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Preop knee surgery questions to ask and postop recovery tips
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Bobc811 posted:

Several surgeons can do a great job of installation. However, they tend to fail when it comes to the recovery process. And they care most about making money on the installation and nothing about the recovery process.

Knee replacement is many times more difficult than is a hip replacement.

The recovery process will take nearly a full year. While big gains can be realized within a short period of time, the final gains will come more slowly.

Determine how many days you will be in the hospital. Three to five is recommended. Run if the Dr tells you only 2 days are needed. The Dr and hospital are just trying to save money.

Watch for the quick build up of scar tissue, internal bleeding and muscle spasms. Each will inhibit flex and extension and must be treated before the physical therapist can do his work effectively. Ask the Dr if he has ever encountered post operation build up of scar tissue, internal bleeding and/or muscle spasms and what he did about them. In the event that you experience those symptoms, ask him what drugs he will prescribe.

What physical therapy will be administered while in the hospital? Early manipulation will help keep the buildup of scar tissue at a minimum.

Identify the physical therapist you will utilize and interview them for experience in knee recovery. They need to be experienced in recognizing the need to break down scar tissue and stretch out ligaments, tendons and muscles in the leg i.e. quads and hamstring. They need to work the leg, hips and lower back as each will enhance the degree of recovery. They need to recognize the cause of sciatic nerve pain and remedy it.

Do not allow the Dr or physical therapist to tell you that the definition of recovery is no pain and 90 degrees of flex (ability to bend the knee back towards the butt) You will need at least 130 degrees of flex and full leg extension. You want to be able to walk up and down stairs and be able to tie your shoe or put your sock on.

While you will want to go to Phys Therapy 3 times a week, be prepared to work on your own at home during the off days. Be prepared for a good deal of pain as the knee is manipulated. The act of breaking down the scar tissue is very painful.

Some doctors advocate the use of an electrical CPM machine. My doctor does not believe in them or any machine, which inhibited my recovery. The second doctor I engaged advocated the use of the light weight, portable and manual KneeRite devise, which I used to great success and satisfaction. I still use it and credit it with being able to reach 125 degrees of flex. It was especially effective in between phys therapy visits.

Use vitamin E oil on the scar as it will help smooth out the visual and hel it to blend in better.

Finally, be prepared to be laid up for roughly three weeks and to wean yourself off of the oxycontine as quickly as is possible. Also, some degree of depression will likely set in after a couple of weeks. Let the tears flow and move on.
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Mistra responded:
What can I say, but that I agree to all you said, I've had total hip replacement, yes, the docters are happy to see that the implant went well as was my case, we've installed it we tested it we took x-rays what came afterwards which was pretty bad in my case, they were indifferent couldn't leave the hospital fast enough for them. You are right we must be our own advocates ,we must do our own research , and when we feel something isn't going well, speak up, something I didn't do.
 
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bem2112 responded:
I was just wondering. You said that you had a second dr. Did you get rid of your first one, and if so, how did you go about doing that? Not happy with the one my boyfriend has. Would love to have another look at his TKR. He is having too many problems, along with the blisters and DVT. Thank you. Brenda


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