Gransnet forums


Knee replacement tomorrow

(72 Posts)
Parky Mon 09-May-22 10:04:52

Am booked for a TKR tomorrow. Have got serious cond thoughts as foolishly read bonesmart forum.

Is it really so awful post op? I'm so worried I won't be able to get out of bed to go to the loo etc. Occupational health have given me crutches and on my insistence a raised loo seat but kept saying I would be fine without grab rails. Kept saying your slim and healthy you'll be fine. Yes I am slim and no health problems but I'm 76 and am not strong. My husband will be around to help, so not on my own.

Anyone out there with any advice at this late stage would be appreciated. What is this 'dead heavy leg' thing. Can one not lift the leg? Seems horrifying. So bothered wish I'd never agreed to op.

I'm with nhs and consultant says bone on bone

FannyCornforth Mon 09-May-22 10:09:46

Hello Parky
Oh I do feel for you!
I’m having a THR next month.
I’m (a very small) part of the really supportive Hip Replacement thread on here.
I’m sure that you’ll get lots of replies and advice here.
I hope that we can help you to feel more positive and calm about your op thanksbrew
Please keep posting - sending you a hug

BlueBelle Mon 09-May-22 10:16:11

I m not going to pretend my friends and much younger than me sister in law who have had knee ops have said it’s a long road to recovery but I m sure it will be worth it in the end
I m not going to give you the pessimistic answers it ll be interesting to see how you feel about it afterwards I m sure in the long run you ll be pleased
I m sure you ll get to the loo on one good leg and crutches
you ll find a way and get used to it and you have your husband on hand We re mostly tough old birds
Have pain killers nearby and don’t be afraid to take them EspecialLy in the early days
I ve never heard of the heavy dead leg thing

aggie Mon 09-May-22 10:22:36

I had my hip replaced and it was so worth the few days of different pain , but my main problem was being unable to tolerate any painkiller other than paracetamol , you will get good advice and help from the Physio and OT , and you will get rid of that awful grinding pain in your leg
You will have exercises to do , but they get easier
Take the analgesics and do the exercises and you will be a new woman

Parky Mon 09-May-22 10:33:21

Thank you. Just feel that I have lived with knee pain for years and don't want to swop one pain for a worse one! Honestly don't know anyone personally who has had one. To be able to walk downhill without lots of pain is what I'm hoping, is this reasonable?

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 09-May-22 10:41:47

I’ve had two partial knee replacements, the most recent in May 2022. It does sting a bit but keep taking the painkillers! I was out of bed the day after my operation. The physio insisted.

Baggs Mon 09-May-22 10:42:55

I know people who have had TKRs, Parky. It takes time but they say the difference it has made to their lives is worth the short term struggles.

Good luck tomorrow, and do come back and tell us how you're getting on flowers

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 09-May-22 10:46:33

Parky you lift the affected leg using your other leg, hook it under at the ankle and lift up and twist to get out of bed.
To get into bed hook your good ankle under the bad one and lift and spin to get onto bed. Prop yourself on your elbows as you turn.
It takes some practice, but you will manage.
Get some pain relief to come home with.
MissOops is awaiting her second op on her other knee.
Good luck!

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 09-May-22 10:48:27

It’s only a ‘dead leg’ because you can’t bend it and it’s pretty sore and stiff with the stitches and swelling.

Blossoming Mon 09-May-22 10:51:11

I have no experience of this Parky, just dropping in to wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.

Aveline Mon 09-May-22 10:51:29

I've had two knee replacements and am glad every day that I had them. Yes recovery isn't a picnic but neither is it dreadful. Just take a day at a time and don't overdo it.
Bonesmart was a great help to me. Their clear message that you can't bend a hose full of water and neither can you bend a swollen knee gave me the confidence to just do my own rehab by walking about and keeping mobile rather than submitting to forced bending by a physio. NICE guidance re research on post surgical exercise reinforced my resolve.
A key thing to remember about Bonesmart is that it tends to be the people with most problems that continue to post. Those making a good recovery stop posting.
Don't cancel the op. You'll be so glad you didn't.

henetha Mon 09-May-22 11:02:04

Please be reassured that, although it is a bit difficult afterwards, it is perfectly achievable providing you do the physio properly for a few week. I've had both knees done. I wish you all the best, and hope that you will find it as wonderful as I do, eventually. It will be worth the effort to be rid of all the pain.

Clearbluesky Mon 09-May-22 11:04:01

Take the pain meds regularly. Cold packs helped me enormously. You may run out of frozen peas (!), so try Googling 'cold pack for knee'. There are lots of suggestions, ranging in price. However, check with your medical team first as to what would suit your specific needs. Recovery is not fast, but it is worth it!

Redhead56 Mon 09-May-22 12:17:49

I wish you well and a speedy recovery.

Chocolatelovinggran Mon 09-May-22 12:50:06

Good luck, Parky.

Placida Mon 09-May-22 12:59:11

I had a Total Knee replacement done in SWELEOC Epsom Hospital in September 2021. It was very successful. The ohysio will get you out of bed the same day as operation to take a few steps. Each day you will be more mobile. There will be a lot of numbness from the Anaesthetic Block and a lot of swelling and bruising. I had two sticks and was in Hospital for three days and when home did a walk each day with the help of a friend. I went a bit further each and remember you have to walk distance back
Pain medication helps and Arnicare cream for the bruising.(Holland and Barrett) Keep your legs well moisturised. Exercises is very important to strengthen the muscles. My Ankle is still painful as it was strapped up during the surgery. Eat plenty of fruit and veg and Prunes to help with the Bowel s as Pain meds can cause constipation.
Good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Farmor15 Mon 09-May-22 14:04:26

Parky - my OH had knee problems for years, but didn't want to have op, until finally after a holiday where he was so restricted in what he could do, he decided to go for it. Both knees were so bad that surgeon suggested doing both at same time! They had him out of bed and walking with crutches the next day and the day after he was able to have a shower - the dressings are waterproof. I set up a bed downstairs for him, but he only slept there 1 or 2 nights, after that he could get up and down stairs.

It was painful for the first few weeks and the strong painkillers didn't suit him so he just took the max dose of paracetamol at the recommended intervals. Ice packs helped a lot - we always had some in freezer and some in use - sometimes I would have to go down in middle of night to replace them.

He didn't overdo exercises, but made a point of not sitting all day, but getting up and walking to kitchen if he needed something. He also tried to do his normal activities, like gardening. He went to a physio and got a loan of an exercise bike which helped. He found the Bonesmart site good.

After 3 months we were able to go on a holiday to France - plane, train and plenty of walking. He was still using one stick at this stage, which was a handy passport to getting to front of queues! But he abandoned it when we came home and knees continued to improve. He's never regretted having the op and it made a huge difference to his quality of life.

Best of luck for tomorrow.

Yiayia4 Mon 09-May-22 14:07:53

Lots of ice packs and regular pain meds.I had my right knee replaced 8years ago.Its been fine ever since.I will be having my left knee and hip replaced as soon as my rheumatologist feels I’m ready.Good luck and a very speedy recovery.

Fernbergien Mon 09-May-22 14:08:37

I used to teach people how to handle their arthritis.
1. Be positive it really helps.
2. I found the pain after op better than pain before.( Had both done).
3. I was soon refusing painkillers. Didn’t need them.
4. Worst thing was getting to the loo. They will help you and
You will soon master it.
5. Put cling wrap round knee when showering.
6. Use a flannel as small towel in that area/hygiene.
7. The leg might not lift at first so lift with scarf. Suddenly it
will do right thing..
8 Make sure you do the physio. Use a donut support for heel
and slide up and down a piece of laminate board.
9. Found I was normal in six weeks.
PM me if you wish . Good luck.

Elrel Mon 09-May-22 14:25:54

I had a TKR a few years ago. The hospital made sure I could manage stairs before discharge. The compression stockings were a little tricky to get on and off but I soon got the hang of it. As I live alone someone checked my kitchen to ensure I could easily move around in there. I was advised to stock my freezer with ready meals. In hospital we were encouraged to move about as much as possible. Don’t be daunted by fellow patient who have had hip replacements. They appeared to get very good mobility very quickly!
Both my front and back door steps were adjusted. The man who brought grab handles found that my bathroom walls were unsuitable so put all 3 in the garden (by steps) which is very useful.
DO THE EXERCISES!! Aquatherapy, if available, is great. Ask for help, remember the pain will soon decrease and give your recovery time. Wishing you well!

Aveline Mon 09-May-22 15:48:45

DONT be conned into doing the exercises!! There's no evidence for their efficacy. I checked the research. I didn't know any better for my first knee replacement, did the exercises and ended up with inflammation leading to adhesions and eventual manipulation under anaesthetic! After that experience for my next knee replacement I did my own rehab and did very well very quickly. My surgeon agreed and said that neither he nor his colleagues would do the physio exercises.
It's counterintuitive I know but as long as you just keep moving about and icing and elevating when at rest you'll be fine.

tickingbird Mon 09-May-22 15:57:52

I know know several people where I play tennis, male and female, that have had one, sometimes both knees done and they’re all pleased they did. Some recover much quicker than others but the ones who did sail through have all said the same thing - STICK TO THE PHYSIO. Even if it hurts force yourself to do the exercises and that’s the route to a quick recovery.

Good luck, I know you won’t regret it smile

tickingbird Mon 09-May-22 16:00:04

Sorry Aveline, just read your post. How odd. I haven’t had a TKR but, as mentioned in my post, know several who have and they have all said the same about the exercises. I’ll shut up hmm

Parky Mon 09-May-22 16:40:12

Thanks everyone for their advice, some very useful tips. Especially those mentioning what they have done since. I so hope to get back to proper walking not just making it to the local shop. Exercise has always been a big part of me. So will do the physio, but not to the point of proper pain.

Here's to tomorrow night when it's over and rehab begins.

Visgir1 Mon 09-May-22 17:23:19

Good luck had mine on 17th December, now its brilliant, Robot assisted.
Good tips on here. I was home within 72hrs, for first few weeks keep in top of the painkillers. If they send you home with knee brace thingy which you can chill use it few times a day, really helps the swelling. Do the exercises as best as you can, don't stress over them .
Gets better by the day.
Yes will be painful for a while but not same pain as before. I too had bone on bone, but now it's fantastic.
Good wishes for tomorrow and a good recovery.