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4. After the Surgery - What to expect

Posted Oct 26 2008 1:54am
The surgery having passed so easily and painlessly, I was expecting (unreasonably) the rest of my recovery time to be just as easy and short. To everybody’s amazement, I was walking since day two, and after I was released from the hospital on the third day, I could walk in my apartmentand take care of myselfas needed. From the start, I never used a walker or a cane. I wouldn't treat my body as if it were an invalid. The second week after the surgery I drove my car.

According to several TKR patients I had consulted, complete recovery should be a “2 months' affair.” In spite of my overall good health, flexibility, uplifting attitude and good strides in my physical therapy, these were unrealistic prognosis and expectations. According to my therapist, it is a year long process. Let our expectations be realistic. Everybody’s organism is different; even though I soon weaned myself of painkillers, I have been in moderate discomfort ever since the surgery but never in "excruciating" pain. I understand that patients
after the classic TKR surgery go through a great deal of pain.

Concluding, recovery is a slow process. As of this moment, I am five months into this journey. I intend to do everything necessary for the full rehabilitation and expect to have a well-functioning knee by the end of the year. My account should not discourage anyone, but to inform and incite them to actively participate in every aspect of this important life decision. While a successful surgery constitutes the foundation for a well-functioning joint, physical therapy builds on surgeon's skill, and through care and dedication restores patient's mobility and return to normal life.
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