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Old 05-25-2023, 03:58 PM   #1
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Knee Replacement and RV'ing

This is probably a shot in the dark but I'm curious if anyone who reads this has had the procedure and how it affected your ability to handle your rv. I had my right knee done a couple of weeks ago and the left will be done right after Christmas. Right now we have a fifth wheel and I'm wondering if a bumper pull would be easier to handle. Not really interested in any type of motorhome as that would require us to get a towable vehicle.

Sometimes I have to get in to the bed of my truck to deal with the hitch. I've been told getting on the knees after the replacement is not something you want to do. We won't make any decisions until we see what I can and can't do which would be next year but I am concerned.
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Old 05-25-2023, 05:00 PM   #2
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I had one knee replaced in 2007 and the other in 2008. They do not put any padding back during the surgery, lol. That said, I have invested in knee pads, one set in the TV and several more at home. I don't have any pain in my knees getting into the bed of the pickup if I am wearing the knee pads. No pads, you will hear me make a few "expletives deleted". I think what hurts is the fact that there is more of Murff today than in 2008.

If I could give one bit of advice for anyone having knee replacement surgery: DO THE PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!

Yes, it will hurt! But, if you don't do it, the pain people suffer not doing the PT is longer lasting.

Good luck, Jim!

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Old 05-25-2023, 06:06 PM   #3
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snip.......If I could give one bit of advice for anyone having knee replacement surgery: DO THE PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!

Yes, it will hurt! But, if you don't do it, the pain people suffer not doing the PT is longer lasting........snip
X2

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Old 05-25-2023, 06:23 PM   #4
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Getting old is hell but we all deal with it and move forward. I have had two back surgeries with another scheduled for September. I had a knee redone after a treadmill crash. You just work through it and when you can't do it you back off until you can.



We still hike, bike, fish and back trail and if the September surgery slows me down a bit, so be it, it is back to the gym, rebuild and move on. Worrying about it just causes undo stress.


Oh, and physical therapy has never done a thing for me but it has made the therapy center richer.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:35 PM   #5
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Thanks. Sounds encouraging. I'm 75 but I am in good shape other than the knees. I have been doing more than the home health pt lady has been asking me to do. Working really hard on the flexion. Hurts like you know what but she says I'm ahead of schedule. I was just concerned we might have to make a change in our rv life. We've been doing it for over 40 years and I'm just not ready to quit.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:46 PM   #6
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Thanks. Sounds encouraging. I'm 75 but I am in good shape other than the knees. I have been doing more than the home health pt lady has been asking me to do. Working really hard on the flexion. Hurts like you know what but she says I'm ahead of schedule. I was just concerned we might have to make a change in our rv life. We've been doing it for over 40 years and I'm just not ready to quit.

We are 78, in the gym every morning, plank, ab roller, weights, bicycle, treadmill, stairmaster and consider ourselves in great shape. But age is still a factor and you have to set your workouts to your ability. I do Tai Chi every day and she is on an afternoon workout to work those things the gym routine misses. Bottom line to this is, don't stop, if you do you will never get it back. Exercise is a life time program. Maintain that high school weight if you can. I see so many in the RV park that can barely walk for the amount of weight they are carrying. When you let that happen you are on the downhill run. Sorry but the truth.


I am proud of the fact that at this age I am 168 and she is 110 but that is genetics as much as a wife who works on menus and we avoid the burger joints while on the road.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:54 PM   #7
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I had both knees done last year! Total knee replacements. Left in January and right in March! It’s been a year plus now! The good outweighs the bad! It hurts yes to kneel but a soft pad helps! I’m only 61 and the camping lifestyle is in the blood! Go for it man! Keep on trucking! It’s all how you look at it!
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Old 05-25-2023, 07:44 PM   #8
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I had both knees done last year! Total knee replacements. Left in January and right in March! Itís been a year plus now! The good outweighs the bad! It hurts yes to kneel but a soft pad helps! Iím only 61 and the camping lifestyle is in the blood! Go for it man! Keep on trucking! Itís all how you look at it!

My orthopedic surgeon told me once you can get both knees done at the same time. Only problem, he said, "you don't have a good leg to stand on!"

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Old 05-25-2023, 07:45 PM   #9
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Good one, Murff.

Loving the responses. I've been a bit discouraged because of my impatience. I want to be back at it today. CAG, I weigh to the pound what I did when I got back from VN in 1968. I'm a lifelong exerciser but unfortunately abused the knees.

We have spent the month of September in Estes Park, Co for a number of years now. We love hiking in Rocky Mountain NP. Last September I knew I was pushing it and by the time we got home it was difficult to just walk. I tried some shots but to no avail. I was able to use our eliptical and stationary bike until the day before my surgery.

The surgeon I'm using does much of the surgery robotically and the incision is only about 5 inches, which may be the same as any other, but he advertises a faster healing time. I'm highly motivated to get thru this as quickly as possible and have been doubling up on the daily pt stuff. Thanks so much for the encouragement.
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Old 05-25-2023, 07:48 PM   #10
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My wife had her knee done several years ago. The best thing for that was the addition of a fold-able grab bar by the entry door. Not so much for getting in as getting out. She finds the impact of hitting ground worse than any other problem.

As for getting in the truck bed, a plastic stool would be a cheap fix and knee pads if you have to crawl instead of scooting.
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Old 05-25-2023, 08:14 PM   #11
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I agree, the PT is the most important thing you can do.

A shattered arm in 2016 only caused me to adapt. I Hitchgrip allowed me to put the hitch head on and off by myself, and we actually extended a few trips since I was out of work on a medical.

The spinal compression fractures in 2018 took me out for good, and I found a folding stool was a great help so I didn't have to bend to do things like jacks and sewer drops. I was careful to be sure to have something to brace myself with, and help to stand back up with, like a cane. I did PT for months. The staff was awesome. I will have neuropathy in one leg forever, but I don't let it bother me much. So it takes me an hour to change the oil in a vehicle. Not a big deal.

We hope it goes well for you, and you bounce back quickly.
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Old 05-25-2023, 09:14 PM   #12
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I agree, the PT is the most important thing you can do.

A shattered arm in 2016 only caused me to adapt. I Hitchgrip allowed me to put the hitch head on and off by myself, and we actually extended a few trips since I was out of work on a medical.

The spinal compression fractures in 2018 took me out for good, and I found a folding stool was a great help so I didn't have to bend to do things like jacks and sewer drops. I was careful to be sure to have something to brace myself with, and help to stand back up with, like a cane. I did PT for months. The staff was awesome. I will have neuropathy in one leg forever, but I don't let it bother me much. So it takes me an hour to change the oil in a vehicle. Not a big deal.

We hope it goes well for you, and you bounce back quickly.
I'm impressed you were able to overcome your injuries for the most part. Makes mine seem minor by comparison. Good for you and keep it up.
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Old 05-26-2023, 05:13 AM   #13
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I have had partial knee replacements done on both knees and can do anything I want without pain. I followed the doctors, advise for healing with careful bending stretching for the first 3 weeks and then PT. I worked very hard through the PT and always did more than the minimum. Even so it took almost a full year to get back to 100%. I can walk for miles, ride a bike, snowshoe and cross country ski. After about 2 years, I could keel on my knees without padding. It still isn't comfortable long term, but I can do it in a pinch. I bought knee pads for jobs that require a lot of hands and knees work. Other than the initial few months, There were no restrictions on what I could do when I wanted to do it without pain.

With the backup camera on our tow vehicle, I can hitch up our 21' travel trailer without assistance.
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Old 05-26-2023, 09:19 AM   #14
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I had my left knee replaced in 2014 and had a fairly quick recovery... I have full range of motion, no pain, no problems bicycling or other sport activities.. The only thing that bothers me is when working on my hands and knees. i.e. i recently had a hard time installing a laminate floor in my Man Cave. My knee didn't like the constant pressure. Other than that, my mobility is a non issue..
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Old 05-26-2023, 09:33 AM   #15
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At 80, my knees are in great shape. We have many friends who have had both knees done and they all say do the PT or prepare for problems. I just finished PT today for lower back problems and the place was full of knee patients who echo that chorus. We had one club member who did not finish his PT and had to have it re-done after the scarring rendered him unable to walk.

If there is a will there is a way!
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Old 05-26-2023, 11:20 AM   #16
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My wife has had both of her knees replaced. We have a travel trailer and I donít see much if any benefit to move from a 5th wheel to a TT. They both require lots of effort to set up. Also bigger picture this time next year youíll be ready to run a foot race!

Unless youíre not happy towing a 5ver I would stick with it and use it when you can.

My wife sayís anyone who doesnít follow rehab to a T is asking for issues down the road. Rehab is key.
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Old 05-26-2023, 12:25 PM   #17
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My orthopedic surgeon told me once you can get both knees done at the same time. Only problem, he said, "you don't have a good leg to stand on!"

Murff
I have a friend that had both done at once and he was golfing (with a cart) in 3 weeks. He said that was the only way to go.

I have had ACL reconstruction (that was then torn again a year later) MCL and LCL repair on one knee, and LCL and cartilage repair on the other all 35+ years ago. I have been told I will have them both done at the same time, but I am waiting as long as possible for the technology progress as far as possible. I do everything I would be able to do with good knees as it is, and I don't see that affecting RV'ing in the future.
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Old 05-26-2023, 10:20 PM   #18
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I have a friend that had both done at once and he was golfing (with a cart) in 3 weeks. He said that was the only way to go.

I have had ACL reconstruction (that was then torn again a year later) MCL and LCL repair on one knee, and LCL and cartilage repair on the other all 35+ years ago. I have been told I will have them both done at the same time, but I am waiting as long as possible for the technology progress as far as possible. I do everything I would be able to do with good knees as it is, and I don't see that affecting RV'ing in the future.
Concerning technology, as far as I understand it my surgeon is one of the few in the country to use robotics. He has gone all of the country and to other countries teaching how to use it. He has patients from all over the country. There was someone from Alabama and another from Utah on the day I had mine done. The downside is Medicare considers it experimental and will not pay the extra cost for the robotic part. I had to pay $1400 out of pocket to cover it but thought that was a bargain. I have filed with my supplemental to see if they will cover at least part of it but I have my doubts.
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Old 05-31-2023, 12:12 PM   #19
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Good day,


Had a total knee done last year, did the PT and all great. Local Ortho group uses the MAKO robotic surgery. Couldn't have had a better outcome. As others have mentioned you definitely opt for a pad or a thick towel if you need to kneel.


Took me out of the MH for a month or so to fully recover. Difficult to do any adventuring and still do PT 3 to 4 times a week.


Good luck to you.
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Old 05-31-2023, 12:24 PM   #20
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You guys are killing me talking about knee replacement. Right now we're at BAMC in San Antonio in Orthopedics, wife having knee issues as it has given out on her a few times. We know it's only a matter of time as she's been getting injections about every year and they have helped so we'll see. As far as being on my knees in my truck bed I've never had to with my fifth wheel hitch. Guess it just depends on the hitch.
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