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Ready for January RTKR

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by CAdesgirl, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    I saw my ortho Monday and the insurance company approved the surgery yesterday. I guess miracles do happen. My tale is probably not much different than many of you. I have struggled with my right knee really for 25 years since I took a fall. I've had 3 arthroscopic procedures from 1993-2010 to remove or smooth out the cartilage.

    During the one in 2010, the doctor found that 80% of the cartilage had delaminated from the back of the knee cap and had to be removed. I dealt with it until 2013 when I started having excessive fluid buildup and pain. In July 2013, I had ACI (Cartilage Implantation) and an osteotomy. The surgery was successful but the healing was not. I ended up with an open wound that never healed. In fact, got to the point where you could see the bone (I have thin legs) In December 2013, I had muscle-flap surgery with a skin graft with an amazing reconstructive surgeon. Thankfully, while he was in doing the surgery, he checked for infection. Two days later, he came in to inform me that I had MRSA in one of the screw holes (the one that had been exposed for 5 months). 4 more surgeries and 6 months worth of antibiotics, we felt like we had the MRSA beat. Fast forward to mid-2017, the knee starts really bothering me again. I've had a fair amount of pain in the knee/leg region but some of it was from the nerve damage from the muscle flap and some of it, I thought was the osteotomy that changed the position of bone.

    I've tried cortisone, sinvisc, rest, ice, elevation, strength training, water areobics... all to no avail. So the only option left is the TKR. The MRI showed grade 4 chrondromalacia with signficant denudation because the patella didn't track right (part of the problem is due to a genetic disorder).

    I really didn't expect to post this long but, in reading your posts, I thought I might find someone on here that understands the combination of excitement and terror combined. I felt lucky 4 years ago when I felt some confidence that I would lose my leg due to the MRSA. I'm desperate to live a normal life with less constant pain. I know the chance of infection is low but I'm petrified to have an open surgery again.
     
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  2. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @CAdesgirl Welcome to BoneSmart!
    We have all been in this space my friend. Even those of us who have had multiple joints replaced. Of course you are scared. No one likes to face the prospect of major surgery. And given your long journey - I fully understand your concerns.

    Stick with us here. Do some reading in the recovery area. Keep posting here as well. It does help ease the nerves.

    Hope you get your date soon!
     
  3. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Hi Jaycey,
    Thank you. I found this group last night and read through both the pre-op and post-op threads. That's how I found the courage to post. I want to be able to provide someone else with the feeling that they aren't alone.
     
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  4. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart, we’re glad you joined us!

    We all have different reasons for being scared to do this surgery, you are not alone.

    Hang out here with us.
    Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
    We will offer helpful suggestions, :idea:

    Cheer your accomplishments :happydance:

    And send hugs when you are feeling down. :console2:

    Best wishes!
     
  5. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @CAdesgirl - and :welome:

    Do you have a date yet for your knee replacement so we can add it to your signature for you?

    Thank you.:flwrysmile:

    Your poor right knee has really been through the mill and I understand your anxiety this time.
    Let's hope that this TKR is the last surgery it will need.
    We'll be here to help you through your surgery and recovery.

    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
     
  6. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    I don't have a date yet. I have to get medical clearance (per my HMO) before they will schedule the surgery. My primary care doctor's office is great. I stopped by tonight on my way home and the woman at the front desk took a copy of the paperwork from the orthopedic surgeon, said she'd get with the nurse in the morning to order the xrays and bloodwork and set an appointment for me next Friday to have the EKG done so the doctor would have all that he needed to sign off. I'll definitely let you know. I can't tell you what a relief it is to find this group. Reading the recovery posts has been SO helpful.

    I appreciate all of the links! I've ordered most of what I didn't keep last time from Amazon already.

     
  7. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Thank you! I'm really glad to be here!:loll:
     
  8. X2mangie

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    We are glad you are here!! And I totally relate to the fear/ excitement feelings! I have moments when I am just terrified, but then I remember the torture of standing or walking!!! There really is no denying anymore that I need this if I want a real life and to be able to play with my grand babies!!:egypdance::spin:
     
  9. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I was scared, too, and I had no previous surgeries on my knees. The surgery was just scary on its own and only the horrible pain I was in persuaded me to do it. It felt like rolling the dice. But it wasn’t that random. A great surgeon, excellent care, and much support later I’m truly pain-free and am running around like a normal person. Hang in there!
     
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  10. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Yes, the pain is a great motivator. I was actually hoping I could get in quicker than late January because every day it seems to be getting more painful. I haven't been without significant pain since probably 2011.

    I get you about the grand babies. I have a 5 year-old grandson and a 2 year-old granddaughter. I get to see my grandson at least once a week because he lives close but I haven't seen my granddaughter for about 6 months because she lives about hours away and I just can't drive that far.

     
  11. TootsiePie

    TootsiePie new member

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    Hi. I just joined tonight and after reading of your fears am glad that I did. On November 5th of this year I had TKR on my right knee. After enduring two years of gradual to extreme pain/discomfort like you I was at first terrified of surgery. It was difficult to me to drive a vehicle, walk, basically even think of enjoying life. I had tarsel tunnel surgery on the same leg in 2009 and bad results from that surgery left me trying to avoid any kind of surgery. I had a strong group of friends as my support and encouraged me daily.

    About a week before surgery I finally devoted more prayers than ever asking for guidance and to be brave. I am 67 years of age. One morning, I awakened with a positive "everything is going to be just fine" attitude. I accepted the fact that I couldn't go on with the poor quality of life and pain that I was currently experiencing. I began to look forward to this uncharted territory as my post operation life would be a hundredfold better.

    Now I am going to be honest with everyone. When I was told the next day that it was time to get up and take the "first step"....well.... I had set my mind to these thoughts..... I can do this. Yes it will be painful but it will only hurt that way once and it can't be as bad as pre-surgery pain. That FIRST step was painful. A sharp pain that quickly subsided. It was different than the dull throbbing pain from before. I later told the Physical Therapist that it was silly to say but it was a "Happy Pain." Happy because after that first step I knew I had done the right thing. I had the surgery. I was bone one bone and had actually worn a groove into my knee cap. When the surgeon showed me the pictures taken during surgery, I could see how I had worn my bones to a flat surface.

    It has been a month and four days since surgery and I wish that I had done it sooner. I am driving and can get in and out of my truck much easier than before. Yes there is still swelling, ice packs, managing the pain meds, lots of resting. The hardest thing for me is taking it easy and that is because I have always been active all my life. Even though I am able to drive, I use caution and don't go on any long drives. I limit myself to going to PT/OT, groceries, short trips. And don't drive if I even think the pain medicines may cause drowsiness.

    I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. You will do fantastic after surgery. And your life will be a lot happier.
     
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  12. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Thank you, Tootsie! I needed to hear that this morning. :loveshwr:

    I had a horrible day yesterday with the pain and was mad/sad/scared all day. :blackcloud: I went into the ACI 5 1/2 years ago full of hope and almost lost my leg to save my life. It was a long recovery that made me really dependent on everyone around me. By nature, I'm pretty independent so that was difficult but a blessing in some ways. Now that I'm looking at going through surgery again, I'm going through the fear of the what if.

    I know intellectually that the chances of getting MRSA again is extremely small. I know my husband is a rock-star at being a nurse (especially for an IT guy). I know work is supportive and will let me heal at my pace. I'm just irked that the ACI only worked for 4 years.

    I think I'll feel better once I have my surgery date which should be either Friday or early next week. My darn HMO work let the doctor set the date until I get medical clearance from the PCP even though the knee is the only health problem I have. Thankfully, I'm busy at work so it helps take my mind off of the waiting.
     
  13. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Welp, my final preop appointment to get the surgery scheduled will be tomorrow morning. I'll call the OS tomorrow afternoon to see how soon I can get in. After reading all of the stories in the post op forum, I am really anxious to be on the other side.

    I feel like my knee is getting markedly worse. The pain is radiating all the way down to my ankle and up my leg. There seems to be nothing that helps. I've tried icing and elevating, heating pad and hot bath.

    Since they were scheduling for mid-January when I talked to them last week, I went to the dentist and had a cleaning. He mentioned that some OS recommend that with any dental procedure their patients get antibiotics for the rest of their lives while others only recommend it for a few years. Does anyone know why that is and what the norm is?
     
  14. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Some surgeons do still ask their patients to have antibiotics for dental work.
    However, it's not necessary.
    Dental antibiotics: Evidence insufficient to recommend prophylactic antibiotics for dental procedures
     
  15. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    Thank you!
     
  16. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I’ve had 2 dental cleanings with no antibiotics and I’m fine. One at 14 months post op and one just last week, at 21 months post op.

    I searched until I found a dentist who wouldn’t require it, it’s worth the 40 minute drive!

    I did not ask my surgeon his opinion. :heehee:
     
  17. CAdesgirl

    CAdesgirl junior member
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    You rebel you.:loll: I really love my dentist and I NEVER thought I'd say that. He said to ask what the OS recommends. I don't think it would hurt to do for a few years but, after the MRSA infection, I'm not a huge fan of overdoing antibiotics.
     
  18. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I have had issues with antibiotics in the past and I felt that the high dose they give for dental work was more of a risk for me than a knee infection that might happen. I googled the issue and couldn’t find anything that said I should take the antibiotic.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM
  19. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    And yes, I’m quite the rebel since finding Bonesmart!
     
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  20. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    My dentist was adamant that prophylactic antibiotics were unnecessary. My surgeon wanted me to take them every time I had dental work. At first, I took the antibiotics.

    However, after a couple of years, I decided I would only take antibiotics for procedures such as root canals or extractions - so I did that.

    For the past 4 years, I haven't taken antibiotics for any dental work. I've had artificial knees for 11 years now and I've had no problems.
     
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