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Harder Than Hip Replacement

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

By CharlotteFazio

Updated October 12, 2010

What Made You Decide to Have Knee Replacement?

I was having trouble walking. My surgeon told me he didn't know how I was walking that my knees were shot. I then decided to have the double knee surgery. My surgeon opted to do the surgery for each knee a week apart and I was fine with that. It is a very tough surgery and a even tougher recovery. The key to the recovery is the physical therapy. It is very grueling and very important that you do it to get the motion back.

What Were You Not Prepared For?

I have almost three weeks of intense therapy twice a day. I was completely exhausted at the end of each therapy session and definitely had to take pain medicine before I even started the therapy. By the time I left I was walking pretty well but I still did physical therapy when I came home. The one thing I was not prepared for was the numbness in my knees and my surgery is 16 months old. I also get a lot of pain in my legs and the tops of my knees at night when I bend them and stretch them out that I didn't have before. The surgeon told me this is normal but I never had this pain before and it only affects me at night. I have resumed my life pretty well with the total knee replacements. If you have to have it down even though it is hard do both replacements at the same time or a week apart or you will never go back to do the second one after going through the first one .

It is a much rougher surgery than a hip replacement which I had done in 2006. That was a piece of cake compared to the knee replacements.

Lessons Learned

  • There are certain restrictions that go along with knee replacements that you don't even think about. You no longer can kneel on your knees for anything. The knees work ok but not as good as your own knees. Thank God the surgeons can do these procedure to help people. Also try to keep your weight down it makes it much easier on the knees and better for not having replacements again down the road. Keep moving. I am very conscious of my knees and taking care of them and also being very careful not to fall. That is my biggest worry I don't want to go through that surgery again.
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