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    Knee Replacement
    An_258074 posted:
    I just read all the interesting posts - thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your experience. It is helpful to people who have just gone through this surgery.

    I am 68 years old and just had left TKR. I was not prepared emotionally for this drastic surgery but I am thankful that I have always been somewhat active with walking and mat exercises. To say that this surgery is difficult is an understatement as I have never experienced pain that seems to endure and endure like this pain. When I wake after sleeping a couple of hours, my knee area feels like it is encased in concrete. The only thing that helps other than taking medication immediately is going for a walk and riding the Nu-Step and the exercise bike.

    My medical office (medical assistant) and physical therapist made this much worse for me - mentally - as I have been struggling to deal with the overall experience. In week three, the assistant told me that I probably wouldn't have another prescription filled for oxycontin - that most patients are off oxycontin with a knee replacement in one to two weeks after surgery. Clearly, this medical assistant doesn't know what she is talking about. When I went for the second PT session, my therapist remarked that "I was being negative" when I said "I would never do this again and then she spent the next 20 minutes lecturing me to "buck up" and be thankful I have a new knee. It is extremely hard to kneel down and give thanks when you feel like howling at the moon (in pain). Needless to say, I didn't go back to this therapist.

    I am getting medication now - it is about six weeks post-op and I still take one oxycontin every 12 hours, four Advil AM and PM, two Percoset every four hours, and two Peri-Colace (for stools) every AM. So far, I can't make it without this much medication.

    I never imagined that this surgery would be this painful or difficult. My knee looks okay - very little swelling and I an walk without pain. The problem arises when the medication wears off and I can feel what is really going on. I have also had itching on the surgery leg (both back of the leg and ankles) as well as itching in other areas. I have little itchy spots on my arms, back and legs that drive me nuts. Safe to say, I am a whiner these days. I am going to the rec center to swim after I see my surgeon on the 17th of July. I hope my experience either validates or helps some of you...but it looks like pain, swelling, itching, crying, tightness, are all on the menu for TKR patients.

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    For more information, visit the Duke Health Joint Replacement Center