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AlpineRose
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PostSat Jul 07, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Some thoughts based on my THR in February.  Also my brother's TKR last year.

You will be out of bed and walking a few hours after surgery.  Just like they say.

Before you are discharged, you will have learned how to dress, climb stairs, put on shoes and socks, get in and out of a car, get up and down from a chair.  Beginner's mind.

Be sure you know who to contact and how to arrange for home health care if things go south after discharge.  Not likely to happen, but better to have the info and not need it than vice versa.

The first few days at home, especially the first night, will be rough.  After that, it will get better.

Keep up with your pain management meds.  Early post-op is not the time to suck it up.  There is an appropriate and beneficial time to use opioids.  This is one of them.  Time it so you take your pill(s) about a half hour before PT exercises.  You will be able to do them better and more comfortably.  Your body will let you know when you don't need them as much and then when don't need them at all.  Listen to it.

You will be astonished at the size to which a limb can swell.

Hopefully you got a joint replacement "kit" with gadgets to help you perform the minutiae of daily life on your own.  This helps keep your caretaker from going bonkers.  The coolest gadget is the sock assist.

Interesting fact:  The number one reason for a post op ER visit is....constipation.  Everyone complains about it.  ime, a microbiome in good shape will minimize this issue.  As well, prunes and dried apricots are your friends.  In my case, I never needed to open that bottle of senokot.

Interesting fact:  a TKR is the most expensive CPT code for which Medicare pays.

My post op instructions in regards to driving were to drive when I felt it was safe to do so.  I knew when that was.  You will too.

Your new knee will never be a good as the original, but it will be much better than what the original has deteriorated to.

Many providers no longer give out those way-to-easy-to-forge TSA cards.  Current advice is to simply tell TSA you have an artificial hip before entering the scanner.

A handicap car tag is worth getting because, at first, you will need the extra space provided in the handicap spots to get in and out of your car.  Not possible with the narrow width of many parking spots.

Try not to drive your caretaker bonkers.  dizzy.gif
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Eric Hansen
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PostSat Jul 07, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Steve, heartfelt appreciation for your backcountry ski equipment coaching.
I've got zero experience with knee replacement but considerable experience with multiple rounds of other serious medical challenges.
FWIW, it helped me greatly to get grounded, centered for the challenges sure to come. Visit with old friends and family. Spend time sitting by beautiful, sparkling water. To remind myself that there were "many happy trails still to come". They might not be exactly the trails I was planning, hoping on - but they would be good trails, good trips.

Edit: +1 on #1 reason for post op ER visit per Alpine Rose.
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treeswarper
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 6:29 am 
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Good luck.  I have a friend with two fake knees.  He is happy with them except he has to worry about his enthusiastic Lab running into them, but that happens with normal knees too and I don't think you have a big dog to worry about.   smile.gif

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 6:37 am 
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Best wishes, father in law had double knee replacements from RA that enabled him to get around. Technology has improved since then.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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fffej50
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 12:52 pm 
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I had it done 5 years ago (@65) first week was brutal, but I was riding my bike to P.T.within two weeks if I remember correctly....after 10 months I no longer noticed my knee but it took that long to normalize. I can now go down relatively steep hillsides comfortably for the first time in years of half steps....
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AlpineRose
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 1:54 pm 
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BSteve, you've probably asked your surgeon about recovery timelines for returning to activities of special interest to you.  Believe the ones he gave you. This is your first time at this rodeo, but not your surgeon's.  Therefore his timelines have a high probability of being accurate.  IME, the ones given to me by various ortho surgeons, including the amazing one I chose for my THR, were spot on.

As well, you've no doubt consulted with TKR expert JimH, yes?
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DIYSteve
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 6:42 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
As well, you've no doubt consulted with TKR expert JimH, yes?

JimH, Judy's husband/David's father? Do I know you?
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lookout bob
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Steve...my brother had both his knees replaced. I called him up a while back and asked him how he was doing.  He said,"the knees are working so good that I'm shopping the catalogue for more parts!!"

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DIYSteve
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PostSun Jul 08, 2018 9:00 pm 
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lookout bob wrote:
Steve...my brother had both his knees replaced. I called him up a while back and asked him how he was doing.  He said,"the knees are working so good that I'm shopping the catalogue for more parts!!"

luv it up.gif
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Mongo
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 8:28 am 
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Too much soccer knocked me out of hiking for 15 years, now I am back after TKR two years at age 60. Limit codeine use as much as possible. Get a good PT who knows how to get your joint full rotation. PT takes work.  Two weeks after surgery the whole thing is a fun challenge.   Before surgery my knee was 50% capable. 1 year after surgery about 75%, and now maybe 85-90% and I don't notice it all except for some occasional clunking when walking.    I asked for the heavy duty sports model, they said there was no such thing. If you damage this one it could be very difficult to repair, so take care of it. I was told no running allowed.
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Mongo wrote:
I was told no running allowed.

I was told the same thing. AFAICT, all surgeons tell their TKA patients that they shouldn't run again. OTOH, some say no skiing while other say skiing is okay. My surgeon says skiing is okay so long as I keep is smooth, no bumps and no hucks. I can do that  smile.gif
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Lindsay
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Big Steve!
Thinking healing thoughts for you and those knees. May you be making turns this January.
Also, hope to see next week when Gabriel and bike through Ellensburg.
Lindsay
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 5:23 pm 
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We look forward to seeing you and G
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Damian
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 5:49 pm 
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I can’t believe you aren’t doing this yourself wink.gif.  Best of luck Steve.
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reststep
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PostMon Jul 09, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Best of luck Steve.

My wife had both knees replaced last year and is doing well.  The surgeon and PTs really emphasize getting 0 to 120 range of motion as soon as possible.

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