I'm a 52 year old and have had osteo arthritis all my life after getting Osteochondritis Dessicans (scuse the spelling) aged 11. I had one too many down the pub, jumped over a wall and tore my ACL ligament aged 25 which didn't help (I also got knocked down by a car five years ago and did the right knee ACL which was also a bit of a bummer). My left knee was bone on bone by the age of about 45. After many years of trying to persuade the NHS to replace my knee I discovered that my husband's private health covered flare ups. I rang them late September and after 12 years of pain and disability and trying to be a mum to a lively young lad when I couldn't run, I had a total knee replacement on 25th October.
I have no clue why the NHS is hell bent on refusing knee ops. 'What if you're stuck in a wheelchair when you're 70?' they kept saying to me and I'd reply that I'd rather that than be in one now, when my lad was small. They would tell me to lose weight and take more exercise, really useful advice for someone who can't walk far - although I was still quite active because I was able to cycle.
If a knee op is about £30k, surely forcing people to limp on in pain costs far more in the long run, worse, the recovery process gets harder and more complicated the longer you leave it. The surgeon told me that when he discharged me. He also said that actually 75% of folks are fine with a replaced knee for over 20 years and only about 2% of them fail after ten years.
Anyway I'm only 6 months out and my knee still hurts, I suspect it always will, but the pain is much easier to manage and the measures I take to reduce it work far more quickly than on it's pre op arthritic incarnation. The first time I walked up a hill after the op I nearly cried. It was magic. It's like coming out of the darkness and into the light.
The reason I'm here is twofold: to offer any support and sympathy I can to my fellow arthritis sufferers, and because I still have arthritis in my thumbs, so I am interested in swapping pain management techniques. Strangely, magnets used to work really well on my knees - and I found that out totally by chance - but they aren't nearly as good as ibu-gel on my hands. Weird.
Anyway, that's enough rabbiting on, hello (waves).
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