Health Care

Total Knees-One Year Later

by Pauline on September 14, 2010

I was able to get back to work about 8 mos, later which is not usually the “norm” after this surgery. It was not because of my knees so much but it was hard finding part time work in hospitals as most had hiring freezes on in spring. I was asked by many people would I do this surgery again? Yes! as I felt I would not be walking had I not done it. One of my knees feels better than the other which I hear is quite common in knee patients. Artificial joints are not like natural knees so that “feels” different with some getting used to..mine still make some noises and one hurts more than the other but not nearly as bad as before the surgery. I have some difficulty getting down on the floor and back up without furniture to “lean on” but can kneel for short periods. I do set off airport alarms with my metal knees and, by the way, having a total knee replacement ID card means nothing to airport security. Expect to be “wanded” and patted down if you do fly and allow yourself extra time in your travels for this. Each day gets better and it feels great to be back at work and able to do many things I enjoy that I could not do before the surgery. I’m still glad I did both knees surgery at the same time as some folks I know did not and are afraid of the pain to go back and get their other knee done. Yet, I hear them complain about how their knee hurts and they “should do it” but don’t. Unwise, I think as you are stressing both joints and in waiting too long your rehab will be harder. I do recommend pool therapy to anyone with arthritis and also after this surgery as you can do so much more in the pool motion-wise that you cannot do “on land”. And, the warm water feels good too! You will meet people there who have had knee and hip surgeries as well as those who have arthritis and may be contemplating surgery themselves. Some  can be a big source of helpful information for you.

I am hoping I get 30 years out of my new knees as my surgeon predicts. Good luck to anyone considering this surgery. Not an easy decision to make but definitely worth it for your quality of life!

{ 0 comments }

Total Knees-Discharge from Outpatient Therapy

by Pauline on September 14, 2010

I finished outpatient physical therapy just before Christmas 2009. We ended up having to request extra PT visits from my insurance as they only allow so many per year regardless of your problem or diagnosis. That was a bit of a struggle as therapy had to fax all my detailed therapy notes but in the end they did approve a few more visits because of my problems with scar tissue and returning to surgery for the manipulation. It felt good to be able to walk with minimal pain, ride a stationary bike, get back into the pool for exercise classes, and most of all drive a car again. Although I had a “rockier” post op course than some folks, i.e.  problems with my wounds healing and the scar tissue limiting my motion, all that did get better . Although my flexion and extension knee measurements were not “perfect” they improved immensely and were within an acceptable range. My surgeon saw me in December and said “see you next year”.

{ 0 comments }

Total Knees-Unplanned Return to Surgery for Manipulation

September 14, 2010

A few weeks into my outpatient physical therapy, I noticed, as did my therapist, that my knees seemed to be getting tighter and losing range of motion. I had difficulty straightening and bending my knees. When I went for my post op surgical appt., my surgeon told me he thought I was developing scar tissue […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Starting Outpatient Therapy

June 6, 2010

After a week of home health, I started at a local physical therapy location for my outpatient therapy 3X week. I had researched before I went into the hospital, with  my insurance Blue Cross what outpatient physical therapy locations would be covered in my Barrington locale. Essential for me was what therapy places would be […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Week 1 at Home

May 31, 2010

It was Saturday and I survived my first night home. I called the Heartland home health agency as no one had contacted me yet about the visiting nurse. They ended up sending a nurse out on Sunday to go over my health history, check my knee wounds, and have me sign some forms. The home […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Discharge to Home Post Op Day 10

May 31, 2010

The big day finally arrived and I was going home in the afternoon after therapy. The nurse got all my home instructions, prescriptions, and knee dressing supplies ready after the rehab physician met with me. The therapists went over my home exercise program and practiced again my going up/down 2 stairs to get inside my […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Inpatient Rehab Physical Therapy

April 25, 2010

I walked with a walker farther distances in the halls with physical therapy who also did some bending and straightening exercises with me lying on an adjustable “table”. The physical therapist provided me a walker which went on the hospital bill and insurance did cover. They also put sheepskin cushions on the handles of the walker […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Inpatient Rehab, Sleeplessness, Upset Stomach

April 25, 2010

It didn’t help that there was a noisy young man who kept singing loudly during the night every night despite the nurses trying to quite him. I also ended up getting a room mate, an elderly, confused woman who didn’t know how to use her nurse call button and kept asking me to call a nurse […]

Read the full article →

Total Knee Replacement – Inpatient Rehab Recreational Therapy

April 25, 2010

The recreational therapists had me come to a group session where us patients all played a board game from our wheelchairs. Sounded simple enough but the trick was that you had to stand up on your turn, throw the dice and move your marker, answer the question associated with the card, and try to increase […]

Read the full article →

Post Op Total Knee Replacement – Occupational Therapy on the Rehab Unit

April 25, 2010

As I mentioned in previous posts, every day on the rehab unit I received 2 to 4 hours of combined therapies which really helped prepare me to go home.  My greatest joy was when I got to take a shower for the first time with the occupational therapist on about post op day 6. I […]

Read the full article →