TKRs and our fast food society


Former BoneSmart staff member
Dec 21, 2007
Northern Part of the Buckeye State
United States United States
Many of us here in the US of A are rather used to getting things fairly quickly. We have adopted a "fast food mentality" to almost everything---not only restaurants, but also oil changes, banking, dentistry, grocery shopping, etc to name a few.

Almost all of us, however, have to understand that, after a TKR, there is no "fast food" mentality. This type of surgery and rehab will take a while---perhaps a long while. All of us who have gone through the surgery and the rehab have had the same questions for our OS's and our PT's---"How long is this going to take?" "Is it normal to take this long?" "When will I see some solid progress?" Many of us have not only been fooled by our way of life, but also by a bit of arthroscopic surgery that we may have had in the past---we were back at work in no time and felt, surprisingly, pretty good just a few days after surgery

This is not just a little bit different; it is night and day dramatically different. Just as one cannot rush the preparation of a fine meal (as contrasted to "Mickey D's" or "Burger Thing"), the rehab from this is rather lengthy---and it can be surprisingly lengthy. I, for one, took over four (in reality, closer to five) months to get close to normal after my BTKR in November of '07. I was frustrated; I was worried; I was impatient. I was wondering and worried if I had made the right decision and if I would ever walk normally again. As many of said, and I concur, it takes about a year before everything feels "just right."

But just as one cannot rush a restaurant to prepare fine food, our bodies will not be rushed in returning to normal after the major effects of slicing, sawing, hammering, gluing, screwing, and and suturing (OK---maybe stapling). There was great trauma done to our bodies; it takes, perhaps, a greater amount of time to recover.

Those of you who have recently had the TKR surgery completed and are on what we here on the forum call, "the other side" now need to understand that this rehab process takes some time---for some---it takes quite some time. However, if you keep your head up, and abide by the forum guidelines, you will regain your life.

Many of us (myself included), are fastidious people who have a schedule for everything. This, unfortunately, is something that we cannot schedule---it is ironic that it is our recovery and rehab but it is not up to us; it is up to our bodies as to when and how we heal.

As the Greek Philosopher Epictetus said nearly 2000 years ago, "No great thing is created suddenly." This will be a great thing for you; it will be life-altering; it will be tremendously positive; but it will take time. Remember, your knee did not get this way over night---it will take a great deal of time and effort to re-assemble your life, but it will happen.

Your passion will allow you to put your life back together again and to once again do those activities that brought you the most joy and made you truly human. Not only will you regain your life and be pain-free, but your passion will allow others to see what they can do; you will become the "pathfinder" that will blaze the trail for others to follow, as well.

We have become accepting of "fast food" in our society; there is no risk there and we know exactly what we are getting (besides clogged arteries!) A Greek historian, Herodotus, said that,"Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks." You have made the decision to have surgery and have taken a great risk in restoring your life; you will recover from this---it will take a great deal of time and patience, but your life will be tremendously brighter and better than before.

So, I ask you, why settle for the "cheeseburger, fries and Coke" when you can have lobster with a champagne sauce and a Sauvignon Blanc, or a Riesling?

After it is all said and done, and you have regained your life, you may pop the cork. No fast food place in the world can do that for you.

Sorry for the length of this, and I wish all of you the best,

Tim C.

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