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Lance A Lott

knee replacement Update

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Just had my right knee replaced about 2 hours ago. Now I can work on the Volvo again! Well in a month or so. We will probably have snow atleast that long anyway. I have to figure out why the abs dose not work, the left front brake grabs and I need to install the premium shifter and lots of other stuff, the longer I lay here the longer the list will get. 

I also want to make a binder to show law enforcement. Maybe I will even have time to post build pictures from last July.

 

Well it's been 6 weeks and 6 days so thought I would update for any thinking of having this done. The knee has no pain and works just fine. I have had difficulty with the soft tissue behind the knee and down into the calf. This has put me 2 weeks or so behind where my father was with his replacements. After 34 years of being bent the tissue just domt wont to move but they are going if a little slow. 

This past week I went back to work driving school bus, got the Volvo out of storage, cut up some trees, rode a horse and trimmed a horses feet. I haven't used a cane or crutch for two weeks and have put that stuff in storage. My limp gets better every day and if I dont over do, like yesterday, I get out of bed with no limp. 

I can now see that I will be fine and am going to be very glad I had the operation. O ya I can now sleep through the night in bed.

I did almost none of the things I wanted to do, pt takes up a lot of time and reading was of little interest, I watched a lot of tv.

Edited by Lance A Lott

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Lance, Whoever told you that you would be able to work on the Volvo in a month is dreaming. I have had 2 replacements and it was closer to 4-6 months if not longer. You will need PT for up to 2 months and then you are still not 100%. If you had a partial knee replacement that goes faster but not 1 month.

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1 hour ago, SWharton said:

Lance, Whoever told you that you would be able to work on the Volvo in a month is dreaming. I have had 2 replacements and it was closer to 4-6 months if not longer. You will need PT for up to 2 months and then you are still not 100%. If you had a partial knee replacement that goes faster but not 1 month.

I do think it's a different experience for each individual. My wife had full replacements and was up and running, so to speak, within a month after each surgery. YMMV Jay

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Right one was done on Tuesday, left one on Friday.

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After ten days of impatient physical therapy.

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Year later, walker used as an exercise equipment.

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How quickly you recover depends how much pain you can tolerate. I can tolerate a lot and the first month was a bitch. Physical therapists will gauge your level from receiver, to a linebacker to a kicker to a wimp and supply a commensurate level of pain. The more you can take the quicker you will recover to normal (and beyond). I've regained not only the use of the knees but also of many other physical capabilities that went dormant with years of bad knees.

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1 hour ago, SWharton said:

x2. Took me about 6 months for full recovery of each knee. Year before I stopped thinking about them.

That's about the right time frame, it's a sizable "disturbance" to things. But I think you will agree that these are positive thoughts, like "what a difference this procedure made," "it was worth the discomfort", "I wish I did it sooner", "all the pain and baloney I put up with before for years is gone, ENTIRELY". Etc! 

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Agree about everything. Hindsight is "why did I wait?". I believe that is true for a majority of replacements.

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I was told 15 years ago that it would be 5 years 10 on the outside before I would need a replacement but I was so young they wanted to go as long as possible. The last year has been the hardest by far , the pain and limping would come and go. Today makes you question why I had it done. My father has had both done in the last couple of years, by the same Dr. I am sure it take a while to do any heavy work on the truck they tell me pt,pt,pt is the secret. I am keeping my fingers crossed. 

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I toughed it out for 10 years, doctor thought I would be back in 1. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Agree PT is the secret. There is  lot of recovery of muscles to be done.

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Take a good look in the pictures above at the calves of of my legs standing by the pool and a year later. Years of hobbling and last year literally 100% on the walker and lots of muscles went away and atrophied, almost to nothing like my lower legs. Bending down or getting down on the floor, forget it. I would need two people to get me back up. I got to a point when I got pissed at three doctors when they were screwing around trying to determine when would be a "good time" to schedule the operation (there were other complications preventing it).  Do it now and do them both! Three day apart is the shortest interval they allow and they don't them both, ever, at the same time.

Yeah it was tough, but then there is that wonderful oxicodone, I can see why folks get hooked on it. I can't see why anyone would put up with the side effects of that crap when you get "serious doses", I guess when you are hooked you are hooked. 

Edited by phoenix2013

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Thay must have me on a low dose because I haven't noticed any thing from the oxycodone, at least stuff people would take it for "fun" are looking for. Phoenix I have got to hand it to you doing both at once, or maybe your wife, mine is running her self raggid with me the kids the wood boiler, the 93 year old mother  and the two other lady's we take care of. It sound like you were much worse off than I was. Your results give me encouragement.

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My husband just had brain surgery and he was on Oxy, slept 16-18 hours a day if not longer. Told him he had to get off, feels a lot better now and is sleeping normal. Went to Tylenol.

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My dad has had both knees and a hip done now the oxycodone made him see wall colors that were not there and set of his his anxiety. As I recall he couldn't sleep. And of course there's the wonderful constipation.  So far so good for me but I am already taking the minimum dose they recommended.  I promise not to bore all of you with my progress!

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8 hours ago, Lance A Lott said:

Thay must have me on a low dose because I haven't noticed any thing from the oxycodone, at least stuff people would take it for "fun" are looking for. Phoenix I have got to hand it to you doing both at once, or maybe your wife, mine is running her self raggid with me the kids the wood boiler, the 93 year old mother  and the two other lady's we take care of. It sound like you were much worse off than I was. Your results give me encouragement.

I had a very aggressive form of rheumatoid arthritis that pretty much "ate" both of my knees to bone on bone (one was actually bone in bone). I had three doctors working on the situation, my general, an RA specialist and my orthopedic surgeon. The RA had to go first which required massive doses of cortisone, that takes over your immune system, so they can't do the surgery. Postponement # 1, then it takes time to see if the RA has been beaten down, postponement # 2,  then you have to be weaned down gradually from the cortisone to bring back the immune system, they did not time it well and I was still too high on cortisone when the knee guy had the "window" (windows for the Conformis procedure, new kind of knees) was 3 months apart. Postponement # 3  In the meantime this was my existence.

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It may sound weird but I couldn't wait for the day they put my ass under and chopped out those aching bastards and turned them in bio waste to be incinerated. Yea the PT was a bitch, but knee pain was instantly gone, forever. I had days when it took me half an hour to get out of the recliner (last six months I couldn't sleep in a regular bed much less to get out of one) and then hardly make it from the house to the car to see the doctors. Now you understand why I couldn't wait for the surgery and do both at the same time.

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Howdy All,

This thread is of great interest to me.  My knees are shot, both of them, they have been for years. 

Pain, yeah I got lots of it, limited movement, really impacts my life I don't do anywhere near the motorcycling I used to.  All I have for health care is the va, their record of doing good joint replacements here at the seattle va is not one that inspires any confidence in a good outcome.  One of my best friends had his hips replaced at the seattle va, when they did the first one the leg they worked on ended up being an inch shorter then his other leg.  When Don complained that this made it hard to walk they told him don't worry about it next year when we do the other leg we will make it match the one we just worked on, in the mean time bring your shoes in so we can add an inch spacer to the soles of the shoes you wear on your right leg.

That's just one example, one where I know the person worked on very well, there are many others who can give the same report of work done to their loved ones.  I really need to get it done, problem is in a couple of days I'll be 71 years old and the va isn't real interested in spending the money on us old guys couple that with the deaths that have occurred at the seattle va on older vets who have had to undergo surgery and its darn hard to push to have this done.  You folks that have good health care and good doctors are truly blessed.

Dave

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I was 73 when I had it done. Check out the Conformis site  https://www.conformis.com/find-a-doctor/ and find a surgeon in your area that does the procedure. The standard knee replacement prosthesis and procedure have been around for decades and work, satisfactorily about 75-80%. the other 20-25% are "annoyed, unhappy to profoundly unhappy". Conformis attacked that problem by coming out with custom prosthesis for each patient and each knee actually (note in my x-ray picture that each one is substantially different)  and by providing the surgeon with bone cutting jigs also unique to each patient and knees. The result, surgery that takes only 45 minutes (per knee), Carl would appreciate this. My doc did six of them on the day he did one of mine and the satisfaction rate with the "results" is around 95%. I have supplemental insurance (besides medicare) and medicare and it was covered it 100%. The prosthesis and the instrument are little higher in cost, but the surgery because of less time is less, so the overall cost is about the same as the "old methods".

I would strongly recommend that you utilize the new "freedom to choose" that Trump got through and go outside of the VA and find a Conformis doctor. My brother in law had one of his done (before me) at the VA, we compared notes and resulst after I had mine done. He ended up in the 20-25% unhappy group. his works but nowhere near as well as mine do.

I have a very good friend of mine, Vietnam vet, sweetest friend I have, but boy, don't piss him off. He's part of a network of vets who provide advocacy help to other vets dealing with a VA and getting results. His personal experience: He needed prostate operation. He had to go clear across Florida to see the VA boys in Miami, he had to wait every time (after getting there) and he wasn't impressed with the doc they assigned to him. After couple of "treatments" like this, first he told them he never wanted to see this a...hole of the doctor when he came again, then he found a surgery facility that does prostate robotically (the new method) and had VA pay for it. I've seen him help another "ignored" Vietnam vet here in Florida get things settled with VA here in Florida. If you are interested I can ask him how far that network extends, I understand the group is nationwide.

Edited by phoenix2013

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4 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Dave,

Do you not have Tri-Care?  I thought with Tri-Care you could seek medical care outside the VA?  

Howdy SS,

 I do not have Tri-Care, I am 100% disabled service connected so I am covered by the regular va health care system.

There  is what is called “Choice” that is available to me but ONLY if I can’t get the care I need at a local va hospital.  Through the va you have no choice of doctors and are usually treated by people who are in training to be doctors that is why the outcome of much of the treatment given through the va system is so screwed up.

Dave

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3 hours ago, phoenix2013 said:

I was 73 when I had it done. Check out the Conformis site  https://www.conformis.com/find-a-doctor/ and find a surgeon in your area that does the procedure. The standard knee replacement prosthesis and procedure have been around for decades and work, satisfactorily about 75-80%. the other 20-25% are "annoyed, unhappy to profoundly unhappy". Conformis attacked that problem by coming out with custom prosthesis for each patient and each knee actually (note in my x-ray picture that each one is substantially different)  and by providing the surgeon with bone cutting jigs also unique to each patient and knees. The result, surgery that takes only 45 minutes (per knee), Carl would appreciate this. My doc did six of them on the day he did one of mine and the satisfaction rate with the "results" is around 95%. I have supplemental insurance (besides medicare) and medicare and it was covered it 100%. The prosthesis and the instrument are little higher in cost, but the surgery because of less time is less, so the overall cost is about the same as the "old methods".

I would strongly recommend that you utilize the new "freedom to choose" that Trump got through and go outside of the VA and find a Conformis doctor. My brother in law had one of his done (before me) at the VA, we compared notes and resulst after I had mine done. He ended up in the 20-25% unhappy group. his works but nowhere near as well as mine do.

I have a very good friend of mine, Vietnam vet, sweetest friend I have, but boy, don't piss him off. He's part of a network of vets who provide advocacy help to other vets dealing with a VA and getting results. His personal experience: He needed prostate operation. He had to go clear across Florida to see the VA boys in Miami, he had to wait every time (after getting there) and he wasn't impressed with the doc they assigned to him. After couple of "treatments" like this, first he told them he never wanted to see this a...hole of the doctor when he came again, then he found a surgery facility that does prostate robotically (the new method) and had VA pay for it. I've seen him help another "ignored" Vietnam vet here in Florida get things settled with VA here in Florida. If you are interested I can ask him how far that network extends, I understand the group is nationwide.

Howdy Henry,

When you have time please send me a PM reguarding this I really would appreciate it.

 I have faugth the va for over 40 years I am on a first name basis with my congrees criters va representative have been for the last 5 years constantly fighting to get the care I need to alivate pain from combat injuries aquired 50 years ago.

 I hate to get political but if I were an illegal alien I could walk into a hospital and get better faster care then I can as a combat wounded veteran and that’s the truth.

sorry for the rant but I have had to fight my country after I fought for it.

Dave

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Lots of good advice here.  I had my left hip done a year ago, my right hip 5 months ago.  I knew I was having lots of pain and ambulatory (B)) problems.  What I did not realize was how much muscle movement I lost from years of hobbling and mostly sitting.   The surgeon said when the cartilage is gone the body tries to replace with bone.  So my pelvis was actually growing around the top of my femur.  Which made moving around even worse meaning my mobility/use was very poor and I lost a lot of muscle.   I don't know how much of "my story" applies to knee replacement but working harder is better, in my opinion.

As for VA stories,  Mr. Cob, my uncle is very well versed in getting things done there.  I can put you in touch with him if you like.

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First things first MR Cob thank you for your  service.

This is some good information .. I to am looking at a knee replacement I am  getting buy on cortisone shots doc is wanting to put it off till I am 60 to do it once .Been putting up with it for the last 10 years. You guys are confirming just what I have been hearing you get  out of it what you put into it. Hate to say this but no pain no gain. We will see.

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I must have had a good doctor. His attitude was that I should decide when I wanted to get my knee replaced. The first one I hung on for many years. The second one, I made an appt., told him I wanted my knee replaced and 3 weeks later it was replaced. 

This is like when I had Cataracts. My doc said just let him know. My brother's doc wouldn't do the surgery until the Cataracts were "ripe", whatever that is.

These decisions should be your choice, not some doctor saying wait. It is your quality of life. Find another doctor.

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