WDW after knee replacement - anyone with first hand experience

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by asta, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. asta

    asta DIS Veteran

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    I am not quite 3 months since knee replacement and I wonder if things will ever get so much better that I would be able to cope with walking the distances at WDW. I would appreciate if anyone can share their experience. Trying not to get discouraged but I don't think I could cope right now. I wonder if my recovery 6 or 8 months after surgery will be improved enough to make a trip possible.
     
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  3. JoyMouse

    JoyMouse Mouseketeer

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    Fear not!! I just got back from WDW today, and I am tired, but will be back at work tomorrow morning. I have had both knees replaced. One was a bit more than two years ago and the other 7 months ago. This is the third trip for my first replacement and the second since my newest knee. I did use a scooter the first time after my first surgery, but since then, I have just hoofed it...pushing my dd in her wheelchair most of the time! You can do it!! I finally feel like I have the energy and stamina to really enjoy myself, my knees feel great and I can't wait to go back to my happy place!! PM me if you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer.
    Joy:cool1:
     
  4. asta

    asta DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the information. It is so encouraging to think that I might improve enough by the summer that I can walk WDW distances.
     
  5. KristenFNJ

    KristenFNJ Mouseketeer

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    My mom has had both knees replaced since our last trip, and will be putting them both to the test in May-it will be just over a year since the 2nd one was replaced. So, I can't attest to the actual park experience, but in terms of recovery in general three months is still really early. Give it a good six months and I think you'll see a big improvement, and it will continue to improve for months after that. Now at 8 months, my mom's primary discomfort is a tightness in the back of her legs, which is not inhibiting to her at all. Bionic Grandma (as the boys have dubbed her) is chomping at the bit to get back to Disney!!!
     
  6. DisneyFairytale

    DisneyFairytale DIS Veteran

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    You can absolutely do Disney.

    I've done Disneyland multiple times after major hip reconstructive work. You need to see how much walking you can do, then judge whether or not you need a wheelchair or not.
    I am in pretty decent shape, but because I have some really weak flexors, I become more and more sore throughout the day so I end using a crutch to relieve some of the work out of that bad hip. With the crutch I can walk without having to take pain killers. Without Im inhaling pain meds because its just to much walking.
     
  7. TXMemaw

    TXMemaw Mouseketeer

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    I had knee replacement surgery 7 1/2 months ago today. I have been to WDW twice since then (in early October and late November) and a 3 day Disney Cruise. I have had issues with extension which in turn caused me to have to use a cane or crutches. I had a manipulation under anesthesia done six weeks after the first surgery to no avail. Lots of physical therapy didn't resolve the issue. When I planned these two trips before my surgery, I just knew that these trips would be the first in several years where I didn't have to use a wheelchair but because of the extension issue, I unfortunately did end up having to use it for both trips. The second trip was a little easier and I was able to use a cane to walk around much more than I did in October. Right before Christmas, I had another procedure done which seems to have finally fixed the problem. We are headed out to Disneyland in a month so that I can test my new found freedom (no cane!!!) there before taking our next trip to WDW in May.

    I think that as long as you are realistic and plan ahead by building up your stamina, you'll be fine. You may have to take things a little slower than you are used to going but only you can gauge that. Don't get discouraged. I know that at three months out I was starting to think that this was never going to end. Today, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting brighter each day. Hang in there, do the therapy and exercises at home and it will get better! :thumbsup2
     
  8. Storm632

    Storm632 Mouseketeer

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    I am a PT and see total knee patients a lot. As said before...you are early in your recovery and I would expect you to be up to Disney by summer. Just follow your therapists orders, work hard, smile and keep your positive attitude and you will do GREAT!!
     
  9. PatMcDuck

    PatMcDuck DIS Veteran

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    I would be hopeful! DD has had both knees replaced, one 18 months ago, the other a 11 months ago. She worked up to 10 hour shifts retail, this holiday season, on her feet! (Oct, Nov, Dec).

    Such a miracle, she used to have trouble walking to the mailbox. And that was on pain medication. (no more pain meds now )

    Of course, she is just about to turn 21, so she had that going for her. :joker: But TKR is one amazing surgery! (PS she needed a manipulation 6 weeks after her first one too, but that worked for her, it was not for extension, it was for the bending).

    Have fun!!
     
  10. mkymouse4ever

    mkymouse4ever DIS Veteran

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    asta,

    My Sister and I are long time disney fans & travel there a few times each year. She is 40's and had her knee replacement sept 2011.
    She waited far to long to have the surgery. I watched her hobble around wdw for years, then with her "loader brace". On a trip in 2010 October > a younger man came up to my sister and said "have the surgery & get rid of that brace". He was walking perfectly and had the knee scar to prove it.
    Finally she had the surgery. Our 1st trip down from sept 2011 was March 2012. About 6 months after. She did well, but still tired easily and we had alot of rest brakes, and pool time. We focused on how she felt. If she was up to it we did it > if not we will catch it another time. It was actually great therapy for her. We did therapy in the contempary's pool and used the hot as an alternative.
    Her next trip was aug. 2012 and she was 100% improved from the trip before. Her stamina was longer, I even had trouble keeping up with her.
    Yes rest, yes when sitting put up your feet up, and yes we iced her knees [other one is getting done next year]. Still did alot of exercises and walking in the pool and hot tub exercises.

    FYI: she has alot of allergies, so pain meds where always used at a minumun. She did not medicate while on vacation at all. With the exception of advil.

    Her worse part of the trip > hauling through the airports.

    I encourage you to go. Just keep in mind, it might not be your typical trip.
    Remember any day at disney is a better day in itself. :thumbsup2

    Good luck and DO YOUR THERAPY!

    :cutie:
     
  11. EpcotQueen

    EpcotQueen Mouseketeer

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    Everyone is different. My first trip post knee replacement was at the 7 month mark. Got a scooter for that trip. See how things are as you get closer to your departure. Do some 'test' walks. If you are in the middle of the trip and find you cannot keep up comfortably, you can still rent a scooter from off site agencies. I'm not a big fan of the Disney scooters. Too big, too expensive and you are not sure one will be there for you when you need it. They do run out.
     
  12. darlene walker

    darlene walker Mouseketeer

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    I've been putting off a TKR out of fear for the worst possible senario. I am heading off to Disney World in less than 3 weeks, it will be my 2nd trip with a bad knee in the last year. I am a "young" 45 and have missed so much in the past 18 months. I hobble to the mail box here at home and will be renting a scooter while there @ Disney to keep up with my family. Let me say that after reading all of your success stories I made an appt. for March to meet with a physican. This site is awesome!!!
     
  13. mkymouse4ever

    mkymouse4ever DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations! pixiedust: pixiedust: pixiedust: It will be alot of work but so so so very worth it. Good luck to you.

    mky :cutie:
     
  14. darlene walker

    darlene walker Mouseketeer

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  15. PatMcDuck

    PatMcDuck DIS Veteran

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    I am grateful every day for my daughter's knee replacements (both!). She was only 19 for the 1st one, and barely 20 for the 2nd one. LONG story, but she had AVN/ also called osteonecrosis. DEAD BONE. From steroids, to treat other conditions.... She was insanely young to need TKRs, but that was the reality. We took her to the best, Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.

    Good luck! :cloud9:
     
  16. Humphrey1227

    Humphrey1227 Mouseketeer

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    I had a knee replacement. yes i got tired when I walk but towards the end I was walking better. i just took breaks when i got tired. I had more trouble when you went to sit on a ride. i had trouble keeping my knee bent for a while. Example winnie the pooh ride I asked to sit in the front row because you had more room to straighten out your leg than in the back sit. I brought my cane with me on my first trip (6 months after knee replacement) I would use it at animal kingdom. walking on uneven pavement, going up and down hills for balance. good luck
     
  17. Storm632

    Storm632 Mouseketeer

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    Just another recommendation. If you use a cane at Disney, you can get nice foldable ones. I used one and it stayed together with velco on my fanny pack:lmao: when I was on rides, and then I was able to open it up and use it in between times. Great investment for when you are traveling!
     
  18. whitrn

    whitrn Earning My Ears

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    Congrats on being 3 months out. Recovery may seem difficult now but slowly increase your PT and you'll be improved enough for WDW!
     
  19. gjl

    gjl Mouseketeer

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    My FIL had both done at about age 70 and except for sitting down to take breaks (perfect to watch our DD who was just one at the time) he had no issues walking around WDW. I think at his age he would have taken breaks regardless of new knees! He was also dancing with his daughter (my DW) at our wedding just 10 months after both knees were done! PT and determination is your best bet!
     
  20. Ausaki

    Ausaki Earning My Ears

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    I have been told that I need a knee replacement. I am 55. I have booked a DisneyWorld vacation for Aug 23/13 for granddaughters birthday. Last two years I had to rent a scooter, so could do it again if necessary. When would be the latest you would have the surgery and still fly to Disney? Or should I book it when we get home in September? I was thinking June would be the latest. They won't know date until April.
    My concern is the rides...will I be able to go with my granddaughter on rides like Dinasaur and Everest, or will the knee be too sore? About a month ago my knee locked up and I couldn't even bend it to get in the car. I have been doing PT and it is pretty good now, but I wouldn't want that to happen again...terrribly painful! Thanks for the help
     
  21. Humphrey1227

    Humphrey1227 Mouseketeer

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    I was 45 when I had my knee replacement. Before my surgery I did not use my leg muscles, I would swing my leg and not bend it. I had to do a lot of work building up my muscles. Went to disney at 6 months. I did do some rides, i just told the person that was loading i needed some extra time to get in and place my knee in a comfortable spot. It all depend if I was comfortable getting in and sitting on the ride. I got tired quickly. example at epcot i could walk and do 2 countries then I had to rest. Only did half of epcot and went back to the resort to rest. I also had an issue after my surgery but before disney "tia" blood clot luckly stop behind my eye. I would do the surgery after disney. I don't know how you are getting to disney, but remember you will have to sit on a plane or a car for how long. good luck, humphrey
     

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