Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Experience

Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.

Comment from: JMG, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I am a 70 year old, healthy but 50 pound overweight male that avoided a total knee replacement by use of steroids and Orthovisc for a couple of years. I expected a tough time with surgery but it was far worse than anything I could have imagined. I had total left knee replaced. Excruciating pain from the second day (after anesthesia wore off) was dealt with, with strong doses of Oxycontin and oxycodone. I stood up the first day and was dizzy and started to walk on the second. I became seriously dehydrated and ended up back in ICU to deal with chemical imbalances. Therapy was the easy part and remains so. At 5 weeks I have 118 degree range of motion and now, toothache type pain in the knee at all times, only treated by ice. I came off all narcotics at one time a week ago and had three days living in agony with the withdrawal symptoms, like the worst flu ever, chills, and thoughts of suicide. Finally I was put on Neurontin which really helped, even with my inability to sleep. I thought the therapy would be worse. It was not. The initial pain and then getting off the narcotics, and feeling worse than in my prior 70 years, was the worst. I am walking better without the pre-surgery pain I had and as of today, however, would never have the surgery again. Maybe when I am fully healed I will feel differently. Anyone thinking of this surgery, if you have no alternatives, go for it. If you have any alternative, steer clear. If you have to have the surgery and necessary narcotics, have a clear plan in place for the withdrawal. If you don't you will truly be in agony for many days.

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Comment from: R. Bartsch, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 02

I had total knee replacement on January 5, 2015. This is February 27th, and I am able to walk without support, can flex to 135 percent and extend to 2 percent. There is some dull pain if I am up more than two hours, otherwise no pain, no infection. Looking forward to returning full time to teaching, on Monday next.

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Comment from: Stepperdoc, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I had a total knee replacement on 4th February 2015 and was surprised to be awake during the operation! A very strange experience having a spinal tap. I was in hospital for just 2 days following the surgery and was told to exercise the operated leg as much as possible once home. This led to my foot swelling so much that my toes went numb. I was doing too much and should have rested my leg raised for at least 2 hours a day but was not told this by any of the nursing or physiotherapy staff. The knee joint is now pain-free but I'm still suffering from pain in the thigh muscles and this keeps me awake at night. Also I am still on lots of pain killers which I hope to stop taking soon. I am able to walk around without the need for any walking aids so possibly not doing too bad after 3 weeks. I am looking forward to getting back into the car and doing some driving and not having to rely on others.

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Comment from: JD, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

I had total knee replacement 2 years ago and since then I'm not the same. I get a lot of pains in my calves, still can't go up and down the stairs, can't walk for long, my leg is always cold, and the pain never goes away. I do take arthritis pain medication which I bought from Costco. I do the bike twice a day for 30 minutes, besides that I have no clue what else to do but live with the pain.

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Comment from: BOBCME, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 28

Now it is about 3 months post operation, total right knee replacement. Swelling and stiffness persists. Going downstairs is better (replaced knee is strengthening) but still not as strong as left knee. Not sure what exercises to continue except up and down stairs and walking. I wonder if icing will do any good at this stage. I am told that people are glad they had the surgery at 3 months but full recovery takes 12 to 16 months. I guess I have to keep working on it.

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Comment from: Linda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I had a right total knee replacement on the 10th October 2014. I would say it's the worst pain I have ever had, but I would say keep taking the pain release and even though the pain is bad do your exercise and use ice packs. It's hard but you must do it. As for sleeping, well, it's about two hours then the pain wakes you up. I got out of bed, walked around, took more pain release, then got back in bed and got back to sleep. It does get better, I'm now 16 weeks post operation and this is the first time I can walk ok without a stick and pain. I still use a stick when I go out walking as I have to have my other knee replaced. I'm not looking forward to it but my knee is bone on bone and gives way so I have no choice, but I'm thinking it is 1 1/2 years out of my life to have my legs back so I can dance again, so it's got to be worth it. Good luck to you all, think positive.

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Total Knee Replacement - Candidate and Causes Question: What was the cause of you needing a total knee replacement?
Total Knee Replacement - Recovery Question: Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.
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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