Knee replacement

Hey everyone

I due to have a full knee replacement hopefully soon. They x ray and found I have no cartilage. I'm kind of annoyed at the RA consultant I've being saying for ages it's my knee and I felt it fell on deaf ears for some time. I'm in so much pain right now can't walk normally need a crutch. I'm 30 years old had RA since I was 18. I was wondering if any one could tell me what it's like to have it done and useful tips on recovery and getting ready for the operation? I'm very nervous it's my first operation but also excited cause I want my life back hate being stuck in doors and in pain all the time.

Thank you

15 Replies

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  • I know how you feel ,I think a lot off them seem deaf when your trying to explain a problem or they try to blame it on so else

  • I feel angry about it all and I really feel like having a right go but it ain't going to get me anywhere. But this will be the first time she seen me with crutches so she will see the full extent of what's happening now.

  • Hi Agough

    I had total knee replacements in both knees, at the same time, last year. The only advice I would give is do as much gentle exercise as is possible to build up muscle Before operation and afterwards- totally commit to the physio.

    Also stay on top of the pain with pain killers, take regularly and use Ice frequently during the day for swelling.

    I can't lie, it is painful and hard work but if you stick With it, you'll get through it. It takes a good few months to recover.

    Though I'd never choose to do it again, it has most definitely been worth it.

    Wishing you the very best .

    Marie

  • Thank you Marie.

    I'm nervous about the pain but I think with a knee replacement I'm working towards something. How many times a day was physio? What part was most painful? How long was you in hospital for? Is it the whole knee that's painful or just the where the have cut the knee?

    Sorry for the questions. Just nice to talk to someone that understands.

  • Sorry Agough, I've just seen your message !

    I had physio at home every second day for the first two weeks after discharge .

    Both were total knee replacements and I had metal clips in each ( about 9 cm scars) and these were bloody painful when being removed.

    Physio was difficult and painful. It really is something you must do every day, 3 or 4 times a day. Not too is the road to much more pain and complications.

    The knee itself hurts, all of it, particularly on movement but I'd strongly suggest icing it and keeping on top of pain meds.

    Compared to having both hips replaced three months before , the hips were a doddle.

    However, it is so worth it when you're through the other side .

    Don't fret and the very best of luck .

    Marie

  • Oh. And I was in hospital for 3 days x

  • Hey there

    I had bilateral partial knee replacements roughly two years ago. Up until that point I was literally walking around, bone on bone (agony!).

    To be honest the pain from the operation itself wasn't nearly as bad as the pain before! You will get some good pain relief, and you will be encouraged out of bed, and walking quite quickly!

    It took some time for me to recover. However, I developed PsA within weeks of the operation. Actually I think it was just a really nasty flare, but I'd not been diagnosed then.

    Do keep up with your exercises, it makes a huge difference!

    Don't worry about the operation too much itself. I remember being wheeled down a corridor to theatre, and seeing loads of surgeons in scrubs, all waiting for patients to turn up. They all smiled at me. At that moment I felt totally calm, in the knowledge that I was in brilliant hands. These guys are amazing, and have done millions of such surgeries.

    If you happen to smoke, or are a wee bit overweight it might be a good thing to sort these issues out. I don't smoke, but I was a bit on the heavy side. I lost a stone on weight before the operation.

    for after operation, make sure you take sensible slippers ( not the flip flop variety!) as these will not be safe for you to walk around in, or do your OT.

    I found it impossible to eat the first few days because I felt sick. I was glad of the cordial I brought in, and the soft fruits friend brought.

    You will be given some Hibi scrubb, that you will have to use on your body and hair, before operation. It dries your skin and hair out , so take some some good shampoo and conditioner, and some rich body cream for later.

    You will be just fine.

  • Hi Agough,

    I had bi-lateral TKRs in 2000 when I was 41, have worn one out and had it redone in 2011. Before my first operation I could barely walk and had to use a wheelchair outside the house. The operation gave me my life back and I have no regrets at all but then life was extremely difficult before the surgery so I'm bound to say that aren't I. Ha-ha

    My advice is to gently work on your bend now, if you can, because it will help afterwards. The first time you weight bear on your new knee (the day after you op) it does hurt but it is no worse than the pain you have now. You have to think also that it is a 'getting better' pain and as you progress it will get easier till till it doesn't hurt at all!

    Take the pain relief offered and use ice packs and do the exercises set by your physio. I think I did mine 3 times a day for longer periods as the days went on.

    Don't worry about your staples and don't think about them as you bend your new knee, concentrate on the bend.

    Set yourself a small achievable goal each day and be proud of yourself at the end of the day.

    It will be wonderful afterwards to get your life back, I know, I've been there, as many of us veterans on here have.

    Please post again if you have any other worries, that's what we're here for.

    Grit your teeth and good luck and don't forget to let us know how you go on!

    Love, Legs x

  • Hi, I had both my knees replace this past year six months apart-best thing I ever did.I hear what you mean about falling on death ear when it comes to the rhemy-it took me 5 years almost to get my knees done no Thanks to my Rhemy.As far as pain I didn't need pain killers as the pain is no where the same as bone on bone-but starting physio my surgeon suggested to take the pill before every physio treatment and he was right it did help as you so have some pain working the leg out-but you'll see it is nothing like you have and the gold-you will get your life back-and it is so good.And I agree with everyone else ice packs are your best friends for awhile and movement is the key thing.As far as the staples they are annoying but it's only for a short while and when they come out it feels so much better.Here in Canada they get you right up after your surgery-and to stand up without that pain of before was a treat of course it uncomfortable but nothing comparable.Best of luck-remember ice,ice, ice do your exercises at home everyday and go to physio.You will not believe in 6 weeks how far you have come and it just gets better from there! You Will Do Fine And Be Well Soon!!!

  • Thank you loads for your reply 😊 Has made me feel loads better.

  • I had a T K R 10 years ago. Best thing ever and wish i had not waited so long in pain and had it done sooner. Had to take 3 months off work but well worth it. Went in hospital on a Tuesday and out on a Friday. I was determined to get home a s a p. I had to convince the docs i could lift my leg off the bed and go up/down stairs. I wasn't in any pain coming round after the op - sick a couple of times from the anaesthetic. only thing was i had to have a mans joint as i'm a big girl. Ask whatever questions are worrying you no matter how silly they sound. You won't know yourself. I wish you well. Take care xxxx

  • Thank you loads for the reply. It helps me so much to get a idea of what's going to happen. I can't wait to have it done I'm so tired of the pain and my knee so swollen now can't wear normal jeans have to be joggers or leggings. I rang up the hospital again to make sure they don't forget me. I feel like I'll have to get the other knee done as it's playing up due to my other knee. I'll be asking loads of questions xx

  • Hi Agough. I had a right knee replacement about 16 months ago. I made sure I knew all about the op by reading and watching videos on YouTube (I'm not squeamish!). I couldn't make up my mind whether to have a general anaesthetic or have an epidural. It wasn't until the day of the operation that I decided to go for the epidural. I discussed it with the anaesthetist and he said that people tend to recover more quickly with the epidural and if I wanted to I could have a sedative as well. Everything went very smoothly and because I'd seen it done beforehand, I knew what they were doing at each stage. It was just one very weird experience but my recovery was good. As the others have said, yes, there is pain but use ice, pain killers and do the exercises. (I bought the largest, cheapest bag of frozen peas and divided them into two ziplock bags).

    I do hope your op goes well. Good luck and take care. ToD xx

  • Hey thank you loads for replying.

    I have to admit I can watch horror films but I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to that. I think I'd like to be fully under. I know I can't feel anything just I'll know what going on around me that would make me panic. But I think that's a great idea with the peas I'll do that thank you. That's really nice of you I'll be writing a update when I've had it done xxx

  • What I didn't say was that I just wanted to know what happened in the operating theatre. I suppose I'm just very nosey! The highlight was at the very beginning when they were preparing my leg for surgery and it suddenly appeared above the screen they put up (so I couldn't see - how annoying) and I very stupidly said, 'that's my leg!' I felt really silly but it was so weird. I knew it was my leg but I didn't feel a thing. ToD xx

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