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TKR Tri Mom's TKR Pre Op Thread

Tri Mom

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Left LTR scheduled for August 19th. Looking for everything I can find on how to be as strong and fit as possible pre-op.
 

Pumpkln

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@Tri Mom
Welcome to BoneSmart, Glad you joined us! :welome:

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 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?
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

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
 

Pumpkln

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You'll notice that I have moved your newest post and started your pre op thread. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.
How to tag another member; how to answer when someone tags you

Here are the instructions on finding your thread, How can I find my threads and posts?Many members bookmark their thread, so they can find it when they log on.

You have been added to the August Hot Shots, and your surgery date is now in your signature.
 

leejaa

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You want to be as strong and fit as possible for your surgery. How to achieve this depends on what you can do with your knee needing a replacement. Healthy eating is always a wise choice to boost your immunity. You can do upper body work outs to strengthen your arms for using a walker and moving around. Depending on your knee you might do some biking or water walking. I did bike before my knee replacements though the knees were not always happy after I got off the bike but did not hurt while I was doing it. Walking was totally out for me since just grocery shopping could make me cry and I went to a smaller store.
 

kneeper

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^So true that it depends on what your knee will allow. How well I remember clinging to the grocery cart for dear life...
Grocery shopping today may be a bit of a challenge--but not because of the knees! :oyvey:
 
OP
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Tri Mom

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I was signed up for Ironman Chattanooga 2020 and was biking 50-60 miles on a weekend as well as swimming 1+ mile and running as well when the arthritis in my knee said 'enough'. I have already had 2 meniscus repairs and my ortho said if I hurt my knee again then, TKR was on the docket. I have my fingers crossed I am lucky with a decent recovery time and can get back to training at some point. I am not worried about running ever again - as I was never fast. Hope to someday still compete and walk the marathon at the end of the 140.6 event.
 

Jaycey

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I have my fingers crossed I am lucky with a decent recovery time and can get back to training at some point.
Of course you will get back to training. Biking and swimming are great sports for people with new knees. Just let that knee have the time it needs to heal. A slow and steady recovery will get you back to active life again.

I'm going to tag my colleague @Roy Gardiner who is an avid cyclist. He had bilateral TKR. We even had a cycling group in the Social Room.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Cycling is great post TKR, it's a great sport in its own right never mind as part of a triathlon. And spining on a bike can be part of recovery. Using a bike to gain ROM is pretty simple:
  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle low enough so that a single rotation is a challenge; difficult but not painful. When a rotation becomes easy right from the start, lower the saddle a max of 1cm.
  • Gently turn the pedals, through discomfort but without pain.
  • Continue until the knee is 'warmed up' and the rotation is now easy, or for 2 minutes, whichever is the shorter time.
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • Do not pedal fast or for more than 2 minutes, this is a stretching exercise, not training.
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
Here is a bit more chat and some pix and how 'healing' and 'training' are different

if you can't make a full rotation

  • Set the bike to zero resistance
  • Set the saddle as high as possible and rock the pedals back and forth as far as you can with discomfort but no pain
  • Repeat several/many times a day, but don't go mad. Diminishing returns will apply; my guess is that half a dozen reps would be enough
  • And if you get any pain or swelling in the 24 hours after doing this, cut it down until you don't
 
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Tri Mom

Tri Mom

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Curious is you go home with some sort of knee brace post-op. I am worried about sleeping without some sort of stabilization.
 

Jockette

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Most of us did not have a brace, it is only for special situations.

While your soft tissue will be very upset right after surgery, your new replaced knee will be very strong. Some/many members feel an improvement in basic stability right away,
 

Roy Gardiner

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Curious is you go home with some sort of knee brace post-op. I am worried about sleeping without some sort of stabilization.
Sleeping is a challenge. But I found my body soon learned and I would keep reasonably stable overnight. It's tough though for the first while.

It's the price to pay for a pain-free future
 

leejaa

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No brace to go home with for me and that was wonderful. Bandages are on your knee and they keep it supported but mobile to a degree at the same time.
 
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Tri Mom

Tri Mom

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I worry about getting tangled up in the sheet and twisting the joint. Is this worry unfounded? I am also a belly sleeper which I expect will be a challenge.
 

leejaa

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I am a slide sleeper so it was an adjustment to sleep on my back but that does not last forever and at first it just feels good to be lying down with legs elevated. Never got twisted up in the sheet mainly because at first you are not super mobile at tossing around or at least I wasn't so hard to get tangled up. Sleep in recovery is a challenge no matter which way you sleep as it did not come for me in large blocks of time but naps during the day made up for that. I used the recliner for a week or so to sleep in as it was easier for me to get up and since my husband was asleep in bed upstairs I did not worry him as much. I stayed downstairs since the kitchen, bathroom, living room were close at hand so I could get up and wander when sleep was elusive or watch mindless TV till I drifted off without disturbing him. He had to get up early to go to work so I wanted to make sure he had sleep.
 

newlybionic

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The joint will be strong and you will not be able to twist it very easily at all. You will probably wind up sleeping on your back in the beginning. You will want your knee elevated to keep the swelling down.
 

TBITKR

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Hi Tri,

I’m glad I came across your thread. We have cycling & running in common. It’s good that you got onto this site pre-op. There’s good info here that varies from other sites.

I’m 5 weeks out of left TKR and have been trying to figure out the balance of progressing as well as possible without overdoing it. ugh -not easy. My brain is hardwired to work as hard as you can +push +push yourself.. but NO!!! Being an athlete, you’re used to needing a rest day here and there, but this requires hard-core REST for a very looong time. Think of rest as a new sport to master. And course I expected a lot of pain, but not this much for this long. Whaaa I feel like a big baby.

My surgeon sent me home with an immobilizer to keep the leg straight overnight, w instructions to wear it for 6 weeks. The first few nights I was able to sleep on my back w it on, most likely bc of opioid pain meds. But in <week I couldn’t take it anymore, and stopped using it. My PT keeps checking that my knee joint can straighten and says it’s fine.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Lots of luck on your surgery,

~Beth
 

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