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TKR Ready to do this! Left TKR scheduled for May 4.

LateRainNYC

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Greetings from the Boogie Down Bronx! I am preparing for my left TKR on May 4 and am grateful for this forum.

I have been back in NYC for five years now after living in the Midwest for 15+ years. I wish I had an x-ray of my knees from before I moved back, as I'm certain the subway stairs have gotten me to where I am today (bone-on-bone with both knees).

I have had both of my ankles fused due to arthritis and repeated sprains. The right one was done in 1990, at the age of 20, and the left one was done in 2009. All of my ankle fusion people say that knee replacement is a breeze compared to the fusion! I hope they're right.

I am working on prepping my house and getting everything together (including my new second job of dealing with paperwork for my job...)

My biggest issue is trying to figure out how soon I can get back to work. Even though I get paid, I lose out on my normal overnight differential pay, as well as overtime. I can work from home, but have to sit at a desk and talk on the phone for eight hours a day. My surgeon literally told me a week, but that doesn't seem possible. A friend who had a knee replacement was able to go back in about two weeks, but everyone on this forum seems to think it will be much longer?

I need to not use up all of my FMLA because I want to get the other knee done this year still.

I am mostly looking forward to this (that's weird, right?) Trying to fathom the surgery pain, but my daily pain is pretty bad, so I can't imagine that it can be any worse...

I worked a double shift today so I realize I might not be making sense. Maybe I'll edit later. But thanks for having me!
 
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LateRainNYC

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If they do increase knee pain, concentrate on upper body exercises instead. You will be glad of strong arms and shoulders in the first months after your knee surgery.
You are right. The exercises do include arm strengthening moves. The list is,
1. Seated press up
2. Ankle pumps
3. Bridging
4. Quad sets [thigh tightening]
5. Gluteal sets
6. Heel slide
7. Straight leg raise
8. Seated knee extension
9. Straight leg side slide
10.Standing hip abduction
I started doing the heel slides. Can anybody refer me to a YouTube video or similar that could walk me through the different exercises? I know I'm a bit late since I'm two weeks out (May 4), but anything I can do to get this party started, I want to do.
 
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LateRainNYC

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Hi, May Marvels
I am trying to connect with people who are having total knee replacement in May. I would like to know what you are doing for pre-hab and what are your concerns about your upcoming surgery. For instance, who is thinking about anesthesia, nerve block or general anesthesia? Are any of you suffering with other conditions such as arthritis in other parts of your body and nerve pain? Any of you have arthritis in your other knee, as well and not too far along for another replacement?
I am scheduled for May 4th. Still want to do research on the anesthesia, as I am getting a spinal. I strongly prefer avoiding general anesthesia, as it can exacerbate my depression.

Both of my ankles are fused, and my only concern with that is that a physical therapist might try to push me to do exercises that my ankles are physically incapable of completing. I know the key is communication, though.
 

Jaycey

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@LateRainNYC Thanks for starting your thread.
My biggest issue is trying to figure out how soon I can get back to work.
I am afraid your surgeon is not being at all realistic about when you can get back to work. Even working from home requires concentration and long hours of sitting. We recommend 10-12 weeks off work and then a Phased return to work . You might be able to start working from home sooner. But remember there is an issue with concentration following this major surgery. Then you need to take time to ice and elevate regularly to keep the swelling down. And I would think you need to be off any heavy duty pain medication if you are making any decisions.

Do some reading in the knee recovery forum. That might give you a better idea of the time frame for this recovery.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome!

Both of my ankles are fused, and my only concern with that is that a physical therapist might try to push me to do exercises that my ankles are physically incapable of completing. I know the key is communication, though.
Formal PT can be very helpful, but you are allowed to be in charge of what you agree to do with them. If you think any exercise they suggest is not in your best interest, you have every right to decline to do it. Sometimes they forget to look at the whole picture, and some have a cookie cutter plan, so yes, definitely communicate with them about your situation and be ready to say no if you are not comfortable with something.

I have low back issues so I refused to do anything that caused my back discomfort. My PT’s response was “well we won’t rob Peter to pay Paul.”

People are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are here to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.

All of my ankle fusion people say that knee replacement is a breeze compared to the fusion! I hope they're right.
I don’t know anything about an ankle fusion, but nothing about a knee replacement is a breeze. @FCBayern had a total ankle replacement, as well as hip and knee, maybe he can comment about this, even though he didn’t have a fusion.
 

Celle

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Hi @LateRainNYC
I've moved a couple of your posts from smokey1's thread, so we can answer them without interrupting her thread.

I started doing the heel slides. Can anybody refer me to a YouTube video or similar that could walk me through the different exercises? I know I'm a bit late since I'm two weeks out (May 4), but anything I can do to get this party started, I want to do.
You'll be shown how to do the exercises while you're in hospital. With such a short time before you have surgery, any pre-op exercises you do now aren't going to have a lot of effect, but every little bit counts..
This article may help:
Exercises for pre-surgery patients

I am scheduled for May 4th. Still want to do research on the anesthesia, as I am getting a spinal. I strongly prefer avoiding general anesthesia, as it can exacerbate my depression.

Both of my ankles are fused, and my only concern with that is that a physical therapist might try to push me to do exercises that my ankles are physically incapable of completing. I know the key is communication, though.
Here's an article about the different types of anaesthetics:
Anaesthetics - spinals, femoral blocks, GAs and everything else

You are in charge when it comes to PT, so tell your therapist that your ankles are fused. Any therapist worth their salt should be able to modify the exercises, to suit your circumstances.
 

Sara61

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Having had my let knee replaced in 2019 , l can honestly say the beginning of recovery is not a breeze it's painful, slow and quite exhausting, however if you give your body time to heal ( as this is major surgery ) you will in the long term benefit from a super new knee. Althought I didn't have the pressure to go back to work, I would n't have had the energy or concentration to do this prior to the 10/12 week.
Wishing you success for your forthcoming surgery x
 
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LateRainNYC

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Having had my let knee replaced in 2019 , l can honestly say the beginning of recovery is not a breeze it's painful, slow and quite exhausting, however if you give your body time to heal ( as this is major surgery ) you will in the long term benefit from a super new knee. Althought I didn't have the pressure to go back to work, I would n't have had the energy or concentration to do this prior to the 10/12 week.
Wishing you success for your forthcoming surgery x
When I say “a breeze”, I’m somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Ankle fusion is three to four months completely non weight-bearing, so that’s a big part of why the comparison is made.

Besides the financial impact, I need to work so that I can have social interaction (I live alone and my friends all live at least 45 minutes away) and for my mental well-being.

Maybe I will start back with half days, but I can’t fathom ten to twelve weeks.

I should add that I will be working from home, so there will be absolutely nothing else going on except for work, sleep, and physical therapy.
 
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Sandy11

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The other thread "May Marvels" has yours, mine and other postings towards end of the thread about working. Just FYI.
 
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LateRainNYC

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Is there a thread somewhere to vent about our insurance companies?

My insurance vets surgeries through a third party. Surgery is (allegedly) next Tuesday, but it just got denied for being a “custom” knee replacement that’s considered “experimental”. The sainted admin at my doctor’s office was like, “wait, they said what?!”

Never mind not working at all; insurance and short-term disability paperwork is about to be a second full-time job for me...
 
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Jamie

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Insurance companies sometimes can insert themselves into your medical process at the most inopportune time and be difficult to deal with. I understand your frustration. However, your surgeon's office deals with this type of thing all the time and they are well equipped to address whatever concerns there may be about your knee replacement being "custom" or "experimental." I'm sure it's neither. Try not to get upset about it and just make sure they are going back to the insurance company with whatever documentation is required to make sure there is no delay in your surgery approval.

We don't have a thread to vent about the frustrations of dealing with insurance. When people have a specific problem, posting it in their thread as you have done is all that's needed. We can usually help or at least reassure them that it will work itself out. It almost always does and our BoneSmarties go on to get their new joint just fine.
 

NightQuilter

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Sorry you are having to battle insurance as well as prep for your surgery @LateRainNYC . So annoying. I hope you get it worked out. I was amused by your postscript of trying not to think about your hips. As you can see in my signature, I had my hips done first. I can assure you, if you ultimately need to have them replaced, the recovery is much easier than knees, so you are getting through the hard stuff first! Good luck Tuesday. We are all here for you.
 

Jewlz1

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Having had my let knee replaced in 2019 , l can honestly say the beginning of recovery is not a breeze it's painful, slow and quite exhausting, however if you give your body time to heal ( as this is major surgery ) you will in the long term benefit from a super new knee. Althought I didn't have the pressure to go back to work, I would n't have had the energy or concentration to do this prior to the 10/12 week.
Wishing you success for your forthcoming surgery x
When I say “a breeze”, I’m somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Ankle fusion is three to four months completely non weight-bearing, so that’s a big part of why the comparison is made.

Besides the financial impact, I need to work so that I can have social interaction (I live alone and my friends all live at least 45 minutes away) and for my mental well-being.

Maybe I will start back with half days, but I can’t fathom ten to twelve weeks.

I should add that I will be working from home, so there will be absolutely nothing else going on except for work, sleep, and physical therapy.
I live alone too and recuperated from my first TKR last year during Covid, surgery was on 12/18, suffered an injury during PT, early February which laid me up for 4-6 weeks and lockdown happened during that 4-6 week time period. Everyone is different but healing can't be rushed and it was hard for me to learn that. I'm still healing. Of course in smaller ways. I wanted to ask you about your FMLA since you want to get surgery done on your other side this year as well. The way I understand FMLA is it will guarantee you have a job when you return to work. FMLA is 12 weeks. So, if you do need to use all 12 weeks, then maybe wait until sometime after the first part of 2022 for the second surgery. I haven't been in my job long enough to qualify for FMLA, but if my surgery and recovery is approved for short term disability I will get 60% of my pay.

Good luck to you on Tuesday!
 
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LateRainNYC

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Thank you for the well wishes!

If my recovery time is longer than expected, I can wait for FMLA next year. I have no idea whether there needs to be a full 12 months before you’re eligible for another 12 weeks. Honestly, I have printed out a dozen pages of work policies and am still hella confused.

I am in a union job, so job security is less of a concern. I will be at 80% pay after the first week, plus the slight loss in shift pay.

I probably already said this, but the paperwork feels like a second full-time job...
 

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