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Old 09-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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Question Total Knee 1 week before Christmas!!

After months of treatment to no avail, it's was confirmed today that the ONLY thing that will help my knee is a total replacement which is scheduled for the first available surgery date: 1 week before Christmas! If I bypass that date, the surgeon is booking late February. My daughter is a dancer and that's dead smack in the early part of competition season and will put me (her support, driver, make up artist, etc... she's only 8) in a BAD position to help her out. So Christmas it is.
I'm very nervous about Christmas. I have some friends who are saying "no problems - just have everything prepared, and have people to help you that day" and other's who are saying "you're going to be misserable". Problem is - NONE of them has had the surgery so none of them really truly know.
I will most likely come home on 12/23.
I am an otherwise healthy 46 year old. Can anyone share their recovery experiences, what I can expect, suggestions, etc?????

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Old 09-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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I have a friend that had this surgery 2+ weeks ago - he said recovery is very slow. He basically can't do anything at this point except hobble around the house and do his exercises.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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My Nana had this sugery when she was in her 40s. We call her plastic granny now (she has plastic knees). She was hobbling around by week two, driving by week 4 but still in pain. She had alot of trouble getting up and down for the first few weeks too (shes a bit pooh sized too) so someone stayed with her. I wish you the best on your sugery! Oh make sure you do the exercizes! Grandma didnt do them like she should have and has had problems still!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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Good luck DisneyFool! Hope it goes perfectly for you! I've another 10-15 years before I get my new knees. My bones were damaged from early operations and i've screws still through both, so just biding time.
My MIL had both of hers and hips replaced in the last two years. She has had some trouble with them, but nothing severe. The main issue is she was rather Pooh sized before the surgeries, and has not taken to the habit of exercise. Still, she's doing much better than before, and is her same feisty self!
Think positively about your new knee and enjoy being part cyborg! It will help in so many areas of life, try not to dwell on the negatives, surgery sucks, but your quality of life will be so much higher! *hugs* ~ Rebecca
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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I am still recovering from bi-lateral knee replacements... had the right knee done mid-May and the left done mid-June. I finally was able to return to work after labor day.

Everyone's recovery is unique so it is difficult to project exactly how any one person will do. There are so many variables... age, weight, general physical health, pain tolerance, etc. In general, I had a great experience and I very very glad I went ahead with the surgeries. It is not for sissys! There is a great deal of pain which you need to find a way to deal with... your outcome depends on how willing your are to work on your rehabilitation. I went to a wonderful in patient facility for 2 weeks after each surgery. It was the best thing I could have done. Having physical therapy for 3 hours each day and the encouragement of the entire staff to keep moving was critical for my recovery. I had the chance to see lots of "replacements" while I was there... the people who did the best were the ones who understood that it was necessary to work through the pain.

It is more difficult if you go home after the surgery... I base that on a number of people I know who chose that option. You don't have the nursing care 24/7 to help with the pain... even just to tell you what is normal and what is not! But more importantly, you are dependent on out patient physical therapy and committing yourself to continue to work on it at home all the time.

Your recovery to a large degree will depend on you! You will get out of it what you put in to it. Work the physical therapy even if it hurts... and it will. I always took a pain pill before I went to physical therapy on the advice of my therapist and it made all the difference.

I am 3 months post op and still go to outpatient physical therapy twice a week. I do my exercises at home every day. I know that to maintain the optimal resuts from my replacements I will always need to continue to do those exerices. My knees do hurt when I've been on them a lot but I can now walk through the entire grocery store without being in agony by aisle 3

I ususally go to Disney 4 times a year and missed my July birthday trip because of my knees... I'm set to go next month and can't wait! I know I will still need the scooter... 5 or 6 miles a day will never happen for me again... but I am really looking forward to being able to do so much more that I have been able to in the past.

Good luck with your surgery!!! it will definitely be worth it. And please feel free to message me if I can answer any questions

Edited to add: I just noticed that you said you would lilely come home on Dec. 23rd. You will be miserable on Christmas... trust me!

Last edited by Debbie Jean; 09-25-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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I want to say good luck on your surgery. As people have said it is tough, but really the amount of pain you have is individualized. I am a PT and recommend that you stay on top of the pain with your meds. Not saying to over medicate, but you don't want to be the tough guy on Christmas -take your meds on a regular basis. Occasionally I will have patients who have had so much pain before the surgery that they are able to manage pain with minimal meds. I tell my patients to make sure they rest occasionally with the leg elevated to keep swelling down. You also need to walk regularly using a walker or cane...whatever your physician recommends. Have help at home...sounds like you have kids to be gophers. Set up the house..I recommend sitting in higher chairs because they are easier to get out of. If you are active and your doctor recommends a walker, I would go with a wheeled walker with a seat might be handy so you can carry things on the seat. If you have a low toilet, have an extender on the seat. Look at a shower chair for a short time to help with your endurance. And as PT I say DO YOUR EXERCISES!! As Debbie Jean said...really how you do is what you put into it. The PT is your cheerleader and coach, but you need to do the work. I will tell you, even though I haven't had one, I've worked with many people and the work is worth it. Your young, you have a family to keep up with...I believe you will have the determination to succeed! Be positive and plan to give lots of orders on Christmas!
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