Right TKR planned for July

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Happy to find this site and the many folks ready to share their experience.

I am 66 and have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 13 years quite reasonably well managed on a parade of drugs by NYC and Asheville Rheumatologists. Now on Rituxan 4 doses a year. My knees started giving real pain 4-5 years ago, getting worse as time went by. I have TKR scheduled for July in North Carolina and find the positivity and tips here very helpful. I know to do leg and arm exercises now to strengthen them before surgery, and to eat a high fiber diet etc. Any other tips from TKR patients? Things you wish you had done before the surgery for example?

I am a bit concerned that the surgery might trigger the RA to become active again but my doctors seem to have the meds etc under control, what to stop and what to keep taking. The Rituxan infusions are due about now but have been postponed until August. 


0 likes, 52 replies

52 Replies

  • Posted

    How's your weight?  Try to keep it down.  I have two TKR, and since the joints are now synthetic, where were you expecting RA to show up?  If you do PT (I did not) see if they have a leg curl machine.  That will help advance leg compression painlessly.

    • Posted

      Since RA is systemic and causes issues in many parts of the body (overall fatigue being one that particularly affects me) I am not concerned about my new synthetic knees. I am more concerned about general recovery compared to non_RA patients.
  • Posted

    I would talk to my OS about what physio will be in place after the operation.   As I am not completely aware of how things go in the USA and can only go by what I have read.   I would also want an outline of what support items I would be loaned or given e.g. chair raises, a cpm machine, static bike to enable you to progress your recovery.

    Prior to my TKR (I live on my own with foster children) I made sure everything was up to date - bills, food, even the library books were taken back!

    Good luck with your operation!

    • Posted

      The hospital makes all of the equipment needed while I am in the hospital. After discharge we can either rent or buy the equipment or obtain used pieces from one of several "closets".

      Fortunately I have excellent medical insurance including limitless PT as lo g as my surgeon writes the prescription for it.

      Thanks for your reply.

  • Posted

    Hi Cynthia!


    The best thing I did prior to my surgeries (June and October 2015) was STAY CALM! I tried to focus on how good my knees would feel once my recovery was underway rather than worrying about the surgery or the healing pain from the incision, etc.

    A positive attitude and looking for funny things that happened like FOUR of us (me, two nurses and an aide to push the IV pole) heading to the bathroom every half hour throughout the night REALLY helped ward off feelings of concern or worry. Calling the taking of my drains out at 3:00 am a "DRAIN PARTY" got all of us laughing, and I honestly felt very little pain because it was all SO WEIRD!

    I don't know if you are a believer, but if you are, PRAYING for calm and strength REALLY helps throughout the whole experience.

    Wishing you great success with your TKR and sending prayers for calm and strength and positive thinking!??

    • Posted

      Remaining calm and positive is definitely something to pray for.

      I am determined to give it all my best shot and then I will know that things are on track for me.

      Thanks for the reply

  • Posted


    I had my left TKR in 2014 and my right TKR 10 weeks ago and before my operations I did straight leg lifts every day to try and build up my upper leg muscles, went swimming etc and tried to get as fit as possible. I visited the dentist to make sure that I had no dental problems (ended up having an abscess and subsequent extraction a week before my TKR op!????

    I bought some platform steps to make it easier to get in and out of my house, a long shoe horn,and shoes that I could put on easily, clothes eg track suit bottoms and tops, wide leg linen trousers which were easy to put on and off, plus baggy enough to accommodate a swollen knee! I also invested in a pair of walking sticks and a back pack to carry items around the house. I also bought a non slip mat to put in the bath to stop me from falling over when I showered. My most treasured purchase was a Don joy ice pack which is a real asset in reducing swelling and pain!

    I arranged for our dog to stay with a friend for three weeks as I knew that he wouldn't get proper walks from me plus he'd probably pull me over! I also arranged for a cleaner to come in once a week as you're not meant to use the vacuum cleaner and food was ordered via the Internet and delivered to my home. I made sure that food and medication etc were all arranged in cupboards so that I could reach items.

    My husband mows the lawn as I'm not meant to use a mower until much later on and he also does the garden and so you might need to delegate that task to some one else!

    Good luck with the operation and keep us all up to date with your progress on this forum. I found that the advice and support of other folks in the same boat got me through the long haul of recovery as only other TKR recipients understand exactly what each other are going through.

    • Posted

      Great tips, thanks! I hadn't thought of a back pack to carry items - I am sure that saves trips.

      I will do the exercises for arms and legs but can't really 'get fit' beyond that. I'll let you know my progress.

  • Posted

    listen to your body....take your pain meds and ice and elevate at least 5 times a day...go in with a positive attitude....good luck
    • Posted

      Thank you so much. I read somewhere that a positive attitude increases h aapy hormones that enhance healing. Hope that is true!
  • Posted

    You won't be able to drive for at least 6 weeks so be prepared for that, I also had more pain than I expected so you have to take the pain meds regularly as prescribed or you may have trouble doing the pt, God bless you and I hope your recovery is fast and easy

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