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The Suspense is Killing Me!

Helizabug

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TKR, left knee, after a long surgical history with it, November 27. I have my pre-op class on Wednesday, 11/6, and I hate not knowing if I’ll be non-weight bearing, if I’ll be on crutches or a walker or a cane, if there are things I can do post op to maintain the fitness I gained at the expense of my knee, if three pillows are better than that cushion you can dump a lotta’ lettuce on from Amazon, and so on. Patience is not easy for me! But I keep looking ahead to a knee with no spiky ball nestled inside it. I wonder what that will feel like!
 

jeffjob

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No way to predict how "weight bearing" you will be. I had both knees done this spring (6 weeks apart) and the first I will full weight bearing right away and on a cane in a few days and just did very well.

The second knee needed a lot more work and I could not put full weight on it for about 10 days. I was on the walker for about 10 days as well.

Best advice I can give it to do some leg and upper body excersise before surgery. I did and it really helped my mobility.

And as most will say here, be careful with PT. Don't let anyone push your legs and don't push into pain. I had more modern PT (except for one coconut) and while I was given excersise, I did them as lomg as they did not cause pain, excessive leg swelling or set me back in recovery.

Taking this approach my OS said I was a model patient and my PT team said I was a superstar. Focus on activities of daily living and try ad do most things for yourself. An example was my wife would get my morning coffee for the first few days and then I figured it out. And I never stayed in bed from day one. Keep moving between lots of ice and elevation and baring complications you should do fine!

Be well.
 

Starsfan22

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If I've learned anything from this forum it's stay on top of the pain the first couple of weeks. If the meds are not working call your OS. My initial pain was well managed but needed hydrocodone for a couple of weeks.
 

Roy Gardiner

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stay on top of the pain the first couple of weeks.
:thumb:

Pre-op pain is bad, crippling, horrible, demoralising, and only gets worse. Post-op is the same, except for the last bit.

Except for the last bit? That is, pain only gets BETTER. And it's CONTROLLED.

One's condition post-op can be worse than pre-op for a few days or up to a MONTH later. One has to learn to roll with the punch, to relax, take medication, let the body do its thing and heal. It will do this all on its own. PT is helpful (a minority, IMO, say not really needed...) with this process, but the key element is time.

But it will happen. Millions of TKRs are done every year; wouldn't be so if it didn't work.
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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Thanks so much! Very encouraging, pretty satisfying for my gnawing curiosity, too. Thanks again.
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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Tomorrow is my joint replacement class. Suggestions for questions I should get answered?

Did anyone ask, at this kind of pre-op education session, about how much pain is acceptable during recovery? I’m impressed with the criteria suggested on this blog — if stiffness or swelling increases, back off, rest, ice, use the pain meds as prescribed. Consider pain a detriment to healing. I wonder how my practice will respond to those criteria.
 

jeffjob

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I had a pre-op class. Really done well and informative. They said no catheters and I woke up with one. Turned out to be a great thing!

They targeted pain to be 2-4 / 10 and they met that with me. I took the max allowed during my over night stay.

I would ask what PT will be required and what are the conditions for your going home. I was really doing well but they seemed to drag their feet. I am pretty persistent so that helped.

Are you staying over night? The first OS I saw really pushed the out patient model but I was glad to be kept one night for each knee. Again, I did really well with all parts but felt better knowing I was being monitored closely.

Good luck my friend!
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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@jeffjob I remember waking up with a catheter after my ACL reconstruction in the late 80s, and I was horrified for a few seconds, then I realized it was okay, and I was glad. So thanks for reminding me, honestly.

My literature from the Ortho practice says I should expect to stay one to two days. Because I’m in pretty good shape, except for my left knee, I expect to be one day with an overnight. But because my surgery is on the day before Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s on the longer side. I’m okay with that, I guess. It’s a small part of a giant step toward feeling better overall.
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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Does everyone have some PT home visits? I’m not psyched about A PT coming to my home.
 

luvcats

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Because I’m in pretty good shape, except for my left knee, I expect to be one day with an overnight.
This often has less to do with you and more to do with hospital organization and the time of your surgery. For my LTKR I stayed 2 nights because by the time I was done and in my room, the hospital PT people had already left for the day. The rules said 2 sessions of PT, so it worked out I spent a second night because of their timing. For the RTKR, same hospital, same surgeon, I was only there overnight.

Honestly, I was not thrilled with home PT. They wanted me to do a lot more than my knee was ready for, and dealing with the scheduling and people coming in and out while I was trying to watch Netflix and feel sorry for myself was very intrusive and stressful.
 

jeffjob

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Home PT can be luck of the draw and how you manage them. I ended up with a fabulous person that really treated me well and both my wife and I really liked.

I had lots of fear my first TKR and I remember the first time she went to touch my leg to help it bend. I politely (but firmly) told he I did not sa she could help bend my leg and she respected that right away.

She really did help me learn so many things and helped to keep me positive (she is a very positive person) ad motivated. Honestly I really looked forward to her visits, and I know she did to. It was a relationship where she really liked helping people and I really wanted her help and we both respected each others boundaries.

In out-patient PT I had to ban one PT person as he was so negative and insisted I push myself well past the point of pain. Honestly he was a idiot! He threatened me with MUA and told me I would never get to where I needed unless I did as he said and tortured myself. Web, I am past his and all others expectations and I did NOT torture myself nor did I allow anyone else to torture me.

At 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 months I am at 125+/0 on both knees and yesterday my wife and I went for a 2.5 mile hike on a wooded trail that included crossing streams and some very steep banks.

Don't let the PT team tell you how hard to push your body. Keep active but don't let them push them backwards.

Be well.
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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@jeffjob. Thanks for the PT story. My last big surgery with intense Pt was quite a while ago, and I cried through them. I am so comforted and empowered by so many stories about appropriate levels of pain and how to identify when you’re pushing, or being pushed, too far. Very helpful!
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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@luvcats Since my surgery is the day before Thanksgiving, I won’t be shocked if I stay two nights, but, at the prep class, I asked about this, and they said I should be able to get out after one night, even on a holiday. Frankly, I was hoping to stay for Thanksgiving so that my family could enjoy the day and know I was well cared for. Still, it would also be good to be home.
 
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Helizabug

Helizabug

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Spending the weekend in NYC, seeing theatre, walking around, making the most of this old knee. Going downstairs is a slow slog, and walking so much is on and off painful; but it’s all worth it for the independence and entertainment. I hope to get back to enjoying travel by summer.
 

Pumpkln

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Enjoy your weekend! In less than 2 weeks you will be in recovery mode, and on your way to getting your life back.
 

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