TKR Recovering & Getting Ready for #2

WOW!!! You didn't get the easy fix. I hope it all works out for you.
That hurts just thinking about it. I got the easy fix but still have a somewhat bad back.
For me the knee surgery was so much tougher but it is doing great & was worth all the pain that it took to heal up.
My other knee is acting up occasionally but I think it is just old & angry. :hissy:
Stay Tough.
When I asked the surgeon about the recovery, he said it would be between a hip and a knee! I think he was right on. The knee replacements are a more difficult recovery, the back is no walk in the park! I have now (finally) put together two 3 mile walks back-to-back. Today's was straight uphill for the first half ... quite the challenge. Sorry your haven't had better luck with the back @ironman60. You'll know if and when to deal with the left knee!
10 weeks post back fusion and happy to say things are continuing to improve.:happydance: I took my first trail hike yesterday up into the Santa Monica mountains and, even though my daughter was prancing far ahead like a gizelle while I huffed and puffed, I stuck to it and got to the point we planned on. I have been walking around the 'hood quite a bit - all hilly - but knew I needed to try a mountain trail where it is rarely flat and so many more muscles are involved in maintaining balance. Since the Sainted Joe and I have committed to walking the Camino de Compostela in Spain in September, I got good walking shoes Monday, just a step down from hiking boots. Glad to say there are no hot spots in them, but I do need to add a bit more arch support.

I see my back surgeon next week for the 3 month follow-up, hoping he clears me for more exercise than just walking.

Still checking in here to catch up with all of you who were so integral to my own recovery!!
Thanks for the update! Very happy to hear how well you are doing, you should be more than ready for your walk in September. How long is the walk? It sounds very interesting.
You're doing great!! Good for you! I'll bet you're really looking forward to that trip to Spain! Thanks for letting us know how you're doing!
@Pumpkln - we are doing the last 100 km of the Camino, so out of the Pyrenees - we figure about 8 miles a day. Fortunately, we are doing it with hotel stays each night and a sag wagon to shuttle our suitcases. So I now have to start putting a couple 3+ mile walks together day after day to really start training, then start going for the longer distances. A few days in Madrid before we start out ... so excited. The Sainted Joe says I have to have 100 miles on my new shoes before we leave! :rotfl:
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I loved the Prado in Madrid, and Picasso's most famous painting the Guernica, which is in the Reina Sofia in Madrid. The Plaza Mayor is a great place for a meal. All three are in walking distance.
It is great all your joints and your back are ready for this adventure/
Great for you @NightQuilter !!! Those kind of goals keeps a person young.
I'm sure you know to take some of what we call Mole Skin with you in the long uneven hikes.
It has saved my feet on a few mountain packin's. Takes care of those hot spots if you run into trouble.
Good luck!!!
Thanks for the advice @ironman60; we picked up a couple "footcare" packages the other day at a local hiking store. And @Pumpkln !! Thanks for the recommendations - really appreciated.
Well, my surgeon says bone is growing in the graft and around the screws, as it should be. He has removed all limitations and released me to start PT ... again. Of course, the cats needed new litter. I have added a lifting restriction back ... do NOT lift more than 15 lbs. yet!! Though firmly balanced and positioned, the 20 box really tweaked the back. :bignono:. 3 days later and it is just starting to settle down. Well, I see what I need to work on in PT!
Buenos dias from the Camino in Spain! It is the end of Day 6; tomorrow is a "short" hike of 10 km. into Santiago! We'VE done 90 km over these past 6 days ... most days were 10 to 12 miles. Sadly, the back went into spasm while we were in Madrid so I had to take it a bit easy. Since day 2 began with a serious 6 mile uphill climb, I taxied that portion and joined them at lunch for the last 7 miles. Had to start texting my back surgeon when the spasm didn't seem to be improving. He said to get x-rays if it didn'T get better so he could be sure something had not worked it's way loose! Since I was able to do 11 miles yesterday and woke up today with no pain in the back, i'm going to pass on the xrays. Besides, I would have had to find a hospital in Santiago to get them, since there is nothing but small towns along most of the Camino.
Great news ... the knees have been perfect! Not a whine from either of them!:hiking:
Amazing Lynn! Inspirational for sure, post pics if you can and congrats, you should be so very proud! Be well, Dawn
It sounds as if you'll be able to complete the walk, Lyn, @NightQuilter . I hope your back has settled down now. perhaps the long plane ride irritated it to start with? I always find my back is bad after an international flight.
Hello all! I totally missed "righty's" third birthday. Woohoo! Oct. 30th (I was traveling). "Lefty" turns 3 on Dec. 17th. My hips both turn 13 on Feb. 2, 2016, and the back (at least the L4-L5) turns 7 months on Nov. 27th. I am just so ecstatic about my knees and how well they have enabled me to rejoin the living and the moving! My back fusion was the linchpin, tho ... I feel like I've been given a new lease on life! 7 miles in the Santa Monica mountains on Friday ... nothing compared to the Comina de Compostela in Spain in September. But still awesome to be able to set out to do a5 or 7 or 12 mile hike without batting an eyelash! So thankful to Dr. Brad Penenberg (both hips and both knees) and Dr. Hooman Melamed for the back (on "The Doctors" all the time for tricky back issues). And so thankful for the information. support, expertise, and support from everyone (and especially the administrators) on BoneSmart! YOU all got me through this!
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@Celle - I think you are correct about the flight irritating the back. However, I did get another spasm when I returned, which, despite medication, also did not resolve itself for a week. My OS was awesome - stayed in touch with me by messages while in Spain; at my 6 month in October, said nothing was evident in the X-rays - probably nerves not yet healed from the surgery ... but we are doing an MRI in 1 1/2 weeks just to be sure. Knock on wood there are no issues at other discs!
Hi Lynn , I just browsed your recent recovery posts and -I've gotta say- you are an absolute inspiration! You've had ALL of your major joints replaced, plus a HUGE spinal surgery, and are undertaking activies that would give a 35 year-old pause. I hope to return to hiking and biking soon. The Santa Monica Mountains are such a gorgeous range to explore. I especially love the Backbone Trail. My back (scoliosis) is unfortunately a ticking time-bomb, so I am filing away Dr. Hooman Melamed's name for future reference. I live in Simi, close enough.

Cat litter tip: try the light stuff that is at least partially made from pine shavings. I don't have a kitty anymore (owl got her :sad:), but she preferred that litter, and the bags were much easier on my back.

Keep having fun!
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Hi @Clipless - great tip on the pine-based litter! Thank you. Sorry about you ticking time-bomb. Dr. Melamed's partner Robert Bray said we (he and I) can thank our mothers for it! My daughter had her spondylothesis diagnosed as a teen at the same place as mine - hoping to put off her first fusion as long as possible!

Yes, Simi is certainly close enough - Dr. Melamed is soooo worth it. How much of the Backbone Trail have you done? I've made it out to Hub Junction from the top of the Palisades Highlands; I think Thanksgiving morning we are doing a family hike to Trippett Ranch. Some friends have done the Backbone Trail starting at Pt. Mugu to the end, but in stages. Something I'd like to think about. May your back stop ticking and give you some peace for a good while!
MRI last week was inconclusive - he thinks there might still be a bit of compression at the L4-L5, but it will take a year for full healing. That I've had no spasm recurrence and less pain suggests I am still healing. So we shall go forth on that happy assumption. Funny story (at least to me): he says he now uses me as an example for other patients to whom he has suggested trying the Paleo diet. Never thought of myself as much of a role model. But, it is hard to argue with 35+ lbs (and counting) of weight loss, healthier skin, and (as my internist says) perfect, perfect, perfect blood work - all in 6 months.

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