Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.

Comment from: shirley, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

Before the TKR (total knee replacement) I could barely stand for more than 30 to 45 seconds due to the horrific pain. It is now 10 years after the TKR on both knees, six weeks apart, and the best decision I ever made in my life. I am 72 years old and yesterday I played in a golf tournament and came in in 2nd place low gross (golfers will understand the score). The secret to my success was to grit my teeth and do the painful therapy and to keep moving including a rocking chair for TV and reading. Do exactly what the doctor, therapist and home specialist say and even more. In 6 weeks you will be the happiest person on earth for having the procedure done.

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Comment from: Marsha, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I had a TKR (total knee replacement) in August 2013; my surgeon is the absolute best. I walked in hospital, did therapy at home and now I'm still in therapy 5 months later. But I have no pain. I could only bend 60%. I ended up needing to have manipulation under anesthesia. The pain after that was excruciating and always seemed to be worst at night. Now I am bending at 101. I still get stiffness and the ache is frustrating. But my doctor is pleased with my recovery and I have faith in him.

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Comment from: Don, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I had total knee replacement on January 6, 2014. They said I should be the poster boy for the surgery. Before I could not walk foot over foot down the stairs. Three weeks after, I could go up and down with no pain. I am walking two miles or biking 30 minutes each day plus doing all the required exercises. I think my fast recovery is due to pre surgery exercises and a great surgeon. This has to be the best thing I've ever done.

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Comment from: DG, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 31

I had a left TKR (total knee replacement surgery) in late August '13. Spent overnight in the hospital, and I was walking within hours of return to the room. Only time I was pain free was when the morphine 'drip' was in my arm. My leg felt like it belonged to someone else, but I had no pain. I went home the following afternoon. Then the hell started. Low level Percocet (5mg) did not touch the pain, took two, same result, nothing. After three calls to the clinic, three different medications, finally increasing to 15mg morphine sulfate, still only a 'small' reduction in pain. I am now 5 months post-surgery, my leg is still somewhat swollen, my knee aches by the end of the day, swelling increases by the end of the day. I would give anything to have my old one back. I tore the ACL when I was 15 playing family reunion football. Fifty years later it was 30 degrees bowed sideways, looked weird, but less pain than I have now. I'm told recovery can take up to a year. With the pain and swelling, I find it difficult / impossible to do all my physical therapy exercises. I went to a physiotherapy facility for 4 months, quit just before Christmas, did not want to have to drive 30 to 40 minutes to get to facility in bad weather, might resume in springtime. Overall, I have to say, the doctor did a good job, leg is straight again, but the pain is worse for the last 5 months than it has been in the previous 50 years. I have 'punished' the right knee, favoring the left, now it is causing me some pain. I do not think I will ever submit to another TKR. I heard so many 'wonderful' stories about how good the technology has gotten, it sounded as easy as changing a light bulb. Not so. I wish I'd encountered this site before going under the knife. Good luck to anyone considering TKR, the science isn't perfect yet, nor is pain management the same for everyone.

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Comment from: Terry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 09

In June 2013 I had a total knee replacement with nerve block and light sedation. Within hours of the surgery I was walking with the aid of crutches. I was discharged the next evening having been given exercises by the physical department to carry out on a 2 hourly basis. This I did religiously requiring ice packs between exercise sessions to control swelling. I was unable to sleep properly for about 3 nights at home even with pain killers. The hospital rang me after about 3 days to assess my progress and suggested I try to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees, but not under. This worked perfectly and I slept without pain killers for the first time since the operation. Six months later, the knee is feeling great and improving each day. I started work after 12 weeks, I am a plumber, and the only thing I cannot do at present is kneel.

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Comment from: Maiden, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

It's just over three months since TKR (total knee replacement) and I am a 74 year old female. I am now walking without pain and go up and down steps normally. I still have soreness on the left side of the knee. I am very pleased with the surgery and recovery. The only problem is with lifting which makes knee soreness much worse. I opted out of therapy after 5 visits. After a therapy session I would be in pain until the following session. I found I could do home therapy with better results.

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Patient Comments

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Total Knee Replacement - Experience Question: Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.
Total Knee Replacement - Candidate and Causes Question: What was the cause of you needing a total knee replacement?
Total Knee Replacement - Exercises and Physical-Therapy Question: Please share your experience with exercises and physical-therapy following a total knee replacement surgery.

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