My recovery timeline - Bilateral TKR Bilateral knee replacement recovery timeline (My story so far) On the 18th of December 2008 I underwent a bilateral total knee replacement. I am a 52 year old male Before the operation I read a few comments from people whom had undergone a similar procedure but to be honest I did not find it all that useful when it came to trying to understand what the operation would mean for me. What was the pain like and when could I expect certain milestones A week after the operation I did find an article that I found very useful in trying to gauge my progress and what to expect in the future. Here is the URL http://www.velocitypress.com/knee_replacement_surgery.shtml Anyway here is my account. I hope it proves useful to anyone undergoing a similar procedure. I will endeavor to keep it current Day1 the operation Before I left home I showered and washed myself toughly with the special antiseptic wash the hospital provided. Arriving at the hospital I was put into pre op and my knees were shaved. After some pre op medication I was wheeled into the theater where an epidural was put in (painless) and a drip attached. Then it was lights out! I woke up in recovery feeling quite good. No pain at all. The only discomfort was all the tubes coming out of me. I had a drain in each leg, an epidural in the back, a drip and a catheter. After an hour or so I was taken to the ward where I met my wife and talked for an hour or so before going to sleep. During the night a nurse came and took my blood pressure and temperature every couple of hours Day2 I awoke in a cold sweat but feeling quite good. I did have some pain in my legs so the epidural was increased. My blood pressure was low and I had an oxygen mask on. Sometime during the day the physiotherapist arrived and told me I should get out of bed and stand. I thought they were absolutely crazy but with a little help I stood up holding onto a special walker that you put your arms in. Day 3 More cold sweats overnight. My epidural was decreased because my BP was low. This resulted in a bit more pain (not bad) so I had a jab or Morphine that helped. Once again I got to stand up for about 30 seconds on the walking frame. I was put on an automatic knee bending machine for an hour and managed about 55 degrees of movement Day 4 The Epidural was removed along with the drains in my knees. I got to stand and walk a few paces on a frame. Once again the automatic knee bending machine. This time I was up to about 60 degrees of movement Day 5 Last tube, the catheter was removed and I got to take a shower sitting on a chair. Having a shower was the highlight of the day! Once again more automatic knee bending for an hour Day 6 Things are improving. I can make it to the loo and the shower unassisted but I did suffer a bit of a mental breakdown. The enormity of the operation hit home and I found myself very down. The physiotherapy is hard. I can now sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs Day 7 Things are improving. I can shower, go to the loo all unassisted. The physiotherapist got me up on crutches and I managed to walk 20 or 30 meters. The physiotherapy is still painful but by taking some painkillers before it was much better Day 8 Slow but steady improvement. Walked a bit more today and went to Hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy was wonderful! In the pool I could walk. The exercises were easier and as a reward I could “float” in the deep end for the last 10 mins Day 9 The physiotherapist told me we will do stairs today. Once again I thought he was stark raving mad but he was right and I was wrong. The stairs weren’t all that difficult. The surgeon came to visit and told me I could go home in 2 days even though I could only manage 80 degrees of bend. More Hydrotherapy Day 10 More practice on the stairs followed by hydrotherapy Day 11 More hydrotherapy in the morning before I was discharged. If I did not have a caring wife it would have been a lot harder but she took good care of me. I managed to get up the stairs at home on crutches and settle into my own bed. What a relief! Day 14 Still doing the exercises at home. I can get up and down the stairs and walk in the garden on crutches Day 16 My wife loaded me in the car and we went out to a local café for breakfast. It took a bit of time getting in and out of the car and walking on crutches but a very good day. My right knee is improving rapidly and I can bend it well but the left is still not bending that well. I continue to do the exercises Day 18 (The day I started to write this down) We went out to visit my wife’s sister. Things improving slowly Day 19 I find I can walk a few paces without crutches. I still have my crutches in my hand but don’t put any weight on them. I am defiantly still wobbly. I did manage to get into my pool at home and do some exercise. It was unnerving getting in but once in it was wonderful! My right knee is still doing better than the left but both are a lot better than a week ago Day 21 Not much improvement in the past few days (Well not that I have noticed) I can walk a fair distance on the crutches and can navigate the stairs well but I stiffen up as soon as I sit down. All the muscles in both legs ache I am not sure if I am under or overdoing the exercises but have an appointment to see the physiotherapist tomorrow. I think I am getting about 100 degree movement in my right knee and about 90 in my left but I have to push it hard Day 22 I went to PT and did an hour in the hydrotherapy pool. I feel tired but good. I have 105 degrees in my right leg and 95 in my left Day 28 I did a lot yesterday. I went and did the grocery shopping with my Son and then spent an hour in the hydro pool. Ended up a sore last night so I am taking it easy today. I am doing a fair bit more walking without the crutches. I guess the frustration is beginning to set in and I am getting a bit depressed. I just want my legs back!