Knee replacement surgery and aftercare: I’m having... - LUPUS UK

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Knee replacement surgery and aftercare

julsz profile image

I’m having the first of two knee replacements shortly and would be grateful for any advice from others who have had this surgery please. I have lupus SLE and at the moment I am just on Hydroxychloroquine to manage it. Reading stuff online is not helping as it is so alarmist regarding possible issues during and after surgery . I would rather hear from people who have actually had the surgery. Any advice and suggestions gratefully received! Thank you. 😊

15 Replies

Hi Julsz, I had Partial Knee replacement in May 21. You will be encouraged to move ASAP after surgery. It’s a different pain to arthritis and you also know it’s going to get better, the more you exercise the quicker recovery. I sat on a high bed or chair and gently let my leg swing. First time I went shopping I was ecstatic because I didn’t have arthritic pain. I have found Pilates stretching v helpful and swimming - use a float, lay on your back and gently kick your legs. I’ve had Crohn’s, many surgeries over 45 years, I got detention for going to the toilet at school ! This year diagnosed with SCLE and ? SLE! Good luck , hope surgery goes well. M52

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to Mozart52

Hello M52. Thank you so much for your reassuring and helpful reply. I do pilates regularly and thought that would help. I've not returned to swimming yet but will bear that in mind too. Thank you and I wish you well with all you're coping with. I feel very fortunate!😊

I have lupus and although I haven't had knee surgery, I've had 2 hip replacements. My recommendation would be to get as fit as possible before the surgery (walking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, arm and core strengthening - whatever you can manage). Post surgery they will get you moving as soon as possible. Do all the exercises you are given to the letter and keep walking. If it's cold and wet, walk round shopping centres.

Good luck and thank goodness for modern medicine.

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to marypw

Thank you for your helpful advice Mary.. I'm working hard at my fitness, fatigue allowing, and trying to keep my weight down too. And yes, I agree, thank goodness for modern medicine!

Hi Julsz Hope you don’t mind me chipping in !! I’ve just had arthroscopy (obviously no where near as major as replacement ) but I’m delighted with it . It has highlighted how bad the other one is (that’s booked to be sorted at 🎄 ) .

Like the other bits of really good advice you’ve had move around as soon as you can but when your resting make sure you elevate it higher than hip height. I also did all the exercises even though you feel tired and think what’s the point 😬.

I also googled and wish I hadn’t as it was no where near as bad (other than feeling even more fatigued than normal )

Good luck 🤞 xx

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to Tiggywoos

Thank you Tiggywoos. Everyone is being so helpful. I shall remember the elevation tip and get moving😊I'm glad your surgery has made such a difference and I hope your second one happens soon.

Here in the states, they now prefer double knee replacement at the same time. My husband had double knee replacement in September 2020. He went home less than 24 hours afterwards and was told to use our upstairs bedroom and not to avoid stairs. PT came daily for the first week than he was cleared to drive to pt after he was done using the meds. Within a month he was walking three miles per day and 🎿 all winter. The surgery gave him his youth back! I hope your recovery is quick and thorough too.

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to Roarah

Wow! That's amazing, and good to hear. Thank you Roarah. I asked about having both done at the same time but was told this wasn't advisable due to my lupus. I must admit I'd rather get both done together to get it all over with. I'll see what they say at my pre-op appointment next week. Thank you 😊

Roarah profile image
Roarah in reply to julsz

Here the risks of two long surgeries is deemed riskier than one. My husband has heart and BP issues and was in a four year remission from CRC at the time and it was because of his high risk clotting potential that one surgery was deemed safer than 2. So funny how each country follows differing protocols.

Roarah profile image
Roarah in reply to Roarah

Oh my husband loved the compression and icing machine we rented after the surgery. When he gets home, presently he is skiing in Vermont today, I will find out what it was called.

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to Roarah

Thank you. I'd forgotten that when my daughter who lives in LA had her wrist pinned after breaking it they lent her some sort of cooling device. Maybe it's the same thing. I'll have to ask her. It's great to hear your husband is skiing after all he's been through 😊

I had two knee replacements 6 months apart. I did physio exercises religiously before and after. Made sure I rested too, expect to feel fatigued at first. But mine went well, I took recovery slowly and it was fine. I hope yours is too.

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to cathie

Thank you Kathy. That's good to know. I'm glad your recovery was fine and I shall do as you suggest.

Hi Julsz, I had a knee replacement nearly 10 years ago now and have never regretted it. I have SLE and was on methotrexate, prednisolone and hydroxychloroquine at the time. It is hard work for everyone who has it with or without SLE, so being as fit as possible and doing the exercises the key to recovery. The main problem I had postop was related to my blood pressure -meds stopped and system upset and blood loss. So I had iron tabs after and felt rough for a few weeks. Once I got going I have never looked back -could walk about 3 miles 8 weeks after and was discharged at the first check up. Wishing you all the best for your op.

julsz profile image
julsz in reply to Florence91

Thank you Florence. That's very reassuring, and it's good to know you got through the rough part and haven't looked back. Exercise both beforehand and afterwards seems to be the key, and for me, patience!

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