View Full Version : New knee

February 10th, 2006, 10:28 AM
New left knee Wednesday at 8am, home Thursday at noon. How soon can I go back in the water?

Sabretooth Tiger
February 10th, 2006, 12:04 PM
When you doctor says you can. Probably when the incision is dry, the stitches/staples have been removed, and the incision stays dry for a couple of days. This eliminates the risk of infection. (Per instructions that I received for a similar joint procedure).

February 10th, 2006, 04:53 PM
Always use precaution. Definitely consult a doctor and build up. Being out of the water for any period of time can be difficult getting back in the rhythm. Even when taking a bath, stretch and reherse movements. Breaking a right ankle kept me out almost 2 months. Try pulling and then working in a little kick. Best of luck.

February 10th, 2006, 07:28 PM
ALso take your physical therapy very seriously. I am recovering from a ski injury in which I tore my PCL. They apparently do not operate on it. The PT has been helping. I have been doing a fair amount of pulling free and back stroke, and now have begun some light kicking and a wierd flip turn...do not want to push off the wall too hard or jerk my knee. Your PT will have you doing stretches, weights, stationary bikes , etc. I was a breast stroker and flyer...now I am training backstroke ( I rarely entered that event), so I can start in the water! Hoping to compete in April.
Fortunately I also swim distance free.

February 11th, 2006, 11:53 AM
In college I hurt my right knee "clift diving" off of the stripmind lakes in Victoria, IL. I used to get shots. One tiem a doctor took me off of the shots and said thatwhen I'm in my late 40s, I should have the knee replaced. I've had many surgeries on my gut that never made me afraid. Now though I'm terrified of having my knee replaced. Please put in an update about your situation & the pain & progress.

February 11th, 2006, 02:34 PM
This is actually the second knee replacement for me the first was April 2004. The second was Wednesday this week. The first one I took it easy on my therapy for the first few days starting with 3 of each exercise they suggested. But this time they told me that on the first day I had to do the three exercises every hour and do each movement 10x and had me walk with a walker in the hallway. Next day the pain and swelling was unbelievable. I told the therapist she must be nuts. I believe we have to do the therapy but there is no need to go to extremes. The worst part of the operation was that I was awake and could hear the saw, the hammering and the drill. They had a screen up but I could see the bone chips flying through the air. The first oprerarion was 6 weeks of therapy bicyle etc etc and I was walking quite well without canes or crutches after the six weeks. And very little pain. They put a pain buster in my knee and had an iceman to ice whenever I did my therapy. I am still getting over the pain but it was better today. Also when the therapist had me working the first day she knocked the drain out of my knee which ment the blood welled up in the leg and caused swelling she also knocked the painbuster out so no morphine. I was so disgusted I left the hospital and went home. I will look after my own therapy. I will be swimming as soon as the wound is dry and the staples removed. The therapist also told me I should go in the deep end of the pool and walk I told her no.

Peter Cruise
February 11th, 2006, 03:59 PM
George- thanks for the vivid description- I haven't felt so nauseous reading a post on this forum since the pre-civility era.
I have no doubt that you'll be back kicking a** and taking numbers in short order.

February 12th, 2006, 12:01 AM
I completely tore 3 knee ligaments and had them repaired plus stitching back together some other soft tissue structures that were ripped off the knee in November 90 (age 34). It was not a knee replacement surgery but invasive and lots of work for the surgeon. Hopefully my experience will be useful info. I did rehab until May 91, 3x/week for about 3-4 hours each day. I waited until I was off crutches in January to get back in the pool (2 months) for easy swimming - I was more concerned about slipping and falling on the pool deck than hurting it swimming.

For the first year following surgery I wore a sports knee brace in the pool to prevent hyperextension and also to protect it from side:side motion since the surgery didn't totally stabilize the knee. I did one-legged turns/flip turns and dragged that leg while kicking the other until I could kick without pain. I had to wear a leg brace 24x7 except showering for about the first year after surgery. Yuck.

I had to have the ACL reconstructed in June 91 (arthroscopically assisted) after the direct repair failed. I put some skin sealant (Nu-Skin ?) over the incision/staples and started swimming immediately after getting out of the hospital. My orthopaedist would have thrown a fit and told me to find a new surgeon if he had found out. Joint infections are very serious business.

Pool decks are the biggest hazard I've run into. November 2005 (15 years after the original injury), my foot slipped while walking cautiously on deck, hyperextended the knee again, and even though I never fell down I had a partial PCL tear on my previously injured knee. That took about 6-8 weeks to (mostly) heal on its own.

Breaststroke - I had to pretty much give it up. The kick is painful and ineffective so all BR sets in practice are with fins and a dolphin kick with BR armpull. The only time I do BR kick is when I want to swim a [slow] IM in a meet.

Backstroke start - I end up doing a "track start" off the gutter, not off the blocks, since I have limited flexion on the one side.

In 1990 I was advised that in 10 years I would be looking at a knee replacement due to inevitable knee degenerative changes and pain. Let us all know how you do, and good luck with your recovery.

February 12th, 2006, 09:33 AM
The deck is the most dangerous place to navigate when you are unsure of your footing. I used to buy a new pair of runners that I only used at the pool. But have changed to beach shoes the type you use for walking into the water at the beach if it is stoney. Easy on easy off, made of rubber and they don't slip on the tile I bought them at the Dollar store.

February 12th, 2006, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
George- thanks for the vivid description- I haven't felt so nauseous reading a post on this forum since the pre-civility era.
I have no doubt that you'll be back kicking a** and taking numbers in short order. Peter I only want to be sure that anyone going through a knee replacement does not just have a spinal, ask them to knock you out a little so you don't see anything or hear anything you don't want to know about. Although I heard about a good investment in a realestate developement the Doctor was going to buy into.

Damage Inc
February 12th, 2006, 01:56 PM
George. Being awake during a total knee is a lousy thing to do. I am a nurse anesthetist, and when ever I do a spinal, I almost always knock the patient out with a strong IV sedative. I know I wouldn't want to hear the saws and hammers on my bones.
And never trust a real estate tip from a surgeon.
Good luck with rehab.

February 15th, 2006, 02:32 PM
7 days swelling has gone down and the new physio therapist came by the house and said it is going well I did the 4 exercises and she told me it was good but not to do the 4 sets of ten more than 2x a day. I am now able to walk without the crutches or cane but she told me to use them because if I don't I will get a limp. Staples are coming out on Saturday (10 days). Showers ok and bath but no pool for a while. I had no pain killers for three days but on a few now, Tylonal 3, 3x a day and 2x a day Celebrex. Feeling great went shopping with the wife at Costco and am pretty tired but no pain.

February 16th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Sounds good. I talked with one of my doctors about a replacement. He said why do it if I'm not in any pain. Aslo, I can't take most pain killers.

February 17th, 2006, 01:10 PM
Purpose of my post is to let others know that medicinal
advances are available for all of us; e.g. I think I am now 75.

Fell on black ice in parking lot of building where I work on Dec. 21, 2005 Covered under Workers Compensation. 1st surgeon I saw locally said no operation would be necessary. Kids bugged my wife and me to get 2nd/3rd opinions. Did and wound up at NY
Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City with the operation performed on Jan 17, 2006. Clinching
argument was that if I didn't have the operation I would be
walking bowlegged in a year and probably need a new knee
in two years. Surgeon said that the operation, (plate and
6 screws) would probably last 15 year at which time I would be 90 and who would care then.

Luckily I was totally out and didn't hear the sawing and
hammering. But I am desperate to get to the water and
feel myself like a dolphin gliding on the surface. Supposed to
see surgeon on Feb 27th and he will tell me if I can go back
to work and resume swimming.

Question: I also wear a brace 24/7, didn't this seem
excessively cumbersome when resuming swimming. Regards
from anonymous Bob(for those who know)

February 17th, 2006, 01:21 PM

I was told not to swim until 6 weeks after the first knee, I will not wait that long for this one, staples are out today and as soon as I am sure of a proper closure of the wound I will be swimming. I will use care to start with no pushing off the wall with the new knee, no aggresive kicking, but don,t forget I can swim not using my legs almost as well as with the legs. My suggestion is to band with a rubber band both legs together and use very light dolphins for balance to start with and glide off the walls no push until you are ready.

February 18th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by bobatwork
Purpose of my post is to let others know that medicinal
advances are available for all of us; e.g. I think I am now 75.

Fell on black ice in parking lot of building where I work on Dec. 21, 2005

At 75, you shoudl be retired and living somewhere that has no ice. I'm only 47 and am looking into a new knee. I would like to hhear the hammering and sawing!

February 18th, 2006, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
I would like to hear the hammering and sawing! Hammering and sawing not bad but the bone chips flying and worse still the things the group working on you are talking about.

February 19th, 2006, 11:05 AM
I was just admiring the wonderful job the doctor did in closing the cut. A staight line of 22 staples holding it together,one right after another.

I am walking great after 11 days but only doing short walks without the cane or crutches. Had to get up at 4am for a couple of T3s, Tylonal with codiene, to stop a dull throb. Had to put the removal of staples off till Monday Dr is away.

February 20th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Monday morning (12 days since the operation) staples are out what a relief. The Doc said I should be able to get in the pool in a couple of days but to take it easy. He also said since I am no longer taking blood thinners, I should go off the Celebrex it has been known to cause blood clotting.

February 23rd, 2006, 06:05 PM
Just back from therapy the new knee, they measured the range of motion 118 degrees, the therapist said it was good.

February 24th, 2006, 12:50 PM
Just put the new knee photo on my website. Just before the staples came out . scroll down on my home page www.swimdownhill.com

February 27th, 2006, 07:03 PM
3 weeks since the operation on Wed.

Had therapy today - range of motion 122 degrees. The therapist said not to work on exceeding that. Using 2 canes for long walks, 1 cane around the house. A little pain after todays session, but not too bad. Was on the balance board therapist also on the black therabands, she said once more this week and maybe 2 or three other times she was surprised with my recovery. Stationary bike next visit.

February 27th, 2006, 08:03 PM
WAit till she has you doing curls , lunges, and doing the machines.
She will also get on on the eliptical trainer and treadmill if you want to run. Just rode my road bike this weekend and started running drills that my PT gave me on the indoor track. Completed 3000 yards of swimming at practice on Sunday. It is hard becoming a backstroker after years of competing breaststroke. I tried breaststoke, but could do a legal kick. Too painful. My athletic brace should be ready next week so I can hike, XC ski, play tennis, and do triathlons. 60 more days of work until retirement , sell the house, and then to Colorado for ever!