TKR Dance53 Pre Op Thread

Dance53

new member
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
10
Age
69
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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

Staff member since March 2018
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
30,305
Age
66
Location
Delaware
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@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.

 
OP
OP
Dance53

Dance53

new member
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
10
Age
69
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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

Staff member since March 2018
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
30,305
Age
66
Location
Delaware
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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

Staff member since January 2014
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
13,877
Location
USA
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
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.
 
OP
OP
Dance53

Dance53

new member
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
10
Age
69
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Here I am two days before surgery and my anxiety is off the charts. For as many surgeries as I've been through over the years, they never get any easier. Between the pain and being worried about my mobility, I haven't been able to get much sleep. This site has truly been a blessing for me, I've read through past experiences, and learned so much by following other members along their journeys.
 

Jaycey

ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
38,217
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
The important thing to remember is that unlike pre-op pain, post op pain can be managed. Work with staff in the hospital to get your pain management cocktail just right before you are discharged.

And you will be fully mobile by the time you leave the hospital - including going up and down stairs. Physio will give you tips about moving around on your own.

Not long now!
 

BBCG

Staff member since June 2021
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
906
Age
71
Location
Eugene Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi @Dance53, I just read your story and you really have been through a lot! Good grief!

When I read your story, I thought immediately of my mother...she was born in 1915, and contracted polio at age 2, and spent many years undergoing and healing from surgery after surgery. Supportive parents were a boon to her life, especially her father who was significant in getting her through much of the pain and convincing her she really could be a completely normal person, except for her leg. So, her left leg was the "normal" one and that knee wore out far before the polio leg, of course. She had the hip in her polio leg replaced first, then a few years later, hemmed and hawed about having her "good" knee replaced. She, too, worried it would be a threat to her mobility, given that she REALLY needed that knee to work!

She moved to California from NJ, where my parents had still been living in the two story house my grandfather had built, that had 26 steps to get into it! So, when she had her knee replaced, it was a REALLY BIG DEAL!

But, it was successful, she lived to be 98, she went to Disneyland with us and rode a Mobi (motorized scooter-like transport) as we traipsed through the miles there with my daughter, then age 6, so it was worth the hassle and recovery time. I think she was glad she had done it, although toward the end of her life, her osteoporosis meant she was dependent on others eventually.
 
OP
OP
Dance53

Dance53

new member
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
10
Age
69
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@BBCG Thank you so much for sharing your mom's journey with me. Our stories are so similar, especially our deep concerns for losing what mobility we had before these major surgeries. She clearly had a lot of strength and determination to get through them, and her story definitely helps make me feel better going into this surgery. As with your mom, my family and close friends have been my absolute rock in getting me through so much in my life, and I'd be lost if it wasn't for them.

I have no doubt that my body will continue to wear down as I get older, but it's hard not to imagine myself at 98 years old. My walk has never been the prettiest, but it's what I'm used to over the years, and the ultimate goal of this surgery is to be as pain free as possible even if I still need to wear my brace, that's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. At 68 years old, I just want to maintain my independence for as long as I can.

How old was your mom when she made the Disneyland trip? I went to Disney World with my family a couple of years before I had my ankle fusion done, and also used a rented mobility scooter to get around the parks easier. No matter how much pain I was in, and how wore out I was during our trip, it gave me so many great memories to cherish with my family. I doubt I have a trip like that in me any more, but I still enjoy short trips here in Ohio.

Again, thanks for sharing your mom's story with me, I greatly appreciate the positive hope before my big day tomorrow!
 

TNR #2

new member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
9
Age
57
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi, I had my left knee done in 2014 the recovery and therapy was hard, but I can truly say I am glad I had the procedure done. I had my right knee done July 20, 2021. It has been extremely difficult, I am finally starting to see some benefits of having the surgery. Rest, take your pain meds, ice and do your physical therapy. You will get through this and this group is an amazing support system. Prayers for you.
 

BBCG

Staff member since June 2021
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
906
Age
71
Location
Eugene Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi @Dance53,

I will be thinking of you tomorrow! I send the strongest healing thoughts your way and for the surgeon's skillful hands and mind to do a careful job of giving you your new knee!

When my Mom went to Disneyland, it would have been when she was 72, 36 years ago, as my daughter is now 42... we definitely had a great time and we got in front of everyone else waiting because she was in her Mobi, so my daughter thought that was pretty cool!

Again, will be watching for when you log in again on the Recovery side!
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
60,153
Messages
1,511,548
BoneSmarties
36,709
Latest member
jim20135
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom