TKR TKR concerns -


new member
Oct 10, 2020
United States United States
Hi -
Brand new here. 53 yo Male - I was told last week I needed TKR on right knee. I've had a total of 8 surgeries over the past 30 years or so on both knees - mostly due to injuries from playing soccer. I've had ACLs replaced in both knees so have some experience with being down for a while and the physical therapy to getting back to 'normal'. Up until a couple months ago, I was still able to run a treadmill, ride bike and do some light soccer activities. I realize once the TKR replacement is done, it's probably walking, golf and biking at best.

Here is my biggest concern - and would appreciate hearing from others. Being a working adult, but also being 2020, I work from home 100% and sit in a chair in front of a laptop all day. I am concerned taking too much time off. I was hoping to get back to logging in daily after 2 weeks. I've seen in the literature supplied that may be too aggressive - but I've never been a good patient and have been able to get back pretty quickly.

What have others experiences been? A bit nervous here and am concerned about being a burden on my kids and my wife for too long and frankly, have too much going on at work I can't afford being out more than 2 weeks.

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Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!
Return to work is different for everyone, given you have a sedentary job and will be able to remain at home. It may be possible to return at 2 weeks. Your will want to pace yourself and avoid over activity on the days you work, you will need to give you knee a chance to heal in this year long+ recovery.
Working hard to recover often sets people back, be sure to listen to your knee and give it the rest it will need.
We recommend a Phased return to work, so you can ease back into your job.

I purchased a camp stool so I could elevate my leg pretty much every where.

New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:

Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement 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
I was hoping to get back to logging in daily after 2 weeks. I've seen in the literature supplied that may be too aggressive - but I've never been a good patient and have been able to get back pretty quickly.
Hi @mjmackin ,
I did all the admin work for our small "mom-and-pop" business.....and I was able to start doing that again at about 2 weeks post-op.

I wasn't able to work full-time by then, but just did a couple of hours, spread out over the day. You should plan to do the same.

Very often, so early in recovery, you are still affected by "brain fog", probably partly because of the pain medications, but also because you're still recovering from major surgery and you will tire very easily. Be careful not to make any major decisions at this time, because you won't be back to full mental ability.

Beware of sitting for too long in one position - you'll need to get up every hour or so and walk around, or else your knee will stiffen up. Also, try and find some way to elevate your surgery knee, or it's likely to swell up while you're working.

Please will you tell us the full dates of all your knee surgeries and which knee it was each time, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you. :flwrysmile:
I understand the need to return to work but you might want to have a contingency plan if you do not feel up to returning at 2 weeks to full time status. I always have this belief of prepare for worse and hope for the best. Also, any chance you can work some of the day from a recliner so you are really well elevated and iced. Please plan on getting up and walking around a bit as well as elevating and icing as much as possible.

The brain fog and tiredness is a real thing post surgery. This is a major surgery and does shock and tires the entire system. I would bet that your wife and kids would not consider it a burden to help your recovery. They want you to have a good recovery so temporary help is necessary. Please use what help is provided and needed. It is important for our recovery and well being.
I have a laptop "desk" that goes over my legs and I can sit in bed, elevate my leg(s) and also work. Mine is adjustable for height and tilt, and I used it after my revision early on. There was no way I could sit at a regular desk that early on, but I could place the bed desk over my legs, or to the side, and was able to use my laptop quite well that way. I still use it as I need to get off my feet often during the day, and find it much easier than the desk in my office as I have other issues going on that make it painful to sit in a chair for long periods of time.

You will still be in the very early days of recovery at 2 weeks, so will need to take breaks to do some walking around, restroom, etc, plus nap as necessary. But, a lap desk that goes over your legs may be a helpful thing for you if you need to work but can't sit at your regular desk.

I had both knees and hips done and since I was a contractor and did not get paid if I didn't work, I took minimal time off for three of the surgeries. (Was laid off just before one hip so that time wasn't an issue.)

What @leejaa and @Celle said about the brain fog and tiredness is very true and was the main problem for me. I worked from home on a recliner with my laptop on one arm rest or a lap desk, ice on the affected joint (and often a cat in my lap.) I was not have been at my full capacity the first week or so -- especially when I was taking the narcotics -- but I managed. (And thankfully I had an understanding manager.) You do what you have to do.

Now, I do believe doing that delayed my overall recovery from the surgeries. I would honestly recommend that you take as much time as you can and try to be off the heavy duty meds before you return to work. Also plan on working in a recliner or some other way that you can keep your leg elevated. I definitely could not have done what I did had I had to come in the office, that's for sure.
Lots of great responses here. I am very appreciative of the information. I am still evaluating all of it. Obviously - life gets in the way with plans very often. It’s weighing all the options and determining the best course to take. I am leaning toward delaying for a year so I can take the appropriate amount of time off to really heal.

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