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UK-based custom-made TKR date set - May the Fourth be with me

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Oomworthy, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Until I typed the title I hadn't noticed the date, mainly because us Brits say the number then the month, so now I know I have to be as brave as a Jedi through this.

    Anyway, the date has finally been set for my TKR - I've been waiting for this for several years after injuries to the patella, then a dislocation (with nerve damage) and then a tibial plateau fracture - so hopefully this'll sort many of my issues.

    I'm having the op done privately (on my insurance) and my surgeon prefers custom made implants (Conformis) so I think I have a better chance of a significant improvement.

    I have had plenty of operations on the knee over the last 7-8 years so I'm not particularly concerned about any aspect of the procedure or even the recovery, more just anxious to see what results I get.
     
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  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @ - and :welome:

    Please will you tell us the dates of your previous knee surgeries, so we can add them to your signature? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

    I'm glad you now have a date for your TKR.

    Here are some articles that will help you prepare for 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
     
  3. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Welcome to BoneSmart. I hate to burst your bubble but your premise of a 'better chance' is a little faulted. One knee is pretty much the same as any other knee, custom implants included.

    But the TKR is THE most successful surgery world wide in medical history and that includes all types of devices!
     
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  4. Jajakio

    Jajakio senior

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    I had a conformis knee put in about 8 months ago and am very happy with it. The notion of a knee replacement the exact size and shape of my knee instead of one of a limited number of off the shelf sizes made sense to me from the first time I heard the idea. And for me the reality has lived up to my expectations. From the beginning in the hospital, it felt like my knee, my knee with a bad sprain, but nonetheless my knee. That may be true with other knees too but I've heard several people say theirs doesn't quite feel the same as a real knee. I found bonesmart a few weeks before my surgery and ive read lots of stories here in the months since. And some of them involve a knee that didnt fit right or wasnt the right size. I'm sure a good experienced surgeon and a good hospital with a low infection rate are important too, but there is no doubt in my mind that im going back to the same surgeon and getting another custom conformis knee when I need the other knee done.

    You can read my recovery thread if you like. I think I hit a lot of milestones relatively early and at 8 months out I have my life back. I work full time with a job that requires a fair amount of walking. I am able to be on my feet much of the day like today and after work today I came home and cooked, refinished chairs for a couple of hours after dinner and was not exhausted by the end of the day. I'm not quite 100% yet. Bending sharply or doing a lot of stairs still causes discomfort, maybe a 1 or occasionally a 2 pain level, but it getting better all the time and it's not enough to slow me down.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  5. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Hi Celle. My other surgeries have been spread over the years and I have no idea of dates, other than the dates of the traumas and operations that followed those. The knee issues all started with motorbike crashes.

    July 1995 - crash resulting in shattered patella. Reconstructed using mesh and pins.
    1996 - fall resulting in re-fractured patella, which left it wider than it used to be.
    Minor interventions during the years to smooth the rear surface of the patella.
    August 2010 - crash resulting in dislocation of the knee, tibial plateau fracture, crushed/stretched peroneal nerve (with loss of sensation). Leg was fixed in external frame for 12 weeks then in hinged cast for further 8 weeks then plastic brace on & off for rest of year. Other injuries included shattered elbow, dislocated Sacroiliac joint and fractured pelvis - total of 7 weeks immobile bedrest.
    August 2011 - slip/fall resulting in femoral fracture, cast for 8 weeks.
    2013-2017 - arthroscopic intervention to smooth surfaces (debridement), remove debris, inject Duralaine, and make visual inspection. Metal pins were also removed from tibia in anticipation of osteotomy (which was never done).
    During this time I've also had Duralaine injections several times but the last time (by my GP) was so painful that I've declined another one. They usually bought me a few months of pain relief.

    Sorry I can't be simple & specific, but that pretty much sums me up!
     
  6. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Hi Josephine. Yes I'm discovering that much of the custom implant blurb is marketing, and that the surgeon's skills are one of, if not THE, most important aspect for a successful operation. As you can see above, I have a long and messy history with this one knee - two motorbike crashes and two subsequent falls - so I know that I am one of those people at a higher risk of disappointment. Ultimately I have to take my surgeon's advice and his opinion is that this is the best option for me, and I know that even a 50% improvement would be a huge step in the right direction.

    Oddly enough, when I was admitted into A&E after the big crash, another surgeon, Mr Bodie, was on duty so he did my knee. Mr Bidwell was called in to do my elbow - which really was a mess. When I went for a private consultation with the surgeon who originally did the knee I discovered that he specialises in arms, and he referred me to Mr Bidwell (current surgeon) who specialises in legs. I can't help think that they were working at the wrong ends in theatre - but I know it's not as simple as that.

    So far I have had Mr Scotland, Mr Hope, Mr Bodie and Mr Bidwell work on me, and for a long time my GP was Dr Leg. I love that I seem to come into contact with some very appropriately names doctors. One of my nurses was Glen Campbell, but I guess that's what you get when in a Scottish hospital.
     
  7. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Hiya Jajakio. I'll have a read of your recovery thread. I've heard a few stories of people making faster early recovery than expected (mostly with the custom implant, but that may be a bias in my reading choices), and I'm hoping that with my previous experience of much the same issues I will be able to exceed timeline expectations.

    Coincidentally, one of the things that I do for a living is furniture restoration and/or refinishing. I also build and restore lamps/lighting and some clocks, so I'm hoping I can quickly get to the point where I'm able to get out into my workshop and sit at a high desk. The workshop is all of 10m from our front door, but I have the option of setting up a temporary workbench within the house. The furniture will have to wait a while.

    We have a shop and also go to antique & collectors fairs around Scotland but we've had to cancel two of our main ones because they are within a week of my op - with the most optimistic outlook and fastest possible recovery in the world they aren't manageable.
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Thank you for your attempt to summarize your knee history, @Oomworthy . I've added it to your signature.
    Your poor knee and leg have been through a lot.
     
  9. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    It's always the left knee and more often than not it happens in August: I actually started to receive "good luck - stay safe" messages from friends at the start of August each year. My original surgery date was going to be August - I wonder why I opted for an earlier date...
     
  10. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    I've been reading lots of other people's pre-op threads and I'm humbled by what some of you have been through to get to this stage. By comparison my pain is (almost) nothing.

    Pain is very personal, and when friends have complained of their pain then apologised for moaning about something 'less' than my experience, I've always explained it as; "your pain is yours and it's not reduced just because somebody else is in more pain than you" - but I can see that I'm at a stage that if they were prioritising TKR candidates on the scale in here, I'd be at the back end of the queue.

    As much as I'm looking forward to my own improvement, I find myself rooting for those around me in here who have suffered worse pain, even if for less time. So much inspiration and motivation to be taken.
     
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  11. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    When my son broke his leg in high school the orthopedic doctor we saw was Dr. Axe! Seriously!

    Best wishes to you!
     
  12. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    As long as it's a sharp one.

    My GP was the son of the doctor who started the practice, so there were actually a pair of Legs there. The son was Richard so of course it became the joke that I would go to see Dickie Leg about my dicky leg.
     
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  13. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Whatever it takes to lighten our mood in painful and uncertain situations!
     
  14. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I was quite happy to have a surgeon named Dr. Good. :snork: And gosh yes! A sense of humor is essential to any recovery.
     
  15. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    It's been an up & down sort of couple of weeks.

    My right hip was playing up so I saw my GP who ordered an xray - the result of which is that I have early stage osteoarthritis. This means that after years of problems with my knee the damage has now been done and any benefits from the TKR are going to be offset slightly (and increasingly) by the onset of the hip problems. This is more of a problem than it might seem because my knee is being done on my private insurance which was part of the settlement for the crash that caused so much damage, but they managed to slip an exclusion in at some point over the last few years and I've just discovered that my hips aren't covered. This means that I'll have to go through the NHS which is currently quoting a waiting time of 2 years from the point that they agree it needs doing. Ah well, at least I'll have a good knee.

    Today I was due for my pre-op assessment at the hospital but I got the time wrong, thinking it was 3pm but discovering at 9.30am that it was in half an hour - 35 minutes drive away. Lucky for me that it is private hospital as they rescheduled me for Wednesday. The downside is that the appointment is now 9am which means I get to sit in 1+ hour of traffic. Ah well (again), at least it'll be done in time.

    I got the auto-email from Conformis telling me that they're doing their checks on my knee. I hope it passes because there won't be time to make another one in time for my surgery appointment next Friday.

    I haven't lost any weight or been active enough to improve my fitness or strength prior to the op thanks to some increased pain levels in a few joints. Some of the pain is a result of helping my best mate move house to the other end of the country - which means my only drinking buddy is 400 miles away and won't be around to visit me in post-op days.

    All doom & gloom? Not really, I'm just feeling it all today. Tomorrow I'll probably be all sweetness & light.

    The ups? Well I've managed to finish my storage shed - for all of our project furniture - and I've got my workshop about 80% sorted, and certainly clear & organised enough to allow me to do some light projects once I'm able to stand for half an hour at a time.

    My storage shed is called 'Eileen" because she does - quite unintentional but only on one side. My workshop is now called 'Donald' because it's oversized, full of junk, and has a light shade of orange that is fading. We have 4 more sheds that are looking for names.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2018
  16. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Sounds like you are in the run up before your TKR, glad your projects are finished.
     
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  17. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Sounds like I'm being a grumpy so-and-so.

    I'm trying to give some attention to the op and the post-op period but getting stuck on the things that have been hanging over me for months but don't make much immediate difference. Just having a moan, I guess.

    I did find out late yesterday that the insurance company won't be paying for any post-op equipment or medication, so there's something else I need to sort - but I can't until I know what the hospital can provide. Roll-on Wednesday morning.
     
  18. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    On a more productive note; I think I've got a plan for the first couple of weeks of recovery that will allow my mind to be in the right place.

    I've basically written-off the first two weeks as a "do nothing" phase during which I will focus only on the swelling, pain control, and increasing RoM. ANYTHING else that I do will be a bonus and not a goal in itself. If things go well then I can add some small goals for each day.

    Hopefully after a few days I'll be feeling up to picking up my bass guitar and practicing - easy to do while sitting - and I have an online shop which I can spend some time updating and adding stock to - vintage science fiction, in case you were interested.
     
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  19. Oomworthy

    Oomworthy junior member
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    Had my pre-assessment today. Not all my questions answered as it really was a medical exam more than anything, but I got a couple of matters cleared up.

    Blood and urine samples taken and MRSA swabs done. Hopefully I'm all clear for the op next Friday.

    Looks like I'll be getting a spinal + sedative, and am to expect a 2-3 night stay (progress dependent).

    Had a music lesson today as well - the last one for a few weeks - so now I'm just hoping to be able to practice much more every day since it's a sitting down activity.

    Workshop and business projects are almost completed, so that won't be hanging over my head, and my wife has been assured that she won't have to change dressings or see any wounds - she's a wonderful person but not cut out to be a nurse.
     
  20. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You're on your way! Good planning to get work stuff out of the way now. Lots of people, maybe most, suffer from a bit of brain fog after TKR. Trouble concentrating and keeping track of stuff, that kind of thing. It all comes back as you recover.

    I love vintage sci-fi! In fact, I'm now old enough to have written some of it! :loll:
     

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