TKR #2.....Lessons I am learning.
Yesterday, I had a Total Knee Replacement on my right knee, 10 years after having a successful TKR on my left knee. 28 hours later I realize I have learned a lot with more hints, suggestions, mysteries, and solutions to be discovered along the way. I want to list these items for your review. Please let me know if you agree with my assessment and anything else you want to share that will help others making the same trip. What else should we be mindful about?
When was your TKR or when are you planning it? Thank you for sharing your creative and helpful ideas Here are my 24-hour learnings.
1. To be well prepared, do the pre-op exercises. I know it is 300 unique exercises held from 1-2, or 1-5 seconds in 2 sessions every day. And then there is that 5-10 minute one at the end. You will be so happy that your surgery leg is strong and sturdy.
2. Take the medications as prescribed or with approved substitutes if needed because of allergies. If you have any doubt about dosages or synergistic medications, please ask. Just because the pharmacy sheet or the internet describes a medication one way, know that there are good reasons for choosing the ones on your list. One antihistamine was kind of funky…..it just didn't fit. Then I found out that while it was listed for treatment of itchiness, it also dissipated my major pain medication, Dilaudid more quickly. Know that you must wait for anesthesia-related medications to disappear before you can move on to after-surgery dosages.
3. To prevent swelling, make sure your knee is kept above your heart. I sure didn't remember that one and it is so good to know. Use ice as directed. Just refrain from wrapping an ice pack too tightly around the surgery knee. I made that mistake …….oweee.
What assists will be most helpful? Do you need a walker….yes you do. And the worst thing that can happen is a fall. Walkers prevent falls. A raised toilet seat is a must to prevent strain and injury.
Be careful though…….we have only 21 inches in our commode room. Have you seen the stools for showers and the movable grab bars? Remember the goal is to prevent falling. As my surgeon said, "don't fall, I can't fix you."
And finally. Take time to heal……You cannot expect to be back on the volleyball court or in the swimming pool right away. Gold and tennis will have to wait. And you will be better off finding new and less rigorous activities to replace those that are no longer part of your activity itinerary.
What bothers you the most? What do you still not understand?
May you be free, protected and safe from inner and outer harm.