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January 29, 2018 (BTKR or RTKR)

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by SADD, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. SADD

    SADD
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    This is my date for my BTKR however I still have the option of only doing the RTKR. I have up to two weeks before my surgery to decide this. I am leaning more to doing it in stages rather then both. I know I am the only one that can decide this but hope I can get pros and cons from everyone on here. I am anxious and have a lot of questions for all you. I am the type of person that needs to know everything about what is going to happen and also I want to prepare far in advance for anything I may need at home. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @SADD - and :welome:

    @SusieShoes and @Roy Gardiner have both had bilaterals and done well.

    Ask away with your questions! We''ll do our best to help you through this.

    As a start, here is some pre-op information:
    If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
    Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
    Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
    BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
    Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

    If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
    Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
    Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
    Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

    Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

    And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
    Stories of amazing knee recoveries
     
  3. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Why?

    BTKR = 1 surgery, 1 recovery. With 2 separate TKRs the time in between is simply added on to your recovery time. The worst part of recovery IMO is the first 2 months, and that's a normal sort-of gap between TKRs. "Do you want 2 miserable months or 4?" "ooh, err, tough one...."

    Seriously; you do need a good support structure - people around you to help like partner - with BTKR because getting around for at least 2 weeks is tough. Other than that I'm 100% for BTKR.
     
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  4. bottomshollow

    bottomshollow ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    winter welcome 5.jpg @SADD, we're so pleased that you have joined us here on the forum---and glad to see that you were able to start your own thread (I knew you could:)).

    I had my first knee on a Monday and the second on Thursday (my OS would not do both at one time which I would have preferred). However, I had only one recovery. I really do not feel that it is any more difficult to recover from both knees at the same time than doing it one at a time except that you don't have to go through that tough initial three months but once.

    No matter what you decide, both together or one at a time, the main thing that will make recovery the best possible is to follow the BoneSmart philosophy of recovery.
    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now; they are almost certainly temporary

    2. Control discomfort:

    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. Here is a week-by-week guide for Activity progression for TKRs

    We are here to help in any way we can: answering questions and concerns; supporting and encouraging you from start to finish; giving you a place to vent, whine, complain if you need to; sharing experiences with one another; and having fun and some laughs along the way.

    Take care and keep us posted. We care.
     
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  5. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, I had BTKR. I knew it would be tough at first (I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. :heehee:) but my surgeon also said what others have said here: one surgery, one recovery. He called BTKR recovery “intense,” which it was, but also said people who had the surgery did just as well as people who had staged recoveries.

    I would do it again. Yes, the first couple of weeks are a bit rough in terms of moving around. One of my knees was a bit less painful than the other after surgery and became my “good” leg for recovery. If you have bilateral replacements, you will find that each knee recovers at its own pace and in its own way. Both get to the same place in the end.

    I was surprised to find I recovered as quickly as people who had single replacements. Each of my knees WAS a single replacement, just at the same time. So I got through the one recovery with both knees.

    I am seven months out from my surgery and most of the time don’t even think about my knees. They’re painless, strong, and able. I can do everything I want to do. I never was a runner, but I can bike around the neighborhood and swim, plus walk all day if I want or need to. I chase my grandchildren. My life is so much better now!

    As others will tell you, a good support system is a big help. I did have that. Also, though, I was alone during the day after the first couple weeks. I was able to fend very well for myself doing the day to day things. Things that require leaving the house or driving, though, needed to be done by someone else until I was able to drive at six weeks. That’s par for the course for single replacements also.

    If you have questions, this is a good forum for getting answers. We have many active members who’ve had staged and bilateral replacements. If you go to the Recovery Forum, you can read the recovery threads of other members to find out their experiences. I found reading those threads very helpful leading up to my surgery.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  6. SADD

    SADD
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    Wonderful info I am getting. Especially on "bathroom" issues!!!
     
  7. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Our bowels are the center of the universe at times. :groan:
     
  8. Jockette

    Jockette

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    My four month old granddaughter on her first Christmas got a children’s book called, “Everyone Poops”!
    :groan:
     
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  9. SherrieT

    SherrieT

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    When I had other surgeries it was "everybody poops, until they can't. And then it becomes the center of your universe. "

    But I do remember my kids getting that book when they were little.
     
  10. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I wish I could have had a bilateral. My doctor doesn't do them. Now, I'm still facing another one. If I would you, I'd really consider doing both at the same time. It sounds like the staged ones are actually harder on people because instead of recovery of both at once, the first one gets partially recovered and then the second one is done. Then, you're starting all over again. A one year recover turns in to longer because of the last knee's recovery.
     

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