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nancylh
@nancylh

Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 22, 2016

Hi. Haven't been here since my TKA. 1-5-17.

Posted by @nancylh, Jun 20, 2017

It has been quite the adventure. I won’t waste your time with my dumb stories but if you decide to go home alone after TKA be sure that the people who say, “oh i’ll help out, just let me know what you need” really mean that. In about a week, it will be six months since the surgery. Next week we are going to stop PT to see how it goes. Hopefully someday the pain will go away. Maybe someday i can trust that everything in there is as it should be. And by then it will be time to do the other knee. lol Guess i shouldn’t have read the article about TKAs and morbid obesity.

REPLY

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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Hi Teresa, Well i haven’t figured it all out yet, but i need to before the next knee. If you have stairs, well then you will need more help. My washer/dryer are in the basement and for the first month or so, i could not do the steps. All of the kind hearted people who said they would help just didn’t answer their phones. So when i finally ran out of clean clothes, my sister started coming on the weekend to do some laundry, dishes, carry out the trash, vacuum and fill the cat’s water container. Anything with steps, lifting, bending, kneeling—all no nos.
Be sure to stock up on paper plates, plastic wear, cups, and foods that don’t require much cooking. Yogurt, fruit, sandwiches, salads (precut), and i had a grocery store that delivered my groceries and medications. Meds came free, groceries $5 unless you bought $100 worth of stuff. I made the purchase on line, they delivered, carried it in. Bottled water is good also. Be sure you have three foot walkways to wherever you need to get with a walker.

PT came to the house the first two weeks. Because it was my right leg, i could not drive for eight weeks. This posed a problem as our taxi service was out of service and the taxi/shuttle and shuttle service all required a call the day before. $6 one way, no stops or waiting. If it is winter, be sure you have someone to salt your walkways and wear cleats on your shoes. Falling could be disasterous.

Compression socks. Good luck. The shoe butlers work swell for getting them on, however tgaking off any socks, well you roll them down, step on the toe with your other foot and pull it off. This might be easier for slim people–i have a lot of belly fat :-(. A grabber/reacher is an absolute must have. It picks up stuff off the floor. Mine has a magnetic tip so it can even do a paperclip. I have two and i am still using them.

Be sure to learn everything you can about the state you will be in when you are sent home and oh by the way a three day hospital stay includes the day of surgery–you don’t want to get stuck there without a ride like i did. If you can get or afford a temporary home health aide, it would be worth it. My shower transfer chair was too large for my bathroom, so it was stand with the head over the tub and wash the hair and sponge bath the rest.

Automatic cleaning cat boxes are the way to go—i still haven’t installed mine. I ended up making a long handled pooper scooper. They do sell them on Amazon.

Do not try to do too much of anything except be very diligent about the exercises (i don’t think i did enough of them–they hurt). And rest. You can’t heal if you don’t get rest. And as for the narcotics? Take as prescribed and don’t worry about them. You’ll need them in order to do the exercises and get some sleep. The physicians will cut them off after the second bottle. Hopefully you can tolerate ibuprofen, naproxsyn or aspirin after that. My stomach rejected all of them so now tylenol.

Be sure to have a few ice packs and USE THEM alot.

Ok back on track. You asked about the right kind of help. If you have true friends and relatives that would be best. If you can get a home health aide that would be second. I tried to hire household help–yeah right. That didn’t work at all. The key is knowing who you can trust to do what they say. A couple people from church brought food, and one family came and tidied up the first week.

Going home alone after surgery of any kind is not for the weak of heart. It gets down right scary at times. Be sure to have someone you can call if you need to. I guess the most important thing is to know how to ask the guy upstairs for help (that would be God).

Hopefully there is something above that will be useful to someone. Sorry, i really rambled and got off subject.

Thanks for listening.

Blessings.

Nancy

@nancylh Thank you, Nancy. You did not ramble at all – but you gave us great information (ideas and suggestions that I would not have even considered). You sound like a very resourceful person – and a good problem solver. Teresa
PS: It sounds like you have a great sister!

Hello @nancylh, thank you for giving us such a detailed account of your surgery and the suggestions for post-surgery. We have many conversations taking place on Connect in regards to knee replacements, but I like that your most recent post is centered around the suggestions, tips, and helpful tools to make the post-surgery recovery more attainable.

I’d like to invite @gailfaith, @contentandwell, @niazumbanut, @larie, @beatricefay, @amberpep, @flor, @leh09, @ronnie3716, @jmacvol, @lamerex4, @tallteri, @dawn_giacabazi, @blswilliams, and @cheris, who have all had knee replacement (full or partial), to share their tips, tricks, and suggestions for post-surgery recovery and daily life tasks.

@nancylh, how is your range-of-motion and actual recovery going?

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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@hopeful33250 First I would spend as much time in a rehab as your insurance would allow, although many doctors do not recommend rehab centers because of the risk of catching germs/infections. The doctor I plan to eventually have do my second knee is really opposed to them. I was able to navigate stairs fairly quickly as long as I took it very slowly. I never had a problem with them but my husband would always go up behind and down in front of me in case I fell. He can be a bit overprotective at times.

After rehab you can get PT in your home for a while and then out of your home. I am not sure how long they will come to your home (this is with Medicare paying) but you have to be housebound for that service to continue. I have had that two times but both times gave it up — I wanted to get out and there was really no good reason that I could not. Not only do they allow home physical therapy but a nurse comes up to three times a week to check up on you. The outside PT was very helpful and I am sure it would have been even more helpful if I faithfully did the home exercises that I was supposed to do but I was lazy about that.

If you are really alone, that’s tough but hopefully there are people who would take turns helping out or perhaps allow you to stay with them. I know if I didn’t have my husband I could have gone to my sister’s in the next state.

I never used the compression socks because at that point my legs were heavy and the top cut off circulation. Since then I have lost a lot of weight and have some really nice that I found at Marshall’s. They are basically knee socks and even have patterns. I believe the brand is Dr. Motion and they have 15 – 20 compression. I pretty much wore them all this past winter because I do have a vein problem from when I was overweight.

Also, if you plan on this, or really any surgery, try to lose weight prior to it if you are overweight. I know this is easier said than done but if you use some incentive types of things, like I used myfitnesspal. com and it really helped to keep me accountable, and I also have a fitness tracker to make sure I am fairly active most days. The better your muscles are before surgery the better you will be after surgery. I wish I realized this before my first knee replacement. I did a lot of recumbent biking and pool jogging. I lost a good amount before my transplant and I believe it really helped a lot and I am pretty sure it would have helped with my knee also. I used a walker for a couple of weeks and that was all. I find crutches very uncomfortable under my arms so I just bypassed that.

I don’t recall having to wait as long as Nancy) before driving (8 weeks) and it was my right knee also. I “recovered” quickly but have never regained the range of motion they want you to have. I will always wonder if had I gotten in better shape going into the surgery, and doing the prescribed exercises at home, would have made a difference. It sure seemed to for my transplant recovery.

@nancylh It sounds like you are through the most difficult part. I presume you are getting around fine now and I hope that each day will be better than the last.
JK

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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Hi Content and Well.

Medicare paid for two weeks of in-home PT. Doctor didn’t let me drive for eight weeks.
One doc didn’t want to do the surgery because i am morbidly obese. Having two knees go bad and having to give up my two hour a day walk on the treadmill desk did not help me lose any weight. so far i have not gained any either and as soon as i hire someone to change the wheels on the ramp that goes over the treadmill desk, i’ll be back on it. Started on the treadmill at PT a couple of weeks ago.

Rehab was not offered and i would not have gone to a rest home even if it was. My mom lives in one; not nice. I was not offered any in home therapy other than the PT and he was sent, i had no idea who would be coming. No nurses, nothing. Need help, call 911.

Nope, no one to stay with; me or my cats. The PT had me off the walker and back on my cane (of five years because of the non surgical knee) within the two weeks.

I am mobile. I use my cane. Have to see how things go and if they are going to fix my other knee. Thanks for sharing. Glad you healed fast and such.

Blessings

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @nancylh, thank you for giving us such a detailed account of your surgery and the suggestions for post-surgery. We have many conversations taking place on Connect in regards to knee replacements, but I like that your most recent post is centered around the suggestions, tips, and helpful tools to make the post-surgery recovery more attainable.

I’d like to invite @gailfaith, @contentandwell, @niazumbanut, @larie, @beatricefay, @amberpep, @flor, @leh09, @ronnie3716, @jmacvol, @lamerex4, @tallteri, @dawn_giacabazi, @blswilliams, and @cheris, who have all had knee replacement (full or partial), to share their tips, tricks, and suggestions for post-surgery recovery and daily life tasks.

@nancylh, how is your range-of-motion and actual recovery going?

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Hi Justin,

Just came from PT. Five exercises plus stair climbing and descending to work on. Will not being going back to PT for two weeks. They want to see if i really still need it. My range of motion, is that the 104 number they measure when i bend the knee back as far as i can? I think the complicated popliteal cyst that came as a present from the surgery has hindered that a bit. Seems like it his hard to bend the leg back because of the fullness. Or maybe it is just my blubber. I still have shooting pains and feelings like someone is pinching my knee with a pliers, but it is a lot less than it was. My leg continues to swell but part of that is swelling with pitted edema that i have in both legs. Haven’t figured out how to get rid of that yet.

The hardest thing is trying to decide if i should have the other knee done. They had scheduled it (left knee) before the right knee. The left knee had the same symptoms back in 2012. Intense pain for 30 days. No one would do an MRI. X-rays showed osteoarthritis and a popliteal cyst. I had cortisone shots and PT but it never recovered. They did MRI the right knee….knee effusion, two meniscal tears, ostephytes, full thickness loss of cartilage, occult subcondral tibial plateau fracture and a ruptured popliteal cyst. Can they do an MRI on one leg if the other one has all of that titanium in it? If they don’t fix it, i will be walking with a cane forever. I just don’t want to end up like my mom with bone on bone shoulders and knees in a wheelchair.

Well, back to my treadmill desk on Monday. I miss it a lot. Any idea what they can do for osteoarthritis in the thumb that has to use the mouse at work?

Well I’d better go get something done. Thanks for responding. Blessings. Nancy

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

Jump to this post

@nancylh That’s odd ,Nancy, that Medicare would only pay for two weeks. I know I had in home PT for longer than that. I stopped it because of the requirement of being home bound. The nurse was basically a VN and she came in and took my blood pressure, the vitals. Both she and the PT person worked for the same agency. She managed my in home care.

When you say “morbidly obese” I guess I was also, my BMI was probably mid-30s which was what pushed me into losing weight. I was on the list for liver transplant and thought I might have to double list. Some transplant centers will not transplant to people whose BMI is over 30. I am so glad that something goaded me into the weight loss. I had been exercising before that but just exercise will not do much weight loss if you don’t cut back on calories. In retrospect I think it’s almost unethical that most doctors will not approach the subject of their patient being overweight. No one ever did until something until the subject came up with my PCP and he gently suggested that I should eat smaller portions. I have no idea why he figured that I was eating healthily but he did, and overall I was, just too much of everything. I am sure my diabetes came from my being overweight and I know my cirrhosis came from fatty liver, and who doesn’t love butter?

We looked at rest homes that had rehab (I didn’t like them either) but then found a center two towns away that was just a rehab center, almost like a hospital. That worked out well, you have 3 or 4 therapy sessions a day — PT, OT and I don’t remember if those repeated or there is another type of therapy. To me OT was a waste. Medicare did pay for that though, I was there for 8 days.

Good luck getting back to the treadmill. I use one at my health club but if I do more than about 20 minutes I end up with shin splints which is why I use the pool for exercise, both going to water aerobics class and jogging/marching and a “faux” breast stroke (my head never goes under), and a few laps backwards. It is really good exercise and it does not bother my poor arthritic knees much. If you are looking to monitor your food intake I highly recommend the app I mentioned before — myfitnesspal.com. As I mentioned I have a tracker too and that helps me stay on track also because you set a goal and I strive to make my goal.

I wish you the best in your continued recuperation and I hope that your knee gets considerably better than mine is. I found out after I had my TKR that the surgeon used the same knee he has been using for 30 years. Now really, there have been improvements in knees. From what I have heard the Depuy and the Conformis are the best.

JK

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @nancylh, thank you for giving us such a detailed account of your surgery and the suggestions for post-surgery. We have many conversations taking place on Connect in regards to knee replacements, but I like that your most recent post is centered around the suggestions, tips, and helpful tools to make the post-surgery recovery more attainable.

I’d like to invite @gailfaith, @contentandwell, @niazumbanut, @larie, @beatricefay, @amberpep, @flor, @leh09, @ronnie3716, @jmacvol, @lamerex4, @tallteri, @dawn_giacabazi, @blswilliams, and @cheris, who have all had knee replacement (full or partial), to share their tips, tricks, and suggestions for post-surgery recovery and daily life tasks.

@nancylh, how is your range-of-motion and actual recovery going?

Jump to this post

@nancylh I believe they can do an MRI if you have titanium. I have had dental implants which are made of titanium and that was no problem.
JK

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

Jump to this post

Thank you.

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @nancylh, thank you for giving us such a detailed account of your surgery and the suggestions for post-surgery. We have many conversations taking place on Connect in regards to knee replacements, but I like that your most recent post is centered around the suggestions, tips, and helpful tools to make the post-surgery recovery more attainable.

I’d like to invite @gailfaith, @contentandwell, @niazumbanut, @larie, @beatricefay, @amberpep, @flor, @leh09, @ronnie3716, @jmacvol, @lamerex4, @tallteri, @dawn_giacabazi, @blswilliams, and @cheris, who have all had knee replacement (full or partial), to share their tips, tricks, and suggestions for post-surgery recovery and daily life tasks.

@nancylh, how is your range-of-motion and actual recovery going?

Jump to this post

Thanks that’s encouraging.

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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I am about to have TKR and your article helped a lot. I started a list of things to do etc. THX

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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Hello @10nsmom and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I’m glad to hear that some of the thoughts here have you helped you as you think about your TKR. We would enjoy getting to know you. If you are comfortable sharing, please let us know when you will have your surgery and how long you have had problems with your knees. What type of surgery is planned and what plans do you have after your surgery.

Teresa

@hopeful33250

@nancylh It is good to hear from you. I’m glad that you are six-months out from your surgery and that your PT has gone well. For any of us who would consider going home alone after TKA, what would you suggest that we do to be sure of having the right kind of help? Teresa

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Thank you 10nsmom. Nicest thing i’ve heard all day. Makes my day when i can help someone. Be blessed and may your TKR turn out Terrific! n

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