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Old 07-03-2013, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,772 posts, read 104,151,035 times
Reputation: 49244

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I never really realized my knee or actually knees were as bad as they are until early this year. I did notice it is harder to straighten my legs when I sit crossed legged then it used to be and my knees hurt a lot more, but when one almost gave out altogether last Jan it dawned on me, I needed to see a doctor. Our family doctor referred me to the same orthopedists my daughter uses. I fell in love with him and one of the things that impresses me is his not being knife happy.
After taking my history and doing the usual X rays, it was obvious age had done its job on my left knee particularly. I had a cortisone shot and it helped for about a month. Then I had the big shot that could help for up to 6 months. It has been about 3 and I don't think it will work much longer. Here are my options: I can do another shot: I can go ahead with the surgery or I can just live with the pain for the rest of my life. I don't really want to do anything til I get back from a cruise in December because we have another 10 day trip planned for Sept.

For those of you who have had knee replacement or have family members who have, what advise can you give?
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:18 AM
Status: "Mistress of finance and foods." (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
50,002 posts, read 63,325,358 times
Reputation: 92501
nmnita, it sounds as if your knees are kind of in the same state as mine. Have you had the Euflexxa shots yet? They are a series of 3 shots, not cortisone, but I think considered the next step up in treatment of arthritic knees after cortisone stops working. My ortho dr says I'm nowhere near ready to think about knee replacement, and I agree. The Euflexxa shots have lasted about a month now and have helped a lot. For some, they last forever. Worth a try.

I've spoken to various folks who have had joint replacement and they are all sorry they did not have it done sooner. However, the only bad episode was with a friend of ours, who just had a knee replacement and nearly died from a blood infection. I would need to be very desperate for relief before I would undergo any elective surgery.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,772 posts, read 104,151,035 times
Reputation: 49244
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
nmnita, it sounds as if your knees are kind of in the same state as mine. Have you had the Euflexxa shots yet? They are a series of 3 shots, not cortisone, but I think considered the next step up in treatment of arthritic knees after cortisone stops working. My ortho dr says I'm nowhere near ready to think about knee replacement, and I agree. The Euflexxa shots have lasted about a month now and have helped a lot. For some, they last forever. Worth a try.

I've spoken to various folks who have had joint replacement and they are all sorry they did not have it done sooner. However, the only bad episode was with a friend of ours, who just had a knee replacement and nearly died from a blood infection. I would need to be very desperate for relief before I would undergo any elective surgery.
You sound like me, I do not believe in elective surgery, especially as we get older. As for the 3 shot, Euflexxa, I didn't have that, but I did have the one that lasts, like I said, up to 6 months. I can not remember what it was called.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: stuck
1,322 posts, read 4,221,966 times
Reputation: 1250
hold out on the surgery as long as you can!!! especially a big one like total replacement. i even regret getting an arthroscopic meniscectomy. my knee feels worse now than prior to surgery, which 1 1/2 yrs ago.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,855 posts, read 65,595,574 times
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Not a knee but my daughter had a hip replaced maybe 6 yrs ago. No problems and sooo glad she did it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:54 PM
 
4,899 posts, read 6,184,336 times
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If the shots seem to be easing the pain then I would hold off on a replacement. However, you will know when it's
time because the pain will be intense when it becomes bone on bone. An xray is enough to show that. I had
surgeons go back and forth - some said I was too young, some said to get it done. After walking like frankenstein
for too long and in terrible pain, I found a surgeon who did replacements on other surgeons and I had it done.
Sure, it was painful and the physical therapy (which is very necessary to gain as much range of motion as you
can) was hard. But, the pain is gone and I can walk like a normal person. BTW, once you have one there are
some things you should never do; ski & jog (too much impact on the knees).
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:11 PM
 
Location: NC
1 posts, read 4,902 times
Reputation: 10
I have severe bone on bone arthritis in both knees. I don't experience much pain and have gotten relief from Synvisc One injections. My rhumatologist told me recently that I should wait until the pain becomes so bad that I can't stand it. I disagree with this "advice," especially for women. XXX is one of the most skilled surgeons in the area. I got a glowing report from one of his patients who was driving after just a few weeks. Also, he doesn't put tube down your throat, which I like, and his patients have a faster turn-around. And staph infections are rare, and he has never lost a patient due to TKR. His office staff is great and he has a wonderful xxx

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 12-25-2013 at 04:27 PM.. Reason: need at least 10 other posts to make specific recommendations
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:02 AM
 
209 posts, read 464,085 times
Reputation: 301
My mom had it done in her 80's when it got to bone on bone and came out fine. The question is what kind of knee issue do you have. Possible arthritis if the doc is going for replacement. I work out with a 68 year old who has osteoarthritis in his knees. The synovial fluid replacement therapy has made a huge difference for him. We are able to do hard hikes together with up/down hills. I'm pretty impressed... So you may have a couple options. Maybe get a second opinion and check the infection rate at the hospital where the surgery would be done. To me, that is the major hazard in your task.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,969 posts, read 28,272,367 times
Reputation: 10755
One of the things to consider that has not been mentioned yet, is how long an artificial knee or artificial hip will last. It's important to know they don't last forever. The two main considerations are the joints wearing out, and the implants loosening in the bone.

When artificial joints first became widely available they were generally considered to be good for 10 years. That was the genesis of the standard advice to wait as long as possible before a joint replacement surgery, because a second replacement was problematic. So the most likely candidates then were people in their 70s, who theoretically could get the biggest "quality of life" improvement out of 10 additional years of mobility.

Gradually the service life of artificial joints has improved, and even some of those early surgeries lasted 30 or 40 years, while others failed much earlier. Some had to do with how compliant patients were to the recommendations given, some had to do with different body chemistries, and some with varying designs. My mother had both knees replaced, and at another time, a hip. In retrospect she was not a great candidate, because she wasn't rigorous about her physical therapy schedule, and she never lost the weight that the doctors recommended, but she loved to travel, and she was determined to get a few more good years in. But a dozen years later she was in a wheel chair for the duration of her life, because she was not a good candidate for a second round.

My point being that anyone considering joint replacement needs to have very frank discussions with the doctors about the possible complications, not just early on, but in the future, and about available options at that time.
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