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 > Our last trip this year.... not why you think

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Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 11/04/12 07:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks again for all of the support and good input. Fortunately I lost ten pounds while in the hospital but frankly it is not a diet I recommend. The challenge facing me is knowing that the best thing for the knee is movement but it comes at a very painful price. They loaded me up with Oxycodin and muscle relaxants but they are narcotics that make don't make you smarter. I want to take as little as possible but need fairly large doses just to get through the pain. Hopefully I will be able to strike a balance between the two.

The right knee was severely injured 36 years ago and had been chronic so hopefully the left knee (that has given me no trouble over the years), will hold up. Best advice I can offer for anyone with this surgery in their future is to insist that they medicate you sufficiently. For the first 9 days I was getting about one third of what I should have been receiving and once they kicked the meds up to the proper levels the rehab got (a little), easier. Every day seems to bring at least a little improvement and yes at some point I will probably be glad for having had the surgery...but not just yet.

* This post was edited 11/04/12 10:25am by Desert Captain *

JJBIRISH

Butler, PA, USA

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Posted: 11/04/12 08:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live every day with pain for 20 years now and after 2 major surgeries, a year in a cast, and being told I might never walk again… I am walking and pain is a way of life… but I believe they were over medicating… while they help with pain I don’t like or use them any more than necessary and only non-narcotic for more than short durations…
They said they could eliminate the pain be cauterizing the nerves, and that I will never have done…

No matter how difficult it is to live with pain and it’s not fun, it also serves a purpose… it is nature’s warning system, it alerts us when something is wrong to prevent us from doing more harm to ourselves…

While it is an individual thing, Over medicating to make rehab more tolerable may be what is not needed for long term goals… work and rehab hard but don’t be too impatient and rush things more than they should be…
I hope all goes well for you


Love my mass produced, entry level, built by Lazy American Workers, Hornet


rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 11/04/12 09:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

I was released from the Rehab Ward at the Tucson VA Hospital this morning following my complete knee replacement surgery 17 days ago. Had not anticipated a 17 day stay but didn't have much say in the matter. I hope that someday I can look back, smile and say it was worth it but given the intense pain I have been through (and continue to endure), not so sure I'll be glad I went through it. Got the knee to bend through 90 degrees yesterday and will start a new round of intense Physical Therapy on Monday but at least I am finally home.

Still optimistic about getting to Quartzite in late January but the knee has a long way to go before that will be possible.


I had a friend that had both done, the first time didn't go as planed, pain and not much flexibility.
Can't remember if they did a replacement, or just went back in and loosened scar tissue, but he now has full movement!!


Russ & Paula
The Beagles Hedwig and Precious.
Portland, OR.
2001 Dodge 2500 4X4, 5.9 Cummins 5 speed, 3.55 gears, Pacbrake PRXB, DS Power Puck,Bilstien 5100's, 270,000 miles.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS


Bob Vaughn

Seffner, Fl.

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Posted: 11/04/12 12:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a total hip replacement last fall....It kept me from camping till after the 1st of the year. When I went to see the surgeon he said to me "do you know that one of your legs is longer than the other" I replied that i did because my wife always had to make one of my pants legs longer than the other" He said I also noticed that you walked crooked when you walk. I asked if that would cause back pain and he told me it surely would. My primary care physician said I had a bulging disk and was giving me cortisone shots which did not help. So the surgeon said I will lengthen the short leg and your back pain will go away . By golly he was right. I had no clue that my hip had gone bad till we went to NYC and it was all I could do to walk any distance....I am so glad I had it done, even with the excruiating rehab....

Jarlaxle

New England

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Posted: 11/04/12 04:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

best wishes for recovery, DC.

I am fighting with my wife now...her left knee ('scoped due to torn cartilage maybe seven years ago) is bothering her again. She won't admit it, but after 16+ years of marriage, she doesn't HAVE to. My badgering finally wore her down...she's going for an MRI a week from tomorrow.

She will probably need a replacement eventually...but I was hoping for it in maybe 20 years.


John and Elizabeth (Liz), with 3 nutty cats
My beloved St. Bernard, Marm, lost him 1/2/12
Current rig:
1992 International Genesis school bus conversion

Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 11/20/12 09:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP Update:

It has been just over one month since the surgery, I go back to see the surgeon for a followup this afternoon. Seems like I am making a little more progress every day but the pain levels remain off the chart on the high side. Was finally able to get a complete 360 degree rotation from the new knee and my Physical Therapist is pleased with my progress. He gave me the green light to get into the pool as the incision has finally healed completely and the swimming seems to help and generates less pain than walking or the recumbent bike.

I am going seriously stir crazy and the very first chance we get we will be going camping but I am still not able to move around enough to do all of the things I need to do. Quartzite in January is looking pretty good at the rate I'm healing. We will have a campfire in the back yard tonight, not the same as camping but as close as I can currently get. Still can't say it was worth it but hopefully that day will come.

noe-place

Somerset, Kentucky

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Posted: 11/21/12 10:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You all are a good source of information. I suddenlly started having severe pain in my left knee this summer. My daughter is an Occupaitonal Therapist and she told me to get to the doctor yesterday. I told her I've had knee pain all my life; very active in sports as a young guy (I just turned 65). But my doc sent me for an MRI and the ortho surgeon told me the cartilage on the inner half of my knee is "gone" and the miniscus is torn intwo. He told me scoping would be useless in my case but that a knee replacement would solve my pain. The pain wasn't too bad at the time I spoke to the ortho so he told me to give it a couple of months and let my knee make the decision for me. It's three months later and I'm still going strong without the surgery. I play golf, walk and carry my clubs and I do have some swelling after 18 holes but it goes away almost immediately after I get home. I'm hoping to continue this way for as long as I can. I walk with no pain and do yardwork, etc. Like the ortho said I'll let my knee make the "decision" for me when the pain gets so severe I can't stand it. Thanks to all of you for posting about your individual cases. I found it very helpful. Good luck and camping to all of us.

* This post was edited 11/21/12 10:51pm by noe-place *

Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 11/22/12 07:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with letting your knee make the call. Unfortunately mine did and I had no choice. Put off the replacement as long as you are able as what I am going through is a tad worse than hell. Before the surgery and after as well, I found that icing the knee helps a lot. The acronym "ICE" = ice, compression and elevation works well and Ibprofen also worked. Accupuncture bought me an addition ten years but in the end replacement was my only alternative. Good Luck!

Jarlaxle

New England

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Posted: 11/22/12 07:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

noe-place wrote:

You all are a good source of information. I suddenlly started having severe pain in my left knee this summer. My daughter is an Occupaitonal Therapist and she told me to get to the doctor yesterday. I told her I've had knee pain all my life; very active in sports as a young guy (I just turned 65). But my doc sent me for an MRI and the ortho surgeon told me the cartilage on the inner half of my knee is "gone" and the miniscus is torn intwo. He told me scoping would be useless in my case but that a knee replacement would solve my pain. The pain wasn't too bad at the time I spoke to the ortho so he told me to give it a couple of months and let my knee make the decision for me. It's three months later and I'm still going strong without the surgery. I play golf, walk and carry my clubs and I do have some swelling after 18 holes but it goes away almost immediately after I get home. I'm hoping to continue this way for as long as I can. I walk with no pain and do yardwork, etc. Like the ortho said I'll let my knee make the "decision" for me when the pain gets so severe I can't stand it. Thanks to all of you for posting about your individual cases. I found it very helpful. Good luck and camping to all of us.


Have you looked into some of the non-invasive stuff? A guy I work with (also no cartilage) had some sort of polymer injected in his knee and it worked great.

jake2250

Sacramento

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Posted: 11/22/12 08:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Captain, Glad to hear you are getting better,
Unfortunate to hear about the pain, I hope that to gets better.
Good luck on the recovery and hope you get to camp in January!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

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