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Bilateral TKR in January - I have questions

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Kathi 777, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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    A little background. I have OA bone on bone in both knees. I have good range of motion still and walk as much as possible. I know there have to be some tips as to which leg I will lead with? Should I use a walker longer? Will I be OK with just a cane? Am I over thinking this? Probably!

    I am nervous as heck and hate being home bound and having someone wait on me. I was in nursing for many moons as certified nurse assistant so I really am more of a take charge sort of gal.

    I am going to go talk to the PT folks down in our little town and see if I can get a feel for if I like them and if they can fit me in. Any other questions I will jot them down!

    As for the pain drugs binding me up I am guessing I can bring in a few Sunsweet prunes in the little individual packs and eat a few?

    Crossing my fingers all goes well and I find the courage to stay on course!

    I want to be hiking and motorcycle riding by May.

    auploads.tapatalk_cdn.com_20161208_61b5336a214686e14984f3a437585eaa.jpg


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  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    You probably are over-thinking things! First of all, you're not going to be totally dependent on someone. You'll be able to move around your home and within a few days, you'll be fixing your own simple meals and taking care of your own needs. You'll just be a bit slower at it than normal.

    You'll need a walker for a bit. Then maybe crutches or a cane. Put your "take charge" personality to work now getting things all set up and ready for your recovery. That includes preparing your "recovery nest" with everything you need and preparing some meals to freeze for easy heat and eat later. Line up some family or friends to help out with picking up groceries or prescriptions. Get videos, books, crafts, etc. to keep you occupied.

    New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.


    If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:

    Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
    Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
    BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
    Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?


    If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:

    Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
    Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
    Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?


    Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

    And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:

    Stories of amazing knee recoveries
     
  3. Want2hike

    Want2hike Member

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    I am right leg dominant, and have always led with that leg, even though it was more damaged/painful prior to surgery. Post surgery, my right leg is taking longer to heal, but I still lead with that leg because I feel stronger/safer that way. You are overthinking.

    I had people at home with me during most of the first week I was home which was very helpful. They followed me every time I moved for the first couple of days (weak, woozy from pain pills) but had more freedom after day 5 or so. After the first week, I was home alone most of the day (family was home after school/work). I made my breakfast and lunch, sometimes prepared dinner (crockpot) for the family, did light cleaning/laundry, etc I used my walker for 3.5 weeks, but the last week was mostly to work on gait, rather than needing it for support. After that I transitioned to a cane in public or if I was having a bad day at home.

    My biggest challenge/frustration was being unable to drive. My left leg was ready at 4 weeks (off pain pills, had enough strength and flexibility) but it took 6.5 weeks before my right leg was ready/safe to drive.
     
  4. FlaGranny

    FlaGranny Graduate

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    About the prunes - I don't think they'll be enough. You'll probably need stool softener and maybe a mild laxative while you are on pain meds.
     
  5. KarriB

    KarriB Forum Advisor

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    I ate any number of fruits, vegetables and softeners, but in the end Miralax did the trick. I believe you'll be using a walker for the first few weeks with a bilateral. I'm imagine with a bi you'll lead with your dominant leg as there may not be a good or bad one, although no two TKRs are the same, even on the same body.
     
  6. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 Forum Advisor

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    I agree with the others, you're likely to need more than prunes (but I liked the ones in the individual packages anyway). As others have said, you probably are overthinking. Do your prep work before the surgery to prepare your house and a few meals in the freezer to make preparation easy after you get home. I used a walker, then crutches, then a cane. For a few weeks, I made sure I still used my walker at night when I got up to go to the bathroom because I didn't want to risk a fall.

    You have a reasonable expectation of being hiking and riding by May. Take it easy on your recovery, don't let anyone hurt you, and remember, less is more in your initial days of recovery. Stock up on patience, relax, and enjoy.
     
  7. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    I'd be worried about you if you weren't!
    While we can't avoid being homebound for a couple of weeks, I never had anyone wait on me. I live alone!
    I was/am in nursing since 1958 and am very much a 'take charge' kind of person! There's no harm in that.
    When in January are you having the surgery? If it's towards the end of, you'll be only 3 months come May. That might be pushing it a bit unless you're very very lucky!
     
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  8. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor

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    I ate prunes and I followed the advice in this article:
    Constipation and stool softeners

    I still needed a mini enema in hospital and had to have another one a day after I got home.

    After that, my GP/PCP gave me a prescription for an aperient, which I had to take for a long as i was on the heavy-duty narcotics.

    It is important to keep up with an effective regime of pain medication, so try to be prepared to deal with the constipation as well.
     
  9. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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  10. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    That's a bit better! That means you'll be about 4 months. You still might find it a trial though.
     
  11. lene'

    lene' Member

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    Kathi777,
    Hi, I had my bilateral TKR on October 6th, 2016. Everyone is different and heals differently. That being said, here are somethings I would advise. Make sure you get a raised toilet seat, make sure your bed is raised up so your mattress hits just at the bottom of your butt. Also raise up your chairs too. The hardest thing is standing from a sitting position, so whatever you can do to not have to squat down or get up from something low the better.
    I went from the hospital to rehab for a week, I was glad I did as I was happier to put the burden of my care on the nurses rather than my husband. I needed the help for the first 10 days, but toward the end of my stay, I was doing all of my care myself. Except for meal prep but I could have if I needed to. Once home I was pretty much able to care for myself completely. I have had a pretty normal recovery as far as I can tell, but I am only 9 weeks out at this point. I am driving now, and doing most things I did preop, but am much slower at things.
    I don't see improvements daily but more like week to week. Don't push too hard, just let things heal.
    Good Luck and Blessings,
    Lene'
     
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  12. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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    pre op tomorrow... nothing like making it way in advance so my nerves are even more crazy! going to hospital, not sure what all it entails, Jan 10 is my date this seems soon for it


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  13. KarriB

    KarriB Forum Advisor

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    Pre-op tests or pre-op class?
     
  14. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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    i did the pre op class in Oct, this was pre op tests :)


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  15. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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    @KarriB yes, i know i went to the class when hub was off work for his surgery so he would be in the know so to speak of what was going on


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  16. Kathi 777

    Kathi 777 Member
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    i wonder how long before the knees feel good and I can start back hiking?


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  17. lene'

    lene' Member

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    Kathi777, it is too subjective to say, but I am just now 10 weeks, and I walk my dogs outside in the field each day now. I hope in another 3 months, I could actually hike. But everyone is different. I am probably slower than most! lol
     
  18. little red canoe

    little red canoe Graduate

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    Lene' you are probably spot on for a timetable but of course there are individual variances... I do hike but under a mile at 10 weeks using hiking poles and trails that are easy and flat. It will take a while before I can tackle the lovely mountains of New Hampshire around me.. even those of a modest vertical ascent. Downhill is far more punishing so I am not pushing that.. and never without hiking poles again.

    Part of the issue is that while the knee may be ready, the confidence in it takes time to regrow and overdoing it does give you setbacks.
     
  19. KarriB

    KarriB Forum Advisor

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    The poles are a good idea as even when my knee was good, my balance seemed to come back much slower.
     
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  20. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 Forum Advisor

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    I started with short walks around the yard at two or three weeks, expanded to a walk around the small block with crutches, then gradually built my stamina to walking half a mile and slowly increased from there. Plan your routes so you can cut it short at any time if you've over extended yourself. Go slow. Pay attention to your gait and form, and don't let yourself get too tired.

    As for the pre-op tests, they're probably trying to get it out of the way before the holidays.
     

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