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TKR next Thursday

brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
edited 23. Jun 2016, 03:53 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi there,
Not been active on the forum for ages but the time has come for me to have the first of two TKRs. I have OA in both knees and have struggled on for some time now taking pain relief and accepting the word of my gp that maybe if I lost weight and took more exercise I would stand a chance of a surgeon agreeing to perform the operations on my knees. I decided that I couldnt wait until the perfect weight so I switched gps and was immediately referred to a surgeon who totally agreed I needed both knees replaced asap, no mention of weight exercise or anything else. So here I am waiting for next Thursday when I will get a new left knee. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated as I am just feeling a little nervous and excited at the same time.

Sue xx :):)

Comments

  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Had both mine replaced together almost four years ago. The best thing I ever did; I wish I'd had them done earlier. Advice...start exercising as soon as possible after the op even if you don't feel up to it, get enough rest, and be patient. And ask anything more specific on here when you need to. I'm not here much, but I consider myself a bit of an expert on TKRs - as are several others on this site of course - so I'll be around.
    Good luck for Thursday!
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow both together sounds brave. I wish I had persued this earlier but never mind, can I ask how old you were? I am just approaching 57 but my knees think they are 100.
    Thank you for replying the advice on here always seems to be better than googling.

    Sue xx
  • GraceBGraceB Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I had my right knee partially replaced 2009 and my left needs replacing completely. In 2009 when I was post-op and struggling with my knee bend some days I was doing some of my physio exercises every 45 minutes. I worked hard at that physio - very hard.

    Something I was told was - for the first four weeks take the pain meds whether or not you think you need them. Without the pain meds the pain will break through, you'll not be able to do the physio and things will take longer. I remembered that advice and stuck to it without question.

    I was also told to pace myself, take plenty of time to do things (and I needed that extra time!), not to rush back to work (I didn't), and to make sure I elevated/rested the knee (I did).

    Follow the instructions you are given by the physios and your consultant.

    Oh, I stocked up on books, DVD's, puzzle books before the op. I also did as much pre-shopping as I could - wasn't internet shopping then! I had a perching stool in the bathroom, another in the kitchen and used an office (wheeled) chair to get from A-B in the house when I was really sore.

    Have a good long bath (or shower) the day before as it'll be a while before you have a long shower again, treat yourself to a hair conditioning treatment if needed and make arrangements for friends to pop in when you are home but be prepared to tell them when you are tired so they know not to over-stay their welcome!

    Good luck, let us know how you get on please.

    Take care,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Many thanks GraceB I have received great information from the hospital about the procedure and physio but its comforting to know there are people on this site who have actually been there and done it. I am gonna give it my all to make the most of the new knee and will be posting regular updates.

    Thanks Sue xx
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again, Sue. I was 63 when I had mine done...and my knees were about 200. I was pretty fit, apart from being barely able to walk to the car!!! My GP had said they weren't bad enough, so I eventually went to another GP, who referred me to a specialist. He said neither of my knees had any cartilage left, and would I like them done together. I should add that not all surgeons are willing to do this, and it makes it a four hour op, so you have to be relatively young and healthy. I thought it sounded like a brilliant idea.

    I was awake and chatting to the surgeon throughout the op; I refused a sedative as I wanted to know what was going on, so just a spinal anaesthetic. I began doing the recommended exercises later that day. I was told you need to start exercising immediately to prevent scar tissue forming. I kept at it, and my knees now both bend right back; I can't sit back on my heels, but almost. The consultant congratulated me several weeks later, and said he'd stop saying women were lazy about doing the exercises, after seeing me - I'm not boasting, just making the point.

    The first few weeks were rough, but 4 months later I went on holiday to Madeira with my partner, and walked Funchal's narrow cobbled streets with no crutches. Made it all worthwhile.

    I've written an ebook about my experiences, and if you send me a private message I'll give you details. However, most of it is taken from my posts on here, so you can read it for free. If you do a search you'll probably find them...it'll be July 2012 onwards.
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,899 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello brandy sorry I cant help with any advice..now if it was hips I have loads...I do wish you well with your recovery... will be thinking about you..
    Love
    Barbara
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck for Thursday, Sue. I'll be thinking of you. I bet you're really nervous and excited now. I didn't really have time for all that; I got given a cancellation, and had a total of three days notice of the operation! Perhaps just as well, or I'd have been a neurotic wreck. But I just wanted to say I'm sure you'll be fine, and remember; we're all here to give help and support, before and after...
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Helen,
    I am getting excited at the thought of getting my knees sorted, cant actually remember walking normally its been that long! Thought things were gonna go a bit wrong as I have COPD and was feeling a bit out of sorts this weekend anyway I started antibiotics on Sunday (which I have in the house). Im feeling much better now and have rung the hospital to let them know. Will be having a blood test this afternoon and then its all steam ahead for Thursday. Just been shopping for some ready meals and last bits and pieces so think I am ready. My operation is at a private clinic paid for by NHS and apparently is very good. Will keep you posted on my progress.
    Thanks for your support xx
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,899 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Will be thinking about you brandy..and wishing you a speedy recovery
    Love
    Barbara
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Barbara this forum makes you feel like you have lots of friends who take the time to listen and care its wonderful xxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck for Thursday, Brandy. I'm sorry, I'm a bit late on to this as I've been away. I've had two TKRs and a revision. All have been great. Do the exercises as directed and all should be well.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky, hope you had a good time. I feel a bit more confident about Thursday and thanks to comments from the forum I know what to do to get the best out of my op.

    Sue xx
  • GraceBGraceB Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hope all goes well on Thursday for you. I'll be thinking of you.

    Take care,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi guys,
    Im back home from my TKR on Thursday, got discharged yesterday so didnt do too bad. I was very nervous leading up to the op but the hospital staff were brilliant I didnt get any sedation and was wide awake during the whole procedure. Am still in a fair amount of pain but its getting better by the day and all in all I think I will have no hesitation in getting my other one done. Wont babble on but if anyone is scared of having this procedure please dont be I can already feel some benefits from it and only on day 4.

    Sue xx
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's great news, Sue. I was wondering how you'd got on. Home on the third day is about as quickly as they ever do it, so you must be doing well. Don't forget to take the painkillers and do your exercises, and it's onwards and upwards from now on.
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks helen,
    My knee wont allow me to forget taking the painkillers ha ha. Nighttime is the worse I cant sleep at the moment, just doing the exercises as much as I can and hoping it will get easier.

    Suexx
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, it WILL get easier, Sue. But in my experience it's slow going, so don't expect instant results. Everyone is different; my friend had hardly any pain at all, but I was in extreme pain and on the maximum dose of anything they'd give me for weeks and weeks. When I asked about that I just got told it was because I'd had both knees done together. How does that work? I could understand that they'd both hurt, but why should they both hurt more? And not sleeping; oh, yes, I remember it well. But it will get better and be definitely worth it in the end.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Helen's right. It will get easier but it won't be rushed.

    I was in extreme pain and on the maximum dose of anything they'd give me for weeks and weeks. When I asked about that I just got told it was because I'd had both knees done together. How does that work? I could understand that they'd both hurt, but why should they both hurt more?

    To me, it seems logical. Two lots of pain signals for the brain to process plus you will have been unable to make the minor adjustments to sitting / lying ie transferring the weight more to the other leg / knee. Well, you could make them but surely get nowhere near as much relief from it as those of us who only did one knee at a time. Anyway, the main thing is you got there and so will you, Brandy. Just keep plugging away :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, been taking it abit easier today, have swelling in my foot so after a telling off from my friend I have been sat with my leg up. On the upside had a lovely shower which perked me up a great deal. Taking max strength co codamols and have just about coped with the pain.
    Respect to you who had both knees done together xx
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sue. How are things going? Still improving? No setbacks I hope.

    Helen
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Helen,
    Think things are improving very slightly, bit confused as to how much or little to do everyday to be honest. Im doing the bending exercises and walking around a bit, mainly in the house or garden at the moment and during the day I feel not too bad but at night my leg just seems to hurt as in throb and ache and I cant get comfy when I go to bed. I have been up and down during the night since the op and am experimenting with pain relief to see if I can leave some of my allowance for the early hours of the morning. The bend in my knee seems good albeit still very sore and swollen so just taking it day by day at the moment and dreaming of a nice walk.

    Sue x
  • HelenbothkneesHelenbothknees Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That all sounds about normal for this early in the recovery process, Sue. I think I just did the recommended exercises, and rested the remainder of the time, and I definitely made sure I could have pain relief that lasted through the night, as that was a bad time for me too. It WILL get better. It sounds as though you're doing fine.
  • brandy192brandy192 Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, Just a quick update on my TKR. Three weeks tomorrow since I had it done, the pain is subsiding slowly but surely and the knee feels great. Still not sleeping too good but have been snatching some naps in the day as I find the most comfortable place to relax is my bed.
    Went for my first post op physio appointment yesterday and they were please with the bend think it was 70 degrees so a bit more w ork but not too bad. My knee and muscles are feeling the pain a bit today as I worked hard with the physio it was like a group session at the hospital. Think thats it for now just off to warm up a ready meal for tea.

    Sue xx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It sounds as if all is going well, Sue. Keep at it and thanks for the update.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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