Facing knee replacement...tell me what to expect!
I have bad knees, history of osteoarthritis and two prior knee surgeries. It hurts when I ride, and has for years. Am currently scheduled for a total right knee replacement. I am 54, disgustingly healthy, and a little "fluffy". Has anyone out there had a knee replacement? How long til you started riding again? My surgeon is a great doctor, but not a horse person.
I had a knee replacement to remove a tumor in my knee on May 23rd :) I was told to wait 12 weeks before riding again. I still went out to visit the horses and feed them treats. You still also probably lunge them and do natural horsemanship. Just remember to always have prescription pain meds on hand, and don't ride if you feel too loopy :) Let yourself recover, or else you may permanently damage your knees :)
Just had mine in July of this year, it was the 7th and hopefully last operation for that knee. Where to start? Let's talk the bad first. Well, there will be lot of pain in the beginning so take your meds on schedule and it is MOST important to start PT right away. I know it's hard to think of moving the knee when it's so painful but I guarantee you will have a lot faster recovery if you start the PT and the straightening process early on. Bending comes later as the swelling decreases but stretching your hamstrings is a #1 priority.
You will have to relearn to walk if you are at all like me and limped for years before you get the replacement. In a way, relearning to walk straight caused me the most problems-that and balance. I chronically limped and couldn't keep the knee straight nor totally bent so all the muscles and tendons were stretched/shorted. I had to do a lot of rehab just to walk straight. The docs have to basically stretch all the surrounding muscles/tendons out to put in the implants so muscle groups like your quads are shorthened, pissy and painful afterwards and you will be amazed at the dip in the middle of your thigh where your quads used to be :wink: no worries though, with time and effort they come back.
As a fellow "fluffy" person I can tell you the more weight you loose before the surgery and any conditioning you can do (stationary bike, swimming, etc) will be of great help to you after the surgery. If you have a rehab place near you with a pool I can't stress enough how beneficial the water is! I was fit but fat before and I regained almost normal strength within 8 weeks-now flexability is still a work in progress LOL. I lost 16 more pounds after the surgery mostly because I had laid in a supply of diet microwave food and didn't keep any snacks in the house post-surg. My spouse works days and when he wasn't home to fetch stuff for me it was easy to tell myself "nah it'll hurt too much to get up and get some cookies and milk."
The good? I swung a leg over a horse again 8 weeks post surg-but I'm kinda nutz so don't use that as a rule! At 10 weeks I was riding for 20 minutes in a western saddle and am slowly increasing the time in the saddle. After my longest ride yet I went to swing my leg over and my right leg just went limp-the one I had worked on- and I just hung there with my leg laying on my mare's butt. God love her, she just twitched her ears like "okay, what are we doing?" but she stood still. I can even envision myself getting back into an english saddle sometime in the future. At 10 weeks my knee was less painful than prior to the surgery and it gets better every day. The weirdest thing to get used to is the sliding/clicking that it does...before when my knee would click it'd be painful so I have to teach myself to trust the knee all over again.
Before your surgery: clean house, stock the fridg and freezer and get yourself lots of comfy capri/short sweat pants as you'll be living in them 24.7 for awhile. Oh, and if it is your right knee, you'd better get used to the idea that you won't be driving for maybe 8 weeks! It's not the motion of driving, it's that you have to get well enough to do without pain management ;)
HTH, and good luck.
Thanks, I am planning on being VERY diligent with my PT...I really want a good outcome. I am a little bummed that I just finished rehabbing a 4 Star LQ trailer and will prob only manage one trip in it before surgery. On the bright side, I wil have an excuse to dodge outside chores this winter & hopefully will be back in the saddle and ready to ride next Spring.
Good luck with your surgery, I know that replacements are in my future, have had both scoped and cleaned out already.
My tip, invest in a cryocuff, AIRCAST CRYO/CUFF COOLER so soothing after surgery to keep swelling to a minimum.
A neighbor lady with terrible arthritis had her knee replaced last year and was out walking and finally pain free within days of the surgery and she's 75.
LOL, got mine on ebay for very little money and it is worth every penny
I don't have any personal experience with knee surgery or replacement, but I do have experience with something else that IMO would be highly beneficial.
There is a very high potential for you to rebuild your knee from the inside out without the need for replacement if you so wished. It will take time to accomplish and some dedication, but it would also halt and reverse the arthritis. :D
It's so simple that many people will try to discredit it without having any experience with it. But if having healed knees without recurring surgery and knee replacements is something that you desire, then may I suggest you do some research of your own into the subject.
Studying the works of Arnold Ehret, Dr. Robert Morse, and Dr. Douglas Graham will provide the necessary knowledge to get you started. These three are all very similar in what they suggest. IME, following what they teach will bring about the quickest and deepest form of healing. Something that heals even deeper would be, to water fast, but considering the things commonly found on the food shelves I would highly suggest leaving this alone for a while until you've done a lot of cleansing and healing already. There are also different things you could do which would help, such as avoiding certain foods, but if you start doing the research you will find them. :wink:
Bellasmom-you have gotten some really great advice from some of the folks here. Nothing better than someone who has been through it to tell you all about it for sure. I am glad you are ready for lots of work, because the PT is critically important. Does your hospital or MD have any sort of groups of joint replacement patients? Many times they do, and this is a great support system. I am also hoping that they have a pre-op education program as that is really helpful in letting you know exactly what to expect, and sometimes you tour the post op unit, meet some of the staff, etc. It can be helpful to wake up to a somewhat familiar place and face.
Yes, probably would benefit by losing a bit of weight, as it can decrease the surgical risks.
Totalfreedom-here we are again. I swear you just copy and paste the same post onto anything having to do with health. You refer folks to the same 3 people, and say the same stuff. It gets old. The people you are referring folks to are nothing short of dangerous.
Dr Morse-Not an MD. Runs an herbal pharmacy. Dr. Graham-also not an MD-runs "fast" camps(out of the country and has had deaths at these camps), has not been licensed since 2000 and has been disciplined by the State of Florida Dept of health. Dr. Ahret-died in 1922, so again-probably not up on todays medicine.
Apologies for the off track, OP.
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