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Everyone telling me how awful my surgery will be.. I'm scared.

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by jean6183, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. jean6183

    jean6183 new member
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    I"m having my knee replacement dec 4th and I've tried not telling too many people about it.. But rudely, people keep telling me how awful the pain is going to be. A weird girl who i went to school with and don't even remember sent me a text and told me to write all my loved ones letters just in case. I blocked her..LOL...... I was told I won't be able to use the toilet, my pain will be unbearable I just need some advise because i'm scared.. Thank you......
     
  2. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    Oh, Jean.....I'm so sorry to hear these supposed "friends" are treating you like this! It's inexcusable and mean.

    Let me tell you that I've been helping people with their joint replacement surgeries here on BoneSmart for more than 10 years. It is really rare when someone has excessive pain after surgery. Your medical team does this procedure day in and day out. They KNOW what to do to keep you comfortable. And in the rare case where someone may have more pain than expected, all you need to do is tell them you are hurting and they will try something else until it works. Doctors and nurses have a whole host of options for pain management following surgery.

    These days most surgeons use a nerve block that gives you pain relief for at least 24 hours. Some even put pain medications in the joint before they close up which can give relief for several days. When you get to the hospital tell the doctors your concerns and they will tell you exactly how they plan to manage any pain you might experience. They want you to be comfortable.

    And for heaven's sake....you will be able to use the toilet! In fact, you'll be surprised at how fast you are up and standing on your new knee. Depending on you pain management protocols, you may even be walking to the bathroom the first day. Your knee will be sore and possibly swollen somewhat after surgery. This means that bending to sit on a toilet can be a bit of a challenge. But there are things you can do now to prepare.

    If you don't have a "comfort height" toilet, you might consider getting one. Most people these days find they are just more comfortable to use than the old low toilets of decades ago. If that's not an option, you can get a raised toilet seat to use temporarily. Or you can use a toilet frame that has arms to allow you to raise and lower yourself using your arms. When I had my TKRs, I used my walker and arm strength to get up and down on the toilet. My therapist showed me how to do that with my good leg only and it worked fine.

    Here is some reading material from our BoneSmart Library to help you get better prepared for surgery and hopefully to ease your mind. You're going to be just fine!! If you find yourself worrying about something, just post here and we'll help you out. We're here for you!!!

    Although you are way past some of these steps leading up to surgery, I've left the article links for you anyway. Sometimes it helps to read the articles and reassure yourself that you're making the right choice by having this surgery.

    New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

    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

    @jean6183
     
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  3. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @jean6183 I am so sorry your "friends" are scare mongering. So silly! Have they actually had this surgery? I think not!

    As Jamie said you will be mobile and moving around on your own very soon after your op. Staff at the hospital will teach you everything you need to know about moving around before you leave the hospital. And your priority while in the hospital will be to get your pain management cocktail just right.

    Have a read in our knee recovery forum. Lots of happy members getting on with living again post op.
     
  4. celticmom2

    celticmom2 new member

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    Just think... You'll be in a LOT less pain with your new knee and able to do the things you couldn't before. Pain is scary but I know you'll do fine. Just be sure and tell the nurses what you need to keep your pain down. Don't listen to those naysayers. Everyone's pain tolerance is different and you'll do just fine. I'm really anxious for my surgery ( Dec 11) I can't wait to be back to my normal self and that'll be great! Good luck!

    Sent from my LG-LS777 using Tapatalk
     
  5. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I was prepared for lots of post-surgical pain for the same reason you are (why do people delight in telling us how much things are going to hurt?). To my surprise, the pain after surgery wasn’t THAT bad. I had both knees replaced. The medical staff did a great job of keeping me comfortable, and I was walking (slowly and stiffly) within a few hours. I won’t say the surgery is painless, but it certainly wasn’t terrible or anything close to that.

    I highly recommend getting either the comfort height toilets or a toilet riser. You’ll be glad to have that higher toilet! But toilets are totally doable. Also, for when you start going out and about early on... use handicapped stalls whenever possible. Public toilets tend to be low. Lower toilets (also to be found at friends and family) can be a challenge. Keep your cane or walker with you. This is only for early recovery. I’m fully recovered now and do low toilets with ease. So you’ll be back to regular everything soon enough!
     
  6. Smurph

    Smurph junior member

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    We all fear the unknown, but in my experience the unknown is always worse than the reality. The first time they helped me get up and stand on my new knees was miraculous - there was no knee pain - I could walk pain free. I will never ever forget that moment. And regret not having this TKR done sooner. The fear of the unknown got in the way.

    Yes there was swelling, soft tissue discomfort, and weak wobbly muscles but the nerve block and pain meds kept them in check. They've been doing TKR's for years now and It's very doable. Don't fear it so much as embrace the new pain free knees.

    Visualize how life will be those first few weeks and prepare. Handrails where needed for toilet & shower. Comfort seat height toilet or commode over top? Practice doing things on one leg to try it out. Remove all trip hazards, handrail for bed to make repositioning easier, proper elevating pillows (Lounge Doctor) for your leg, a walker with plastic shoebox basket ($1 at Dollar Store) zip tied to walker to keep what you need handy: fluids, pain med, cell phone or bell, notepad. I velcroed a leg lifter assist to my walker so I'd always have it. Now my quads are strong enough I don't use it anymore but a lifesaver in the beginning.

    I had a low couch that I decided to make my "day nest" for all the daytime spent elevating, icing, and resting so for $10 ordered the 6" leg risers on Amazon. Best investment. It's the simple things. I took the lid from a tupperware storage tub and using a razor knife made slots so it slides down over the walker handles and performs as a TV tray table to carry plate to table for dinner as I live alone.

    Slippery nighties will help you slide easier repositioning yourself in bed. The Cryo/Cuff is the best icer going. I got one for home and the hospital sent me home with an electric pump one. I use the cuff at the couch and the pump at the bedside for naps and early evening use. Set up your frozen water bottles 16 oz for these icers in your freezer now. Also make some frozen gel packs to use for behind the knee swelling.

    Today is Day 12 post-op. Swelling is under good control; alternate your periods of activity followed by ice & elevation for 20 min minimum. Drain and refill your coolant fluid to maintain cool on your knee. Keep pain meds on board so pain doesn't get ahead of you. I'm taking just Tylenol now every 8 hours for the achey muscles.

    You can do this! We'll help
     
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  7. beachy

    beachy post-grad

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    With friends like that....you know the rest.
    I’m 3 1/2 weeks since surgery and was so afraid of the pain.
    Making your recovery area comfy and having all the recovery aids in place are a big help.

    Ditto as stated about your Dr. making sure you have everything you need for pain control. It’s surgery. It’s not fun. But it truly gets better. And your knee will be strong and pain free. So worth it!
     
  8. joek

    joek junior member

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    I am 6 days post op the second day was sorta tough but the nurses kept me on good pain medication little to much as I was in the fog most of the day but the pain was in control for sure and after that things got better each day going up and down stairs showering I’m invery little pain now .So don’t worry as each day gets better and in the end it will be worth it
     
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  9. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    It is so amazing to me that people enjoy scaring people who are having a procedure done. I got up at about 2 hours after surgery and walked into the bathroom. The nurse wanted me to use a walker, but I felt fine without. Each of us is different and if you have pain, just take the pain meds every four hours to control the pain.
     
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  10. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 junior member

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    I know that fear of the unknown can be overwhelming, especially when people get so graphic and dramatic. :sad: Something that worked for me is being lucky enough to find Bonesmart before I had the detailed meeting with my surgeon to discuss the specifics of my TKR (I had only met him once briefly to see if my knee was bad enough, and to ask if he'd do it at my age of 46). He validated what I already thought, and after a couple of weeks letting the reality of a TKR sink in, I called to set up another appointment to get my questions answered.

    For me, asking those questions ahead of time was WONDERFUL!

    First, I read a lot here (especially the articles), so I knew a variety of things to ask about pain-wise. I made my list and had a section titled "pain control" so I wouldn't forget anything. I specifically asked if he used pain-control inside the knee after surgery, and he was shocked I even knew of that (Thank you, Internet!!!!). Sure enough, he does---a combo of Toradol and Bupivacaine.... I asked about aggressive vs conservative PT....and they gave a detailed answer about conservative PT (AKA Very close to the Bonesmart way!!!:yahoo:).....then they told me I HAVE to ask for pain meds at the hospital. The nurses don't just give it without you requesting it.

    Those kinds of little things did wonders for making me feel better as I wait for Dec 18 to get here. I had a nightmare out-patient knee operation in 2015 where I was sent home with horrid pain-management, and even when my husband called the surgeon's office, they were useless. Thus, I was trying to prevent such misery this time around. Thankfully, my new surgeon does things differently and patiently answered all 17 of my questions!! :)
     
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  11. Jajakio

    Jajakio senior

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    Im not claiming it does not hurt but it is managable. My twin sister had her knee done about 2 years before I did and she told me the first two weeks she was sorry she had it done and after that it was upward and onward. I was willing to trade 2 weeks of pain for twenty years of normal knees. For me, it turned out not be quite bad as she described. And at 16 months out now I have my life back and it was more than worth it. After surgery, nurse told me that they would try to keep a level 3 pain or less and mostly that was true for me for the first couple of weeks. Sometimes less if I was resting and iced.

    Do you have kids? For some of us who do, the minute we found out we were pregnant, some old woman would come tell us how awful her labor was " I was in hard labor for 38 hours and my insides turned outside and then it got bad...." Reality wasn't nearly as awful as many of us imagined . And in any case I considered it a fair tradeoff for my kids. This is much the same. Temporary pain but well worth the end result.
     
  12. jean6183

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    I want to THANK each and every one of you for your replies. You have given comfort as my day is approaching in about 4 weeks. 12/4. I realize there will be some pain and it can't be any worse than me not being able to cut my grass or stand for long periods of time. I work out at the gym and although some of my cardio is cut down due to my knee.. I have continued strengthening my quads and calves ( I work out 4-5 times a week for the last 6 years) I"m also a bike rider and although not in training, do a 250 mile bike ride.. I'm hoping my fitness will hope me too....... I'm a widow, but my daughter who is 19 and my mom who used to be a nurse will be with me. Thank you again .....
     
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  13. donnag1108

    donnag1108 new member

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    We have the same surgery date and we are going to do great!!:flwrysmile:
     
  14. Coach_HL

    Coach_HL new member

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    We can recover together my date is 12/5 and I’m an avid cyclist. I enjoyed reading this thread because of all the positive comments. It’s easy to psych ourselves out, I’ve done it multiple times regarding my upcoming surgery.
     
  15. cherterr

    cherterr junior member

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    I have to say there is probably not a bigger sissy in the world about hospitals and surgery at Etc thsn I was!

    Listen the hospital part is nothing -they control your pain so good. After I got home it was still manageable and I was alone. I had a little trouble getting in and out of the bed painlessly but it's just a learning curve on a how to do it without hurting yourself!

    If my Dr.s office hadn't t caused me some issues, I'd be extremely pkeased with the entire process. I actually have mire pain from my arthritis than my actual knee.

    It's 8 weeks now and I'm doin great..even a few stairs. Cane is more for security purposes..and BTW, I am actually re learning to walk after TEN YEARS of peg kegged Pete style hobbling!

    You'll do GREAT. Just go into 'the zone' like I did. It had to be done. I knew I couldn't get out of it. So I just didn't think about it. I usually research everything but with this I refuse to torture Myself by looking at YouTube videos I didn't look at anything or think about it.
     
  16. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew supremo

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    I won't tell you this surgery is a walk in the park, but I will tell you you will be able to walk in the park again after the surgery. And you'll do it without the bone-on-bone pain you have today. As others have said, there is pain involved after surgery, but it is manageable and you'll be able to walk the day of, or the day after, the surgery, depending on the protocol of your particular surgeon, hospital, and so on. And your pain will be managed by the staff in the hospital, and by you at home. Just keep the line of communication going with hospital staff while in the hospital, and your OS after you go home to make sure the regimen is working for you. If not, they will come up with other plans until they find one that works for you. Just make sure to stay on schedule and don't let the pain get ahead of you and you'll be fine. And keep your eye on the prize; pain free walking!
     
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  17. jean6183

    jean6183 new member
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    Awesome.... Yes, we will do great ..
     
  18. jean6183

    jean6183 new member
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    Hello there... sounds great on recovering together and Im trying to not psych myself out.. UGH.. this forum is awesome..
     
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  19. IronGirl6

    IronGirl6 junior member

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    I was terrified as well, similarly had people including some in this forum tell me bad stuff. Had my surgery yesterday, and I can tell you that w just oral meds i was taking prior to surgery too, that the little ache and swelling is no worse right now. I expect to have more discomfort the next 3-4 days... but this pain has an expiration date! Soon it will all be over and we will be active and happy again! Big hugs to you & blessings for your procedure.
     
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  20. MJR

    MJR new member

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    Delete the negativity from your life. I had RTKR on 08/22 by 08/25 I stopped using pain meds. Was there ''some pain and discomfort''? Yes, but not enough to keep me using pain medications that kept me in a fog. There is a very good chance you will have the same positive result as me and others. For me the pain pre surgery was so bad that the post surgery pain was negligible. I attacked physical therapy with a vigor and made it my job for 6 weeks 6 days a week. With that being said some of the most painful times were during PT but the pain is quickly forgotten and not long lasting. I was pedaling a stationary bike day 3, full rotation for 10 plus minutes. Now I can do unlimited bike, elliptical , at any level of resistance. Walking, bodyweight squats, leg extensions/curls etc. My full time job is with the government and has the potential to be very physical and potentially dangerous. My side gig is a photographer. I shot a 6 hour wedding week 8. Zero pain in the knee. My legs were fatigued but the knee had zero issues. I am not telling you this to boast. I'm telling you this to help you see every TKR's are not horror stories. Keep a positive attitude. Every day post surgery you will feel better. Every day post surgery you gain a step in getting your life back.. Good Luck!
     
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