Knee Replacement Surgery

On November 3rd, I had my total knee replacement surgery on my right knee done. I knew that there would be pain afterwards, but I wasn't prepared for the amount of pain or the loss of my independence. The medications that I was on caused me to loose my appetite, and I don't think that anyone noticed that I had stopped eating. By the time my children came to take me home, I was quite weak, and in so much pain, that all I could do was sit in my livingroom and cry.

I was able to do my rehab at home, but it seems like I am being pushed to bend my knee backto 90-120 degrees right away. What part about pain and swelling doesn't anyone get? I learned the hard way about narcotics causing constipation, and it would be a great help to me to learn fron others who have gone through this on what to do and what not to do in order to heal physically, emotionally and mentally.

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I was so worried about bending my knee, that tthe rest of my body and system was falling apart. I have now lsot 15 lbs, and am slowly working my way back to eating. Foe weeks I had no appetite, and realized that loss of appetite was one of the side effects of the pain killers that I was on. The pain killers were a joke anyway so it was a no brainer that I leave them alone. The pain is not as bad as it was in the beginning and I can handle most of it by ealking back and forth from the living room to the dining room.

A friend of mine told me to make sure that I use ensure or boost to supplement my meals. This has helped me to keep my strength up.

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My daughter states that men recover quicker then women from knee replacement surgery. My landscaper was back to work in less then six weeks. I sometimes call him for advice, and he tells me to keep walking, and doing my exercises, and I will be alright. I keep freezing up when the pain hits.

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Didn't know that!
Does your Dr. know how much pain your in, and that your your knee freezes up from the pain?
Hope your feeling better.

Listen to your Landscaper, he sounds like he is on to something for you to recover. lol

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Hi April995, when the therapist was here she saw for herself how quickly my knee freezes up, and the amount of pain that I was in. The therapist in my opinion writes a report that goes back to the Dr. When I cancelled one of my therapy apppointments due to pain, the therapist immediately contacted my Dr.

My knee does bend, so I don't have to worry about having the Dr. break it. I take each day as it comes, and I can't wait for the day that I am pain free, and can clean my house by myself.

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speaking as one who has had both replaced you have to get use to flexing and bending to get knee working with body.After a fashion it will start to feel like your natural knee. Ambulation daily is a necessity as if you don't use it the replacement will be for waste. The purpose of having the knee replaced is to regain your mobility without cane walker etc.Yes pain is involved but in the long run it will all pay off to your benefit. Besides if you find pain bad doctor can prescribe meds to get you over bad period until healing and mobility are restored.

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Wildumon, for the first time last night I realized that in order to get better, pain is part of the process. A part of me is so discouraged that it is taking me so long to get better. I find encouragement, and strength in the post that I receive, and I look forward to the day when my knee feels natural.

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Each year my family decides whether to put up a tree or not, and I am the one who eventually takes the tree down,and puts the decorations away for next year. This year we decided not to have a tree because my granddaughter is crawling , and putting everything in her mouth. She also crawls faster then I can walk, and when I say stop, she turns around , looks at me with a smile on her face, and takes off as fast as she can. It is as if she is telling me to catch her.

My older grandkids were here for a few days while there mother was in the hospital giving birth, and they helped with the housekeeping, and voluntered to put up the christmas decorations. Yesterday I woke up with the idea of decorating the downstairs with poinsetta plants. There is a florist shop two blocks from us, so I called them , and ordered enough plants to decorate my downstairs. The florist delivered them free of charge since I lived in the area, and the plants were ony $5.00 a peice. I can't begin to tell you how much joy we all felt when the plants arrived.

I realized that I have to be diligent in my exercises because people depend on me, and I have to get better. It is so easy for me to forget my posture when I am walking around the house with my cane, and my grandkids didn't mind showimg me how I was limping with my cane.

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Just remember that poinsettias are poisonous, so be careful around small children.

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APRIL995, THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IF YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK AS YOUR HUSBAND DID, THINGS WILL BE MUCH BETTER, THANKS FOR YOU COMMENTS.
I PLAN TO DO TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT IN THE WEEKS TO COME AND DOING PRE OP EXCERCISE.

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Wildflowers117, I placed the plants way out of the reach of any small children. I have a straight through house, and I placed the plants at eye level, so when you walk through the front door, the plants catch your eyes. Thank you for your caring advice, it is always appreciated.

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I wish that I had asked more questions before the surgery so that I would know what to expect after the surgery. Life is a learning period, and if you don't know what questions to ask , the Drs. will volunteer the information. It is extremely important to keep moving and exercsisng your leg (s), and stay in contact with those who have already gone through the procedure. They are your support system.

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I received good news yesterday. I no longer have to take my daily dose of Coumadin. My blood levels are where the Drs. want it to be, and I don't have to worry about clotting. I have small veins that collapse easily, and having blood drawn twice a week was a little stressful. Green veggies here I come. (smile)

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Hi GRA ,
Hope everything goes well with your Knee replacement.
Sounds like your being smart to exercise your knee before surgery. But keep it moving after. Your Dr. should give you instruction as to what type of exercise you will be doing. Don't over do it though.
Going to a P.T. after is a good idea, and they will show you what do to at home, through each step of recovery.

Two weeks after surgery, My Husband was SO glad he did have it replaced, and still mentions it..

Let us know how your doing after surgery also.

Hope you all have a Wonderful Holiday.
Take Care,
April

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Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyous Christmas Holiday.

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I have had both knees replaced first was the left in 1999.This was the result of too many injuries...too much football and too many cortisone xylocaine injections which basically erode the cartilege over time.The second was work related .Although knee replacement is a last resort, the end result is to get you mobile as possible and as pain free as possible. You don't want to become a slave to chronic pain and mobility.I hope this post is insightful ,as always i welcome comments criticisms etc .Thank you for your attention to this posting.

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Part of my problem is that I am too hard on myself. I expected to be up and about within a few days of the surgery, which was totally unrealistic. There are things that are difficult for me to do right now, but in time I will get there.

This week my son is taking me grocery shopping, and this will be my first outing since the surgery. I can't hide from the world forever, and I have to face my fears of falling down.

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One of my friends who underwent knee replacement surgery suggested that I try walking backwards down the stairs. The surgery was on my right knee, which is the leg that I use to come down the stairs. Amazingly I can get down the stairs comfortably by going down backwards slowly. I do believe that this is helping me to strengthen my right knee.

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I saw this, its a little old, but looks like it may provide a drug free alternative...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8694086.stm

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Thank you for providing the link for a drug free alternative. It is so important to have the right shoes on your feet.

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Here's the House Bowel Program we used to use for patients on your situation that were on narcotics and farily immobile-and nutritionally compromised.

Daily-with their regular meds:

Docusate 250mg twice daily (stool softener)
Sennakot 2 tabs twice daily (stimulant laxative)

Then as PRN's:
end of Day 1 with no BM: Milk of mag to be repeated every six hours until results, if no results, see Day 2
end of day 2 with no BM: dulcolax suppository (or glycerin if the patient preferred that) Repeat in 8 hours if no results
end of day 3: 17g dose of Miralax every 6 hours, or at MD discretion (at this point, the RN was required to notify the MD), the patient was to potentially be given a gallon of "Golytely" OR if the MD ordered, and we HATED the ones that would, a digital extraction, which is trust me, as unpleasant as it sounds.

But, if you get about halfway through the Golytely, and have results, I would advise you to stop.

But the rules of the road when on narcotics to avoid constipation (I take methadone and oxycodone, and this is what I do, and I don't require-or rarely anyhow ANY laxatives, although my lax of choice is Miralax, it's the most natural and most gentle, and the biggest advantage is your GI system, unlike the stimulant and stool softeners, is unlikely to become DEPENDENT on it) are:

1. High fiber diet-lots of fruit and veggies-even an apple has a surprisingly high amt of fiber in it, whole grain breads, and even say using flatbread, or "thin bread" which is a new product. Flatbread had 7-8g of fiber per serving, and Thin bread sandwiches have 5-7 if you use the whole grain and buy the Orowheat and not the cheap store brand. Raisins, dates, and yes, everyone's favorite, prunes, do help.

2. Four to eight ounces of prune juice (I don't use this anymore-too much gas)...if the taste gags you, then I'd advise that you just plug your nose and drink as fast as possible and follow with a 16 oz glass of water.

3. Drink LOTS of water. Buy yourself a 32 ounce water bottle to your liking-one you feel comfortable carrying with you-Eddie Bauer, it does NOT matter where you buy it, whatever strikes your fancy, but get a good one with a good lid, and some have straws, that hook into the lid, so you can just sip away all day long. Have the water at your side at all times, and take a few sips every time you think about it. Drink at least 2-3. No more than four though, because you can cause water intoxication by drinking TOO MUCH water. But this is absolute KEY in preventing constipation, because often the reason people cannot pass stool, or when, as a former ER and rehab nurse, I would have to go after it, dry and hard because a person was chronically dehydrated.

4. I know you're in pain, but even if you could walk 10 minutes per day, do that for 2 weeks, then up it to 15 minutes for 2 weeks, then up it to 20 minutes for 2 weeks, and hey, take an mp3 player with you and rock out while you're doing it, or if you have an iPhone, stream some music to your phone, and just get into the zone. Sometimes it's a good way to get things off your mind, and walk off the stress, and yes, rehab your knee.

5. As your orthopod if maybe a brace would be appropriate to make physical exercise more tolerable and ensure that your joint is stable, so that you are not injured if you attempt it. They make very high quality braces now, and they can be custom fit to you needs and diagnosis, etc, and usually with a simple x-ray. If you had a brace prior to your surgery, try putting it on, and walking around the house in it to see if it helps. But moving around is the number ONE way to prevent constipation, and sometimes, unfortunately due to the NUMBER ONE enemy, PAIN, the most difficult.

Good luck to you & God Bless,
JJ

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