Knee replacement surgery

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 It's going to go in for knee replacement surgery and I am petrified that I'm gonna be in so much pain afterwards .  And what about when I go home is there any help out there to get  

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  • Posted

    Bosco, don't panic about this.  If you need painkillers, you'll be given them.  It varies with everyone and I was the extreme of not having pain after the second day (the first day wasn't bad either, but it was just when they came round in hospital and asked pain levels on the second night, I didn't have pain, so didn't need the tablets!) so you may be like I was.   Expect the worst and hope for the best - that's the best policy.  The main thing is to rest, ice and elevate.  You will need help at home after the op - if you're going via the NHS they will ask you about this aspect and make sure you have the help you need.  Do you have a date for your surgery?

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    • Posted

      Yes I go in June 21 ..

      people are saying it's so much different when she get home because you don't have the painkillers are you'll need also they're making me afraid of what I have so much craziness going on in my mind but I don't want to cancel the surgery because I can't stand or walk 

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    • Posted

      Bosco - deep breath - don't panic!  My hospital asked what painkillers I needed before I went and although I didn't need any strong stuff, they still insisted that I had Ibuprofen for a week (reduces inflammation) but if I'd needed anything else they would have given it to me.  Before I joined this group I thought you couldn't put weight on the leg for about six weeks.  I imagined it was like a broken leg.  It's not.  They come round with a walker on the day of your op, and show you how to move the walker forward, then the operated leg goes up to the level of the front of the walker, then the other leg.  You can put your weight on it just fine.  You stick the operated leg out just in front of the other one when you sit down or get up, so it takes a little less strain than the other one.  But it's not a problem!  Then the second day they swap your walker for crutches.  These too, work just fine and you can get about really well.  What you can't do is carry stuff while you're using crutches (my hospital said to use them until I was three weeks post op but I swapped them for two sticks a couple of days before that, and then went to one stick a few days later), so you need either someone around to bring you drinks etc. OR a bag that will hang round your neck to put a flask in or whatever.  The most difficult bit was getting the compression stockings on every morning after a shower - my hospital said to wear them for six weeks but by five I was so active that I decided that was enough, but even to that point I couldn't get the things over my feet so husband did that LOL!  But you will be fine - I think your brain has gone into overdrive, but it really was SO much easier than I'd imagined!  I hope you have as little pain as I did.  I hope my second one is the same as the first, too:-))))  At least with any discomfort of this, or even pain if you get it, there is an end to it, whereas with arthritis it just goes on and gets worse and worse!

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  • Posted

    Have you got someone to help you when you come out of hospital? Friend or family, it is important to have help for a good few days
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  • Posted

    Get a lot of ready meals in your freezer, a couple of ice packs, so you can always have one ready. Make your house and settee/ bed easy to get up from.

    Best to have a room with TV in.

    If you are registered on a supermarket site for home shopping, you can get it delivered.

    I had both my knees done at different times, and honestly I could have coped on my own, spent lots of time watching tv, and on iPad, and also slept whenever I wanted, and ate when hungry.

    The pain wasn't too horrendous, only at night when getting up for bathroom, needed two sticks because of stiffness.

    I drove after two weeks to Physio, with the full knowledge and consent of my surgeon.

    Yes it's hard, but for me not much worse than before I had my knees done, as the pain was so bad then.

    You'll have painkillers, just look at it as a period of a few weeks to be got over, and let the time pass a day at a time. Before you know it, you will be on the road to recovery, with better knees.

    Everyone who has this surgery has gone through the pain, and survived. It's worth it, it really is.

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    • Posted

      Also, get a raised toilet seat if you haven't alrady got one, and you can get risers for your chair to make it easier to get up and down.  Prepare things that you enjoy, to make this a positive time (yes, it CAN be positive!) so that might be chocolate, cake or whatever, and books or films or sewing - whatever you like to do, but plenty to amuse yourself.  I got hooked on 'spot the difference' games on my laptop and happily played mindlessly for a few weeks LOL!  It got boring in the end, but it served it's purpose LOL!

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  • Posted

    You are sooooooo lucky!!!!!  Now you get to know beforehand what NONE of us knew before our replacements!!!!!!

    First...don't be scared...and  


    - It's a very tough surgery

    - It's very painful for the first month, maybe more

    - It's a long recovery...plan on a year

    - It takes a lot of work at PT and the gym after PT is done

    - PT is painful and difficult

    - You will be on some heavy duty pain meds


    - You will not return to work for at least 6 months

    - You will not be driving for a while

    - You will not be able to climb stairs normally for a very long time

    - You cannot make your recovery go any faster

    Here's some help...

    I have almost 20 posts on here...check them out.  We're ALWAYS here to help!!!

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    • Posted

      Very few people on here have reported going back to work in three months successfully.  Depends on the person and the job.  Most who try report pain and swelling every day, getting home and icing all night just to repeat the process the next day.  Sets their recovery back plus they have constant pain. one, not even the doc, can guarantee when you will be well enough to return to work.  

      This is a brutal surgery.  I've had 4 knee scopes before the TKR, a hip replacement and two back fusions plus a lot of other procedures over the years.  This was the absolute worst.  After the op (and a lot of pain), you start PT 3-4 weeks in to get your ROM back...probably 2x/week for 10-12 weeks.  After that, you have to hit the gym to regain all your leg strength to support the knee.  Quads, glutes and core have all atrophied by this time.  Takes a lot of work, energy and time.  

      You should carefully consider your expectations...they only get in the way of your recovery.  "I'm at x weeks and I thought I should be better than this."  Jedi Mind Trick.  Will send you down a very dark path.  What you think and expect are irrelevant.  Your body will heal when it heals.  In Zen terms, "I will be better when I am better."  There's no other way to approach is not something within your control.  Exercises, icing, elevation, pain meds, PT...that's it.  You don't get to say when you're done...your body does.

      Stairs will be problematic for a while.  You cannot expect to do stairs without having regained all your leg strength which comes after PT.  I have a post on Mastering Post-TKR Stairs but you won't be ready for that for a long time.

      Read about how 6, 8, 10 weeks out, people are still in a lot of pain. may be one of the lucky ones at the far left edge of the bell curve...and I hope you are.  However, it's better to prepare for "the average recovery" than to expect that you'll be back to normal in 12 weeks.  We had a guy on here who went back to mountain climbing at 13 weeks...he's probably dead...

      Your body will heal when it cannot speed that up.  I once did 8,200+ steps at 5 weeks...knee looked like a hot air balloon.  Never made the mistake again.  You CANNOT push a knee; it will always bite you back.  This is a slow and steady recovery.  I could be wrong in your case but I think you should be prepared.  Just sayin'...

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    • Posted

      If you have stairs at home they will make sure you're OK with them before you leave hospital.  I'm 9 weeks post op tomorrow and have just discovered I can do stairs!  I've not done stairs for over 10 years!  Your new knee will be strong and reliable sooner than you expect it to be, if it's been weak for a while.  You'll see that Chico and I had experiences the opposite end of the spectrum - I sailed through mine and slept through every night apart from one where I had some discomfort, unless the other knee (unoperated) one woke me.  So it all varies hugely.  Yes, the worst can happen and it's painful for a while, but that is limited in time and you'll have painkillers if you want them.  Or the best can happen, like it did to me, and you just get a bit of discomfort here and there!  I'm choosing the second one again for my second knee:-))))))

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    • Posted

      Your second one will be easier, at least mentally. Mine was. I'd done it before so Injust about lived in conservatory, next to kitchen for ice and food,,next to garden for short frequent walks. Watched tv, read. It was summer so pleasant and warm. To be honest, it was one of the most pleasant summers I had had. Didn't rush things or have any plans, just expected to lose a few months and gain a good knee, which I did.

      Looking back nearly two years, the months seemed to fly by.

      I had confidence so used just a stick after a few days, and two outside, and soon got my knee working fine.

      The pain was there but somehow didn't seem as bad, second time around.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Laura:-))))  I'm not sure it COULD actually be easier, but if it's almost as easy as the first one I will feel VERY fortunate:-))))))  I'm so pleased to read what you posted, because I actually enjoyed my recovery time too!  I didn't dare admit this before LOL!  I made the most of it - rested, and treated myself and looked after 'me and my knee' LOL!

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