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TKR Dance53 Pre Op Thread

Dance53

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I'm having my left TKR on October 18, and my anxiety has been off the charts. Just extremely worried about my mobility and what my overall recovery will be like following the surgery. I lost my right leg to bone cancer when I was younger, and I had a left ankle and foot fusion done 8 years ago. Considering how many painful surgeries and recoveries that I've been through over the years, they never get any easier... I truly hope by finally agreeing to the TKR, it will help alleviate the endless pain in my knee.
 

Jockette

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@Dance53 Hi and Welcome!

I moved your post to a thread all your own so we can support you by discussing and questions or comments you have.

We’re so glad you’ve joined Bonesmart. We have a lot of caring members with different experiences, who give lots of support.

Here is a member’s thread that you might like to read. Keep in mind we are all different, but he did very well and I hope you will, too.

 
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Dance53

Dance53

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Hi @Jockette Thanks for starting my own thread on here, this forum is truly a blessing of helpful information in preparing for this surgery. Also, thanks for sending me the link to another thread on here about facing this surgery as well as being an amputee. I also did a search on here to see if there were others like myself, which has been really helpful for me to read.

The quick version of my journey started in December 1977 when I was hit by a drunk driver. I had many life threatening injuries, and basically my entire left side was shattered. My left leg and foot had some of the worse breaks, but my pelvis was also crushed, along with fractured ribs, in addition to my left arm and wrist. As you can imagine its been a pretty long and painful journey over the years with what feels like endless surgeries trying to put me back together in hopes of being in the least amount of pain as possible, and free of bone infections.

Thankfully the breaks that I had in my right leg and ankle healed really well following the accident and was my strong leg throughout all of the different surgeries I had to go through when I was younger. Then in the fall of 1988 I was officially diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Originally it was misdiagnosed earlier that year. Due to the size and location of the pelvic tumor, my decision was life over limb so my family and I agreed to the amputation. I had a hemipelvectomy surgery in January 1989, where they removed my right leg and the right side of my pelvis.

I went through a pretty difficult time during my recovery from such an invasive surgery and just adjusting to the new normal. Once I was able to be fitted with a prosthetic I thought my mobility and quality of life would improve, but leg prosthetics back then weren't the best compared to today. I used crutches or my wheelchair most of the time, and rarely used my prosthetic at all. Needless to say this put a lot of stress on my already damaged left leg. Over the years I've built up a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I do have my breaking points.

Thankfully the technology in prosthetics has really came a long way since back then, and my current prosthesis has a computer controlled knee joint which helps me walk with the way it anticipates my movement. My prosthetist has been amazed at how well I can use my prosthesis with only a cane or single crutch for support given my age. A lot of people find them too uncomfortable to wear due to a lot of the fitment issues, and extremely hard to use since its making up for my hip, knee, and ankle, but I never wanted to give up on using it.

Over the years the pain in my ankle just kept increasing and made walking even more difficult so in July 2013 I had a tibiocalcaneal ankle fusion in addition to other parts of my foot being fused during that surgery. I spent almost a year in a Taylor Spatial frame with a foot plate which allowed my bones to fuse and then lengthen my tibia. For the entire time I had the external fixator on, I only used my wheelchair. Once I had the walking cast I was allowed to start putting partial weight on my newly fused ankle, and eventually was able to wear a boot during the rest of my recovery. Two and half years passed after my ankle fusion before I was able to wear a regular Nike shoe again. That seemed like such a huge personal victory that day!

Having a fused ankle and foot helped alleviate the pain, but sadly it put a lot more stress on my already fragile knee. Eventually I was prescribed a brace to wear whenever I walk to help stabilize my knee, but the endless pain has progressively got worse as time passes. I'm hoping and praying that my upcoming TKR in October will have a positive outcome being able to regain as much range of motion as possible in my knee joint, but I'm beyond worried... The TKR is basically the last option I have in hopes of maintaining my mobility, and not dependent on a wheelchair.

Another fear is that even if I recover well from the TKR, the amount of stress added to my hip will eventually cause more pain in my hip. My family and friends just want me to focus on having the TKR right now, but I can't help but worry about possible long term outcomes. After spending almost 44 years going through what feels like endless surgeries and recoveries, it takes an awful toll both physically and mentally, as I'm sure a lot of members on here can relate to. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, it's just nice having others on here that understand my feelings and concerns. I look forward to following other journey's on here and getting to know some of the members.
 

Jockette

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Wow, that’s quite a history and I’m so sorry you’ve been through all that. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I’m so glad you found us here at Bonesmart. While we are not as familiar with all you’ve been through as we are joint replacement, we will be here to support you through your knee replacement. We all wish you the very best!
 

kneeper

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My guess would be that having a replaced knee will actually help with your hip because you won't be compensating for the bad knee as you walk. I don't have your challenges, but before my first tkr I was getting all kinds of back and hip pain that went away after the knee healed.
 

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