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Knee replacement

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  • Knee replacement

    How much help will I need when I get home? Barn help is great, so no worries there. Husband can not help. Family lives far away. So I get someone to bring me home from the hospital after the surgery, will I be able to do for myself? I will hire someone to take me to physical therapy....how often do they usually do that? Thanks for any information so I can be prepared.
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

  • #2
    Claudius, I've been checking back now and then to see any replies?? Where are they?? I've put off having a partial replacement of my knee for 5 yrs just cause of the time it might take for rehab. Synvisc and cortisone have helped but not anymore. I hope you get some answers and best of luck to you.


    • Original Poster

      I also posted on the H/J site and got lots of helpful information. I also have tried what you have tried and cortizone gave me the best relief but for only a month of so. So I finally accepted that if I wanted to continue to live an active life on the farm with my horses, I needed to bite the bullet and have the surgery. I have been doing the pre op tests hastily as the surgery is scheduled for Aug. 28. Good luck to you too.
      "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt


      • #4

        Send a PM to mtnmomma. She has had both of her knees replaced. I do not know if she keeps her horse at home, but she can give you the details on rehab.
        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


        • #5
          Claudius I had my left knee replaced end of December 2011, I am 43 and have offset tracking patellas with numerous dislocations of the left knee throughout my teens and 20s, developed arthritis and became bone on bone with several large bone spurs. Quality of daily life became a struggle so I found the best ortho surgeon I could and went for it. I have a husband and an 8 year old son and my parents live across the street, brought my horses home last summer and I work 40 hours a week as a desk jockey doing payroll for a local college.

          Had surgery on a Wednesday, was home Saturday afternoon, had total knee replacement of left knee as well as a lateral release for my offset tracking patella, the leg was so wonky from walking crooked for so many years. PT began in hospital, went to my parents house for first few days as hubby works out of town a lot and was advised I shouldn't be alone (ended up staying there TWO WEEKS!). In home physical therapy began the Monday after my surgery and he came to my parents home four times over the next ten days until my surgeon released me to travel to regular PT. I was on a walker for probably a good two weeks, used a raised toilet seat for a few weeks, maybe a month, also a shower seat was a godsend. Progressed to crutches, then a single crutch and finally a cane over the next 4-6 weeks. I felt more comfortable with the crutches than the cane but everyone is different. Do what makes you feel comfortable and keeps you safe, you don't want to trip or fall.

          I had 8 weeks of PT but was also dealing with weakness in the SI joint and some sciatica, again probably from the many years of being "off" with my gait and carriage. I have newfound appreciation for what our horses go through especially recovering from injury or lameness. I was off work for 9 weeks and did half days for another two weeks. I was going to the barn to see my horses after a few weeks but not doing anything there as I was still on crutches and unsteady. Started feeding on my own at about 6-7 weeks but no lifting or packing much, still on a cane and being VERY careful. I think it was about four months before I mucked my first stall and again I was very careful. I was released to ride by four months and actually did ride a few laps around my arena several times but honestly have not ridden since then, it doesn't hold much appeal for me anymore and I've switched to driving with a mini gelding and am enjoying that immensely. I am able to do most of my barn chores but I am always aware and very mindful of my limitations. No lifting over 40 pounds and I try not to lift heavy objects much, you want this joint to last as many years as possible. I'm steadier on my feet now than I was before but I'm mindful of footing as well and this winter will be a test with the mud. I often carry my muck rake or an old rake handle around as a walking stick just in case.

          I'm almost 8 months out now and I don't have any joint pain but I do have residual stiffness and swelling and discomfort. Its not the same kind of pain and discomfort as before but its not totally free of any of it either if that makes sense. I'm glad I did it, I didn't have much choice, it had to be done. Folks have told me to give it two years before you really are going well and forget about the fact that you have an artificial joint. I have 0 extension and my ROM is probably around 120-125, I was about 110 prior to surgery so I'm happy with that. My other knee is arthritic as well but not nearly as bad so I'll put off replacing that one as long as I can. My surgeon said he was okay with me riding "just don't fall off" and his bigger concern is me cutting myself at the barn and getting an infection, he is neurotic about infections and I will take a course of antibiotics prior to any medical or dental procedure that he deems they are necessary for. There is no messing around with that. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, am happy to relate my experience to anyone and I know others on here who have been more successful than me, gal on another horse board had both hers replaced this year and is gearing up to hit her show season next year hot and heavy which is great.


          • #6
            Also should add I had an ice machine from day one, try to get one, its the biggest help in healing, I used it for nearly two months. Do not hesitate to ask for and take the pain meds, you need to stay ahead of the pain so you can do the PT which will be the biggest help to you, do not get discouraged or hung up on the numbers just keep doing the work and it will get better and stronger. Get plenty of rest, you may or may not sleep well for some time. I still sleep with pillows between my legs. Try to eat well and stay hydrated but your appetite may not be good for awhile because of the medications you are on. Fiber is your friend and stool softener, take both as the medications and lack of activity will get you bound up.

            My PT was twice a week for 8 weeks, about 6 weeks out I started back with my chiro and massage too. You will need some help at home especially for those first few weeks with meal preparation, help with your exercises and keeping you comfortable. The folks who live alone that I've read about usually ended up at in transitional care for the first two weeks after surgery before the surgeon would release them to go home alone. You need to check with your surgeon on what their protocol is.

            I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting but that's what I remember for now


            • #7
              Mr P had hip replacement and BIL had his knee replaced. You really shouldn't be alone for the first week or so, especially if you are taking narcotics.
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


              • #8
                Had a TKR of the left knee on Nov 2nd (2011) and the first month was very difficult mostly because I can't tolerate narcotics and the only other pain reliever I was allowed to take was tylenol (worthless for this kind of pain IMHO). Didn't sleep more than 3 or 4 hours a night for a month and was exhausted and felt completely defeated. Fortunately I had my husband helping me around the house and he also took care of our horses and dogs. I had surgery on Wednesday and went home Saturday, started PT in the hospital and then went to therapy sessions 3 times a week for 8 or 10 weeks. I was able to care for the horses by myself by early January (husband had to leave for a job and was only home every other weekend) but it was not easy. One day while trying to carry 3 blankets up to the barn from the pasture, I tripped over the dangling leg straps and crashed forward onto the hard clay ground. Lay there for a few minutes assessing the "damage", found I had none and got to my feet. I think the new knee is really quite tough. My surgeon also warned me about infection - he requires pre-treating with antibiotics before dental cleanings or any other possibly intrusive procedures. Like one of the responders above, I am not totally thrilled with my knee yet - I don't have the pain I used to have walking but the range of motion is not as good as I would like and it just feels weird (i.e. not natural). Maybe in another 6 months or a year I will feel better about it but right now, I am not inclined to do the other one unless it gets way worse than it is now. I have ridden a few times (mounting was tricky and thank goodness my horse is a real steady guy who doesn't object to someone dragging themselves up his side!) I found I could post okay (which was way too painful before the surgery) so that was an improvement. Hope to ride more when the hot weather is over. Hope this helps and feel free to PM me if you wish.


                • #9
                  Interesting information here. I am scheduled to do my left TKR on Sept 11th... I will have my hubby to help for 1st week afterwards, but then he's gotta go back to work. I have a nephew who will feed & clean the horses for a few weeks, but it looks like I will need him longer than that, huh.
                  ‎"Luck favors the prepared, darling." ~~ Edna Mode


                  • #10
                    I've gone home by myself after 3 knee replacements (I'm anatomically gifted!) and will be going home alone after my upcoming 4th (and hopefully, final!) replacement in December. Well, it's me and the 3 dogs. Would it be easier to have some help? Sure, but I have no one who can help, so I do it alone. The trick is to stock your house carefully before hand with easy to prepare food (frozen, canned, whatever), keep your phone handy all the time, and arrange for a pooper-scooper service to pick up the dog yard weekly. I did start PT in the hospital after each surgery, and had a therapist come to the house 2-3x a week for about 4 weeks --- then I was on my own. I had a list of what I was supposed to do everyday and had been doing it anyway. I was out of work for 6 weeks, which is about right --- could have taken off longer had I needed it, but I was ready to go. Ice packs will be your best friend. And the back of your leg will turn lovely colors --- doesn't hurt, but it will gross out anyone who comes to visit! (The front of my leg looked like I was one of the Simpsons...)


                    • #11
                      My mom had a total knee done last year. She was in the hospital for a couple weeks where they did the PT there and then they had at home PT for I think 6 weeks. She then went to PT twice a week for a few more weeks.

                      The first 2-3 weeks were really hard for her, and she pretty much had to have someone home with her most of the time.

                      She was back on a horse in about 6 months.

                      I know its not much, but hope that helps

                      Best of luck to you, and hope you recover quickly!
                      Eventers of the West
                      A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S.
                      Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cdalt View Post
                        I can't tolerate narcotics and the only other pain reliever I was allowed to take was tylenol (worthless for this kind of pain IMHO)..

                        I have the same problem. I recently broke my back... I don't even bother with advil or tylenol. But I'd rather be constantly nauseated than in pain. :S
                        Eventers of the West
                        A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S.
                        Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!


                        • Original Poster

                          Two weeks post surgery.

                          I can walk very well with the walker. I take a walk twice a day down my driveway and back. Swelling is almost gone except for right around the knee itself. Pain is controlled with Dilaudin and tylenol and PT is going very well...with my straightness to a 9 and ROM at 109 already. My therapist tells me this is excellent. My ice machine is my b est friend. I keep my leg elevated at all times. three days in the hospital then straight home and mostly self care. I did enjoy the care in the hospital!!

                          My biggest problem is my blood pressure. I always have had low BP but now it is plummeting when I stand up. I have to walk very slowly or I get very woozy...that is why I continue to use the walker. Otherwise I would be fine with a cane or with out anything. The nurse says I am dehydrated. So now I am trying to push fluids....8 8 oz glasses a day. When she said this I knew this was the cause of my dizziness......I usually might drink two to three 8 oz of fluids daily. she made her point.....I will drink more.

                          Thanks every one for your advice, stories and encouragement. It is so helpful.
                          "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt