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TKR Boogaloo is back!

Boogaloo

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Hi Everyone!
I was here 8 years ago when I had my ltkr done. I learned so much valuable information which helped my recovery immensely. I'm so grateful. I'm back having had my rtkr done last Friday, and wow, things have changed a lot in joint replacement surgery and recovery techniques.

Firstly, I was tested for MRSA a couple of weeks before the operation, that didn't happen the first time.

The morning of the surgery, I met with the Anesthesiologist and my surgeon and we decided not to use general anesthesia. Waking up from the surgery was a breeze compared to the first time. I had no pain or nausea.

When the spinal block wore off I had some moderate pain, nothing crazy. Most of the discomfort has been due to the super-tight tape they put over my surgical dressing. It pulled my bruised skin something awful with each movement.

I was amazed to find out that I had no sutures, actually there are sutures under the skin but not on the surface of the incision. A zipper closure is being used which keeps the edges of the incision tight up against each other. There is no incision pain or suture pain in my case. Wow!
There is also a Pico negative pressure pump attached to the dressing.

Another major change for me is that I am not injecting myself with blood thinners. Instead, the doctor has me on 81mg aspirin twice a day.

The OS also ordered a CPM machine and an ice water compression/cooling device for use at home. I am blown away with how well they work.

So far I am up, walking with my cane at home. I can handle stairs very well. No wobbling, the knee feels strong and stable.

I take oxycodone 5/325 every 6 hours, Tylenol 500 every 6 hours between the oxy doses, and Gabapentin 400 every 8 hours.

My pain is moderate to none, mainly on the bruised areas on the sides and back of the knee. Now that the dressing has been changed and the Pico device has been removed, it feels even better.

I hope my post gives a little relief to those who may be experiencing anxiety over their impending knee replacement.

Good luck!
Boogaloo
 
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Boogaloo

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Hi and thank you winemama,

I'm in no rush. I'm retired and have good family support, thank God. There's no desire to overdo it on my part.
:)
 

luvcats

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It's fascinating to me how variation there is between surgeons and hospitals in how the surgery is handled. Aren't the pressure dressings interesting? My husband had one after his bypass surgery. I guess it increases blood flow to the area. I hope my surgery goes as well as yours has.
 

LaxMom

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Hi @Boogaloo - I am about a week ahead of you, also on my second knee. I agree with the big changes over time. My last one was 2014. I also had the spinal and maybe a similar dressing. I found that dressing was rough on sensitive skin and I actually had blistering around the site - all calmed down now. Negative pressure sounds interesting!

Welcome to the second time around. I hope you continue to progress well. I look forward to reading your thread.
 

Atlas_aus

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Amazing how things change over time. Sounds like you are on the way to a good outcome.
 

winemama

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Hi and thank you winemama,

I'm in no rush. I'm retired and have good family support, thank God. There's no desire to overdo it on my part.
:)
I’m also retired, I don’t think I could have done both my knees so close together, and knew I had to go back to work. Bravo to those who do
 

marieltha

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Hi, thanks for sharing. Please tell us more about the ice system you are using. I have the Aircast Cryo Cuff Gravity Feed, originally issued by Air Force surgeon & hospital after 2010 knee meniscus surgery. I have used it for 2 PKR surgeries (2018 & most recently, Mar 27, 2019). I like it so much I bought the Shoulder Cuff and am using it for my shoulder repair surgery. Love its simplicity, portability, and most of all, the ergonomic design of the cuffs. Gel packs feel too heavy to me. My husband buys the ice and fills the cannister for me and for the first few weeks of recovery from the shoulder fix, also put the cuff on and off.
Having said that, an electric one with adjustable cold water temperature might be worth buying. (Medicare doesn’t cover these anymore. )
Which one do you use? Does it require you to put ice in it? Can you adjust the coldness? Can you set it up, leave the cuff/pad on, and turn the machine on and off?
 

Celle

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Welcome to recovery again @Boogaloo .

It sounds as if you're doing well.

Here is the recovery reading we give to everyone with a new knee:
Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
elevate
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
don't overwork.
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
6. Access to these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

Energy drain for TKRs

Elevation is the key

Ice to control pain and swelling

Heel slides and how to do them properly

Chart representation of TKR recovery

Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

lisabl

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I am glad you are so positive and doing well at such a difficult time in the recovery.
 
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Boogaloo

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Hi Marieltha

I am using a rented cooling unit. It circulates cold water at 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The tech who set it up for me says it's just a basic unit. No timer or anything like that. It's just strap it on. Plug it in and flip the switch. Let it run for 30 minutes, then switch it off and wait another 30 minutes before using it again.
 
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Boogaloo

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Hi @Boogaloo - I am about a week ahead of you, also on my second knee. I agree with the big changes over time. My last one was 2014. I also had the spinal and maybe a similar dressing. I found that dressing was rough on sensitive skin and I actually had blistering around the site - all calmed down now. Negative pressure sounds interesting!

Welcome to the second time around. I hope you continue to progress well. I look forward to reading your thread.
 
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Boogaloo

member
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Hi LaxMom.
I hope your recovery is progressing well. I had a minor but very painful setback yesterday. I was going downstairs and I forgot to step down with the foot of my operated knee first and I over-flexed my operated knee. I didn't fall, thank God, but I thought I would pass out from the pain. Fortunately. My daughter was near and she helped me back to bed where I immediately applied ice and elevated the knee. The pain dissipated quickly. I called my surgeon, the visiting nurse, and my PT. They all had the same opinion/advice which was to ice, elevate, take the pain meds and watch for bleeding or severe pain and swelling. Thankfully, my knee has settled down and it just feels the way it did before my misstep.
It gave us quite a scare though!
 

marieltha

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Good “no fall” reflex! My OS emphasizes practicing balancing on one/each leg before surgery. Can’t do much w the bad knee, but the good may need to save the day, as yours did.
 

sistersinhim

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I was going downstairs and I forgot to step down with the foot of my operated knee first and I over-flexed my operated knee. I didn't fall, thank God, but I thought I would pass out from the pain.
Amen, praise God you didn't fall! You gave yourself what we call a MWOA, (a manipulation without anesthesia! Don't be surprised if your knee becomes more stiff and sore the next few days. You are doing the right things now, just keep on doing them the next few days. I know you said it feels better right now, but may not tonight and tomorrow.
 
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Boogaloo

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Hi again everyone.
Today my zipper closure was removed. It's such a relief! It wasn't painful at all. Unfortunately, some spots near the bottom of the incision have not closed up yet so the surgeon had to apply steri strips to keep them covered while they continue to heal. He also renewed my oxycodone prescription to my surprise since I've heard so many patients are being denied opioid pain relievers. All in all I feel good. Just a little tired from the trip to the surgeon.
 

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