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Today is one year anniversary of my bilateral TKR
chris07732 posted:
My recovery continues. At this point, my lingering complaints are few: I continue to be challenged to climb and descend stairs without hanging on the handrails. I still need to assist myself to standup from a sitting position on a chair. I can kneel (on a cushion or knee pads) and work at things mechanical or garden, but I need something nearby to pull/push myself up to standing position. Other than these strength issues, I'm 100% improved from the several month post op and PT period. My walking is asymptomatic. I bike ride. Unless I told you about my new knees, you'd never guess.

Knowing what I went thru, I'm still glad I did it. I was in the class of patients whose need for the new knees was a bit of a stretch. I still functioned on the old knees, but they were becoming more and more problematic each 6 month visit to Dr. The 3 months post op and PT period was painful and frustrating with the lack of progress. I frequently lamented "why did I do it". I was lucky in that I just retired, so I wasn't forced to do more activity than I could bear. But with dedicated ongoing PT (tread mill and 5# ankle weights) at home, I've gotten to the point I'm at where I don't really think about the new knees.

In summary, 1) I believe that doing both knees at same time was good decision. Knowing myself, I would not volunteer to go thru the post op/PT process again a second time to do the knees sequentially. 2) My dr's opinion of length of time for recovery is differrent than mine. His definition of recovery is walking, check, driving, check, range of motion 120 deg, check: you're good to go in his eyes. Those milestones were achieved within 8 weeks, but the recovery still goes on.

Surprises that really impacted me: 45 lb weight loss immediately post op really had me worried. It stopped, but never really diagnosed why it happened. I'm currently 205lbs, should be less, but going down to 175lbs really had me freaked. I developed diabetic issues while in hospital, now under control.

Advice: go for it if you need the new knees. Get off the hard pain killers ASAP. Taking oxycodine while at home is recipe for disaster. There is some pain, especially trying to sleep. Your pillows are your best friend. Do the PT. 3x/week at a facility, every day at home. Walk everywhere
cajunmoon45 responded:
Hi Chris,
My left knee was done just a year ago and the I fell and sprained the damn thing about 8 weeks after the surgery. The implant was fine. By Sept it was clear that something wasn't right. The knee buckled all the time and I had a very hard time stretching the knee straight when I woke up. Saw the Dr. again and he said I probably tore the hamstring on the side of the knee and there is nothing he can do surgically so back to PT. The pain is better but still very unstable and buckles
Now I have a mouth irritation that has developed possibly due to the metal in the implant and just asked my primary if the knee is always going to be so tender. I lost a lot of weight right after surgery to. What I know to be true for myself was that I had no appetite at all for food and I think it was all the drugs used and I was also in a lot of pain. This was the most painful thing that I have ever done. I can't imagine having two knees done at once. I had problems with the oxycontin my body developed an addiciton to it even though I took it exactly the way it was prescribed. Keep up the strength exercises and hopefully it will work out for you.

Good luck Lisa

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