Bilateral TKR Newbie

AngelaRose

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Hi all! I’m new here, and happy to have found you. I had both knees replaced 6/23. How are all of you doing with recovery and PT?
 

sistersinhim

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@AngelaRose, welcome to Bonesmart! :flwrysmile: You have found the best place to find out all about knee replacements. You'll have those who have had the surgery to help you through it and be able to share ups and downs with people that had the surgery around the same time that you did. I have added your surgery date to your signature. Knowing this helps us to be better able to advise you. I will also add you to the June Sunbeams Recovery Thread. You'll find all those that had their surgery in June there. But, don't post there, post here on your own recovery thread!

The following are our basic guidelines and should help get you started. As you read more on other members' recovery threads, you’ll get a better perspective of what to expect and what not to do, especially regarding PT.

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now; they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​
3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs


The Recovery articles:
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling
Heel slides and how to do them properly
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Healing: how long does it take?

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

There are also some cautionary articles here
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
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AngelaRose

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Thank you so much for all of the reference materials. I’m really looking forward to digging in!
 

sistersinhim

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You'll hear all kinds of suggestions outside of Bonesmart that will tell you that you have to push through the pain, and that you have to be bent at a certain bend at a certain time. This is not correct. We have the experience of thousands of TKR recovering patients and have developed what has worked the best for the vast majority of patients. Each knee is different for each person and their recovery rate is different. You'll probably find one of your knees will recover slower than the other one. That happens all the time! One knee maybe had to have had more work done to it, traumatizing the soft tissues more than the other one.

Another difference you'll find is our view on PT. We suggest gentle movements only for most everyone. Of course, a few people do OK with aggressive PT, but that's few and far between. Many of us never took formal PT or did exercises. I am one of them. I had 12 knee surgeries, 2 of them kneecap removals, and 1 tkr. Even after those I never took formal PT. But, I didn't just sit around and do nothing. I used my knee as it was intended to be used by walking around to take care of my daily needs. As I healed I was able to do more. Icing and elevation were a huge part of my recovery.

Listen to your knee. It will tell you if you're doing too much by increased pain and swelling. When that happened to me, I found that resting, icing, and elevating helped. Your knee knows how to rehab itself without being told what to do. Just use it naturally.
 

Jamie

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Hi, @AngelaRose and welcome to the BoneSmart forum! I understand you came to us via Twitter, so we're glad to know that people can find us that way. I hope your recovery is going well so far. Now that you're a June Sunbeam, you'll have a whole team of June surgery buddies to chat with if you like. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about your surgery here in your recovery thread. Post your updates and progress here too and this thread will become a journal of your recovery. We all benefit from reading about how you get along. And....we'll be here to celebrate :loveshwr: those little milestones with you. We celebrate even the small stuff like driving again, your first outing without a walker or cane, pretty much anything!
 

Mamamoe

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AngelaRose,

I am having a bilateral knee replacement on July 14; how is your recovery going and how was it right after surgery.

Needless to say I am pretty nervous.,
 
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AngelaRose

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Hi! I am so happy for you! For me, this has been a miracle.
I’m guessing you are in probably the same spot I was in pre-op. I had to psych myself up to go to the grocery store. Vacuuming was torture. Just everyday life felt unfair. That’s how I knew it was time.

I was in the queue to be scheduled when COVID-19 happened and everything shut down. I was devastated. Then I fell in the shower and was really scared. I tell you all this so you know how excited I was when I got a call out of the blue that there was an opening in 12 days and to start getting ready. If I had more time I would have been more nervous but I was too busy to think up til the last couple of days, thankfully.

The day of, I arrived at the hospital with my bestie at 10am, and I was in back by 10:45 and they were writing on my legs. Once they gave me “a little something to take the edge off” I remember nothing until I woke up in recovery. They’d given me a spinal which I didn’t feel, and something to send me to LaLa land. They did great.

When I woke up I still couldn’t feel anything and called several people apparently to tell them how wonderful it all was LOL.

The next morning I woke up and the spinal was all gone, and I had some feeling, but not much pain. I had issues with low blood pressure in the hospital so I stayed 2 extra days. That was fine with me. Once they got it regulated I felt really good.

Best advice I can give for the hospital is to take the pain meds when offered. I regretted turning them down once. Don’t be a hero. Time for that later.

PT came to my room twice a day every day starting the second day. They were wonderful and gave me an idea of what to do to prevent blood clots (it’s not hard) and to start using the joints.

I’ve probably said way more than you wanted to hear but by day 11, I’m up and about the house without the walker (slowly) and super happy I did it.

I know you will do great. If there happens to be anything I didn’t just blurt our that I can answer I’m really happy to. I’m just so thrilled to get back to life!!! Best of luck!! I will check in with you once your procedure is done
 

pamsknees

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Hi @AngelaRose
congrats on getting your new knees! I had mine the day before the shut down so had no PT as it was all shut down. Mine has done great & my surgeon said no need for PT when I went for my follow up visit. I hope you do wonderfully as well
 
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AngelaRose

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Hi Pamsknees,

that’s great news!Your timing was lucky, and I’m good to hear no PT didn’t slow you down. How are you getting around now that it’s been 3 and a half months? Any stiffness? I’m curious about what to expect. Thank you for sharing!

Ang
 

NightQuilter

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Welcome to BoneSmart @AngelaRose! I am delighted that 12 days post-op you are doing so well. I trust that will continue. Must admit to being a bit jealous you successfully had both knees done the same day. I was scheduled to, but my body had different plans. They woke me up after the first knee due to low blood oxygen levels. Got back in for the left knee 7 weeks later. I had both hips done in one sitting (as it were), and really appreciated having only one recovery to attend to.

Looking forward to hearing more of your progress!
 
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AngelaRose

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Wow Nightquilter! That’s quite a journey you’ve had. I do feel fortunate to have had them done at once. But you’ve done your hips too!! How are all those parts working now.? Everything good? I have to say, I overdid things yesterday, so I’m taking it slower today but I’m still doing well. Have a wonderful day!
 

NightQuilter

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Ah, we do need to be careful about overdoing when we are feeling good! I am so happy to say that my 17 year old hips and my 7 year old knees are all doing quite well! I only wish the same for everyone. And when I saw my OS 2 years ago, he thought everything looked good and I probably had another 15 years in my hips. :dancy: I figured by then I will be so busy drooling I won't care! lol! Nope - I'll be getting a revision then to get me through the next 20 or so years! :rotfl:
 

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