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Partial (Lateral) Knee Replacement - Recovery Question - DRUGS!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all.

 

I'm scheduled for a partial knee replacement next month to correct my bone-on-bone, arthritis-stricken right knee. I'm generally comfortable with the idea as I've gone through the less invasive procedures (cortisone shot, synthetic gel injection, arthroscopy). My question today is to those who've had this surgery. I'm living on my own and don't really want to be on narcotic-based pain killers without a "babysitter". My sons are going to serve that purpose for the first few days after surgery but I'll then want to recruit friends to stay over until I'm off those meds.

 

Long story short: To those of you who've had this kind of surgery: how long were you taking narcotic pain killers? Was this around the clock or only at night to aid in sleeping?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

- David

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidInNH View Post
 

Hi all.

 

I'm scheduled for a partial knee replacement next month to correct my bone-on-bone, arthritis-stricken right knee. I'm generally comfortable with the idea as I've gone through the less invasive procedures (cortisone shot, synthetic gel injection, arthroscopy). My question today is to those who've had this surgery. I'm living on my own and don't really want to be on narcotic-based pain killers without a "babysitter". My sons are going to serve that purpose for the first few days after surgery but I'll then want to recruit friends to stay over until I'm off those meds.

 

Long story short: To those of you who've had this kind of surgery: how long were you taking narcotic pain killers? Was this around the clock or only at night to aid in sleeping?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

- David

 

Hey David, Speak to your OS, you should have this conversation with them.  Part of the surgery prep is to have a clear understanding of the recovery including prepping your home for the post surgery as well as to have your PT lined up and to understand the mental and physical challenges ahead.  I wish you a successful recovery and a speedy rehab.  

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response FinnDog. I'm pretty much in touch with what to expect. There is no expectation of any need for PT after the surgery as it is only a partial - no relocation of tendons, ligaments, etc. is required. Expectation is that I will be walking on the knee the same day as the surgery (or at the latest, the following day). I've talked about the amount of time that I can expect to be on the narcotics but all they could tell me is "most patients are off them in 2-3 weeks", but they couldn't tell me if this is for folks who had partial or full replacements. I'd expect the latter to require the meds for longer durations.

 

Just figured with all the people in this group who've had knee surgeries, that it would be a good place to get specific examples rather than the general stuff the surgeon's office can provide.

 

Thanks for your good wishes as well.

 

- David

post #4 of 17

After my THR,  I was on hydrocodone about a week, mostly to help sleep.  Maybe I'm drug resistant, but it's not that strong and I didn't need much supervision. I was back at work in a week.

 

I'm 2 1/2 years post op and I still do PT on my own everyday.  I think your kidding yourself,  if you think you won't need any.

Get in the best shape possible, before your procedure.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm in good shape, still biking 20 miles at a time (down from 30-40 due to the knee) and swimming and SCUBA diving weekly. I''m not expecting to need professional PT (as that's what the surgeon said) but am expecting to do significant exercising to regain any loss of strength from the surgery and the recovery period. Surgeon says I should be able to do anything (including skiing) within 4 months, although cautioned me to stay out of glades and moguls.

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidInNH View Post
 

Thanks for your response FinnDog. I'm pretty much in touch with what to expect. There is no expectation of any need for PT after the surgery as it is only a partial - no relocation of tendons, ligaments, etc. is required. Expectation is that I will be walking on the knee the same day as the surgery (or at the latest, the following day). I've talked about the amount of time that I can expect to be on the narcotics but all they could tell me is "most patients are off them in 2-3 weeks", but they couldn't tell me if this is for folks who had partial or full replacements. I'd expect the latter to require the meds for longer durations.

 

Just figured with all the people in this group who've had knee surgeries, that it would be a good place to get specific examples rather than the general stuff the surgeon's office can provide.

 

Thanks for your good wishes as well.

 

- David

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

After my THR,  I was on hydrocodone about a week, mostly to help sleep.  Maybe I'm drug resistant, but it's not that strong and I didn't need much supervision. I was back at work in a week.

 

I'm 2 1/2 years post op and I still do PT on my own everyday.  I think your kidding yourself,  if you think you won't need any.

Get in the best shape possible, before your procedure.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

 

You will WANT PT.  Why wouldn't you want professional help to recover faster, regain mobility, strength and to help correct poor muscle movement patterns you have undoubtedly have and may develop upon recovery. (you will be surprised how things will change once this is fixed)  Yes, we have all had many surgeries here and this is our advice based on our experience.  Each person's ability to manage pain is different, I only use opiodes for a few days to sleep as well but again, each person is different. Most people can function just fine on them but no driving of course. I just hate the way they make me feel and would rather use other means of pain management once the initial shit-show is over (after the block wears off LOL.)  

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 

 

 

You will WANT PT.  Why wouldn't you want professional help to recover faster, regain mobility, strength and to help correct poor muscle movement patterns you have undoubtedly have and may develop upon recovery. (you will be surprised how things will change once this is fixed)  Yes, we have all had many surgeries here and this is our advice based on our experience.  Each person's ability to manage pain is different, I only use opiodes for a few days to sleep as well but again, each person is different. Most people can function just fine on them but no driving of course. I just hate the way they make me feel and would rather use other means of pain management once the initial shit-show is over (after the block wears off LOL.)  


I've just been back to the doctor for my pre-op appointment and did in fact discuss PT. A visiting nurse will be coming to work with me 3x a week for the first two weeks and then I should be able to do out-patient PT. I guess I'm in for more than I expected! I also have the prescriptions filled for Oxycontin and Percoset. I would REALLY love to wind up throwing most of them away but we'll see.

post #8 of 17
My insurance would only pay for 20 sessions and I burned though that in three weeks.
As soon as my incision healed, I was back in the pool.
My local park district charged $6/day for a pool pass or $7 for an Aquafit class where I could still swim laps before or after.
I ended up loving the class and the ROM work helped as much or more than the regular PT.
I swim snd do ROM exercises everyday now and I think it helps a lot.

Best of luck, hopefully you'll get some turns this season! Keep us informed.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidInNH View Post
 


I've just been back to the doctor for my pre-op appointment and did in fact discuss PT. A visiting nurse will be coming to work with me 3x a week for the first two weeks and then I should be able to do out-patient PT. I guess I'm in for more than I expected! I also have the prescriptions filled for Oxycontin and Percoset. I would REALLY love to wind up throwing most of them away but we'll see.

I wish you a speedy and full recovery!

 

 Pain sucks, but its temporary, ice the crap out it, and I know this sounds dumb but if you work on not focusing on the pain, you can help to moderate it.  And dont forget to breath, seriously.  I get a bunch of good movies or books, ski-porn is best for inspiration :)  Focus on the future.  the mental aspect of this is real.  

post #10 of 17

Hi Dave,

I haven't had the surgery, but having seen it done on video, it looks pretty brutal.  Mind you, crashing your bike at a buck ten (which I have done) is also brutal, so I have some experience with pain meds.

 

Some say, "It's mind over matter; if you don't mind the pain it doesn't matter."  But it does matter; you need proper rest to heal properly.   What I've always done is take a good dose of the meds about 1/2 an hour before bed, and a second dose if the pain wakes me up in the night, and stay drug free (the meds were still in my system for part of the day though) during the day to let the pain warn me against doing too much.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Hi Dave,

I haven't had the surgery, but having seen it done on video, it looks pretty brutal.  Mind you, crashing your bike at a buck ten (which I have done) is also brutal, so I have some experience with pain meds.

 

Some say, "It's mind over matter; if you don't mind the pain it doesn't matter."  But it does matter; you need proper rest to heal properly.   What I've always done is take a good dose of the meds about 1/2 an hour before bed, and a second dose if the pain wakes me up in the night, and stay drug free (the meds were still in my system for part of the day though) during the day to let the pain warn me against doing too much.

 

 

^^^ good advice!  the first 72 hours tend to be the most intense and @Ghost is right.  I posted it above but I am sure you will have some kind of block and/or a huge dose of lidocaine in the area of the surgery (some are now doing a drip you take home and it goes into the surgery area for prolonged pain control) so speak with the surgeon about how long it will last, as it starts to wear off, (you will know) its a good idea to get the meds into your system BEFORE the blocks wear off.  As always, consult your OS for accurate medical advice!  

post #12 of 17

Good luck with your surgery, I've heard the partial knee surgery recovery is not bad. Ive had total replacement on both shoulders and used percocet for the first eight days on the first surgery and six days on the second one. After a couple of days you should be fine on your own at home.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all who responded. "Partial this", "full that": we do seem to break down a lot!

 

Maybe I should leave my next post when I'm doing the drugs!

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've had the surgery and am doing surprisingly well. Thursday morning I had the partial replacement and came home that evening, on Oxycontin, Aspirin and whatever else they gave me at the surgical center. No real pain that night. Following day was fine too with some minor pain in the late afternoon after the block wore off but I had Oxycodone with Tylenol to help out. Haven't taken much of that, but was getting some nausea from the narcotics. On Monday cut out the narcotics completely and am only taking athritis (time-release) Tylenol. A little pain at times but barely worth mentioning. My sons have been with me but tonight I'll be on my own and totally comfortable with that.

 

I'm walking around some without crutches in the house but taking them if I go outside just to have something to lean on if I get a little sore.

 

Once again, surprised at how easy this has gone. I'll check with the surgeon at my 2-week checkup as to whether I can drive. Clearly the part about being off of the narcotics will not be an issue.

 

Thanks for your information all!

 

- David

post #15 of 17
Hey David, great to hear y are doing so well! Let us know how the pt goes. Keep up the great work.

@DavidInNH
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

So far, so good. PT has been in-home but is likely to be out-patient starting next week. Range of motion is not that great yet but I feel well enough to walk a mile. Got into my car yesterday to see how easy it would be to move from gas to brake pedal and back, even practicing panic-stop moves. I felt absolutely fine, no pain, no weakness, as if I hadn't had the surgery. (Only mistake I made was to call the surgeon's office to see if I was allowed to drive - they'd prefer I wait until my post-op checkup (Thursday, three days from the call). Should have applied the "better to ask for forgiveness, than for permission" principle!

 

No drugs other than Tylenol and I've been lengthening the time between doses.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidInNH View Post
 

So far, so good. PT has been in-home but is likely to be out-patient starting next week. Range of motion is not that great yet but I feel well enough to walk a mile. Got into my car yesterday to see how easy it would be to move from gas to brake pedal and back, even practicing panic-stop moves. I felt absolutely fine, no pain, no weakness, as if I hadn't had the surgery. (Only mistake I made was to call the surgeon's office to see if I was allowed to drive - they'd prefer I wait until my post-op checkup (Thursday, three days from the call). Should have applied the "better to ask for forgiveness, than for permission" principle!

 

No drugs other than Tylenol and I've been lengthening the time between doses.

Yeah, dont worry, they wont mark your permanent record or call the cops!  :D   The key thing here is to ensure that in a panic breaking or driving situation, you have the control and strength required.   Sounds good and go according to DR and PT instruction! Its really easy to feel strong and impervious and then overdue it.  That will just prolong the healing;  not help.  

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