Bilateral TKR and getting in and out of bed

Posted by gobigorgohome @gobigorgohome, Thu, Apr 4 2:34pm

I’m scheduled for Bilateral TKR in 2 weeks. Perhaps I’m slightly insane. I have seen a number of videos that talk about a lot of after surgery activities for one knee in which they always talk about using the good knee. How do I get in and out of bed with two TKR knees. Anyone have experience or videos they can refer me to?

@gobigorgohome Welcome to the elite club of insane people that go for bilateral! I had mine on Jan 7th 2019. You will need help with everything for at least 2 weeks. I had a leg lifter that helped me lift one leg at a time to get out of bed. It looks like a stiff dog leash with a loop for your hand on one end and a loop for your foot. I enjoyed all the tips of " using your uninvolved knee…" you have no choice, you will use both. It's a tough go for 3-4 weeks then you become accustomed to your "new norm" of living. Everything is double the fun! Therapy is usually 40 minutes, I had 80 a time. I would like to answer any other questions you might have. It is not very common, and few have had exposure to us, even therapist. Good luck!

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A leglifter sounds good. I’ll have to look one up. I started trying to Figure out how to get both my legs up while sitting on the bed. That’s when I realize my bed is way too tall. It is going to make it very challenging. I do have a great helper and my husband, but I don’t want to have to rely on him every single time I want to get out of bed or get into bed. How long do you think it will take to not have to rely on him 24/7?

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Hey doodles418, I’m so glad to connect with a fellow bilateral crazy. Your surgery was pretty recent. I’d love to hear how you’re doing now, and about some of your major milestones along your way to where you are now. How is your pain and discomfort level now.
And, if you have tips that you’ve learned along your way I’m anxious to hear about that as well. I’m very lucky to have a willing and capable caregiver, and I worry about being a big burden on him, but I know it’s not forever.

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Hi @gobigorgohome – Glad you are on Connect and glad you found a fellow bilateral TKR friend! I had ONE TKR on 1/29/19 – but my first one was in 2017 – so I can't join your elite club! Just wanted to check in to say I'm wishing you the best. I'm curious whether you have stairs or just one-level-living? For me, even with just one bad knee, stairs were the hardest. In fact, that and balance were the last things we worked on before I was released from PT. Please keep us posted as your recovery unfolds. I'm pulling for you.

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@gobigorgohome

A leglifter sounds good. I’ll have to look one up. I started trying to Figure out how to get both my legs up while sitting on the bed. That’s when I realize my bed is way too tall. It is going to make it very challenging. I do have a great helper and my husband, but I don’t want to have to rely on him every single time I want to get out of bed or get into bed. How long do you think it will take to not have to rely on him 24/7?

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I don't recall getting in and out of bed by myself a problem. We also had a tall bed and my husband removed the frame and it's just the box spring and mattress that made the height good. My husband has been amazing! I was a little more dependent on him since our house has 9 steps up to the upper level where the bedroom, bathroom and exercise room are. Before I came home I had the PT's work with me on stairs so I could make it upstairs and stay put for a few days. You will be the best judge of how you're feeling and how much you can do on your own. I'll keep in touch when I have more ideas that were important and helpful.

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That’s a great idea about removing the frame. I’ll pass it on to my husband. From reading posts from this site and others I know all of us recover at different paces and experience different levels of pain …. but I’ll still ask you 1) When were you walking without assistance? 2). How often and how long did you go to outside PT? And, 3) How is your gait now? Can you walk without a limp?
I don’t want to overwhelm you with questions but I’m excited to hear from others who have done TKR. Thank you.

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I am still having burning pain in my knee after surgery on 02/20/19. My physical therapy is going well. I can not get rid of the pain. I was wondering if there could be some infection in my knee. I was allergic to the glue the Dr. glued the wound together with. Anyone have this problem?

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@auntb1947

I am still having burning pain in my knee after surgery on 02/20/19. My physical therapy is going well. I can not get rid of the pain. I was wondering if there could be some infection in my knee. I was allergic to the glue the Dr. glued the wound together with. Anyone have this problem?

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@auntb I had severe pain for about six weeks after my TKR in October, 2017. It was so bad at times that it brought tears to my eyes, and I generally have a high pain tolerance. It lifted magically at about six weeks and things have been great since then. In the meantime, my ortho was keeping close track of me.
I hope your pain disappears soon too and that it is not indicative of a problem.
JK

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@gobigorgohome

That’s a great idea about removing the frame. I’ll pass it on to my husband. From reading posts from this site and others I know all of us recover at different paces and experience different levels of pain …. but I’ll still ask you 1) When were you walking without assistance? 2). How often and how long did you go to outside PT? And, 3) How is your gait now? Can you walk without a limp?
I don’t want to overwhelm you with questions but I’m excited to hear from others who have done TKR. Thank you.

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Answer to #1: I use a cane in public still to let others know why I am walking slower, at home I have been unassisted since 8 weeks, but I also had MUA at 7 weeks because my ROM got stuck at 90 degrees by week 5. I am an aggressive creator of scar tissue that ended up with adhesion's to the implant. It does not mean I didn't do PT enough or that I was not doing my home exercises. I was very committed to both, it just happens to some, so be aware of that also if you feel your PT progress is plateauing. 2: In the hospital I was offered to go to a rehab facility after discharge on day 3. We pushed the Dr to sign off on another day and left in the morning Friday of day 5 to go home. My first outside PT was Mon , 2nd was Thursday, this was the schedule for the next 6 weeks. Had I known better, I would have pushed for 3 days because of bilateral. Instead they give each knee 40 minutes, so I was there 80 minutes. 3: I'm still in PT because of the MUA and hard time walking naturally. I have 2 different types of PT. One concentrates on ROM ONLY. The other is for gaining better movement through soft tissue manipulation. And I just started pool therapy for the walking problems. It's not a limp, it's a stiffness from the hips down. It's coming around slowly. I do become frustrated and depressed at how long this is taking ME, but without my continued faith and prayers I think I would be worse off.

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@contentandwell

@auntb I had severe pain for about six weeks after my TKR in October, 2017. It was so bad at times that it brought tears to my eyes, and I generally have a high pain tolerance. It lifted magically at about six weeks and things have been great since then. In the meantime, my ortho was keeping close track of me.
I hope your pain disappears soon too and that it is not indicative of a problem.
JK

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@contentandwell I'm still in severe pain on most days 10 weeks PO. I envy you having an ortho who keeps a close eye on you. Mine saw me 1 and 2 weeks PO and then 6 weeks after that. He examined my knee and told me to continue PT and he would see me in 3 months.

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I just called Oncall Dr. and he called me in a Meddrol pack for the pain. He said if I was rejecting the cement I would have a rash. Evedently it is inflamation. He told me if I am still in pain to come in tomorrow morning.

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@doodles418

Answer to #1: I use a cane in public still to let others know why I am walking slower, at home I have been unassisted since 8 weeks, but I also had MUA at 7 weeks because my ROM got stuck at 90 degrees by week 5. I am an aggressive creator of scar tissue that ended up with adhesion's to the implant. It does not mean I didn't do PT enough or that I was not doing my home exercises. I was very committed to both, it just happens to some, so be aware of that also if you feel your PT progress is plateauing. 2: In the hospital I was offered to go to a rehab facility after discharge on day 3. We pushed the Dr to sign off on another day and left in the morning Friday of day 5 to go home. My first outside PT was Mon , 2nd was Thursday, this was the schedule for the next 6 weeks. Had I known better, I would have pushed for 3 days because of bilateral. Instead they give each knee 40 minutes, so I was there 80 minutes. 3: I'm still in PT because of the MUA and hard time walking naturally. I have 2 different types of PT. One concentrates on ROM ONLY. The other is for gaining better movement through soft tissue manipulation. And I just started pool therapy for the walking problems. It's not a limp, it's a stiffness from the hips down. It's coming around slowly. I do become frustrated and depressed at how long this is taking ME, but without my continued faith and prayers I think I would be worse off.

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Doodles418, Thanks for the reply. I understand that despite doing everything right scar tissue builds, ROM isn’t always what we want and so many things dependent on a combination of physiology and PT. It sounds like you’ve done everything right so I’m hoping things work out better for you. I will push for more and sooner PT. Surgery is the 18th of April, but will not be surprised if they send me home since Saturday since it’s Easter weekend it’s Easter weekend and I won’t get my first PT until Monday. But I’ll see what I can talk them into. Being at 8 weeks and moving independently sounds pretty good. I imagine I’ll still be doing PT for months after the surgery. We have a once in a lifetime European river cruise paid for in mid-September and I sure hope to be ready for it by then.
Please let me know how the pool therapy is going. Keep up the good work. Donna

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@dkapustin

@contentandwell I'm still in severe pain on most days 10 weeks PO. I envy you having an ortho who keeps a close eye on you. Mine saw me 1 and 2 weeks PO and then 6 weeks after that. He examined my knee and told me to continue PT and he would see me in 3 months.

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@dkapustin I really have to say, he was great. He really kept on top of things when I was in pain. I think he was as relieved as I was when the pain lifted. This was my second TKR. The doctor I had for the first one was not nearly as attentive, but then I wasn't in as much pain either. Ironically, that one hurts now after exercise, the one that had more pain initially very rarely hurts at all. The second one is a custom made knee, the Conformis, and my doctor was one of the developers of that knee.
JK

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@auntb1947

I just called Oncall Dr. and he called me in a Meddrol pack for the pain. He said if I was rejecting the cement I would have a rash. Evedently it is inflamation. He told me if I am still in pain to come in tomorrow morning.

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Went into the Dr. today and I had developed bursitis just below the knee. The on call Dr. gave me a shot and more pain meds. He also did 3 x-rays and I will see my surgeon tomorrow. Heres hoping I am healing. The pain is still intense. I am about 7 weeks from surgery.

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@gobigorgohome

Doodles418, Thanks for the reply. I understand that despite doing everything right scar tissue builds, ROM isn’t always what we want and so many things dependent on a combination of physiology and PT. It sounds like you’ve done everything right so I’m hoping things work out better for you. I will push for more and sooner PT. Surgery is the 18th of April, but will not be surprised if they send me home since Saturday since it’s Easter weekend it’s Easter weekend and I won’t get my first PT until Monday. But I’ll see what I can talk them into. Being at 8 weeks and moving independently sounds pretty good. I imagine I’ll still be doing PT for months after the surgery. We have a once in a lifetime European river cruise paid for in mid-September and I sure hope to be ready for it by then.
Please let me know how the pool therapy is going. Keep up the good work. Donna

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@gobigorgohome ….European river cruise????? Sounds like a very effective push to work hard on knee! Therapy is your best friend right now. You have a great goal. Plus it will work towards your everyday quality of life.

For my first TKR, my kids were my push. Still had a few littles, being 42 at the time. First replacement was most painfull, due to severity of need and bad conformation after so many years of a bum knee. Glad, at the time I hadn't a clue I'd be going through that again in my 50s.

Second replacement, my kids were self sufficient. I was 55, I think. The farm, the animals, my garden, my grandkids…all were the drive I needed to work hard on the knee. We can be very determined can't we?….when we have great reason to be!

Blessings to you.. Hope your recovery is speedy and complete, with no complications.

Edited to add: Oh my, Going back to read first post I see you had BOTH knees done! Brave of you. Now that took some courage! God bless.

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