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    TKR scheduled soon
    misschoochoo posted:
    My TKR is scheduled for late July on my right knee. I had a left knee operation way back in high school (1963), and I have a big scar like you see on Frankenstein's head on that knee. The doc took out the left meniscus cartilage and he said he scraped the kneecap clean. I think knee surgery has probably advanced light years from that time, so I'm hopeful for relief from the pain of degenerative arthritis that set in soon after that operation. I'm going for a pre-op class on TKR this week, and some of my questions may be answered there, but I was hoping some of you who've been through it might help me with these 3 questions:
    1. I know I need to have a regular chair with arms to help me get up. Is it good to have a chair a little on the high side -- does this make it easier? 2. I have a recliner, but I have to push down on the foot part to get out -- the lever for lowering the foot of the chair no longer works. Will I have enough muscle to push down on this after I get out of the hospital, or would I be stuck? (I'm 65, but am in good physical shape -- I do exercises everyday and am only about 30 pounds overweight.) 3. I know you're supposed to go downstairs on the bad and up with the good, but can you go downstairs sideways? I've had to go downstairs sideways for about a year now -- the patella hurts too much to go up facing forward. Thanks for any info you can give me. I'm using Music Therapy also for pain management and for the repetitive exercises -- as a musician, and a one-time Music Therapy major, I know the value of this type of therapy. Thanks again!
    _swank_ responded:
    1) Yes, having a higher chair will make things easier. Also, get a toilet seat raiser to make your toilet higher. I was given a commode in the hospital that I could put over my toilet also. Getting off the toilet is difficult, especially if you don't have anything to hold onto.

    2) Nobody can answer this for you. If you can't push the foot part of the chair down with one leg then you might want to stay out of the recliner for a while.

    3) While you're in the hospital the PT staff will teach you how to do stairs and they can answer your question.
    1wareaglefan responded:
    I would say:
    1. A higher chair definitely helped me get up easier.
    2. I would agree that if you can do it with one leg, you should
    be able to.
    3. Yes, you can go downstairs sideways, b/c they had me
    practice that in PT.

    Good luck!!!
    YPease responded:
    Hey sister! I am a little late getting to respond to you. I had knee surgery in 1972-73 and that is what lead me to the TKR I had on 11/7/12. I sailed through with a whole lot less pain that back in the dark ages. But, by now you know that! I used my recliner end on my couch to perch when I got home. The lever still works, but it was still difficult to get in and out. I also used a little strap to help me hoist my leg in and out, up and down from the chair and my bed. My walker was also my best friend for a couple of weeks. I got creative with it when I needed help. I hope you are doing well and don't worry about progress. I was agressive with my PT and seemed to have done very well. I can climb stairs now, but am still working on going down them. I just signed up for another short course of PT to get me back on my bike! I am excited as for the first time in several years the pain is gone! Hang in there!
    misschoochoo replied to YPease's response:
    YPease, thanks for the response. Please read my post titled "Good results with TKR" of 8-9-12. I'm doing great. I forgot to say that my pain is well controlled with a minimum amount of pain pills. I take them as suggested by my doc -- about 30 minutes before the physical therapist comes, and as needed -- especially during the night so I can sleep. I'm walking up and down my 8 stairs in the house several times a day now. My other knee is due for TKR in the middle of September though, and it has problems with stairs, so I have to go down sideways until it's fixed. I'm so excited to be able to do things in the future that I'd given up on. There's a YMCA about 5 minutes away too, and I'm looking forward to working out. I'm thinking of buying a recumbent bicycle and going to the park. I can sit at the computer now, and instead of just letting my leg hang down, I slide back and forth in my chair (with rollers) and it bends my knee. When I'm busy reading email, etc. I'm hardly aware of the tightness in my knee, and can go to the 110 degrees that the therapist is getting now. So glad you're having success too. It sounds as if you also are aggressive about your progress, and not passive as a lot of people are. I think that makes a huge difference.

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