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I’m not a medical pro, On whose advice you should heed, So please beware that, What works for me, May not suit your need. (aka Waiver of Liability)

Information provided on this site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional.
The intended mission of the site is to help people dealing with total knee replacements and other physical concerns realize they are not alone.

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Hi everyone. Many of you have been contacting me wondering whether it’s time for a total knee replacement. Even though I am not a medical professional, I can provide personal insight into how I decided it was time. Hopefully, you will find some useful information from my insight. Here are some telltale signs you may need one:

Cortisone wears off quickly.
When I first approached a surgeon about having a tkr (total knee replacement), cortisone was recommended as an alternative. The recommendation was having one every three months to ease the pain and stiffness.

The results were immediate. I walked out of the doctor’s office without any pain or difficulties. I was happy as a clam in mud. That is, until two weeks later when the cortisone wore off. At that point, I was back where I started.

Pain killers lack effectiveness.
What used to provide some level of relief, suddenly does not. Since I do not take any prescription medications, I used over-the-counter remedies. They became a waste of money as my knee cartilage disappeared.

Knee locks up.
This can happen anywhere, any time. The pain is unbearable. Sometimes it took a few minutes to “get back to normal”, other times it took 10-20 minutes.

Walking aides are needed.
The above reason is why I started carrying crutches with me everywhere. You may find a cane is easier. Whatever the device, extra precaution is part of everyday life.

Excessive pain in everyday movements.
Everyday movements include walking, sitting, standing, and laying.

Difficulty crossing legs.
No longer do I take crossing legs for granted. Do you find yourself looking at people with their legs crossed, admiring the fact they can do it? It may be time to take action.

Need assistance getting in and out of chairs.
Assistance can be another person, a chair arm, or a mobility-impaired recliner. Whatever it is, using your leg the usual way will become difficult.

Favoring “good” leg.
This is a common behavior. My “good” leg is able to do everything the ”normal” way, so why not take advantage of that? I found myself putting all my weight on my undamaged leg. This leads to further damage.

Looking for stair alternatives.
Ah, stairs. Instead of viewing stairs as exercise, suddenly they turned into torture devices. I was always on the lookout for alternatives. Alternatives included elevators and/or escalators. Whenever I did use stairs, a railing was necessary. And, it was not a pretty site.

Body realignment is required.
Do you find yourself having to adjust your body before moving? You may have to realign your spine, wait for your knee to get in place, and/or do some stretching. Whatever it is, getting up and going is not an easy task.

Well, that’s all I can think of for know. Hopefully, you have found something useful to aid your decision-making process.

Was this article helpful? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 35+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

4 comments to Total Knee Replacement: Telltale Signs You May Need One

  • I am 4 weeks out of TKR. I had lots of swelling and bruising. Lots has gone, but plenty remains. Not only was there severe arthritis, multiple tears and issues from two prior surgeries. I am walking with a walker and crutches. Not driving yet. Did two weeks of home rehab and just started out patient rehab.
    I guess I think I should be farther along in this by now! I can dress myself except one shoe and sock and shower and use bathroom unassisted.
    Thank you! Just wondering!


  • Hi Charlene…
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your tkr comment. You sound like you are progressing well. In fact, you’re doing better than I was at your tkr recuperation stage. It is a long, arduous process for sure.
    Hang in there and keep working. It will pay off.
    Stay in touch and best of luck to you!

  • Patricia Kelley

    I’m having TKR 12/2017 I am dreading the day. I have had 47 years of pain and all that comes with it. I blew out my knee at 13 years of age playing touch football. Every ligament except PCL was torn both medial/lateral meniscus torn. 1970 my Dad was advised to not pursue surgery for my injuries. By 1993 I couldn’t take the pain and swelling from re-injuries and had ACL reconstruction with many repairs. This was the most agonizing surgery and 12 months of sheer hell in recovery I have ever been through. I was told then by age 50 my knee would need to be replaced. Here I am at 60 facing TKR. My knee is starting to lock up and constantly rubs bone on bone. The last cortisone injection did absolutely nothing for the pain and swelling. I’m so dreading this but I looked at all options offered the only procedure to help is TKR. Stability is good but cartilage is almost gone. I’m petrified. Any encouragement is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Hi Patricia,
    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to post your tkr comment. It’s understandable to be scared about having surgery. I was in the same situation you are in and never regret a moment of having the surgery.
    Suggestion: You need to change your attitude to succeed. Stop dreading and be grateful for the opportunity to improve your daily functioning.It’ll be a long road to recovery, but so worth it – if you have the proper attitude, determination, and drive.
    Best of luck and stay in touch!

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