Knee replacement

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I have severe arthritis in both knees, I'm almost 70 years old.5years ago I a told I could be out on the waiting list for replacement knees,I wasn't in pain then so didn't go on the list. Now I went back to my GP and she asked if I could walk 1 mile,I said yes so she said I'll never be able to get knee replacements.

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  • Lindaa
    Lindaa Member Posts: 24
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    I had a right knee replacement beginning of April this year. The surgeon was delighted that I had kept walking as far as possible and could still manage about 1.5 miles after he had replaced my left hip 8 months prior to the knee op. Both he and the rheumatologist referred who referred me to him said it is important to keep as active as possible and walk as much as possible even when joints are wearing out. That level if fitness also they said helps recovery.

    My surgeon went by the condition of the joint as shown by xray and how keen I was to live as active a life as possible. My post op review with him was last monday and he said if/when the other knee is any sort of problem get a gp referral.

    Maybe it depends where you live and the criteria your hospitals use but your gp is not qualified to decide whether a joint needs doing. If my gp said that I would ask to see the policy document that says no op if you can walk a mile . 2nd Opinion needed!!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,550
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    Oh no!

    They want us to keep walking!

    Go back ti your GP (with someone to support you if you can) and ask to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

    Sometimes we need to be a lot firmer than we want to be

    Good luck!

    Toni x

  • helpline_team
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    Hi @Brads27

    Thank you for your posting on the online community. I see that others have responded to your post. As has already been suggested going back to your GP and asking for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon who will be able to advise you on the surgical options and the potential pros and cons of having or delaying surgery, taking into account your age, health and level of activity. You’ll only need a knee replacement if your knee gives you pain, stiffness, instability or loss of function that affects your daily life and activities.

    There are things you can do to help manage your arthritis in the meantime, including drug treatments, physiotherapy and exercise and weight loss.

    I have put links below to information that may be of help to you.

     

    Knee Replacement Surgery

    Ways to manage pain while waiting for surgery

     

     

    I hope this is helpful.

     

    Best Wishes

    Dawn

     

  • TroutFisher
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    Hi,

    I'm an 80 year old who is a new member ( many thanks to Peter for sorting out registration problems)who has suffered with arthritis for over 20 years. I've had two hip replacements ( successful! )but my right knee has been giving me trouble over last couple of years. Saw surgeon14 months ago who looked at xray and said it was OA and that it might be 4 months or 4 years but it was likely I would need further treatment. Experienced lot of pain recently so had another xray and saw surgeon again recently. Did think..here we go _new Knee !

    He looked at xrays and said there hadn't been a lot of deterioration over last 14 months and he could give me a steroid injection. Found this painful but it has worked brilliantly. Now walking a couple of miles with no pain. Would be most grateful to hear other peoples experience as I know they don't suit everybody and also how long they last.

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,574
    edited 22. Jan 2024, 10:38
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    Hi @TroutFisher

    Thanks for contacting our Online Community.

    We're sorry to hear of the pain and trouble you've experienced of the years with your knee. It's great to hear that you have found benefit with the steroid injection.

    Steroid injections can last anything form a couple of months to a couple of years, depending on the medication administered and how the joint is used following the injection. Although it is important to use the joint regularly its important not to overdo it. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises are recommended to alleviate stiffness and pain, and the key is little and often. This will keep the joint moving and increase mobility making it easier to walk and use the joint effectively.

    You can read more on steroid injections on our website:

    You may find the knee exercises on our website helpful too, remember to listen to your body and work within your limits.


    Best wishes,

    Tracey - Helpline Advisor

  • JayG
    JayG Member Posts: 3
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    Hi, I’m a new member and having a “wobble” about knee replacement surgery planned for six weeks time! I,m 74 and relatively fit and healthy apart from degeneration in both knees - have been offered replacement in one and partial replacement in other later. I am able to walk 30mins before pain, if I sit down this eases it so can carry on. Therefore I manage fairly well unless I do too much, although do get disturbed sleep from what I would call a burning sensation rather than pain at night. I am limping too, however I don’t want to go through surgery and end up worse off! Most people I know who have had surgery have been in severe continuous pain beforehand and unable to walk - should I wait until that happens? Anyone with experience of this situation please?

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,550
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    Hi @JayG

    I wondered if you wanted to post this message to us members or to the helpline? You've posted in the helpline part so not everyone will see it.

    Having surgery is really such an individual decision I think and has to be your own personal choice. As you said most people are in so much pain/struggling so much to mobilise that they want the surgery.

    One person who cancelled is @jonr I'm sure.

    I know I would also be bearing in mind @Brads27 post on this thread when deciding what to do.

    Wishing you the best of luck whatever you decide

    Toni x

  • JayG
    JayG Member Posts: 3
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    Hi- Thankyou - meant to post to the members please but can you tell me - the two contacts you mentioned _ do I just contact them direct and copy my message? Manythw is

  • Brads27
    Brads27 Member Posts: 10
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    I was told if I could walk a mile that I will never be able to have the surgery.My wife as had one one done and is waiting for the other one too be done. She waited 10 years to have her first one done, they kept saying she's was too young. Now she's been waiting over a year and still no sign of it happening. The one she had done I would say is 90% better, she gets occasional pain but she is happy.

  • swimmer60
    swimmer60 Member Posts: 202
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    Getting so cross reading these comments🤬 It seems you have to jump through so many hoops these days to get appropriate treatment. Can i suggest a little bit of exaggeration to get their attention, or even lying when asked, "Can you walk a mile?" As in, "No!"

    Good luck everyone.

  • helpline_team
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    Hi@JayG

    Thanks for your post to the Helpline. I hope you receive some helpful peer support by posting on other forums (such as Living with arthritis).

    I don't think anyone can predict how long someone's steroid injection might help. If you are feeling up to it, it's worth incorporating keeping moving into your daily routine, to try to maximise the positives.

    Surgeons have been stressing the role of 'pre-hab' for orthopaedic patients - which is all about keeping muscles strong, so that when someone does have their surgery, they recover more quickly and get a better outcome from the treatment.

    Let's Move for Surgery Toolkit | Versus Arthritis

    If you feel you'd like some help in the future to decide at what stage to go forwards with your proposed surgery, often a physiotherapist can examine you & support you while you decide what's right for you.

    I hope that's helpful

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 404
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    Hello @JayG,

    I did attempt to pass on a few details about my own experiences in reaching the decision to cancel my double total knee replacements this morning but I believe my post hasn't been approved by The Mods.

    I'd have like to have helped but there we go!

    Best Wishes,

    Jon

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 404
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    Thanks for the intro @frogmorton Toni, nice to "meet you" here @JayG,

    I twas scheduled for the first of total total knee replacements on February 26th, this is after postponing twice before last year but after chatting with my Consultant last week I have decided to put this (and the other one) off for the time being.

    My situation is a bit different to yours - I'm coming up to 57 so still relatively young, I'm leading an almost normal and very active life with low background pain and stiffness and I was conscious that implants don't last forever (15-25 years depending on how active patients are), plus it is major surgery and not without risk. I was told the same Pathway would be open to me when the time does come (GP referral back to Connect Health back to Ramsay Healthcare) so no long waits, perhaps 3-4 months as it was this time round.

    If I had been told it was a lottery and could be a 1year+ wait then I'd have gone ahead because the last thing I want to avoid is waiting until I'm virtually paralysed to make the call only to find there's a long wait.

    In your situation I would do this:

    1: Chat with your Consultant and ask if you do defer what the pathway will be when the time is right to consider surgery.

    2: If you do decide to put it off, perhaps investigate the options for improving your joint health? You may be able to get rid of the limp, walk further and eradicate the burning sensation. It's likely to be a matter of exercise, targeted physio and effective pain management and it will take time but it can be done.

    Hope that helps,

    Jon

  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 1,003
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    Hi @jonr,

    I’m moderating today and I just found that your post from this morning was captured by our spam filter. Not sure why that happened - it has its own way of working that we don’t understand sometimes! Very pleased to release your very useful post.

    Anna ( Moderator)

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


  • JayG
    JayG Member Posts: 3
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    Thankyou Jon and helpline - I have made an appointment to see a physio before final decision- pleased I am not the only one to consider deferring surgery! Feel bit more confident now - esp as timing really difficult on a family level - thanks again

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,550
    edited 25. Jan 2024, 06:44
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    They get a notification in their emails (if you put an @ before their name in your post) and spot that someone mentioned them and as you can see they pop by to help you.

    Thanks @jonr you are a 🌟

    JayG maybe you can ask to defer a while if the timing is tricky? That may be an option. Do let us know who you get on.

    Toni

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 404
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    Thanks for the intro @frogmorton Toni, nice to "meet you" here @JayG,

    I twas scheduled for the first of total total knee replacements on February 26th, this is after postponing twice before last year but after chatting with my Consultant last week I have decided to put this (and the other one) off for the time being.

    My situation is a bit different to yours - I'm coming up to 57 so still relatively young, I'm leading an almost normal and very active life with low background pain and stiffness and I was conscious that implants don't last forever (15-25 years depending on how active patients are), plus it is major surgery and not without risk. I was told the same Pathway would be open to me when the time does come (GP referral back to Connect Health back to Ramsay Healthcare) so no long waits, perhaps 3-4 months as it was this time round.

    If I had been told it was a lottery and could be a 1year+ wait then I'd have gone ahead because the last thing I want to avoid is waiting until I'm virtually paralysed to make the call only to find there's a long wait.

    In your situation I would do this:

    1: Chat with your Consultant and ask if you do defer what the pathway will be when the time is right to consider surgery.

    2: If you do decide to put it off, perhaps investigate the options for improving your joint health? You may be able to get rid of the limp, walk further and eradicate the burning sensation. It's likely to be a matter of exercise, targeted physio and effective pain management and it will take time but it can be done.

    Hope that helps!

    Jon