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Old 02-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
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Knee replacement-when could you travel?

My wife will be having knee replacement surgery on her left knee towards the end of May. In the meantime, we will be going to Phoenix in early March to have a Coachlift handicap lift installed on our 40'DP. Those of you who have had replacement surgery, how long was it before you could travel again? With the lift, steps won't be an issue and my DW says she would rather be recuperating in some nice RV park as at home. Any thoughts, input etc. greatly appreciated!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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My wife will be having knee replacement surgery on her left knee towards the end of May. In the meantime, we will be going to Phoenix in early March to have a Coachlift handicap lift installed on our 40'DP. Those of you who have had replacement surgery, how long was it before you could travel again? With the lift, steps won't be an issue and my DW says she would rather be recuperating in some nice RV park as at home. Any thoughts, input etc. greatly appreciated!!
DW had hers done last June 5th. Took about a month before she could get around without help from a walker. Then it was 6 weeks of 3 days a week therapy. If you can figure out how to get this much needed therapy while at a RV park go for it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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I had both of mine done in Sept 07 and went shopping for a new MH at the Tampa Super Show in Jan. 08.
I went for 10 weeks of rehab , three times a week. My Surgeon gave me really good advice. He said that he will do half the work during surgery. I had to do the other half in rehab. That's the best advice that I would give your wife if she asked me. You basically have a short window to get a good portion of your bend back after which the leg will remain stiff with hardly any bend ( at least not enough to do what I wanted to do ). I couldn't walk I city block without pain and now Tallulah and I walk 2 miles every morning and sometimes again in the afternoon.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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Well, if you make her do her PT, it shouldn't be a problem, But if not, I wouldn't go anywhere before I finished rehab. If she rehabs in a residential facility, she'll be doing stairs before she leaves, and her flex should be 120 degrees or more. She should be around 65 to 90 degrees before she even leaves the hospital.

Also, she needs to do the rehab every day, not 3 times a week.

You don't state her age or health, but she won't need a lift, unless she has some other condition, as she'll master stairs in rehab.

If her right knee is healthy and she doesn't have any other issues, she should do fine.

BTW, I had left knee done in June '09, and right knee done in Aug '09.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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I don't think there is any "standard" recovery period for this procedure and I am sure your physician has given you the "drill" about physio, physical fitness before. & after the operation etc. Anyway, my wife had a full knee replacement in Santa Monica on January 20/11. Since home at the time was 1000miles away in Cabo San Lucas we were advised not to fly within several weeks of the operation. With nothing better to do but keep feeding her Advil, I took the opportunity to pop-out and buy a Motorhome. This worked quite well since she was so preoccupied with the whole knee thing that I was able to buy pretty much whatever I wanted!

Long story short, we were expected to take possession of the MH on March 01/11 so we needed to get back to Cabo (1000m).... Rent our house....pack some stuff...drive back to LA (1000m)....and onward to Canada (1500m) to get it imported and registered. We comfortably did all this while she was recovering. She drove our 6 speed Honda Civic from Cabo back to Alberta within 3-4 weeks of the operation.....(she figured double clutching & speed shifting was good physio for the knee) ......was riding her mountain bike and taking moderate hikes within 6 weeks .....and was pretty much sort-of normal (80%) within 8 weeks. The last 20% came over the summer months.

The most important time period is the first 8 weeks......you have to "push-the-surrounding muscles & tendons" (within reason). On the bright side.....you can't damage the new titanium knee! Her new bionic bio-flex 3000 with ultra-glide stabilizers & integrated hydraulic push-rod actuators has been fantastic....your wife will love it!

BTW my wife was 66yrs old at the time.....was in great shape as a Yoga instructor....and has always been an avid mountain biker, tennis player, golfer and outdoors kinda gal.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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An old co-worker of mine had both knees done over one year. First the left and six months later the right. After one year off work he returned to full Firefighting duties.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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I was driving the RV after three weeks. It was my right knee, and I had to use the left leg on the brake. Bottom line is everyone heals differently, but I do believe a positive attitude can really help, especially during rehab. My mantra is to keep reminding myself I'm 64 years old and have a lot of stuff left to do, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let my body fail me now.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #8
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I have had both ACL's reconstructed (Same therapy as replacement) and the right knee finally replaced, and both rotator cuffs repaired. Trust me, the knee is easier than that rotator cuff.

As for therapy, every individual has their own situation and schedule. Some it takes longer than others. Only time will tell. Some of the time frames already stated seem to be the norm of 6 to 10 weeks. She will most likely go to physical therapy 3 times a week on alternating days, but it does not have to be alternating, and the rest of the week she will do the PT on her own. The most important thing is to not do more than what they prescribe at the PT Session. She will get a sheet of exercises to do on her own. Don't let her exceed them in expectation of getting better faster. The PT is designed to a specific degree of recovery, and to exceed that can cause more damage. There is always pain with physical therapy. If they are hurting to much tell them to stop.

My best to her for a nice recovery. Do what the therapists say to do and all will go well.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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I had my right knee replaced mid September two years ago. We left as usual right after Christmas. Before that I was getting around just fine. The caveat is the therapy, it is a must where ever you are. During January I began to stiffen up a bit and went right back to an agressive routine and straightened the whole thing out in a hurry.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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I had mine done too. An acquaintance got his done the same day as I did. He only did exercises while at physio. I did as the doctor said knee flexes etc every day while doing anything to strengthen the muscles before the surgery and I still to this day do the flexes, sometimes it drives the DW crazy. I do these flexes without even thinking about it.

I was up and about with the aid of a cane and back home within three days. The pain was gone in about 8 to 10 weeks and very once in a while I get a mild discomfort in the replaced joint.

It sure id nice not having to eat bottles of painkillers because of my knee. I am back on the waiting list that gets you on the waiting list for my other knee now but I am OK with that as there is far less pain in that knee and I can wait.

That's the beauty of government health care, it may take a while but when its your turn to get operated on it doesn't cost you anything, (OK where's the sarcasm font?)
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:48 AM   #11
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That's the beauty of government health care, it may take a while but when its your turn to get operated on it doesn't cost you anything, (OK where's the sarcasm font?)
Just hope that what you need fixed don't kill you before it is your turn.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:45 AM   #12
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A lot depends on whether it's partial or full knee replacement. We are full-timers, and DW had partial replacements on both knees 1 month apart 5 years ago when we were in Florida for the winter. Surgeries were done at the beginning of January and at the beginning of February. We were on the road again in late March.

It took 6 months until DW could get around really well, and a year to realize the full potential of her new knees.

Full knee replacement requires cutting of more bone, and the recovery is longer than for partial replacement. However, as many have said, recovery times for either type of knee surgery will vary.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:51 AM   #13
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This thread sounds like a mechanics shop with all of the parts being replaced...
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #14
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I had my knee replacement Feb 14/12 on Tues. Fri I went to Rehab and a week later I went home. The nextday set the walker aside and the following day I put the cane away. I haven't used either since. When I got home, I was faced with 5 steps to get into the house and no hand rail. I was a little slow at first but it didn't take long to get it down. I used 2 machines at a gym to improve my leg strenth for about 6 mos before and about that long after surgery. I think that realy helped. One machine you push weight forward and the other one is for the back of the legs. Unless your DW is heavy and can't lift her own weight with her arms, I would suggest you save the money for a lift and put on a sturdy hand rail. She will need to be able to do as much for herself as she can. I weigh 200+ and I did fine. A week after I got home I was on my back hoe using it to fix a drain. The floor is about 4' above the ground. It didn't take long to get tired and I turned it over to SIL. I reccomend she work hard on improving arm & leg strenth from now until surgery.
Good luck to both of you.
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