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Decisions...decisions...

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Irish471, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    I went to the joint replacement class and pre-op appointment today. The class was very helpful! Lots of useful tips from the best way to use the ice machine (freeze 12 oz water bottles to use inside the machine instead of ice cubes) to lots of talk about constipation and bowel movements. No topic was off limits. Quite entertaining! I was able to meet all of the other knee replacement patients that will be having surgery the same week as I am. I was the youngest one of the bunch! Not sure how I feel about that.

    I've been really anxious about things and wondering if I am making the right decision. I had a long conversation with my surgeon. I am scheduled to have a patellofemoral partial knee replacement but I have talked to a lot of people who say "why don't you just do a total and be done with it?" The doc thinks I will do great with either option and he's not at all opposed to doing a total. His thoughts are if the rest of the knee is in good shape, the partial will be more natural and preserve my knee. The partial will last a long time, but it will very likely need to be revised at some point and I will end up with a total at that point. I consented to have him make the best decision based on what he finds when he opens up the knee. He's the expert and I trust him completely. If he sees other areas that are showing signs of degeneration/wear, he will do a total. This is my second surgery with him. He's a little younger than me, so I know he will be around to fix things later. I can't tell you how many of my health care providers have announced their retirement in the past year, so this has become important to me...lol!

    Before I left, I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my other knee since that has been hurting a lot and will need to take the extra load for a while. It will be interesting to see how long the relief lasts. It definitely makes me realize the level of pain that I have. One knee feels great and the other one...not so good. I think I have gotten so accustomed to pain, it's become really hard to rate it. I need to call the doc's office tomorrow because I just discovered my adorable kitten decided she had a new toy and has punctured the bags with the Hibiclens cleanser and sponges that I left on the counter while I brought everything into the house. D'oh!
     
  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    That's a wise decision.

    Here is some reading, to help you prepare for your surgery:
    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. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    Naughty kitty
    Another thing to watch out for is the kitten jumping onto your lap and digging it's claws in. You dont want any breaks in the skin where an infection could set in.
    Before my op and now 1 week post op I routinely put a thick blanket across my lap as soon as I sit down.
     
  4. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Oh yes. My 2 cats are keen on doing that and our dog also wants cuddles. At 3 days post surgery I am not so keen! The thick pad you suggest would work but 1 of our cats is heavy so I don't know if I can handle it. The exuberant loving springer spaniel if definitely hard to cope with (there's no answer to that). I think I need a protective cage! Happy healing
     
  5. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    Oh, boy, don't I know it! LOL! All of my critters plop themselves on my lap the second I sit down. I'll definitely have to be prepared for that! I'll have to keep our bedroom closed at all times so they won't get in there and jump up on the bed in between the time I sanitize all the bedding and leave for the hospital for surgery. Doc and hospital said sheets, towels, and clothing/pjs all need to be freshly laundered the night before surgery. I did pick up a new cleansing kit from the doc's office this afternoon :)
     
  6. mature mama

    mature mama member

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    Oh my, I will make sure my wipes are tucked away so my cats don't get them either! Good luck and glad you have a surgeon you feel so comfortable with!
     
  7. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    I see one flaw in your plan - if he is an 'enthusiast' for partials - and many of them are - and your knee is 50/50 then he might opt for a partial as HIS choice because he'd rather do that than a total. Something to think about.
     
  8. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    Hi Josephine, I wouldn't say he is an 'enthusiast' for partials. He is not at all opposed to doing the full replacement and I can still tell him that's what I want him to do, even the morning of surgery. I just don't know if a full replacement is overkill in my situation. He will be prepared to do either one. He actually does more full replacements and revisions than anything else. He said he does the patellofemoral replacements the least which caused me some anxiety. I totally get what you are saying. Some docs, especially if they are at a teaching hospital, like to sharpen their skill set. I think he's beyond that point in his career. He wants predictable, consistent outcomes for his patients. When we've discussed the partial, he thinks I am a very good candidate for it, it will preserve the healthy parts of the knee and will feel more natural. The goal is to enable me to be active again. I worry that because I am just 48 years old, how long is either solution going to last? No one can answer that in all honesty.
     
  9. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    I am so ready to get this show on the road...sort of...I am still anxious about surgery! Since I can't take any Motrin this week, my knee is very angry right now.

    I had the opportunity to talk to my husband's cousin last night. She's 4 years older than me and prior to the TKR she had 3 years ago, she had had a medial PKR which she wore out after 11 years, and before that, 8 arthroscopic surgeries. Sheesh! She had a complication from the femoral nerve block and it was a long recovery because of that. The femoral nerve never woke up/came back and she had a lot of trouble with her quad strength as a result. She's also a hairdresser, so she's on her feet all day. She has no regrets, even despite the complications she had. It was really good to hear such positive things. I so needed that! She's just keeps going despite it all and is a very avid long distance cycle enthusiast. You only get this one life and you've got to make the most of it and boy, she really does!

    I am trying my best not to google too much anymore. It's making me kind of crazy and sometimes scaring me about what's to come! LOL! I did read something yesterday that really helped though. You can research things to death, learn about the different types of implants, about which type of surgery to have, etc, etc., but what matters more than all of those things is the skill of the surgeon performing the surgery. And I know I've got that working for me. Things are going to go as best as they possibly can because I am in good hands :)
     
  10. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I would have the full replacement. Partials don't last as long as totals, and some even need to be revised to a total within a very short period of time.

    A total (TKR) can last for 30+ years.

    I had a partial (PKR) that worked well and lasted for 11 years before it had to be revised to a total. It wasn't a patello-femoral, but a medial compartment replacement.

    Even though that PKR gave me good service, when my other knee needed replacing I chose to go straight to a total.
     
  11. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    @Celle, honestly, I think that's what's going to be needed regardless. My last surgery on my other knee was really extensive and when the surgeons talked to me after, they said my knee was "very complicated" and they found a lot of things they didn't expect. The less times they mess around in there, the better, right? And I still need the right knee done again, too. The microfracture they did 10 years ago is breaking down. I haven't had an MRI, but I feel it.

    My biggest concern is whether or not my kneecap will track right. That's what got me into this mess. My knees have had that "deformity" (I hate to call it that) all my life. I know they do some soft tissue balancing to help ensure that it will. At least that's what I have read :)
     
  12. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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    The surgeon's office called this morning. I am first up on the surgery schedule for Monday. We have to be at the hospital at 5:15 a.m. and surgery starts at 7:00 a.m. If all goes well, I'll probably be home in time for dinner. Lol! I've always wondered how surgeons determine which of their cases go first. I was first up last time, too, and both surgeons said I had one of the trickiest knees they had every worked on. I'm sure I won't disappoint this time, either :)

    I couldn't sleep last night so I wrote a list of all the things that I need to get done before surgery. My mind was just going s mile a minute! It helped because I did manage to fall back asleep shortly after.
     
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  13. Momma-me

    Momma-me member

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    Once you have written down all your questions, have everything ready, house in order, etc.. try to do something fun this weekend and don't talk about your knees!!! LOL!! I am feeling your anxiety with you... before you know it.. you'll be back with us on the other side! Keep us posted! :thumb:
     
  14. Bionic

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    Best wishes for Monday
     
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  15. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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  16. Irish471

    Irish471 senior
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