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Old 12-26-2015, 07:42 AM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,119 posts, read 8,167,139 times
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I had two knee replacements done in fall/winter 2012, just 8 weeks apart. Both times I was in the hospital overnight, and left after about 24 hours. They don't (or didn't, back then) do them that closely, but I recovered so quickly from the first one that they went ahead with the second one just 8 weeks later. I ended up with 2 new knees to celebrate New Year's 2013!

Yes, ice and gel packs, but my swelling went down fairly quickly in both instances. I'd have to say that the second surgery was the easier one, because I knew what to expect, and what to do. I actually drove myself to PT after 2 weeks both times, as I feel most comfortable behind the wheel, and on the road. Made me feel more "normal". But I had to drive an automatic shift car.

I was 65 at the time, and in excellent health, very active. The knee damage was caused by wear and tear from running a trucking company for 35 years, lifting, and general tough treatment. It was not caused by disease or inflammation. I think that is a very big factor in recovery. My muscles were very strong and used to activity. I was not overweight at the time, nor had I ever been.

I had an uncle who was 78 at the time and had his 2nd one done (first had been done over 5 years before) and it was a breeze for him, also. But he was a walker, as I was.

Within 6 months after my surgeries, I was up in Maine clearing land with 2 male relatives, and building a small ranch house. This included ladder work and actually getting up on the roof. I could never have done any of that with the old knees. If I had to get it done all over again, I would, in a heartbeat. But I agree that your physical condition is the key to swifter recovery.
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:24 PM
Location: Colorado
18,836 posts, read 4,950,245 times
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Had a left total knee replacement in Oct of 2012...glad I did, I got to the point where I couldn't straighten my leg
and it hurt all the time, and this was after I went in for an arthroscopy, it did nothing to help..the knee replacement
was what I needed.
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Old 12-26-2015, 02:16 PM
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I had surgery Tuesday afternoon, and went home on Thursday morning. I got up to walk to the bathroom an hour or so after coming back, with help and a walker. The next day I was walking with the walker all over the unit. I used a walker for the first week and then just went without at home, but took the walker with me for part of the next week if I went out.

The hospital gave me an ice bag "holder"? with a place to insert these frozen bags of gel, plus two extra bags. The ice helped a lot, since I had a lot of swelling, as well as bruising.

I went to PT for a month, but got annoyed when I had to continually search out the PT assistants for the next exercise, and also when the PT pushed my leg to the point where I was in tears and didn't stop. Also couldn't keep on paying the copays when I could do most of it at home.

Some things that I did ahead? Had my dh install two extra grab bars in the shower, had a bath mat, had some easy meals in the freezer, made sure I was all caught up with laundry, etc. I purchased a walker and a raised toilet seat ahead of time.

One thing that was VERY helpful, was I brought a bag of bran flakes to the hospital, and had a bowl for breakfast each morning, and had already purchased Milk of Mag and docusate sodium in case I needed it.

I was sent home with two pairs of thigh high white anti-embolism stockings, and while they were so uncomfortable, they helped, and I wore them for the first month until the followup visit at the doctors.
My doctor had me taking Celebrex, and an aspirin twice a day, and prescriptions for stronger pain meds, which I stopped taking early on.

My biggest complaint with the entire thing was just fatigue. The first two weeks I had to sleep on my back, plus with the stockings on, so it was uncomfortable. It was hard to do the exercises and PT when I had so little sleep. Also, I wasn't allowed to drive until the followup visit a month later.

However, I am sleeping normally now, and pretty much feel fine. Still trying to build up muscle and getting a better range of motion, but it'll come.

My dh was extremely helpful during this time. IF you live alone, I'd suggest you have things in place before surgery.

On my presurgical visit with the doctor, he gave me a booklet that basically answered all my questions, and had some exercises in it. I went to a presurgical class at the hospital and they also gave me a booklet, and spoke for an hour and a half as to what to expect. When I was discharged, I was given another booklet about what to expect post-surgically, and when I went to my followup visit at the doctor's, I received yet another booklet for the time after the first month. So, I was well prepared.

A question to ask your doctor is how many hip/knee replacements does he/she do in a year. Mine does
150, and only does replacements. Also, does your hospital have a dedicated OR just for hip/knee replacements? What about the floor where you will be staying? Is it for anyone who come in with an
ortho problem or just hip/knee replacements? Patients who are coming in for replacements usually have to be in pretty decent health, with lots of testing beforehand. It's important to have OR's and floors just for patients getting replacements in order to keep the infection rate down.

Anyway, for those who are thinking of having the surgery, I hope this information has helped.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:38 PM
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thank you very much, Fiddledeedee and others!!
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:02 PM
Location: Florida
5,271 posts, read 3,032,613 times
Reputation: 9620
Right knee in 2004, left in 2007, both doing well. My wife right in 1995, left in 2006, she does pretty well. We both have other problems. Ages 81 and 80.
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