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I decided to have my knee replaced when..
How my life changed after knee replacement

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A Lot of Good, A Little Bad, and Only One Ugly......4 Weeks PostOp

ellenauch@earthlink.net
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My TKR was 6/6/19. I am not at all a hospital/doctors/needles person, so I was dreading the experience. The surgery and hospital stay (overnight) were just fine. Virtually NO pain at all. Passed off on the PT requirements (walking, steps, getting in a car, going to the bathroom) just fine. I was so relieved! When my surgeon came to dismiss me from the hospital, he leaned over the end of the bed and vividly explained how I was to follow a set regimen for pain management the first week: "I cut your knee out! You NEED to take the meds I prescribed every 4-6 waking hours, whether in pain or not. After that, you can wean yourself off." He said not to set an alarm to take it at night, but if I woke up hurting, it was fine. I followed his plan exactly. The muscle/knee pain has been NOTHING like I anticipated, and I have been so relieved. I used the CPM machine for the first 3 weeks 6 hours per day, and followed up my PT sessions with home exercises. It has been a full-time job, but it really is paying off. I am at 90 flexion, 2 extension, and have a scar that looks really good. Still wearing hose on that leg during the day (6 weeks). What I didn't expect was the trouble I've had sleeping, due to sensitivity of the skin around the incision and intolerance to touching the sheets much, even with an ace bandage. I'm finally sleeping a few hours in the bed, a few hours in the recliner if I'm lucky, and then giving up and getting up early. Will be so glad to have a full night's sleep!! The ugly has been the opposite hip. I've had several instances where it "seizes up" and I'm in agonizing pain and can't move. I finally had to make an appt with the surgeon. He said it wasn't abnormal for the non-operative leg to experience difficulty with the increased demand placed on it, but took an x ray anyway and discovered moderate to severe arthritis in that hip - no wonder I was hurting. So my bottom line is that the hip and the skin sensitivity/lack of sleep has been the troublesome areas, NOT the knee! I would advise following exactly what your surgeon says to do, and be patient - it's a process. I'm going to have the other knee done in November, so I'm calling 2019 my "chrysalis" year - working diligently inside my little house and plan to emerge in 2020 as a very active butterfly! I do have a wonderful support system - my husband and some really good friends - couldn't be where I am without them!
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