Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Experience of Knee Replacement

This isn't my knee, but I have two that look remarkably like this picture. Unfortunately, my legs are fatter.

So what is double knee replacement surgery like? That's a rather long story, but stay tuned for more details.

First, why? Why would anyone have both knees replaced at once? This isn't a decision to be made carelessly. For me, it was a sort of "go for broke" or "let's get this over with" decision. Both knees were equally painful and disfunctional to the point where I could hardly walk at all (my limp was embarrassing), and at age 76, I just didn't want to go through this experience twice.

For those more timid or fearful of pain, one at a time may be the way to go. Or, ideally, you may have only one "bad knee." There was a time years ago when I did. The other knee caught up rather rapidly.

Are there alternatives to this type of surgery? Of course you should try all the conservative approaches: losing weight, exercising to strengthen muscles around the knee, etc. If that lessens the pain and allows you to walk, good for you. Depend on your doctor's recommendations. But when osteoarthritis brings extreme deterioration of the knee joints and conservative measures stop working (as in my case), see a joint replacement surgeon. My knee x-rays were frightening.

So now I have new knees. They don't work perfectly yet, and I need to use a walker. But I have confidence that all will be well eventually. The estimate is three months for total recovery.

So if you have "bad knees" or a bad hip, talk to your doctor. Don't suffer needlessly. Despite all the agony (which I'll describe in later posts), I'm glad I went through this ordeal. Things can only get better!

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


MaryContrary said...

I am so glad to see you back. I am interested in your experiences because my sister is having similar problems with her knees. However, unless things go from very bad to much worse, I don't expect she will go in for surgery just yet. She is too young. Currently, according to my information, people can expect to have this kind of surgery repeated in ten or so years. Not a good thing, as you know better than I.

Pat's Place said...

As one with two new hips, I cannot say enough about what a wonderful thing it is to walk without a limp, pain, or care about how I step off the curb. I LOVE my new hips and take several exercise and yoga classes now that I would have never dreamed of two years ago. Yoga is my favorite!! And, it feels SO GOOD! Way to go!