Replacement Knee Failed. What should my Dad do?


Hi Everyone.

I am a member of a few (unrelated) communities, and I don't like to jump in offering no value. So, first, apologies for that!

But, I've found out my Dad's replacement knee is (potentially) failing.

He's had arthritis for around 40 years, in his 50s, and his replacement knee is around 13 years old. His doctor has told him based on information, it's going to need replacing. He has an xray in a few weeks or so.

My main worry, is what to do in the mean time? He has swelling and pain, I'm worried putting pressure & using it, could cause irreversible affects. And he's the type of person that will just keep on trucking, and can't help but move this, and do that...! He's been moving slabs and stuff today!!!

Does anyone have legit advice, or is there someone I could call with experience in this area please? Seems to me from what I've read, he shouldn't be risking pressure or movement on that knee...given we don't actually know what is causing pain (could be a section broken that's wearing away bone...for instance)?

In advance. Thank you for any advice or resources provided :)



  • Al
    Al Member Posts: 169

    Hi and welcome,sorry to hear that,I've found a post here that may be of help

    you could alway ring our helpline 0800 5200 52o


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719

    Hi Grant.

    Sorry to hear about your Dad's TKR failing but it's good that he has you in his corner.

    Here's where I'm coming from - RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) at 15. First two knee replacements at 35, hips later, one of TKRs replaced again about 10 years ago. Other, plus hip above it knackered but too dangerous to replace except in an emergency.

    Your Dad's a bit unlucky to only get 13 years out of his TKR but I guess he might have pushed it a bit from what you say.

    I'm wondering which doc said it would need replacing. An orthopaedic consultant would probably have done x-rays and sorted out a time scale if he felt it necessary. If it was only a GP then the first step is to see a consultant - not easy in the current climate but probably worth pressing for.

    I understand your concern about him potentially doing irreversible damage and you could be right. However, as someone else who just 'carries on trucking' (indeed, I have little option now) I'd guess he won't do irreversible damage but might make life much more painful for himself for a long time as orthopaedic surgery is now very slow to happen.

    If it helps, when my first TKR failed, x-rays showed part had slid sideways and there was, to quote my surgeon. "a hole as big as a 50p piece". I carried on a bit longer.

    One thing which might help is physio. Even if he's very active he might be active in ways that put pressure on some parts of the knee while not putting enough on others. I'm a big believer in physio. It's kept me going. Persuading him might be a little trickier😉

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 9. Oct 2020, 16:48

    Hello Grant,

    I had my knees done together in 2000 when I was 42 and I had to have one revised (redone) 2011 as it had come loose. I carried on as normally as I could although being a rheumatoid my normal will be different to your dad's. Your pain guides you. I bore my weight for as long as my pain would allow then I would rest it and then carry on again when the pain subsided enough. I found myself not wanting to walk on sloped pavements with that knee bearing my main weight, but didn't know why till I saw my consultant.

    Muscle support is everything and if that goes, by not using the knee, your dad will be in more pain. It is a case of everything in moderation and if your dad still feels he can move slabs, etc e he should keep doing it. He could use ice packs to help get the swelling down and of course ring and speak to his GP to be sure.

    Hope this helps.

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'