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LTKR in January, 2017

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Mitten, Oct 22, 2016.

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  1. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    Hello!
    So glad I discovered this site/forum. I am facing a total knee replacement on my left knee in January and value information from those who have gone before, so to speak. Over the past few years, my world has been getting smaller as my arthritis in my knee has limited my mobility. I've had meniscus surgery following a nasty fall several years ago and after a short period of relief, my knee problems just got worse. Now I am bone on bone, knees are starting to bow in and I am in pretty much constant pain and stiffness.

    So, I've gone through physical therapy, cortisone and Supartz injections, knee sleeves, use of a cane for support, orthotics, and just trying to pretend that my knee wasn't so bad. My orthopedic surgeon, with whom I have a very good rapport, finally sat me down and reviewed old x-rays/MRIs and recent studies. After seeing the deterioration with my own eyes, I made the decision to have the surgery in early January, 2017, and I am getting more comfortable with my choice.

    I'm working as hard as I can to do the recommended knee strengthening exercises. I'm losing weight (but will still need to lose more following the surgery), and am reading as much as I can about the procedure without getting too stressed out. That said, there are still days when I think I won't be able to go through with it...but I will!

    And as I've already read on this forum, my knee pain all but disappeared the day I made the surgical decision -- but it's back and I know this is the right thing for me before I get too old and more limited. That said though, I am looking forward to any and all support from my new Joint Friends. Thank you in advance for being here.
     
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  2. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor

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    Hello, @Mitten . :welome:

    It sounds as if you've tried everything else and none of it has helped your knee, so I'm glad you've come to the decision to get it replaced. We're here to help you and to answer any questions you may have.

    Here are some articles that 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

    Soon, there will be a thread at the top of this page for people having knee replacements in January. Join that group and you will find others having surgery around the same time as you. Some of them could be your recovery buddies.
     
  3. jaschembra

    jaschembra Graduate

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    @Mitten glad you've made the decision. I too made the decision a couple weeks ago and am scheduled for Jan 3. @Celle lol, just the thought of the Jan. List makes me nervous because it's another item that makes this all real.

    I ask myself, does it really hurt that badly to warrant such a surgery... But I remind myself that it is NOT getting any better and all conservative treatments are not making the pain or discomfort go away AND I alter some life decisions based on them requiring standing or walking. Also, I need to start the process while one knee can help out (as they both need done and I won't be doing BTKR)

    There are great recoveries here and I have really gained some insight by reading the Bone Smarties stories.
     
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  4. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    @jaschembra -- I had the option of having the surgery on 1/3 as well, but that just sounded too early in the new year (crazy thought, I know!). Your comments are exactly what I've been thinking...until my surgeon reminded me that I'm not getting any younger and while I'm in overall good health now, it would be a more difficult procedure if I waited and perhaps had other physical maladies to contend with. And yes, I do find myself making decisions based on how much walking or standing I might have to do. As much as I love to travel, this has been very difficult.

    I just found this forum, but I've been reading dozens of great posts and articles; so glad I found this place!


    Sent from my iPad using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  5. skigirl

    skigirl Moderator

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    Make a list of all the things you "no longer want to do because they are too hard"!! I stopped going on long hikes, etc. When you waiver, take out your list and at the bottom write---welcome to a new unfettered life!!
     
  6. jaschembra

    jaschembra Graduate

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    Thanks for that tip @skigirl I don't want to chicken out - just really hate that I'm so young. Also, I've enjoyed reading about your hikes and skiing- that's super!

    @Mitten My mom leaves for FL (Snowbird) Jan. 5 and kinda wanted to be here (I was with her during her TKR Jun 29 @ the age of 83 - which is when I stumbled upon BoneSmart). And, I want to be feeling good by May 5 for my stepdaughters wedding! My mom was 73 on her first TKR... she would advise to not wait until you're 83 that's for sure, but she doesn't regret either and she's doing very well.
     
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  7. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    @skigirl -- Great suggestion. We're in the midst of building a new home and I've been very involved in the details. I've already alerted our builder and designer that we'll have to handle as much as possible before my surgery, and, since our new home is 250 miles away, we'll deal with the rest via email or Skype. I've already started preparing our current home for my post op rehab, and have already read some good tips here.

    @jaschembra -- your mom sounds like one strong woman! First surgery at 73 and second at 83...sounds like some sort of record!!


    Sent from my iPad using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  8. ACDCJen

    ACDCJen Graduate

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    I am so glad you decided to have tkr @Mitten . Had mine 5.5 weeks ago and I knew as soon as I woke up that it was the right decision. The post-surgical pain has never been as bad as it was before. I think it is a good thing to remember that your original knee is only going to continue to get worse. I was born with bad knees, but waited and had to deal with very bad knees for 20 years. I feel noone should have to endure pain as bad as those of us with bad knees are sometimes asked to. Getting a new knee will open up and give you your life back!!!

    @jaschembra I am 39 and having my knee replaced has been one of the best things to happen to me this year. I will have the other one done by the end of the year too. Age is just a number!! You will be very informed and ready by the time you have your surgery!!

    Jen
     
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  9. NightQuilter

    NightQuilter Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi @Mitten and @jaschembra and welcome to BoneSmart. Once you recognize the pain you've endured is affecting the way you want to live, having the surgery is the right decision. And as Jen said, age is irrelevant. I had my hips replaced at 52 and knees at 62 - the body needs what it needs ... when it needs it. You've both tried everything short of surgery, but now it is time to move forward.

    Mitten, I too had developed a very severe valgus - where the knees bow in. One hint for your pre-op prep - see what exercises you can do now to start to stretch the IT bands - the long muscles on the outer sides of your thighs. I found that because of the bowing inwards, those muscles/tendons were effectively shortened. I experienced a good bit of tightness and discomfort there post-replacement because the OS had straightened my legs, thus stretching those babies again! Oww! :badspidy:One might be to cross one foot in front of the other and lean sideways into that hip - using support of course. Also, laying on your back, cross one leg over to the other side and try to hold it steady - using a belt or towel to support that foot would be a good idea to help protect your lower back.
     
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  10. DebM

    DebM Senior

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    Hi @Mitten. I am having a bilateral tkr two days after you and I am at the point of counting the days. My life is so ruled and narrowed by my knees even to the point of not enjoying shopping anymore (shock, horror)!
    @jaschembra I am only a year or so older than you. I was a late bloomer and have teenage kids and hate not being able to do things with them because in a few years they will be off doing there own thing. Also hubby and I want to travel, which will be miserable the way things are. My OS said you might need to get them redone in 20 years to which I replied I could be dead then lol!
     
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  11. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    @NightQuilter: I am also aka Lynn! Thanks for the suggestion about the IT bands. I forgot that previous PT sessions had me working on those as well as the quads, etc. I will add those stretches to my routine.

    @DebM -- I am definitely counting the days (TKR minus 80 as of today). I too found myself avoiding even simple tasks like grocery shopping, walking the dogs...I'm still too young to have my world closing in on me! I have to smile about your comment of wanting to travel and seeing that you're in Australia as one of my motivations for this surgery is the fact that high on my bucket list is a trip to Australia and NZ. As of now, we have it penciled in for February 2018.
     
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  12. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    I doubt it unless your present weight is around 350/400lbs!
     
  13. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    @Josephine -- Thanks for your message. No, I've been carrying around about 50 extra pounds for years and have already lost 13 pounds in the past several months (I think I was unintentionally emotionally preparing myself for the surgery.) I would like to finally get rid of the other 37 pounds, and hope that becoming more mobile will help me.
     
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  14. skigirl

    skigirl Moderator

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    I agree that it will help the mobility. I will only say one thing, the immediate post op period when you body is healing, it needs lot of protein to heal. I drank protein drinks and was very careful what I ate since I did not have much of an appetite. It is not a good time to be "on a diet".

    Also, I found that if I ate a cracker with peanut butter when I took my meds, I did not get nausea. Opiods do not work well on an empty stomach.
     
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  15. jaschembra

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    @skigirl 4-6 weeks prior to my surgery my OS asks that you have additional protein with each meal. I have good, low carb, protein powder for smoothies and I plan on having the instant bottles and bars. I'll continue those after as well to keep the protein coming in with no preparation time. Thanks for the PB and crackers idea. It was amazing how much my mother lost her appetite and I would remind her of some simple "stay with you" snacks.

    @Mitten good job with the weight loss. I'm trying to really focus this next month since Dec. is always my hardest month to maintain/lose. I'm a "free" Weight Watcher but I'm right at my goal and would like to be 5lbs under. I lost 52 lbs. for myself and my knees. It didn't make the pain go away - but I have no idea how I would be getting around today if I was still carrying it! Now a days when I lift horse or chicken feed (40-50 lbs) - I can't believe the pressure I was placing on my knees.
     
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  16. julesm86

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    Hi @Mitten~~we met today at your pre op appt with Jamie Biotti! :wave: You'll be in my thots & prayers with your up coming TKR and thru your recovery! So happy you're here on BS!~~such a great resource & also wonderful people to cheer you on, answer questions & support you thru it all! Take care!
    Julie
     
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  17. Mitten

    Mitten Junior Member
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    Thanks for the good wishes, Julie. Have to be at the hospital tomorrow at 5:45 am for surgery at 7:50 am. Then, I'm on my way to a healthier future.


    Sent from my iPad using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  18. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor

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    Best wishes for tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you on the recovery side.
     
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