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Scheduled for TKR left on February 5, 2013
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thebean posted:
I am very apprehensive about this surgery. I have been bone on bone for at least 7 years but pain is minimal but instability in that knee is getting worse and stairs, and getting up from low toilet or chair is getting harder and harder. Some aching now after walking or standing for some time. I just want reassurance that this surgery will make a big difference. Any comments from those who have been there?
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irish38 responded:
Had left TKA on 12/12/12! Zero pain post op! Took the hospital meds and hit the pain button a few times but only because they wanted me to stay in front of any. There are several factors involved I believe. I worked out every morning hard for 3 months getting my legs and cardio system in great shape pre op. I was physically and mentally prepared for the ordeal. I have a great deal of respect for my surgeon and chose him and the hospital based on outcomes. This surgeon also allowed me to participate in choosing the implant he would use. I learned about customizing and we chose the Medacta My Knee System. Based on a CT scan, custom cutting blocks were made for my specific knee eliminating many surgical steps. I believed all have contributed to no post op pain and me walking without walker or cane 15 days post op. Best of luck with yours!
 
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_swank_ replied to irish38's response:
More than likely, the meds they used to numb your leg were the main reason you had no post-op pain. I couldn't even feel my foot after the surgery.
 
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jeanneinct responded:
I had my surgery six weeks ago, on December 4th. I can't relate to anyone that claims they had no pain.This is a huge surgery and there's much more rehabilitation afterwards than a hip replacement. It's the most complex replacement between knee or hip.This is why orthopedic surgeons will tell you that you'll know when you're ready for it because your knee pain will be your guide.I thought I was ready so after 10 years of increasing knee pain, I went forward with my replacement.

Expect post operative pain.The nurses will be quick to bring you your medication to relieve it. I chose hydrocodone (vicodin) over oxycodone (percocet) because the latter gives me terrible itches.For the first couple of weeks, I had intense pain and swelling.My knee and calf had varying shades of deep purple and red. Ice packs were my companion constantly. I elevated my leg on a pillow to bring the swelling down. Physical therapy came to my house for two weeks, three times a week. I had done some leg exercises prior to surgery so some of the things he had me do were fairly painless, some were not. Extension of my leg was good, but flexion of my knee was so difficult due to the swelling. I have been going to outpatient physical therapy 2 times a week.

Here's some tips about managing pain. In the beginning, take what you need every 4 to 6 hours. Take your pain pill an hour before you have therapy. Make sure to automatically take a stool softener like Senokot every day. If you don't move your bowels for 3 days despite a stool softener, then take a laxative.It's no fun having to sit on a toilet and strain.Speaking of toilet, lowering yourself down on the seat will be especially painful at first so if you have a commode, you can put it over your toilet and use the arms on it to lift or lower yourself.Keep a cold pack on for the heat and swelling and of course elevated.Have your doctor send you home with a prescription for a sleeping pill like temaaepam, enough for at least 2 weeks.

Six weeks later and I still have some swelling and one half of my knee is numb. The nerve was cut and reconnected so it may or may not regenerate and may take up to a year to do that. When I'm watching tv, I use the belt from a bathrobe to put under my foot and help lift my leg up straight for extension or to pull my foot so that my knee flexes.Be prepared for depression, it's something that I wasn't ready for. It's natural to get down on yourself because progress is so slow that you feel you're the exception to the rule of recovery, you aren't. It's a very long and slow process.My last bit of advice is to read about the experiences of others that have been through this surgery, that helped me a lot knowing that I shouldn't expect miracles to happen overnight.
 
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arbob5 responded:
I had tkr almost 8 years ago and I have had two hip replacements also, the latest on7-16-2012. Hips are definitely easier, no doubt about that.

I had more post op pain with the knee, and that was to be expected. I also had 3 weeks in home PT and then 6 weeks out patient PT. I can honestly say that after I was done with all of my PT, I got along fine. And it got better just about every day. I did continue with my exercises at home for at least a month after my out patient PT was finished.

Lets face it...TKR is major surgery (as is THR), but if you do everything you're expected to do, it is manageable and the post op pain, at least for me, was so much lower than before the surgery. I will say that it took about a good 3-4 months after the surgery for me to say "I feel great". And I have to say I haven't had a problem of any kind with that knee. Thank God. I know many do, however.

Let us know how you're doing. That's what this site is for...we help each and share good and bad results. Keep your chin up, and more than anything, THINK POSITIVE!!! That is so important. God bless.


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