Well it is T- 6 days until I get my knee replaced with the latest and greatest. I am nervous about it for sure. Yesterday was the pits, my head was for the first time in 27 yrs not in the game at all. Glad it was a quiet shift. The game was at the knee and thinking about how things were going to turn out in the next 6 months.

How many of you FFs out there have had this or other joints replaced and are still on the job. How are you doing, how did it turn out?

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I have osteoarthritis which has become bone on bone in my knee. I am currently wearing an off-loading brace which makes it possible for me to walk more than a few hundred feet. This happened fast for me. January of 2010 I was running 5k's and by December of 2010 I couldn't walk the length of a shopping mall to do my xmas shopping. My Ortho doc has just told me there is nothing more he can do for me and that I don't need another visit unless I have new issues. He did say I was a candidate for a partial knee replacement but I should think long and hard on the topic before deciding to get one. I asked what was the disadvantage of getting it done and he really didn't answer that question. lol I haven't had much luck researching the different appliances or which doc has the best track record (mine has only done 5 of these with mixed out comes. He basically told me not to ask him to do it) What light can you shed on this topic? I am a career firefighter/medic with way too many years left to retirement. Thanks
I am a career firefighter with Casper fire dept in Wyoming. Like you, I haven't had any problems with my knees before injuring both of them in April 2011.Now, I have had Cortisone shots in both knees,(didn't work),had both knees scoped,(didn't work) and was told I need a partial knee replacement in my Left knee due to osteoarthritis. My Ortho asked me if I would try a shot called Synvisc One. Synvisc is basically artificial synovial fluid and it increases the joint space between the patella and the trochlear portion of the femur. It has worked like a charm in restoring Range of Motion and my knees are mostly pain free. I should be cleared back to full duty August 29th.I have tried running,(against my ortho's recommendation)and have noticed quite an increase in the amount of pain, so I will listen to the man getting paid the big bucks and cut running back as much as possible. Low impact stuff doesn't hurt at all. Yesterdays workout consisted of 17KM on the ellipticle and a bike ride of 12.8 miles. If you are allergic to chicken products, Synvisc One is probably not for you though:( Unfortunately, I still have to eventually have the partial knee replacement, but hopefully later than sooner if you know what I mean!
I get about 6 weeks of relief with the shots. Then another 4 months to wait. But it is just a stop-gap measure until a TKR for me.
Karen, one thing I did before I went and got the tkr was to research the types of tkr parts there are available. Some of that required me calling the maker and asking about it and then some further reading of quality control documents. I ended up going with the Bio Met type as there were more fits for men. Shop around for what you think after researching. Also, research who is going to do the work, you do not want the doc that only does 2 per year you want the one that does hundreds of them, ask that doc how many did not go right, you have the perfect right to know, and they I found hve been truthful to me. I got lucky in that my doc was just out of med school and had speclized in knees, hips, and shoulders. I felt like I hit the lottery on having a great doc. Hope this helps, let me know?
Karen, I am a 53 yr old vol firefighter from VA that like Don went with Bio-met replacement for a left knee TKR. I am a year post surgery and the joint is doing well. The key for me was and continues to be the rehab. Do more than they ask and keep it up to get the range of motion back. I still get some swelling and stiffness if I am on my feet for a long streach but the PAIN is gone. Like Don said find you a good doc.
Good Luck
Scott, so glad all is going well, Rehab rehab, rehab!! I never really belived the old adage about 'no pain no gain' until I had to deal with tkr rehab. And now I BELIEVE!! In December I will be at my 4 yr anniversary of tkr and I still do many of the rehab excercises plus new ones. And the best part, Scott is so right, is the lack of pain, it has been wonderful!!

I know this is a very old post but I still thought I'd post. I highly recommend acupuncture for pain relief. I get it done every 6 weeks and I haven't had to wear my brace since I started treatments. Just an FYI

Well it has now been nearly a bit more than 5 years since the TKR, and boy is it great, I ride a bike now, work out every day, have near total movement for whatever activity I want to do, running is out for sure, but I walk up and down Badger Mt trails area regularly. I has been an amazing 5 years, best part that contributed to the great recover is the 100 lbs of weight I lost and retiring fro the fire service (did that 3 years ago).  Lost of weight, less stress more sleep have been huge plus to the TKR being so successful. 

Thought I would update again on how the TKR went, does riding a bike nearly everyday for distance upward of 15 miles mean anything.  The surgery, the retirement, the rehab, Gold Gym trainer, 100 lbs + of weight, and finally after 5 years getting that last 1 degree of movement in the knee (scar tissue is a pain!!!) allows me to grasp life again and really be happy about everything.  I AM SHOUTING FROM THE MOUNTAIN ABOUT YOU GALS/GUYS GETTING THE TKR.  IT DOES WORK BUT REQUIRES HARD DECISIONS, HARD WORK AT REHAB AND REAL STICK TO IT MENTALITY.  You can read this blog or email me at dczimmerman6@yahoo.com

It's been 6.5 yrs since the tkr. Wow am I happy, pain free, retired, biking near every day, fishing fall/winter. Lost near 150 lbs since tkr. I certainly hope all that have read my tkr story are doing great. I know how hard how have all worked to recover & continue in a great job. It's not over, near everyday I do something that makes me smile with regard to the tkr. I have had no issues in ages other than about 2 months I had the nerves around the knee one nite started the leg dancing. Didn't hurt but for a moment I flinched. Just got new bike and added clip in pedals/shoes. Have found this to further exercise the knee area. Be sure and correctly adjust the pedals correctly. Any question you can call!! Or email me!!!

Gads time flies, it has been over 12 years since I had the TKR. I am quite happy to report I NEVER had any issues regarding my surgery. I do anything I want except running. Biking is my big thing weather permitting and I do anywhere between 10 and 20 miles at least 5 times per week during the summer. The knee does just fine with no issues other than about once per year I get a bit of a electrical nerve jolt for about 2 seconds. I'm guessing the nerves are still rerouting themselves. Has no effect, more of a surprise than anything. Still pain free, my other knee has a bit of work 2 years after the replacement (doc said that would happen). She also indicated I might have hip issues at the 10 years anniversary & I did but I increased my exercise levels and that seems to have gone away. I think I delayed the hips for a while, who knows.


It's been a long time since I posted into Firefighter Nation!!!

I think it's time for an update!

Update: In about 2-3 weeks I will be getting a right hip replacement to go with the mentioned above right knee replacement, back when I had the knee TKR in 2007, The doctor had said I would need a hip at some point, she figured about 10 years if I continued doing what I was doing. I took heed and retired in 2011, four years after the knee was done. Well, it's nearly 15 years now and it's time. 

In January, I suddenly had huge hip pain on a scale of 8 of 10 every time I sat down stood up tried to walk. In the space of 3 weeks went from walking normal to using a walker (it sucks totally). Got into the doctor's office and it was determined the hip joint was bone on bone, and it was replacement time. 

I am seriously working forward to this, when I had the knee done, I wasn't so much. I know it was because of the potential I was going to end up taking a medical retirement. Not this time.

At this point I have the surgery planned out, the home care, and some of the rehab planned out. I know for sure I'll be a whole lot better than I am!!!

The knee is continuing to be great, no issues and with new hip as well that will continue. I'll post again after the surgery.


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