Author Topic: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?  (Read 1168 times)

TonyDtorch

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it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« on: August 09, 2017, 05:36:36 PM »
My knees are worn out and they are talking about knee replacement surgery.    Anyone with experience ?

OLDRACER

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 06:15:55 PM »
My wife had knees done, I had a new hip. Our best recommendation  would be to go to a doctor (not an Orthopedic surgeon, maybe a GP or other specialist) that you have gone to  for a few years, and trust, Ask him who HE or SHE would go to if they needed new knees. Tell them you will not mention their name, unless they OK'd it. Most doctors will have a very good idea of who does the best work.

Then find out if that surgeon has done a LOT of knees, is neither just out of school or ready to retire, and make your choice!

Good luck, my wife's knees  are fine, my hip is not even something I think about any more! We had a great surgeon in Gainesville, Florida.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:19:27 PM by OLDRACER »

UTTransplant

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 06:19:14 PM »
I will be in the same boat fairly soon. I am interested in how soon after the surgery I will be able to travel again. Any suggestions?
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1PlasticMan1

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 08:19:53 PM »
Had my left knee done on December 5th at Rothman in Philadelphia.  Did a month of therapy at a PT center, then started working out at our community center for two months.  In April, took our motor home across country for 2.5 months, and did no therapy at all, and it started to really stiffen up and swell, with a little pain.  Once I got back home and active, swelling went down, loosened up and pain virtually gone.  Still uncomfortable to kneel, which I have to do to work around the coach or home.  My knee was bad enough that amputation was the only other option (not really), glad I did it, hoping for full recovery by December 5, 2017.  Only you can know when you need a replacement.  I'm sure there are several people you know who had it done, ask them for recommendation for surgeon.  Usually a knee, hip and ankle surgeon.   Remember though, everyone is different in the way they heal and how dedicated to PT they are.  Good luck!
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HappyWanderer

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 08:38:47 PM »
Everyone I know that has had a hip or knee replaced says the same thing: wished they had done it sooner.
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retusn

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 08:45:26 PM »
Had mine done 5 yrs ago.  I am one of the few that am glad I waited til I couldn't walk very far.  We are all different when it comes to making a decision on major surgery.  Anyway, follow what to DR tells you and do you therapy and don't really stop doing some type of pt after the original time period.

BruceinFL

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 09:02:24 PM »
Had it done and glad. Some advice: Do research on the surgeons in your area. Find out who is the best. It's not so much the gun but the gunner. After the surgery, DO THE THERAPY religiously. I would recommend a sports therapist initially. Long term success is more dependent on you doing your job after the operation.
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JudyJB

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 12:31:00 AM »
Agree on getting the best surgeon possible.  Note that the really good guys are not necessarily the best in terms of being friendly and having good bedside manners, but they are really mechanics and you want one that is the best technician.

I stayed home from work for 5 weeks for each knee, but drove after three weeks for the first knee and at two weeks for the second knee because I was going nuts staying home.  It was probably too soon, but I managed. The biggest problem for me was not walking or weight-being, but swelling and aching from that. 
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JackL

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 05:45:18 AM »
I had mine done five years ago and I should have had it done 20 years ago.

 If your are at your proper weight, and are in good shape the whole thing is a piece of cake.
 If you are overweight, you are going to have trouble.
 My wife and I race canoes and kayaks, and my goal was to be back in a canoe a month after the op. ( a canoe is much easier to get in and out of than a long skinny racing kayak). Believe it or not, I was in a kayak two weeks after the operation, while I was still doing  therapy.
 Make sure to use a passive motion machine, and then challenge it!

 My knee is as good now as when I was a little kid, and when I had t done, I had reached the stage that it was too painful to walk.

Good luck !

Jack L

Chet18013

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 08:35:37 AM »
I got a new one 8 years ago. I took therapy 3 times a week and asked for and got the maximum they allowed - 8 weeks. Took it and then went swimming every day. My replacement knee is absolutely great. Do not skimp on the therapy. The more you have the better your knee with be in the end.
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Oldgator73

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 09:00:59 AM »
My knees are bad. If we go somewhere that requires much walking I use a cane. Somewhere like Disney or 6 Flags I take my walker. When I have mine done it will either be at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN (had cancer surgery there) or Johns Hopkins in MD.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 10:02:41 AM »
I got a new one 8 years ago. I took therapy 3 times a week and asked for and got the maximum they allowed - 8 weeks. Took it and then went swimming every day. My replacement knee is absolutely great. Do not skimp on the therapy. The more you have the better your knee with be in the end.
Thanks Chet,

Is the physical therapy something you can do yourself with proper instructions and a gym ? 

 I really dislike medical appointments,   80% of the mileage on our car is already going to my wife's appointments, 
 and the VA hospital is 39 miles away. 

« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 10:10:05 AM by TonyDtorch »

OLDRACER

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 11:15:44 AM »
Neither my wife or I went to a rehab facility, my knee worked out fine following procedures at home, she went for 15 sessions at physical therapy center.

We had visiting nurses which were covered by medicare. You would need to drag me to an in-house  facility and guard the door to keep me there. Bad enough that I had to go to hospital for surgery! :)

Then again, my 6 1/2 years of USMC reserve duty did not qualify me for VA, so it may be different.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 11:19:28 AM by OLDRACER »

Oldgator73

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 11:24:44 AM »
Then again, my 6 1/2 years of USMC reserve duty did not qualify me for VA, so it may be different.

I did 24 years in the AF and I don't use the VA. Not that the VA isn't good but with Medicare and Tricare For Life I have many choices as to where I can go, like John's Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.
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Jim828

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 12:28:22 PM »
Had left done 6 years ago and right 5 years ago. Glad I had them done but wished they had been sooner. Do the therapy!!!! My right kneecap is starting to slide to the outside but with a small buttress brace, it's back to center and doing great. Good luck and did I say do the therapy?!?!

rls7201

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 02:20:43 PM »
I had right knee replacement surgery 3 years ago. If only I had a "go back". I have more pain than before the surgery and no one can find an answer. I had outrageous pain for over 3 months and was on opioids for 4 months. Still take pain meds for the stupid knee replacement.
There is new regenerative technology for bad knees now, that doesn't require surgery.
https://www.bluetailmedicalgroup.com/
My 350 lb. friend had both knees done at the Blue Tail medical group and has absolutely no pain.
Takes one long day, and you walk home.
Ask any doctor what is the best cure for what ever ails you and he/she will recommend what ever he/she specializes in.  Look around.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 02:29:32 PM by rls7201 »
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prfcdoc

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2017, 02:51:46 PM »
I had right knee replacement surgery 3 years ago. If only I had a "go back". I have more pain than before the surgery and no one can find an answer. I had outrageous pain for over 3 months and was on opioids for 4 months. Still take pain meds for the stupid knee replacement.
There is new regenerative technology for bad knees now, that doesn't require surgery.
https://www.bluetailmedicalgroup.com/
My 350 lb. friend had both knees done at the Blue Tail medical group and has absolutely no pain.
Takes one long day, and you walk home.
Ask any doctor what is the best cure for what ever ails you and he/she will recommend what ever he/she specializes in.  Look around.

There's some excellent advice by many of the posters. Unfortunately we're human and not machines so the outcome cannot be accurately predicted. A significant portion of the time knee replacement is successful and the pain is reduced or eliminated. I'm a general practice doctor, not a surgeon, and I had knee replacement 5 years ago. I went from 40 years of pain to having no pain at all within 3 months of the surgery. I also chose the orthopedic knee replacement specialist that the general orthopedic specialists referred their failed surgeries to.  The advice about going to a doctor who does lots of knees is good advice but also get a recommendation from someone who knows the docs in your area.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 07:03:19 PM »
Neither my wife or I went to a rehab facility, my knee worked out fine following procedures at home, she went for 15 sessions at physical therapy center.

We had visiting nurses which were covered by medicare. You would need to drag me to an in-house  facility and guard the door to keep me there. Bad enough that I had to go to hospital for surgery! :)

Then again, my 6 1/2 years of USMC reserve duty did not qualify me for VA, so it may be different.
That is encouraging to hear,   I was going to put up with the pain and swelling for as long as I can if success depends on going into the VA rehab clinics 3 times a week for 3 months.

and yes they deny reservist medical coverage if you don't have 180 consecutive days of active duty....( and right now there are a whole lot of reservist running around out in the Afghanistan desert) , but if you ever got hurt training you sure as hell better be covered.

Careful what you wish for Marine,   it may be free,  but government healthcare is kind of like going into the Department of Motor Vehicles for medical care.

   
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 07:42:56 PM by TonyDtorch »

gpcvg

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 10:34:59 PM »
I have had 3 knee replacements and 1 hip replacement.  I have had both knees replaced but I broke the right knee replacement about 2 months after the surgery.  I took the docs 4 yrs to find out that when I broke it I moved the lower post in my leg by 25 degrees.  My knee cap kept popping off.  I had to have the right knee all taken out and replaced the replacement.  With all the trouble I had with that right leg I would do it all again.  PT was about 6 weeks 2 times a week.  Like others have said, find a good doc that you like and trust.  I have a lifelong friend in my doc now.  I love my new knees.

RVfixer

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 09:33:06 AM »
I have had two family members who had both knees replaced and several friends who had knee replacements.  From what I have observed researching the surgeon is important but even more important is following post-op instructions and DO THE THERAPY!  We were around a campfire one night with a large group and one guy had knee replacement of one knee.  People who were moving toward knee surgery were asking a lot of questions.  Over the conversation we found out, mainly from his wife, that he didn't research the surgeon, didn't even do a third of the therapy and didn't follow instructions on when he could get back to being active.  His knee didn't turn out well at all.  He said "Well, I HAD to do this and I HAD to do that."  One of the women at the campfire said "Yeah, and now you HAVE to be in pain, HAVE to walk with a limp and HAVE use a cane and likely take pain pills perhaps for the rest of your life."

Funny this thread came up today.  This morning I looked out our upstairs window and saw my neighbor going for a walk.  I watched him limp badly for two years.  Then he had a knee replacement and did the therapy and followed all the doc's instructions.  When I watched him walk off down the street this morning I could not detect the slightest limp.

Molaker

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2017, 10:40:22 AM »
Buy new, not used.  ;D


My wife has had both knees and a hip replaced.  The one thing she says has learned is FOLLOW THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST INSTRUCTIONS TO THE TEE.  It will hurt at first, but the benefits will far exceed the discomfort.
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BigLarry

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2017, 04:55:04 PM »
I had a hip replaced 12 years ago.  My wife had a knee replaced 5 years ago and plans to have the other done this Fall.  All were done by Scott and White doctors.  We both were completely satisfied.  My advice.  Don't wait.  In both our cases the rehab was no worse than the pain we had prior to the surgery and was eliminated completely within a few months.  Have it done by a Dr that has plenty of experience.
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Russ+Chris

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2017, 12:15:03 AM »
I had a hip replaced at the age of 47. I'm 61 now. It's still in great shape. Do research on your surgeon. Stick with your therapy plan. Take care of yourself. Watch your weight.

I'm typing this with one finger. Just had surgery last Thursday. I torn the bicep muscle off the forearm bone.  :o
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 12:19:03 AM by Russ+Chris »
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vito55

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2017, 06:15:25 PM »
Twelve years ago, at age 62 I had bilateral knee replacements. Obviously if only one knee is bad you only get one done, but most people who need a knee replacement have suffered long term damage from arthritis or other degenerative conditions so if one is going bad, the other is probably not far behind. Rather than have to go through the therapy regimen twice, I had them both done at the same time. My orthopedic surgeon does only knees, and does hundreds every year. Personally I think that is a better way to go than using a general orthopod who only occasionally does knee replacements. Because I had both done at once, I went to a rehab facility for 10 days of pretty intensive therapy, followed by eight weeks of three times a week outpatient therapy. I strongly encourage you to not shortchange yourself regarding therapy. Just walking and doing the normal activities of daily living is not enough to give you as full a recovery as you are capable of. (I worked in the nursing home field for 23 years and I have met numerous foolish seniors who just flat out refused to do the rehab because it hurt, or was uncomfortable, or there were just scared of damaging the new knee, which is a foolish fear. Some of these folks ended up wheelchair bound for the rest of their limited lives.) The rehab is not fun, but knowing that it is moving you toward greater capability and usefullness of your knees makes it much easier to tolerate the discomfort. Before my knee replacements I could not walk 100 yards, with a cane, without having to stop because I was in agony. After the surgery I could (and still can) walk miles and miles without knee discomfort of any kind, ride my bike an hour a day, and ride my 900 pound motorcycle as much as I want to. The ONLY thing that is hard for me is getting down on the floor. I more or less lie down if I need to get down low, since I cannot, even now, tolerate the pressure of kneeling on my knees. Knee replacement surgery gave me my life back. Just don't be a wuss and you will not regret it, in my opinion.
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ArdraF

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2017, 10:17:25 PM »
Good advice here!  I can tell you from a friend's less-than-good outcome what NOT to do.  Don't go with a surgeon who's an old friend and who doesn't do many knee replacements.  Don't go with "old" techniques because that's all the surgeon does because he either doesn't believe in new techniques or hasn't kept up with medical developments.  Do  the therapy. Do the therapy.  Do the therapy.  Do the therapy.

When I broke my elbow I was lucky enough to run into a fellow who warned me about what happens when you don't do the required therapy.  He broke his right elbow (right handed of course) and had several surgeries to fix it.  But he got tired of doing the therapy and stopped early.  He showed me how he had trouble reaching his face to shave, brush his teeth and comb his hair.  He told me he really wished he had done the required therapy and strongly told me to do mine.  I'm so glad I did because I have 99 percent recovery and can do anything I did before the break.

Good luck!

ArdraF
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prnebs

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2017, 10:27:05 PM »
It is a blessing I found this post tonight, I am scheduled for a bi-lateral knee replacement Sept. 28th.  I have already postponed it once and was thinking of postponing it again until the end of Oct. since there is so much I want to do in Sept & Oct and am really dreading this.  But I have to agree that I have heard the sames things, that being in the best physical shape possible is important, and sticking to the physical therapy is very important, and that I'll wish I had done it sooner.  Good Luck and speedy recovery!
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TonyDtorch

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2017, 11:55:13 PM »
It is a blessing I found this post tonight, I am scheduled for a bi-lateral knee replacement Sept. 28th.  I have already postponed it once and was thinking of postponing it again until the end of Oct. since there is so much I want to do in Sept & Oct and am really dreading this.  But I have to agree that I have heard the sames things, that being in the best physical shape possible is important, and sticking to the physical therapy is very important, and that I'll wish I had done it sooner.  Good Luck and speedy recovery!
And Good Luck to you.

It sounds like it will take a dedicated P/T effort to hope for any kind of satisfactory outcome....ugh :-[

cadee2c

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2017, 04:15:48 AM »
Ive had both done. I had my bad knee replaced, then discovered my other knee was also bad, but the pain relievers I took for the really bad knee covered up the pain from the bad knee. My really bad knee was so painful, that the pain after the surgery (and there is lots) was not as bad.

I have to parrot the others, do the therapy. Your therapist will give you a list of exercises to do at home. Do them. Get some therapy bands and one of those stair steppers. I was able to get full mobility in my knee for the first time in over 10 years.

Another thing,, take your pain pills. You will be given a very nice cocktail of pain pills. Take them. Everyone tries to go without them, and then everyone has terrible pain. They will make you drool on yourself, but take them anyway.

I was out for just a few weeks before i was able to drive short distances and walk around grocery stores etc. Really listen to your body, it will tell you when youve had enough.

Good luck to all having it done.

edited to add: If possible, build up your knees before the surgery as much as possible, especially the quads. That will help make therapy easier and less painful.
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prnebs

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2017, 02:05:05 PM »
i laughed about the pain pills!  My DIL is a RN and she keeps telling me I'll hurt for only a few days, then the pills will kick in! :D
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TonyDtorch

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Re: it may be time for knee replacement ...any advice ?
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2017, 08:39:35 PM »
I'm also hearing that it's the physical therapy done before the surgery that makes a big difference ?   ???

and now the VA wants to inject this stuff called "Hyalgan" repeatedly into my knees starting in September... it's not another Cortisone shot.  Very little info on this stuff other than it's called a "Chicken" shot.

any thoughts ?