Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Experience

Please describe your Total Knee Replacement experience.

Comment from: Debra S, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I had both knees replaced at 55 years old, in July 2014. Biggest mistake of my life. Almost 2 years later I'm sick and tired of still living with this constant pain. Had I known I'd have to live like this, I would have probably kept searching for relief by some other method. The doctor refuses to renew my oxycodone, so I have to get it by other means. It does help sometimes, but only if I remember to take it with food. He claims I just need to do some aerobics. Seriously! I did everything right, the therapy, etc., and I still can't sit or stand very long, can't even kneel on soft bed, certainly can't go for walks, shopping and normal everyday life like stairs is no fun. My best advice is think twice and get second opinion before doing something like this. I'm too young and seriously do not and will not live like this much longer.

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Comment from: ssj, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

My diagnosis was that I needed both knee joints replaced, one at a time. I found a great doctor and a good hospital program. Surgery was on 3/7/16. I have had extremely difficult time with pain, though surgery went well. I use morphine and Vicodin as needed. First two weeks of physiotherapy (PT) were nearly impossible as regards pain and stiffness; didn't see how I would get through this. Third week was a bit better. Now 4th week, I still have a lot of stiffness, swelling, and pain, but I see a glimmer of hope and improvement. There is nothing that would have prepared me for the level and constancy of pain, though I have had many surgeries. Many sleepless nights. Everyone handles pain differently. I manage pain with much difficulty, so this surgery and recovery has felt at times impossible to withstand, at times very difficult, at times, maybe I can do this. I am emphasizing pain as it has characterized my surgery and ongoing recovery. PT has been colored by pain as well, though I know PT is crucial to recovery. Good people doing PT; lucky they put up with me! I would want to know all this up front before my surgery, not to change mind, but to know this is going to be very, very tough for me. I haven't signed up for second surgery yet! Not ready to shout victory, but will likely get there in my own time.

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Comment from: peter, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

I had my right knee replaced 4 years ago. I followed the physiotherapy exercises. I was back golfing after 4 months, walking, dancing, and cycling. I am able to follow all my hobbies, I am a Morris dancer and I resumed this after 6 months. My knee now feels okay, not painful, I lost 2 stone in weight by going on the 5:2 diet. I garden, etc., but I cannot kneel on the knee. I am satisfied with life, I can do everything I used to do pre-surgery, I do get clicking, etc., when walking but that's a small price to pay for the mobility I have.

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Comment from: westdun, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 08

I had knee replacement done on 15th August, 2015. It is now 7th March, 2016, swelling is not going down and on a bad day I have to rely on walking stick (nearly every day). I have another two visits to physiotherapist left before she signs me off. It does not look good, as I can only manage 88 degrees bending and it is impossible to straighten. In October I was taken back to the hospital in order to have it 'reset' to no avail. My next appointment with the surgeon is 15th August, 2016. I cannot get into car without moving seat right back. I tried to cycle today and fell off, I cannot swim as it is too painful but, because the pain is not at the joint the operation is considered a success.

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Comment from: Toivo, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 25

I had my first total knee replacement (TKR) on November 12, 2015. I was up and walking with a walker 3 hours after surgery and went home the next day. In home therapy started two day after arriving home. It was painful at first but you have to push yourself if you want maximum results. As the saying goes 'no pain, no gain'. After 3 weeks of home therapy my straight leg measurement was 0 degrees and my flex was 130 degrees. My 2nd TKR was done 6 weeks later on December 24, 2015. My experience with my second knee was identical to the first. Both legs are 0 degrees straight and both legs have 130 degrees flex. I ride an exercise bike daily and walk on a treadmill daily. I walked on snowshoes 6 weeks after the 2nd TKR. My advice is, find a reputable surgeon and don't short change yourself on the therapy sessions.

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Comment from: jonnyvictim, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 23

I had a partial (left knee) on September 9th 2015 and a total (right knee) on December 2nd. Partial was a cake walk; three weeks after surgery I flew to UK, and walked many miles while there. Total knee replacement (TKR) was totally different. I had severe pain for the first month, and some depression also. But stuck with (physical therapy) PT and after six weeks felt dramatic decrease in pain levels and increase in flexion and extension, 115 and leg almost straight. PT is terrifying at first. Joint is so tender you can't bear to have anyone touch it; but you must persevere and allow therapist to work your leg. Get the board with straps (I call it 'the rack') and do 30 minutes a day; also work hard at the flexion, yes it hurts the top of the joint but you can't damage metal so grit your tooth and stay with it. Now I am 12 weeks out from TKR, and have 128 and 0 in total and 135 and 0 in partial. I walked nine holes yesterday with a smile stuck to my face. Certainly I have some soreness afterwards, but the lack of pain in both joints after years of sharp bone on bone stabbing of before surgery, is bliss. Moral of the story, be prepared to manage some severe pain but do the physical therapy and you will have a new life. Lastly if you can have partial (unicompartmental) joint done, do that first. Good luck.

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Patient Comments

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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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