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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,823

    Default 10 days on my new Knee

    I had a total knee replacement on Monday, Jan 13. I was somewhat stunned that they had me standing on it a few hours after surgery (I was afraid the glue would not be set).

    I have started PT and am still taking painkillers which is not a lot of fun.

    I am doing my best to do exactly what I am told.

    Would love to hear from those who have had successful knee replacements. It would have been useful if I had been told to expect bruising several days after the surgery. It was a bit stressful to see my ankle turn black Sunday night but evidently that is not uncommon.
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2007
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Hi,
    I had my TKR about four months ago and it really isn't that much fun. My leg turned all kinds of neat colors for about a month, so that is totally normal. I was on the bike the day after my surgery and was able to do a full revolution at that time. I'm sure I would've been on it the day of surgery but I come out of anesthesia like a wild woman and they had to give me Valium. That totally knocked my socks off and I was barely awake for the rest of the day

    Please continue to take the pain meds as they tell you and don't be afraid to ask for more. I was on all kinds of pain meds because my OS thinks it's better to not be in any pain. You are only a few days out and you need to take it easy. Ice and elevation are your new best friends. I still take a Vicodin here or there if I over do things.

    What kind of range of motion do you have now? I was very unusual because I had no trouble going down the stairs but I couldn't walk back up the stairs,forever! They say most people are the opposite. I can do both now without any trouble.

    I did get on my horse at 7 weeks for a short ride and it felt fantastic!! No pain at all. I also decided to go back to work at 5 weeks but that's because I work from home.

    I suggest you take as much time as you can to let your new knee heal and DON'T let the PT people hurt you. Uncomfortable is ok but hurting is not. I told my OS that I kicked the PT person out of my house because she was brutal and he said I should have socked her one. I love my surgeon.

    If you want a great website to go to and talk to all kinds of people who have had TKR's go to www.bonesmart.org . Fantastically friendly people with a ton of information and don't worry, it seems like it takes forever to heal but it gets better. At three months I was taking care of my six horses by myself so you will get there.

    I did do something stupid the other day. I actually thought I would go snowshoeing. Note to self( and you) don't try to snowshoe at four months! I have been icing and taking huge quantities of Aleve for the last couple of days. Ouch!

    Hope you feel better and look up that website. You'll be up and running around in a few short months


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,895

    Default

    Had both knees replaced this year, one in May and one in October. The May knee
    is pretty quiet, the October knee is still having growing pains .

    My OS insisted in Hydrochodone (spelling) for the pain killer as he has you do
    a couple of weeks of blood thinners and my favorite pain med isn't compatible with blood thinners. There is a teeny tiny warning on the bottle regarding
    constipation can result. Take it seriously and take a stool softener at minimum,
    especially if you have any preexisting colon issues such as divertiulus (spelling).

    Basically at about three weeks, I had an impaction colic resulting in a bowel resection and a colostomy bag. Lost the last 14 inches of colon. Four weeks in the hospital, 2 weeks on a ventilator, numerous nasty infections. Then four weeks in rehab as I could barely walk, lift an arm, etc. And then lots of PT. Fortunately, my colostomy could be reversed and had surgery for that in early December (10 days), two days home and back for another four with an abcess by a stitch that burst. The four days was basically waiting on a culture. So far, so good!

    My family doc had another patient about the same time who went through something similar and was having nightmares. My memory is blank after going through the ER doors until waking up in ICU a couple of weeks later. My Chiro
    also said what happened to me happens more than you would think. Took hydrochronine again for second knee replacement and watched things like a hawk taking whatever it took to keep things moving.

    The bright spot--wonderful ICU nurses who kept the knee moving, propped in
    different positions and jiggled a schedule of antibiotics that was pretty daunting.
    My ortho guy was kept in the loop although he didn't have privileges at my
    hospital and advised them what to look for in case of infection in the knee. Mine
    is insistent on antibiotics before every dental visit. Be sure to let any surgeon know you have TKRs done before surgery for anything else.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    South Euclid Ohio
    Posts
    232

    Default

    I'm so happy to see this thread! I'm scheduled for surgery (left knee) on Feb. 4th. I hope you all keep posting - I'd love to follow all of your recoveries as well as take some of the fear out of it for me. Between spinal fusion a little over a year ago and now this, I'd like to believe that I still have a riding "life" ahead of me. It doesn't help that we had to retire my A/A hunter last year at this time (he's on a farm in KY now), so while I still "own" a horse, for the first time in 30 years, I don't really "have" a horse............................................. ...........LDF - do you post on BoneSmart? You're right - it's a great source of information. I just kind of stumbled onto it and I'm so grateful. I've been so busy trying to wrap certain things up at work and then exhausted by the time I get home that I haven't been able to post much but everyone is so welcoming. There are some really great articles including one about that unpleasant side effect of pain medication, BasqueMom. It has some interesting recipes for dealing with it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2013
    Posts
    18

    Default

    I had my left knee replaced six weeks ago. The pain has not been bad, in fact I have more pain in my ankle and lower leg (which I broke about two years ago.)
    I think the ankle pain is just due to the changes in my knee, the ankle/lower leg are still adjusting. I was up a few hours after surgery, and started therapy the next day. I was back driving and going to work at my desk job in about two weeks. My ortho says 3 to six months on riding, which has me pretty bummed out, I thought it was like 6 to 8 weeks, and I have a very busy show schedule planned! My horse is at the trainers, and should be ready for me to step on as soon as I can. I am currently weaning myself off the cane and am hoping to ride as soon as possible. I really believe that riding would be the best therapy (physical and mental possible)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Location
    Orlean, Virginia
    Posts
    2,959

    Default

    Yay Liz! I hope you have a grand result. Gotta hand it to ya'll TKR riders and you're efforts. It's not a small thing you've done. Congrats and best wishes to all who ride after them.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2000
    Location
    a nice warm place
    Posts
    1,448

    Default

    I have now had my new knee 6 months and I love it. I started back riding at 6 weeks. The pain was completely gone immediately after surgery. I only took pain killers in the hospital, when I went home I just took Aleve. I was able to climb the stairs when I got home to get into my bed instead of having to sleep downstairs. I never needed a cane or walker, but I did limp for about 4 weeks and had to go back under to have my knee manipulated because it would not bend more that 116 degrees. I took my physical therapy seriously and went to rehab 3 times a week until 8 weeks. My only downside is that I experienced depression the first 2 weeks - a deep depression. That lifted along with my appetite.

    I'm just so happy not to suffer from that chronic deep pain in my knee.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2002
    Posts
    358

    Default 4 years out

    Before my TKR, I did all the research and blogs, including videos of the operation. In retrospect, that was probably not a good idea. (the videos). It's a pretty barbaric procedure. I think in the near future, when they can figure out how to grow cartiledge in a test tube, people will think about TKR like we think about the ancient practice of blood letting.
    Found out some interesting things. Do you know you call call off the operation at any point (until you start counting backwards!)? The operating room (and I'm not a stranger to it) was scary, everyone is in space suits because of the risk of infection. I was ready to call it off, when I asked my surgeon if he could show me what they were going to put in my leg. Just stalling I think. He told me he couldn't show me my hardware, but rummaged around in what looked like the OR's junk drawer, and showed me the new parts. I think he was surprized that I was thinking of escaping. The OR nurses told me I could back out but, the OR was already rented and there would be alot of people mad at me. : ) So . . . when I looked at the walnut sized joint, I thought I could handle that, so I gave them the go ahead.
    Research your doctor's history of infections. My guy had the best record on the east coast. He was the only one that touched the dressing in the hospital.
    And you'll never do anything harder than the rehabb. But at least you'll know there's an end to the pain and you'll get your life back. 3 months later I was riding my new horse, with no pain. Good luck to you and stay strong.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,823

    Default

    I start with my knee replacement therapy group for PT on Monday with Kaiser. We meet twice a week for 12 weeks or until I get full range of motion.

    I am a big believe in prune juice so the constipation has not been a problem but I did have diarrhea my second night in the hospital which was quite horrible but I survived thanks to a wonderful CNA who came running when ever I ran for her!

    I did the exercises before and am "ahead of the curve" for rehab. I think the fact that we are riders put us in good headspace for doing what needs to be done.

    thanks for the support
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,611

    Default Jingles & AO for you ~ plan your work & work you plan ~ you'll be fine !


    Jingles & AO for you !

    Plan your work and work your plan ~

    With time `` You'll be fine ~

    I have a titanium hip ````ride and drive horses `` no problem !

    Glad you are on the mend ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2007
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Susie09,
    I do post on the bonesmart but only occasionally now. Although I do still go on and read it. Love the info on there.

    Redpony, I did the same thing! I actually loved seeing the videos of how they did the surgery but agree it's not for the faint of heart! I fought getting a new knee every way I could but now that I have it, I'm glad I did it.

    QHfan,
    I had, still have that same thing with my ankle and my back. I have never been able to walk straight because my feet have turned in since I was born. It totally amazes me that the leg that has the new knee, the foot is totally straight!! So I am assuming my body will need to adjust to this after 53 years of walking like a duck

    Lizathenag,
    You need to go at your own rate and how you feel. Don't put yourself in a position where you compare yourself to anyone else. Everybody has a different healing rate. My job is very physical and even tho I work from home, I had to be extremely careful not to get knocked off my feet or have some 90lb Lab run into me. I was getting bored and needed something to do since I was paying someone to care for my six horses for three months. My body was screaming for something to do. Probably should not have gone back so early

    My OS warned me to be very, very, very careful with it and even now he tells me not to overdue it. Of course I am the idiot who drove down to the barn on day 9 and was really wondering if my right leg would be able to step on the brake since my barn is at the bottom of a hill. Alas, I did not crash thru the fence

    As far as constipation goes while taking pain meds, I bought prunes and Miralax but never needed the Miralax because I eat tons of fresh fruit, greens and beans. Believe me I was on oodles and oodles of pain meds because my OS believed that if his patients aren't in pain then they would be more likely to bend the knee and do all the exercises. Turns out he was right! I had the PT person come once to my house, and went 4 x to outpatient PT at 6 weeks and I really didn't even need that. My biggest hurdle was walking up the stairs. Now I can walk up them without any pain! That has made a world of difference to me because I use to have to crawl on my hands and knees to go up stairs

    Hang in there, it a long recovery but it will be worth it

    May I ask how old everybody on here was when they got their new knee?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2010
    Location
    chauffering my kids....
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Thrilled to read this thread ( and hoping not to hijack it) ...my SO is seriously contemplating a TKR sometime soon. He's a farrier and hasn't been able to find another farrier who's had one done. That is his hold out right now, and to be perfectly honest, the surgeon's as well. SO is 50 this year so knows that he might need another replacement at some point well down the road.

    I'm a nurse and the idea of any surgery scares the #*&%*& out of me. Postop infections are so scary and tough to clear in an artificial joint.

    So, if any of you know a farrier that's had a TKR, would love to hear about how quickly they were able to return to work.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2002
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    176

    Default Best of luck on Feb. 4th!

    I"m 3 wks tomorrow since TKR and feel so happy. I waited a very long time trying to convince myself that I really did need one. My OS told me a year ago that he was ready but I needed to be ready. By the time I went in, I had about 90degree bending capability and probably -20 straightening. I've had to work hard, with meds for sure, in PT and am now bending 120 and straightening -10. I had a lot of bruising like others(especially behind the knee) but all the pain in the location before surgery was gone that day! I had heard others say that and after a bit I realized that was so true.
    Yep, ice, elevation,meds and PT and lots of walking around the house and now outside some. I must say, please have good help for a couple of weeks...my hubby has been THE guy to go to and done my jobs and his and will continue for a couple of more weeks. I do dread going to see my doggies cause they jump and they fly right by me with an inch to spare sometimes. As a matter of fact, one of my cats flipped me in the wash pit 2 days before surgery and banged my knee and face. I was afraid they might cancel surgery but no problem.
    Again, I wish you a ton of luck and hope you will be as happy as so many of us who've already had one.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2008
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I've had my TKR for 23 years. Getting ready to have it redone as I have worn down the plastic "cartilage" in the middle. When I had it done they figured on 10 to 15 years of use. I have ridden and hunted the whole time. Guess I did well with it.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Location
    The rolling hills of Virginia
    Posts
    5,892

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I've had my TKR for 23 years. Getting ready to have it redone as I have worn down the plastic "cartilage" in the middle. When I had it done they figured on 10 to 15 years of use. I have ridden and hunted the whole time. Guess I did well with it.
    Wayne - I think I love you! I am 32 days out from surgery and your post is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear! I am doing great (technically), but after almost 6 years of dicking around with this knee since the accident (yes, riding) I so want to be done with it for a while - while I still have time to do some good riding. You've given me hope!

    SCFarm
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    www.southern-cross-farm.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,917

    Default

    Humblepie, I sent you a PM. My husband is a farrier and had both knees replaced at the same time in 2010, when he was 57. Surgery was 12/2/2010; he was back under a horse part time, working with a buddy in mid-February 2011 & started working full time on his own March 1, 2011. More info in my PM.

    DH's surgeon hadn't worked on a farrier before either; so during one of the pre-op appointments, DH showed the surgeon what kind of position he needs to be in to work - that helped the surgeon understand a little more what he does & the stress it takes on your body.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    South Euclid Ohio
    Posts
    232

    Default

    I can't believe how quickly the past few weeks have flown by! Just 3-1/2 more days and I'll be joining you on the recovery side of TKR. As much as I still wish this wasn't necessary, I know that it is and in a strange way I'm actually excited to move forward. I guess I'm in final prep mode now - earlier this week I stopped taking all vitamins, supplements, etc. and this morning I started using mupirocin ointment (twice a day for 3 days prior to surgery and continuing for 5 days after)............................................ ...............................................I do have a question for those who have started riding again. For the past year or so, a leg up was out of the question - any slight, accidental twisting motion was/is excruciating. What about after surgery? I'm only 5' - maybe 5'1" if I really, really stretch. Will I eventually be able to tolerate a leg up again or should I plan on always having a step ladder or something handy?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2013
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Good luck on your surgery. I can't answer the leg up question. I'm at 7 weeks and hoping to get the ok to ride at my next checkup. Good Luck!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2013
    Posts
    18

    Default 8 week checkup

    I went to my doctor today, it has been 8 weeks since my knee replacement. I was released from physical therapy on Friday, and everything is fine. He asks that I wait till the three month mark to ride. So I'm almost there!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    745

    Default

    In watching my dad recover from 2 TKRs at different times, I think keeping up on the pain meds is really important. He was really good about taking then with his first one and several years out had very few problems with it. His second knee he pretty much refused to take any pain killers, even otc ones, and is having more problems with this knee (he's about 4 months post-op), and IMO, it's because he couldn't stretch his scar or work on his ROM as much because of pain. His knee works well, and the arthritis pain is gone, but he feels like the skin is tight over the front of his knee if he exercises much.

    Glad to hear so many people are doing well and riding after TKRs!



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