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Left TKR in July (after 2 THRs)

Steelergal

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Hi everyone! I'm back, but this time in the knee forum. I've had both hips replaced and the time has come to fix this left knee, which is a mess. I'm down to zero cartilage and consistent pain, so I decided to just get it done. I had great experiences with both hip replacements, but I'm anxious about the knee because I've heard it's a harder recovery. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! I am looking forward to no more pain (and not having to walk down stairs one at a time). Thanks!
 

Jamie

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Hi, Steelergal....welcome back. Of course we hate to hear that any of our members require more surgery, but it does happen this way sometimes with arthritis. We'll be here for you!

Knee replacements can be a bit more challenging than a hip for some people. But I think you are wise to get the problem taken care of now and not wait until you are in more severe pain. There is a theory that the longer a surgeon takes with the surgery and the more tissue manipulation he must do to correct damage, the greater the potential for post-op pain.

One plus is that these days most surgeons use a multi-modal approach to pain management that includes the use of Exparel or other pain medication directly into the surgical site before closing. This can allow a patient several critical days of pain management immediately after surgery. It's a HUGE leg up. So, in your discussions with your surgeon, ask about their pain management protocol. Also be sure you get a surgeon who does at least 150 knee replacements a year if at all possible. Experience is very important.

Spend some time cruisin' through the pre-op threads and the pre-op section of our BoneSmart Library. You'll find lots of good information. Here is a starter for you that I sometimes provide to members at the start of their knee journey. Best of luck!

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
 
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Steelergal

Steelergal

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Thanks @Jamie - this is helpful! Luckily, I'm sticking with the surgeon who did my hip replacements and is the best in my area. He specializes in small incision surgery and used Exparel when he did my hips, which was amazing. He also uses an epidural vs. general anesthesia, so coming out of surgery is much easier. I'll take some time to read the links you provided. Thanks!
 

Jamie

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It sounds like you have an excellent plan and a great surgeon in your corner. Don't hesitate to ask any questions that might come up.
 

rosieNZ

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How wonderful it will be to get your mobility back. It took me almost a month to walk down stairs normally after my TKR but I think I was a bit scared to try it!
 

Bionic

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@Steelergal
I had 2 hip replacements last year and my knee done on 1st Mar this year. For each op I had the spinal wth mild sedation and it was great.
My knee has definitely taken more time to recover than the hips but my OS did warn me that would happen. Having said that I think mine is taking longer than some others have whereas the hips were pretty quick.
I am finding the recovery frustrating but looking on the bright side I can walk without pain now. Before the op I could only walk a few paces before using a wheelchair.
I am still working on walking up and down stairs properly but physio said it will come when I have built up more muscle. My OS keeps reminding me that my legs were pretty bad before my ops and I colony walk up and down stairs normally then so I need to expect it to take time to recover.
Best wishes with your op
 

lovetocookandsew

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Hi, Steelergal. I'm so sorry you need another surgery, but at the same time glad you're getting it done so you can take your life back....again. I've not had a THR, so can't compare them, but I do know that a TKR recovery takes a lot of patience, time and energy. It's a long roller coaster ride that has great ups and some not-so-great downs, but the end of the journey is well worth the ride. Best wishes on your surgery, and I'm sending good thoughts and wishes your way. See you soon on the other side.....again!
 

pdlinda

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@Steelergal

I also had both hips replaced and am getting my right knee replaced on Oct. 4 th.

My OS uses the MAKO robot to assist with the knee surgery.

I'll be very interested in your progress and wish you as uneventful recovery as is possible under the circumstances!
 

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