Knee arthritis bone on bone

Rama Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

My knee arthritis has moved to final stage bone on bone. I am 55 so too young for surgery. My question is would it be better to be using a crutch or crutches? I have arthritis in my knees, hips and ankles. I currently use one walking pole.

It is so hard to get a clear answer. Can anyone help?


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 873

    Hello @Rama and welcome to the online community,

    I understand that you have bone on bone knee arthritis and are wondering about using a crutch/crutches or a stick. We have quite a few discussions from members about this subject, and although it’s a personal thing that only you ( and your physiotherapist if you have one) can decide, you might be interested to see some of the posts from our members about it. Here’s a recent one:

    You mention that you are 55 and so too young for a knee replacement. Just to add that although 60-80 is the usual age for this type of surgery, it does depend on your pain and mobility, so it’s worth discussing again if you are finding things more difficult.

    Do have a look round the forum and join in wherever you feel comfortable.

    Best wishes,

    Anna ( Moderator)

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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 357

    Hello and welcome @Rama,

    Regarding age - I'm 56 and on the waiting list for a double total knee replacement (as I am bone-on-bone too).

    Rather frustratingly, it seems medical science and its interpretation isn't always an exact science and health professionals seem to have a considerable amount of discretion as to what pathways are open to patients.

    For example, after referral to MSK earlier this year, the specialist I spoke to said I was too young for surgery and because I was managing my condition really well that he was recommending I be discharged. I argued that with so many active years ahead of me, now would be the best time for surgery and besides, it shouldn't have to wait until I'm virtually paralysed and unable to copy with everyday life before the NHS would intervene. He wouldn't budge so I called back and asked for a second opinion. I subsequently spoke with someone more senior who agreed with me and I was referred, not only that but I've been fast-tracked to have the operations done on the NHS at a private hospital.

    In short, as some other members have also said sometimes you have to complain to be taken seriously.

    You ask about sticks and crutches, the latter obviously the best option if you can't weight-bear. I note you're using walking pole - if I'm planning a long hike or a spot of mountain-climbing then I'll pack 2 of these as having 2 distributes my weight more evenly, they don't sink in grass, are light and adjustable plus I look like a pro-hiker, not a middle-aged bloke with a serious degenerative condition.

    Hope this helps in some way,


  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 53

    I agree with you. I can't walk because of the pain. Every step is like feeling a sword coming from the knee to the hip. But because I'm an illustrator and my job is seated I don't need my legs so, I'm in a urgent waiting list of two years. I've visited privately the same NHS consultant and he has offered me to have in February the hips done because he thinks my case is very serious and I can't wait two years. Excuse me but if the consultant can't prioritise his patients, Who is in charge of deciding the NHS priorities for the waiting list?

  • I was 48 when i had my right kmee replaced an 53 ony left i would get refered to RNOP in Stanmore...

    Seems like a cop out from your surgeon..

  • Rama
    Rama Member Posts: 3

    Maybe I will go back to GP and see if they will refer me for surgery. I guess with 7.7 million on waiting lists it could be awhile. My left knee is failing and all of my arthritis pain affects my sleep and mental health.

    Anymore advice regarding walking aids would be gratefully received.