Knee Replacement Surgery and Living Alone

ivyfox Member Posts: 2

I had a phone consult with the surgeon today, who confirmed I'm still on the list and may have surgery as soon as Christmas 2022 (only 3 months away)!

I was diagnosed in 2019 and live alone in a split-level house. Between all rooms - bar two - there are at least three stairs up or down, plus a narrow flight from the ground to the upper floor. A year ago, the Council Social Care team fitted grab rails, a bath board, etc wherever they could - but the staircase is unsuitable for a stair lift.

How have other single people managed their post-op recovery?

I'd really like to have an idea of what is involved and would welcome advice. For instance, I wonder if I need to organise a nursing home placement?



  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317

    Hello @ivyfox

    Welcome to the online community and thank you for joining us. I hope that you will find this a safe and friendly space where you can share more about your journey.

    So you were diagnosed in 2019 and live alone in a split level house. You have had a phone consult with your surgeon who has advised that you could be having your knee replacement surgery as soon as Christmas which is only 3 months away. You are concerned about the stairs in your home because although you have grab rails (installed by council), your main stairs are too narrow for a stair lift and you don't know how you will cope on your own after the surgery. You are wondering how other people living on their own coped after this surgery.

    That is great news that you may not have to wait that much longer, which must be a relief. When I had my knee replaced I found that the stairs in my house weren't nearly as problematic as I thought they would be, and like you they were quite narrow. Mine were also quite steep too so it always felt like there were a lot to do. When you are in hospital the physiotherapist will go through stairs with you and they will teach you how to go up and down them safely. They will not give you the all clear to go home if they feel like you can not cope or if you feel unsafe. It might be an idea to contact your county council and let them know your having this operation and that you are concerned as they may be able to come up with different options for you. I'm sure once the other members have had a chance to read your post, they will be able to give your lots of helpful tips too.

    Below is a couple of links to information on our main website that I think may be of help to you so do please have a read when you have the chance.

    Please do let us know how you get on and good luck with your operation. Please do continue to take part in the community as we are always looking to make new friends. Maybe check out Val's Cafe or Living with arthritis and get chatting to new people.

    Take care

    Anne (Moderator)

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,551

    We had someone on here, a few years ago, in an almost identical situation to yours though I can't remember whether it was knee or hip. Definitely a split level home. They coped but it wasn't easy.

    It's good that you're considering a nursing home. Certainly the first day / weeks are tricky. Forget housework. Have a freezer full of pre-cooked or ready meals. Have groceries delivered at least for a few weeks and preferably someone to come in and put them away for you. You will be occupied with resting, doing the prescribed exercises several times a day and keeping the knee elevated when possible. It's a tiring business, especially if you need a lot of pain relief, but so very rewarding. Try not to rush the recovery. Take time to get the basics right. Use all offers of help. I've had both knees done and don't regret a minute of it.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright