Knee Replacement Surgery – My Story 

 Originally Written: June 23, 2012

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on June 23, 2012 by support_b8i621vg

My story actually starts about 11 years ago, on a cool March morning in 2001. After I dropped off my husband at work, I encountered a driver who ran a stop sign and plowed his GM Sierra pick up into my Ford Taurus. The impact resulted in my left leg getting caught under the accelerator, ripping the cartilage in my knee.

Instrumented knee joint
An instrumented knee joint

At first, I didn’t really feel the pain – but as soon as the shock wore off – I more than felt it. Physiotherapy for the knee, along with sore neck and back and acupuncture to get rid of headaches didn’t do much, so over the next several years, I went through 3 surgeries, all of them using what they call “a scope” to try to fix the knee. The fact that at my age, arthritis also set it didn’t help, so after a long wait and several meetings with an orthopaedic surgeon, the decision had to made: the knee had been so badly damaged that only a complete replacement would have a positive result.

Let me tell you – when they say “complete knee replacement” – they really mean it. Here is what the challenge was for me – I really wanted to know as much as possible, get information from people who have gone through it and be prepared. The only thing I discovered is that there really wasn’t anything I felt was helpful.

Lot of medical information, quite a few offers of an alternatives that were pretty much just money grabs for supplements, etc. – I was looking for personal accounts of what people felt like during and after having the surgery. That’s why I decided to document my knee replacement surgery and recovery. I hope that it will help someone out there – because believe me, as much as I gave my best to be prepared, I had a good number of surprises, most of them causing stress that is definitely not needed.

I am going to do this story in individual parts – it will allow you to read all of it or read parts that you are interested in. I do hope that you will read every day – as I will post each day, until I completely recover. As of today, I am only 5 weeks after the surgery, but it is a good time to start this. For one – I am definitely more optimistic that soon, I will be able to live without pain, walk freely or – maybe even run!

And here is the most important thing: If there is anything you want to ask me, anything you are wondering about, please let me know – I promise I will answer every one of your requests or comments – I wish I had someone to ask questions before I started going through this.

Upcoming stories on these topics: (Or more as I go through this)

  • Getting ready – pre-surgery meetings
  • Get ready for the hospital – what you need to know
  • The surgery day
  • My hospital stay experience
  • Going home – what you really, really need and what you don’t really need
  • Starting physiotherapy
  • Dealing with pain
  • Can I walk?
  • What I do at night
  • Eating and tasting differently
  • More about physiotherapy
  • Finding your limits
  • Am I done recuperated now?


That is all for the introduction to my story – stay with me and I hope the story of my journey will benefit you!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • Hello Hanna, I am currently awaiting an appointment for knee surgery. I have read the first and second parts if your experience, and have found it quite helpful. Maybe I’m blind though, because I can’t see the rest of the story. I’m very interested in what to expect, so I would really appreciate hearing from you. I live in Creston B.C. so will have to travel to Trail for the surgery, which is a pain, but can’t be helped. Thanks in advance.
    Regards, Donna

    • Hi Donna! I was trying to remember how far I got with that story, because the knee replacement surgery was followed in a few months by being diagnosed with breast cancer.So – after over a year of treatments I am now cancer free and working on getting my strength back. I will be happy to communicate with you and pass on any information or experience I have – please feel free to contact me directly using email hanna@honeypotmarketing.com – I will help any way I can!

  • Hello David! Thank you so much for taking the time to send me your message. I am absolutely thrilled that you now have hummingbirds visiting you-they are truly a fascinating little guys! Amazingly in a condo in downtown Vancouver-you did it everything right and then some!
    I am on a great way to recovery-starting more extensive work outs this week and I totally appreciate your advice and good wishes!
    Thanks again and I hope you will continue visiting my site
    Best Regards from Mama Hanna

  • I’m sorry to hear about your knee. My understanding after physio and exercising (be sure to exercise it) you will be pain free and as good as new. Something I’m sure you will be looking forward to…
    I have a story I’m sure you will enjoy.
    I have been following your advice to get hummingbirds to our condo deck and it worked!!!!
    We moved into our newly renovated condo in November 2011. It is located in the downtown area of Vancouver BC not far from Stanley Park. I bought a hummingbird feeder and hung it outside in early April. Recently I made my own nectar 11/2 cups cold water and 1 cup sugar.
    The feeder is on the east side of our 350 sq ft deck. Hanging below red petunias right beside large hanging fascias.
    I’m hoping the little one brings more friends 😉
    Get well soon

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