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 personal experiences. Here are some telltale signs you may need a total knee replacement:
Resharing/reprinting from March 2017:
Cortisone shots 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 a shot 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 and my pain level increased.
Knee locks up.
This can happen anywhere, any time. The pain is unbearable. For me, sometimes it took a few minutes to “get back to normal”, other times it took 10-20 minutes.
Walking aides are needed.
My knee locking up was 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 to remove the stress from your damaged knee.
Excessive pain in everyday movements.
Everyday movements include walking, sitting, standing, and laying become more difficult and painful.
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 now. Hopefully, you have found my how to tell insight useful to aid your total knee replacement decision-making process.
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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 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.
Marie is also a proud WEGO Health Patient Leader. Learn more here: https://www.wegohealth.com