My 84-year-old father-in-law is about to have knee replacement surgery. What kind of post surgery challenges can we expect?

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My mother is 86 and in great health. She has to have her right knee replaced. She is in extreme pain because she is bone on bone. It kills me to see her suffer so. The surgery will help her be out of pain at least after the healing process. Her quality of life will be so much better. If no surgery she would be in a wheelchair within 6 months.
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Reply to lisacl
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Dear N1K2R3 most anyone would rather "limp a little" than have surgery at age 84. Yes, you are very naïve. People opting for knee replacement surgery have severe pain because with each step, bone is rubbing against bone. They are on heavy pain medication daily which alters their cognition. They are going to physical therapy a few times a week and that is also filled with mind blowing pain. Their knees do not support their weight and they are walking everywhere with canes and walkers. Over a long period of time their wrists become arthritic and their backs become misaligned causing additional pain and problems. You have no idea.
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Reply to Mdaughter5
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Unfortunately if you have bone on bone, nothing will help. Have you asked your surgeon about Synvisc? It’s a series of 3 injections over weeks that may or may not relieve your symptoms. Your body compensating for your abnormal gait due to knee due to OA is throwing off your hip.
Have you seen an orthopedic surgeon? That is the first step.
If you need a replacement have it done. 
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Reply to Shane1124
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I am 72 years old and have bone on bone osteoarthritis in my left knee. I can walk about an hour with a little pain and some swelling. I swim and also lift weights. I do have some pain in my right hip from having an altered gait . I am considering knee surgery. Any thoughts on trying physical therapy for correction of walking
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Reply to longwalker
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wleon the older one gets the longer it takes to recover from surgery. I would say up to ayear or more. In the early days everything is totally exhausting and all anyone wants to do is sleep. Just taking a shower will totally exhaust a person.
I had my right hip and knee replaced at age 68 and made a good recovery and was totally active but going to PT wore me out for the rest of the day. Last year ten years lter my left hip broke and I had it replaced. This time I am still weak and tired a whole year later. The hip functions just fine but my general activities are very limited.
i don't think the anesthetic has anything to do with your mother's sleepyness. That should have been gone in a couple of days.
Encourage mom to do her exercises and provide a diet high in protein unless that is otherwise contraindicated. Give her things that are easy to eat. She may not fancy meat and two veg but may tolerate soup, milk puddings, yogurt, cheese in any form and smoothies. if she likes it Ensure is excellent or Boost as that is cheaper. Frequest small meals and snacks is the way to go.
Don't with hold pain meds if she needs them but watch out for constipation.
This is not easy but try not to worry it will only rub off on her and that is the last thing you want. basically let her do things her way. At 90 she has earned that right and pushing her will not effect the final outcome. It sounds as though having the surgery was the right decision so don't start second guessing that part of it whatever happens. just keep loving her and let the lord take charge.
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Reply to Veronica91
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My beloved 90 year old mother has just had a knee replacement. She needed it badly as the pain in her left leg - which she had lived with for a number of years - was just too much to bare. However, after having the operation -which she had recently - she is very very tired, and is falling in and out of sleep. I am worried sick, but the doctor said that this was normal. I am wondering how long does the anesthetic last before it begins to wear out? The doctor told us that her extreme tiredness is because she is coming out of the anesthetic? When will she begin to get her strength back and become more lively?
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Reply to wleon63
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Why does one elect to have knee replacement? At the end of the day no matter what age you are it's about the quality of life you have on this Earth. We don't live forever, and if we can minimize our pain why not and enjoy the time we have left, without horrible pain. My mom is getting ready to have surgery on her right knee and she is 80 years old., she still has her wits about her she lives alone and she wants to be able to get around she still wants to travel why not? I am in support of knee replacement.
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Reply to MelonyMel
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Why knee replacement? At the end of the day it's about the quality of life. We don't live forever. If one has the opportunity to have surgery and minimize their pain why not. My mom is 80 years old and she's getting ready to have knee replacement on her right knee. She still desires to travel to play with the grandkids. Everyone knows that when you're in pain there is little you can do. The best thing one can do is support their family member going through knee replacement so they can recover the best way possible and I pray for anyone going through it or contemplating it. Growing old is no joke. So I'm going to be positive pray to my god Jehovah.
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Reply to MelonyMel
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Why does one elect to have knee replacement? At the end of the day no matter what age you are it's about the quality of life you have on this Earth. We don't live forever, and if we can minimize our pain why not and enjoy the time we have left, without horrible pain. My mom is getting ready to have surgery on her right knee and she is 80 years old., she still has her wits about her she lives alone and she wants to be able to get around she still wants to travel why not? I am in support of knee replacement.
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Reply to MelonyMel
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I will be eighty years old in April. I have avoided knee replacement for 10 years, and probably would have continued doing so, however; I fell , and my left knee is in bad shape. I can't leave the house; I am having trouble walking with a cane. When I awaken at morn, my knee is so stiff I cannot walk for a few minutes..even with the cane. I will go to my rheumatologist the 14th of this month (March,2017) and ask his opinion on surgery. He had told me, sometime ago, that if I had a stroke, or fell and further injured one of my knees, surgery would be out of the question. Let's see what he says now.
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Reply to rainsongsj
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