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Tue Jun 26, 2012, 05:41 PM

My second knee replacement is July 25!

Originally the surgeon said the soonest he'd do it was three months after the first surgery, which was May 15. But at my checkup after getting out of the rehab hospital he said I was healing ahead of schedule and we talked about when to do it. I wanted either the beginning of August so I'd be healed before my husband goes off to DragonCon or right after he got back from Atlanta.

The surgeon's office called today and the dates available were July 17 or July 25. The 17th is the day after our 35th anniversary so I told the nurse to schedule it on the 25. I should be completely self sufficient by the time my husband goes off!

I'm still doing physical therapy and they were talking about throwing me out after next week but I'm going to keep going at least once or twice a week through the next surgery to keep the legs strong. With the right knee hurting from all the walking I'm doing to get the left leg fit, I think having access to the machines will help me stay in better shape for the other operation.

I'm excited - soon all these surgeries will be over and I will be able to walk without pain!

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply My second knee replacement is July 25! (Original post)
csziggy Jun 2012 OP
OffWithTheirHeads Jun 2012 #1
csziggy Jun 2012 #3
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2012 #2
csziggy Jun 2012 #4
benld74 Jun 2012 #5
csziggy Jun 2012 #6

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 05:44 PM

1. You're a lot tougher than I am.

 

I had my left knee done alomst exactly a year ago and hope I never have to go through anything like that ever again.

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Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:30 PM

3. By the time I left the rehab hospital my new knee hurt LESS than the bad knee

There is pretty much no choice in getting the second one replaced quickly. Now when I go to therapy they ice both knees at the end since the bad knee gets as hot and swells as much as the new knee. The difference is the new knee is getting better, the bad knee worse.

One of my priorities is my co-pay for my insurance. It maxes out at a little over $10,000 a year ($2000 deductible + 30% co-pay). I can't afford to pay that twice so both knees need to be done in one year. And there was no question both knees needed to be replaced - bone on bone for years and so painful I could not walk around the house much less go shopping or do any activities.

I wanted to both at the same time but the surgeon would not - too many risk factors plus it's harder to recover without at least one leg to work with. It was a toss up whether the remaining bad knee would hold up long enough for recovery. That's the other reason to get the second knee done quickly - it is now holding up my rehabilitation.

It is definitely hard - a lot of pain and aggravation. But I have hopes I can walk and go places without pain. My goal is to go for a birdwatching hike with my husband on his birthday, January 30!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:26 PM

2. My dear csziggy!

Oh, GOOD! You sound more than ready, and I'm thrilled for you!

Best of luck, sweetie, not that you need it!

It is so wonderful to walk and stand without pain!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

4. CP, Thanks! This is sooner than I thought they would schedule it

And I am sooooo ready! The bad knee is holding up my therapy and I'm getting a lot of swelling and pain from it. Worse this last few days with TS Debby hanging around here - but we finally have sunshine today!

I still have some swelling with the new knee but it gets better the more I walk. And of course, the bad knee keeps me from walking as much as I'd like, so the sooner I get it done, the happier I will be.

Now to see how the insurance company will handle it - they tried to weasel out of paying the hospital bill and I had to get on their case. I still don't know how much I will have to pay out of pocket!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 10:00 PM

5. The wife needs to have both of hers done,,,

she keeps putting it off. Wants to lose weight but can't. Worries if she does it now she may have pain again in 20yrs. Not sure what to tell her,,,,,

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Response to benld74 (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 10:57 PM

6. It's a decision she will have to make when she's ready

I needed to lose weight but without being able to walk I couldn't exercise enough to lose without going on a starvation diet - which was NOT going to happen. I was doing good to maintain a steady weight without gaining anymore, and I kept cutting my calories more and more.

In December I asked my doctor to send me to physical therapy to see if I could strengthen my leg muscles to help support my knees and delay knee replacement. The third visit the therapist told me therapy was NOT going to help and to get knee replacements sooner than later so I had as much muscle tone as possible. That's probably one of the reasons I have done as well as I have - I still was able to walk, get up and done, and do things, it just hurt more than I could handle any longer.

The physical therapist also told me to consider three questions:
1. Could I do the things I HAD to do?
2. Could I do the things I WANTED to do?
3. Could I sleep?

I had given up on 1 in 2005 after my second meniscus removal. I could no longer run the farm, handle my horses, or do daily chores around the house. Number 2 was getting close to being gone - I'd been getting my husband to drive me to needlework group meetings so he could drop me off at the door and could carry my stuff for me. Number 3 became obvious when my husband commented about me moaning at night every time I moved in bed. I moved to trying to sleep in my recliner in another room so HE could get enough sleep and I could sleep with the TV on.

In 2001 when they removed the meniscus from the first knee the estimate was that knee replacements would last ten years and at 49 the doctor did not want me to get a prosthetic that young. Now, they estimate the replacements will last 15-20 years. Still not ideal and they still say I am too young, but I will be ready to do it again if I have as much pain as I had before this replacement.

Here I am six weeks out and the new knee does not hurt except when I sit still too long and that is only because it is still healing and there is still some swelling. On the other hand, the bad knee hurts when I stand, walk, sit still, move it with or without weight, etc.

I'm hoping that once I get the second knee replaced and I can walk and do things around the house, farm and garden, I will lose weight and get fit again. I'll never be skinny or even at an ideal weight but I used to be fit and able to walk long distances. I'd love to get back to that!

I'd recommend to your wife to go to a physical therapist for a few visits and see what they tell her. A good physical therapist will be able to determine if exercise will help or if it is time, though they will let her make her own decision.

Tell her good luck with whatever decision she makes!

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