The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Total Knee Replacement => Topic started by: silver on September 16, 2008, 10:56:55 PM

Title: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: silver on September 16, 2008, 10:56:55 PM
I am 77 years old and am worried about the possible effects of an operation due to my age. My left knee is very painful (bone touching bone) and needs the operation. My right knee is also painful but less so, there is a small gap between the bones that could allow an injection to relieve the pain for a while in the right knee. I have heard that a KR op takes 2.1/2 hours, is this so?. Is it possible to climb into a bath to take a shower soon after the op. Would you have had the op if you were aged 77? I have had no previous knee operation, just physiotherapy. My knees are especially painful when trying to walk upstairs, and downstairs I have to walk backwards. How long after the operation should I be able to walk upstairs and downstairs more easily?
Title: Re: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: digginit on September 17, 2008, 12:27:28 AM
It takes more like an hour and a half for a TKR usually.  Your age shouldn't be a factor if you're healthy.  Walking backwards on stairs isn't good, imho.  It'd stink to fall and break a hip!

Title: Re: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: Plumb on September 17, 2008, 01:52:43 AM
Lets see
I would go for the viscosupplements and see how you feel in six months. Are you ready for a whole year of recovery after a knee Replacement?
There is no set rule on how long the operation can take. 2 hours seems fair.. It could be less.  You will need medical clearance before your operation to see if your fit enough.  I think the doctors like spinals better than GA.  You get pretty weak after a total knee replacement.

After the surgery. You will be put to work.. Maybe even a bit of rehab.  I am 30 years younger than you.  It took me about 10 days to get strong enough to do stairs.  Your muscles shut down a bit after surgery.

The bath question..  I can get in and out of the bath.   It all depends on your range of motion after surgery.   So after your surgery you want to push to the limits to get that knee to bend again.  Again the surgery knocks you and you are weak.. You can get a bath transfer seat and a shower wand with a long hose to feel clean.   I think by two months the tub may be a doable thing. You may have to put a handicap bar in.

A hip replacement is less painful. 
Title: Re: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: yuntigrl on September 17, 2008, 10:57:54 AM
Hi Silver-

I am 51 years old and am two weeks post-op from the surgery.  Right now I am not allowed to get into the tub to bathe, but can shower.  I get my staples out today and am not sure if my surgeon is going to let me soak the knee yet.  I think a good hot soak would feel good, but don't know if that's the best thing right now, as blood clots are a concern..just not sure.

Do you have a good range of motion now??  The better your range of motion in the knee prior to your surgery will help you achieve better results after the surgery. Are you currently active??  How strong are your leg muscles??  I know that your legs waste away due to the pain, so that might be something to think about, and something to work on.

My Dad had a total knee replacement at age 76, and it took him a while to recover.  He had other health concerns (high blood pressure, diabetes, and he was overweight), but eventually led a normal and pain free life.  His rehabilitation took several months, but he was very happy that he did the surgery.

I was in actual surgery for about an hour and a half.  I only spent 3 nights in the hospital, but I think that's due to my attitude.  I was ready to go home and be in my own environment, plus I had my hubby here to take care of me...AND I was ready to go home and get a shower....I only got a sponge bath at the hair was beyond gross.
I am doing well.  I have a walker but have not used it.  I have used my crutches since coming home, but I have a strong upper body, so crutches are no problem for me and I have used them off and on for years.   My pain is managed by percocet.  I still do not sleep well because I can't get comfortable.  I work full time and would like to go back to work next week, but not sure if my doc is going to clear me to work..and frankly if I don't get on a normal sleep schedule I doubt that I will be working full time.  He may clear me to work half days.  We shall see.

I am excited for you and the possibility that you can get rid of your bone-on-bone situation.  I think getting your bad knee done might spare the other knee in the long run.  Keep us posted!!  God Bless!  Kathy
Title: Re: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: L. on September 18, 2008, 04:54:12 AM
I had TKA in 06 at the age of 56.  I had run out of options.  I have great results.  I can do anything I want except ski downhill and play singles tennis.  I would highly recommend the surgery if it is decreasing the quality of your life.  The advancement in TKA in the last few years is really unbelievable.

TKA most likely relieve pain but will not increase your range of motion.   I won't suagr coat it..there is pain but you will get pain meds.  Each OS has their own way to deal with pain.  I was off the IV 24 hours after surgery.  One of the benchmarks for discharge was pain management with oral medication, straight leg lift and 90 degree ROM. I could do leg lift and 90 degrees ROM the night of the surgery. I had surgery on Monday and went home Thursday.

If your OS says you are a candidate for TKA I would certainly have it.  My OS doesn't look at age he looks a physical condition to decide about TKA. He had  done TKAs on 80-90 year olds.

My surgery was about 60 mins.  My OS thought that was a long time.  His TKA's are usually 30-45 mins but when he opened my knee he sighed..and his assistant said "Oh it's a bad one!" it took longer. I really have not heard of anyone having TKA that the surgery itself took 2 hours.  You will be in the surgery room more than an hour and then you will be in recovery for a while. I went in at 11:30 and was in my room by 3:00.

I was standing and sitting on the bed 4 hours after surgery.  A therapist showed me how to take a shower the day after surgery.  I learned how to go up and down stairs and get in and out of a car before I left the hsopital.  I was able to sort of drag my leg across the side of the bathtub to take a shower once I got home.  I was instructed to not sit in water until the staples were out (10 days).  I needed 9 physical therapy visits.
Title: Re: possible knee replacement for 77 year old
Post by: silver on September 19, 2008, 11:11:06 PM
Thank you all for your replies digginit, plumb, L.Thomas, and especially Kathy for your warm words. I very much appreciate all of  your advice.  I am due to see the OS next week and will keep you informed of progress.

Best regards.