Knee Replacement Surgery (hips too)
Some of you know I recently had knee surgery for a partial replacement of my right knee. I had been in some pain, though it wasn't severe, and I was still able to get around fairly well (I could not jog or run at all) - I did fine this past summer on Zambia, SA, Botswana (even hiked over to Zimbabwe) and during our family trip to Disney I walked 6 + miles both days, but each night my knee was sore and required Ibuprofen. My knees were getting worse, however, and soon would not allow me to enjoy life like I wanted.
Even though the conventional wisdom tends to recommend waiting to have a joint replaced until you just can't do things or can't tolerate the pain, I suggest, if you've already been told you are a candidate for knee or hip replacement, have no other health issues, and have insurance that will cover the procedure(s), then go for it - have it done sooner than later!!
Each person will have different physiology, but, by having my knee done now, the amount of degradation wasn't as severe as it would have been in a few years, so it allowed me to get a partial knee replacement which requires a less painful, much easier and shorter rehabilitation than full knee replacement. I am so glad I did it now!!! I wasn't in bad physical shape, I am a bit overweight, but I exercise regularly (when convenient ), and am certainly not a gym rat or health nut.
In less than 3 weeks after surgery, the pain (mostly surgical from the incision) is almost totally gone, range of motion is nearly restored to pre-surgery levels, and my knee actually operates better. I still have a ways to go, but, as my physical therapist said on Friday, I am no longer in physical therapy but am now "in training" for our trips ahead. I hope to be at 100% or better for Yellowstone in February and really ready to tackle whatever Jordan, most especially Petra, and Egypt throw at me in March! I am determined to make the trek up to the Monastery and possibly trek back to the Treasury via the Wadi Farasa trail and High Place of Sacrifice. I want to be able to walk 7 - 10 miles easily without problems.
In the Tauck traveler demographic there are likely a lot of you who have had knees and hips replaced, e.g. Sealord is recovering from his second knee, and I'm sure a number of us will be willing to share our experiences. The operations can be scary and first few weeks painful, but in the end, I think it is well worth it, so don't wait!!
I am not a doctor and have never played one on TV.