Knee replacement

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi, I reside in Queensland, Australia and I am a 69 yrs old fearly active fellow. I am at this point facing both knees replacement and many people think is best to do them both a the same time.

I have been reading and visiting forums were people talk about their experience and frankly I am very scare after reading some of the situations in this forum. I still work as a Bus driver and I am getting concern that after the operation I may have to give it away that is due to the length that it seem for you all to recover ??? My surgeon said that it may take 6-8 weeks to get going. I think I need to have more contact with members of this group which had this both knees replaced a year ago. I certanly need more encoragement. Love to hear from you all guys. Best regards Clem  

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Clem!

    I had my knees done one at a time. My neighbor had hers done both at the same time. Each case depended on how the surgeon chose to operate.

    My neighbor and I both had great outcomes. The main difference was she required more help to do things for a longer period of time because both knees were having to heal at the same time.

    Recovery varies with the person. Without any complications, with Physical Therapy, and with patience, you will be able to get your life back within three to four months. As I said, this varies with the person. A couple months after surgery I was already planning my second knee surgery because my SURGICAL leg was now my "GOOD leg" and my non-surgical one was holding me back!

    If I had to have it done again in the future, I personally would do them as I had them done the first time --one at a time. For me, it gave me a chance to be more independent sooner. I liked that.

    My neighbor liked being done with both at the same time.

    You will probably hear from advocates from both camps.

    Wishing you the best regardless of your decision! I have been very satisfied having two good knees!

    TKRs June and October 2015

    Age 64

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    • Posted

      Hi I'm 51. I had pkr on right knee Oct 15 and had 12 weeks off of work. I wanted my other one done asap but waited 6 months and had left knee tkr 2 weeks ago. So glad that I waited for the right knee to be strong before the second of as it is doing slot of the work when it comes to moving around. I'm already walking unaided can go up the stairs normally, get in and out the bath. Hope you chose the right course of action for you and that everything goes well. Having a positive attitude really helps as it is such massive operation which can make you very frustrated, depressed, sleep deprived and the pain can be awful. But we all come through it so much better off. Best thing I ever did.
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    • Posted

      Hi Tracy, My surgeon thought I could have got away with partial and the MRI changed the prognosis. Life style has changed dramatically and the restrictions that seem to come and go aggravate my frustration . That is the reason why I want to get it over and done with.  Thank you for taking the time to help
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the kind words!

      I was fortunate to have TWO good outcomes, so I feel that it is important to share my story as others choose to share their stories.

      I had such terrible pain prior to surgery! I was at the point of even thinking that AMPUTATION would be better than what I was living with at the time. (Watched people with those "Cheetah legs" running MARATHONS and thought that was AMAZING!)

      When I initially went to see a doctor five years ago I began the PAIN MEDICATION/ cortisone shot/ talk of the OrthoDisc shots which are rooster combs/ possible arthroscopic surgery/ ... the Dog and Pony Show that insurance puts us through to see how sure we are of our pain before we arrive at what I call The Holy Grail (knee replacement surgery). Last year my knees had gotten SO BAD that walking to the mailbox was painful. On May 30th of last year I had this awful pain in my left knee that prevented me from putting any weight on my leg. My husband helped me to the bathroom and went to get me crutches. This lasted several days, and I made my appointment. I had quit with doctors for four years thinking I would just DEAL WITH the PAIN.

      This appointment in early June as I looked at my newest X-RAYS allowed me to jump to the head of the class! I was FINALLY bad off enough to qualify for KNEE replacements!😁

      Scheduled my first surgery for three weeks later. A couple months later I scheduled my second surgery.

      Best choices I have made in a long time!

      Each person is different. Each KNEE is different. Each story is different.

      I think it is important here that ALL stories are told because each story provides yet another way of learning more information that hopefully will help others along their journey.

      Sending prayers of clarity, strength, and hope to you today!💖

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  • Posted

    Hi Clem,

    G'day from a fellow Queenslander!

    i am 59 yr old female.  I had a bilateral tkr 6 months ago.  I wasn't fit or active from other health issues but before that I had a very physical job as a Wardie at the local hospital for 10yrs. Pushing patients back and fore to theatre all day 5 days a week.  Wore my knees out then.  I had to wait a few years till I was older before they'd replace them but they had gotten really bad. 

    Anyway, in the first couple of days after the op I wished I could die.  I felt so rotten and there was a lot of pain.  Not having a " good" leg to rely on, it was difficult getting in and out of bed.  I was determined though and found ways of making it a bit easier by heightening the bed as I sat on the side so I didn't have to push up so much.  I walked the day after the op around the ward on a tall frame.  It was carrying me if I'm honest.  Physio came twice a day and got me walking and said I was doing well even though I didn't think so.  The surgeon said I could go home after 4 days. I have 14 steps up to my unit and live on my own.  I thought he was kidding.  While on the ward, I had a bleed and they had to give me a blood transfusion.  I'm on warfarin for blood disorder so don't think that this is normal.  This over loaded me and I couldn't breath. X-rays  showed both lungs had collapsed.   This is why I had felt so useless and blamed my knees.  Luckily, they found a place in the rehab ward where I stayed for a week.  Day one there, I walked the furthest I had done, to the gym on the big walking frame.  I left the gym an hour later with one walking stick.  I did so well, I missed out on the crutches altogether.  I continued gym twice a day for the 5 days.  I used the stick for 2 days then started walking unaided.  I went home, climbed the 14 steps and looked after myself.  I had hired a hospital chair and over the toilet seat which I needed for around a week but knees healed great and pain was under control.  Of course there's aches and stiffness and some sleepless nights but I'm really glad I had them done and both at the same time.  

    I must confess, I haven't made the most of my new knees.  I'm a bit of a hermit and don't go out for walks so they get stiff. Use them or lose them is right.  I didn't need follow up out patients physio at all.  I don't work anymore but that's not because of my knees.  I am sure that you will be fine.  Expect the unexpected and stay in touch with the forum for advise or just to whinge.  We've all been there.  We're all different.  On hindsight, if I'd had only one knee done at a time, I'm sceptical that I'd go back the second time.  To recover after one op then go again seemed to hard.   The recovery time wasn't any longer than that of a single tkr.  

    I wish you you well whatever you decide.  I'm sure you'll have other I puts telling you something different.  Don't be afraid though.  It is a long process though.

    suz x

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    • Posted

      You are most welcome, as times zones wake up you will receive many more.

      Wishing you well,  if you are in pain now, the pain after could be great, but look at it as healing pain, it will dissipate.

      You too can be strong, driving all those passengers shiver shiver shiver, nope, I could not do that

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  • Posted

    To be honest with you. Reading forums BEFORE an operaiton is never a healthy thing to do, as you do not get to read the many thousands of successful operations. By reading up beforehand, you have scared yourself silly and you are now going forward with negative thoughts.  For all you know, you could be one of the 98% successful ones.

    Rehab takes at least 6 weeks minimum, but you really really do have to work at the exercises, which, when you are in pain, can be daunting.

    My advise to you is:- take the full 6 weeks off work.  If you have an employment contract in place, you are covered and cannot be fired (well you can, but it will cost the company).  Write off the first week after the operation, you will still have the anaesthetic coursing around your system + the the pain meds they give you in hospital are stronger + you are given them strictly on time. The trick is to do the same at home, dont wait for the pain to set in. Take them on time (even if you are not in pain) there will be times when you may feel like crying from the pain, but because you are not taking anything; will take that much more time to take effect.  By taking them all the time, when you do have a spike in pain, all you need do is top up.

    Driving; whilst you are sitting down all the time, will not be an easy task, your knee is in one position for long-ish periods of time, the roads may seem smooth to the eye, but the vibrations coming through the wheels, up into your cab will set your knee off like nothing on this earth.

    You will need a comfortable pair of shoes, should imagine you wear a uniform, but for the forseeable future wear something like crocs, yes they are ugly at the best of times, but the material they are made from is as shockproof as anything. You really will need to work your thigh muscles, even when you are not walking.

    You will be told all this by your medical team prior to your operation.  Don't know what your set up is like in Aus, but here you have a pre-op assessment, all vitals are taken, including blood. they will go through what will happen, what you have to do (if you smoke, try not to a day or 2 beforehand) it is also your chance to ask questions.  Take advantange, ask them anything, even if you think it is stupid, it isn't to them.  Make notes before going, then you wont come away thinking "I wished I had asked this that or the other").  Don't be rushed, the whole thing will take hours, it is not like going to the doctor where you are in and out in 5 minutes.  They give you time!

    Please stop perusing the internet before your operation.  Go in thinking yours will be a success. You will be back in the driving seat before you know it.

    Just remember...... You will not read the success stories on any pain forum, make your life easier, if you want to be more prepared pre - op, work on your thigh muscles; they are wimps, the first sign of a surgeons scalpel and they'll run for the hills.  Get them good and strong before and you will have less work after.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue, you just hit the nail on the head.  My wife told me no to go just by The pain forum as they have many negative thoughts. I realise I need people like you and the others I have received. I need to prepare myself prior to the op. (I haven't booked yet as I needed more reassurance) I will start with my thighs, loose a bit of weight and organise time off at work I am lucky to be employed where I am. I will be hanging around for awhile in this forum. Regards and thank you again Clem
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    • Posted

      Aaah you see, it's us females again. Surely you now by now we are never wrong!!!!!rolleyes

      Seriously though, Stop scaring yourself. Listen to the voice of reason (your wife), by all means lose weight (Your knees bear the weight of your body) and work on your lower body (including your back). When you have the replacement done you will discover (can be painful) that the way you walk will change, your hips (more like the sciatic nerve will be affected as well as the way you stand.  Not a lot you can do about that at the moment, but yes lose weight and gain muscle power.  You will lose quite a bit of strenght in your legs after the operation, but by working on them now, it wont be so bad after.  Be positive, you are going to be in pain, but dont be a pain (if you want your wife to wipe your fevered brow when you are in the depths of agony).  Serious, there a hell of a lot of people out there, that have sailed through this procedure, with a minimum of pain and difficulty. Fingers crossed you are one of those and you will kick yourself for worrying so much.  You really do have to go into this with a positive attitude, otherwise the battle is already half lost

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  • Posted

    Hi, from the U.S. had PKR two years ago and sailed through it. Funny, I don't really remember much pain from it, other than that awful crazy incision thing, but don't worry about that now. Great advice from all -loose weight and build up muscles and strength. Then my right knee went bad. No surprise really as it was compensating and got arthritis also. I couldn't wait to get the second one done as the pain and immobility was so frustrating. Went into that as a tkr so knew, basically, what to expect. Surgery on Thursday - PT started Monday. Rough go. Got home, took a pain pill, elevated, iced and slept for two hours. Gets better quickly. Started driving limitedly at 4 - 5 weeks. I know of a number of people ( hmmmm, women!) who did both at once and we're happy to be done with it at one time. Pain was worse with the second but you know what? At ten weeks I'm weaning off the meds, working out on my own, the "new" knee is better than the first, fully driving, no canes or aids and I really have forgotten the pain: pills, elevate and ice.  Not 100% but it's a good work in progress. So each case and person is different. Attitude and physical condition are most important...and having a caregiver at home cheering you on! Best of luck.

    ps. let me know about that incision pain later on and the plastic wrap trick. 

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  • Posted

    I had TKR on my right knee on 2/1/16.  I am 62.  I have been doing really well.  There will be others that disagree but I personally feel that it would be medical malpractice for a surgeon to want to do both at the same time.  However, I do know one medical professional that had both of his done at the same time.  I personally feel that to rehab properly, you need at least one good leg.  I also feel it would take a mentally strong person to insist on having both done at the same time.  Just being honest.
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