Too Young for Replacement. My joint may be the death of me

Am I the only one that gets fed up with being given this excuse everytime I go to the GP. I'm 54 so I'm not what you call young either. I do like to keep myself fit but to be honest with the pain I get from my joint I cant run and walking is painful now too. So ultimately Im getting fat and my heart is getting unhealthy but it really seems that the NHS doesnt like to do these ops until your much older when those that would benefit have probably lost their jobs through incapacity or something. Thats how it seems anyway but I stand to be told otherwise.
I was told there is possibility of partial joint replace or resurface but that would have to be private. Is it correct that the NHS dont do anything but total replacement? It is very sad if that is the case as I'm sure it would give some quality of life too many and help keep people in jobs
Do we ask the NHS or those that run it these type of questions.
I'm sorry if i sound bitter its just when you have a family to support and you keep getting told you must wait until your older seems like a major fob off..


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    My baby sister is 58 and has had stage 4 OA of her right knee for over 2 years, she has been told she needs a replacement but she must wait until she is 65, meanwhile she has to wear a leg brace and put up with the pain. Apparently in the case of knees once a replacement is done it only lasts 10 years so the later they leave it the less they have to do.

  • MarzMac
    MarzMac Member Posts: 47

    Hi @Inuitbiker

    You make some very important points, it is frustrating to say the least when you can see what would really help people with arthritis and you're not sure whether the NHS are aware of the implications - on individuals or indeed wider society.

    We do have a campaigns network you could join, to either get involved in campaigning, or just to find out more about what we're working on. You'll see there is a campaign about improving things for people who want to continue to work.

    I hope you'll find some useful information here on the key pieces of work. There are also different campaigns in each of the nations, depending on what is most relevant. Naturally, we want people with arthritis to steer this work so we rely on hearing from as many people as possible about their experiences.

    In addition to campaigning, we offer training and useful resources for healthcare professionals who can join a professional network to keep up to date on the latest research and treatment recommendations.

    Best wishes


  • Not sure where you are but i had my r knee replaced at 48 and my l knee at 51...
    Why have a p knee replacement thats like having a bag of crispts and only eating half...
    As for age 65 never heard that but if i were you get refered to RNOH Stanmore or London i got my rk done on my bike at 6wks 138 degrees motion at 10 weeks...
    You will have to give up running buddy as a marathon runner that part for me was the worst part...
    Hope you get it sorted pm me if you want the surgeons name thanks Peter
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,713

    My sister had both knees replaced before she was 60. She teaches aerobics for a living, and is also a keen gardener and fell walker (including post op). I’ve heard that resurfacing is often unsuccessful, which I suspect is why the NHS don’t do it much (if at all) any more.

    I do sympathise with you though, I’m a young and active 60 with OA in my hip that’s so painful I can’t exercise or frankly do much at all at the moment. I’m waiting for replacement, but after Covid who knows when that will happen?

    Can I suggest you find a good sports physio, in my experience they’re not too expensive privately. They can assess your condition and suggest an exercise programme, which may include low impact aerobic exercise such as swimming (once the pools reopen) or cycling, to get your fitness back and shed some pounds while you’re at it. Plus some stretching and strengthening exercises to support your knee. Losing some weight will reduce the pressure on your joints and the endorphins will make you feel better generally. I’m trying to do the same, it’s not easy when you can’t exercise with it, but I’m slowly shifting the pounds by just avoiding empty calories (not always successfully 😄) such as booze, crisps, refined sugars and junk food generally, and having smaller portions.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 2. Jun 2020, 07:12

    I was refused new knees aged 52 due to extreme youth. I am now 61 and further knackered thanks to that decision with both ankles and both hips succumbing to the siren call of OA so there is no point now. I have written repeatedly about my exercising, it does nothing for the OA but does help the rest of my decrepit body (which at the moment does not bl**dy deserve it, it is really misbehaving). DD

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    remmingtonwildhunter  May 30, 10:59AM

    Not sure where you are but i had my r knee replaced at 48 and my l knee at 51...

    Lucky you! Checked with my Sister the other day and she has been told she has to wait until she is 67 not 65 as I said previously so she has another 9 years to wait. Meanwhile she has no option but to keep working, albeit part-time, and put up with the pain and increasing disability. We live in Cornwall with limited NHS resources, it is not feasible to ask to be referred to a different health authority. I think that it is absolutely disgraceful that the treatment one receives depends upon the region in which one lives, especially for something so debilitating.

  • Inuitbiker
    Inuitbiker Member Posts: 15
    Thank you everyone for your responses, valuable advice and your own feedback. 
    I will take up more excercise especially strengthening. I do lots of walking at the moment due to my job but the further I walk the worse it gets. I have joint wear in knee, hip and lower spine so my right leg takes the brunt of it

    I will do anything to keep my job and maintain as much of an active life as I can so i will put the effort in.

    Indeed if i had a choice I would go for a hip and knee replacement now. I have been told that a knee and hip replacement may only last 10 to 15 years but my personal view is that it would be better to have a replacement now when I really need it. In another ten years when I am retired hobbling around will not be so much of an issue. I do really wonder if our Doctors actually consider things fully.  Surely i'm better off being able to work and being able to pay my taxes then requiring benefits because I struggle to work
      its frustrating to be constantly told your too young and you will have to wait until your older.  Its clear that the older you get the less chance there is of being able to to be put forward for a big operation anyway.  The blood supply in our tissues reduces as we age so there is less chance of a succesful replacement and thats even if we try hard to keep healthy.   I really do wonder if being told your too young is really is a carefully considered health plan for the individual or just an excuse to put off the financial impact and burden even though the taxes I pay and other patients when returning to work should offset the cost of most operations over the 10 years or more.

    I also wonder why arthritis care in the NHS does not appear to be a consistent throughout the UK.  You would think everywhere would have the same assesment and treatment plans.
    Does anyone know if they try to be there a national guideline?

    Anyway Im just glad that we have organisations like Versus highlighting these and other issues for us .

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,713

    I’m really saddened to hear so many being given a somewhat notional target age for joint replacement. It does seem insane. Surely it should be taken on a case by case basis, taking into account the patient’s overall health and lifestyle rather than just a number? One wonders how much NHS regional trust budgets dictate what happens to their patients. It’s pants.

    My ability to exercise is decreasing almost daily, not hobbling around when I walk is no longer an option, and my range of painless movement is similarly reducing. . But I’ve managed to lose weight during lockdown by ditching empty calories (booze, junk, refined sugars, etc) and eating smaller portions. Anything to take the pressure off my joints, and improve my health overall can only help. Another stone, or even better stone and a half, to go. One pound at a time.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 15. Jun 2020, 07:58

    If you look after new joints, and tailor your physical behaviour to do so, they will last at least double that length of time (I know of someone whose knee is 35 years plus & only now failing). If you don't, they won't. My cousin's wife has had three knees over the course of thirty years - her last revision has failed and she has run out of original bone for a fourth. The cause of the first knee was bone cancer when she was eighteen: the cause of all her revisions continual obesity. She would lose weight for the op then pile it and more back on. She is know facing life without a knee and cannot find a wheelchair big enough for her bulk. What a waste of so many things. DD

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,344

    I hope you have actually seen a consultant and not just been fobbed off at GP level? If that is the case you need to get a referral ASAP and take someone with you to all apts. There is strength in numbers!

    I only say this as my own daughter had hip surgery and a new shoulder at 18 and 19 respectively. It can be done. She faces years of revisions, but better than the total agony she was in.