
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