Total Knee replacement surgery - the journey to date

KneedforSurgery Member Posts: 3
edited 17. Feb 2018, 07:17 in Say Hello Archive
Hello everyone, I'm 2 weeks on from my total knee replacement surgery and thought that I'd share my experiences in the hope that this will be of help to others who are thinking about going through this.
I'm 59, female and around August last year (2017) started experiencing knee pain, which was quite severe at times, after tests and a referral to a specialist I was given the news that my knee had had it, my only choice was to leave it as it is, leave it as it is with painkilling injections, which would at best alleviate the pain but no more, or TKR surgery.
I decided that in no way was I having surgery however 4 weeks later I was back saying I wanted the surgery!
I am most definitely not brave, however my quality of life was getting less and less, every time we went out it had to be planned like a military operation, where we were going, how close could we park, is there a Coffee Shop to sit down and rest, it was getting depressing.
I read everything that it was possible to read on line, which really did nothing other than to totally confuse me, results ranged from people who were going shopping one week after and living quite normally shortly afterwards to those who were a year on and could barely walk, I suspected that the truth was probably somewhere in the middle.
I went into Hospital on a Thursday, had my operation the same day and was discharged on the Sunday afternoon. The best advise I can give is get your pain medication right, eventually in conjunction with my GP we found the right balance of medication for me, I have allergies to cocodomol so it took a little trial and error. No two people are the same, what works for one person might not work for the next, you have to work at it. In addition some days are worse than others, so if you have an off day it doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem, it's just a bad day, its normal to have a bad day.
Try and be as active as you can, for me this means regular walks around the house, pottering, nothing strenuous just general movement as regular as possible. Do the exercises which the hospital recommend, these are more general movements rather than exercises, leotards and latex are not needed!
Sleep and rest, bed was initially painful, however we acquired a bed cage from Amazon (you really can get anything from there) and this keeps the duvet off my leg, I worked the painkiller medication to fall in with a sleep pattern, as a result I'm now sleeping at night, just with 3.00am wake up for medication and I can then get back to sleep. Mornings are good for me, I get tired after lunch so I've started going to bed in the afternoon for a couple of hours, it definitely helps, as the nurse said, listen to your body, recognise the signs and act on it.
I am definitely starting to see an improvement which in turn makes me feel better, state of mind is hugely important try and stay positive and focus on the improvements you've made, not on what you can't do, give yourself something to look forward to, for me it's a walk along the promenade by the sea.


  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi need for surgery Thank you for your story and welcome to the forum, yes a knee replacement is painful I have had both mine done but the benefits afterwards are amazing after 6 weeks I was walking much better and the pain tons better. Hopefully you too will realize the benefits too after a few weeks. The forums are full of friendly and informative people who will also give you their stories, just choose a forum and get started Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat being the most popular.
    All the best Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,325
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Kneedforasurgery (love the pun :D ) and welcome from me too. It's kind of you to share your story. Positivity is always welcome. I'm glad all is going well for you.

    You are quite right to take internet accounts with a pinch of salt. Anyone who attempts shopping a week after a TKR is, frankly, stupid and asking for the major problems they will probably get. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding about such things. Many people talk of TKRs when actually they mean a partial one or even an arthroscopy. So it's best to stick with genuine info as from here, ARUK and NHS Choices. Anecdotal stuff, even on these forums, isn't always accurate.

    Of course we do get some people on here who are having serious problems months later. Sometimes the surgery has gone wrong and sometimes they've just rushed the recovery. I always tell people the exercises are far more important, for the prosthesis anyway, than walking about. The latter comes a close second :wink: but I think exercises and rest are the main things in the early days.

    I've had three TKRs and two THRs but I started with arthritis at 15. They've all been brilliant.

    I hope you'll stick around as you'll be very useful in helping newbies who come on here anxious about forthcoming ops. And, of course, we're here for you, too.

    One thing puzzles me. You were diagnosed approximately six months ago? How on earth did you get a TKR so quickly? Could you share that as we have people on here who have been waiting years with bone on bone? I know if someone is able to stay very fit that can make a difference both to the progression of the disease and their perception of it. But, if you had no pain at all until August that's amazing.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • KneedforSurgery
    KneedforSurgery Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickywicket, thanks for your comments, you're right, a positive frame of mind is essential. I went for a walk yesterday, nothing major, just a couple of doors down, paid for it last night!
    According to the Specialist most people's condition worsens over time, when mine started to hurt it was already very advanced meaning there was no alternative procedure, also, as I had just retired the surgeon said I was a prime candidate for getting the most out of the surgery. I guess I was lucky, if that's the right word!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am pleased it has made such a difference to you and long may that last. We have had many successful knee (and hip) replacement surgeries on here but once people are mended they leave the rest of us (who have been refused or put on long waiting lists) alone and rightly so because we have nothing to offer. I have two kinds of arthritis, multiple affected joints and was refused knees seven years ago due to my extreme youth (I was 52): the fact I was bone-on-bone throughout both joints was immaterial.

    Keep living the good life, you deserve it; you've done everything right to ensure success and I hope that any one who is deliberating the procedure sees your post and is the enviable position to make the same decision. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben