Saturday, September 14, 2013


I’m scared about the bilateral knee replacement surgery I’m slated to have in one month.  The pain (I don’t do pain well), the physical therapy, tottering around with a walker for a month, being dependent on my husband for who knows what needs…none of it pleases me.  I’ve been a healthy, energetic, independent woman all my life and I hate the idea of being weak, in pain and needing support from others.

What’s more, I’m told that the artificial parts they’ll place in my knees won’t “feel” like me/mine/real.  That gives me pause.  Daily, hourly, minute-by-minute, will my knees remind me that I have fake elements as essential mechanisms?  Will I have to think too much about what has been an involuntary act for more than half a century? 

What will it feel like to walk, climb, exercise?  Will I still have a good golf swing?  Can I handle leaps from my boat to the dock and wrenching lines from the boat to cleats?  How easily will I be able to hop in and out of the car, carry groceries, pull/carry luggage, work in the garden, climb a ladder so I can prune my fruit trees?  Could it be that my scuba gear is still too heavy for my knees to bear…on a beach dive?

Will I be too tentative, knowing the limbs are part fake and maybe vulnerable?  How afraid of falling will I be?

Anyone out there who’s had a bilateral knee replacement with some experience to share?  I need to prepare mentally for what’s going to happen to my knees…and march through the stages of grief BEFORE I have the operation!

FADEOUT won a RONE award!


Barbara said...


You are smart to get both knees done at once. You won't think so the first few weeks, but once you get past the initial part, you'll be glad you won't have to do a rerun a few years later like me. I had my right knee replacement put in three years ago. I am so glad I did. The pain is gone. That's the main thing.

Whatever therapy is offered to you, take advantage of. You need to get the flexibility of movement back as soon as possible. Learn to ice it whenever needed during those first few weeks afterwards.

I am not to run or jump, but those aren't biggies for me. Nor can I kneel. And the area around the healed incision may be numb for some time to come.

But I have no regrets.

Barbara Barrett

Rolynn Anderson said...

Excellent tips, Barbara. I borrowed an ice machine, a boon, I'm told, to recovery. I don't get why I can't kneel...what is the issue there? So glad you're happy with your results!

Andrea Downng said...

Rolynn, I was going to write and ask when the surgery was scheduled. If I forget in one month, my good wishes for a speedy recovery are with you. I know you'll do well and have no regrets.

Ashantay said...

I cared for my 87-year-old mother earlier this year after her knee replacement.

After the first week, I felt superfluous. Granted, I did the running around because she couldn't drive, but other than that, she handled everything else herself. My mom said she was very happy she had the surgery. The worst part for her was having to "catch up" on her heart medication. PT was a breeze.

Everyone will have a different experience with this procedure, so this is just an example for you to consider. The joy in my mom's voice when she reported she'd walked through the entire grocery store for the first time without pain in over a year was pretty cool!

Darcy said...

Rolynn, the people I know who've had the surgery have universally said they were happy they did it. Their pain is gone, they're able to do virtually everything they did before, they no longer have to worry about bad knees affecting them in the future, and they're able to get on with their lives in the healthiest, most comfortable way possible. I know the thought of having any surgery is always daunting, but it seems this type of procedure has such excellent results that most people consider it worth the pain and temporary problems it creates. Since you've always been a healthy, energetic person, you'll probably do extremely well in terms of recovery and have the best possible outcome. I'll be thinking of you next month, praying everything goes well (not because I think there'll be any problems, but just because a prayer now and then is always nice), and waiting to hear that you've aced the situation and are now pain-free and happily mobile.

Ana Morgan said...

Everyone I know who has had knee replacement is happy they did it. They say they had to push through the initial pain, and the more they did, the faster they healed.

Keep us posted on how you are feeling, Rolynn!

LaVerne Clark said...

Hi Rolynn,
I've heard only great things about people who've had total knee replacements. The fitter you are beforehand, the better your recovery will be. Its all about the muscles surrounding the knee and keeping them in tip-top shape.

I recently had surgery to replace the ACL in my left knee. I tore the ligament completely during a game of netball. I will NEVER be playing that stupid game again! :) I'm too scared too now! I'm hoping that fear will disappear eventually, but in the meantime, when I'm allowed to make sideways movements again, I'm going to play squash instead.
My surgery was in early July and it has taken a little while to build the muscles back up again, but with my daily cycle and strength exercises, I'm almost there.
Listen to your physio and do all the PT exercises and I know you'll be leaping about on your boat once again before you know it!
All the best. I'll be thinking of you, xo

Susan Macatee said...

Wish you luck, Rolynn. I hope to never have to have any type of joint replacement. I broke the tibia in my left knee two years ago and needed two screws and a metal plate to allow fast and complete healing. But even though the bone is healed, the plate remains. I'd have to have a second surgery to take it out.

It doesn't bother me too much. Just get a little numbness and tingling sometimes and I can't kneel on that side unless I'm on a carpeted floor. I am able to excercise and be as active as I was before, but I've heard from others who had total knee replacements that they can't kneel at all.

Guess the best thing to do is think positive and do as much as you can post surgery to get yourself back on track.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Oh, sweetie, you're going to be just fine. I have several clients with "bionic" knees. And they are able to do almost everything my unbionic clients can do. LOL. (I'm a personal trainer, BTW). In fact, one is having her 2nd knee done in two weeks.

Do EVERYthing your physical therapist tells you to do. I mean everything. And if you need someone to cheer you, offer fitness tips, or just whine to, email me anytime. rebeccajclark(dot)author(at)gmail(dot)com

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Sending you good wishes and speedy healing vibes. I'm sure you'll do well once the initial pain level decreases. As everyone says, your PT will be important. Hugs, hon, and keep us all in the loop!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks to all who wrote with upbeat messages and tips! I'm keeping all your notes to read those first two weeks after surgery...they'll keep my spirits up! Rolynn

Mona Risk said...


Best of luck on your coming surgery. I am sure that with proper therapy and a loving husband to hold your hand, you will be as good as new.

Let us know before the big day so that we can pray for you.