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Thread: Firsthand insight on knee replacement surgery

  1. #1
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    Firsthand insight on knee replacement surgery

    I am 54yo. Femur-resting-on-tibia in both legs, nothing in between, i.e. NO cartilage left anymore (and plenty of bone spurs to boot). Had gotten quite bow-legged too. I had unconsciously developed a limp over time that others noticed but I really didn't.....that was my everyday way of getting around, right?

    While I am certainly no triathlete, power-lifter/bodybuilder, nor am I going to Ranger School anytime soon, I do cardio four times a week and lift weights four times a week. Running and rucking I knocked off over 8 years ago; the knee issues didn't develop overnight. I would have problems walking for a couple days and then I realized I needed to shift to lower impact stuff, like biking, fast-walking, the Elliptigo, and now the Octane Fitness ZR7 running machine. For the past several months even the low-impact cardio was hobbling me, so I knew it was time.

    This past Monday, Dec. 9th, I had bilateral knee replacements. Yep, a two-fer! Said "F**k it, I'm not doing this twice". The first 72 hours were a nightmare. It sucked balls! I knew what I was in store for.....mostly. I set my sights for 500m and the target was actually about 700m (to put it in a gun perspective). I am now 5 days out. I was up walking with a walker the first night, which is how they do it now. The narco-cocktail they have you on was part of what made me feel like shit, but obviously having two of the weight-bearing joints in your body surgically replaced made up the majority of the suck.

    Thursday (72 hours out) I had my first out-patient PT session. Therapist was a little surprised to see me cheerful and walking in with relative ease with my walker. Lying on my back she measured flexion and extension. She did a double-take, re-measured, and called over another physical therapist to look. Told her "You need to see this, because you'll rarely see it". I was like "WTF, is it that bad?" I blew past their 72 hour expectations----considerably! Flexion was 115 and 112, extension was -6 and -8.

    My point to this boring diatribe? Guys, if you are going to have something like this done being in at least decent shape will pay off in spades. Having good upper-body strength to lift/push yourself up assisting those recovering knees is a must. Decent quad strength (no, you don't have to be able to squat 500lbs) is also obviously recommended. Your view of daily life, i.e. what you expect of yourself on a daily basis, is also crucial. I am the type to push things too far, so thankfully I have my RN wife to reign that in. However, that "This is driving me crazy sitting here on my ass" mentality means what I expect is above the norm for most people who have this done. Granted, I'm not 70yo so that helps, but just your outlook and determination to get back to normal life means a hell of a lot.

    Cheers fellas!
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

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    Not real thrilled to make this update. I had been doing great by any metric, the MD, PT, etc. Kicking it's ass. Last week (5 weeks out from surgery) I fell and tore the quads on both legs. Right knee kind of "went out" on me and down I went. I fell to the right so didn't land on my new knees but twisted the f**k out of my legs on the way down. Hurt like HELL.

    Yesterday (6 weeks out from original surgery) I went back to surgery for bilateral quadriceps repair. Yep, they had to re-attach both of them, the left being worse than the right. It wasn't done with a scope, it was an open procedure, so here I sit with more staples again holding shit together. I told the surgeon to stitch the hell out of the quads when he re-attached them, something he was going to do anyway. Fortunately I can weight-bear but am obviously back to using a walker. He doesn't want them bent past 60 degrees for the time being until the repair takes. I had plenty of practice getting up with ingenious methods after the initial replacements, so I am back to that.

    This has been like a nightmare that won't end. It didn't start out that way but it is becoming that. I've already been off work for 6+ weeks and it'll be another 6-8 more before I'll be able to go back.

    G-damn it, I was just starting to be able to walk without a cane (despite my wife bitching at me not to) and now this. Guess I have to re-climb the mountain 'cause I slid all the way back down it.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

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    Dude that is fking brutal. In the summer, my bulging disc turned herniated and I had leg pain that made me inconsolable. My MRI showed the perfect herniation which made sense where my pain radiated, so I planed for surgery. Still two weeks minimum to get insurance and OR time. I couldn't sleep at night, so 2:00 in the middle of night I get in the tub to soak (only thing made me feel better ). Slip getting out of tub and tear my meniscus. I get low back surgery then knee surgery a week apart. Rehab was brutal because I needed to walk, which I could barely do for my back. Long haul back, but now I have turned the corner and getting good workouts again.

    I can't imagine now tearing two quads, dude that sux so bad for you. Hang tuff brother, I feel your pain. Good luck on a long haul recovery. Take your time. I might slow my leg workouts, you kinda freakin me out. I did heavy leg presses this week. Next I might back off a bit.

    Good luck ABNAK.

    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

  4. #4
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    Good grief. It's exhausting just reading about it.

    Best of luck on recovery.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pappabear View Post
    Dude that is fking brutal. In the summer, my bulging disc turned herniated and I had leg pain that made me inconsolable. My MRI showed the perfect herniation which made sense where my pain radiated, so I planed for surgery. Still two weeks minimum to get insurance and OR time. I couldn't sleep at night, so 2:00 in the middle of night I get in the tub to soak (only thing made me feel better ). Slip getting out of tub and tear my meniscus. I get low back surgery then knee surgery a week apart. Rehab was brutal because I needed to walk, which I could barely do for my back. Long haul back, but now I have turned the corner and getting good workouts again.

    I can't imagine now tearing two quads, dude that sux so bad for you. Hang tuff brother, I feel your pain. Good luck on a long haul recovery. Take your time. I might slow my leg workouts, you kinda freakin me out. I did heavy leg presses this week. Next I might back off a bit.

    Good luck ABNAK.

    PB
    First and foremost thanks for the well-wishes guys. It is truly appreciated.

    It will be a L-O-N-G time before a leg workout is in my plans, and even then they will be different (probably forever). While prior to surgery I mostly biked for cardio it will likely be a staple going forward. Any leg pressing or pivot-machine squatting (which I have been doing because barbell squats hurt my screwed-up lower back) will be a ways down the road and approached with extreme caution, dare I say paranoia. I'll be glad when I can rise from a sitting position without needing to use my arms for assistance; hell, that's probably a ways off too. ANY semblance of a leg workout will be high reps, lower weight. I'll have to be REAL cognizant about range of motion too, i.e. how deep I go. I'll be the guy at the gym you show your son and say "That's NOT how you do legs boy!" Of course they won't know the back-story!

    I have had like 7 or 8 shoulder surgeries, knee scoping in 2005, umbilical hernia repair, and prostate removal. The knee replacements last month took the cake, the rest of those procedures paled in comparison. THEN there was yesterday.....
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

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    This entire thread hurts my feelings. I hope all involved heal and rehabilitate quickly.

  7. #7
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    ABNAK- Man, hope everything is going well. Had one knee replaced and it was tough. Can't imagine two and the subsequent quad tears on top.

    Have had several back surgeries with the last being a spinal fusion around a yr. ago. I just gutted it out through the therapy/pain and am glad didn't take it easy.

    Keep us updated, know your changing limits, and push yourself. Won't be glad today, but you will a yr. from now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6933 View Post
    ABNAK- Man, hope everything is going well. Had one knee replaced and it was tough. Can't imagine two and the subsequent quad tears on top.

    Have had several back surgeries with the last being a spinal fusion around a yr. ago. I just gutted it out through the therapy/pain and am glad didn't take it easy.

    Keep us updated, know your changing limits, and push yourself. Won't be glad today, but you will a yr. from now.
    Staples (second set I've had, first was for the knee replacements) come out next Tuesday. At that point, two weeks post-op for the quads, I will be allowed to bend the knees to 90 degrees. Woot woot!

    Married to that damn walker and probably will be for a good while. Hell, I'm paranoid NOT to use it; the level of pain that fall with quad tears had got my attention. Not sure when they'll let me do steps again but I haven't been in my "man-cave" to finger-f**k my gun stuff in over two weeks.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  9. #9
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    Brother, God Bless you. I had lateral ankle reconstruction 3/12/19. The recovery was tough, not just physically, but mentally it was extremely difficult. I was unable to touch my foot to the ground for nearly 5 weeks.

    Stay strong, you’ll be in my prayers.
    Last edited by CPM; 01-30-20 at 21:33.

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