Too young for knee replacement at 52!

MissP98 Member Posts: 6
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

I’ve been battling with arthritis for 3 years and my consultant acknowledges I need a replacement knee but refuses to carry out due to my age, I’m 52.

it’s so bad I struggle with stairs, can’t get in a bath, I’ve had to take a loan out to get an automatic car (it’s my left knee thankfully) and I’ve been repositioned within my company as I can’t do my job as in going out to clients homes etc. I haven’t walked my own dogs for over 2 years and the strain on my relationship is now showing.  Friends hardly invite me out as much as I can’t do the things I used too and even just going shopping with girlfriends is out as I can’t walk that far and when I do go out use an aid.

ive had an injection which crystallised and put me on crutches until they gave me an arthroscopy 12m ago and since they I’ve had pain management and intensive physio all of which has done nothing good. 

the pain wakes me at night, taking Gabapentin but zones me out so can’t drive and struggling to function at work but this is the last drug they can give me as tried all the others.

im at breaking point, probably ridiculous to some, but while I’ve comes to terms with not being as active as I was, half marathons, rock climbing etc I just want to walk my dogs, be as pain free as possible and anything else is a bonus.

ive now being told I will be referred for further pain management and intensive physio, all of which I’ve done before and then get referred back to my consultant as the physio even admits enough is enough, she needs a replacement.

im new to this site but would greatly appreciate any advice as I’m heading to a dark place and don’t feel I have anywhere to turn.


  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 233

    Hello @MissP98

    It sounds as if you are feeling very depressed about the pain, understandably. Many of us on here have adapted our lives to cope with pain and disability but usually not as young as you are. I hope there may be some younger members of the forum who will comment on your post.

    Have you thought of asking for a second opinion? There may be other consultants who will take into account your situation.

    There is a host of information on our website including exercise, pain management and a support package I hope you find something useful there.

    Please keep in touch with us. We will always try and help, and we would like to know how you get on.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    t's tought and you've clearly made several adjustments to this disease. 

    It is true, though, that they don't like to replace joints in younger people as they're likely to need them replacing again later. This is a bigger, more expensive op and often, by then, the patient has acumulated oother medical problems and meds. i got RA at 15 and now,. aged 77 with three knee replacememnts and two hip replacements under my belt, can almost certainly have no more although one TKR and the THR above it are totally ****ed.(I now need a rollator just for indoors😆) I'm still managing to enjoy life though. As you have already realised, adapting is one of the keys.

    To try to offer some practical help while you wait.

    1. What about contacting your local council's Adult Social Care Dept? They could offer some solutions eg a bath lift or walk-in shower. They probably won't pay for all of it but just the advice is priceless and they don't charge for that.

    2. If friends are doing energetic things it's hard joining in but summer is a perfect time for BBQs (Men love the cooking😉)  or just wine / tea / coffe and nibbles outside.

    3. Partners, whether married or unmarried, must be kept on board as this disease affects everyone in the household. Be honest about the bad stuff withouut being, dare I say it. a pain in the neck. Find things you both enjoy and can still do together. Find ways to lighten his load if he's ;picking up a lot of slack. Let him talk about how it affects him too.

    4. You say pain management and intensive physio have done no good so it must be both galling and a little disheartening to be referred for more. But do give it your best shot. Things rarely improve much but it does help to slow down the deterioration process. And it keeps the joints in much better shape for recovery when the op does come.

    Good luck with it all.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • MissP98
    MissP98 Member Posts: 6

    Thank you appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Sounds like you know what your talking about, you have been through a lot!

    Im waiting on another appointment with the physio and see where we go from there.

    my mom had her first knee replacement at 55 so im wondering if it’s hereditary?

    just good to hear others that understand what it’s like

    thank you again for the suggestions

  • Lorraine_24
    Lorraine_24 Member Posts: 25

    Hello @MissP98 , I know exactly how you are feeling as absolutely everything you have said resignates with me I'm 3 years older than you and have severe osteoarthritis in both hip's and am supposed to be having my first hip replacement on Friday although until it actually happens I won't believe it as its been cancelled on me before, I cannot tell you how reading your post has helped me because I thought I was going insane how is any human supposed to put up with this pain? This can't be real ? It must be just me !!! I have reached breaking point a few times in the last 12 months, had to give up work, unable to walk or do anything, lost my independence ,unable to do anything for myself, and its horrendous ,and for me anyway how it made me feel mentally has been a shock ,also the worry and how I'll cope after my surgery ,so just know you are not alone on how you are feeling , I'm with you!!

  • MissP98
    MissP98 Member Posts: 6

    Oh my your are going through it and thank you so much for sharing your story. Does make you realise there are others in a similar situation.

    m so worried out loosing my job, how will I pay the mortgage. They have been understanding but it can’t go on forever.

    I get the feeling from the consultant that he thinks it’s in my head and I don’t feel I’m being listened to. His response of “I can’t fix your life” when I tell him how much of an impact on everything this is having, is really upsetting.

    I hope you do have the op and put all your focus on getting stronger.

    please let us know how things go.