What items do I need post TKR during recovery?

Posted by saeternes @saeternes, Nov 5, 2019

Please let me know which of these things you purchased for your TKR recovery, and which were the most valuable. My toilet seat now hits me at the exactly back of the knee (it's pretty tall); is that tall enough? Thanks.

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@contentandwell

@saeternes that's too bad that you can't do it at all, that was a big part of my "pre-hab" and it really did help I think. Just do what you can do, whether it be walking, anything that can help those supporting muscles get stronger and that your surgeon approves of.
JK

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Thanks JK. I am exercising about 1.5 hours a day, 30 min on elliptical, 45 on weights, 15 stretching.

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@saeternes

Thanks JK. I am exercising about 1.5 hours a day, 30 min on elliptical, 45 on weights, 15 stretching.

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@saeternes That's great! I'm surprised if you can do the elliptical that you can't do the bike. All of that strengthening will pay off when you are recuperating. That's a lot of exercise! I do weight equipment every other day, but I really should pay more attention to stretching too. On the days I don't do the gym I either do water or my recumbent bike. I love the elliptical but now that I have discovered that I have osteoporosis I have been told that the treadmill is better for that so I'm doing that now — boring.
JK

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@contentandwell It is weird but the problem with the bike is bending so much when pulling the leg back. I was surprised that I could do the elliptical with no problem. I'll probably use the treadmill too to get some variety but I have only 2 weeks before surgery. However I have always exercised so I'm not in bad shape for my age. I hope it helps.

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@saeternes

@contentandwell It is weird but the problem with the bike is bending so much when pulling the leg back. I was surprised that I could do the elliptical with no problem. I'll probably use the treadmill too to get some variety but I have only 2 weeks before surgery. However I have always exercised so I'm not in bad shape for my age. I hope it helps.

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@saeternes: I wish you great success with your upcoming surgery. Yes, being in shape – I also have kept in shape all my life – should make a big difference. There are exceptions, e.g. a friend of a friend in her 70’s had TKR, being quite fat, and a total couch potato, and had the fastest recovery without any prescription pain relievers at all. That’s the outlier, though!!!!!
I commend you for learning as much as possible beforehand – this website is incredibly helpful with comments from “real” people. Wish I had found this source before my decision when and by whom to have surgery. Luckily I came through with average pain, fairly fast recovery and speedy rehab. It helped that I was both compliant with all PT instructions, and that I am just plain stubborn and hate being stuck indoors at home.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to progress reports once you have your new knee.

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@ellerbracke thanks for the comments. I had the scan for the Mako robotic arm yesterday, and also the nerve ablation today. The ablations was far from pleasant. In order to find the tiny nerves that lead from the knee to the brain, they have to keep you sedated but completely aware. Then they must test them and see if you feel anything before going ahead with the "fry." There is lots of needle-probing to find the right spot, and then they must be moved around, and these are hollow needles into which they insert the probe to do the heating. the heating is not as bad as the needles, but still not pleasant. Lots of shrieking on my part. However, the nurse told me that they have seen very good results with pre-surgery ablation. I'll be another test case. Apparently sometimes they known you out to do this but the problem is that if you cannot response, they can't be sure they have the right never. And they also my test to make sure they are not hitting a motor nerve. My surgery is the week after this coming week, so once I am able, I'll post a new thread and see if I can manage a day-by-day.

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@saeternes: I really should first look up info regarding nerve ablation, but since you have first hand experience (uncomfortable, I get it), what exactly was the reasoning to do this prior to TKR? I know that some nerves will be cut during the surgery, unavoidably, and most (?) are supposed to regenerate eventually. Mine – no idea which were cut – all seemed to come back within a fairly short period. If I remember correctly, by the time I stopped PT, around 12 weeks or so, I had no more dead spots around the knee, all the feeling had come back 100%. Therapist did say that this is not really the norm, but not that exceptional either. Was your procedure connected to the Mako surgery? I had a hurry-up, get it done, plain-jane standard knee replacement because of time constraints. Yes, sounds absolutely crazy and stupid, but not knowing better at the time, I’m glad it worked out just fine, anyway. Not a walk in the park by any means, but I toughed it out. Made up for exquisite techniques by gritting teeth, and working my butt off. Wish I could take a selfie of my bent knees in comparison – you’d be hard pressed to tell which one is the artificial one!

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@ellerbracke First, please excuse all the typos above. I was on sedatives when I wrote that (they didn't help a lot during the procedure!). The point is to disconnect the nerves in four spots, which supposedly will decrease pain after the TKR, since they take 6-9 months to regrow. Some doctors actually do knock you out for the ablation, but my dr. said you are just going approximately in terms of the four spots if you do that. So I had to gut it out. They also have to be very careful not to ablate any motor nerves, which will affect walking. So they have to text first for reaction, by putting in a small current and asking if you feel it, then to see whether they have hit motor nerves, by asking if you feel anything up and down the leg when the current is on. My dr. said people rave about the pain reduction post-surgery and say they are able to get off drugs much quicker. I suppose some have had more than one TKR and can compare. Well, we'll see!

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@saeternes

@ellerbracke First, please excuse all the typos above. I was on sedatives when I wrote that (they didn't help a lot during the procedure!). The point is to disconnect the nerves in four spots, which supposedly will decrease pain after the TKR, since they take 6-9 months to regrow. Some doctors actually do knock you out for the ablation, but my dr. said you are just going approximately in terms of the four spots if you do that. So I had to gut it out. They also have to be very careful not to ablate any motor nerves, which will affect walking. So they have to text first for reaction, by putting in a small current and asking if you feel it, then to see whether they have hit motor nerves, by asking if you feel anything up and down the leg when the current is on. My dr. said people rave about the pain reduction post-surgery and say they are able to get off drugs much quicker. I suppose some have had more than one TKR and can compare. Well, we'll see!

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Ouch! Must have been just about as much fun as I had when a dentist in Switzerland would not give me Novocain while probing inside an incisor to see whether the nerve was alive or dead. (It was alive!!!). Proceeded to do a root canal without anesthesia.

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Maybe not that much fun.

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@ellerbracke

Ouch! Must have been just about as much fun as I had when a dentist in Switzerland would not give me Novocain while probing inside an incisor to see whether the nerve was alive or dead. (It was alive!!!). Proceeded to do a root canal without anesthesia.

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@ellerbracke It sounds as if your dentist was a sadist to do a root canal with no anesthesia.
JK

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