Questions about having 2nd TKR after 1st


Dec 2, 2016
United States United States
I had my LTKR on December 8 which is 3 weeks ago today. From the therapist to the doctor, they seem to think that I am doing well. ROM is at 115 and extension is 5. My trouble with doing some of the things the therapist wants me to do is that the right knee creaks like old floor boards. It needs replaced soon.

I know that some of you have followed your TKR with the second at various times, but am wondering if you made the decision to have the other knee replacement done at a certain point, or did your surgeon make that decision?

I want to get my right knee done soon and the surgeon told me that we will discuss it at my 5 week check up. Did the second knee recuperation go as well even though you had one new knee? I live alone, but my son stayed with me for 5 days after surgery to get me settled into a routine I could handle alone. At this point, I'm considering having my second knee replacement done at 10 to 12 weeks after my first.

Looking for advice, information, etc that those of you have following the first surgery to the second. Thanks. Ginger P
I had my second knee done 6 weeks after the first one. It was my choice. My doctor said he would do the second one 5 or 6 weeks after the first if I wanted it. My first knee was recovered enough at 6 weeks to allow it to take over for the second knee when it was done. The first knee got a bit more sore, but it wasn't a major problem. It was easier than getting both at once - I think that would have been a lot harder. I did not want to wait any longer than I had to to get the second one done. Since it takes up to a year to fully recover, I didn't want to go through another year of recovery for the second knee. Having both knees done at once or as close as possible cuts a lot of time out of the recovery phase. I am glad I had it done this way.
@GingerP ... you'll notice that I've moved your thread to the pre-op forum. Since you are primiarily talking about a new second surgery, it is more appropriate here.

You are doing well with your first TKR and I think you'll find it will do just fine when you have your second one done. We've had people with staged TKRs anywhere from a few days after the first one to several months or even a year. It all depends on what your surgeon prefers to do and how you feel about the prospects of another surgery. If you're ready, I'm betting your surgeon will accommodate your wishes. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well you'll do with two new knees. After all, lots of folks have bi-lateral surgery (both at the same time) and recover just fine.
@GingerP - since you had your TKR quite recently, I'll give you the BoneSmart recovery reading list. There's lots of useful information in there.
First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist (PT) - to do it to you. exercise only gently
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!
- be active as much as you need to be but not more than is necessary, meaning so much that you end up being in pain, exhausted or desperate to sit down or lie down!

Next is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread.

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Energy drain for TKRs

Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Activity progression for TKRs
Heel slides and how to do them

Extension: how to estimate it and ways to improve it

Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?
I did mine 4 weeks apart. While not for the faint of heart it was manageable. That being said, I have had virtually no issues with pain, sleeplessness or post op blues. I have followed the mantras to a T. With the second one I did need help into the second week. My Hubby had to go back to work but I put out the call to my girlfriends and I had knee sitters during the day for the second week while he was away. The great thing is that it's DONE! We are off to Hawaii for 5 weeks on January 6th. It will be nice to continue to recover minus the snow, ice and fridges temperatures. I hope to be back on my horse by February 15th.
@GingerP. I'm in recovery from my second tkr. The first was 7-27-15 and the most recent was 10-12-16. I originally wanted them done at the same time, but my surgeon doesn't do bilaterals. He wanted my thoroughly recovered from #1 before he did #2. The second surgery was pushed up after my unoperated knee gave away for no reason and I took a nasty fall. The pain started to get worse and I couldn't enjoy the benefits of the replaced knee.

I can tell you that your second knee will dictate when it's ready to be replaced. The first surgery and recovery were a piece of cake, I was only on pain meds for about 3 weeks. This surgery went well, but the recovery has been different. I developed a fracture blister at the incision site, from the trauma of surgery, a bloody fluid filled blister appeared and took 3 weeks to resolve. I was on pain meds for over 2 months. My PT is great but exhausting, my ROM is 123/-3. My knee is still warm and the scar is numb.

I now know bilateral wasn't for me. I live alone and did have lots of help from friends and family. The staging of my two replacements were perfect. Have fun in Hawaii!

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
am wondering if you made the decision to have the other knee replacement done at a certain point, or did your surgeon make that decision?
Well, first the surgeon told me that my knees were at a stage where he was prepared to operate but when was entirely up to me. First time around it was about 2 months before I felt it was time and I then had to wait another 3 months for the date. Second time, I wasn't prepared to hang around so much and got in earlier. Perhaps you'd like to read my recovery thread to see how I did both times! Knee recoveries UK style Parts I & II (Josephine)
I had mine exactly a year apart and wish I had done them either together or back-to-back.
I'm trying to decide about that right now. I had my original TKR and then a full revision on that knee 8 months later. Now that my knee is strong I'm feeling my old knee holding me back. I would like to take care of that right now but I have to balance that with work.
I am having my second knee replaced day after tomorrow which will be exactly 15 weeks from the first one. I am very glad I am almost there, because my left knee has gotten worse very fast. It went from being the one I could rely on after having the right one replaced, to being so painful I can barely stand to walk on it and sometimes buckling, within the last few weeks.
Thank you for posting this question. I am 11 months out from my tkr which went beautifully and suddenly in the last month my “real” knee has been in extreme pain. It buckled last night and after an ER visit it seems like the process is beginning again- sigh-I wonder why both knees get so affected? I think many people have had both knees done successfully. And we all have to remember- it’s about quality of life. Best of luck.
I scheduled mine at the same time, 10 weeks apart. So I knew my second surgery was looming the day of the first. I could have gone as soon as 6w but I pushed it back a month bc if a trip I had planned. I'm glad I did, bc my first knee was way more involved and I had a harder than usual recovery and lots of weakness in that leg (still). It prob would not have been ready to take over at 6w. 10w was hard but doable.

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