Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

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

Comment from: peterfehr, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 22

A week after total knee replacement and I couldn't be happier. Because I elected for the procedure before walking became hard, I was relatively fit going in. I was discharged same day, 3 hours after the operation. This was my option, the only rules were 'you have to walk and urinate before we release you'. No problem. I went home, made it up the stairs with little difficulty and slept through the night. I started on the CPM machine and Cold Rush chiller immediately. I was at 75 degrees of flexion day 2 and 110 day 3. I was walking with Zimmer frame day 1, now a week later with a cane. The nerve block wore off after 48 hours and obviously the knee started to hurt. A lot! One 5 mg oxycodone every 3 hours did the trick. I just got back from a quarter mile walk no worse for wear. Leg swollen and blue, but all this is (I'm told) normal. Only frustration was the pain-killer-induced constipation. Three Dulcolax for a couple of days fixed that. I am a success story and give most of the kudos to my excellent surgeon. Reading other reports, I made the right choice getting the operation as soon as it became inevitable rather than waiting until it was absolutely necessary. So far, so good.

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Comment from: Birdie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

My total knee replacement was done on October 1st. At first my pain was very strong, a ten in the pain scale. My doctor had me on morphine drip at a very low dose, and I had a Foley catheter. He allowed me to keep the catheter for four days which is more than usual but I weigh 240 and getting on a bedpan was out of the question. They first sat me up next day and I tolerated 20 minutes. Then I had therapy every day and the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine for 1 hour. I was discharged on the eight day post operation. I am doing my exercises every day and the CPM machine three times a day for about 30 to 45 minutes at a time. I am still on hydrocodone PO but I am weaning myself off by taking it at longer intervals at a time. I have lasted 12 hours between hydrocodone by taking Tylenol for arthritis. I have a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on my right leg and have a hard time ambulating but I am trying to keep up with my therapy. Thank you.

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Comment from: susie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I had total knee replacement on August 10 2015. I had deep vein thrombosis 1 week after surgery followed by acute pharyngitis, then urinary tract infection. I had low grade temperature and flu like symptoms for 6 weeks. I would never do replacement of other knee now. It has been a horrible time. I am also anemic and have so much GERD since surgery in spite of Nexium, Zantac, and Mylanta liquid in between. I can't take iron, etc. I now have swelling above my knee for the past 2 days with increased severity of pain. I can only take Tylenol (stopped all narcotics 2 weeks ago) and it doesn't help!

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Comment from: Debi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

I am so disappointed after almost 9 months after total knee replacement surgery. It has hurt daily since surgery. Surgery, post-surgery, and therapy went well but I never got better. X-rays show no problem and doctor has no idea what is wrong. Neither do I, it is no better than before. I am terrified it will not get better!

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Comment from: Clicker, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 22

After total knee replacement I am 14 week post operation and doing very well, even playing golf! However, the clicking still persists and I am worried that it will never go away. It is very unsettling when I walk.

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Comment from: Hospitalmistake, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

On the eve of my total knee replacement surgery, it was discovered that not only was my thigh and part of my knee numb, but I also could not lift my leg. I was assured that this was normal and that the nerve block took longer to wear off in some people. I was told this for the 5 days I was in the hospital. After being released, we had to get strangers to help me get in the car. I literally had to drag myself up 15 steps to get upstairs to my bedroom. Fast forward over several months and I am still numb and cannot lift my leg. The hospital has been no help and I am still a prisoner in my upstairs bedroom. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

I'm 10 weeks out from a right knee replacement. I got an infection after 4 days and was readmitted through the emergency room. I had IV antibiotics, steroids and blood thinners and recovered from that. Pain was horrible the first 2 weeks. I had home physiotherapy (PT) for a month and am presently doing outpatient PT. I had a Polar Pack wrapped around my knee and elevated for 7 weeks. I am still on 6 (5 mg) oxycodone a day plus Tylenol and ibuprofen, but still my knee aches a lot. I cannot stand or walk more than 20 minutes. I am using an Omron electrotherapy device which really helps with pain control. I am doing all the exercises even though they bring tears to my eyes. I can straighten my leg and bend to 120 degrees. I feel discouraged because the pain isn't under control if I'm doing weight bearing activity. Guess it just takes longer for some people. My surgeon is top notch and I had the new Conformis specially fitted knee which is supposed to be better. To all who are frustrated, I suggest to keep doing the exercises (I keep an exercise journal).

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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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