knee relacement refusal

Janey127
Janey127 Member Posts: 7
edited 10. Jan 2017, 16:18 in Community Chit-chat archive
Hi everyone, i'm new to this, but desperately seeking help. I was told i has osteoarthritis in march after i thought something had snapped in the back of my left knee as i was walking. An Xray revealed i had Arthritis. I couldn't walk without crutches for around 3 weeks. I had the steroid injection, but that had no effect. I was given an appointment for physio, where they gave me a sheet of paper with exercises on and got no follow up appointment. I have seen 3 different GP's who have all said i need a knee replacement. I cannot straighten my leg fully and walk with a slight limp now. I eventually had an MRI scan and a follow up appointment with a consultant, who said i need physio !! He also said i don't qualify for a knee replacement as i am too young. i'm 55. My right knee decided on Friday it had had enough over compensating for my left one and has now given up, i can honestly say i have never felt pain like it. I went to A&E, was given an Xray and told i only have slight arthritis in the right knee. Painkillers prescribed and sent away with an appointment to attend a knee clinic. I cannot weight bare whatsoever. I still have 12 years before i can retire, i work in a school, so my job is quite physical, and if i cant do my job properly, i'm at risk of losing it. I know knee replacements only have a 10 to 15 year life span, but i need one or even 2 now. Sorry for the rant but i don't know where to turn

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janey127
    Glad you have found us you will find all friendly and willing to help and come along side you with your arthritis and as we all have forms of arthritis in some way or other the advice will be from the heart and knowledge they have gained.
    all the best as you browse the forums.
    Christine x:D
  • Amble
    Amble Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Janey
    I'm so very sorry you are in so much pain and have been refused help on grounds of age. :o
    Would it be worth returning to your Doctor's and asking for another urgent referral as you are in danger of losing your job? :cry:
    Sadly it seems that we all have to become almost professional 'boat rockers' to gain any help.
    Would it be possible for the Head Teacher to also write a letter of support?
    You have to try every avenue you can think of.
    Wishing you better responses and very soon! happy new year toast
  • Janey127
    Janey127 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your words of comfort. Its good to be able to speak to people who understand. My family are very supportive, but obviously dont know how painful, exhausting and frustrating it can be. Thanks for thinking of speaking to the Headmistress, i will speak to her when i return to work.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,763
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh you poor thing :(

    Sounds like you feel really alone with all this. No need now you have found us lot. Don't worry about 'ranting' we all do from time to time ((())).

    You probably do need physio, I agree and hope you will be able to get that through the knee clinic.

    I expect the 'better' knee is maybe suffering more because of the poorly knee and overcompensating for it. That's why their description of 'slight' arthritis isn't equal to your level of pain from it.

    Finally there are people on here whose knees (new ones) have lasted a LOT longer than 10-15 years. That said orthopaedic surgeons do try to put replacements off as long as possible.

    Have you tried heat on your knee(s)?? Wheatbags for instance, because if I helps you can buy little heat patches you can wear inside a knee bandagy thing while you are at work??

    Take care now Janey

    Love

    Toni xxx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I had a partial right knee replacement when I was 44; I'm now 51. I'm currently awaiting a left total knee replacement and both knees are giving me problems now. The left one as it's knackered and needs replacing; the right because it's struggling under the strain.

    Some NHS health trusts insist you have physio before you are accepted for surgery; some will also ask you to lose weight if you need to. If you are struggling with the physio, ask to go back and see them again and when you do see them say you need more than one appointment. Ultimately unfortunately the decision to offer surgery or not is usually down to the consultant. Your GP may be able to write a referral explaining the impact on your life this is having. You may need to ask your GP to prescribe more effective pain control medication for you.

    As for knee replacements wearing out? When I had my partial knee replacement in 2009 I was told it should last me 15-20 years if I was careful with it. I have been careful with it and continue to be so. Knee replacements aren't the same as natural knees and they don't always guarantee you will be pain free (I still get a lot of pain in my right knee). You have restrictions with knee replacements, for example, I can't kneel on my right knee (can't kneel anyway now due to my left knee and left ankle both being shot to bits).

    I hope you get some pain relief sorted out soon. Please make sure you let us know how you get on.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Janey127
    Janey127 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    GraceB wrote:
    Hi, I had a partial right knee replacement when I was 44; I'm now 51. I'm currently awaiting a left total knee replacement and both knees are giving me problems now. The left one as it's knackered and needs replacing; the right because it's struggling under the strain.

    Some NHS health trusts insist you have physio before you are accepted for surgery; some will also ask you to lose weight if you need to. If you are struggling with the physio, ask to go back and see them again and when you do see them say you need more than one appointment. Ultimately unfortunately the decision to offer surgery or not is usually down to the consultant. Your GP may be able to write a referral explaining the impact on your life this is having. You may need to ask your GP to prescribe more effective pain control medication for you.

    As for knee replacements wearing out? When I had my partial knee replacement in 2009 I was told it should last me 15-20 years if I was careful with it. I have been careful with it and continue to be so. Knee replacements aren't the same as natural knees and they don't always guarantee you will be pain free (I still get a lot of pain in my right knee). You have restrictions with knee replacements, for example, I can't kneel on my right knee (can't kneel anyway now due to my left knee and left ankle both being shot to bits).

    I hope you get some pain relief sorted out soon. Please make sure you let us know how you get on.

    GraceB

    Post approved - I'm guessing you wanted to comment on here :D
    Best wishes
    Bryn
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What did I do wrong? Thought the contents of my post was okay, but obviously not. Sorry.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nothing wrong with the post Grace, just Janey127 may have been having a problem with replying as her first posts went into Moderation as usual for a new member & didn't realise she hadn't added to the quote.
    x:)

    Brynmor
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sounds like 'between a rock and a hard place'! I'm in a similar position although I haven't worked for 16 years. I'm hanging onto my joints but recently wanted to do more exercise and have just got on with it, I wanted my life back.

    The exercise is good for me, it feels good, it is adding to the wear and tear but the joints are buggered anyway. Try the physio, it might lead to something else, even if it means you'll be fitter and recover better from a replacement operation. I have no idea what your fitness levels are so feel free to shout at this post, if you can try the offered route?

    :snowball-fight:
  • Janey127
    Janey127 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone and thanks for your replies. I have been to the knee clinic today and have to have another MRI scan, they have also arranged physio, which i start next week.
    Just a quick question, does anyone get a pain that feels like a hot iron being put on the skin? I keep feeling this in my lower leg. I mentioned it to the doctor and he thinks it could be something to do with a nerve.
    Anyway, i hope you all have a pain free and wonderful New year
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,278
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I guess it could be nerve pain,. Unfortunately we all experience pain differently so it's hard to tell. If it is, listen carefully to the physio as nerve pain can be eradicated if identified early and dealt with by exercises. Besides, exercises are good for all of us. They keep muscles strong and joints supported so pain is lessened.

    Pain free isn't a concept I'm familiar with :lol: nor one worth pursuing as far as I'm concerned but I noticed one of our Mods, before Christmas, wished us all 'a low pain day'. Sounds good to me :D

    Please keep us updated.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janey,sorry to hear about your knee difficulties. You might be interested in the following which comes from NICE clinical guidelines(the reference is cg177)
    You and your healthcare professional should discuss possible referral for joint surgery before your symptoms and pain become so bad that you find it hard to carry out your day-to-day activities.

    Surgery may be an option regardless of your age, whether you are male or female, whether or not you are overweight or smoke, or if you have other health problems as well as osteoarthritis.

    As these are guidelines there can be an attitude that says 'we don't have to do what it says', so you will need to build a case. That could involve doing the physio(which will be needed for surgery in any case), attending pain clinic, trying different pain relief, discussing adjustments with your employer. The other thing that in an ideal world should be relevant is that the longer you can reasonably stay in work the better for all, but a lack of long term and joined-up preventative strategy between NHS and social services works against that.
    You might like to move over to Living with Arthritis to look at posts from those who are, or have been, in a similar situation.
    It's worth bearing in mind(the medics don't always!) that in terms of pain and joint difficulty, no two people are the same and diagnostics alone can't say for sure who will have problems and to what degree.Even if two Xrays look similar one person can be struggling to cope and the other not have any significant problem with either pain or mobility.
  • tupney
    tupney Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Janey,
    I have been told that I have OA in my left knee. The doctor was very casual telling me this, and I was in a state of shock, when he said as a aside 'we don't like to replace joints in anyone under 65'. As I am 62, I was a bit taken aback by his very throw away attitude. I suppose because they have to say the same thing every day to lots of people, they don't realise how terrible people feel to be told, and the force of the pain.
    Keep on keeping on, don't be put off, and push, push,push for better pain relief. Tell your family that you will not be able to do as much as you used to, and get them to read up as much as they can.
    I hope that it all works out for you, and be strong! :P
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,278
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    tupney wrote:
    push, push,push for better pain relief.

    We all deal with pain in our own ways but I'd just be a bit wary of that. 'Better' pain relief usually means more narcotics. I find the trick is to find ways of coping with the pain rather than pursuing an impossible dream of 'pain-free'. Balancing out exercise and rest helps a lot but distraction from pain (whatever distraction rocks your boat) is a great one too.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janey,
    I thought it might be useful for you to be able to access our booklet on pain management, as it is rather comprehensive and could be useful for you when attending the pain clinic. Here is a link to the booklet for you https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis/managing-pain-and-fatigue
    as others have mentioned pain and pain management is very much an individual choice and only you will be able to decide with time what is the best balance for you.

    Remember we are always here for you to bounce ideas off and for you to ask as many questions as you need.
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • Janey127
    Janey127 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you everyone for your support in this, you are all very understanding. i just hope my employer is when i hand my next sick note in :D
    I had my first physio on Friday and have exercises to do, which i'm trying to do, despite the pain. My scan date is the 29th Jan, so i will have to wait a couple of weeks after that for any results
    No Health professional has explained anything to me about Arthritis, I have read things online, but i will read up on the attached links, and also the NICE guidelines thanks.
    As for pain relief, i am taking Tramadol and Naproxin. I still have pain, but nowhere as bad as it was and at least now, i am able to walk, (with crutches)
    Thank you all for your support, it means a lot
  • Janey127
    Janey127 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    webmanager wrote:
    Hi Janey,
    I'm glad you have had your physio appointment, I'm sure the exercises are very painful to do, but I'm glad to hear that your are sticking at it. Also good news about your MRI scan at the end of January at least once all of this information is in your consultant will be able to make some decisions about your treatment.

    We do have a good section on the website about working with arthritis, it may be worth reading so that you can feel confident when speaking to your employer about having time off, here is a link https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis/working-with-arthritis

    Keep us up-to-date with how you're getting on its always good to hear from you. Also don't forget if you've got any questions feel free to ask away, that's what we're here for.
    Best Wishes
    Sharon