KNEE ARTHRITIS - Unicompartmental knee replacement :
Bi-lateral Unicompartmental...anyone else? - - Posted by kath (kath), 17 November 2004
Hi, this board hasn't been posted to in awhile, so I thought I'd ask if there is anyone out there who just had PKRs or is about to have them?
I had both knees done on November 4th, due to advanced OA which I've had for 10 yrs. I'm 49 yrs old and considered "too young" for a TKR. My surgery was done on a Thursday and I was home on Monday on early release. Today I had my staples removed.
I've faithfully done my physio exercises and have to admit, the physio is probably the hardest part of this whole thing! My PT comes to the house until the end of this week and then I transition to a clinic. My ROM is 90-92 in both knees ....probably less today as it's scary to think of bending them after just having the staples removed!
If you've just had this surgery or are about to have it, and are wondering about the surgery itself or the recuperation etc, post a note and we can compare results!
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 21 November 2004
I'm going into hospital on Monday November 22 for a bi-lateral Oxford knee replacement. I'm 60 years old. Your post about getting out of the hospital early was a big help to me because I just want to get this over with and get on with the things I want to do. Thirty years of kneeling on concrete hangar floors fixing airplanes and twelve years of full contact dance aerobics have taken their toll and I'm bone on bone on the insides of both knees with ROM of 135 in both knees and moderate discomfort. Can't do the kneeling position for 4 position shooting anymore. Losing thirty pounds off the old frame has sure helped but I'm sure that the Oxford replacements will be even better. Best of luck to you with yours.
Posted by kath (kath), 21 November 2004
Hi Great White John!
Best of luck with your surgery on Monday. If you are having only the one knee done, you may be lucky and be out of the hospital earlier than I was.
So far so good. The incisions are starting to heal nicely and I am remaining faithful to the exercises. I was also bone on bone on the insides of the knees...though I'm not pain-free yet, I am hoping that I will find a big difference in the next few weeks.
Please post after your surgery and let us know how things are going. Good Luck! ....kath
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 27 November 2004
Hi Kath. Had Oxford knee installed in BOTH left and right knees on Monday Nov 22. Was up and walking around on a walker on Tuesday. Walking around and up and down stairs on crutches on Wednesday. Physio assessment on Thursday and got home this morning, Friday Nov 26. ROM of 93 degrees on r/h knee and 83 degrees on left. Will have staples removed next week. Sure glad I had them both done at the same time and ITS NICE TO BE HOME!!!!(even though there's all kinds of snow on the ground here)
Best of luck to you in your recovery and continued wellness.
Great White John
Posted by kath (kath), 28 November 2004
So glad to hear you are home and doing so well! Would love to continue to compare notes on our recovery.
I'm just past the 3 week mark...having physio twice a week and doing the exercises at home 3x per day. My ROM as of Thursday was 105 right knee and just over 100 on the left. I must say this was with a lot of manual help of the PT. It was very painful...I think knee bends are the worst of it, for me anyway. I am using crutches, though can walk for short distance in the house without them.
My knees are still painful...in fact, I posted on the Encouragment board the concern I may have traded the pain of osteoarthritis for the pain of partials. I'm hoping it's not the case and that I'm just being impatient!
Isn't it great being at home?...I truly believe recovery can be faster in your own environment where you aren't being woken every 4 hours for vitals to be taken!
I'm not sure where you are from, but we have had some snow in SW Ontario Canada, though where I am it hasn't remained on the ground.
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 28 November 2004
Hi Kath. Stick with the Physio and the exercises and all will be well. My doc used to be the team doc for the Blue Bombers and as such saw more beat-up knees in a week than a GP sees in a career. Yes. I'm from Winnipeg. He told me that I've traded artthritis pain for insicional pain.......and insicional pain goes away. But we must keep working hard on the knees to keep working away on the scar tissue of the insicions. That's what hurts!! Don't overdo it or you will tear healthy tissue along with the scar tissue. I'm still having trouble with my internal thermostat; cold one minute, hot the next, but soon hope to get over that. The cats want to sleep on my knees......of course.
Best to you.
Great White John
Posted by kath (kath), 28 November 2004
Hi GWJ...ah, Winnipeg...my birthplace on a very cold New Years Eve! I'm from a military family and we moved from Winnipeg to Montreal when I was very young, so no real memories, though I did visit Winnipeg during a trip across Canada when I was in high school. (MANY years ago)
I've really worked my knees today in my exercises...trying to get past the pain. I have no idea what my ROM is...wish I had one of those measuring devices used in PT, but I have an PT appt tomorrow, so we will see. I've also decided to stop taking Tylenol 3s as they aren't doing the trick anymore...I'm going to try plain ole Ibuprofen.
Do you have any numbness around your knees? Both my outer knees are numb but I understand the feeling will come back once the nerves repair.
I'm sure you are anxious to get your staples removed. My thrill was to actually be able to have a shower again!
Good luck! ...Kath
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 13 December 2004
Hi, Kath & Great White John - I'm Stefanie!
Seems as though we are all going thru PKR at about the same time. I'm 33 - yep, you read it right. I didn't do both of mine at the same time, as my OS felt as though it might be a bit much, I have 3 kids & needed to get back on my feet quickly.
Had my right one done on July 8th. Spent 4 days in the hospital (which here in the US is typical). Therapy was brutal, but my ROM is 130. On October 21st, had the left knee done & my ROM is 132.
Did either of you have any trouble with bone cement? Sort of an unfortunate situation, after the PKR in July - seems as though some cement hid itself in some soft tissue. Now, that was absolutely worse than any of the pain I was having pre-op. I had x-ray after x-ray & nothing was showing up. I have 2 surgeons - I am a difficult case! They kept telling it was joint mechanics & it would improve. Long story short - 2 days before my scheduled surgery in October the right gave me a very painful pop & there it was, I could tell something was floating around in there! Mind you, I'd been telling both of the doctors it was cement the entire time!
So I had to have the right one scoped & the PKR on the left one at the same time. Happy to report I'm much better. Fortunately I've not had much more trouble with the right one & the left one is doing well also!
As far a the numbness goes on the outer side of the knees, mine has not improved any thus far - so unless I'm abnormal (which is entirely possible ) it does take quiet a bit of time. My doctor told me it will never be the same, but the numb spot will shrink in size.
Just out of curiousity, how many staples did you guys have to have? For me I had 18 on the right one & 17 on the left one! Whew, those don't feel too good coming out either! Little bit of a burning sensation.
Well, I certainly hope you are both continuing to do so well with your recovery - would love to follow along with you both, if you don't mind?
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 15 December 2004
Hi Kath, Hi Stephanie.
I hope you're both proceeding along the healing road in a satisfactory way.
Kath: Yes I've got numb knees just as you do but I'm sure that they will repair in time.
Stephanie: You're way too young to be going through this stuff! But to anser your query: I've not experienced any problems with bone glue (adhesive, epoxy, cement, whatever) yet. If I did I'd sure be having an extremely intense discussion with the doctor who was responsible.
General information for you both: My Bi-lateral was done on Nov 22/04, I was walking the next day and was turfed out of the hospital on Nov 26/04. Now I'm getting around without the use of crutches or cane. On Monday I was outside shovelling snow, doing a bunch of winter chores and even brought a couple of loads of firewood into the house. Wow! Did I ever pay for that the next day! I've now used up all my pain killers so getting a decent night's sleep is somewhat of a problem. My Chartreux cat has decided that he should sleep on my legs while I'm asleep. He doesn't sleep there for very long, I can assure you.
All in all the recovery is proceeding well and I'm rapidly approaching the level of discomfort I felt when my knees were at their worst from arthritis. This means that with only a bit more time I should be doing better than ever before. I'm able to drive myself around town to do errands now. The most difficult part is in folding up my left leg in order to get into or out of the car, but I can do it.
Keep exercising those knees and legs. Keep smiling. Don't let anyone see how it's hurting you......and soon it won't be hurting you.
Must go and return the crutches to the Medical Supply store.
Great White John
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 15 December 2004
Kath and Stephanie
An addition to that last posting of mine.......
Kath: Heaven is being able to shower. I was thinking of myself as "SpongeBath SquarePants" for a while there.
Stephanie: About the same number of staples as you. I found it best to exhale as they took each one out and then I didn't notice it as much.
Posted by kath (kath), 16 December 2004
Hi Stephanie and GWJ...
GWJ...you are my hero! I can't believe you are out shoveling and doing things without your crutches!
Stephanie....your ROM is terrific. I am at 110 both legs as of today. (6wks post-op)
I saw my OS for my 6 wk check-up today. He is happy with my progress...he said ROM is dependent on what you had prior to surgery. Mine was 125, and he expects I can get to that once the swelling goes down. I did see my x-rays and he showed me the cement...I haven't had any problems (touch wood) with cement in the soft tissues. My right knee was a candidate for a total replacement, but my OS is very experienced with partials and felt he would try that route first. It is slower at healing and certainly more swollen than the left knee, but all in all I'm pleased he tried the partial.
Like you GWJ, I am at the stage where the pain is probably at the same level (perhaps better, as it is different pain) than what I had prior to surgery. I will be on crutches for awhile longer, though around the house I walk without them (much like a penguin!)
I usually go without pain meds if possible other than before bed...I take a tylenol 3. Last night was the first night in probably 5 yrs I actually slept 6 hours in a row! And my other milestone was yesterday...I could pedal the stationary bike all the way around instead of just rocking back and forth!
At least we can all enjoy the Holiday Season without too much pain!
PS: Stephanie...I had 18 staples in each knee. One of the internal stitches is now making it's way through my incision...I didn't know that's what it was until my OS told me today.
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 22 December 2004
Hi Kath & GWJ......and Merry Christmas to the both of you! I am so incredibly thankful for pkr's - I am I would say 95% pain free! Today marks 8 weeks post-op for me on the left one!!! The right one is healing nicely as well.
Did either of you have a drain pump after surgery? I did not have one after the right one & I'll have to say that was a lot longer recovery - the pain was at times unbearable thru the night time hours especially. The left one, the doctor did put in a drain pump & I was able to tell a major difference in pain levels once I got home. The swelling, as I found was the majority of the pain.
GWJ - yes....I was terribly upset with the "cement thing" My story is a little odd - but none the less I'll share it! I was seeing one OS that I had an extreme amount of confidence in - he had been treating me for years with synvisc, etc.... He does not perform pkr's - so he referred me to a collegue - that I also hold in high regards. A very close friend of mine is a surgical tech & has seen them both do surgery for years & years (16 to be exact) so she lead me to them both. Long story short, at my request the 1st OS was in during the surgery on my right knee (1st pkr done) - thru someone that was in during my surgery (other than my buddy) it has been brought to my attention that my "1st OS" was at fault. I don't really understand exactly how the cement is put into place, but evidentally some getting away & hiding itself in soft tissue is rare. The xrays I've had done, both on the table before being closed & post-op xrays (I've seen them all) don't show anything fishy. I suppose I'm just one of those weird cases.
I was up & walking with my walker the same day - I can't do the bed pan thing, I get horrible stage freight I won't say I walked a great distance, because I was worn out before I got all the way to my destination & had to flop myself into the wheelchair. That was interesting, as I had to lean over & hold my leg up straight - seems the hospital was all out of leg rests - just my luck!!!
I have officially gone without pain meds for 3 weeks now!! After being on those darn things for over a year - I was not having an easy time coming off of them.
So glad to hear you are both getting along so well! Nice to know other people going thru the same ordeal. Sounds like our stories are very simular.
P.S. GWJ - I over-did it a couple of weeks ago, trying to clean house, etc... I just get a little carried away without that old pain - it just feels great to be able to walk without pain - I never thought I could be where I am today. I guess it was about 5 weeks post-op: I was walking thru our kitchen & my husband was standing there watching me, I started to cry - he asked what on earth was wrong (think it scared him to be honest) I told him, "I can't believe I'm able to walk without any pain!" We sure take for granted the role that knees play - don't we? It was just a few months ago, I was slumped into a horrid depression - felt like there was no going on - the pain was unbearable. Couldn't do anything with my kids, just sat around & cried. Thank the good lord for modern medicine & orthopedic surgeons!
Happy Holidays ya'll
Posted by kath (kath), 23 December 2004
Hi! I'm overjoyed today because at physio I got to 120 ROM on my left leg and 115 on the right. This is an improvement of 10 degrees in a week on my left leg. My right leg is going to take more work, both for ROM and extension, as I walk with it still bent at the knee.
I have also been med free for a couple of weeks, though I do take a tylenol 3 before going to bed just to help me sleep. Once the bottle is empty, I won't renew the prescription.
Stephanie...I didn't have a drain pump after my surgery...just the dressings and Ted Hose. How long did you have the pump?
I haven't had the chance to "overdo" things yet....my hubby and kids have been a great help these last few weeks, especially with getting the Christmas shopping done etc. I almost have to do things without telling them, otherwise they would make me sit while they did everything!
Hope everyone has a great Christmas! ...kath
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 30 December 2004
Congrats on the ROM Kath - awesome job! I had the drain pump for 48 hours. I had the Ted hose & dressing also - and didn't you just love those hose!
Do either of you have a popping sensation? Not painful at all, just annoying. I have joked saying I can't sneak up on anyone in the middle of the night cause you can hear me coming. It's not really that loud - but the doctor says it is normal & my therapist seems to agree.
Hope that you both had a nice Christmas! Keep me updated on the progress!
Here's to pain free knee days!
Posted by nicholas (nicholas), 7 January 2005
Hello Stephanie, Kath, and Great White,
I had not visited this site for a while and I was pleased to see your discussions of dueling PKRs. I am 49 and had my left medial done 7-20-04 and my right medial done 11-2-04. I have always been fairly active outdoors. I've skiied quite a bit the last 30 years and I'm sure this probably contributed to the problem.
As of today I am very pleased with the result of each surgery. My left knee was in unsleepable pain before the surgery and my right knee chronically hurt, especially after even the slightest impact activity.
I'll memorialize some of my recovery here so potential surgery candidates can absorb it and would be grateful for any feedback from you guys or others.
I was able to stand in post op room and insisted on not spending the standard overnite as I figured I would be better off at home no matter what so I went home within 6 hours of each surgery. I was able to get around with one crutch or none while at home but there was significant swelling in each knee and getting up off the couch required a crutch and using my arms. In fact to this day the one feature of recovery that is incomplete is the ability to get out of low chairs without having to use my arms, but this does get better every day. This problem became more pronounced when I lost the use of my right knee after that 11-2-04 surgery. It was almost all arms then.
Staples were removed at 13 days each time and each time that gave me confidence to flex my knee more than when I had the staples. I always felt that the swelling and the staples were the biggest hindrance to all the ROM exercises. I suggested a drain each time but I guess the doc doesn't want to be bothered by that. They claim it promotes healing.
I went back to work (office) two weeks after first surgery and gave myself an additional week after the second surgery as my right knee initially seemed to come along slower than the other. At this point my ROM was probably 90 in each (each is 130-140 now) however my therapist and doctor are adamant it is the extension ROM that is most critical for long term recovery. In that regard, I think my left is 0 degrees but the right is probably 0 to plus 10 degrees . These were problem areas before surgery and I'm told that post-op one's range of motion tends to not do better than it was pre surgery but I hope mine will improve with therapy and it has slowly.
Stairs. I could go up in normal fashion after 6-10 days but going down in normal fashion was another matter. I couldn't do this without kneecap pain until 3-4 weeks after surgery. Exercise club. I felt comfortable spinning the bike at about 5-6 weeks each time and quickly added weight resistance always mindful of my limits. Skiing. I did ski 100 days after the first surgery (I'm addicted to it ) and just before the second. The knee was a little stiff but held up well. I am now at 65 days past the other surgery and feel I could ski today. Since, I don't have full crouching power in either knee I know I cannot do this yet with the ability level I was previously accustomed to but I'm confident I can easily surpass my pre surgery strength by next season.
One problem. My left knee does seem to have some type of jumpiness in the joint when it is bent across my other knee. Almost like a subtle grinding of bone in a lateral fashion between tibia and fibia. This was present always after that first surgery and although that leg is getting stronger I feel my right leg will soon surpass the left in terms of recovery. Stefanie, if you see this post, could it be the surgery cement floating in the joint? Your thoughts? All in all I'm happy and walking faster than I have in years. Nick
Posted by kath (kath), 7 January 2005
It's so good to hear from other PKR patients. This board doesn't seem to have a lot of them!
Nick, you seem to be doing extremely well. I am working hard on my flexion and am still at 120 degrees. My right leg is the problem for extension...it has been bent for a number of years, and in physio we are focusing on getting the best extension possible.
I do know what you mean regarding getting up from a low seat...I have to use my arms to heave myself up, but am hoping this will get better as time goes on and my quads get stronger.
I find crossing my knees...one knee laying over the other in a sitting position is uncomfortable...not necessarily painful, but it feels strange to the point I usually slide my hand under the top leg to raise it a bit. I also have to use a pillow between my legs when sleeping as my knees don't like touching each other!
It's amazing that you feel you can ski as of today! I use to ski many many years ago, and I just can't imagine doing so now. I need these replacements to last as long as possible!
Stephanie...I don't have a popping sensation when I walk, but I do have one in my right knee when I do leg raises. When I place my hand on my knee, I can feel the popping too.
Hoping for continued success for all of us! ...Kath
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 8 January 2005
Hello Everyone! Glad to hear everyone is progressing so well! I know I would do it all over again tomorrow for results this awesome! I absolutely love my PKR's.
I had my follow-up appt. today with my OS.........I won't have to go back until July 8th - which is my 1 year anniversary for the right knee! He took the "normal" x-rays. My joints are still looking fantastic! Everything is in place & working like it should. He said they should last atleast 15 years, depending on how much I use them. He was telling me this is a much harder surgery to perform than a total. Much more tedious! Thank goodness for orthopaedic surgeons!!
My goodness Nick, I am impressed to say the very least with your progression. You & I seem to be on about the same time table. I can't believe how fast you left the hospital, there is absolutely no way I could have left the hospital that soon. I had to have IV pain meds for 3 days. The second surgery was much, much worse as far as the pain goes just coming out of the recovery room. My OS had to consult a pain management doctor to help get the pain under control - I took a LOT of morphine!
I'm in Texas, where do you live? I don't suppose leaving before day 4 would have even been an option. My OS told me that 4-6 days is the standard for his patients.
As far as the bone cement goes - I can't even begin to explain how horrible that pain could be at times. You'll definitely know that something major is wrong. The pain for me, was just below the lateral joint line. I suppose it can be different places for anyone. This piece of cement just chose that place to live in for awhile, before making it's presence visual in an x-ray. At times, no rhyme or reason for it - the pain would just flair & I wouldn't be able to take another step. I would have to either get my walker or crutches out & everytime it brought tears to my eyes. Most of the time I would have to sit down & wait a little while, then it is almost like it wiggled it's way back into it's hiding place again & the pain would be 100% gone. Strange as it sounds, it's the truth! I really puzzled the medical field. I was seriously doubting my decision on that pkr. Now that the cement is gone & by the way I do have it stored away in a nice little place - I cuss it from time to time! If this sounds like what you're experiencing, you may consider talking to you OS about it. Both of my doctors really thought it was "joint mechanics" for lack of any evidence with the bone cement. I hope this helps a little, I'm afraid I wasn't much help.
As far as ROM goes - mine has been really good - probably 140 in both knees now & extension is -6 on the right & -4 on the left - this is more than I could have hoped for! I completed my therapy a few weeks ago.
Kath - I too find it more comfortable to place my hand just under the one that is on top, when my legs are crossed. Just like you said, not painful - but there is some discomfort there. I can't imagine being able to ski either - more power to ya' Nick!
Ohhh, I almost forgot - what brand did the OS use on all of you? Both of mine are "Zimmer."
Keep on keepin' on!
Posted by kath (kath), 8 January 2005
My replacements are made by DePuy which is a subsudiary of Johnson&Johnson. This is the brand my OS uses and is experienced in.
Further to the discussion on low seating....any one have problems going from a raised commode seat to the normal height of a toilet? I find my knees are screaming at me when lowering and getting up...not actual pain, but a weird tightness. I need to use the vanity counter and tub for support. I realize this is probably due to my quads which still need work, plus the fact I don't yet have full flexion. Just curious if you have felt the same.
Are your knees feeling pretty much normal (if you can remember what that feels like!) or do you have constant tightness which is what I seem to have.
Posted by nicholas (nicholas), 9 January 2005
Thanks for all your insightful responses.
Stef- My doctor (in California) only advised an overnite and made it optional. He would only allow Vicodin post op for home. I hate the stuff and don't feel it works all that well. I figured if no morphine drip, why stay? By the way, immediately after the second surgery, I was in more pain than the first surgery and they gave me I.V. Toradol (liguid Motrin). That was unbelievably good for swelling and pain relief for 36 hours and then I was on my own. I only lasted 2 days on the Vicodin before I abandoned it for Motrin pill. Restless nites for weeks.
I'll echo your general feeling about the surgery effectiveness, that it has been great, particularly in your case. Your ROM results tell me your are close to 100%. I had multiple clean-outs on both knees as far back as 1989. I haven't really run or played traditional agility impact sports (basketball, baseball, running) since about that time. I hung on to skiing because I love the mountains and the total experience. I'd probably be better served to take up snowboarding as its side-surfing riding form is less torque over the knee joint.
I think I did read somewhere that one study showed a 90% success rate at 18 years for this surgery. Stef- you and I must be mindful that current thinking is this replacement lasts active patients sometimes as little as 8 years and that the second replacement is usually a total replacement. My weight 220-230 is another problem as the journals say that over 200 tends to stress the prothesis. I suppose middle age patients (me) and young patients (you) will always be wondering just how much athletic activity we can cheat. I'm not sure I want to endure any other surgery on either knee in the course of my lifetime. Hell- who am I kidding- I'm going skiing!
Kath- I must push off the toilet seat with one hand to get up, or, grab the sink counter if one's available. Needless to say, I avoid the number 2 at any public restroom. The inability to perform that one basic essential mundane and necessary task let's me know that my recovery is not close to 100%. I may cheat on that one by getting a slightly higher commode installed in my master suite, after all I am 6'4". Sounds like your rehab is going well and keep up with the extension exercises. Oh, I think both my replacements are Repicci/Zimmers.
It's snowing ridiculous up at Lake Tahoe and there is a glimmer chance I'll go up Monday (weather permitting) and give it a go. May the healing force be with me. Nick
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 9 January 2005
Kath - I couldn't help but get tickled about the bathroom situation. I'm soooo incredibly relieved to know I'm not the only one that struggles in there! I too must push up from the counter top. My therapist really did suggest me getting a taller toilet - I think for me at this point it is about vanity & I just can't bring myself to do it - silly I know!
As far as the "normal" aspect of knees goes, it has been a really long time, as you can see from my history. I wouldn't say they feel normal, but they sure feel a heck of a lot better than they did. I have a certain amount of stiffness also, some days worse than others. My arthritis still flares up from time to time, although not nearly as bad as prior to surgery.
Nick, the age thing is a huge factor. I made up my mind before surgery that while I miss sports - they are just not a part of my life anymore. I need these joints to last me as long as possible. I understand your love for skiing & understand that it is a passion & hard to give up. I'm afraid by the time I am your age, I will be going in for Totals. The decision to have pkr's was something I really struggled with. I even stopped visiting this website, because I had some people telling me not to do it no matter what - learn to deal with the pain. That at my age it was just not a consideration. I didn't need to hear it anymore, so I isolated myself from it. I've come back to share my story & let people know how great I'm doing.
My OS says revision on pkr's is entirely possible, but as bad as my knees are, that is not likely. However, I am trying to stay positive & tell myself it may very well be done for me too.
I also got tickled reading about the #2 situation in the public restrooms - imagine being a female! No choices here, except to hold it! I suppose I'll walk funny for one reason or another for the rest of my life!
Great talking to you both, let me hear back soon! Really enjoying the conversation.
Posted by shadehawk (shadehawk), 9 January 2005
Hi guys, sorry for butting in but I was wondering if these would help you at home, this is what I found helped me with my knees and they are inexpensive, you can get a prescription from your doctor for them.
They are so cheap, I'd be tempted to ask the employer about installing one in the washroom at the office.
Posted by kath (kath), 9 January 2005
ya see...someone had to raise the question!
I had trouble using the toilet or low seats prior to surgery due to OA, but I knew that bending that far wouldn't break anything. Now I'm concerned the cement will let go in the knee joint if I put too much stress on it by crouching so low!
Shade...thanks for the suggestion. Those bars are what I had but with the attached higher seat. It worked great! If I were returning to my old job, I would certainly ask them to install it for me, but I start a new position in February (my employer made my job redundant the day after I told them I was having surgery!) and I would like to test the waters first. It's possible the new place has an accessible washroom...if not, I can ask for accommodation. Nick, I can't imagine your 6'4" frame trying to get low enough for a standard height toilet!
Stef...I didn't know that revisions were possible on partials. My OS told me he hoped I could get 7-15 yrs out of these, but the next step would be TKRs. My exercise of choice has always been walking and for the last year and a half, I've not been able to walk more than half a block...and even that quickly decreased the few months before my surgery. Despite the tightness in my knees now, I have no real pain, just discomfort sometimes. The fact that my legs are now straight is also a big plus for me...I can't wait to start wearing skirts and dresses again!
Though I've never been overweight, I did put on a lot of weight due to the inactivity of the past year. Thankfully it is coming off (a good start was being so sick due to the general!) and I plan to keep my weight down to help these knees last as long as possible.
My husband and I are taking a long awaited trip to the sunny Caribbean in two weeks, and scars be damned, I'm going to swim, wear shorts and go for long walks on the beach!
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 12 January 2005
Hello all! Hope everyone is having a pain-free day!
Kath - ahhhhh the sunny caribbean! Where exactly are you going to be vacationing? Last summer, we went to Montego Bay, Jamaica! Absolutely fabulous - we can't wait to go back! If we can work it out, we'd like to go back this summer - but this time we plan to take the kiddos! It was our first time & we had the time of our lives! Don't worry about those scars - no-one will pay attention to them & who cares anyway! We have battle wounds & I'm not afraid to show 'em off & brag while doing it! ha!!
Shade - thanks for the suggestions! We all appreciate it & don't apologize, pipe in anytime you'd like. We welcome the conversation!
Haven't seen Great White John in awhile - anyone know where he has dissappeared to? Hope all is well. I'm thinking Nick must have escaped to the mountains for a quick ski - hope he's having a good time, if that is the case!
Kath - my OS has done revisions before & has a great success rate. I will more than likely not be a candidate for revisions - I'm not too good laterally either! However, I'm holding onto hope that technology will improve over the next 15 years & there will be even more options available to all of us by that time!
Here's to technology!
Posted by Great_White_John (Great_White_John), 14 January 2005
Hi Kath, Hi Stephanie;
I haven't disappeared but have been lurking here without much to say. My progress report follows. Both legs are straightening out really well. ROM of both knees is coming along well to the point where I am almost able to sit tailor-fashion if I wish. Quads are strengthening rapidly with all the work I'm doing around the house. (Much snow shovelling and carrying recycling boxes full of firewood from the woodpile to inside the house and up and down various stairs.)
No pain killers of any kind required at any time. Can sleep well in any position, even when covered with house cats. Life is good. I go for another physio evaluation and then go to see the sturgeon for the last time in a couple of weeks.
All in all I'm really glad to have these "Oxford Knees" (PKRs). They have a satisfaction rating of 98% after 10 years and I plan to take good care of them. Downhill skiing is a "neutral" activity for knees as long as one doesn't twist too much or do any jumping. I like to ski really fast but as smoothly as possible so this will work well. Also I'm REALLY looking forward to next year's hunting season because I've missed the last couple of years because of the arthritis. No more. Upland game birds, deer, elk, moose, bear. Next year.
Until whenever. . . . keep exercising, keep strenghthening, keep pushing right to the edge of what you can stand. Remember the following: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger".
Great White John
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 22 January 2005
Hello everyone! So glad to hear you are all doing well! Haven't seen anyone post recently. These new knee's keep us on the go - isn't it great!
Just curious.........what other options (if any) did your surgeons offer to you? I got 2 opinions in addition to my OS. I was offered the unispacer & a high tibial osteotomy. I did my research on the unispacer. I couldn't find any positive feedback on it. The HTO.....oh my goodness, that just sounds like one awful surgery. I wouldn't even consider it after hearing all the details of that one & my understanding is you don't have the best results with that one either. At least not for my situation.
Looking forward to hearing from everyone!
Posted by kath (kath), 22 January 2005
Hi all....my first OS thought I would need either TKR both knees, or an osteotomy both, but wanted me to see another OS whose speciality was replacements. I'm glad I did...the second OS suggested PKRs as he didn't feel I would get good results from an osteotomy.
My right knee was damaged more than my left, and so we wouldn't know for sure until surgery, whether I could support a partial...if not, he would have done a total and waited until I recuperated before doing a partial in the left knee. Thankfully I was able to have partials in both...though the right is still a bit of a bother with some pain.
I leave for the Caribbean tomorrow, so I'm hoping the sun and ocean will be very healing! Talk to you all when I'm back! ...Kath
Posted by stefanie (stefanie), 22 January 2005
Kath - hope you have a fabulous time in the caribbean! You'll have to tell us all about your vacation when you return! Enjoy the sun & the beautiful view!
Posted by shadehawk (shadehawk), 22 January 2005
Good luck Kath, hope you and hubby have good weather and totally enjoy yourselves.
You guys are so remarkable, you guys have all done so well and have remained so positive. Congratulations Kath, John and Stefanie. You are certainly good role models for anyone having knee problems. Wow, your stories are just great.
Keep up the good work! I am impressed by all of you. I do not know if I will end up in your situation or with an osteotomy or with just braces. It is all up in the air for me right now, but I keep informed and try to keep positive. Your stories have helped............Thanks so much!
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010