Having knee replacement: how to prepare and questions about PT

Posted by ronnie3716 @ronnie3716, May 1, 2016

I’m having knee replacement (L) on June 20th.
Any suggestions on how to get ready for it?
How soon does physical therapy start after one gets home?

Well each person’s experience with knee surgery is different. My wife had
total replacement and did exponentially better than I did and she is
not athletic. Probably being a woman she can tolerate pain better….women
very strong men can be such babies. Most of my pain came late evening and
night, made sleeping very difficult, I call it the night demons.That
operation was more than 10 years ago but everything is OK now. I went to
Mayo this past fall for a follow up and I was concerned that the prosthesis
was wearing down from Zumba. The doctor said I had no wear and keep doing
what I enjoy…only limitation is running which I never enjoyed.

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@dawn_giacabazi

I love they electric ice pad I used. I was able to do recovery with no narcotics.

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Google it and Amazon and others will “pull up”

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@flor

I had knee replacement at Mayo Clinic Rochester, i started theraphy the
next day after surgery, and just dont do anything foolish before your
surgery. walk some 15 min. everyday.

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Yes that’s the Mayo way did you have Dr.P?

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I had knee replacement three years ago, and something I wish someone would
have told me was to start taking probiotics beforehand. The antibiotics
you get to reduce chance of infection do a number on your gut and it took
several weeks for my digestive system to return to normal. Other than
that, follow through with all that’s suggested for physical therapy as
often as you can. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it pays off
later. I’ve had no trouble, and so glad I did it!

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My eldest daughter had a knee replacement a few years back. Now she thinks that her other knee must have a replacement. For ronnie3716 in Bones and Joints, I will ask her the regime that she had to prepare for the surgery.

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@dorsey

I had a knee replaced 1-1/2 years ago. I have always been active walking and
exercising so that was of great benefit. My physical therapy started the
same week, within about 2 days after I came home. Everything went well. I
never used a walker or cane after discharge from the hospital.

Good luck to you!

Blessings,

DOT

The things we take for granted, others are praying for!

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I walk every day and have done stretches and aerobics since the 1960s.
Exercise is very important as well as keeping your weight down.

The things we take for granted, others are praying for!

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@niazumbanut

Go to Youtube and search for pre-operative knee replacement exercises. Most important try to lose a lot of weight,don’t worry if you can’t. I also recommend stationary biking before and after. Make sure seat is pulled up high enough so there is not too much bend. Keep resistance low and increase gradually as you recover…spin rather than push. You can probably find on Youtube the correct way to ride stationary bike,i.e.angle of knee bend which is a function of seat height. I have had two knee replacements ,one full one partial and a hip at Mayo.Mayo did not put a lot of emphasis on PT, though they had me walking with assistance the same day and next day taught me how to walk up and down steps…very important to try to avoid steps as you put 3 times your weight on your knees when you use steps. The full knee was very difficult for me,partial easy and hip easy. I went to physical therapy a couple times but quit as the therapy was not good. As an active Iyengar yoga practitioner I knew what they were doing was wrong; I went back to my yoga practice and if interested you will understand better why by searching Iyengar yoga, its not like flow hatha yoga, props are used in Iyengar. PT is in great demand because of the aging baby boomers and because of this after an initial session with a therapist they hand you off to an assistance (usually a young person) who in my opinion lacks the experience that is needed for good PT. That is why Mayo probably doesn’t rely heavily on PT…they recommend basic walking and stationary biking and staying OFF steps. Mayo is of course #1 in orthopedics and by searching “knee replacement Mayo” much info will pull up.You can also do same on Youtube for videos After two replacements and hip at Mayo .I’m a very active 70 senior (big guy 6′ 225 lbs.) who takes daily Zumba classes yoga and Pilates three times per week…blessed with good genes, except for arthritis and fortunate to being able to go to Mayo, Minnesota…I live in Richmond. p.s. Since your operation is not until June I would make sure your doctor is OK…get two more opinions if you can. All doctors not the same and I encounter people many times who have had problems with knee operations. Remember there is much demand because of baby boomers, many dollars to be made. Two doctors I saw for the total knee replacement in Richmond recommended immediate surgery. At Mayo after getting much better diagnostics the doctor told me to do NOTHING. I could wait and I would KNOW when I needed the surgery (pain,mobility etc.). Mayo doctors are not paid on commission but salary so they have no incentive to “push” operations.So I was able to put off my surgery for another 2 years…the older you are the greater probability you will die before you will need additional surgery…my doctor told me that there is a 1% failure rate after each year of surgery so that means after 25 years a probable 25% failure rate. Don’t rely on me discuss with your surgeon and do online research…Credible web sites can help you understand.

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One more thing try to lose weight,even 5 lbs. will help.Less stress on your
joints.Try if possible stationary biking (YMCA) rather than walking,less
stress on knees and should be less pain.

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@cautiousoptimism

I had knee replacement three years ago, and something I wish someone would
have told me was to start taking probiotics beforehand. The antibiotics
you get to reduce chance of infection do a number on your gut and it took
several weeks for my digestive system to return to normal. Other than
that, follow through with all that’s suggested for physical therapy as
often as you can. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it pays off
later. I’ve had no trouble, and so glad I did it!

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Great thought. I take probiotics everyday but will increase prior to surgery. Fantastic idea!!

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I had a total knee replacement 7 months ago at UIHC, IowaCity,IA. I am a retired RN. I did strengthening for several weeks before the surgery. Check YouTube for exercises. I went to PT for several weeks afterwards.The guidance and encouragement a therapist gives I found to be helpful. I did not have much pain afterwards. Pain pills for good rest at night.You can not overdose on ice packs (for several weeks but maybe not everyday)! My surgeon would have been satisfied if I only walked a lot.They tell you to give yourself a year for complete rehab. I see changes every week so that now I have a lot of days I forget I had a knee replaced! My body did react to the new knee with several weeks of no appetite and I have since heard others tell this happened to them also. No worry it came back and the few pounds I lost was just as well!! During that time I did make sure I drank a supplement for the protein for healing. Good luck on your upcoming surgery. You’ll be glad you had it done!

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Ronnie3716…I had my left knee replaced 1-21-16. The first 6 weeks will be the toughest. I’m not one who takes lots of pain meds and having to take 4-6 pills at a time , by the evening I was a basket case. You will have lots of swelling and stiffness in the knee. What I found to help me out was my workout routine before the surgery . I continued to do squats, leg extensions, curls and leg press, however by the time the bandage came off, my leg was a flimsy mess, no muscle tone whatsoever but it helped. You will be up and walking the next day after surgery, full weight bearing, yep that’s right, they will have you walking stairs the second day. Three days out of the hospital I had home health specialist and therapist at my door. Therapy 3’x a week and it was a killer. Take your pain meds at least 1 hour before start of therapy so you don’t have unbearable pain. I still have pain and swelling in my knee now, and as of April 3rd I was out working my part time job at the World Champion Kansas City Royals Baseball stadium on my feet 5-7 hours a day. My tolerance for pain is pretty high, so the stiffness that I am experiencing is far less than what my knee was like this time last year. I am totally satisfied with my progress to this point but it will be at least a full year before I’m at 100%. Just have to take it day by day and today as I wright this post I am experiencing some pain and discomfort. You’re going to have some good days and bad days and at times you will probably feel you have digressed, but you have to stay positive and keep the faith that this to ” will come to past”. Take care

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@ronnie3716 you must be feeling much more prepared for surgery with all the great advice on this thread. Here are a few videos from Mayo Clinic specialists.

In this video (

), Dr. Mary O’Connor reviews the recovery and follow-up after knee replacement. She echoes @niazumbanut, @FLOYDR and @kareniowa advice about exercise before surgery. She also discusses pain management and more.

Dr. Ortiguera answers FAQs in this video (

).

And here (

) physical therapist, Jimmie talks about and demonstrates some exercises. Like Jimmie says, “Motion is lotion” for your knee.

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@flor

I had knee replacement at Mayo Clinic Rochester, i started theraphy the
next day after surgery, and just dont do anything foolish before your
surgery. walk some 15 min. everyday.

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No I had Dr. T

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Morning all. I had my surgery thru CenterPoint Hospital, Dr. Gregory Ballard and will be doing my 4 month follow up on 5-9-16. I feel real good about my progress to this point. There have been some days though that I feel that I have regressed due to the tightness in the knee and also my knee can tell now when it’s going to rain now. The pain at this point is minimal though I do feel where the cut was made to fit the knee into to bone. It comes and goes and will make you sit up in the bed if you’re are laying down , but the good thing it only last a few seconds. It almost feels like someone hitting a punching bag for a few shots and that’s it. Prior to this surgery I was in pain with every step that I took. My first knee surgery was Dec.1972 torn cartalidge , and over the years it had just got worse. I am very athletic, loved to run, cycle, play softball, but for the last five years I have not been able to run and now the doctor and P/T’s have told me not to run because of the pounding the knee will take. I will be 62 yrs old 6-9-55 and plan on playing softball next year and getting my legs in the shape they were 20yrs ago. The one thing I know is that it will be a long hard road to recovery with some setbacks ,but my mind is geared for that to keep pushing and stay positive. And as always this to shall come to past..

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@FLOYDR

Morning all. I had my surgery thru CenterPoint Hospital, Dr. Gregory Ballard and will be doing my 4 month follow up on 5-9-16. I feel real good about my progress to this point. There have been some days though that I feel that I have regressed due to the tightness in the knee and also my knee can tell now when it’s going to rain now. The pain at this point is minimal though I do feel where the cut was made to fit the knee into to bone. It comes and goes and will make you sit up in the bed if you’re are laying down , but the good thing it only last a few seconds. It almost feels like someone hitting a punching bag for a few shots and that’s it. Prior to this surgery I was in pain with every step that I took. My first knee surgery was Dec.1972 torn cartalidge , and over the years it had just got worse. I am very athletic, loved to run, cycle, play softball, but for the last five years I have not been able to run and now the doctor and P/T’s have told me not to run because of the pounding the knee will take. I will be 62 yrs old 6-9-55 and plan on playing softball next year and getting my legs in the shape they were 20yrs ago. The one thing I know is that it will be a long hard road to recovery with some setbacks ,but my mind is geared for that to keep pushing and stay positive. And as always this to shall come to past..

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I had my surgery in August of 2012 and had much pain after surgery . But after 2 months it was ok . Haven’t had any pain since and feel perfectly well. I had my surgery at the Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota. And aIr can walk but not run,jump,kneel, skip, and bend my legs. Hope that my experience helps you

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@FLOYDR

Morning all. I had my surgery thru CenterPoint Hospital, Dr. Gregory Ballard and will be doing my 4 month follow up on 5-9-16. I feel real good about my progress to this point. There have been some days though that I feel that I have regressed due to the tightness in the knee and also my knee can tell now when it’s going to rain now. The pain at this point is minimal though I do feel where the cut was made to fit the knee into to bone. It comes and goes and will make you sit up in the bed if you’re are laying down , but the good thing it only last a few seconds. It almost feels like someone hitting a punching bag for a few shots and that’s it. Prior to this surgery I was in pain with every step that I took. My first knee surgery was Dec.1972 torn cartalidge , and over the years it had just got worse. I am very athletic, loved to run, cycle, play softball, but for the last five years I have not been able to run and now the doctor and P/T’s have told me not to run because of the pounding the knee will take. I will be 62 yrs old 6-9-55 and plan on playing softball next year and getting my legs in the shape they were 20yrs ago. The one thing I know is that it will be a long hard road to recovery with some setbacks ,but my mind is geared for that to keep pushing and stay positive. And as always this to shall come to past..

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Glad you are doing well. I can’t run or skip but have no problem kneeling
or bending my knees. When you say you can’t bend what exactly does that
mean?

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