Mako Robotic Arm TKR ONE WEEK
Therapy started this morning and I was looking forward to getting an opinion about my progress from "Alex." Since the rough 3-hour ride home from the hospital, I had doubted myself in terms of whether or not the Mako robotic arm was worth going to such lengths. But now I am happy I did it, since Alex pronounced me at the top in terms of one-week progress, with only one other person having done this. I could tell he was genuinely impressed, and he also had worked at our local large orthopedic group, so he has seen plenty of knee replacements. Like me, Alex veers away from competition and from creating too much inflammation and swelling through painful exercises, instead saying push it slowly several times during the day and make steady if not linear progress. He did not want to take off the thick bandage and pad at the knee so could not get accurate measurements, but he eyeballed it from several angles. As many of you have mentioned, he also said strength training can wait a while longer.
Next week I will be able to see the scar, how long it is, and in general how things look once the stitches are removed. Although I have nothing to compare it with, the Mako right now seems to have been a good decision. I should also mention that I don't have any real pain when pushing the ROM, so maybe that is the nerve ablation kicking in?
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In this limited instance, I’m reassured that you had to suffer like the rest of us. With no Mako. And no ablation. Some things just simply hurt. A lot. But they’ll pass.
@contentandwell : briefly: You and perhaps someone else mentioned that ibuprofen is as effective as opioids for pain control. This is an urban legend, let me assure you. Ibuprofen, as well as any strength tylenol, or aspirin, merely put useless chemicals in my system. Aleve (used to use Celebrex on occasion) works to some extent, almost to the same extent that Oxycodone does. I just sort of found out by other people on this post that I probably never started out with the proper high dose of 10 mg, so I was semi-content with 5 mg, and gave up on it way to soon. Will remember this for my next (yeah, right, not happening) TKR.
@ellerbracke I'm not posting on Mako and nerve ablation (which itself was very painful) to gain bragging rights on doing something faster or better or with less pain, so I am surprised that you proclaim yourself reassured that I had to suffer like everyone else. Knee replacement surgery is evolving and hopefully that evolution will mean less pain for all of us, as well as better and longer-lasting results. It seems that individual differences in pain perception and also uncontrollable things such as surgeon skill are as important as anything. My goal is to keep a record that is public and can be viewed by anyone who will be undergoing this process, so they can evaluate and make good decisions on their own. Instead of going to my local orthopedic center, which swears by Zimmer knees (no robotic arm), I decided to try Mako to see if it would help the ardous recovery process. I will have no way of knowing how different it would have been to go the traditional route, but as @debbraw has posted, she did one knee the traditional way and one with Mako, finding clear better results with Mako.
@dixiedog I have seen those canes, thanks for reminding me! If I need a cane for a long time I'll check them out.
@contentandwell I have some gastro issues and cannot take Ibuprofen or Aleve (naproxen, which like Ibuprofen is also a NSAID). But thanks for the advice.
@saeternes I guess you and I are both stuck with acetaminophen, unfortunately it’s not much help.
I agree with you 100% that the advances have been able to improve TKRs which is why I would only go with a custom made knee. I may have considered Mako too if I had known about them. Also, foremost, as you say, is having the most skilled surgeon you can find. I settled when I had my first TKR because I was in so much pain 24/7 but thankfully that knee is very good, just not quite as good as my second TKR. The first does have better flex though.
I think it’s great that you are keeping a record, recording everything. I wish I had done that both for my transplant and for my TKRs. I have read that the biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we will remember something. I know it is for me.
@ellerbracke I never would quote from an unreliable source but perhaps it was naproxen sodium that I read was almost as effective. It was a couple of years ago. I never was able to take that. When I did I felt like my stomach was being ripped apart.
@dixiedog THanks. My TKR was in 2017 so the incision is fine, the bursitis was exacerbated by a trochanteric femur fracture – no surgery.
I do use the pool for at my health club for water aerobics and pool jogging and it does help.
@saeternes : So sorry my comment re. pain/suffering came out the wrong way. I did not mean it in a mean sense, just had hoped that the combination of the new, advanced surgery technique, and the nerve ablation, would make the aftermath of the TKR easier. Maybe it actually does make it easier, and you do miss out on the higher pain level that may have come with conventional TKR’s. Anyway, my apologies for putting foot in mouth. Will get it unstuck.
@ellerbracke thanks for the apology, I appreciate it. MAKO for full knee replacement was not available until 2017 so it may have not even been around when you had yours done. It is still a relatively new technology so the long-term results are not in. The two reliable studies that have been done show a better, faster, and less painful recovery period, but from the individual's perspective, I think it is impossible to tell unless we undergo double knees for comparison, as did @debbraw .
Although I have been trying to get off the narcotics, I find it hard to do the exercises without at least some. Tuesday the stitches come out so I'll post a two-week update in a separate thread.