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Offline mrs_lady

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3rd floor no elevator
« on: September 01, 2008, 09:31:00 PM »
Hi, I joined years ago but havenīt posted as I never did go for the 2 knee replacements I need.  There have been other issues but now will have to just lay them asid, will never get reolved and so itīs either go or there wil be a wheelchair in my future.
     I live in a building on the 3rd floor.  It has no elevator.  Can anybody out there give me a word of encouragement that I will be able to handle the stairs once a day (up and down).  My apt is cheap and right above where I work, canīt afford to move.  Anybody out there climb that many stairs each day, I sure hope so, am desperate for a positive response.  mrs_lady

Offline luckygrandma6

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 10:13:48 PM »
Nobody can really tell you that, everyone is different. In time, yes you could take the stairs and in fact would probably help your rehabilitation and be good exercise, but right out of the hospital I doubt it.
Lets just say I wouldn't live on a third floor even if I could walk them. Who carries your groceries, you risk a chance of falling after your TKR, plus are you having them both done at once. Do you live alone or have anyone to help you. Will you need to go out right away for PT. My TKR didn't go the way I had hoped and I still wear a brace and walk with a walker, and mine was 2 1/2 years ago. I wish I could give you the news you want but if you read these boards you will see that there can be a lot of problems with TKR under normal circumstances.
I was three months in PT having an awful time getting my ROM, but I got to 100 degrees. One day I overdid it and everything I had accomplised in PT vanished.  I had to have a manipulation, my knee has never been the same since. There is also a lot of pain, more then you can imagine and that is another thing you willl deal with climbing stairs once a day. Why do you have to go up and down the stairs once a day, you are planning on taking time off work aren't you. You should give yourself about three months. It takes almost two years for a TKR to heal even under normanl circumstances. Have you talked to your doctor about this.
Right knee (arthroscopy) 2004
Right knee (PKR)) April 5, 2005
Right elbow (Bursectomy)1998
TRKR 2006 Failed)
Left knee (arthroscopy)
Left knee (arthroscopy)
THR 1992
2 back surgeries (Feb 2007 & March 2007
Right knee spacer exchange (Failed) 2008
TRK (Hinged Prosthesis) Jan 2009

Offline jathib

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 11:47:09 PM »
I would move before I attempted having a knee replacement while living on the 3rd floor. I wouldn't have been able to handle it even after a partial knee replacement. And I only have to go up one flight of stairs to get into my house. Once I'm inside I can just stay on the main floor. My husband did all the heavy lifting. I would not have been able to even bring groceries into the house. This surgery is exhausting, it's dangerous enough on crutches but even more so when you're weak and tired from surgery.

Offline maryc

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 12:08:50 AM »
If you can't afford to move, can you get a month to month rental on a ground floor somewhere?  Just getting through the first month or two without the stairs will probably make a big difference with your recovery.
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline Plumb

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 12:26:15 AM »
I went to sub acute rehab.  10 day stay.  I was able to get up three flights of stairs with the use of a cane just about day 10.   I also used crutches to wean myself off the walker.  You won't want to go up and down them that often.  It is exhausting.  Even on the family  it is exhausting to have someone dependant on them.   It is a big blow to ones ego not to do the small things that you take for granted.

Will you have a chance to talk to the hospital social worker? 

Offline Nettan

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008, 05:57:38 AM »
Maybe you have someone that live in an easier place that you can spend a month with ?
Sometimes we forget the easiest solutions.
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline mrs_lady

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 06:47:09 PM »
Hi, thanks to everybody who wrote.  Iīll try to answer your questions.
     I have a shop on the ground floor and live in an apartment above it so thatīs why I donīt want to move.  I would prefer to rehab at home since my employess can bring up work and I can stay in close contact.  Itīs going to be stressful turning over the running of the business.  My husband died 6 years ago, I live alone. 
My 2 employees carry everything up for me, in a way Iīm in assited living as they do so much for me.  I could maybe stay with a friend but it wouldnīt be nearby.  Plus I canīt leave the apartment unoccupied (theft worries) plus I have 2 cats who would go crazy if I left them alone.   So recoup at home seems the best option.   
    I know of a physical therapist who does house calls, thaīs what I am counting on.
    Everyday I walk down the 4 flights of stairs (2 per floor) and then back up.  I donīt eve go up for lunch since it is so painful now.  Thereīs a good strong railing, couldnīt do it otherwise, no balance.
    I went to the doctor once 2 years ago but didnīt follow up as with the business and other problems , well, maybe itīs more like procrastination.  But the pain is so extreme now I canīt take it anymore.  Can drive to a supermarket and walk around a bit but thatīs my limit.
    When the apartment over the shop became available back in 1995 my husband and I decided to move in and his comment was, well, at least we will get SOME exercise climbing the stairs everyday (ha ha). Yeah.
    Life never turns out the way you think though.
    I think I have a friend lined up who will come and stay with me, that was one of the major problems, had a few others but plans it fell through.  There are no rehab centers here where I live that I know of.  Will probably have to pay this friend to come and stay, she doesnīt live here.  My insurace will not cover that.  But will be grateful if she comes. 
    I am so scared, have never had a stay in a hospital (am 65) and am not very disciplined.  I should have started the pre-op exercises ad never did.  Am so worried that the pain will be worse though quite excrutiatiing now.  I am still in extreme grief, donīt know whatīs worse, the emotional pain or the physical pain.  But I donīt want to wind up in a wheel chair or wait so long that my hips get damaged too (am severly knock kneed).
    Never knew I had this condition when younger.  Never had great balance and was told I sort of walked funny.  It wasnīt until I went for a diving (!) physical that the doctor pointed out that my legs were not straight and to try to lose some weight as in the future I was going to have a real problem.  I took off weight several times, was physically active until my husband died and then I just stopped moving.  Thatīs when muscles and tendons lost tone and now my feet are really spread apart and I get strange looks.  Well, thatīs the story.  I am going to go back to that doctor this month, will let you know.  I did read the "Ownerīs Manual, Everything You Need to Know About Knee Replacement".  Took a while as everythime I picked up the book Iīd burst into tears. 
    As bad as things are am so afraid that TKR could make it worse, and that I wonīt have the strength to make it through.  I was such a strong confident person before my husband passed, it was such a shock as he was in such good shape, strong beautiful body.  Losing him, well, Iīve never recovered, am not the person I used to be.  Iīm just scared.  Thanks for listening. 

Offline Headache 0121

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 10:59:55 PM »
Thank you for posting Mrs Lady. I agree with Plumb that it would be good to talk it through with a hospital social worker and to get friends to rally round. Can you get home help at all? This will be useful as cooking, cleaning, and laundry will be out of the question for a while. Keep taking the pain medication too! Apart from my knees I would consider myself a fit and energetic 34 year old, but I needed plenty of help after my last op, at least for the first couple of days. I live in a 2nd floor maisonette (US equivalent is 3rd floor) and wouldn't recommend going up and down the stairs on crutches whilst alone, at least until you get a bit more confident. Even when confident it is best to take your time going up and down. I guess that when you are able to get around more, you could use a backpack to put groceries in and then carefully ascend the stairs with your essentials - bread and marg etc.
A stay in hospital won't be all that bad. Think about why you are there and be determined to get better but realise it isn't an instant result. At least you will be given meals and drinks and read books to your hearts content.
Can your employees keep a check on your apartment whilst you are in hospital? Can they feed the cats for you?
I reckon your husband is looking down at you and sad that you are so depressed. It is understandable that you are down because you are in pain physically and emotionally, but you can control pain and you can talk to someone about your husband. I bet he was a lovely man and I reckon you were soulmates and that leaves a huge hole. Perhaps you could write down all your thoughts about him and how you feel, like an outpouring. It may help.
I am thinking of you and I hope you can arrange home help and a therapist to visit you. Could you purchase an exercise bike to use at home? Try this website:
Best wishes to you,
D :)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 11:27:00 PM by Headache 0121 »
May 2007 Arthroscopy & debridement (R)
May 2008 Microfracture and LR (R)

Offline mrs_lady

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator, 2009
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 06:58:37 PM »
Hi to all of you that wrote to me last year.  I still havenīt gone for the TKR.  Thought I was going to last year but then there were insurance problems so put it off.  Iīm in worse shape than last yar.  I am still living alone on the 3rd floor, no elevator, canīt afford to move, apt is over my shop so convenient except for those !****! stairs.
      I have 2 employees and they carry all my stuff up the stairs, donīt know what I would do without them.  They would look in on me and such but I still havenīt found anybody for sure to stay with me for a while.
     Now am trying to get myself to commit to the TKR but get just about hyserical when I begin to read about it.  Last night I read that for people that are bow legged that it is better to do both at once.  I am extremely knock kneed.  It said if just one were done than one leg would be shorter and harder to recoup properly. 
    I am not a strong willed person and have been so extremely depressed since my husband died I am afraid I just donīt have enough will to drive me through the rehab.  Yet I donīt want to end up in a wheelchair in the apartment for the rest of my life.  I am still waiting for a solution, driving myself insane.  I live in Venezuela, so thereīs no rehab, just hospital and home.  No support groups, etc. 
   Is there anybody out there who was very knock kneed that had TKR and leg straightening that worked out well?

Offline NadiaMac

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 02:37:20 PM »
I had foot surgery a few years ago and was NWB for 12 weeks.  I live up two flights of stairs and was living alone at the time.  The stairs are narrow and the bannister is not very robust, so rather than using crutches on the stairs, I went up and down on my rear.  This worked pretty well, but was very slow. To do this, you need to be able to hold your leg up at the hip, so this might not be feasible early in your recovery if you are in a full knee immobilizer (I had foot surgery, so could bend my knee a bit which helps a lot).

If you will be crutching up and down a lot of stairs, make sure your bannister is sturdy and practice prior to the surgery (get someone--PT?-- to show you how to do it properly)

Otherwise, I absolutely minimized my trips up and down the stairs.  I worked at home for about 6 weeks & friends helped by grocery shopping once a week and kindly handled my laundry and kitty litter issues.  If items were courried over from my work, I asked the courrier to carry the box up the stairs for me, etc.

My sister (also on knee geeks) has a student who had ACLr while living alone up 6 flights of stairs, so it is definitely manageable (though the student is probably a lot younger than both of us!)  Good luck with your recovery
4/09 MTB crash, severe patellar impact. MRI cleanish, but lots of pain
6/09 start PT, cortisone, synvist
10/23/09 scope: medial plica excision, lateral meniscectomy, chondroplasty

Offline NotSuperhuman

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Re: 3rd floor no elevator
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 04:09:23 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. A couple years ago, I lived on the third floor of an apartment building without an elevator and let's just say I made sure no one was looking when I went down step-by-step on my butt. (I'm sure you understand.) I spent a year there and moved, and I found that I was able to focus on my knee more when I wasn't being set back by trudging up and down three flights more than twice a day. I hope you find a way to move in to an equally priced apartment that doesn't require you to damage your knees each day.

In the mean time: Take it slow--it's OK if you take 10 minutes to make it home. And, if your stairs have railings, use them. Maybe a cane would help. You could use it just to go up and down so some of the weight is taken off of your knees.

Best of luck to you!
Chondromalacia 6 years
PT 2003, 2006, 2009
Cortisone injection 2009
Prolotherapy 2X 2009
PRP, current

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