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Submit an Entry: I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement...

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Updated June 16, 2011

What Made You Decide to Have Knee Replacement?

Diagnosed Osteoarthritis 2009, within year need new knee-bone on bone. Drs amazing but said am too young-48 cos can only have 1 replacement. All specialists said am too young, shocked by speed it accelerated. Talking to people found out 2 replacemts common. Consultant still shocked at fast progress of knee-he said work made it worse-long time standing/constantly up/down from a computer not compliant with health&safety regs-I was frontline Police, Just made redundant & they've 4+people with H&S compliant desks doing my job! Cant get disability/badge/Cant stand or walk at all/Right knee affected-horrified family-had 2do

What Were You Not Prepared For?

Before the operation:

I would have asked about allergic reactions because I have them to so many things but when asked what I am allergic to all I’d say is, “I am allergic to many things” unless specifically asked if I were allergic to any metals. As I am allergic to so much It is easier to say what I am Not ALLERGIC to – Titanium – as I have a dental implant – for instance. I had read up that knees were made from titanium so didn’t think to ask – I had completely forgotten that I don’t even wear hypoallergenic jewellery because of rash/ goes green…as it is so many years since I found out I was allergic to various metals a person forgets.

In hospital:

The staff are nice but slow to answer the buzzer so people wet themselves – the drugs and op make it so you cant control this.

The hospital getting rid of you asap and the lack of information by medical staff. Ignoring the fact I had a possible infection. On discharge – 3 days after operation, I had, since the day after the op. had a very painful, hot, seeping wound and was fainting/passing out. I could have moved my left leg after the op as couldn’t feel pain as still had painkillers from op working – when physio came around the next day they said yes its fine to move immediately but nurses- who I later found out were student nurses – said not to move my leg.

I still gave the hospital a positive review because the student nurse who redressed my wound was very gentle and kind.

If the sister is there the nurses etc are far more attentive.

A fellow patient said they give inferior nickel implants to younger ones because they’ll be replaced anyway – seemed unfair but is what happened to her so she was there for it to be redone because she was allergic to it – took 2 years she said. eek I thought – I asked a doctor what my implant is so hope it is titanium.

At home:

No money, cant leave the home so the hospital not giving meds to treat my infected wound and not giving enough meds meant I had to call the doctor out and am reliant on someone collecting the prescription etc so further delaying treating the infection.

Lessons Learned

  • Had op less than week ago and so only know now you must speak up for yourself to be treated fairly
  • Ask what implant is made of. They should ask if you are allergic to metals re jewellery but they didn’t with me
  • Get cash in, cos cant go to bank when housebound
  • I insisted on seeing a doctor re possible infection in hospital & she wouldn’t give me antibiotics, so even if you stick up for yourself you could draw a blank–so call your doctors immediately if a problem– they'll do house calls & arrange chemists to deliver prescription
  • can put weight on knee immediate relief
  • expect lots of pain as move knee
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