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Old 12-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
Snowysmom
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Knee Replacements

I am scheduled for bilateral knee replacements in a couple of months. I know people here have had knee replacements and would like to know how it went. I would like to know how the rehab was and if you are happy that you did it. And at what point in the rehab were you feeling like it was the right thing to do. How does the artificial knee feel? Does it feel clunky or does it feel fairly natural? I am looking forward to being able to get around again without pain and climb stairs. I am also tired of walking like a pregnant penguin. One downside I see is having to go to rehab for a week or so after the hospital stay. I want to go home. I hope to plan a Disney trip while I am rehabbing. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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I had mine done 7 years ago and am very happy that I had it done.

I knew in recovery I had done the right thing. I hurt from surgery pain, but my knee pain was much better.

When I had it done, I don't know anyone who went to a rehab, but now it seems everyone does. I had the surgery on a monday, and started PT the next day in the hospital and went home on thursday with the first one and wednesday with the 2nd one. I started going to PT on friday. I went to PT for about 3 weeks and then I was released. I was in my mid 40's when I had to done, so my recovery was much easier than many people who were much older than I was.

I am so glad that I had it done. Mine doesn't feel natural, but it doesn't feel bad either. I guess I am just use to it. I went back to work at 5 weeks. I was an outside sales rep so there was a lot of driving and walking afterwards. It was hard going back, but looking back, I am glad I did.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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I had a single knee repacement 13 months ago. I am very gad I did it but it did take time to get to that point. It is true that all of that arthritis pain is gone immediately after surgery because there is nothing left to hurt. Just pain from the surgery. It will heal, you just have to give it time. Working hard at rehab will pay off in a better functioning joint.

I can't really say that the artificial knee feels like a normal knee. For the longest time I was bothered by how it felt. It took 12 months but I am finally used to how it feels and I don't really think about it anymore.

I was sent home two days after surgery but I had family there to wait on me. Without that you are better off in a rehab facility.

I was very frightened and anxious before the surgery so I know how you feel. I am sending thoughts and prayers your way.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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My mom had bilateral knee replacement in September. She chose to do both at once because she was afraid she would never do the second one of rehab was hard and painful. It hasn't been easy and she still has a lot of work to do but two months out and she says it is the best thing she has ever done for herself and she would do it again in a heartbeat. She would have been in a wheelchair full time without the replacements and is glad to know she is no longer facing that.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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My dad had his knee done earlier this year at 75. He left the hospital the next day and went home. No rehab center.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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My dad had knee replacements performed separately. (He originally wanted to do both at one time, but during the pre-op physical a heart condition was discovered which precluded knee surgery until that was resolved.) He went to rehab with each knee replacement. He had good results with both surgeries and rehabs. An uncle went home and had the physical therapist come to his house, so access to less equipment and support. He did not have as good a result and put off having the second knee done.

It's important to follow instructions regarding strengthening the muscles both before and after surgery. I highly recommend going to a rehab facility post-surgery where more therapy and support is available. The therapists get the patients up and working harder than someone on their own might work. It corresponds with better outcomes.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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I had one done last year. Went into the hospital Tuesday, started PT on Weds, then went home on Friday. I had inhome PT for 2 weeks then went to a PT center 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Was back at work in 4 weeks. I'm glad I had it done because of all the pain I was having before is gone now.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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I am a home PT. I see a lot of knee replacement patients at home 2 to 3 days post-op. Some older people (over 70) or people whose homes have stairs or who don't have anyone to help them may go to rehab. Most in this area go straight home.

I had a unicompartmental knee patient this week who had surgery as an outpatient and went home the same day.

Most of my patients do really well. Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
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I hope it didn't seem that I was disparaging PTs who make home visits. My father and uncle were over 70 when they had their procedures. My father had daily PT in hospital and at the rehab facility for about 10 days total before going home, and then the home PT came out several times a week for several weeks, I believe. He did home exercises in between times. My uncle went home from the hospital and had home therapy a few times. He did not work as hard, so he did not have as good a result as my father. A lot of it was his not following instructions. It wasn't the fault of his therapists.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. It is nice to know that most people do well postop. If I was only having one knee done I could go right home after 3 days. But having 2 knees done sends me to rehab for 3-7 days. I am highly motivated to be out of pain so I will do whatever it takes. PT will come to the house for the first 2-3 weeks then I will be outpatient at a PT facility for up to 12 weeks. The doctor suggested I strengthen the muscles in my legs before the surgery. He also told me that I am on the younger side of knee replacements (50's) so he could offer the bilateral surgery. Luckily I have a DDIL who is a PT. She got a sheet of exercises for me to follow. She doesn't do PT for knee replacement patients but she is a good resource. Thanks again. I feel better about the surgery.
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