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Bilateral TKR Kinda Nervous, Maybe Scared

Justme2020

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Hello,
I am scheduled for Bilateral TKR on March 27,2020. I figured it was about time. I blew out my left ACL in 91 and the right ACL in 95. I never had surgery and now have no ACLs, No Meniscus on both knees, severe arthritis and major instabilities. The pain is there but what scares me is the Instability. I keep getting told by others to put it off because I am young. I have fallen and I am afraid that next time I might hit my head and that would be the end of me. I am trying to stay motivated. So far I have lost 20 pounds. From 260 to 240. I am trying to lose as much weight as possible before and after my surgery. I love all the advice and personal stories that have been posted. I guess since I never wanted surgery now the only option is TKRs. I see on some websites the TKR can last up to 20 years but not guaranteed of course. I guess the Bilateral surgery is a good option for me but I hate depending on other people. I am a do it myself kinda person. just rambling. I am sorry. I am just nervous and kinda scared and that is very hard for me to admit to family and friends. any advice is appreciated.
 

Jaycey

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@Justme2020 Welcome to BoneSmart! You have come to the right place for support through this journey.

Of course you are anxious. We were all in that space pre-op. Do know that is does help to come here and share your fears. Plenty of our member are going through or have been through this recovery.

Well done on the weight loss. Very difficult when your mobility is limited.

And please don't worry about depending on others during recovery. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how mobile you will be post op. In any case, it's a temporary situation.
 

Helizabug

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As a pretty active person all my life, I am really glad I didn’t wait any longer for the surgery. I’m ten years older than you, and, at your age, my 20-year-old ACL reconstruction was holding up pretty well, though I needed several surgeries to deal with the aftermath of that repair. So, there was no need for the TKR for me until my bones took the gloves off, as yours have.

Once I couldn’t get ahead of the pain, it was an easy decision for me. I am not the kind of person who can enjoy life without running, playing recreational games, trying new challenges, walking around town, and so on. My well-being depends on activity. And I have a lot of confidence in orthopedic repair: I’ve had pretty good outcomes so far. I’m definitely struggling with this recovery, partly because rest is an activity at which I do not excel; but it still seems like the right path for me.

I think you’ll find that current implants are lasting longer on average. And, even if you ever wore one out, it might be an even easier process by then.

This is a tough decision. You’ll see on BoneSmart that it’s not a smooth recovery for a lot of us, but it seems like most of us are glad we’ve chosen to have replacement surgery. And we are just the subset of people who choose to join this site for support.

I hope that’s helpful. Keep up the good work, thinking this through and getting healthy. Regardless of what you decide, those things will be very worthwhile.
 
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Having both knees done at once will be tough but the advantage is that you'll be done with it! But make sure you have good wrap-around support 24-7 the first few days or weeks.

Then if you need less, you're ok -- but better too much support available than too little ...:tada:

Continue to read thru the other bilateral stories here, and make sure to prepare your home and options you will need. This site is a grand reference for all things TKR, BTKR etc.

The wrap-around re. personal help from friends/ family towards your independence includes the activities of eating, bedding, clothes, walking about etc. For example my early days at home I had all of my sleep and lounge attire ready and folded on a small plastic three-shelf unit I moved near my bed.

That same shelf had all of my lotions/ baby wipes for wiping my sweaty face/ neck LOL when I did not quite want to get out of the bed to wash my face. That shelf was also where I had books I wanted to read, vitamins, water bottles, socks etc. Stuff across the room or in another room or closet was a problem those first early days at home.
I needed my things close and handy. That aided me in my independence...:walking:

I purchased a long rectangle plastic basket to hold my immediate meds and my TV remotes, note book, pens etc. vitamins handy in bed so I'd not have to reach or fumble for things night or day those early days. I had my yoga belt handy to help move my legs when I could not. Two belts in case one fell off the edge of the bed where I could not reach it! Hah!

I needed a 'command' central for all of my stuff available in my resting area (bedroom) and secondarily in my front room. I tried to make sure things were very HANDY.

Or handy for my grabber when I needed it ...:yes:...

This time period passes fast. But good to be over-prepared than not. Especially for a BTKR.
 
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Celle

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@Justme2020 - I have moved your thread from the Recovery Area, since your surgery isn't until nearly the end of March.
Please continue to post here, in the Pre_Op area, until you have your surgery.

I see on some websites the TKR can last up to 20 years but not guaranteed of course.
Most modern TKRs should last a least 20 years, some even 30 years.

You're not too young to have your knees replaced. Why continue to suffer and worry now, when you could get your knees fixed and, after a somewhat lengthy recovery, get back to the life that you want?
 

CT25

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Hi Justme2020
I joined this site on Friday just gone and already I feel more positive and chilled about the whole TKR thing. I also do not know if to have both knees done at the same time or one after the other. The thing I do know is it’s the right thing to do as I feel my life is on hold at the moment and I have spent to long pondering it all and second guessing everything. Since joining Friday l already have lots of information that up until now I had no idea about. I am gathering as much information as I can and going to a Knee evening on the 16th March to find out more about the whole process and meet surgeon, nurses etc. It will be a journey of highs and lows but I know the day I can walk the lovely country lanes again and not have to wonder is there somewhere for me to sit or how far will I have to walk it will be all worth while. You have made the first step by joining this site and you are now open to a wealth of knowledge and sound, sensible advice.
:).
 

Celle

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These articles may help you prepare for surgery:
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?

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
 

pamsknees

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Hi Justme2020
I’m just ahead of you on Mar 16 with bilateral TKR - we can cheer each other on. I’m both excited & terrified . I’m looking forward to getting to do all the things I miss - walk my dogs, go for hikes, ride a bike that’s not stationary ........ not looking forward to the pain & inactivity. I’m fortunate in having a fun job so taking 3 months off is hard but I expect the end result to be worth it
 

Tkdbob

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Justme2020 I’m 66 and having both knees done on March 18, 2020. Don’t sweat it, hip and knee replacements are highly successful and bilateral is also becoming a common practice. Depending on the weather you could be out walking up and down the block in a couple of weeks if not sooner. I know of one guy with bilateral knees that was walking around outside within a couple of days following surgery. With my surgery on March 18 it may be a bit cold in Michigan but first week of April I expect to be out and about. You’ll do great especially with an age advantage.
 

Tkdbob

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March bilaterals, the three of us can monitor each other’s progress.
 
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Tkdbob

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LD I’m only guessing but if you’re thinking of dancing the jig you’re no longer in your 20’s. I danced the jig in my day but not recently :)
 

kneeper

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The instability can be as bad as the pain for some of us. Surgery is a big deal and I was nervous but I found it well worth it.
 

Tykey

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Too young at 49? Let's be positive, you'll be 80 by the time you might need further help, which is really no issue anyway, but we can be sure technology will have progressed by then, so it will be a minor complication to our lives.

Here's the pragmatic approach which. I used.
I was 60 when I had my first TKR. Even that short time ago people were telling me they only lasted 10 years.
I figured that by the time I was 70 there was some other medical challenge will have come along to spoil my party.
And it did, but I got over it. A large tumour in my head requiring very major surgery, and prostate cancer. Plus living with the threat of another heart attack.
If I had gone for an early dirt nap, I would have been really annoyed that I had been in pain for the last years of my life, and allowing it to spoil it.

The moral of this story : Live for today, because tomorrow may never happen
 

Donbmt

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March 11th will be my one year anniversary for BTKR. There is NO way to sugar coat it, it was the most trying time of my life, 57 years old. The pain is real, the need for people to help you with the simple things in life is real, and the emotional and physical strain on your loved ones is real. But I am now glad that I did it, still not 100% active, there are good and bad days, but the good days far outnumber the bad. Stay tuned to this forum, it was a real life saver for me. Don't stress over ROM, it will come around, don't let your PT push to do something you don't feel comfortable with, and stay ahead of the pain! Even if you're not hurting, take your meds because once that pain grabs you it holds on. Keep us posted, best of luck, you can do it!
 

Ready2HikeAgain

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@Justme2020 Reading your post as I lay here in the hospital after my Bilateral partial knee replacement surgery. Look me up and follow my recovery thred to learn what I did to prepare and how things are going. I will not lie, it’s not going to be easy. I am laying here wait for the Percocet to take effect. ;-)

However, this is totally doable. I know my first two weeks are going to be the roughest. Let me know what questions you have. I did a lot of prep to hopefully make the recovery more tolerable. Each day I am posting so you can see what has worked and what hasn’t. Happy to help. Good luck. Cheryl
 
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