Thanks to those of you who were able to attend my talk on “knees” Sunday June 16. It was an excellent group of people with differing needs, prepared to share why they wanted to be there.
I promised to put a little bit of the talk into the newsletter for those of you who wanted to come but had other things on.
- When do you know you are ready for surgery, i.e. taking the fairly drastic step of a knee replacement (TKR)?
- You will usually be told to wait until it is so painful that you can’t walk and stand on the spot for any length of time.
Victoria’s answer: Don’t wait until your gait is really corrupted (you sway side to side as you walk, displacing your weight to avoid the pain). This will lead to dysfunction in other parts of the body and very poor movement patterns that are very challenging to change.
- What is the best management of the knee, or knees, post-surgery?
A. You will usually be told to do your exercises specifically to increase the bend and the improve the ability to straighten the knee joint, regardless of pain.
Victoria’s answer: I agree, exercise EVERY day with the added advice to have soft tissue release with a Massage Therapist who is experienced in reducing swelling (oedema) and lymphatic drainage.
- What are the side effects of pain medication that I might not be told about?
A. Report any problems so medication can be increased, reduced and changed to another drug if necessary. Pain affects people differently and some people will have a reaction to drugs. Pain does need to be controlled if you want to be able to do your exercises.
Victoria’s answer: Be prepared to have bowel problems while on pain medication. You MUST mention to the admitting nurse (who checks all your personal and surgery details before you go into theatre) that you want to have Coloxyl and Metamucil or something similar to take post-surgery so you don’t end up with a compacted bowel (common reaction to all the pain meds and bed rest and dire for patients affected). Don’t let it happen to you! Also ask your doctor if you would be a good candidate for pain patches (Norspan 5mg) which you wear for a week and then change the patch. I used this from week 3 and slowly weaned myself off other medication. I had both knees done together and my rehab was pretty full on. I didn’t tolerate Morphine well so this was a good option for me.
Sunny’s Total Knee Replacement workshop is coming up in July. He has everything planned to educate and entertain you. Enrolments are being taken now at Reception.