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New knees on 9/11

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Rhodyrhody, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Rhodyrhody

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    Was referred to this board by someone else...have all kinds of anxiety, but, needing both knees replaced, made the decision to have both done at once. Have had knee pain and it's gotten to the point where, since about January, am not able to do my near daily 3 mile walk....and walking just about anywhere....hurts. Sleeping/rolling over...hurts. Too much annoying pain is dragging down my quality of life. When I met with my doctor's PA, she said that, pretty immediately after surgery, they'll have me stand, and I won't feel pressure/grinding in my knees...that sounds soooo good...nervous as all get out, though....

    Getting both done at once, since I'm pretty sure it's going to be painful. If I did one at a time, I'd probably never get the second one done.

    What are the most important pre-surgery things to keep in mind? Anything I can do before surgery that will hasten recovery after surgery?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Rhodyrhody - and :welome:

    I see that you've already joined the September Sapphires. That's great.
    It's a good idea to get to know your fellow BoneSmarties who will be getting new joints that month. We've found that it helps to have a group of folks who are going through surgery and do it as a team....helping and supporting each other.

    Here is some reading, to help you prepare for your 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
     
  3. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You are a wise, wise man. :wink: I'm biased because that's what I did.

    No more painful than getting one knee done. I'm serious. TKR is a painful surgery but two knees is not so much twice as much pain as it is that the pain is in two places. Both knees will hurt instead of just one. The good news: you'll get through the pain just as quickly as the person with one TKR.

    Same here. Seemed sensible to just remove that possibility. :scary:

    Stay healthy. Don't want to have to reschedule that surgery! Also you can use this time to set up your recovery nest: stockpile favorite munchies and beverages, arrange for food delivery (if you need to do this), get a recliner if you don't already have one (and want one), make your house TKR friendly, and purchase those recovery aids you will need. The reading above includes some suggestions and you will find discussions about recovery aids in this area.

    Also, you can ask questions here should any arise! :ok:

    There's nothing you can do to hasten recovery short of creating the best possible environment in which it can take place. That said, you can do a few helpful exercises: I did quad exercises ahead of surgery and feel they helped a little (they did not hasten recovery, just made my quads a bit stronger).

    I WISH I had done upper body exercises! I could have used stronger arms, shoulders and better abs. Mine sure got a workout heaving my body around after surgery. :groan:
     
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  4. Rhodyrhody

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    My doctor is saying I'll go home 2-4 days after surgery. Master bed/bath, kitchen, etc are all on the first floor....and my wife will be here 24/7 to take care of me. I will have GREAT support. I have a desk job, and really want to get back to it as soon as possible...doctor's office is saying it'll mostly depend on whether I'm still using narcotics. Am guessing it's different for everyone, but curious what is a reasonable time frame. (They told me I didn't want to be trying to work when I was all loopy...I told them not to be too sure about that :heehee:) Does, surgery on 9/11...work on 9/21 seem way too aggressive?
     
  5. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, that's much too soon to even think about going back to work.

    We usually recommend taking about 12 weeks off (not 10 days) and then doing a Phased return to work

    This is major surgery you're contemplating, not having an ingrown toenail fixed. And you're having both knees done, too.
    You have no idea how draining that is going to be.

    Even though you have a desk job, it is still very taxing for new knees.
    This is what Josephine wrote about the additional activity imposed by going back to work - apart from the work itself.
    My friend, Will, boasts that he went back to work 2 weeks after a TKR. He genuinely believes now that he had no problems and no complications - he isn't trying deliberately to deceive anyone.
    The truth of it is this:
    • Although he did go back to work so early, he did it in a wheelchair.
    • His wife helped him get up, washed and dressed, and she drove him to and from work.
    • He stopped taking pain medications, saying they were "for Sissies".
    • Consequently, he was in pain and grumpy all day.
    • His colleagues wished he had stayed at home.
    • He rested in bed all the time, except when at work.
    • His wife waited on him, hand and foot.
    • By the time he was really recovered, his wife was a worn-out wreck.
    He doesn't tell the full story, because he doesn't remember it.
    He thinks he had a fast, uncomplicated recovery, and that's what he tells people.

    Be sensible. Do yourself, your knees, and your colleagues a favour, and stay home for much longer than you are contemplating.
     
  6. ArmyVet

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    Honestly, as a recent TKR myself, I can tell you about my recovery. Do NOT count on going to work 10 days after surgery--even with a desk job!!! I tried- I have an easy part time job, where I sit and sell tickets, and the shifts are short- like 3 hours or so. It took 3 weeks for me to make it without hurting so bad, I was crying. You will want to wait until you are off the heavy painkillers, so your brain isn't fuzzy. Sitting for too long/Standing for too long will affect how your knee feels. You will need to move every so often, and you will need to ice and keep toes above nose a lot!! Don't rush going back to work. You will hear that often in here. Recovery from TKR, which is a MAJOR surgery, takes TIME. It's not a quick go in have it done, and go back to normal in 10 days type surgery. Also know that sleep is your friend, and sometimes you won't be able to do that for a full night, so that will be another obstacle before you go back to work!!

    Others will be here to tell you their experiences, but this is mine. I am 6 weeks post op.
     
  7. Rhodyrhody

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    I forgot to mention...I'm fortunate that I work from home. It's about 10 steps from my bed to my office...and I have a very flexible schedule. I don't have to leave the house....get dressed, take a shower, most of the things on Josephine's list. I could actually work in my bed now that I think of it, or from a recliner, or set up my desk/chair however I want... So, am assuming that should shorten it 'some'? (Insert hopeful face here --> ______)
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Even working from home can be taxing.
    Apart from the effects of pain and narcotics, you are likely to have "brain fog" for several weeks. Thar makes it hard to concentrate. I am an avid reader and I had stored up some books to read, but it was well over a month before I could concentrate long enough to read anything but a short magazine article.

    You shouldn't make any important decisions for a while, or have anything to do with finances.

    I also worked from home and I did sit up in bed and deal with emails after about 2 weeks, but it was about 6 weeks before I could do any serious work, and then it was only for a couple of hours each day.
     
  9. Mutti3

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    I work from home as well. Went back at eight weeks, it was still not easy.
     
  10. SusieShoes

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    It might. I work from home. I thought, "No problem. A few days and I'll be back on the keyboard."

    Um. No. It didn't happen that way. I had great support at home; I had all the tools. My brain is my best friend.

    Too bad my brain didn't work right for several weeks. Oh, I could do all the ordinary things: eat, move, carry on a reasonable conversation with my husband and any other human being I encountered. Those first couple weeks, though, I slept 75% of my usual waking hours. When I was awake, my mind wandered. I had the attention span of a gnat. In fact, a gnat probably had more. And then there was brain fog...

    Even after I stopped taking narcotics at three weeks, I wasn't thinking as quickly and clearly as usual. I couldn't pull words from my memory as easily; I couldn't create the documents I needed to create. I created... documents. But they were far from my usual level of complexity. Complexity was out of reach. Things would slip. Where I could juggle five metaphorical work balls before, I was lucky I could juggle three. Worse, I'd occasionally drop one.

    The brain fog cleared up around month three. What a relief! I was back! But it did take three months.

    You may have a completely different experience. And you may well be able to perform your job at an passable level early on. If you can, though, give yourself the leeway to pace your work to your ability to do the job. It's not just the knee: it's the brain. Your whole body is recovering!
     
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  11. Rhodyrhody

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    OK...lots to think about...thanks for the input!
     
  12. Rhodyrhody

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    The PA at my OS office told me that, the surgery, both knees, will likely be completed in about one hour and 20 minutes. They told me that the OS will do one knee and that the PA will close that one while he does the other.

    I'm not complaining, but in comparison to what I've been reading here..that seems REALLY fast, doesn't it?
    Sounds like he has a lot of experience. PA indicated that he's done between 800 and 1000 or so, does 7-10 per week sometimes and has done hundreds of bilateral. Am just wondering if it can really be done that quickly?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  13. SusieShoes

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    Yep, that’s how long it takes. :)

    Mr. Shoes was expecting my surgery would take two or three hours. When the surgeon came to talk to him after an hour and fifteen minutes, my poor husband feared it was because I’d died. Nope. Surgery was complete and I was in recovery.

    As Mr. Shoes asked, “What did he do? Teleport them in?”
     
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  14. beachy

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    My doc said same thing today. I about fell off the chair. He didn't say PA closed incision, but wouldn't surprise me.
     
  15. Rhodyrhody

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    Fine with me...get in, get out and start the next part of the journey. My surgery is near the end of the day, so, I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot more time waiting/getting hungry/cranky than in surgery. We live less than 5 miles from the hospital, have already told my wife to feel free to skip that part...just drop me off, leave me with something to read, go home, meet me with a 6-pack after...
    :martini:
     
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  16. beachy

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    I’d also like to thank you for your service! My son is a Marine.
     
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  17. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Well that's really going some! However, one has to remember that a surgeon's year is not necessarily 52 weeks long. They can have vacations, study weeks and so on, often amounting to about 8 weeks out of each year and at a 5 day week would also equal a 44 week year. Assuming they work a 5 day week, that would further equate to around 4 or 5 cases per day. Which would be doable but day after day for a whole year would be punishing. I've known surgeons who do that kind of thing but sometimes they have access to two operating rooms so they can work them in tandem.

    Such a routine goes like this:
    Theatre 1: patient #1 is taken into theatre and positioned and prepped on the table at which point the surgeon comes in and does the important bit! Then he closes the wound and leaves the staff to dress the wound, strip off the drapes and get the patient into recovery. Immediately after, that team gets patient #3 into theatre and positioned and prepped ready for the surgeon to return.
    Theatre 2: while he's doing patient #1, another team is getting patient #2 positioned and prepped so she is ready for surgeon to come and operate.
    In this was, the surgeon can switch between theatres and get through about 4-6 cases in an afternoon/morning.

    However, in the UK, surgeons have completed that number of cases in a morning or afternoon with just one theatre and team!

    It should also be noted that bilats can be done more quickly as they will prep and drape both legs at the same time and there will be no clear up between the two!
     
  18. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    At my hospital they did a lot of things like getting the IV going etc. before they ever took me down to the OR. So yeah, the surgery isn't super long but the prep and post op adds a bit of time.
     
  19. Rhodyrhody

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    Reality edging closer...handicap tag for the car has arrived. (Much quicker than I thought, or needed)
     
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  20. SusieShoes

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    If you have that tag, use it. I wish I’d had mine earlier; I applied a few days after surgery and got it two weeks later, in time for when I started driving again but...

    I think I used it (truly needed it) for only three months. By the third month I was walking much better and in much less pain than before surgery! It would have been really nice to have that placard when my knees were so painful and crippled before the surgery, especially those weeks when I wasn’t allowed to take my usual painkillers.
     

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