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Things you can't do??

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Old Chipper, Jun 23, 2012.

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  1. Old Chipper

    Old Chipper New Member

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    My left knee is bone on bone and my right knee is 70% bad! I'm a 70 year old over weigh Male, due to have left knee replacement on 3 July. Problem is I'm having second thoughts about this. I hope you guys can help me make up my mind. I'm a retired shop teacher. I have both a wood shop and machine shop, that I play in each and everyday, that I am able.
    Doctor tells me that I would not be able kneel or squat. I do a lot of that and while I have to have something to hold on to get up, (and 8-9 pain) I'm able to do it. Example, I just finished re-roofing my two story home, all by myself. It took me two and a half weeks, and some extra pain meds, but then I had to remove the old shingles and repair some water damage along with replacing all the trim and eves, etc.
    Okay, ten years ago I could have did it all in 3 or 4 days!
    Life is kind of rough right now, but with a lot of effort I can do the things I like. if I have to give up my hobbies, then what is the purpose??
    I don't care for reading or watching the tube. Restoring a 60 year tractor or buiding a set of cabinets for a family member is what I enjoy doing.
    Please tell me the things you have found you can't do any more!
    Thanks for any input you care to offer!
    I need to let them know next week, if I decide not to do it!
  2. bottomshollow

    bottomshollow Moderator

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    Old Chipper, welcome to the forum. So pleased that you have decided to join us. If you can squat now, there should be no reason that you will not be able to do so after TKR. It may take a while and you may have to work at it, but it should be doable. Kneeling is also possible. It does feel different and some don't like the feeling and so they don't kneel. You may want to use knee pads for kneeling on hard surfaces. I'm almost 70 and I can kneel, and if I worked at stretching the muscles a little more I could squat--I have just never liked that particular position, not even when I was very young.
    I’m going to give you links to articles in the Library that are essential reading for anyone having TKR:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    How Long Does Healing Take ......
    Chart representation of TKR recovery
    Energy drain for TKRs
    Elevating your leg to control swelling and pain
    Using ice
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
    Constipation and stool softeners

    Knee Replacement - Where Am I in Recovery?
    So What Is It Going to Take? The Five “P’s” of Knee RecoveryWork “Smarter” and not “Harder”
    About recovering a knee - from one who knows!
    Some suggestions for home physio (PT) and activity progress
    Myth busting: The "window of opportunity"

    MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) and adhesions
    It's never too late to get more ROM!
    It's Worth the Wait for ROM
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it


    Along with the articles in the Library, I highly recommend Brugioni and Falkel’s Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation. The authors are an orthopaedic surgeon and a physical therapist who had bilateral total knee replacement himself. It is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book for $15 and $10 respectively. It covers every aspect of recovery on a week to week basis for the first 4 weeks and then on a monthly basis by 3 month segments for a full year. It is a great resource, answers questions you didn’t even know you had, and has lots of rehab exercises with pictures.
    The more you know and understand, the less likely you are to be blindsided by things that are “normal” for this recovery. And maybe it will help with the nerves. It’s the waiting for the surgery that’s the toughest. The surgery is nothing---you’re asleep, your knee is replaced, and when you wake up it’s over. And if you properly prepare yourself, recovery will not seem so formidable.

    Just know that we’re here for you to answer your questions and concerns, to give you a place to vent when you need to, and to support and encourage you from pre op to post op through recovery.

    Take care, keep us posted. We care.
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  3. jerseychick

    jerseychick Forum Advisor

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    Hi Old Chipper, welcome to BoneSmart. I just love your name. My husband used to be a shop teacher too so we do lots of projects around our house too. I had my left knee replaced two years ago and since having it replaced I have split a few cords of wood, as well as stacked the wood. We redid our bathroom, putting in a new vanity. I helped my husband with the plumbing and I was the one that connected the sinks. He could not crawl into the vanity, but I could and I had the knee replacement. I also painted the room, ceiling and walls. I also am the one that goes up and down the ladder to clean the gutters and trim the bushes. I also help out my husband in the garage when he maintains and fixes our cars. As you can see, I am very active and I see no reason why you would not be able to do the things you love.

    I am also able to kneel, it just feels weird. What kind of quality of life do you have now? I am sure your life is controlled by your knee as mine was. I couldn't walk far, standing was painful, had only 30 degrees flexion and I had a terrible limp. Having the my left knee replaced was the BEST thing that I ever did. I have a straight, stable, pain-free knee that is just like my other knee. It is truly a miracle. I lived a limited life for so long and now I have my life back. I spin for exercise 4-5 days a weeks, work outside in the yard for hours on end and never think about my knee anymore.

    While this surgery is not a quick recovery, it took me about 9 mos. to a year to recovery it was the best thing that I every did.
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  4. Janet2012

    Janet2012 Don

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    Hey there Old Chipper! I don't have the experience yet that you are looking for, as my double knee surgery was less than three weeks ago. But my first thought is that you may want to postpone your surgery until you can learn more about what your options are and know more about the surgeon that should do your surgery. This is not a situation where you get the same result regardless of who does the surgery. You need to know what surgery you want and then look for a surgeon with lots of experience doing that surgery. You need time to educate yourself. I don't know if you have already done that.

    For instance, my incisions are off center and my surgeon told me he does it this way so that I can kneel without kneeling on the incision, as I would be less apt to do so otherwise. There is usually a period of time that kneeling is off limits, but then it is okay, although many people say it feels weird. Squatting is more questionable, but depends on how much you mean. Sitting on your heels? Squatting down to reach something? What you are able to do after surgery is largely determined by what you can do before surgery. I'm glad you found this sight, there is a lot of help here.
  5. RestAssured

    RestAssured Forum Advisor

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    Hello Old Chipper,

    Let me put it this way, you will be able to do what you put your mind to. I am 6 weeks out from my 3rd surgery on the right knee, and I feel like the skies the limit!

    My Aunt on the other hand was 75 when she had her knee replaced, and all she wanted to do was to be able to work in her garden and sit long enough to quilt! She has achieved both.

    Most of the time people do great and never look back. If you have been active, that is a big plus in your favor. :)

    Please understand though that it will take time! Even though I am 6 weeks out, I don't plan on doing anything like kneeling or squatting at this point. In fact, I overtaxed the knee today just walking without crutches, so the knee still still reminds me it's in charge!

    My aunt was able to start actually kneeling with knee pads at 11 months. So as you see, it's not instant, but definitely better than what we experienced before surgery!
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  6. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner Forum Advisor

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    Welcome to BoneSmart, there's a lot of knowledge here.

    I am 6 months post BTKR.

    I can kneel. It is a weird feeling and not pleasant; but it's pain free.

    I wasn't able to squat before surgery for many years. I am nearly able to do so now, and it's improving all the time. As Judy says you have to work at it and it takes time -- oh and you can't hurry it by working harder! Pain free.

    My guess is that you will be able to do what you want.
  7. AussieBill1962

    AussieBill1962 Member

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    Hi Old Chipper,
    I can kneel, but it is not exactly pain free. Were all so different, and I understand your concerns. There are no guarantees with TKR., but from what I have read most of us can kneel it just feels different than prior. If your having a lot of pain now it should be better post TKR.
    Mobility was my main issue and then pain. Mobility is better now, and standing is better than it was. Post TKR it is only going to get better,
    Pre TKR it was only going to get worse. You need to be the judge of what your missing out on and decide based on that.
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  8. bogey

    bogey Member

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    Hey Chipper,

    I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound or outrun a speeding bullet but other than that life's better than it has been in over ten years. That's me in the picture feeding a couple of old friends at about 9 months post op. That's still the most I can squat but it's plenty. I'm also a golfer and have no trouble kneeling to read putts. I don't even need to use the putter to get up anymore. I still don't like to kneel but have to to work on the motorcycle - I use knee pads.

    rsz_goose_whisperer.jpg
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  9. vancouverite

    vancouverite Junior Member

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    Jerseychick, your post made me tear up. I've always been an active person doing lots of DIY, growing veg, maintaining by bike and car (when I had one) and slowly watched all those things become off limits as my knee got worse. Cleaning the gutters was the last one to go and it was so frustrating. Reading what you're now able to do is just so heart warming, it's really made my day!

    Like Old Chipper, the physio who was supposed to be a TKR specialist (or so said a retired OS who recommended him) told me a long list of limitations that a replacement knee would have. According to him I would be able to do LESS than I could with the arthritic knee, it would just be pain free - that would be the only advantage.

    I think the deal with a lot of physios is that a year post TKR, the only patients they see are the ones who are having problems. The ones who get on just fine and return to their normal life don't go and see them. So that means they get a biased view of the reality.
  10. Twinkletoes

    Twinkletoes Member

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    Hi Old Chipper! I had always been very active in my life, and when I had to cancel so many things prior to my TKR because of the pain, I decided it was time to have the surgery. I didn't know anything about the recovery beforehand, and was (as Judy mentioned) blindsided [​IMG] by the actual length of time it takes to completely recover. I'm still in the early stages at 4 months post-op, and in all honesty I can't say that I'm a happy camper (yet), but I am coming out of the Cranky Stage, and I do finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am a retired Ballroom Dancer/Instructor, [​IMG]and I know that I will be able to go back to dancing when my knee is ready! That's the key phrase...when your knee is ready - not you, not the surgeon, but your knee is in charge! [​IMG] I hope you decide to get your life back! Keep us posted!
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  11. RunA42K

    RunA42K Forum Advisor

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    Hi Old Chipper and welcome to BoneSmart. I was and still am a very active person. I was bone on bone and my quality of life became so poor that I just could not go on without the surgery. Pain upon standing that would bring me to tears, walking any distance, like around the grocery store was unbearable.

    As a marathon runner the first thing I wanted to know and asked the doctor was "Can I run again?" Of course he said no. This was devastating to me, because like you and your woodworking running was my passion, but I knew that I could not continue to live like I was and I certainly could not run bone on bone anyway so I opted for the surgery.

    I had the surgery almost 15 months ago. At 6 months post op I started walking some 5K's so I could be part of the running community that I loved so much. I did a lot of reading and researching, and have an awesome physical therapist who specializes in athletics. So at 8 months I ran a 5 mile race, 9.5 months post op I ran a 1/2 marathon. Let me say that I do not run like I used to, I will only run one day a week, and the other days I bike 20+ miles and two days a week in the gym with weights and cardio. So yes I am active again, without the surgery I never could have done any of this again. I can squat although my TKR leg does not squat as far as my non TKR leg, I can also kneel, my incision goes right across the top center of my knee. Kneeling feels weird but does NOT hurt!

    Hope this helps some. Just know that if you set your mind to it you can do almost anything, but only when your knee is ready, you can't rush it.
  12. kneesrus

    kneesrus Sr Bonesmartie

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    I would agree with all my Bonesmart mates. The issue that concerns me the most is, your option is to become more sedentary. One of the keys for longer life, is being active. Your body systems were made for an active individual. The more sendentary we become, it is harder on our chemistries.
    What I strongly suggest, make a bucket list. What do you really want to do in the future? Put it on the fridge so you see it everyday. I hope one of those items on the list is "live long and healthy."
    Carpi Diem,
    David
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  13. speccybecky

    speccybecky Sr Bonesmartie

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    My family told me 'if you have op knee should start to get better, if you don't it will keep getting worse'. I am still early in recovery so my experience wouldn't help you yet. I hope you decide soon as that , for me, was the worst bit!
  14. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Now that's a great saying! I shall have to remember that one! :thumb:
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