I think it depends on the support you have once you come home. If you have loved ones/close friends willing to care for you around the clock, then getting both knees done at once is definitely worth it. You get the whole process over with in one surgery and only have to rehab once.
I was scheduled for both knees, but had complications during surgery, so the surgeon stopped after one knee. A year later my first knee was well enough to do the second. Now, I've had both knees replaced (TKR). I had my second knee replaced in November, 2013.
I live alone so in retrospect, I feel lucky that I had them done one at a time. I couldn't imagine coming home alone with two new knees and no one to help me, drive me around, etc.
I've read quite a few posts from people on this site who've had bilateral TKR and they have no regrets. And I have had no regrets about doing them one at a time.
Again, it depends on the support you have at home if you do both at once.
I'm "that one lady" who spoke of self manipulation of the knee and I did do it like crazy! I was really aggressive with the rubbing and manipulating. I actually heard and felt the adhesions break more than a couple of times.
I just had my second knee replaced in November of 2013 - so both knees are TKR now.
Like you, I spent too many years in severe pain - 31 years for me. Having new knees is awesome! I can squat for the first time in my life! That may sound silly to a healthy person, but it's a dream come true for me.
I just completed physical therapy on my second knee (my left) this week. I'm zero degrees extension on both and 139 degrees on the right and 127 degrees on the left for flexing. My left knee had extensive damage and needed rebar built in to support the leg. My surgeon was so surprised about my left knee that on my first follow up post op, he showed me the x-rays so I could see the rebar. That's why it has a 127 degree bend - and I'll gladly take that!! That's a great number.
You'll do fine. With two knees to rehab, I hope you'll be doing outpatient PT and have lots of support around the clock the moment you come home. I live alone, so my doctor arranged for me to stay in a rehab hospital for the first three weeks after each knee. By the time I went home, I was able to navigate around very well by myself.
I wish you all the very best. If you have any questions or need encouragement afterward, I'm here for you.View Thread
If you re-read my answer above, I completed three full months of outpatient physical therapy. I went three days a week, two and a half hours on each day. The therapist massaged my knee, manipulated it, measured it and taught me numerous exercises.
One and a half months into physical therapy, I was stalling on my extension. I've had arthritis in both knees for 30 years (since age 23). My ligaments and soft tissue were not responding timely.
I continued my physical therapy, but my therapist consulted my surgeon and the splint was ordered in addition to therapy. A splint can be used to either aid in bending (flexion) or extension (straightening).
Who told you that you cannot use cold on the knee or take pain killers? Both are necessary. Every physical therapist and surgeon recommends ice wraps on the knee after surgery to reduce inflammation and ease pain. And every doctor prescribes a pain medicine because TKR pain is miserable.View Thread
Please, please don't feel bad about needing your narcotic pain meds. For goodness sake, you had not one but TWO knees replaced!! Don't feel guilty and think you must taper your meds so soon! I was prescribed Oxycodone for the first two months and switched to Vicodin in the third month and took it twice a day. Like you, I tried to not use the Oxycodone much, but I'd end up crying with horrible pain and regretting the whole surgery. So, I stopped feeling guilty and took the meds.
And crying? Oh my gosh, I only had one knee done and I cried so hard and so often once I got home and started outpatient physical therapy. I cried during PT for the first month.
I was supposed to have bilateral TKR, like you, but I had complications during surgery, so only one knee was done and I spent 20 days in a rehab hospital.
I think your numbers of 95 and 100 are incredible just three weeks out of surgery! Frankly, I'm jealous!! Believe me, you're doing very well for three weeks.
Though you may not believe it now, be glad you were able to get both done at once. It's all over.
I don't have any good answers about how to sleep. Perhaps someone else will reply.
For me, the intense crying-type pain ended after two months. I had many more complications though, so yours may end much sooner. It DOES get better. It sure isn't easy but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Take your pain meds. Don't give up on PT no matter what.
I hope you'll post again and tell us how you're doing. Good luck!View Thread
If your range of motion has stalled, you might ask your doctor about wearing a splint first. When I was two months out of my total knee replacement, I stalled, too. My problem was extension, not flexion. Still, it's all about range of motion - whether bending it or straightening it.
My physical therapist talked to me about a Dyna splint. He contacted my surgeon, who approved it. It's not comfortable at first, but it sure does the job. I couldn't keep it on for more than a few minutes at a time for the first month. I'd make sure I wore it at least an hour every day, even if it took five hours to finish that one hour. Over time, I could wear it for 20 minutes, then 30 and eventually nearly an hour straight.
My extension started at negative 22 degrees. When I finished my three months of physical therapy and wearing the splint for three full months (an hour to two hours a day, everyday), my extension was zero degrees - flat and straight!
To answer your question, the splint worked. I never needed the procedure your speaking of.
I had my TKR is Sept., 20112 I began wearing the splint in Nov. and stopped wearing it the end of Jan., 2013. My physical therapy (3 months, 3 days a week) ended the end of Dec. 2012.
Good luck with your knee and post back to let us know what you decided to do.View Thread