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    Double Knee Replacement Surgery Scheduled
    Anon_179730 posted:
    I have just scheduled to have both my knees replaced in January. The dr. said he would do it because I "don't have a good knee to stand on." Has anyone here had this type of surgery? Do you recommend it? What are the pros/cons/etc? Thank you all very much. I know I have to do this at some time (I'm 65 & have put this off for 15 years), but I am very apprehensive!!
    _swank_ responded:
    Lots of people have done it but having had one knee done, I would never do both at a time. Aside from the difficulties getting around, getting in and out of the car, getting off furniture and the toilet, getting up and down stairs, there's also twice as many chances for complications. You also must take into account more blood loss and a longer time under anesthesia. If you do have complications then you really don't have a good leg to stand on.

    People that have gone through it without a breeze will swear it's the best thing they ever did. I didn't have any complications with my TKR but I still would never do both.
    Anon_227878 responded:
    I was just scheduled to have double knee replacement the end of October. I am terrified but my knees are interfering with my quality of life. One knee is worse than the other but I don' think I can do this twice. I cancelled the surgery for one knee a year and a half ago due to fear.

    Just know that you are not alone with your fears. Maybe we can help support each other.
    Bal M Rajagopalan, MD responded:

    There are definitely cons to doing both knees at the same time... it triples your complication rate [infection, blood clots, pneumonia> and the recovery time is slower... the only pro I see when it comes to these surgeries, is the convenience of getting both knees done in 1 shot. However, you do need to be aware of the complications that can occur and discuss all of this with your surgeon.

    - Dr Raj
    janetsg replied to Anon_227878's response:
    Sorrry for not replying for so long --- I guess I forgot to check this site! I cancelled one knee replacement 15 years ago and never rescheduled, until now. I am really terrified as well but I'd rather do this now than wait 'til I'm worse physical shape than I already am! I'm a college teacher and am taking spring semester off to do this. Has your dr. done both at the same time before? Mine has but would rather do one at a time because of the increased complications. He told me I would do my rehab in the hospital -- I wonder how long that lasts. He also told me that the pain afterwards wouldn't be "bone on bone" pain, but more like muscle pain. What were you told. Anyway, I guess we will be going through this together. It will be good to compare experiences. Your's is pretty soon!! Are you getting ready? I am supposed to go a month before my surgery to get an MRI of my knees and my new knees (or something like that) will be made from the MRI. Did you do physical therapy before? I'm thinking about it, but am not sure where to go/what to do. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you.
    janetsg replied to Bal M Rajagopalan, MD's response:
    Thank you so much for rplying to my post. I apologize for not thanking you earlier. My surgeon has told me about all of those complications. I will take drugs to prevent it -- the only one I know about is coumadin (or the new drug like it). Both of my knees are so bad that I couldn't use one to support myself while the other one is healing. Hopefully, this will work out ok. Thank you for replying to me.
    janetsg replied to _swank_'s response:
    Hi -- I have heard both sides, both good and bad. I am very worried about everything that you talked about. I hope it's a breeze for me --- or at least successful!!!!
    _swank_ replied to janetsg's response:
    Your doctor has obviously never had a knee replaced. The pain afterwards is not mere muscle pain. Make no mistake, this is intensely painful surgery. My physical therapist told me it's one of the most painful orthopedic surgeries. It is by far the most painful surgery I've ever had, and I've had several. So be prepared for that. That being said, you'll be connected to a pain pump which will help immensely. Be sure to push the button whenever you need it. You must push the button before the pain gets bad. If you wait too long it will be hard to keep up. Push it before you get out of bed to use the toilet or go to rehab. This is patient controlled anesthesia so nobody else is allowed to push the button for you.

    I didn't go to physical therapy before surgery but it's a good idea to exercise and get in the best shape possible. Swimming or riding a bike is the best. Don't neglect your arms because you will need them to help move yourself around. Personally, I wouldn't waste physical therapy visits by going ahead of time. Most insurance companies will only pay for so many visits.
    janetsg replied to _swank_'s response:
    Hi _swank_ : I know how painful knee surgery can be. About xxx (a long time ago!) I had knee surgery called "Hauser's Proceure" (not sure of the spelling). My surgeon told me that no one does it anymore because (a) the recovery period is too painful and (b) it doesn't usually work. I was in unbelievable pain for months and months -- until I even knew if the surgery worked. I think they moved a tendon and reattached it to a different place. I had to make a new groove for my knee to work smoothly in my tibia by doing knee exercises -- no physical therapists then (at least none were offered), no button pain killers. My surgeon says it won't be as painful as that, although I have found that when when drs. say it'll only hurt a little, it means it'll only hurt them a little (lol, sort of!). I have just developed a painful sort of arthritis in my shoulders and arms, mostly from pushing to get up & sitting down. So my big plans for getting into better shape have been postponed. I am going to start lifting weights in about 2 weeks. BTW, I had no idea that riding a bike was good for knee problems!!! That's great. I have a pretty good insurance company, and am having the surgery in 2012, so I figure I can go in 2011. Couldn't hurt! Thank you for your great advice. I have to tell you that I am really, really getting scared about this. I'm not in unbearable pain all the time -- I just can't sleep through the night w/o painkillers (tylenol mostly) and it's really tough to do my job -- some of my classes are 2 1/2 hours at a stretch and are in tiered rooms (i.e., stairs to get to the students) and my knees just won't take it -- I'm sort of a "pacer" when I teach. And then flying to conferences is almost impossible, etc. I have seen several surgeons and I think (hope, pray) that I've found one that I believe is pretty good & I've put this off for 15 years, etc. RRRR --- I just hate the thought of doing this!
    _swank_ replied to janetsg's response:
    I first injured my knee when I was a teenager. I took up biking after that and I believe it prolonged the life of my knee. It helps keep it mobile and builds muscle. I also swim which is great for just about everything.
    ashforj responded:
    Yes I am having both of my replaced. The first one on 2/16/12. and the second one five days later on 2/21. I am sure there is going to be quite a bit of pain but both of my knees are shot and hurt all the time. I can't do any of the sports I have been able to do all my life...I want my life back.. I am 55 and have the knees of an 80 yr old so says my surgeon. Good luck and let me know how it goes
    ashforj replied to Anon_227878's response:
    This is Febuary did you have the surgery?
    ashforj replied to janetsg's response:
    Hi Janet, you have an exay which goes into the surgery with the doc. You need a MRI, blood work, and lab work. Also your primary has to sign off on the surgery so that the Surgeon that is doing the work knows that you are fit. I am having both of my knees replaced one this week on the 2/16/2012 and the orther one on Monday. I figure get it done at one time besides I want my life back. I have no illusions that I am not going to be in pain but I am in pain now. I have a good surgeon who does double knee replacement quite often. I live in Vegas and like you I had no idea who to go to. I went on line and looked for a Surgeon found one with a excellent reputation then made an appointment to see what I thought of him and went from there. I hope this helps. Good luck let me know how things turn out.
    janetsg replied to ashforj's response:
    How was your surgery? I had my left knee replaced about a month ago: 1/17. According to the surgeon, the surgery was more complicated than normal because of the previous knee surgery, but no serious complications. It was, however, far less fun than even I had imagined. The pain, especially for the first 3 days was excruiciating (sp?) -- even with the pain pump. Doing anything by myself and for myself was impossible. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and then, after I realized that my husband wouldn't be that good of a caretaker, went to a rehab facility for about 10 days. By the time I got out of there, I could walk with a walker and go to the bathroom by myself. I have been religious in doing PT. But, after a month, my muscles in my left leg are still very sore, I don't feel very steady on my feet and my knee & leg are still swollen. Is this normal? Should I be expecting more? I can bend my knee to 110 degrees, but can't support myself while bent. Sorry for rambling like this but I was wondering if what I'm going through is normal. I want to wait (fear) a year or so to have the 2nd one done but intellectually feel I should get it done as soon as the surgeon agrees to do it. Thoughts? BTW, I really want my life back as well!!!
    ryan40 replied to janetsg's response:
    I feel your pain. Today is a year since my total knee replacement. I hate to be a gloomy gus but you are far from being out of the woods. On top of everything you are going through you have to watch out for knee tendonitis. That is a pain equal too the surgery pain. you can't even walk. its been a year for me and i stil have pain and soreness. Supposedly my anterial band is pushing out on my ligaments. The surgeon is saying i'm boldleged. never ever mentioned that before. I was on the verge of hunting up an attorney. All i can tell you is you have to be patient. its a journey not a sprint. Your pt person is your best friend. really listen to them.
    Good luck

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