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All I want for Christmas is two brand-new knees!
Old 12-14-2019, 02:24 PM   #1
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All I want for Christmas is two brand-new knees!

My orthopedic doc had an extra surgery day open up -- the day before Thanksgiving.

So, I got both knees done at once.

The summary:

Recovery is going well. They kept me 5 days in the hospital, and then insurance said, "She's well enough to skip the rehab facility and go home!"

That was a surprise, and the trip home was no fun (felt every bump in the road). Overall, though, I've been glad to be home.

Once the catheter was out, I was able to shower in the hospital, with help. At home, we only have tub/shower combos, so insurance sent out a shower bench. Have been able to shower at home now, with help getting in and out.

My staples came out Day 14 post-op, and I was allowed to discontinue blood thinner shots. I think those blood thinners made me feel wretched -- cold and shaky, because I'm doing quite a bit better now.

Today, Day 16 post-op, I'm doing fantastic.
I did one set of therapy exercises.
DH took me and my walker outside to the end of the driveway and back.
I did one minute of knee 'presses' on my exercycle. That's press on a pedal, then the other pedal.

Still sleeping in the recliner, and still using the walker. Not much stamina, and some days I feel grumpy/depressed.

Eager to get strong enough to ditch the walker so I can carry things!
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you're doing well! When my DMIL got each knee replaced, I am fairly sure her recovery was actually slower than yours! My spouse stayed with DMIL for a week to help her do her activities of daily living, but she also has a LOT of friends in her community, so I think after that friends came over and drove her around for a while.
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your new knees, Squirrel! It's a long and tough recovery for one knee replacement, much less two, but despite that it sounds like your recovery is progressing beautifully. Before you know it, you'll find that time has just flown by and that you can do so much more than before your surgery.

The occasional feelings of depression are normal and I think they might be a physiological response to the surgery, since so many people feel that way during recovery from knee surgery. My approach to that was to just ignore depressing thoughts and instead, try hard to focus on the little improvements in knee function that I noticed from time to time. I was very sleep deprived and that might have been part of the problem for me.

I'll bet it was wonderful to get outside and walk to the end of the driveway. I felt so cooped up in the house until I could do that!

My stamina was absolutely drained after that surgery but it came back gradually all by itself, with reasonably appropriate levels of activity as I recovered (as long as I didn't over-do).
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:54 PM   #4
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Glad to your recovery is going well.

On my laptop on the portal page the thread title shows "All I want for Christmas is two..."

I guess my mind is in the gutter... I just had to open the thread.
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:00 PM   #5
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You did amazingly well for bilateral total knees . That is double everything . Hope you continue to improve .
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #6
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The occasional feelings of depression are normal and I think they might be a physiological response to the surgery, since so many people feel that way during recovery from knee surgery. My approach to that was to just ignore depressing thoughts and instead, try hard to focus on the little improvements
I watch 80's music videos on YouTube to fight the blues!
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:14 PM   #7
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Glad to your recovery is going well.

On my laptop on the portal page the thread title shows "All I want for Christmas is two..."

I guess my mind is in the gutter... I just had to open the thread.
Oh! Nooooo! Wonder if/how I can change that thread title!
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #8
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I watch 80's music videos on YouTube to fight the blues!
Perfect!
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:18 PM   #9
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You did amazingly well for bilateral total knees . That is double everything . Hope you continue to improve .
Actually, I think that 2-at-once will be easier for me than one at a time. My knees were evenly worn. I suspected that I'd be favoring one knee if I had them done one-by-one.

One anesthesia; one pre-op briefing; one post-op visit; one set of lab work; one ekg; etc. And only one time to deal with insurance.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:42 PM   #10
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You were very smart to get them both done at once. I wish I had done that, but I expected it to be more of an ordeal than it was. Doctor said I'd need to be off work 8 weeks, no driving for 4-6 weeks. On the first one, I was in hospital for three nights. Once I got home, I never used a walker, just walked carefully and occasionally held onto the mantel or a counter. After two weeks I had to carry my 18lb cat to the car and drive him to the ER in the ice & snow. I did fine and actually went back to work after only 4 weeks.


That was five years ago. I just did the second one in August 2018, one month after breast cancer surgery. I was only kept one night in the hospital, had a lot less rehab, but still went home and did not use the walker. I was much stiffer this time and had a lot more pain than the first time. The doctor said it was because I was older now. Well, 4 years shouldn't make that much difference, but had I known how I would bounce back from the first one I would have had them both done then.


Just keep walking, doing your exercises, and determine to get back to normal quickly and you'll be fine. I think attitude and determination has a lot to do with it. Congratulations and best wishes.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:56 PM   #11
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Oh! Nooooo! Wonder if/how I can change that thread title!
It's perfect as is.

Best wishes on a speedy recovery. I had retina surgery almost a month ago and I was got pretty squirrelly in my head. It will pass. Helped me to look back at where I had been and how much progress I'd made.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #12
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Way to go, Squirrel! Youíre doing great. Best wishes for a continued smooth recovery!
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:53 PM   #13
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Way to go, Squirrel! Youíre doing great. Best wishes for a continued smooth recovery!
Ditto!

You have guts doing both at once. That has to put you in a position where your ability to get around is difficult.

My surgeon told me last month when I had a hip replaced is that starting 1/1/2020, Medicare will expect knee and hip replacements to be done outpatient (home the same day).
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #14
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Ditto!


My surgeon told me last month when I had a hip replaced is that starting 1/1/2020, Medicare will expect knee and hip replacements to be done outpatient (home the same day).
That's insane.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:47 PM   #15
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17 days post op, doing well. I was wakeful in the night, so napping a lot today. DH napping in his recliner beside me.

I need him to wrap gifts so he can mail them tomorrow.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:20 PM   #16
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That is great news. By July you will be zipping about like an eight year old.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:35 PM   #17
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Ditto!

You have guts doing both at once. That has to put you in a position where your ability to get around is difficult.

My surgeon told me last month when I had a hip replaced is that starting 1/1/2020, Medicare will expect knee and hip replacements to be done outpatient (home the same day).
That's insane.
Definitely, for a bilateral knee replacement like what you had! I agree with aja8888, you were really brave to have both done at once.

But maybe it's not such an insane idea when just one knee is replaced. I had my right knee replaced, and may possibly have my left knee done in the springtime. I was able to walk 150 feet a couple of hours after surgery, and 300 feet the following day. I would imagine that doing things like that would probably be impossible that soon after a bilateral.

Since it was just one knee, I got out of the hospital the next day.... about 29 hours after awakening from general anesthesia.... but I was so eager to get out earlier than that. I think I'd be OK leaving the hospital late in the afternoon of the same day, if the surgery was first thing in the morning, with F to help me.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:56 AM   #18
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But maybe it's not such an insane idea when just one knee is replaced. I had my right knee replaced, and may possibly have my left knee done in the springtime. I was able to walk 150 feet a couple of hours after surgery, and 300 feet the following day. I would imagine that doing things like that would probably be impossible that soon after a bilateral.

Since it was just one knee, I got out of the hospital the next day.... about 29 hours after awakening from general anesthesia.... but I was so eager to get out earlier than that. I think I'd be OK leaving the hospital late in the afternoon of the same day, if the surgery was first thing in the morning, with F to help me.
That's encouraging...I was still hooked up to catheter/drains for a number of days. And one of the drains spilled twice ... glad I didn't have to deal with that at home.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:22 PM   #19
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So glad to read such a success story! I had my left knee replaced in July and it was far better than I could have hoped. I feel pretty darned lucky.

As for the stamina, that, and the inability to sleep all night, were my biggest problems. Time took care of both, so just go with the flow. It will get better. Some days I don't even think about my new knee until dinner time, and I guess that's the goal.

Isn't it great to live in a time when such maladies can be corrected?
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:09 PM   #20
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Isn't it great to live in a time when such maladies can be corrected?
Agree x 100!
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