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

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The Long & Winding Road

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My left knee problems started age 16 with sport injuries. That was in 1980. By 21, I had undergone menisectomy and seven years later I had pioneering surgery to replace the ACL. All went well for a number of years until arthritis really started to take its toll. Regular cycling seemed to hold back the advancing arthritis but two operations in my early 50s were necessary to remove osteophytes from the knee and keep me mobile.
Still cycling, however, my knee felt arthritic for a lot of the time and I noticed how bent my leg had become over a period of about five years. I was now aged 57. The knee had become increasingly painful and looked really deformed. The straw that broke the camel's back was a fairly sudden commencement of severe hip pain. This was truly awful, so I went off to see a surgeon.

He showed me the x rays of my deformed knee and explained how this had caused my bent leg, leading ultimately to the hip pain. The decision to have a knee replacement was easy as there was no other option left open to me.
It is now eleven months since surgery. My leg is straight and I no longer have knee or hip pain. The deformity of my knee continues to abate and I continue to improve. I still firmly believe that I will be able improve even more in the coming twelve months as I am able to build up full power in my quads and hamstrings.

The post operation journey was hard, of that there is no doubt. Discomfort, hard work, tedious repetitive exercise routines and, above all, the worry that, for some reason, the new knee would fail. A few issues with knee cap tracking held me back for a while but that has resolved itself as my quad strength improved.

Today, I feel great. Back riding my bicycle and able to walk as I wish.

For those contemplating knee replacement I have three messages:

1. Rehabilitation needs hard work, determination, single mindedness and an ability to 'listen to your body'.
2. Absorb information and support from others but remember we are all individual.
3. If you have exhausted all other intervention possibilities then a knee replacement can work for you, but it is not something to be entered into lightly. Take advice and seek out views from those who have gone through the procedure.
I completely agree. it's a big operation and rehab must be taken seriously; and you may not feel the benefits for 18 months; but as soon as you do you'll be glad you had it done
Precisely. I am now 13 months on from the operation. I still feel things improving and my knee shape returning to something more normal.
As you say, it is a long term recovery.
it is now 15 months since the total knee replacement. In the last 2 months I have worked continuously on building quadriceps and hamstring strength. This appears to have caused significant improvement in knee function and feeling. I feel wonderful. I never thought it would improve to this level, yet I know I can improve further.
That's a great update. We are very happy that you have been able to continually build up your strength and improve on your function even after more than a year from your surgery! Keep up the good work.
Two years post TKR. Over the last months I have pushed on with even more exercise. I do weight bearing leg squats and cycle 3 times per week. Cycle trips between 25 and 40 miles. My knee has continued to improve. The regular cycling has improved my ROM. It is truly fantastic. While I am always careful in what I do, I have basically forgotten that my knee was replaced. It feels no different to my other knee now. The main message therefore is that Recovery from TKR is truly long term but worth every bit of effort.
Two and a half years post surgery. I just cycled the iconic Tour de France climb at Mont Ventoux. Probably the most satisfying moment in later life!
Thanks to all those professionals, family and friends who supported me. TKR has been the start of a new phase of my life. I never thought this would be possible in the weeks after surgery.
Wonderful outcome!
I,however, have not been as fortunate. I am 2 years 3 months post TKR. I was pushed too hard starting in rehab facility and now can barely walk.
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