A 53-year old member at HealthBoards.com, tiredbeinsick, described her experience with knee replacement surgery recovery, and shared some information she wished she had known.
After experiencing horrible knee pain for 5 years, tiredbeinsick saw an orthopedist and agreed to surgery. Based on what he said, she thought she’d be up and running around in no time.
“In my mind I heard 3 weeks I’ll be fine!” she said. In reality, it took 6 to 12 weeks for her knee replacement surgery recovery.
Prior to surgery, she was given the option of several types of anesthesia. She chose not to have a catheter. Unfortunately, she a had a bit of problem during her knee replacement surgery recovery because she couldn’t tolerate the first pain medication.
knee replacement surgery recovery: day 1
“When I came out of surgery I was on the morphine pump,” she said. “I was very itchy but in no pain. As the day progressed, the itching became worse. Apparently, itching is a side effect. I had [it] to the extreme and had itched bleeding sores. [The] pain med was changed to something that did not work well. Finally, [the] 3rd change worked. I was weepy. I recall using the bed pan only several times. to pee. I was pretty much in a blur for 1 1/2 days.”
knee replacement surgery recovery: day 2-4
On the second day, tiredbeinsick said she was able to walk to the bathroom on her own using a walker. “I discovered I was unable to lift my leg at all and had to have it lifted for me,” she said.
On the third day, she said she was very alert. However, “while the incision site seemed numb, my left side of shin and left side of upper thigh throbbed as if hit by a car.”
On the fourth day after surgery, tiredbeinsick was transfered to a recovery facility for a week of aftercare and physical therapy.
Once at the recovery facility, she was asked if she’d had a bowel movement. “No! [I] was given a stool softener and laxative for 4 more days with no results. It seems everyone had the same problem. So on top of pain your dealing with constipation.
If you have to go to an aftercare facility for your knee replacement surgery recovery, don’t expect to be waited on hand and foot.
“….Nurses are busy, [so] don’t expect to be babied,” she said. “They put a triangle bar on the over hang of bed so you could pull your self in. I made a circle with a piece of fabric and hooked it on my foot to pull my leg up in to bed, it worked great.”