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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

My experience

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by susu23, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. susu23

    susu23 New Member

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2008
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    United States
    Since I had a robot guided MIS surgery (Makoplasty), I thought that I would post my experience for anyone who might be interested. I couldn't find much real patient experience with it before I had it. Since this surgery was very, very new, I took the word of my doc and a number of company patient testimonials and observations. No docs had a whole lot of experience with it yet. I'm 52 and have had several years of bad knee pain.

    I was pretty active and damaged one knee in an exercise class several years ago. Torn meniscus and had arthroscopic cleanup. Knee never came back after and was mildly painful but I kept thinking it would just take me a longer time to recover, but it would eventually feel better. Got tired of messing with it and got back into other exercise but walking was still not fun.

    Then about a year and a half later, one morning I woke up and could hardly walk because of the pain in the other knee. I didn't have any particular injury to it that I knew of. Since I wasn't happy with the procedure on the first knee, I went to a different OS. He said all he could offer me was double replacements. Second opinion confirmed that I had no cartilage on the inner side of both knees. First said he could try partials but I might wake up with totals. He told me to come back when I absolutely couldn't stand the pain
    anymore.

    Second opinion was more optimistic and told me that we could try other things first but I was a perfect candidate for Makoplasty, which is a new robotic guided surgery. He didn't recommend tkr for me at my age. I did try Synvisc --didn't help at all and exercises--helped a little, but they didn't help enough. I was unable to walk any distance without terrible pain in my knees. I noticed that I decided where I would go and what I would do by how far I had to walk. That was not how I wanted to live!

    I had Makoplasty on both knees at the end of May. Doc said that this might carry me forever but if not, it is easier to do a total replacement from this down the line because it takes very little bone. He said that they may even be able to just replace one of the parts if they wear out. I was in the hospital two nights. I had general anesthesia and femoral blocks. They kept me fairly comfortable in the hospital. Walking and PT those first days hurt some though. I had the same PT that tkrs have. I used a walker for one week and a cane sometimes for another week. One outpatient PT session was particularly painful and I took the advice of these members to take those pain meds. I started taking a little extra before PT after that and I feel that it really does help you work your PT harder.

    I went back to work after a month. (I don't have a very physical job and could probably have gone back at 3 weeks, if I had to.) I was still tired and needed to move around--I couldn't sit still for very long. The right knee was great from the beginning, but the left still hurt some and is more swollen.
    Outpatient PT has helped a lot and I'm doing exercises at home. I am walking with a small limp at first after I have been sitting for awhile. I've gotten everyone to tell me "heel-toe" whenever they notice that I am limping. I guess that I have forgotten how to walk after a couple of years of pain. PT told me that I should be stepping down on my heel first and then rolling to the ball of my foot. If I consciously make myself walk that way,
    I don't limp. PT tells me that walking with a limp is very bad because it messes up other body parts--hips, ankles, backs. My PT and doc are very pleased with my progress. I've added walking in the pool now also.

    I was disappointed at first with my recovery because all of the testimonials said you are great after 2-3 weeks. Doc says that was a little over optimistic and since I had both knees done at the same time, it would be longer for me. It is still pretty major surgery. I am walking but I am having to work at increasing my walking endurance. I haven't walked more than absolutely necessary for several months prior which is probably part of the reason. I get increased pain and some swelling when I overdo it, like everyone. That bone-on-bone pain is gone--it is more of a tight muscle pain. It is getting better.

    Mako robotic surgery is only done at about 8 hospitals in the U.S. I think that you can read about it on this site or google "makoplasty". People at the hospital told me that everyone really liked it--very little pain and easier recovery. I think if I had only had one done at a time, it would have been a piece of cake, but I wanted to get it over with. My doc said that the reason a lot of doctors don't like partial replacements is because they are very
    difficult to position and if they aren't positioned correctly, they don't give a good result. The computer gets it in the perfect position every time. I didn't want to do a tkr if I could get a good result from Mako. We'll see how it turns out, but reading about most of the experiences of the totals, I am already pretty pleased so far.

    I'm hoping that if I do need a full replacement in the future, that medical advancements will come up with a better way than they have now. I figure having replacements at a younger than usual age, I would maybe have to redo total replacements in my lifetime anyway--not knowing how long they would last. That is why I chose to do the Mako.

    That is my story. I'm starting to get on with my normal life now that it has been almost 6 weeks. I'm sure like everyone else, I hope one day I will realize that I haven't even thought about my knees!
     
  2. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2007
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    Susu - thank you, you Christened our new forum! [​IMG]
     
  3. Mira

    Mira New Member

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Hi Susu23,

    I'm looking for orthopedic surgeon that performs partial knee replacement and I'm not sure how to find one. Your type of surgery looks very appealing and it seems that this is what I need. I would like to know who your surgeon was. I live in USA, New York but I have no way of knowing where you are from. I hope somewhere close to New York.
    I also hope that this site doesn’t forbid you to give names (who knows…..)
    I’m so grateful to you for posting your expieriance.

    I hope to hear from you soon and wishing you continues recovery.
    Mira
     
  4. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

    Member Since:
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    Location:
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    Mira, welcome to BoneSmart!

    I should point out that Susu posted that in July and hasn't been back since. So I'm copying this here where someone may be able to answer your question regarding a suitable surgeon. I'll also be closing this thread to prevent anyone else inadvertantly posting in it.

    I should also advise you that not every case is suitable for a partial replacement so it's not a matter of personal choice but more of being appropriate for your particular circumstances.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
     
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