My Knee Replacement

No one told me it was going to be this painful. They should have.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Comments (55)

(52) Sara, November 20, 2014 7:16 PM

Refuah Schleima

Because people tolerate pain differently, it needs to be mentioned but left to the individual. Hopefully, he will do his homework. Now Rabbi, while you recovering, can you think of the answer to your question in terms of life situations. For example, shidduchim, Do you have to divulge everything, sometimes painful info? Or do you leave it to the individual to do their homework?
Thanks for your very interesting insights

(51) Anonymous, November 17, 2014 4:02 AM

wishing you a refua shlaima.

tell the truth. but also tell the truth on what will happen as a person ages etc. and does not have the surgery. what will his quality of life be?will he be confined to a wheelchair/ not being able to be independent anymore? two sides of the story.

(50) Dafna Grossman, November 17, 2014 2:20 AM

Refua Shlema!!

Refua Shlema!
And thanks for all your videos!
I really don't know what is best...
Honesty or Compasion and ( not lying) but not telling all the truth.
Besides: why should we suffer pain if there are medications for them!!???

(49) Deborah Litwack, November 16, 2014 3:27 AM

Comments from a physical therapist....

First-refuah shelema!
I've always told my patients that the first two weeks are hell, but down the road they'll be happy they had the surgery. I ALWAYS tell people that the surgery is worthless unless they are totally do all the exercises they are told to do!!! I've seen those who don't and they are contracted (stiff) permanently. I remember a woman who had both knees done on the same day. She was so despondent in sub-acute rehab. I gave her my number and told her to call me in m one month post-op and bet her that she'd be MUCH happier and glad that she had the surgery.

(48) Norm Grafstein, November 15, 2014 5:03 PM

Your Knee Replacement

Yaakov, I'm sorry you had such a problem. I just went through a knee replacement having had the other knee done fifteen years ago Frankly, I am absolutely delighted with the results. There is no doubt there is pain after the surgery, but, this was no worse than from other surgery and the results are brilliant. I was up on my feet, without a cane, ten days after the surgery. It is now six months later and the pain that preceded the surgery is history.

I wish you a speedy recovery. I hope your end results are as good as mine.


(47) elliot, November 15, 2014 2:46 PM

you're right but missed an opportunity

Of course the rabbi's right, but he might have further bolstered his commentary by alluding to "emes," aleph, mem, shin--truth.

(46) Sandra, November 15, 2014 10:35 AM

Great article!

Their is a big problem in trusting doctors, read about essure a popular birth control or check out drug watch. Doctors need to be put in check.

(45) Anonymous, November 15, 2014 5:29 AM


I have had 4 open heart operations(Age now 64) Some pain but not that bad. I was shot in the chest...Pain not that bad.
Each person has his or her level of pain that can be endured.
How could a doctor know your level?


(44) Anonymous, November 14, 2014 9:21 PM

Rabbi I completely understand and agree with you, doctors need to inform patients of the real variables before they perform medical procedures. Period. That is ethical.

A doctor pretty much destroyed my life; I did his treatment he suggested. He told me everything is fine with some optional medicines I could have taken or not, he said there are no side effects. He was wrong. I have suffered tremendously and lost my health to the point of feeling like Job because of them. I suffer daily in excruciating pain, and the medicines literally took away several points from the quality of my life by removing my health. I have been patiently awaiting my health to return for over 2 years. Had I had known the side effects I would have never taken the doctors drug recommendations. I asked about having justice, which judiasm advises, and top lawyers told me because of California's cap for medical malpractice there is no point of putting yourself through years of extra suffering to sue the doctor for his wrong information about taking a drug, that there are serious side effects. Even though I was seriously hurt. There is no justice or mercy I have realized from God. I have completely lost all faith in God for putting me through this agonizing suffering daily for two years and lowering the quality of my life for no reason or harm I have done but trust a doctor. I think medical malpractice needs to be changed in America. I have lost my religion because of undue unnecessary suffering, by trusting a doctor. I do not see how God could afflict his people with great tortorous pains for no reason, when they are good people. I bless you that your knee recovers, and more than understand your pain. I therefore think there is no question in my mind, doctors need to give patients a complete warning of the consequences of their actions. Apologies and not saying enough information are not ethical to quell our pains as normal patients and peoples.

(43) Sheryl, November 14, 2014 1:40 PM

partner in pain

I loved this little piece - I too had a total knee replacement last week. The pain is overwhelming. Was I told about the pain? Yes, everyone I spoke to told me the pain would be dreadful for three full weeks and then miraculously disappear. May we both reach this landmark soon. I much prefer to be a partner in Torah then a partner in pain. Refuel Shelama

(42) Keith Edwards, November 14, 2014 6:25 AM

Coon Joint Replacement Center St. Helena Hospital St. Helena, Ca.

I had my right knee replaced 6 yrs ago with the traditional surgery like you had. It was painful---3 days in the hospital on morphine. I swore I would never do it again. I had my left knee done by Dr. Coon 1 yr ago. I had it Wed. morning and walked out Thurs. afternoon. no morphine. I would have it done again tomorrow if needed. People come there from all over the world. Please check it out. They have a website and a 6 month waiting list. It would be worth coming to Ca. to have it done. I enjoy your videos.-----Keith

(41) Sandra Jull, November 14, 2014 6:18 AM

Agonizing pain

My knee replacement resulted in the most agonizing pain I have ever experienced. Would not do it again or recommend it to others. People, tell the truth.

(40) Anonymous, November 14, 2014 3:02 AM


(39) Amy, November 14, 2014 2:59 AM

I agree with you

I agree that doctors have an obligation to give patients information which is as complete as possible; adult patients need to have all the information so that they can weigh the risks and benefits of a procedure for themselves and make informed decisions. However, I also think that patients have a responsibility to ask questions and make sure that those questions have been answered to their satisfaction so that they fully understand why the procedure is necessary, why that particular procedure is recommended above all of the other possible treatments for the condition, what the risks of the procedure are and what the patient can expect in terms of recovery time, rehabilitation strategies, pain management, etc.

(38) Roger Korman, November 14, 2014 1:20 AM

Patience, patience

Dear Rabbi, I am writing you from my couch after having my second arthroscopic knee procedure which followed my total left hip replacement six weeks ago - the right was replaced a few years back. My first comment is to say a blessing for living in an age where we have new knees and hips to complain about. I say that we have "high quality problems." Next - patience Mr. Patient. Soft tissues take longer to heal than bones. After being in so much pain I am sure you want to be immediately out of it, but it takes time. Third - your body is on your side. It wants to get better so listen to it and work with it. If something hurts do you continue doing it? Meshugah no! Fourth, before you use drugs, which by all means you should take as prescribed, use ice and elevation. They work very well, and icing your knee is something you should probably do for a long time, not just a few days after surgery. Every time it hurts, ice it. And finally, with respect to telling you the story straight, I put the onus on healthcare practitioners who either don't have the time or take the time to understand the individuality of their patients. The good Lord made chocolate and vanilla for a reason - different strokes for different folks, but it's hard for our very harried healthcare practitioners to figure this all out. For them, a little rachmanut is prescribed. Feel better soon!

(37) judy, November 14, 2014 12:23 AM

Of course it hurts!

When I went in for a hip replacement 5 years ago, the surgeon told me to be glad it wasn't my knee! He also said that the relief after surgery was proportional to the pain i'd suffered while putting off the operation. Do what they tell you, and you'll be on the the road to a refuah shleimah.
All the best!

(36) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 11:06 PM


I am an RN.I have cared for many people with knee replacements. Not everyone has the same experience.I am also a water exercise instructor. If you can get into a pool for some prescribed therapy you and the knee would benefit greatly. Joints moving in water are a beautiful match. Sending healing lprayers your way !

(35) Basya, November 13, 2014 10:40 PM

very different experience

I'm so sorry you're in so much pain, Rabbi Salomon. I had a right total knee replacement 4 years ago, and left knee about 8 months ago. I guess everyone experiences pain differently.....I expected it to be painful and thought of it as sort of exchanging one type of pain for another. I didn't need pain meds and walked out of the hospital both times, baruch Hashem! The hardest part of rehab was getting the knee to bend, and doing stairs, but again, I expected it to hurt and wasn't bothered by it. I must say that I tell anyone who needs this surgery to do it.....expect the pain, know yourself well enough to know what you need to cope with it, and be patient. It's worth it! The result is typically really good. But if emotions kick in - anger, frustration, blaming, holding on to ideas about how it "should" feel, rather than just being with what it is.- it makes the whole experience harder to bear. One day at a time. One step, one stair, one bend at a time, and you'll be, b'chasdei Hashem, grateful for this surgery. You're still so early in recovery, of course you're feeling lousy, but it really helps to drop all expectations about "them", and of yourself, accept what it is, and keep a positive mindset....for me, I knew that the "old" pain would only get worse, and that this "new" pain would, b'ezras Hashem, only get better. Tracht gut, zet zein that how it goes?
I wish you a refuah sheleimah! Welcome to the club!

Anonymous, November 15, 2014 9:38 PM

I like your reply.Especially useful to remember "But if emotions kick in - anger, frustration, blaming, holding on to ideas about how it "should" feel, rather than just being with what it is.- it makes the whole experience harder to bear."
Thanks for reminding what we know but need to reminded of.
And wishing RAV Salomon a FULL and speedy recovery

Basya, November 16, 2014 7:44 PM

thank you!

I forgot to add that everyone I spoke to said it would be awful, the worst, etc., and I simply decided to have my own experience, whatever that was going to be. I don't think I would have had as easy an experience - no pain killers! - if my mind was geared for it to be awful, or if I took the pain I did experience as something to "think a lot about", so to speak. As someone wise said, "we are where our thoughts are", and our thoughts create our the ups and downs of life, including physical pain, are so much easier to bear if we just don't take every thought we have so seriously, especially if it's creating a miserable mood. In my experience, the more I think about the pain, the worse I feel.....thanks for commenting!

(34) Hedy Sheila, November 13, 2014 9:59 PM


Dear Rabbi...
What's with the decision making? To suffer or not to suffer, that is the question.
Right knee replaced Jan '08. Left knee replaced Jan '09. Never complained, kvetched or cried.
I was told it takes "a good year" till you are back to "yourself".
Move, move and move some more. Walk, elevate. REPEAT!
A friend had both knee & hip surgeries. In his opinion, the knee is the tougher surgery & recovery.'s over. Makes you actually look forward to a hip replacement, doesn't it?
Pain will diminish, activity will increase. And, before you know'll be kicking that cane of yours to the curb.....using your NEW, RIGHT KNEE, of course!
Continued improvement every day along with good health.

G-d bless you.

Hedy Sheila

(33) gloria, November 13, 2014 9:32 PM

the pain

sorry to hear you are one of those people who experienced severe and perhaps even agonizing pain' not all people do. in fact i think its about 50/50 from my experience working in an orthopedic elective surgical ward. some people absolutely experience no pain at all. i recall a 90 year old who proved this point. however for most the swelling and bruising of the site gradually becomes less in a matter of 3 or 4 days (along with the pain). of course essential to the success overall is the patients willingness to 'bend and stretch' the knee regularly throughout the days immediately following surgery to ensure a good range of movement - more pain! there is also keyhole surgery now which is becoming more commonly used for a quicker recovery period (much less damage to surrounding tissue) and why this is not used more is a mystery to me. also don't forget most people need this procedure repeated after 10 years. by then you'll hopefully realize that all the pain (for a short time) was worth the years of freedom to enjoy life more fully without the gnawing and worsening state of grating knees. all the best regards

(32) Shana Rabinowitz, November 13, 2014 9:30 PM

Refua Shlema

Refua Shlema and you are doing great for 10 days post surgery! Both sides have their own merit. I had a knee replacement 3 months after a hip replacement, and the pain from the knee replacement was 10 times worse. When I asked the surgeon why he didn't warn me, he just gave me a look that said because if I told you, you wouldn't do it. I suppose that if one needs to be totally forewarned, one should ask how bad is the pain going to be. However, if this is the first joint replacement one has, one may not be not aware of all of the things you need to ask about. BTW the post-op pain from a knee replacement can last for about 3 months and then it is quite a bit better, but will still occasionally cause pain w/weather changes.

(31) Louis, November 13, 2014 8:54 PM

Here's the straight truth, You asked for it!

You could be suffering from pain mismanagement. It takes at least 6 weeks for bones to heal. You may need some additional pain medicines to help you though this period. Also I remember working for a guy who just had both knees replaced and had felt so good after the surgery, that he failed to restrict his activity level and tore out both prosetheses.
That's why I had the job, I was taking over for him after his second surgery.

(30) William, November 13, 2014 8:16 PM

Total bilateral knee replacement, BOTH KNEES at the SAME TIME!

Full disclosure of the process and expectations is mandatory and if not offered, demand such. I had BOTH done at the same time. Be sure to properly research and choose a superb surgeon. In my case, I was walking THAT AFTERNOON, about 6 hours later. The pain was intense but well worth the results. Physical therapy is MANDATORY! Otherwise, range of motion will NOT be recovered.
I damaged my knees up with various sports activities.
I am now perfectly normal, can function flawlessly, no pain.

I was age 71 when surgery was performed. I'm 6'3" and 205.

I recommend the process without equivocation!

(29) Pam, November 13, 2014 8:05 PM

I'm an M.D. and I agree with you.

If there is to be significant pain, you should know. If pain is not suspected, there is the additional concern that something is wrong. If you do expect it, you will be better prepared, and probably say, It's not so bad. Do keep in touch with your doc, as there can be complications, notably loosening of the prosthesis and/or infection, G-d forbid.

(28) Ben Lurie, November 13, 2014 7:43 PM

Painless knee replacement

Dear Rabbi Salomon,

I had pain free, complete right knee replacement surgery in January 2014. My Dr studied in Edinburgh Scotland and is up to date with the latest technique. He advised me that he would control the pain and he did. I also had an intro spinal block instead of a general anaesthetic. One recovers quicker. Straight after surgery my knee and upper thigh was kept very cool with an ice pack jacket to stop the swelling. I was given strong painkillers and also on anti inflamitory drug morning and evening. The day after the operation my physiotherapist insisted that I walk down the hospital passage wth a walker and then the next day I was given 2 crutches and was instructed to walk regularly. I was discharged after 3 days in hospital and returned to work after one week part day for 4 days and then full time thereafter. I had physiotherapy 3 times per week and then twice weekly. After 3 weeks I stopped the pain killers and also my walking stick. By 6 weeks I was almost fully recovered. Rabbi, the mind plays a tremendous part in ones recovery - being positive. The best was that I walked up to the top of Massada and down again in July. What an experience it was and with no discomfort. By the way I live near the east coast of South Africa near Durban. So when you need the other knee done come to my young doctor. Best wishes, Ben Lurie

(27) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 7:40 PM

is our society based on deceit?
there seems to be a lot that the medical profession hides from us.
it is not the doctors job to decide right and wrong for you. it is your right - if you so decide - to look for alternative treatments, and not to give blind faith in someone who is making a lot of money on every operation.
therefore - yes- you should have had full access to relevant information. including other modes of treatment.
and as you found out- they have good reason to tell you partial truths.
as I see it, I would make every effort to keep the knee g-d gave me, and find other ways to escape the pains.
besides, to my mind, the artificial can never be as good as the real thing.
I would be pleased to be updated in a years time if you feel that it was worth doing.
refuah shleimah!

(26) Dr. Gary Ostrow, November 13, 2014 6:54 PM

I have had and have recommended to patients joint replacements.Some have thanked me for my estimate of pain.others have told me I was off the mark,and the pain was not that bad.Pain as a sensory and mental process is multifactorial and hard to predict for a individual.Some of my patients who held off repacements for years due to fear of the pain were grateful for the surgery and regretted waiting with pain and disability.I am prayerful that as times goes by you will move swiftly past the pain and into gratitude and pain free mobility.Thanks for your videos.

(25) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 6:48 PM

Had knee surgeries on both

Have had open knee surgery as well as scoping on both sev times. And when you are up right away walking or attempting to walk on it fast it goes easier. Use ibuprofen instead to keep swelling down. Works wonderfully. First surgery it didn't exist yet! What a difference. After wk you will be a lot better from scoping. Takes longer for full recovery depending on many factors. Full replacements take a while and also ibuprofen is your friend. Lessens as was go by and before 6 weeks or so you can properly judge if you should have had it. You have to work it. It is metal and your body needs time to accustom itself. A refuah Shleima to Y. S.!

(24) Pauline, November 13, 2014 6:16 PM

My first thought is, if accurate description of the pain and fear and dangers and common complications during and after child birth, and how one's body functions often forever change from child birth were communicated clearly in advance,.....well, there would be a lot less women willing to go through giving birth.
But, as to you, and any with lots of pain, I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO what follows. It's what worked for me when no amount (over a year) of physical therapy seemed to do. And it made a HUGE difference for me. A TEMS unit. Health insurance will usually reimburse you. It's about the size of an IPhone, and you attach 2-4 stickers around the area you feel the most pain. The stickers hold wires that are attached to the TEMS unit. Then you can use a variety of settings on that unit, to send various sensations to the area of your body that bothers you most. It can feel like a deep tissue massage, to tingles, to lots of options. You can control the intensity level for your comfort. (If you put the stickers too close together it can hurt, so start with them a bit further apart than you want at first. If they are too far apart, you will feel no effect.) It basically confuses your brain by giving new signals, instead of the pain signals, and you either feel less or no pain while your brain is getting this other, nice warm feeling instead. You can use it for 15 minutes to all day if you want. And it can be worn (with it's clip on one's clothes/waist, and has a battery) while you are out and about. (But most of the time you'd want to use it while resting, with it's power cord, as the batteries are about $15 each and last only about 3 hours.) After years of paralyzing pain, this was the only thing that truly helped me, and pretty quickly. It completely stopped my pain within weeks. TRY IT!!! It will be your first go to thing for any pain nearly anywhere on your body!!!
Enjoy, and be well.

(23) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 6:12 PM

I wish you a speedy recovery

I had meniscus surgery in April after suffering with terrible pain for 8 years. It probably pales in comparison to a total knee replacement. Also I cannot tolerate NSAIDS and codeine. Ice helps a great deal.
There is no quick or easy fix. The upside: I can now take short walks and thus improve my cardiac fitness, I can sleep at night, I don't have to wear an off-loading brace all day and walk like Frankenstein, and my mood is better.
Good luck in your recovery. Remember that the pain will eventually diminish and you will feel much better,

(22) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 5:27 PM

Knee replacement

Hi Yaakov
I can't say I know how you feel because I did not have a knee replacement; I had bilateral total knee replacement two years ago. Sure, the pain -before & after-was quite severe, but B"H I can run up & down the stairs, dance VERY lebidig at Simchas, etc. The first day of Rosh Hashana, I walked a total of over 6.5 miles, and was any worse off because of it.
Refuah Sheleimah & be patient. IY"H it will all be worth it.
Feel free to be in touch if you want to share the war stories

(21) Burt Gershater, November 13, 2014 5:21 PM

I had a much different experience!

Dear Rabbi Salomon~
In the past year I have my two knees replaced, thank G-d. My doctors told me that the pain would be closely monitored and I
should take the medications regularly and as needed. The nursing staff routinely asked about my pain level on a ten point scale and medicated accordingly.
As we know, everyone has a different experience with and relationship to pain. Even a skilled doctor cannot predict our suffering but he or she can minimize it with the proper medications.
I am sorry your experience has been so horrific. I pray for your quick healing and that the pain you have suffered in the past ten days will be compensated by the painless years ahead!

All my best, Baruch Gershater

(20) JB Destiny, November 13, 2014 5:09 PM

Yes, the doctor should have told you how much pain to expect. No two patients are the same, but certainly glossing over the topic entirely or in part, is insulting to an adult patient. Both my aunt and her best friend had knee pain for years, and were recommended surgery. My aunt was told about how much pain there was likely to be after, and has so far decided to reject surgery. Her friend, though, went through with knee replacement on both knees; she had the idea that after a recovery period, she'd be good as new. And she's a nurse! Now she's in so much worse pain than, and hobbles around with two canes. (A young woman, too, in her late 50s.) Sure, some patients might put it off, but that's their right. Others will understand that forewarned is forearmed, as they say. But to hide the level of pain to expect is irresponsible and unprofessional. Would we tolerate this kind of omission from any other professional?

Wishing you a quick recovery and a return to normal!

(19) Patrick Maher, November 13, 2014 4:53 PM

Knee replacement

I had knee replacement and it was smooth sailing. I had no pain and in three three weeks I was climbing a mountain. I was 72 when I had it done. My Dr was Richard Little of Spearfish South Dakota.. I did the physical therapy and was let go early. Got to do the exercises they are very important.

(18) Aryeh, November 13, 2014 4:15 PM

The pain is worth it.

As a fellow therapist I share your pain. I had double knee replacement surgery at the same time. I didn't have a leg to stand on. Because the recovery is difficult I chose to do the double surgery, with my Dr's encouragement, but I didn't feel double pain. And I was told about the pain and chose it. Today it's a year later and I thank God everyday for the painfree knees. I thank my Dr .for doing an awesome surgery. The physical therapy is key to the recovery. Refuah Shelaimah. Aryeh

(17) Teri, November 13, 2014 3:51 PM

I'm with you, Rabbi

I agree with you, Rabbi. I want to know the whole truth about whatever procedure I'm having, including all the recovery "possibilities". Good luck with your healing and may you be back on both feet - and caneless - very soon.

(16) Michael Fenton, November 13, 2014 3:40 PM

My wife is very impressed

My wife had her right knee replaced as well.She is impressed that you are using a cane after 10 days. She was on a walker after that time and needed two manipulations ( additional 1 wk stay in the hospital) to get her back. Not only did she have pain but her recovery took 4 months. She entirely agrees with you on up front expectations and pain. One year later, she is glad she did it.

(15) Lila Perry, November 13, 2014 3:37 PM

I had Knee surgery May 6,2013 and have terrible pain. Worse than before the operation. I am told that here in Israel at some Hospitals they do not put the knee cap in with the other 2 prts. I was told by my Dr. that 15%od knee replacements do not work. I also was told that Share Zedek and Hadassa Ein Kerem do not use the knee cap. I also have a cane now since then. Find out if they put 3 parts in place of your knee or just 2 parts. I have one Dr. (not my surgeon) who has told me I need another operation to put the knee cap in. However my surgeon does not agree. I refuse to go under the knife again. Also, the anestist gave me an Epidural and caused my right leg to be numb up to today. I really hope you will get over your pain soon and will be happy you consented to the surgery.

(14) Anonymous, November 13, 2014 3:21 PM


I agree with Rabbi Salomon, people should be told everything. However, people should have an advocate with them, in the form of a friend, or spouse, to hear the things the patient might not hear, or to ask questions the patient might not ask. I don't advocate meds, but in this case if they are necessary, and will help, they should be administered. Look at it this way, if women had known exactly how much pain childbirth was, would they have found ways to avoid it? For sure! Today women know, and have a lot of options to choose from, from epidural to natural. Still, men have never experienced that level of pain, and in general do not make the best patients. Refuah Shleimah!

(13) Maureen, November 13, 2014 3:17 PM


Now 6.5 months since right knee replaced and pain has morphed to much discomfort but I just go on without meds or cane. Dr. Always said short term pain for long term gain but what is "short" term please tell me. Rabbi do your exercises and Thank G-d. Warmest regards.

(12) IDE Cohen, November 13, 2014 3:11 PM

Dear Rabbi I hope u will feel btr very soon. I know people who put it off for years due to the expectation of pain, while they are IN terrible pain. I need the surgery but the dr says I'm not "ready". I guess I'm not in "enough" pain. At any rate, I wd always want to know up front how bad it's going to be...and that it will get better.

(11) Heather S., November 13, 2014 3:10 PM

pain is very personal and subjective

Hi Rabbi..thanks for your videos..uplifting. I am an orthopedic nurse..see knee replacement patients every day. Unfortunate that your Dr. did not fully inform you..however ..2 things: 1. you would have done it anyway 2. pain is very very personal: some people report less pain and some more.. AND usually the second knee is much different than the first!(if needed) Pain is real. Unlike another poster, I would recommend you take the opiods if needed..enough to allow yourself to do the required physio..very important.Wean yourself as you can . Antiinflammatories are also useful. Get that bend up to 90 and keep walking!!Refuah shlemah! :)

Louis, November 13, 2014 9:05 PM

Valuable advice.

Listen to this lady, she knows what she is talking about.

(10) Norman Itkowitz, November 13, 2014 3:01 PM

Try two at the same time

First off - refuah schlema Second - you think one is bad try both. My take was if I didn't do both I would not want to go back for the second. Third - give it time, it's major surgery. In a year you won't regret it. Finally, in terms of expectations, you may still experience pain. You have scar tissue and when the weather changes or you strain it you still might have pain. In the long run, you will realize that you are more mobile and less distressed with your new knee. Also one last thing different people have different pain tolerance-the docs don't know how much distress you will have following surgery.

(9) Nancy, November 13, 2014 11:11 AM

Yes, it is important to be honest but......

I respectfully disagree with commenter Lisa re: knowing "the gory details." The surgeon had an obligation to be honest regarding pain. However, I believe his/her words should have been chosen wisely. If I had been your surgeon I would have acknowledged that yes, you can expect to feel a lot of pain. That sentiment can be expressed without using tons of adjectives. The important thing is that when a patient is fully informed, then that patient can make the decision that is right for them.

(8) Gila, November 12, 2014 7:15 AM

Wishing this good man well

Rabbi Solomon, we have been following your messages for years, enjoying your insights and remarks. A refuah shlemah for you. You make a difference. Thank you for all you do.

(7) Hana Levine - Volunteer Martial Arts Therapist, Kids Kicking Cancer - Hadassah Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, November 10, 2014 12:52 AM

What does one do with pain?

To keep the pain from getting in the way of your rehabilitation Please go to the web site for Kids Kicking Cancer:
and learn how to do "power breathing" to release your pain.
With blessings for a full recovery. Hana Levine - Volunteer Martial Arts Therapist, Kids Kicking Cancer - Hadassah Ein Kerem, Jerusalem

(6) SusanE, November 9, 2014 8:31 PM

We are pulling for total recovery.

The best possible outcome from your surgery Rabbi. Hoping your pain is gone very soon. Another month and you'll be out skipping rope with the kids.

Now that you know about the pain and that you had no other choice but the surgery, you would have done it anyway. You didn't really believe him about the driving, and being off work. Dr. couldn't say for sure about how you would fare pain wise. If he had said "Some people have very little discomfort post surgery, some have much more"...... you would still have decided to have the surgery.

Exact details on what to expect after surgery of any kind including joint replacement is the honest ethical information your doctor owes you.....IF you ask him to be explicit with you.

You are having your knee replaced because you can't stand pain. It shouldn't be much longer. Continue your rehab and walk as much as possible when the Dr. says you are ready. Don't fall down!

My friends began surgery at 50 (runners and athletes) and the oldest non-athlete is 71 with her 3rd surgery last year, both knees, and back.
One woman, like me, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, had 2 knees and one hip replaced. My neighbor had hip replacements 3 times. She walks funny but is pain free at 81. She cares for 3 big dogs, digs a garden and drives. The cause of the joint damage (running, obesity, arthritis) doesn't seem to make a difference in the outcome.

I will caution you NOT to use opiates longer than 2 weeks for lessening pain. All my friends above are still on opiates years later. Rehab will hurt so don't be surprised. The addiction rate is overwhelming. Keep us updated on your progress.

(5) rONN, November 9, 2014 6:13 PM


(4) Harry Pearle, November 9, 2014 5:33 PM

CRUTCHES May Help with Pain (Refuah)

Rabbi Salomon, One lesson I get from you is that sometimes crutches (and walking sticks) can help us to move forward in life. The pain we feel may just be from anxiety or boredom. But with the help of some assistance we may succeed. (That's what I do with the EASY button, from Staples. I use it to remind me to focus on easy steps in life, to gain some momentum. "That was easy!) THANKS SO MUCH

(3) Inbar, November 9, 2014 1:32 PM

Refuah shleimah!

Hope the pain does not last for much longer, and you will be happy with the replacement.
Regarding your question: I, too, prefer to make an informed choice! Especially when the pain is a reason to have the operation in the first place, the last thing to keep hidden is how painful the recovery period will be, and how long it will last.
If it may influence my decision, that is THE reason not to hold the information back!
Only in cases of confirmed hypochondriacs experiencing all possible side effects no matter how rare or when someone makes clear he or she does not want to be informed, I believe keeping some information back is justified.
Doctors may have information on the medical side but they do not on the way my life will be influenced socially and practically. Not knowing how painful the recovery may be, may result in someone arranging for insufficient help and care during this period.

(2) Chavi, November 9, 2014 1:14 PM


Refuah Sh'leimah!

(1) Lisa, November 9, 2014 12:43 PM

The whole truth & nothing but the truth!

I say:
Spill the beans....tell them everything!
I had many C-sections....I wish someone would have revealed the truth !
Now I tell my fellow friends the whole truth & nothing but the truth! I feel knowledge is power & we must go in knowing all the gorey details! Somehow it just helps!! did it....I hope the worst is over!! May you have a very speedy painless recovery!. Now that you know all the details....would you do it again? Hope your left knee will never give you aches & pains!


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Current Issues Emails

Sign up to our Current Issues Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy