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Just Joined - I meet my Surgeon 7/15/19

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Jodyh, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Jodyh

    Jodyh new member
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    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2019
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    Hi ! I'm SO grateful to have found this site , to hopefully get reality info. and encouragement to go through BTKR . I just turned 67 and have had bil. knee pain for years , but had advice from my pain control Doc to put off replacement surgery as long as possible. Ah ... it's here. I've been mostly in a chair for 1 yr.+. Standing/walking/stairs painful and occasionally knees give out with a danger of fall. My femur and tibia sometimes feel that they are touching and I've caught my reflection in glass doors, etc., and realize my legs have gotten crooked ! YIKES ! I can hardly believe it's me. I've had injections and done all the regular knee interventions but the last one … surgery.

    I've done some research and have found a highly rated surgeon , recommended to me. He is a Professor and heads Orthopedic Surgery in our local university's Medical school . He specializes in difficult cases and has done thousands of knee , shoulder, hip replacements , but mostly knees. I know online reviews can sometimes be misleading , but he has received mostly 5 stars from patient reviews. Fingers crossed … heck, knees crossed … I meet him next week, July 15.

    I have a complication , chronic back pain. I'm a nurse. Years ago I had low staffing one evening. I medicated and repositioned 6 male patients, each over 200 lb. Was walking back to nurses station, when lightning hit. 2 spinal fractures , 4 herniations. Ended up needing surgery which left me with scar tissue wrapped around nerve roots at L3,4,5 and S1. Constant, chronic pain with electrical-type nerve pain shooting from left groin, under and to left side knee, down to toes. It's taken a while to accept living with it as a permanent condition , and frankly , I find myself wondering if I could live with permanent higher levels of pain from unsuccessful knee surgery . So. There's that hurdle to jump . I can handle additional pain if I know it's temporary . It's just that "all my days" thing which frightens me.

    So. I very much look forward to hearing from people who have had successful bilateral knee replacements ! I also have a special goal for after surgery. I am a retired racing Greyhound lover. My husband and I have had 12 Greys in our family over the years and have worked with adoptions and fostering. Our precious boy, "Trumpy" ( I didn't name him !!!) died unexpectedly last month . We miss him awfully and always will. But my hope is, as soon as I can walk again , to adopt 2 retired racers , and later, a 3rd. They are happier in a group. They are the heart dogs of my life and will gift me with a powerful reason to get up and go ! So there knee people ! A bit of my story. I very much look forward to hearing from you. Have a good day !
     
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  2. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Jan 15, 2019
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    Hi Jody. I am a nurse too and can identify with the crazy things we do to get the job done! How unlucky were you. When I think of the mumerous personal shortcuts we make and survive without too much issue .....
    Re knee surgery. It is challenging for the first few weeks post op. I found with both knees I reached a time when I thought "why did I do this". It gets better at around 3 weeks post op and then its very straightforward. So plan to rest alot and be kind to yourself over those precious first weeks
    Its rest, ice, compression and elevation with a wee sprinkling of meds that does the trick.
    With your back problems get the most comfortable set up for you in place. I had a powered recliner and found it really easy to manage but may not be best for you. I borrowed a walker and a wheelchair but didnt use either. I was able to go out and socialise from week 2 (single TKR). We are all different with our recovery times which is perfect because when you look back the length of time it took to recover is not important.
    Re dogs. I am pretty sure you will be knee deep in doggy love as soon as you are ready (Im addicted to crazy springer spaniels and tonkinese cats...sigh. It cost more to feed the furry kids than it does to feed us!). Most people do very well with knee replacements so plan your future xxx
     
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  3. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Jodyh - and :welome:

    Here are some articles to help you prepare for you surgery.
    When you have a s surgery date, please let us know and we'll make a signature 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
     
  4. Jodyh

    Jodyh new member
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    Jul 11, 2019
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    Rosie - it's so nice to hear from you ! I almost married a man from New Zealand many years ago. His pictures from home were spectacular … such a gorgeous country .

    Sounds like you had each knee done independently ? Probably wise . Guess I'm at a point where I've had enough and just want it over ... My sister from Texas just offered to come help . I almost cried, I was thinking my sweet husband - the one who forgets little things like food and hydration - was going to do it , lol . So - the three week timing until things become more manageable . I can do that . If I can just get weight bearing asap , to walk to the BR and shower, I can do the rest . My crumbling knees set off back spasms regularly. That bends me forward when I stand. What a wreck. I don't believe in back braces normally , but I think one may help cope during rehab. Please take good care of your nurse's back. I was so careful using strict lifting protocol, for 42 yrs., till the day it didn't work ! Proper staffing is the answer.

    Your kind words at the end of your note really lifted me, Rosie ... "so plan your future" . Thank you for them ! I can hardly wait for the day I can stand straight and walk again as you are ! Take good care . oxoxox ;-D
     
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  5. kymamaw

    kymamaw junior member

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    Jodyh, your story sounds just like mine. I am going to my OS on August 16, not sure whether he is going to recommend doing my hip or my knees first. Either way, it's time, this has been going on too long.
    I sure hope everything goes super well for you. It's a big decision I know.
    I am in Kentucky, where are you?
     
  6. Jodyh

    Jodyh new member
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    Hi kymamaw ! Thank you for your posts- I'm in Gainesville, Florida. Wow, this has been encouraging reading of so many going through knee pain and coming out of TKR surgery and rehab pain free and walking... So you have both knees and a hip coming up ? You'll be almost bionic ! My husband had 2 anterior hip replacements last year He was walking 4 hrs. after surgery and he had 2 excellent recoveries. Will you be doing the anterior approach ? Do you plan to do knees one at a time or bilateral ? I am sorry for the pain you're going through, kymamaw , and wish you all the best relief . We'll have to keep in touch with surgical dates and cheer each other on. We've had enough pain and we're ready for this, right ? Darned right ! oxoxox ;-D
     
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  7. kymamaw

    kymamaw junior member

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    Wow, that's great that your husband had such a great recovery. You read of so many bad experiences it's good to see someone is doing well.
    I have been bone on bone for many years, had the shots, braces, exercise, etc. Nothing works when that cartilage is gone. Sooo...it is time. My hip is now suffering from it all. I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired having such a hard time getting around. I have just about stopped cooking, can only do so much dusting and making the bed. I haven't done steps in a long while, I had to resort to using a wheelchair for my daughter's wedding in 2017, that was a heartbreaker.
    So. Onward my friend.
    :yahoo:
     
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  8. kymamaw

    kymamaw junior member

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    I will probably do the knees one at a time and the anterior approach if the hip needs fixed. So we shall see.
     
  9. Jodyh

    Jodyh new member
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    Kymamaw , we have so much in common … ! Our son was married in Anchorage, Alaska 3 yrs. ago. They were planning the service to be on a mountain top... in February. (access by ski-car, I didn't have to climb it, thank God) I have so darned much back and leg pain when flying, due to air pressure changes, and then the knees.

    Thankfully we had 5 feet of snow during the night before the wedding and the service was held at the base of the mountain, by the resort. I had to go down a very long, wide set of stairs to access it. I did what you probably are doing, asking everyone else to please go first, we're so slow. I just clung to the railing, praying my knees wouldn't give out, each step agony. Did I mention I wore heels ? Finally I made it , and only 5 more steps down to the outdoor service. As my husband and I sat down, a blizzard started . :-D.

    But we saw our baby happily married, and I had one precious , slow dance with him . Thank heaven for pain meds. At our niece's wedding, I used a wheelchair . I have absolutely no embarrassment with using one . It helps , allows me to get out, and focus on others rather than this diabolical pain.

    I've had to give up gardening and most housework too. Over a year ago I found a comfortable position in a chair out on our lanai, with a footstool, pillows, heating pads, phone and my computer. This is where I spend most time, including sleeping here. It's so far from who I am, I almost don't recognize me.

    I know I'm depressed. I've cared for our parents and family members through to their passing, and most everyone is gone now or very far away. Thank God for my husband. I was surprised after my Dad's death in 2014, that I had very little time until pain started immobilizing me. I was the family caregiver and whoops, but for my sweet husband, no one left to care for. Or care for me.

    I think this is a common theme for so many women of our age, Kymamaw. Maybe this pain we're living with is a message from the universe, an urging, it's time to see what else we can be. To gather all our bravery, have this surgery, and walk out to meet the world again.

    Ok , 'nuff said. Is your daughter close by? You're so lucky to have a girl!! I'll bet you were lovely at her wedding, even in a w/c. Have a good day, Kymamaw - oxox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2019
  10. kymamaw

    kymamaw junior member

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    Hello again, we just came in from the pool. My husband likes to float around and smoke a cigar and I do my walking and pool exercise. I think sometimes it's the only thing keeping me upright. This past winter did a real JOB on my body. Plus we had a couple of deaths in the family, my oldest brother in Dec 2018 and my friend and daughter's mother in law in April. Also my 10 year old grandson was diagnosed in April 2018 with a rare liver cancer so he spent the next 6 months plus doing chemo and recuperating. It was the most awful thing our family has ever gone through, but between each other and the Lord we made it. He is now cancer free, as they say. So that was a real blessing after all.

    I'm somewhat familiar with the anterior approach, my oldest daughter has had both of her hips replaced with anterior due to a childhood growth plate problem. She has had surgery on left knee and says she will eventually have to get a TKR. She was 40 and 41 when she had her hips done. So it's always something it seems.

    Yes, my oldest daughter I spoke of above lives just across the way from us. I can see her front door and driveway from my sunroom, which is where I spend most of my time. She and her husband are both firefighter/paramedics, have been for 22 years so we are fortunate to have them available as well.
    Even with my daughter's health issues she has never stopped for anything, she is the busiest go getter I've ever known. She is an extremely dedicated medic, loves her job but it has been very difficult at times as you may guess. She has always looked out for me and her Dad and still manages to raise our grandkids, Ryan 10 and Allie is 8. They are our precious jewels.

    Ok, your turn, I'm going to get a snack. :curtsey:
     
  11. kymamaw

    kymamaw junior member

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    And heels?!?! Whoa, no way Jose, lol!

    I found a comfortable position in a chair out on our lanai, with a footstool, pillows, heating pads, phone and my computer. This is where I spend most time

    Well I don't sleep there but I basically do the same thing, recliner in the sunroom in front of the TV with my heating pad, phone, laptop and book. That's my world most of the time. I do get to my grandkids ball games at times and out to eat on occasion.
     
  12. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi @Jodyh! It looks like you've gotten some good comments on bilateral knees and learned it's very doable. Having decent knees (once you're recovered) may also take some of the strain off your back.
    Glad you found us!
     

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