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Bilateral TKR DREADING BTKR....

Tkdbob

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I’m waiting on a call to schedule my bilateral knee replacements. I have had both shoulders and hips replaced and now need both knees. My doctor suggested I do both at the same time and I didn’t hesitate to agree. He did say that before I get wheeled into surgery he will ask which knee bothers me most so he can do that one first. That’s just precautionary so if my condition warrants stopping after one knee he will have completed the worst one first. I’m in good shape but his strategy makes sense to me. In all previous joint replacements I was functioning normally after about two to three weeks. Of course there were restrictions on bending and maximum weight I could lift but daily activities were back to near normal. Actually from what I can remember day 10 was the breakthrough for me. I don’t take opioid, Motrin works great for me. I had a severe reaction to Vicodin after my first shoulder replacement and won’t go down that path again. I see some bilateral knee replacement posts but not much on same day bilateral knee replacements. Here’s a link that is interesting: .
 
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There's a video series of an athletic young woman who had a BTKR a couple of years back (it comes up if you type in double or bilateral total knee replacement). It was very hard on her and she seemed to have a very strong support system, but she got thru it. I don't think she hurried back to work however.
 

Rockgirl4

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I would seriously rethink going back to work in 4 wks if possible. Many of the threads in our Recovery Area have to do with people struggling to go back to work after 4-6 wks. It is a very common complaint, and one people say they are often ill-advised about. This is often after a single TKR, let alone a bilateral TKR.

I know some people have no option because of their job situation or finances, but if you have a choice, I'd suggest taking as much time off as possible. Many here take the suggested 12 wks and are very thankful they did so. Also, as someone who has had a TKR, there's no way I could have gone back to work at 4 wks, 6 wks, or even 8 wks. Thankfully I was off all summer. Keep in mind age and fitness level have nothing to do with TKR recovery either. You cannot speed things along, and my surgeon likes to remind people age and fitness get you little to nothing after TKR except lots of impatience and frustration. :)
 
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Yes, again I agree. For me at 22 days, the insomniac factor alone, withstanding my otherwise good single TKR recovery reminds me that a fast return to work (a week from now were I doing the four week option) would not be possible.

I didn't predict the lack of sleep. Not so much from pain, just an inability to sleep (slowly improving).

Additionally, I want most of the PT behind me when I go back to work.
 

Tkdbob

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I think getting yourself in as good of shape as you can before the surgery will make recovery much easier. The healing process may not be much different but being overweight and out of shape makes the recovery much more miserable. Just being able to move your upper body easily and not get out of breath after walking two blocks will help returning to normal activities much easier an quicker. My Doctor said to walk all I want after the surgery as long as it doesn‘t cause too much discomfort go for it. While the healing may be the same regardless of your physical conditioning, recovery will be much sooner if you workout and stretch before the surgery. Just speaking from my prior experience with four prior joint replacements.

LT Shoulder 2006
RT Shoulder 2008
R Birmingham Hip Resurfacing 2013
LT Hip replacement 2017
To be scheduled for 2020: Bilateral total knee replacements
 

sistersinhim

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While the healing may be the same regardless of your physical conditioning, recovery will be much sooner if you workout and stretch before the surgery. Just speaking from my prior experience with four prior joint replacements.
Good shape is definitely a benefit in recovery, but that's not the deciding factor. Every knee is different. Many have had numerous surgeries before their TKR, myself included. This can affect recovery time. Some knees automatically swell more, that affects recovery. There are many factors that add into how we recover.

Some knees are so painful that we can't do a lot of workouts before the TKR. Upper body strength can be a benefit, but that's that the only thing contributing to the healing process.
 
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ilovefall

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Thank you everyone for all of your input. The days are going by quickly now. Less than three weeks until surgery. Heading to Florida tomorrow evening for my daughter's college national dance championship. Looking forward to some sunshine, but not looking forward to dealing with the pain of the walking/standing/stair climbing. UGH!!

Currently getting my house ready, as well as my mind. :)

  • Made sure all the area rugs are securely in place.
  • Ordered my jumbo cold packs.
  • Have my shower chair ready.
  • My OTC medications ready.
  • Ordered my wedge for elevating.
  • Cane/Crutches ready to go.
  • Waiting until the weekend before to setup recovery table.:tada:
 

marieltha

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Best of luck!

@luvcats had 2 close together, not at the same time, but she writes so well that I get enjoyment as well as inspiration and practical information from her thread
@winemama has an informative, enjoyable thread also and I think she did two either at once or very close together
 

pamsknees

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Wow- it’s coming up fast isn’t it?! I’m working on unpacking from moving & getting things ready & ordered. I have an amazon cart full . Mine is 2 months from now- exciting & terrifying
 
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ilovefall

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@LD of Michigan recovery table meaning table beside where I'll be propped up that has all my essentials.......charger, magazine, ipad, water, reading glasses, lip balm, lotion, pen, paper. Anything I may need within arms reach.
 
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Gotcha. For me half that stuff is IN the bed with me (not a good idea - LOL)!

And yes the lip balm. It was nuts to keep my lips un-chapped. Seemed extra dry post surgery! Whole Foods has a line that worked great.
 
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bikinglynn

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Recovery table, remote control, laptop, trash can, drug log, journal, water bottle, lip balm are items next to my bed. I signed up for a month of HBO. I figure it's $15 well spent. I cannot focus on books to read, but I can watch HBO until I want to pause.

I cannot tell you how much the BoneSmart website has meant to me. I read others' journeys and find comfort in the shared problems and problem-solving hints. The community is supportive and informative and available 24/7.

It will be one week tomorrow for me. I can't say it has flown by, but I'm happy to have the first week done. I hear that things will start to show improvement after the second week, and look forward to that.

I did pre-op exercises and honestly feel improving upper body strength has really paid off. I did modified push-ups and tricep dips, and feel that was time well-spent. Plus, having flexibility is allowing me to reach my feet for dressing without having to bend my knees. I am finding that if I take my time, I can do more things without pain.

My DH has been the best caregiver. He is patient and kind, and I need to think of a way to show my appreciation. I have lots of time to think about it. :)

I'll be watching for you in the recovery area!
 
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ilovefall

ilovefall

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@bikinglynn i couldn’t agree with you more about appreciating your caregiver. I felt the same way when I had each of my hips done. It really puts life in perspective.

I'm actively exercising 4 days a week for an hour each day. I feel my quads, hamstrings and arms are much stronger over the past 4 months. I was exercised with a trainer two days a week for the last 6 years but these last 3 months have made such great changes. Between my weight loss (60 pounds) and this current program I physically feel ready for surgery. Certainly NOT mentally! Unfortunately my daughter is having minor surgery the same day as me ( couldn't change either date due to her going back to college) And I am so stressed about it all. More worried about her. Especially me not being able to be there with her. My husband and mother are going with her. My son (25) took off from work to take me. My sister is going with him for support since I’m generally a mess on surgery days!

I'm really trying to get mentally ready ready but my nerves for my daughter are consuming me. I’d appreciate any Prayers my BoneSmart friends can send her.

Here‘s a picture of us at her recent college dance nationals.
 

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bikinglynn

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I'll be thinking about you and your lovely daughter on surgery day. Your entire family has really stepped up to help both of you. Wonderful support!
 

mtmtoronto

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Best of luck on your surgery day! I had both of my knees done (complex TKR & alignment) about 3 and half months apart (July and November). I live alone in a house full of stairs, so having BTKR seemed overwhelming to yours truly. The recovery from 2 surgeries wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. By Christmas, I had my family in tears, watching me walk around pain-free with 2 wonderfully strong, straight legs. I forgot how good life can be when not in chronic pain. :)

One other thing you might want to have handy for your recovery: a couple of yoga/stretching belts. I found that for the first 2 - 3 weeks, a yoga belt became my best friend, helping me lift my operated leg onto the couch or bed. The first few weeks, my muscles weren't strong enough to lift my leg up and I found bath towels to be too large and clumsy to manipulate.
 

Celle

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I found that for the first 2 - 3 weeks, a yoga belt became my best friend, helping me lift my operated leg onto the couch or bed. The first few weeks, my muscles weren't strong enough to lift my leg up and I found bath towels to be too large and clumsy to manipulate.
I used an old dog's lead. Other people have used a dressing gown belt, or anything similar. You can also put the foot of your good leg behind the foot of your operated leg, and help it to lift that way.
 
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I loved my yoga belt and it was under ten dollars online compared to the official PT belt. I still use for my in and out of bed home exercises and stretches.

For sure that towel thing was not getting it!
 
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pamsknees

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I ordered a leg lifter on amazon - it was about $10.
 

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