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Ask Questions Before, During, and After!

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

By Dont be scared to ask everything

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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