Contemplating TKR of the left leg

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hello All,

I'm thinking about getting my left knee done and was hoping for some advice. I can still handle level, fairly even ground pretty good. I have a lot of trouble with it on stairs, especially down. I also have some problems on the hills and can get some serious pain on uneven ground. Pretty much every night the knee swells up but goes down when I can get it up in the evening. So far I can keep on keeping on overall. My question is, should I get it done or should I wait until it's a must? I have seen an orthopedic surgeon and had it checked. The knee is bone on bone and I've been told that it will have to be replaced. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Kel

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  • Posted

    hi kelvin x i had my left knee replaced 6 weeks ago x the advice is simple for me x if it stops you doing basic activities and your in constant pain then go for it x its not easy though to recover so you have to be patient with yourself at first x

    m

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  • Posted

    If the knee is unbearable go for it Ive had both knees done the first one is`not good but the second knee is brill

    I can bend down much further but find it impossible to kneel on them although I had been told i could.

    Recovery for the first 4 weeks is almost unforgiving but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel This site will support you in your darkest moments It did me Even my surgeon asked had i joined the 2am club cos for the first few months thats when the pain wakes you up BUT 2 years down the line I DO NOT regret the ops Go for it

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    • Posted

      Joan,

      I'm sitting here now replying and my knee is throbbing from a short walk earlier today. It's not unbearable but it's always painful. I sometimes think that I am just getting use to the pain and adjusting what and how I do things to try to avoid hurting too much. Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Kel

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  • Posted

    Hello!

    Before my total knee replacement, i went to the doctor who did x-rays and showed me that I also was bone on bone. I also had knee cap spurs and loads of arthritis.

    I said, with this much going bad, the shots, etc. really would not fix the problem, just push it off.

    Sooooo 8 days ago I underwent a Total Knee Replacement.

    if you read a lot, such as I do, they will tell you after surgery you will have some "DISCOMFORT"... ☺

    Thats a nice way of saying, its going to Hurt like Hell. ☺

    my thoughts are this.

    SHORT TERM PAIN

    LONG TERM GAIN.

    Most people i have talked with all seem to say, they wish they would have done this sooner. Sooner before the rest of their body compensated for that problem knee. limping, falling etc.

    Best of Luck to you!! 😁

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    • Posted

      I TOTALLY AGREE. THE FIRST TWO WEEKS WERE BRUTAL! I AM 3 weeks out and I RODE A SPIN BIKE TODAY, have 128 degree of Rom and almost 0 extension. THE HARDER YOU WORK THE BETTER YOU WILL BE SOONER AND FOR THE LONG HAUL, I AM 66 and AN AMPUTEE WHO ONlY USES CRUTCHES, so no excuses folks!

      SORRY FOR THE INAPPROPRIATE FONT! CANT GET IT CORRECTED!

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  • Posted

    Just had my LTKR on May 23rd! My advice is don't wait. I waited 3 years for my RTKR and had a rough recovery. This time, my left was a bother for 1 yr and i went ahead with the operation-smart move on my part-recovery was so much easier. 125/0 so my surgeon released me at 5 weeks! I'm still building strength and having pt, but so happy i had it done before it was so damaged. Bone on bone is no fun. Why suffer?

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  • Posted

    Hello, I was pretty much the same bone on bone and told I needed it done, but I waited until my surgeon told me that I really needed it done now as it would become more difficult for him to perform the op. Its different for all of us, I am 6 weeks + TKR now, its a long road for me to recovery. You have to decide for yourself but take the surgeons advice.... tough one.

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  • Posted

    i was told to wait,but encouraged by those who had it done to do it now. i agreed to the philosophy, why wait until I am older and not do the things I love to do now! WHY WAIT, get it over with and start hiking that terrain that gives you trouble now!

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  • Posted

    Hello All,

    I appreciate all of your replies. I think the general feeling is that I should go for it. I'm going to do it! It'll still take a few months before I can actually have it done but I I'll start moving in that direction.

    Thanks,

    Kel

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  • Posted

    i am at the 7 month stage and wishing id never had it done. I am wearing a brace, still need a cane and very unstable walking. i see my surgeon Friday and may need more surgery. I still cant lift my leg. Just some facts for you...20 % of all TKRs are not successful. My family doctor is now discouraging patients and suggesting physio. THINK HARD before you make your decision.

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  • Posted

    ALSO, get yourself an ACTIVE ICE machine the continual cold water will keep the swelling down and make sleeping easy - you can get them on EBAY. Use frozen water bottles with the water instead of adding ice. BEST OF LUCK

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  • Posted

    #1: Depends on your age. Docs don't like to do TKRs of 40-somethings unless absolutely necessary. In your 80's the rehab is very, very tough. Best time is late 50's through your 60's.

    #2: You ALWAYS do what you can to avoid the TKR for as long as you can; be mindful of the age thingie and don't wait too long. I had mine done at 68. The other timing issue is that the knee, with respectful use after a full recovery, will last 20-25 years, so that's a consideration.

    #3: To put off a TKR, these are the things to do in ascending order:

    • Topical: Voltaren Gel (RX in the US, generic diclofenac elsewhere, check for interactions) is the best topical anti-inflammatory out there. Helped me a lot.
    • Cortisone Shots: These may or may not work and if they do, longevity could be anywhere from days to a year.
    • Synvisc (or similar knee gel): I used this for many years in my mid-50's to age 61. Moved to a warmer climate and didn't need it again. Once the pain came back at age 67, doc said that I was beyond any potential benefit. The single shot dose can last up to 6 months; the three-shot regimen can last up to a year. I averaged 11 months each 3-shot round. It works for some and not for others...crapshoot.
    • COOLIEF (Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation): Never knew about this until recently. FDA approved. Minor procedure where the docs interrupt the nerves causing your pain. Doc I know says he's had patients coming back every 18-24 months to have it redone to put off their TKRs. Supposed to be very effective for knee osteoarthritis. Go to their website to find a qualified doc in your area. Do your research.

    Those are your non-TKR options. For bone-on-bone with arthritis, no chiropractor or PT can help you long term. Maybe acupuncture? No idea. If you are set on a TKR, know the REALITY of the year-long recovery before you jump (or hobble) into it. It's a very painful and long rehab getting your ROM back (first 90 days) and then the rebuilding of all your atrophied muscles (rest of the year). Back to work in the 4-6 month range (depending on age, knee healing, job type, etc.) and you start feeling "more like your old self" around 9 months. Residual stiffness, noises, etc. can last to 18 months. Very, very, very few people escape this scenario...and I've read over 20,000 posts on here. It really depends on your DNA and how much scar tissue your body generates after surgery. No way of knowing in advance.

    For more information, click on my name, then Discussion on the right side and then View All. I have about 30 out there on all sorts of topics (pain, sleeping, post-op depression, exercising, etc.). The discussions and responses should give you a pretty good idea of what you're in for. Just know that you have to give up all your expectations of what this will be like plus you cannot compare your recovery to that of anyone else. This is a very individual journey and each of us experienced it differently. I've had two shoulder ops, four knee scopes, a replaced hip, two spine laminectomies and two spine fusions. The knee was worse than all of them put together. But, again, that was me not you.

    Know the facts...make good choices...

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