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Bilateral TKR DREADING BTKR....

ilovefall

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Well, here I am back on Bonesmart. It's been a few years! Just some quick background info. I had LTHR in 2013 and RTHR in 2015. Did great with both replacement surgeries/recoveries. I'm looking at getting BTKR surgery in late February 2020. I absolutely dread the idea of it. Not sure how recovery will go. I am told that knee recovery tends to be a little tougher than hip recovery. So, needless to say, I'm having complete "fear of the unknown".

My gel/cortisone shots are only providing me relief for about 6ish weeks. When not getting relief, the pain is sometimes unbearable. Nerve pain in my knees, shins and feet. I've managed to lose 60+ pounds over the last few years and I feel I am in great shape and I am stronger than I've been in about 20 years!

I've searched for BTKR recovery stories, as I am trying to figure out how things will go and when I should anticipate being "back to normal". Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there is a whole of people getting them done.

Anyone have any advice? Any tips? I'll take anything! :)
 

Roy Gardiner

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I absolutely dread the idea of it
So did I. I was the Biggest Girls Blouse on BoneSmart. For example, I didn't look at anything on the recovery side for fear of being put off.
I've searched for BTKR recovery stories, as I am trying to figure out how things will go
My story is below in my signature, questions welcome.
I've managed to lose 60+ pounds over the last few years and I feel I am in great shape and I am stronger than I've been in about 20 years!
That will help greatly. You will be fine :thumb:
 

Jaycey

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@ilovefall Welcome back to BoneSmart! If your surgeon agrees you are a candidate for BTKR - well done on going this route. Once op and one recovery.

Roy has already given you a link to his recovery thread. And if you go to the knee recovery side and look for this title in front of the thread title
Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 17.44.35.png
you can read other recovery stories. Click on that green subtitle and you will get a list of BTKR recovery threads.
 

Jockette

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Welcome back, but sorry for the reason you’re back. You know we’ll be here for you every step of the way!

Here’s another good bilateral thread to read:
 

pamsknees

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I’m right there with you! Looking at knee replacement in Jan or Feb- I waver back & forth between bilateral & one at a time. The bilateral recovery stories I’ve read on here have given me hope...... I’m waiting to talk to my surgeon to decide which way to go.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I've not had a bilateral, but if I had needed both knees done, I would have opted to do them both at once. I am not a fan of surgery, hospitals, pain, recovery, etc, so having a bilateral means one surgery, one hospital stay, going through the pain one time, and one recovery. It may be a little more difficult to navigate having them both done at once, but that minor difficulty far outweighs the major issues of two separate surgeries, IMHO. Think about it; when you have several months of recovery behind you, you're mostly done, (although the total recovery time for a TKR is approx. a year, but by three months most people feel much better), whereas if you have two separate surgeries you get it all behind you only to have to start all over again with the next knee.......no thanks.
 

luvcats

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A very good friend of mine had hers done bilaterally and she says she'd do it again in a heartbeat. One surgery, one recovery.

I urgently needed them both replaced but my surgeon didn't feel I was a good candidate for both at once, so I had them done serially. It has made for a Very Long recovery. It might have been much easier if I'd been able to do them both at once.

Congrats on the weight loss! 60 lbs is a huge achievement.
 
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ilovefall

ilovefall

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Surgery has been scheduled for February 3rd. I'm extremely nervous having both done! I've been through two separate hip replacements and did great, but I know two knees at once is going to be a test of my will, patience and overall mental state. :)

My surgeon feels he may only have to do partial on both knees because my anterior knees look good. He said once he gets in there, there's a chance that I will awake with two complete knee replacements. He said he won't know until he gets in there as films sometimes don't show the extent of the damage.

My friend had a bilateral TKR two weeks ago and he's walking around the house without a cane and on just Tylenol. This makes me optimistic! :)
 
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ilovefall

ilovefall

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XRays indicate a partial for both. He said sometimes the condition of the ligaments when he gets inside will indicate that a full is needed instead of the partial. He said my xrays/scans indicate partial and I have good strength in both, but with OA, things can change. My shots no longer are working. The last one only lasted about a week. I can't even make it through a full grocery store shopping trip.
I've forgotten what it's like to walk without pain....I'm ready to be me again!
 

Helizabug

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As you know, staying on BoneSmart is a great help. While two at once may seem like a smaller group of people going through what you’re going through, some of the principles should translate: let your body heal, gently. Daily activities are good for building strength and mobility. Rest, ice, and elevation are your friends on a daily basis for quite a while and will usually help when you’ve pushed too hard. Keep talking about your struggles and successes here.

I hope it goes well.
 
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Isn't that the truth (....I'm ready to be me again!)! I was bone on bone and had never done shots, and the simplest activities were problematic as time went on. There's a popular youtube on a younger woman that had bilateral TKR. Check it out. She was very athletic prior. Just make sure you have a full brigade of help. So many things come up, even with the best of planning re. things you need. Best to you for a speedy recovery :yahoo:!!
 

Ready2HikeAgain

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Glad I found your thread. My Bilateral PKR has been scheduled for Feb 19. Just from reading your story, it sounds so closely with mine. I could’ve picked a knee, but to tell you the truth, they are both so bad that I cannot bear to get around anymore. So I have pulled the trigger, scheduled for February 19 and I’m hoping for the best. I am told my recovery time to go back to work is four weeks and I hope that’s correct. Would love to make a connection with you to see how your recovery is going and any advice in your first couple of weeks as I head into mine. Your comment “I am just ready to be me again,’ really made me tear up. I just want to be normal again, be able to walk through a grocery store, take a hike with my husband and play with my grandkids. Also so tired of everyone around me not understanding the amount of pain I am in and the energy I have to exert to even half-way function on the daily. Wishing you luck and sending positive vibes your way. Hope to hear from you soon.
 
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Wow just 'four weeks' to return to work seems ultra fast! I plan to return in about eight of the twelve I can take (from a single TKR). But everyone is different I guess. My job, thankfully, is somewhat adaptive in areas, but I just don't feel my core energy level will be fully restored four weeks (20 days in now) in to pull 'full' work days as I was doing pre-surgery.
 
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ilovefall

ilovefall

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@Ready2HikeAgain thank your for your post. Our stories sound very much alike. I was told four weeks too. Three months until I can go back to the gym. Stay positive! I’ve has both my hips replaced (2years apart) and a positive attitude greatly helped me! we will have our days but we’ve got this!

i hate the way I feel 6 out of the 7 days of the week and I want to remember what it feels like to go to the store without hurting so bad that I can’t even get in the car. I’m too young for this **** . I’ll be sure to follow you.
I’ll be noting/tracking my recovery like I did with my hips (You can see By looking at my member page/posts).
 

InkedMarie

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Four weeks back to work after any TKR is too soon. I urge you @Ready2HikeAgain to sign up for FMLA for the entire 12 weeks you get. Hopefully you will not need that long but if you do (you won’t know how your knee journey will go until you’re in it), you will have your time off.
 
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I agree! When an option, the 12 week FMLA is a good baseline.

Then you can choose to come back somewhat earlier without the full capacity expectation of coworkers unaware of TKR demands, thereby taking your recovery lightly!

Once you step back into work, it's much harder to back out. This I have noted.

Better to 'have' the time off in reserve/ formerly, and ease back into the work lifestyle/ commitment than not.

I observed this in others recoveries/ career wise. Confirmed now that I'm on the other side of surgery.
 
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