The Beginning

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I’ve noticed that there are people from many different countries and systems to deal with TKR’s.  I thought I’d share what one option was (the one I chose) here in Northern California.  I am just starting week 3 of post op.

I chose a doctor who had done over 3000 knees and, most importantly to me, the hospital they use had a less than 1% post operative infection rate (Hospitals are about the only places you get super bugs!  I’ve had them, you don’t want them!  Especially with an artificial joint.)  This is not a “pamper palace.”  More like a TKR factory with their own developed methods.  I went in to get started around 11 am on the 12th, they prepped me and I was off to the operating room by 4 or so.  Next I remember I was in my recovery room and it was night.  Surgery done, IV in, Cath in, drain in the wound.  Little pump booties on me feet keeping circulation going.  Nurse comes in and checks that I can move my toes, gives me a menu for dinner, and answers my question about leaving.  (I chose this procedure because you are in surgery and on your way home in less than 24 hours.)   All I had to do was be able to get up on my own and pee and then walk down the hall and back using a cane or walker!  

So, about 6 am, the Nurse was back to remove IV, drain, and cath.  Check that the spinal block was gone and I could move my legs.  After she left, with no hoses and lines in me, I got up, took the walker to the bathroom, and step one was done.  As I was last on the list for that day, the “walking nurse” didn’t get to me till about 9ish.  When she got to me, we took a stroll down the hallway and back to the room – ready to check out.  My wife came in and got the Rx to get my drugs (hospital ran out of pain meds so she had to go to a strange town and find a pharmacy to fill it!)  And got back 10ish.  We signed out, and walkered out of the hospital down to the car (a 6 hour drive home with mandatory hourly stops to get out and walk).  I sat in the back seet, leg propped up, and home we went.  All very efficient, quick and painless!  

I knew that the IV I had was a “bag of tricks” = antibiotics, pain meds, etc.  And, I knew that as soon as it was unplugged the magic would start to wear off and the "real" show was about to begin!


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  • Posted

    I am from uk ..nhs patient great system experience was different ..I was able to go into hospital sat morning 7.30am prep ..checking blood pressure...ect ready for opp 10 am had epidural....woke up in bed 3.30 pm on meds no pain ... Very drowsy my 11 year old son thought I was going to die because of the strong drugs following day told doc no more of the very strong drugs just coco-deimol two at night ...Sunday feeling much better up walking with walker ..Monday seen physio walk on crutches along corridor and up and down stairs ..ok to go home given seven days of meds on leaving hospital home 40min later great to get home to own bed after four weeks the physio exercises on sheet of paper ..after four wks  stopped working pain returning nhs physio very poor .....seen private physio ..within a day pain away exercises working by four weeks feeling very good in gym on bike still a bit stiff can't fully get my knee to cycle fully round so lifted op feet of at certain points by seven weeks decided to do the Glasgow to Edinburgh cycle day fifty miles doc said I would be ok to do it ..I just lifted seat so to make it more comfortable completed it in six  hours took my time had lot of stops ..I think it was the single best thing I did after opp I was back to work at five weeks sitting job ...I was cycling or driving up to having the op as I couldn't walk with poor knee ..I would advise cycling  before knee replacement as it builds the muscle before op and keeps it strong and you are able to recover more quickly afterwords's now two and half years since TKR I forget I have got a false knee sometimes able to do most things I did before....good luck elent it is a long journey but worth it ...the bike is the best exercise I found for getting over op as quickly as possible and back to normal 
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  • Posted

    I am in Wales.

    Had TKR 3 years ago.

    Had epidural so was awake during surgery.

    One or two problems after surgery.

    Had to have a blood transfusion on day 3 post op.

    Was in hospital for 9 days.

    Lots of physiotherapy afterwards. Excellent physiotherapists.

    Had follow up with consultant a year later.

    Another follow up 2 years later

    Then completely discharged.

    Excellent consultant and good result..

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  • Posted

    i'm in Tenerife Spain.  I chose my specialist as his reputation over here is excellent, and he's a knee and hip specialist and the hospital was the only one he operated in, about 70 miles from home.   I had an intradural spinal, which left me totally pain free from the waist down, but also totally awake  and freezing cold for the two hours and forty five minutes of the operation.  Once out of theatre and the recovery ward, I was back in the ward by about five p.m and the real pain started about six.  Couldn't move my toes or my ankle at all, and when i tried to walk the leg refused to budge at all . .lots of pain and pins and needles in my foot.  Felt extremely weak and dizzy and finally on day three they gave me a blood transfusion . no idea why they waited so long as it made me feel much better immediately!  Ended up in hospital for nine days as they suspected dvt, and even then couldn't walk up the gthree steps to my house.  However, once I actually got the leg to move recovered OK, was walking two kms. by six weeks, and achieved 120 degree bend by about 16 weeks. . . Possibly could have achieved more, but not really 'in' to extreme pain!  Now a year later, knee still feels different from the other one, but works very well . .can kneel, but don't do it unless I really need to!
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    • Posted

      I don't think I would like to be awake during the surgery.  They did a spinal on me, too.  But the doc threw in an amnesiac and i just went out and woke in the recovery room.  

      Really glad your up and about. Looks like you had a real "special' time of it.  The one thing I never want to be medically is....special!!

      Be well

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