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Grandma Chris needs a knee!

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by grandma chris, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. grandma chris

    grandma chris senior
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    In January 2014 I had a total right hip replacement. I was very fortunate in that my recovery was pretty much textbook and 6 weeks after my surgery I was on an extended trip to Europe which included days in Barcelona, a week on the Costa del sol, days in Rome and a Mediterranean cruise! I will be seeing the same surgeon tomorrow, hopefully to talk about a right knee replacement. I am a little anxious but eager to have my life back!
     
  2. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I'd consider looking for a pure knee specialist, maybe?
     
  3. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I hope your interview with the surgeon goes well. Roy has a good point: is this surgeon experienced with knee replacements? Some orthopedic surgeons do both hips and knees and lots of them, but some specialize in one or the other. You will definitely want a surgeon who has done a whole LOT of knees! Don't be afraid to ask about this.
     
  4. grandma chris

    grandma chris senior
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    My town is quite small so I do know my surgeon's reputation. He is excellent at both hips and knees. I'm looking forward to seeing him today. This knee is not going to get better!
     
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  5. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    No, once a joint heads south (so to speak) it doesn't get any better. All it gets is worse. I'm glad you have a surgeon whose work you already know well and who you trust. That really is a plus.

    I see you have not yet received your own set of BoneSmart Pre-Op reading for TKRs! Here you go:

    If you have concern about pain with this surgery, Plan For Pain, can be helpful for having this discussion with your medical team.

    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


    And, of course, if you have any questions, fire away. We've been where you are and we love to help! :wave:
     
  6. newlybionic

    newlybionic FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I hope your visit with your OS went well. :)
     
  7. grandma chris

    grandma chris senior
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    Thanks everyone, my visit went well. He showed me the xray of my knee which showed bone on bone and that's why my 'used to be straight' leg is now bowed! I am on the list now but it will likely be a while. My pain is not great - sometimes a 2 or 3 when I've been walking a while. So now it's a waiting game!
     
  8. grandma chris

    grandma chris senior
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    Today I heard from the scheduling people and I have an appointment to attend a kind ofpre op seminar where they will explain what is involved in a knee replacement, give me a booklet with a lot of information including the best exercises to do in preparation for the surgery. That appointment is on 6 June. On 12 June I have a telephone appointment to talk to a nurse about my history. They are really streamlining the process! I have a transatlantic cruise booked for the beginning of November. I think I would like to have the surgery at least three months before the cruise. What do you think, is three months enough?
     
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  9. ColleenAda

    ColleenAda junior member

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    I feel that Bonesmart is the best place to be for pre and post op information. I'm 4 months po op now and I don't think I'd be comfortable in a plane yet- prob next month - a cruise might be really doable w the options of being able to lay down when you need to. Good luck.
     
  10. SusieShoes

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    Are you an experienced cruiser? (It makes a difference, because if you are you know more tricks!) I've taken about 30 cruises and have a few thoughts about whether doing so at three months after TKR surgery is a good idea. You CAN do it, but...

    1. There's lots of standing in line at the terminal before getting on the ship (and later when getting off and waiting on transportation home). Arrange a wheelchair. The cruise line can help you with this. You will get assistance if you show up with a walker or cane, but there's still lots of standing. Also, consider having a wheelchair available on ship. There are companies that work with the cruise lines to rent these for the duration of the cruise; they deliver and pick up. Or you can buy a cheap wheelchair or transfer chair and bring your own. Why?

    2. There's a LOT of walking on a cruise. I mean miles a day, especially if you like to do things on ship. The ships are huge and you have to walk everywhere. Where is your cabin in relation to the dining rooms/restaurants? To the shops? To the shows? At three months out, you will find that so much walking will make your knee swell and ache. That's pretty much a guarantee. So you will want to take measures to reduce your walking. This is easier with shore excursions because you can pick bus tours or other low walking activities. On a transatlantic cruise you are mostly dealing with days at sea, which mean walking around the ship.

    3. Icing. Check with the cruise line about whether you can bring your ice machine. Best might be to simply pack some gel packs you can keep cold (with help from ice bags) in the cabin refrigerator. Bring some ziplock bags. Your cabin steward will be your best friend because he or she will keep you supplied with lots of ice. I tipped mine upfront when telling her why I needed lots of ice, showed her my ziplocks, which I would leave beside the ice bucket, and she would fill these for me AND put them in the fridge, one on each side of my gel packs. She was great and I gave her another nice tip at the end of the cruise. Cabin stewards also can help with other things, like helping you find good elevating cushions for your room.

    4. Elevating. Cruise ships let you bring on as much luggage as you can manage, so if you have a foam wedge you love, you can bring it. Of course, you also have to bring it back off.

    5. Bring your cane. Even if you are not using it at three months (likely), have it packed in your luggage because you will find it handy. You may still find low toilets a challenge, for example. Floors on cruise ships can get slippery, especially in the Lido area or where there are pools, or outside from fog or rain. I fell on a cruise ship near a beverage area where a machine had spilled water. Floors in the theater slope. There are steps or stairs to navigate.

    6. Meds. Bring all the pain meds you need, because you will not get any from the ship medical staff. I literally broke my wrist when I fell (see above) and all they gave me was a wrist brace and Tylenol. I was also offered the option of getting off the ship to seek care. I bring my prescription bottles (though I use a pill organizer) for things like opioids that might be of interest to Customs.

    7. Enjoy your cruise! There are ample opportunities to just sit around and do quiet things like read, attend lectures, listen to music, or browse if you purchase an internet package. You'll find lots of seating and favorite places to park yourself. Of course you have to walk to get there. :wink: Cruises can be very relaxing -- no housework, no cooking, just do what you please -- but keep in mind that you will be doing a lot of walking, so remember to ice and elevate at every opportunity. :ice:
     
  11. grandma chris

    grandma chris senior
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    Thanks for that@SusieShoes! I have been on a few cruises but not yet 30! I know that knee replacement is harder to heal from than hip replacement but in 2014 my hip was replaced on 29 January and I was on a huge trip to Europe six weeks later. That did include a cruise and a whole lot of land components and highly featured - for me - a trip to the Alhambra, not a ship excursion. I'll still be using ice at three months eh? Maybe I'll have to rethink my plan. I can't cancel the trip, May have too beg for earlier surgery or postpone until after. One problem about doing the surgery in December is we will be spending the month of March in Gran Canaria which is a nice sunny warm place to recover but which has a lot of stairs!
     
  12. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    An earlier surgery would of course be better as far as the cruise goes. More time for recovery! :thumb:

    I don't have a hip replacement to compare it to, though I have relatives and neighbors with whom I've compared notes, and knee replacement is a longer recovery with different issues. At three months you likely will still be icing, but not as intensively as at two, four, or eight weeks. You WILL want to ice after periods of activity, because that will keep down the swelling and, consequently, your pain.

    I had a good recovery and even my better knee, the right, still appreciated icing at three months. I was doing it a few times a day at that point. I know I could do the same kind of icing on a cruise. The main difference between recovering at home at three months and doing the same on a cruise ship is the higher level of activity on ship. But you CAN manage that. If you know what you're going into and say "If my knee acts up, I know I will have to say no to some activities and just park myself somewhere to sit with my leg(s) up," then you are managing the recovery well. If you say, "I'm going to do whatever I want and the knee will just have to bear with me," you might find yourself wishing you hadn't made the trip.

    Icing is easy to get done on a cruise ship, much easier than on a long plane flight, for example. You can even use only baggies filled with ice atop a towel or other layer to protect your skin from frostbite.

    The Alhambra must have been amazing! It's high on my bucket list of places I want to see. Mr. Shoes and I are hoping to take some trips to Europe in the near future. Sounds like you're quite the traveler!
     

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