Knee replacement advice age 34

wendyl
wendyl Member Posts: 5
edited 7. Apr 2009, 11:28 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi

I was with the OT yesterday and she said I should join you guys and ask your advice - so here I am!

I have been told I need both of my knees replacing due to rheumatoid arthritis and I'm looking for some advice from anyone out there who had TKR's in their 30's.

I'm worried about how long they last and how many revisions you can have. My surgeon has given me worst case scenario I hope and told me 1st replacements will last 10 years, then revision lasting 8 years, then he said there may not be enough bone to do any more. As this only takes me to 52 I'm not sure what to do.

On the other hand I currently can't do very much due to the pain and instability of my knees!

Thanks

Wendy

Comments

  • mrsmopp
    mrsmopp Member Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    wendyl wrote:
    Hi

    I was with the OT yesterday and she said I should join you guys and ask your advice - so here I am!

    I have been told I need both of my knees replacing due to rheumatoid arthritis and I'm looking for some advice from anyone out there who had TKR's in their 30's.

    I'm worried about how long they last and how many revisions you can have. My surgeon has given me worst case scenario I hope and told me 1st replacements will last 10 years, then revision lasting 8 years, then he said there may not be enough bone to do any more. As this only takes me to 52 I'm not sure what to do.

    On the other hand I currently can't do very much due to the pain and instability of my knees!

    Thanks

    Wendy[/quote
    Hi Wendy
    Im only 43 and got my left knee replaced 4 months ago. I also had the same fears as you. I was told that it would last 10 years, 15 if I look after it. I couldnt walk without crutches before I got my replacement. I am now back working. It was quite painful for about 6 weeks. It now gets tired and a wee bit sore, but nothing compared to the pain before I got it replaced. The way I looked at it , it was better having a better quality of life for the next 10 years then going on the way I was. Take Care.
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,371
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wendy and welcome to the forum,

    I had my knees replaced at the same time when I was 42 (not as young as you). I was told they would last 10-15 years and whilst I was in hospital there was an 80 year old lady who was having her 4th hip revision - she had her 1st hip replacement in the 1960's :shock:

    I was at the point where I was in a wheelchair and felt I didn't want life to go on with the pain I was enduring so I had little choice but to have them done.

    I haven't looked back and am now living life as I want to live it - I'm still restricted but that's due to being a rheumatoid and having mechanical problems.

    It's for you to decide how much your knees interfere with your everyday living and whether you have to consider them even when doing simple things like getting in or out of a chair, on and off the loo etc. Have you explored the alternatives i.e. steroid injections, arthoscopy (spelling?), physio - only you know how bad they are.

    Hope this helps.

    Luv Legs :D
  • wendyl
    wendyl Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Legs!

    I've had RA since I was 13 so I've already had numerous steroid injections and they don't work anymore. My Rheumatologist has said that arthroscopy wouldn't do anything for me as the damage in both knees is Grade 4 (scale goes from 0-4 where 4 is the worst). He said if I was over 50 yrs old then I would just be listed to get them done, but due to my age he set up a meeting with the surgeon who put me off by saying if I get them done now then I would most probably be in a wheelchair in my 50's for the rest of my life becuase of the lifespan of the replacements.

    I've been doing quite a lot of research and come across a lot of people in the USA who are saying that they have had TKR and in future will just have the "Spacer" replaced when that wears out rather than having revision surgery. Have you heard of this in the UK?

    Wend x
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,371
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wend,

    I've not heard of a 'spacer' replacement but could be worth looking into for when I need a revision. Incidentially this is on the cards for my right knee as apparently the prothesis is working lose :shock: This is my because my right ankle fused many years ago and is down to the way I walk and the stress I've put on my new knee - just my luck :roll: I can't tell it's loosening apart from the occasional pain I get in it which is a doddle compared to bone on bone pain :wink:

    Even though I'm 50 now I still don't regret having my replacements - I've had nearly 10 good years from them and made the best of life - I've even taken them gliding :lol::lol: , do a sponsored walk every 2 years (it's only a mile!!!) and it's changed my life around, I do things I thought I'd never do again.

    There are new things happening all the while and who knows what the future holds but, I feel, life is for living now and whatever lies ahead I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Only you know how much your knees restrict you doing what you want to do, Wendy, but I urge you to think carefully because once they're done there is no going back and you're younger than I was when I had to make the decision.

    Hopefully others on here will be able to advise you too.

    Luv Legs :D

    PS Why are we both in on a Saturday night on this forum instead of being out on the town? :?
  • wendyl
    wendyl Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :lol: to be honest I don't think my legs could cope with a night out at the minute, I can just about waddle around the house!!

    I also need further surgery (hip and shoulder replacement) but can cope with that pain for now. Although I wish the pain in my hip was worse than my knees as I think the choice to have my hip replaced would be easier - there seems to be a lot more "younger" people having that op. My shoulder is completely shot and I've been told that is a massive op as there's bits of bone "missing" :?

    Yeah it sounds like I'd definitely have a better quality of life for the next 10-15 years if I had TKR's and as you and my family say, who knows what will be developed in the next 15 years.

    Thanks for your advice, it's nice to know there's many other people out there with the same problems!! Hopefully there's someone out there who had a TKR at a young age and it's still going strong!!

    Wend x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wend :D:D

    On the young people's zone there are peeps younger than you that have had knee replacements or are awaiting them. Why not have a browse at some of the threads on that zone if you have not done so already and perhaps put your thread on there as well. Sometimes, unfortunately that zone is a little quiet, but you never know who is looking at the forum at any given time. It is worth a try.

    Wishing you well,

    Elna x
  • hezmarie25
    hezmarie25 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    I would agree with what people are writing. You have to sum up your quality of life as it is now and then think carefully whether you can go on v having a tkr and being free again :D
    Keep smiling and I wish you well and all the luck in the world
    Heather
  • wendyl
    wendyl Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all your advice. I've decided to go ahead with the op, I go and see the Surgeon later this month so hopefully will be on the waiting list from then on!
  • greyheron
    greyheron Member Posts: 167
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    wendyl wrote:
    Thanks for all your advice. I've decided to go ahead with the op, I go and see the Surgeon later this month so hopefully will be on the waiting list from then on!

    Hi Wendy from another Wendy !

    Hadn't been on the forum for a bit due to work commitments so didn't see your original post till now.

    People gave you some good advice imo.

    I'm much older than you (64) and had a TKR four months ago - recovering well and it's made a big difference to my life.

    So good luck with your surgeon's appointment, let us know how it goes.

    Take care

    Wendy
  • mrsdalloway
    mrsdalloway Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi I can help had my tkr in '06 at age 35 after having to fight for it. I was told to come back when I was in my 50's as they wouldn't last long blah blah! That is easier said than done when I imagine you are getting to the end of your tether now. I was literally bent double as I couldn't straighten my bad leg at all the 'spacer' had gone completely and you could hear the crunching. So my thoughts were to have it done as others have said you have to think of your quality of life and also the mental impact the pain has on you. Even though we cope with it any long term constant pain will affect you in the end. So I decided to cross the 'revision' bridge when I came to it because at least this way I had half a hope of getting to the bridge! :lol: If you want to chat further feel free to pm me. Hope this helps..... Mrs D.

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