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New knees on 9/11

Mutti3

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I forgot to add, when I asked my OS when can I return to work knowing I worked from home. He told me 6-8 weeks. I needed every minute of it!
 
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Rhodyrhody

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Brutal...almost feel like I've been set up...reconsideration in order.

Thanks for the f/b everyone.
 

Celle

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Why would my doc have said 'couple weeks'...? It's not like he needs my business...
Because he's never had a knee replacement himself?

Take it from those of us who have - I've had three knee replacements - the first month is hard. You will need those pain pills. Almost all of your energy will be directed towards healing your knee and there will be precious little left for anything else.

You will also have "brain fog", a mixture of reaction to surgery, anaesthetics, and trauma. Most of us find that we can't concentrate long enough to read more than a short magazine article. Don't do anything with finances or make any big decisions for at least a couple of months.

Certainly, you can do an hour or two once the first couple of weeks are over, but that's about all.
 
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Rhodyrhody

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Because he's never had a knee replacement himself?

Take it from those of us who have - I've had three knee replacements - the first month is hard. You will need those pain pills. Almost all of your energy will be directed towards healing your knee and there will be precious little left for anything else.

You will also have "brain fog", a mixture of reaction to surgery, anaesthetics, and trauma. Most of us find that we can't concentrate long enough to read more than a short magazine article. Don't do anything with finances or make any big decisions for at least a couple of months.

Certainly, you can do an hour or two once the first couple of weeks are over, but that's about all.
Understood that he's (probably) not had a TKR himself. But...if I'm a professional, doing major surgery on people's bodies...everyday...I want feedback on how they are recovering. ==> What they can do and when?...so I can share it with other patients. Or, is that just not how these folks operate?
 

Celle

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I think a lot of surgeons truly don't realise how much of a grind recovery can be. They only see you about 3-4 times post-op, probably for about 20 minutes maximum. They know that your knee is mechanically good-to-go, but they don't realise the toll this major surgery takes on the rest of your body.

Others, knowing that your knee really does need replacing, don't say recovery takes a long time, because they don't want to frighten you off much-needed surgery.

Before you consider postponing or cancelling surgery, remember that without the surgery your knee is never going to get any better than it is now. It will continue to deteriorate and hurt more and more.
 

SusieShoes

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I think orthopedic surgeons try to be upfront about recovery — as they understand it. They come at this from a very different perspective than we, the patients, do and unless they’ve had the surgery themselves are unlikely to fully understand *how* recovery affects people. They’re excellent at setting forth physical recovery guidelines such as “you will walk with a cane at three weeks and be off the cane by six weeks.” My surgeon was very accurate with that one. But surgeons whiff on predicting things like brain fog and the intense exhaustion of recovery. I will admit that when I saw my surgeon for follow-ups I never mentioned those things! Those visits were all about knee function. I suspect that happens with most patient visits and surgeons just don’t hear about some things.

@Rhodyrhody you can try to return to work early. You may find you can do some work. You may find you cannot do any. I also work from home with a laptop. It’s possible to set yourself up and have a go at it without upending your recovery. In that sense you have an advantage over someone with a physical job such as mechanic, or someone who must commute. Commuting takes a huge physical toll. The toll you are looking at will be tiredness and brain fog that might impact your productivity and work quality.

Having bilateral replacements also means we have MORE exhaustion. In bilateral replacements the body is healing two TKRs, so there’s more of a drain on our energy. Our bodies are truly working overtime.

I don’t recall seeing what kind of work you do. Are you your own boss? If so, you have another advantage (as well as other pressures!). If you have a boss, discuss your situation and what work load you can take on. It’s best to go back to work without having unreasonable expectations, including those you put on yourself. You can always up your game if you find things going well.
 

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@Rhodyrhody you are so lucky to have a handicap tag. I wish I had one now. My surgery is not until Oct 30 and my knee is really getting really bad. I hope I can hold on till then. Just reading about different the recoveries has helped me formulate my recovery time. I plan on taking the week of surgery and all of November. No work no thinking about work just working to recover . I am hoping to get on the computer possibly part-time if I am able to in December, but not setting my hopes up high. All we can do is wait and see how things go. I have always been so inpatient but my terrible knee has taught me to slow down and smell the roses whether I want to or not!:whistle:
 

lovetocookandsew

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@Gingercat Why don't you have a temporary disabled tag? I was getting them every six months because I could barely navigate before my first TKR. My OS signed the form each time and I went to the DMV to get it. But that got to be too difficult so while seeing my PCP for something, mentioned it to her, she read my records, then gave me a permanent form after the TKR went south, so I have a disabled plate. I'm hoping to not need to use it anymore after this recovery, but if I do, it'll still be there.
 

Gingercat

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Thanks @lovetocookandsew I am going to do that. I am hoping to hear back today from OS . Hoping to get a steroid injection set up. I know it's not going to provide great relief but at least take the edge off the pain.
 
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Rhodyrhody

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@Rhodyrhody you are so lucky to have a handicap tag. I wish I had one now. My surgery is not until Oct 30 and my knee is really getting really bad. I hope I can hold on till then. Just reading about different the recoveries has helped me formulate my recovery time. I plan on taking the week of surgery and all of November. No work no thinking about work just working to recover . I am hoping to get on the computer possibly part-time if I am able to in December, but not setting my hopes up high. All we can do is wait and see how things go. I have always been so inpatient but my terrible knee has taught me to slow down and smell the roses whether I want to or not!:whistle:
I had no plans to use it until post surgery...But, the way it's starting to look, that might not happen for a while...
Wish I could give you mine!
 

Celle

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Hoping to get a steroid injection set up. I know it's not going to provide great relief but at least take the edge off the pain.
@Gingercat - I see your surgery is planned for October. Most surgeons won't operate if you have had a steroid injection within the previous 3 months. So, if you're going to get the steroid injection, it had better be soon!
 

Gingercat

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Thank you @Rhodyrhody and @Celle for your good wishes. I hope my OS allows the injection. Even though not sure what it's impact will be. I have an appt on Friday. Last one I got was in November. Maybe that has helped build up my pain tolerance only dealing with tylenol as I am not supposed to be using nsaids. I haven't killed anyone yet lol. I know I am not that much fun to be around. I do try to be positive. :groan:
 
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Rhodyrhody

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@beachy
@Rhodyrhody
Can you think about having the knees done 1 at a time? Will that make it easier to rtw?
It might be, but, I think in my first post I wrote that I needed them both done and was pretty sure it was going to hurt. And because of that I'd probably never go back for the second. After reading for a few weeks, yeah...as long as I have a choice, there's no way I'm doing this twice.

I'm already at 'is it really that bad?' phase - Wen I sit at my desk, in a comfortable chair (with wheels no less :egypdance:), which is most of the time, they don't bother me at all. If I walk to the post office or a couple blocks after that though, they hurt quite a bit. I don't do enough to where they swell much, but it hurts - sharp pain + dull pain + ache, all at the same time sometimes. Then, sit down and they're fine within 5-10 minutes.

So, most of the time, they don't hurt. But, anytime I want to do anything fun that requires any walking (hello, 'pretty much everything') they hurt. Was significant to even start down this road, because I don't do pain well at all. But, we have season tickets for basketball and that walk from the parking lot to arena to seat has been killer on my knees for more than a year. And, I am even worse with 'future medically induced' pain (if that's a thing, pretty sure it is*). So, if possible, once is more than enough.:scaredycat:


*True story...before I had my first knee steroid injection, I asked the (female PA) if it was ok if I screamed like a baby when she gave me the shot. A (male) PA popped his head in the door and said, "Absolutely not, there's other men around here, you'll embarrass us." Of course, it didn't hurt, but I had two in the shoulders a couple years ago that both felt like liquid fire injections. And even though those in the shoulder were awesomely effective, I will NEVER ever forget how much they hurt.
:loll:
 

beachy

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Then it appears that you are on the horns of a dilemma. One that you can only solve yourself. If you gotta work, you gotta work. If you want to walk...well :shrug:.
Pray on it and you’ll get an answer. Might have to reschedule but, you’ll be at peace with your decision. And see if your OS has any suggestions.
That’s all I got Rhody.
 
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Rhodyrhody

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Pray on it is exactly what we're going to keep doing. At this point, I'm thinking it's still happening and there'll be some wrestling over things in the maybe 3-4 week area. Could be some work conflict, but, I really want to walk pain-free, and September (to me) seems the optimal month to go for it.
 

Laurenkate

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It sounds like everyone goes through the "it's not really bad enough yet" to have the surgery. One other thing to consider though is that bad, bone on bone knees can be manageable for months and then suddenly deteriorate almost overnight. I was hoping to hold off until January for my second surgery but had a Baker's cyst burst behind it which literally crippled me for 3 days. We had a few things we had to do so the OS gave me a cortisone shot and suggested I have the surgery done as soon as three months had passed because the knee was so bad. My husband talked me into doing it now which was the right decision for us.

The other thing I've decided a tkr or btkr is like is planning for retirement. It would be much easier to know how to plan for retirement if we knew how long we were going to live afterwards. :) :-) (:If you knew what you'll feel like 3 weeks afterwards or what you'll feel like if you don't have the surgery now, it would make planning easier, wouldn't it? Good luck with your decision; you'll make the best one for you.
 

beachy

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Pray on it is exactly what we're going to keep doing. At this point, I'm thinking it's still happening and there'll be some wrestling over things in the maybe 3-4 week area. Could be some work conflict, but, I really want to walk pain-free, and September (to me) seems the optimal month to go for it.
Bingo!
 

79newknees

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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!

I was under the impression each knee is donee as a completely separate operation, because of infection?
 

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