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Discussion Starter #1
My hubby just got back from the dr. He has to have a total knee replacement. I have so many mixed emotions right now......I'm sad, scared, mad and happy all at once. I'm mad at the VA - we are still fighting with them....he is a disabled veteran....for his knee....someone recently changed his records....so we are fighting them....Happy that he finally has some answers and will get it taken care of.....we have regular health insurance that will cover it.....sad because hubby is scared and worried.....I'm scared just because its a surgery. I know that this is a common thing know, but I am still worried. So, if anyone has been thru this, please let me know what to expect. Thanks for letting me vent......
 

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Am sending prayers, hugs and aloha as you both go through this. Have no personal knowledge, but am heading that way myself. Surgery is a big deal, regardless of how common knee replacement is these days. Please keep us in the loop as to the particulars - when, etc.
 

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My thoughts and prayers are with you. Surgery IS scary - my DH is having stomach surgery tomorrow - I know how worrying it is. Believe me, I won't be able to breathe until the nurse comes out and tells me how it went.

On the bright side, I know a couple people with hip replacements, and they say that after the surgery, they had wished they had the surgery sooner - because they don't have the joint pain anymore.

Lets pray for each other's hubbys, okay? :)
 
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My 88 yr old father had one about 8 years ago...and our neighbor had one 2 years ago.

the best advise I can give you is to make sure he follows the doctors orders. (what you DON'T want to tell him is it is a very painful recovery.)~they will get him up walking as soon as possible. HOWEVER...anyone I've talked to that has had one has said they wished they would have done it sooner.
Good Luck~!
 
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A friend had both of her knees replaced last Nov.( had to do both, she was afraid if she did one she wouldnt go back for the other one.) She said she did exactly what she was told to do and is now in the mountains climbing and hiking.

I know it was painful for her, but she also said she wished she would have done it sooner. I guess having a good attitude helps you get through the tough parts. Sorry thats about all I know. I hope he has a quick recovery. Almost forgot, will sent up a healing prayer for him.
 

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Prayers and good luck to him!! :)
 

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My Mom has had both replaced, one last year and one 10 yrs ago. Evey surgery has its risks but if nothing unexpected occurs here is what to expect:

If a pre surgery PT session can be done, it is worth the time. Exercises to get the muscles into better shape prior to surgery means they will be better conditioned to recover after surgery. This goes for the whole body too.... the stronger going in, the stronger coming out. So exercising BOTH legs is important as one knee recovers the OTHER leg gets to do all the normal work. The arms get more of a work out too on the walker and for pushing up from chairs.

Surgery day... lots of waiting on your part. Lots of sleeping on his.

Post Op day 1 - dressings usually get changed by nursing, PT and OT (occupational therapy) evaluations. This will most likely include getting out of bed to the chair, the commode and even walking if everything goes well. Sometimes a person may only make it 10-15 feet to the bathroom with a walker but getting out of bed is the big thing.

IV meds usually get replaced by Pills. ICE THAT KNEE !!! My Mom's hospital offered cold sleeves that circulate ice water through a plastic sleeve that fit around the knee.... It did wonders for the pain. Don't let the pain get above a 3 on a 0-10 scale. If it hits 4... get meds or ice. There is no need to be a martyr with the pain and as long as the meds are tolerated, use them to the best advantage.

CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machines may be ordered by the physician it moves the knee through bending and straightening while the person rest in bed. It also helps prevent swelling from occurring and the knee from becoming stiff. Not all places offer this. :(

Many times blood is given and hematocrit readings are taken way too early in the morning. Some hospitals will collect the blood from the surgery itself and use that to give back to the patient.

ANKLE PUMPS are an important exercise to do. There is a higher risk of blood clots forming after surgeries and it is better to prevent them than it is to try and dissolve them. Blood thinners are usually give 10-14 days after surgery to help prevent them as well.

Post Op day 2 - More PT to work on getting in/out of bed and learning how to do it without holding the leg. Exercises and more exercises. :D Gadgets such as leg lifters can usually be purchased to help those first few days.

OT will want to see how well your husband can dress himself, can he get shoes on, get on/off the commode, in/out of the chair, tub, etc.

PT and OT is more of the same until the the patient is safe, and mobile. This will include stairs and even car transfers.

Post op day 3 - Most people are discharged on day 3 in this area. If it is done at a VA hospital the plan may be different. Patients can be discharged home, or to a rehab facility (many hospitals now have their own).

In this region, patients discharged home get home nursing to check the incision and home PT for continued mobility. Getting in and out of a hospital room can be very different from negotiating around the coffee table, cats and carpeted floors.

That will last for another 1-2 weeks until the patient is mobile enough to go to out patient PT. There... yup, more exercises, lots of stretching to regain the range of motion. Once the incision is healed massage of the area will help prevent scarring down and will improve the condition of the skin. More exercises.

Some modalities such as electrical stimulation which in conjunction with active muscle contractions will help regain strength sooner. More stretching, a stationary bike, more exercises.... :D ICE down after each session.

Once range is achieved that will go from fully straight to about 110-120 degrees of bending. PT will typically discharge with just an occasional follow up visit to the surgeon.

It is important that range is maintained. My Mom's first knee surgery was on her left leg and she did fine... six months later she climbed in the passengers seat of my compact car.... yeah, that knee didn't want to bend THAT far. LOL So she did a few exercises to remind the knee who was boss.

Most people who follow the Dr's and PT's instructions do very well. My MIL recently had hers done over the Easter holiday but staff is usually off or limited so she didn't get the PT that she should have the first 2-3 days. CPM machines are not the standard of care where she is at and after a week her motion became so limited that the surgeon had to manipulate her knee under anesthesia THEN ordered a CPM machine for her. NOT FUN! She lost a week's worth of recovery so her recovery was prolonged that much longer.

Side notes:

Six weeks after total knee replacements you can not tell the difference between those knees who have had the CPM and those who have not, so long term effectiveness is not significant. Short term effectiveness is the plan those first few weeks.

PT stands for Pain and Torture and OT is the OTHER torture.

It is going to hurt like **** but is well worth the outcome. Most all people are glad they had it done.

As with any surgery, a reputable surgeon and anesthetist are CRUCIAL. Ask around to see who else in your area has had a Total KNee Replacement and ask who, what, where, when and how questions.


Sorry this is so long but I hope the information helps.
Good luck to him.

Ceashels
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First - thank you everyone!!!

We just got the surgery info....he goes today for a preop test, then next week for something else, finally the surgery on July 26. They are telling him he will have surgery on Tuesday and be home on Friday. His civillian dr did say this is all caused from service related injury..... No, the va isnt doing the surgery....right now, they arent doing anything for him. Hubby did talk to a va person yesterday that seemed to have his act together. He is sending some reports from the initial accident/surgery - (25 yrs ago in service). Once we receive this, we have to take it somewhere to get all the records updated again (va or dav???I'm not sure)......so, maybe after the fact they will help him.....The main thing, he is getting everything taken care of.
 

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i am a home care RN and alot of my pts have knee repklacements - i am usually out of the care within a week or two once staples are out and the incisions are healed- PT and OT are usually with them a few weeks .

knees are a little harder than hips to recover from - because the type of joint and the movement of the knee affects the incision more than movement of hip affects a hip incision - but most who had to get it done due to previous injuries- wear and tear were within a few weeks so glad they had it done :)
 
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Well, things just keep getting better and better......Dr office just called.....we have to pay his bill prior to the surgery.....
 

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dwnloom :hugz: I hope you are able to come up with the money soon. Things are super hard when it comes to medical, they want their money and are not willing to take the chance that someone can't pay. I'll be praying for you to find the funds and for your husband to get some relief.

I remember when I had my youngest the hospital set me up with a payment plan prior to delivery. They told me NOT to come to their hospital when in labor unless I had their bill paid in full prior to admission. It was a very stressful pregnancy trying to get the entire bill paid before delivery. They had no mercy at all, it had to be paid or no delivery in their hospital. Even told me if I showed up at their door that I would be examined and if not immediately ready to deliver they would not admit me and would be told to seek help from another hospital. The billing clerk had me crying every week (I personally had to make payments at the billing office each week after payday), telling me I wasn't giving them enough and don't even think of showing up in labor without it being paid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We just paid dr office, so surgery is set for July 26. Hubby goes to dr office tomorrow to discuss last minute details. He had preop tests done last week. I imagine those will be discussed also. He seems to be in good spirits about everything. I think he is just tired of hurting. Me, I'm just worried.

Thanks for all of the wishes and advice. I know he will be better off once its done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
New update - another bill.....Hospital this time $4000......and he hasnt even had surgery yet.
 

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Ouchie - big bill, $4000. I'm not looking forward to when the bills start rolling in either.

I'm sending good vibes your way for a good outcome for your DH's surgery. (((hugs)))
 
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Well we have an update...first hubby is doing extremely well. We received a hospital bill today......it looks like we might not owe 4000 after all. The bill is showing a balance of 202. So we are very hopeful that that is truly the balance. So we are saying prayers and have fingers crossed. Should know something Monday.
 
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