TKR Bikeknit's Recovery Thread

Driving question for those with right knee replacements (or left knee if you live somewhere where they drive on the "wrong" side of the road : ) ). When did you start driving? Did you have any issues when you did?
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I started driving at 12 weeks I had right knee done It was just hard getting in and out of car but no problem with gas and brake
My OS released me to drive at 6 weeks, but I waited until 7 weeks. I practiced first in a deserted parking lot to make sure I could do an emergency stop. I had a friend drive me there, then we traded places. This was on a Saturday. On Sunday I drove to and from church, with her with me. I did fine, but was exhausted afterward because it was about a 45 minute drive.

I suggest you try it with someone with you first to be on the safe side.
Thanks @distersinhim and @csspecoral. My doc said probably 6 weeks and I'm approaching that. On my left knee I was ready sooner, of course, and I'm looking forward to getting myself places. I'll try something short and traffickless for my first drive.
Bikeknit, I drove at 4 weeks with my Right TKR and 2 weeks with my left ( my crazy 90 yr old uncle took 7 sleeping pills , he thought they were vitamins and I had to rush to his side. He was fine, had a good snooze all day. I just didn’t take pain pills when I knew I would drive. It was easy ,I have a tall SUV , and could get in & out pretty easily with the seat pushed way back.
I think the kind of car makes all the difference -- how much leg room you have and the degree that your knee can bend. I think I was driving for very short distances within two weeks of getting my right knee done but it didn't take more than 10 minutes or so before my knee started to ache. One criteria I've heard (for any surgery) is that you have to be off your narcotics. And your doctor does have to release you to drive. Some may give you that sooner than later. If you drive without that and get in an accident, I've heard (don't know if its true) that insurance can deny your claim.
Yesterday I had a day where I hardly thought about my knees. I had a zoom visit with my biking friends (rain was predicted. I can't bike with them yet.), went for a walk when the sun came out in the afternoon and had a chat with a neighbor, went to a one person play out doors - Electric Poe - very chilly (literally and figuratively), and made a simple dinner. I know the knees are there and I was tired, though not terribly so, but oh so good to feel that I am returning to normalcy.
I had bilateral TKR on July 6th. I stated driving again at about 8 weeks (2nd week in September). Post TKR, driving didn’t hurt at all while before TKR it hurt a lot when I moved my foot from the gas to the brake - I could literally feel my bones rubbing together. The hardeSt part after TKR was getting in and out of my Honda CRV. I still move the seats all the way back to get in and out.
I *love* that you are thinking about hiking. Part of my impetus to get my hip done was an attempted walk on a beautiful rail trail near where I live. I only made it a mile before the pain forced me to turn around. I am using that rail trail like a carrot, to keep moving forward! I know knees are really tough and look at you, 2 so soon together. So, let’s keep thinking forward toward those hikes.

I've been researching rail trails and found this one that may be the one near you. If so, wow is that gorgeous!

I also found a a trail near our grandkids in Texas, some trails near a cabin that we're planning to visit in Virginia in May with friends (covid and body parts permitting), and some nice routes closer to home. We have the Katy trail across Missouri. I'm loving the daydreaming phase. Just have to pace myself a bit to get there.
some trails near a cabin that we're planning to visit in Virginia
Two years ago my friend and I bike rode the Virginia Creeper Trail in September. It's 34 miles in the mountains and beautiful! Closer to home is the Capital Train that we ride parts of about once a month. The High Bridge State Park trail is another really good one. I have found the Rails to Trails trails are so much easier to do because their inclines are gradual. I wish we have more of them!
I've been researching rail trails and found this one that may be the one near you. If so, wow is that gorgeous!

That’s the one!! It opened last year and is absolutely beautiful. I went a few times BC (before COVID). It’s terrific for walking and biking. I plan to do both once my hip allows.
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@sistersinhim . Thanks for the suggestions. All three of those trails look fun. Hopefully I'll get to try a couple.


First time on my bicycle this morning. A museum near me has a flat circle drive that is about a half mile each lap. I rode 3 miles like I did the first time for the left knee. It felt great, though I stopped at that. Don't want to push it. The city views are great from there.

I'm so excited to be recovering so quickly this time. I was still struggling with Rom and swelling at this point on the other knee.
@Bikeknit Boy, I recognize that view in Kansas City!! I live in Olathe. Who did your surgery?
@Jamie . Mark Rasmussen was my surgeon. I've got the Prairie Center in Olathe as one of the places that I want to walk now that I can! Who did yours?
Danny Gurba did both my knees and Lowry Jones did my shoulder. Both are excellent.

I'm not familiar with Dr. Rasmussen. There are several separate clinics operating out of the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. That's where my surgeries were all done. I love that hospital for joint replacement! Glad to know of another good surgeon located there.
Week 7 on knee 2. Approaching 5 months on knee 1.
Knee 2 still gets a little sore. Manageable with Tylenol. Sleeping better but still have a little problem if I wake up. Still swells a little with more activity. Still icing 1 or 2 times a day.

I can ride my bicycle 5 miles. Unfortunately weather is getting a bit nippy for bicycling. I'll have to revert to using my bicycle on the trainer. I can walk comfortably close to 2 miles even with a little terrain. This knee regained flexion so quickly I feel incredibly lucky.

One question, I feel like my newest knee has a tendency to bend in when i walk (sort of knock kneed). I'm thinking it just isn't as strong yet or the tendons haven't adjusted to the new configuration. I try to focus on keeping it straight for at least part of my walk. Then I forget about it and enjoy my walk. Anyone else experience that?

Knee 1 still gets stiff but loosens up pretty quickly. No pain. It feels incredibly stable - something I haven't experienced in years.

I still fatigue a bit easily but doing better all the time. This time as I approach normalcy, I don't have to do it all over again!

For anyone considering staged knee replacements, it worked well for me. Nice to have a knee to help out as the other heals. At 3 months apart, I do think this would be difficult for someone still working or with lots of responsibilities.

Again, thanks to the moderators and fellow travelers on bonesmart. It has been quite useful to read other experiences and know what to expect.
Two and a half months on knee 2, five and a half months on knee one.

Grim weather today so no walks. Just want to report in for those looking for info on what appears to be a relatively straightforward recovery.

My life is returning to normal, or as normal as one can expect during a pandemic.

My neighborhood has the word "hill" in it's name. That means many walks require an uphill trek on the way home. Because walking uphill was such a painful slog before my new knees we'd often walk downhill, then take the bus home. Yesterday I walked the mile to the post office then turned around and walked uphill the mile back. I was a little stiff going up some stairs and a little out of breath due to general lack of fitness after these 2 surgeries but no real problems and I felt like I could have kept going!

I've begun doing Pilates with my husband - skipping those exercises that worry me. It feels like my belly fat is sore! Actually It is the muscles underneath somewhere that are hurting! Been a long time since I've used those muscles.

Still doing some stretches and a few exercises that my pt gave me.

Evidence I'm not finished healing etc includes some soreness after certain kinds of activity, stiffness in the morning or after sitting too long (zoom get togethers are a real culprit), occasional twinges. I've cut my Tylenol to twice a day - morning and evening. Still ice on occasion.

I still laud the use of an exercise bike or, when ready, an outdoor bike. I still don't put much resistance on it though I'm adding a bit but I can tell the days that I skip riding by how stiff my knees get.

For me the impetus to have this surgery was functionality more than pain. Not that I didn't sometimes have pain. It just wasn't all the time. I couldn't walk very far nor could I keep up with anyone. Now I can walk, further all the time! I can walk uphill and downhill and keep up with my sisters. I feel steady enough to get on a step stool and paint my bathroom. Trying to get pots from the bottom cabinets doesn't scare me anymore. Had I lived before this option was available I'd be doing less and less as I entered old age. I'm so grateful.
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