TKR and driving

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I had TKR 7 weeks ago , right knee .I don't yet feel confident to drive .although not in too much pain, bending the knee is very uncomfortable and I worry about about braking etc. I was wondering how long before others were happy to drive .

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam

    I was about 7 weeks like you before i started driving .

    My physio suggested which i did, was to sit in car on the drive and "practice ". This really helped . You could also go to an empty supermarket car park say on a Sunday with someone then get behind wheel and try driving and breaking . 

    I didn't get much pain as you don't use right leg as much as left in the car !!

    Good luck 

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam.  I have to say it was around 7 to 8 weeks before I attenpted to drive again...Mind you, when I did decide to have a go.  I phsyched myself up to have a go..hobbled outside with the keys...Struggled to actually get my right leg, in (due to the lack of bend)...Sat there...All set to go..Keys in the ignition....GO!

    ....Nope!...The battery had died due to the inactivity in the preceding weeks (schoolboy error).  Once I had got that sorted (luckily I live on a fairly steep hill and the car was parked outside my house on the road facing downhill)..I 'bump' started it...But once it was going, it was fine.  I do think, had it been my left leg, I think driving would have been far more difficult, but at least if it was the left leg, you'd be able to get in and out of the car easier.  But that's the clutch leg!...Eeeeek.  I didn't have any problems at all...BUT...and it's a big but.  I'm really not sure how far I could actually drive, due to the fatigue which sets in (anyone who's had a TKR will know what I mean). smile

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    • Posted

      didnt find the left knee a prob at all ,and yes its easier to get in ,the clutch was a walk in the park ,and only 4 weeks post opp . i also have some kind of infection going on at the mo , but needed my freedome just hope the infection clears up 
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  • Posted

    Morning Pam,

    My TKR was 9.5 weeks ago.  My physio advised me to just sit in the car first.  Adjust the seat and then practice using the clutch.

    I went for a couple of very short drives with my husband before setting out in my own which was last week.  Drove for about 20 minutes each way to visit a friend for coffee.

    Must admit I did feel very nervous, but felt if I left it too long I would loose my confidence altogether and I would hate not to drive.

    My car is a manual so my leg did ache in the afternoon and I was extremely tired, but at least it was a confidence booster.

    Don't rush it.

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  • Posted

    I notice you are all mentioning the tiredness, I am surprised at how tired I am and how down it is making me feel anyone else feel really low . I feel I need a big kick up the bum . Maybe I will have a sit n my car later, see how I feel .
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    • Posted

      Yes I think the tiredness is pretty much a universal thing.  (from what I see and read). In my view, I think it's really because (as with lots of us) we sleep so poorly.  I still struggle now, and it's getting on for four months since the op.  I think if we could all get a decent night's sleep, the fatigue wouldn't be such an issue.  And you're right, it does make you feel a bit low.  More out of frustration in my case (I think!)
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    • Posted

      Pam,

      What you are feeling is completely normal.  I have felt overwhelming tiredness, tearfulness and, at times, feelings of despair that I have actually done the right thing having this done.  But I know I had no choice.  The fact that the other one needs doing too has been almost too much to bear.

      But you know what, the whole situation does improve.  Way too slowly for my liking, but that is the nature of the operation and NOONE tells you how awful this procedure is.

      If it helps, in the past week I have driven my car, managed to get in and out of the bath and managed a full revolution on my pedal machine.  All these things I couldn't have imagined two weeks ago.

      I long for the day when 'the knee' isn't dominating my every waking moment.  People say it is a year before you feel normal again.  Now I believe it.

      Chin up.  We'll get there but it takes a long time.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam,

    I was 6 weeks exactly when I drove. I couldnt wait to get my independance back. However I think it was a little early and I didnt go too far. Did some shopping but was very tired. I felt like a learner and dreaded braking. Iam 19 weeks post op and still have pain getting in and out of the car. Once when I went shopping some inconsiderate person parked right next to my drivers door and I had to climb in the passenger side and climb over the gear stick. I sat there crying and waiting for the person to come back so I could tell him/her. It was a boiling hot day and I just drove off at the finish. I wish people could be more considerate. When I go out with my husband now he tries to park where I can open the door fully and I do the same. Really think we should be allowed a blue disabled badge until we are fully right. Hope you manage it you are not on your own. Good luck. 

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  • Posted

    I just went out for a 5 min drive . I had forgotten how little I needed to bend my knee lol .did feel a bit like a learner , maybe I should go out and do a bit of me shopping .

    i too need to get the other knee done , sometimes the pain in the left knee is worse than the operated knee, so it's not really a big decision .it would be nice to think in a years time I could be pain free and walking normally . I hope it goes as well as the first ...

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    • Posted

      Well done you.

      Most times the things we dread aren't quite as bad.

      I am seeing the consultant in November about knee number 2.  Knowing when to get it done is the problem.  Am certainly not going to mess up Christmas and my daughter is visiting from America at the beginning of March so suspect it will be middle March.  Don't want to miss another Summer.  This one was great and I don't hardly remember anything of it - oh apart from having to wear those God-awful stockings for 6 weeks! Not at all sure my knee will last that long. Feel it is holding me back most of the time.

      Onwards and upwards, Pam.  Keep in touch.

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    • Posted

      I see my consultant next week . I would like to get the other done before Christmas , I don't mind being lazy at Christmas lol  just want it done now .Good  luck to you too 
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    • Posted

      Hi Pam, well done on your 1st go at driving. I've been wondering when I'll be able to try. Don't feel ready yet (nearly 6weeks post op) especially as mine is the left knee. It's really interesting and helpful to read everyone's comments. I can particularly relate to the tiredness and the way your knee dominates your whole life! My husband took me to the pub for an hour last night and met up with some friends. Although I was tired I was really glad I went. It was so good to do something "normal". Hopefully in a few weeks I too can master a drive. I'm gradually coming to terms with the fact that this is a really long job and trying to accept that I'm going to be in some pain for quite a time! I've yet to get to the stage when I'm in less discomfort than before. Once I can do what I was doing before I think I will appreciate looking forward to getting better if that makes sense. 

      It's encouraging to hear from people like you reaching little milestones like driving again. 

      Jen x

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    • Posted

      just had my knee no 2 done 4 weeks on monday , ive found it much easier and have been driving today with out any problems at all ,ive got my freedome back , still have pain but cant say driving was a problem at all , easier than walking or waiting for some one to drive me .
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