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    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 8th May 18, 9:20 AM
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    Cotta
    Knee Replacement Recovery
    • #1
    • 8th May 18, 9:20 AM
    Knee Replacement Recovery 8th May 18 at 9:20 AM
    Hi,

    My Dad who is in his 80's had his knee replaced four weeks ago, the actual physical side of it seems to have went well with doctors advising this has been a success. We are however more worried that he seems very tired as of late and is almost completely off his food.

    Is it normal to feel this sick after a knee replacement and what is the normal recovery time?

    We are obviously getting the doctor back out but I was hoping for a second opinion.

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • Cyclizine
    • By Cyclizine 8th May 18, 9:57 AM
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    Cyclizine
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:57 AM
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:57 AM
    Yes, it is a major operation which places a not insignificant stress on the body. The physiotherapy and the unaccustomed exercise from the increased mobility can also make you shattered. Off food though is a little odd - is he still taking the painkillers? These can cause those kind of side effects.

    As a side note - by 'getting doctor out' do you mean a home visit? If he is doing well physically then he should really visit the surgery, particularly if he's got family like yourself around to assist. Much easier to examine and assess patients in somewhere that's designed to do it!
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 8th May 18, 11:08 AM
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    Cotta
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 11:08 AM
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 11:08 AM
    Thanks for that useful and in someway reassuring feedback.

    I think as I live quite a distance from my parent's home and they can't drive, house visits are the better option.

    On medication I believe he takes painkillers particularly at night to ease his pain and help him sleep.
    Last edited by Cotta; 08-05-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 8th May 18, 12:09 PM
    • 5,579 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 12:09 PM
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 12:09 PM
    A general anaesthetic can affect the body for several weeks afterwards which could account for his tiredness and lack of appetite.

    Also his body is still healing from the surgery.

    He needs to listen to his body and get plenty rest.

    Painkillers can cause nausea.


    Maybe some nutritional foods such as Complan would be easier for him to take.
    • Cyclizine
    • By Cyclizine 8th May 18, 5:51 PM
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    Cyclizine
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 5:51 PM
    He won't have had a general anaesthetic for a knee replacement and they don't affect the body for weeks after. The stress response to surgery however...
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 8th May 18, 9:49 PM
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    Katiehound
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 9:49 PM
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 9:49 PM
    He won't have had a general anaesthetic for a knee replacement and they don't affect the body for weeks after. The stress response to surgery however...
    Originally posted by Cyclizine
    Funny that. I had general anaesthetic for both total knee replacements- my choice.- (06/2016 & 12/2016-) In which case it takes a while for the drugs to work through the body.
    However what I found was I felt 'weird' and couldn't eat for the first two weeks or so after and I put that down to the blood thinning drugs.

    'Normal recovery'- what is normal?- almost how long is a piece of string! It rather depends how fit and mobile he was before the operation- because generally if you are 'fighting fit' before the op you are more likely to recover more quickly. Everyone reacts differently, there is "no size fits all"

    I found swimming as soon as I was allowed after clips were removed made a big difference as it is non weight bearing exercise
    I assume he has an upcoming 6 week check up with the surgeon?
    How is the wound? If that is infected it can make you feel ill.

    Hope he recovers well,but it doesn't happen instantly- it is a major operation.
    Last edited by Katiehound; 10-05-2018 at 5:16 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th May 18, 9:58 PM
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    Quentin
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 9:58 PM
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 9:58 PM
    Certainly be looking at months (9/12) for full recovery and not weeks!
    • Cyclizine
    • By Cyclizine 9th May 18, 11:14 AM
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    Cyclizine
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 11:14 AM
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 11:14 AM
    The vast majority of hip and knee replacements in the UK are done under spinal anaesthesia, with or without sedation. It is a tiny dose of spinal drug that wears off after a few hours and if sedation is used it's gone before you're being wheeled out of theatre. The physios will have most people up the several hours later. In Canada, you go home the same day! He may well have had a general anaesthetic, but for an 80 year old a spinal is a significantly better option for pain-relief and immediate recovery. Modern general anaesthesia uses short acting drugs, which will have cleared the system in less than 24 hours. People often blame the anaesthetic for the tiredness/washed-out feeling in the days post-op, forgetting the surgeon has basically started the bodies natural stress responses to injury. The post-op regular painkillers are the most likely contributing factor here as well.
    Last edited by Cyclizine; 09-05-2018 at 11:19 AM.
    • Shropshirelass
    • By Shropshirelass 9th May 18, 5:12 PM
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    Shropshirelass
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 5:12 PM
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 5:12 PM
    DH had knee replacement a year ago at age 78. He says, for first three months he had considerable pain and needed analgesia 3 or 4 times daily. This included codeine, oramorph and anti-inflamatories, taking dosages as prescribed. Side effects of pain killers included constipation (which causes poor appetite, tiredness and lethargy). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be way around this, so you have to choose between pain and constipation. It took 6 months before he could get an acceptable balance. Eating lots of fruit helps.
    His mobility has improved but is not perfect. Your father should be getting regular physio, this is very important.
    • wondercollie
    • By wondercollie 9th May 18, 11:21 PM
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    wondercollie
    Certainly be looking at months (9/12) for full recovery and not weeks!
    Originally posted by Quentin
    My 64yo friend had one knee done the end of January, the second knee in June. Was back at work in November.

    It's all down to the amount of work you are willing to put into the physio.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 10th May 18, 5:13 AM
    • 4,178 Posts
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    Murphybear
    I had my knee replaced in 2011, still have problems. However, my problem wasn!!!8217;t normal wear and tear but result of nasty knee accident when I was 30 and had 3 knee ops then, my knee joint was a complete mess.

    After I had it replaced I took part in a research study at the University where they were looking at how having knee replacements affected having osteoporosis. One unexpected result was that it took much longer to recover from a total knee replacement than most patients thought. Bad others have said, everyone!!!8217;s different.
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 11th May 18, 1:11 PM
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    Cotta
    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I was becoming very concerned about his sickness, however now it appears normal especially since he is taking pain killers.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 13th May 18, 2:03 PM
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    Katiehound
    I was becoming very concerned about his sickness, however now it appears normal especially since he is taking pain killers.
    Originally posted by Cotta
    by sickness- do you mean nauseous? A couple of things might help if that is the feeling:
    Travel bands- you can get these from 1- even full price they are not that dear. These work on acupressure points on the wrist (not the pulse point) and acupuncture/pressure works on 90% of the population. If you try these do make sure they are worn in the correct place.

    Stugeron tablets. These are for controlling travel sickness and obviously you would need to check for contr indications with other drugs

    I nearly turned into an omelette for the first few weeks after both my ops- they were the only thing I could eat easily.
    HTH
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6416cc+3045mm (3.04.5) + RK 8.03
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 13th May 18, 11:45 PM
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    deannatrois
    If he is feeling nauseaus, not eating could actually make it worse. The problem is it sounds like he is fairly isolated so eating little and often is possibly difficult, but it would help.

    Is there any way more support could be organised? Does he have many people go to see him?
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 27th Jun 18, 12:12 PM
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    Cotta
    ***Update***

    Dad's actual knee seems to be well on the mend, however general sickness has continued and I am convinced he picked up something while in hospital which has lingered. Although his visit was around the beginning of April, prior to this he was in good spirits. Now he is always tired, losing interest in food and doing anything and he feels something is hanging on his chest and this has left him with a continued cough and on top of this he is sleeping all the time. We have brought him to the doctor a number of times to no avail and antibiotics etc have made no improvement.

    I am just wondering if it is possible he may have picked up something while in hospital and what our best course of action is? I'm frustrated that innumerable visits to the doctor have been fruitless with even a chest x-ray coming back clear.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 27th Jun 18, 9:06 PM
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    theoretica
    Did he have nitrous oxide gas? If so, it might be worth discussing vitamin B12 with the doctor: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/nitrous-oxide.html#monitoringRequirements
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Cyclizine
    • By Cyclizine 28th Jun 18, 5:33 PM
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    Cyclizine
    Did he have nitrous oxide gas? If so, it might be worth discussing vitamin B12 with the doctor: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/nitrous-oxide.html#monitoringRequirements
    Originally posted by theoretica
    Unlikely, as it would be very unusual to have have had a general anaesthetic for a knee replacement. Also, even if he had, it is unlikely he would have had nitrous oxide as part of a modern general anaesthetic. Even if he had, you have to have multiple prolonged exposures in a short period. A single exposure to nitrous oxide does not cause marrow suppression.

    I suspect he hasn't 'picked up' anything in hospital, particularly given negative blood tests an chest x-rays. The recovery time in the elderly, for what is major surgery, can be prolonged. It is a vicious circle of decreased function leading to deconditioning which makes it all the harder to mobilise and participate in activities of daily living. He will be losing muscle mass, so even small things will be exhausting. Has he been back to see the physios and OTs? Is he still taking opioid painkillers (like codeine/co-codamol; dihyrocodeine, tramadol etc)? Is he managing any diet? Have you tried nutritional substitutions like full fat for semi-skimmed milk or supplements?
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 29th Jun 18, 12:00 PM
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    Cotta
    Finally got confirmed that an infection was picked up in the hospital, he has now returned to have this treated. We really had to force the issue but at least now we know what is wrong.
    • milatuk
    • By milatuk 2nd Jul 18, 11:35 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    milatuk
    your dad's 80 year old body thinks its being in a major accident where bones have been broken and tissue has being cut open. this is a lot of trauma for a young body never mind an elderly one. being off food is weird but not unheard of. physical stress can put people off food. Just check the knee for any obvious signs of infection as that can cause lack of appetite but thats unlikely. probably just a combination of the post op painkillers and the trauma of the op
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