Super Contributor
Posts: 557
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: more knee replacement questions

Thanx for replies. I am alternating between excitment for the surgery and nervousness about it. Just hope that I will be able to take long walks and go up the stairs when it is all over.
Super Contributor
Posts: 497
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: more knee replacement questions

I had both knees done about 6 months apart. I stayed in the hospital 2 days each. The hospital does have someone come in to help with walking and also to help to make sure you can use the restroom. I used a CPM machine in the hospital but didn't have one at home. My doctor said my own leg resistance was better. I had a nurse come to the house twice within a week and saw my doctor a week after surgery and he said I could go out to PT. Some weeks I went twice, some three times. I did well with both knees. I knew all the exercises from the first knee so really didn't need anyone to come to the house for the second knee but the doctor insisted. Made my own dinner, although just a sandwich, the second day I was home. Didn't need a walker. I got a walker and never used it. I appreciated the raised toilet seat. I did take a robe with me but the hospital had robes to wear so I just wore that when I walked the hall. I wore the same clothes home that I wore to the hospital for the surgery.

I do have a recumbent bike I use. The purpose is to just use the knee not how fast I can go or making it harder. I had to ask the doctor and the PT about this. Wasn't sure.

Has anyone gotten down on their new knees, it feels really weird. I avoid it cause I don't like the feeling.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 202
Registered: ‎07-13-2011

Re: more knee replacement questions

There was a study on the CPM machine a while back that concluded it really does not help so it seems to be on it's way out. But each doctor gives different directions and in the end it does not matter just do the exercises and you will be fine. It is so important to keep moving the joint to not let scar tissue form. I did not realize what Aeropilates referred to originally but have seen it now and think it is great and you should be able to do most exercises on it fairly soon afterward. As Kismet mentioned not everyone feel comfortable doc says you will not harm your knee it just depends on how it feels to you. So far my knee feel weird kneeling as well, but I spent so many years avoiding kneeing because it hurt so it does not really matter. But obviously there are a few exercises on the Aeropilates in the kneeling position but there are so many options that they can be avoided.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: more knee replacement questions

Prior to my TKA in May of last year, I asked for advice, just as you're doing now. I saved all of the replies. All of that information has been summarized in what you'll read below. At the time I wrote it, I was 3+ weeks post op. I'm now 10 months post op and still have issues made during surgery (very, very rare).

1. Follow all discharge instructions given to you at the hospital.

2. Make sure your surgeon has given you a prescription for physical therapy prior to your surgery. This should include number of times per week and number of weeks. You should follow up with your insurance to make sure that the number of PT sessions required are covered, so that you don’t get surprised by a “You owe this much” on a statement later on.

3. Do the exercises at home as instructed by your physical therapist. Make sure they give you a hand-out with pictures and instructions on how to do the exercises. Some therapists will draw stick figures. If this is done, make sure you understand what the stick figure is doing.

4. If you’re having a huge challenge stretching your hamstrings at home, at your therapist for a piece of black theraband that you can hook around your shoe, to raise your leg.

5. Make sure you’ve arranged to rent or purchase a walker and cane. Go to the medical supply place and try out the various models. Walker: I didn’t pay enough attention to the wheels. Look for a walker that has larger, fatter wheels. These wheels will allow you to navigate over various surfaces and cracks in driveways or sidewalks much better. Canes: if your replacement is on the right knee, you will use the cane in your left hand. If the replacement is in your left knee, you will use the cane in your right hand. In order to determine the height of cane you require, go to Walgreens, other large drugstore, or medical supply company. I purchased mine at Walgreens for $28 – as a matter of convenience). Once you’re in the store, pick up a cane in the hand that won’t be using the cane and bring it over hand that will be holding the cane. The arm and hand should simply be at your side. Now look for the boney prominence in your wrist that sticks up (it’s on the little finger side of your arm). Bring the cane over to that boney prominence. It should be just that high. If it isn’t try another cane, then another. Keep in mind that the metal canes are adjustable, for the most part, but the wooden canes are not.

6. Be sure to let your surgeon know if something doesn’t feel right, you have more pain than you should, you’re experiencing areas of redness in the extremity or discharge from your incision. I experienced something that no one having a knee replacement should, so brought it up. We are working through this now; however, I haven’t yet noted any improvement in this issue or a sub-issue which has arisen. At this point, my knee actually feels better than these other issues. Am very frustrated…

7. I did opt to get a bedside commode, as our toilet is positioned too close to the bathtub and I knew I wouldn’t be able to bend my knee sufficiently to sit on the seat. Am very glad I did this, as I also had a bad gut reaction to the post-op anti-biotic, so am still running to the commode, which I can keep close.

8. Before I had my surgery, I asked for some advice on this forum. One of the kind respondents said that she had purchased a few pair of inexpensive polyester slacks and trimmed the operative let short with pinking shears. I decided to do this and found slacks and pedal pushers for $9.97 from Blair. DH trimmed both left legs for me. It’s been great not to have the fabric over my surgical site and swelling. When I’m done using them, I won’t feel bad about getting rid of them.

9. If you have area rugs, you’ll want to roll them up and remove to your garage for storage so that you can get around safely with your walker.

10. Purchase a “PIKSTIK.” This is one of those things that has a grabber end and an end on which you place your hand to open the grabber. This is great for picking up things you happen to drop. What you don’t want to do is risk a fall or slip right after surgery. [Purchased 2 of these thru Amazon. Most necessary!]

11. Make sure there is adequate space on both sides of your bed for you to get in and out of bed. You may have to change the side of bed you sleep on based upon the surgical leg.

12. Have a pair of really decent athletic type shoes to wear (not ones that have been around for 6 years). This will provide stability and will also be necessary in therapy to provide a good standing base from which you can work.

13. Drink plenty of liquids. Take your meds when scheduled. And, realized that there is really no norm for recuperation, as this quite individual.

14. Make sure your bed is comfortable enough for you to sleep on your back. If not, as was my case, you may want to look into a really comfortable topper.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a number of things, but my brain seems to be “on hold.” The best of luck to you at your upcoming appointment and knee replacement surgery

I just know you're going to have a great experience.