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Rehab & Recovery Question

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by BCSAnna, May 16, 2019.

  1. BCSAnna

    BCSAnna member
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    I am in need of two new knees, however, I would not even consider having a bilateral. My OS won't perform them anyway.

    I have bone on bone OA in both knees, with the right knee being the worst of the two. Both knees are in pain 24/7 and both knees require knee support braces for me to do even light household tasks. As a result, I am getting rather concerned that my "less worst knee" will impede the rehab and recovery of my "worst knee" which is being replaced in a few weeks.

    Being in the US, where physical therapy after TKR seems to be the norm, I am beginning to seriously question if I will be up to the task.

    I would like to hear from those of you who were in the "same boat" as I now find myself in. I would really like to know if having a second "bum leg" impeded your recovery and rehabilitation of the first leg having a TKR.

    Thank you for any enlightenment you can provide me.
     
  2. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Hi. Yes I was like that. I waited 2 years for my second replacement and almost totally lost my mobility.
    So, dont wait too long if you are not doing bilateral.
    And yes, you will be restricted by the non operated knee just as it restricts you now.
    I find now (about 10 wks post op with knee 2) that knee 2 is now fantastic and I am working on knee 1 strengthening muscles. Its coping and improving but just a little behind knee 2.
    Im thinking, even with 2 years betwern surgeries, it isnt too late to make improvements.
    I did no PT at all with knee 2. Its fab. If you have to have it, dont let anyone do anything that caused pain.
     
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  3. BCSAnna

    BCSAnna member
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    @rosieNZ

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    My current plan is to have my worst knee, the right, replaced in mid June. Following that surgery, I am hopeful that I will be recovered and mobile enough to undergo cataract surgery in the fall. Right now it feels like my knees and my eyes are in a competition to see which can deteriorate the fastest.:sad: Then, following three months spent in sunny warm Florida over the winter, this "snowbird" plans to return home, up north, and undergo my second TKR next spring.

    And so, for someone who has been in the position that I now find myself in, do you honestly think my current plan is doable? I know many people would give up escaping the cold, miserable, winter weather for a new knee. However, rosie, the idea of that planned annual trip is like the carrot at the end of the stick for me right now. It is what keeps me motivated to get through this upcoming surgery and recovery...it is my mental health therapy.:flwrysmile:

    I will continue to wear my brace on the non-surgical leg and will only engage in mild activities.

    Anna
     
  4. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Honey its hard to know. Mt second knee suddenly went from doable to impossible. You just can't know what will be. What I think is:
    1. 3 months in the sun is worth it!
    2: I coped with more restricted mobility for 7 months. So if you are unlucky enough to have this happen to you and it gets tough you can activate your surgery plan. In NZ the wait list for public funded surgery is what it is!
    So yes I think you will be ok. If it gets tough you can ask to promote the surgery.
    Just a thought, it's a lot going on for you. It takes time to recover from these interventions. Be kind to yourself. There is only one you xxx
     
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  5. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It sounds doable to me.
    Go ahead and try it.
     
  6. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Why ever not? I've known several folk who have had bilats and they did just fine! They actually managed better than those who only had one knee done at a time. Ring round and find a surgeon who will do bilaterals. I promise you, you won't regret it.

    @Roy Gardiner had a bilateral - he'll tell you what it was like.
     
  7. BCSAnna

    BCSAnna member
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    @Josephine

    Thank you for your response.

    Insofar as my decision to have only one TKR done at a time, it was a decision I made after discussing the matter with my spouse and concluding that it was the best decision for us.

    In addition, I have talked to far too many people who have cautioned me about keeping that "one good leg" (or in my case the better of the two legs) to stand on during recovery.

    As far as orthopedic surgeons are concerned, I would not be having this surgery if I could not have it performed by the surgeon that I have chosen. He is one of the best in the US and is highly recommended. More importantly, I trust him with my life.:yes:

    Anna
     
  8. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Are these people who've had TKRs? If not, I'd not pay too much attention. More to the point, have they had BTKR and are now advising against?
    It is absolutely your decision, no question or debate there.

    I had BTKR and recommend it because there's just one recovery, not two, all over in half the time.
     
  9. Atlas_aus

    Atlas_aus member

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    @BCSAnna ,

    I love the sun, for me it's a no brainer. :loll:

    Sadly I have returned to the beginning of our Winter, my knees are complaining after the last 5 yrs in a climate that rarely varies from 26 at night and 30 during the day, that's Celsius BTW. Though our Winters here in sunny QLD are pretty good compared to the south, it can get cold during the night, even below zero, but the days are usually sunny and around the 20 degrees mark.

    Good luck with your journey ahead.

    PS. Maybe you should consider a bilateral, you will have 2 good legs to stand on and I am sure you will need some sort of mobility aid either way, but as Roy says, only one surgery and one lot of recovery. At least that is what sold me !
     
  10. BCSAnna

    BCSAnna member
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    @Atlas_aus

    I am with you...follow the sun. I am a beach bum at heart and, living in a coastal resort town, I am happiest out in the warm sun with my toes in the water and my butt in the sand!:swim:

    The best of luck to you on your journey in the acquisition of your two brand new knees. I will be awaiting to read you post-op reporting once you reach the other side. Take care.

    Anna
     
  11. Atlas_aus

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    @BCSAnna

    Thanks for that, see you on the other side.
     
  12. Jajakio

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    Who knows how it will go for you as we are all different but here is my experience. 4 years prior to my TKR I was told both knees were bone on bone. One was much worse than the other but they were both painful. I begged my surgeon for a bilateral and he refused. He told me we were doing the worse one first and take it from there. He told me I might even find the non operated leg would improve some when I wasn't limping so badly and carrying 75% of my weight on that side anymore. I doubted it would matter much and was planning for doing my second knee later that year.

    No one was more shocked than me that not only was I able to manage post surgery with one operated knee and one bad knee, but the non operated knee actually improved. Considerably. It will be 2 years in July since I had my TKR and I'm doing well. The non operated knee isn't perfect and my doctor tells me it's a question of "when" not "if" it will need doing. But I'm pretty functional at the moment and not anticipating surgery any time soon. Like you, I was worried about getting through the first few weeks after surgery. I kind of expected the bad nonoperated knee would interfere with physical therapy but it did not in my case. I know many people on here did not do PT and that's a decision you will have to make, but I did 3x a week PT and it wasn't even challenging after the first week. Maybe your knee will surprise you. Good luck!
     
  13. Benay

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    So interesting reading the different experiences. Have to admire those that did a bi.
     
  14. winemama

    winemama senior

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    Had my knees done 12 weeks apart. It was hard, but the first knee did a yomans job supporting me after the second surgery, still gets stiff, but I am happy I had them both done close together. We dedicated 2019 to knee health
     
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