knee replacement advice

cahunt44
cahunt44 Member Posts: 8
edited 11. Mar 2011, 12:25 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi - I'm new to the forums, although I've been a member of Arthritis Care for a while. This is my first post!

I am 48 and have had osteo-arthritis in both knees for about 5 years. I normally just take my painkillers, and try to keep active. However, I had a bad flare-up at the end of last year, so have asked to be referred to a specialist again, and my appointment is next month.

The last time I saw a consultant (5 years ago), I opted not to have a knee operation, just to try and see whether my condition would improve with physio and exercise. Since then, my condition has not really improved, but I feel that I don't know enough about the benefits of having knee replacements. I just seem to hear tales about other people who have had problems.

So, I'd like to know if anyone else has had a successful knee op, and what effect has it had on your quality of life? And also if anyone has had a knee op which has not been successful?

Best wishes
Catherine
«1

Comments

  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi not got to that stage myself but my auntie has and can not wait to get other one done has made such a difference to her she was soon up and pottering others who have had it done should be on but they tend to be out doing not posting as you can imagine val
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine

    Welcome! I have had both knees replaced, one in January 2008 and one in January 2010. As you can see I went back to have the other one done so for me it was a success. Both have been a great success and I am so pleased that I had them done. A new lease of life for me. Walking is on the cards again and I have good movement in both knees and can kneel to wash the kitchen floor, search for something in a low cupboard etc and kneel in the garden to weed etc but I do tend to put on knee protectors then as this makes it much more comfortable.

    It was a slow progress for me to total recovery. I would say 9 months for each knee when I no longer thought about them. I followed to the letter all the physio exercises and was determined for it to work for me. I had good movement very early on but suffered with a lot of pain for a long time. It is a major operation as my surgeon kept emphasising and he said it could take anything up to 18 months for the knee to settle down. He was very pleased with my progress. I saw him at 6 weeks and again at 6 months both times.

    I have heard of this not being a good operation for all, including my mum but we are all different and I trusted my surgeon, knew he was good at his work and having age on your side does help I feel. I have not long turned 60 years old and you are younger. :smile:

    I wish you well and please ask any questions that you may have.

    Elna x
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,475
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi catherine

    I have no experince at all of such and op but woudl like to welcome you to the forums from me :grin:

    You have found the right place and I am glad you have. Everyone is lovely and the support they have given to me has been amazing.

    Good luck

    Love

    toni xx
  • grampyal
    grampyal Member Posts: 81
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, Sorry to be a doom merchant but if I say I had a TKR in2008 and am having it replaced in March you will see where I am coming from. I wont have the other knee done till I can no longer walk on it. I know of many who have had totally successful replacements but you must know that there is no guarantee. There is also no guarantee that if I had my other knee done it would be other than perfect. I think we must weigh up all the options and make a personal decision. See "Complaining" for fuller story.
    Best wishes for whatever you decide.
    Al
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 11,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine,

    Glad you have found the forums cus there are people here who have benefited so much for having the tkr's. Elna has told you its worth going for but I haven't had one so can't say.

    I got oa in my knees young and back then they took out the cartilages, they don't seem so keen to do that now a days but for me it helped and so far they are not to bad. I since read I might have been very lucky there.

    I so hope the people who have had it done will reassure you cus its a good way forward flower. Hope the appointment goes well and let us know please. We also can do half decent pocket duties if you need. Nice to meet you. Cris x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh I envy you, you have the chance of a lovely shiny new joint and thus reduced pain and enhanced mobility. On the face of it what's not to like? I suspect the majority of replacements work out well but there is always the risk with any procedure that things won't go according to plan. OA cannot be fought with exercise etc alone, it is a degenerative condition but a new joint can so greatly improve the quality of life. If it were me I would go for it, rather than listen to scare stories and be left wondering 'what if?' I wish you well. DD
  • cahunt44
    cahunt44 Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for all this advice - and so quick! On balance, it would seem that having the op would improve my quality of life. I'm just worried about how long recovery will take, because I'm currently trying to set up my own business as a complimentary therapist (which I can manage fairly well even with arthritic knees, although obviously not during flare-ups).

    Lots to think about...

    Catherine
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,361
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine,

    Welcome to the forum and posting :grin:

    I had both my knees done, at the same time, when I was 42 - nearly 11 years ago now. Before I had the op I was in a wheelchair outside the house and the quality of my life was grim - though I did try to make the best of it. Since my TKRs the wheelchair is in the shed gathering cobwebs, I am mobile once more and it has given me back my life.

    As I'm a rheumatoid I still do get days when my knees hurt but nothing like the awful bone-on-bone pain pre-op. I recovered very quickly and although you do get aches and pains whilst you're healing it improves each day. I agree with Elna that we're all different and some people don't have good experiences but bear in mind that people always love to tell a horror story. :shock:

    I, like Elna too, did the exercises and still do in order to keep my muscles strong and the movement range good.

    I hope this helps and please let us know how you go on.
  • elainebadknee
    elainebadknee Bots Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Catherine

    Im just glad to see youre getting good advice on here but ultimately its your decision.

    Also can i just say that its good that you have the option of having TKR surgery....I say this cos im 42 and they wont consider me at all for TKR due to age (too young) and weight...So its refreshing to see that despite you being young too that youre being offered the surgery option....

    Id be lying if i said i wasnt a tad jealous....

    Elainex
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,257
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine
    And welcome to the forum, sorry I cant help with your question, but I do wish you well, and let us know what you decide.
    Barbara x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again Catherine,

    There are pros and cons to having the op now or later. You will know when the time is right for you.

    I was able to go back to a cleaning job I had after about 6 weeks although it was only for about 40 minutes twice a week. I was able to ride my bike fairly soon after the op and did not need the support of the one crutch for long and definitely not for getting around the home after a couple of weeks. I am not sure if you would be based at home as a therapist or have to drive around to your clients as I understand it is a few weeks before one is able to drive again. I am a non driver.

    As you say, there's lots to think about and I wish you well in your new venture.

    As said before any questions you have, please ask and the "New Knees" Club will get back to you! :smile:

    Look after yourself,
    Elna x
  • caterina57
    caterina57 Member Posts: 1,424
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine
    Sorry I can't help with this as I have not had this operation, but just wanted to welcome you
    Cath
  • caroldeeg
    caroldeeg Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I had a Total Knee replacement when I was 52. I could barely walk before the operation as my knee joint was very badly eroded and had large nodules all round the knee,

    I found recovery was rather painful but not unbearable, I was back in work in 2 months and must honestly say it was one of the most beneficial things I have done in my life.

    I can walk which I couldn't do before the op and although its over 7 years ago since I had it done it has made a huge difference to my life.

    Go for it, it really works and good luck :grin:
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi cath
    I haven't had a knee replacement but my MIL has.
    It has worked wonders for her......No pain..
    Had pain while doing physio cause it was hard work but hey...its paid off.
    I hate ops.....Big coward....but if I could have pain removed by an operation and be able to walk again then I would go for it.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Take care
    Juliepf x
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,260
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine.
    i had a tkr over 5 years ago i could not walk before because of the pain so i was glad of the op.
    i have had no problem with it i can do all i want to i go to the hydrotherapy pool and i love walking i also have a thr.
    i did go to the gym but had to stop because of arther in other places.
    good luck. joan xx
  • bertyboy
    bertyboy Member Posts: 1,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine
    welcome to the forum ,what ever you decide it has to be your desision , i had mine done late April 2010 , but some where things have gone belly up as its not tracking properly now its was for a while , so i am back under the physio , but till i know wether it can be sorted out with physio i wont really say i regret having it done , everybody is different , i think i am just one of the unlucky ones , x
  • cahunt44
    cahunt44 Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It is heartening to hear all the positive experiences, as the few people I've met, who've had or who know someone who's had the op have tended to be very gloomy. So I'm now feeling much better informed. My appointment is not until 16 March, so plenty of time to think about it all. Thank you so much for all your responses!

    Catherine :smile:
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine

    If you do decide to go for the operation, if possible, try to get your leg muscles as strong as possible, beforehand, expecially the femur. Also if you ask about physio, post op as this, to my mind, is vital. Hopefully you get a physio who knows their job and I believe, if you do as you are instructed, work hard on the exercises, this goes a long way towards a successful recovery.

    I wish you well and you know where we are.

    Take care,
    Elna x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,707
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine,
    I'd just like to endorse all that Elna said about the imprtance of exercises before & after. I had my first two knee replacements in 1981. I've still got one. The other was replaced two years ago. That implant is now a very long one but, thanks to the exercises, I could do a straight leg raise the day after the op, much to the delight of my surgeon.
  • jojo03
    jojo03 Member Posts: 77
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine

    I posted a thread on here last month called "Really Scared about TKR", as I too am at the stage where TKRs are a serious consideration. As you can see from the title of my thread, my main reason for asking advice from the wonderful people on this forum, was that I am so worried about having the operation(s). I need both knees replacing. I am 43 and have had RA for 25 years. I'm not at the stage where I need to use a wheelchair, but thanks to recent flare-ups, I use a stick around the house and for walking my dogs, and try my best to do without it to go shopping or to work. I would probably carry on as I am, but just getting up out of a chair, getting out of bed, sleep interruption, and increased pain, have all made me think that a TKR might now be the best option, despite the fear!

    We're still young, so hopefully we can increase our quality of life while we've still got the energy to enjoy it!

    Jo xx.
  • tiggernut
    tiggernut Member Posts: 339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine,
    I had both TKR done in 1998 July and Nov and it was the best thing I could have done. I was in a lot of pain before and one leg was in the vulgus position. I woke from my ops with no pain and was up walking on crutches the next day, and driving again at 5 weeks. It is suppossed to be 6 weeks but I am impatient lol.
    Go for it it will definately improve your quality of life.
    The only disadvantages are you can't kneel down or squat but then again I couldn't do that before because of the pain so no great loss!
    Having said that I can squat in the swimming pool.
    I forgot to say they are still good.
    Anita
  • sue172
    sue172 Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine & Jo
    I had TKR in my left leg 3 moths ago. It has been very successful and although it is still healing inside I feel no pain when walking. I am having the right one operated on in less than six weeks and I can't wait as it is really painful and is getting in the way of my recovery as it can't keep up with the new knee!!
    As others have said exercises are the key to success and quick recovery. Good luck.
    I am so pleased that I took the plunge as at 59 I really wasn't ready for a wheelchair. I'm already planning a walking holiday at the end of the year and I'm fully confident that I will manage it and have agreat time. I would not have dreamt it was possible four months ago.
    Sue
  • seadreaming
    seadreaming Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Catherine

    I'm a new member and just getting used to how the forum works.
    I'm in a similiar position to yourself and I think as you say assessing your quality of life will help in the decision making. I'm in my early 40s, have OA in one knee & was told in Dec that'd have to have a PKR. I had a relatively minor op last year on the knee & just haven't recovered and similiar to bertyboy the tracking of my knee is wrong which has led to no end of complications. I was blown away at the thought of having to have a major knee op & hoped that through yet more non-op interventions I'd at least be able to put it off.
    However I'm now off work, on an increasing amount of pain killers, need crutches outside of the house, haven't had a decent nights sleep in months, the pain is stopping the muscle from building on the leg and I'm now at the point where I don't want the op but I need the op if I want to resume any level of normal life.
    If your quality of life isn't too impaired then maybe you'll be able to hold off, if the OA is increasingly interrupting your life and nothing else has worked maybe the op is a serious consideration? Might be worth you checking how long the waiting list is as that might be a factor in your decision as well. It's 4 months where I am though the physio who I'm linked to has warned me that it'll be more like 5 months.
    I'm still getting my head round it all & I still feel like I'm talking about somebody else's knee when I tell people that I'm heading for more surgery!
    All the best
    Ana
  • elainebadknee
    elainebadknee Bots Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    At the risk of sounding like a moaner I just wanted to reply to Ana and Catherine.....
    Ive had my osteochondritis dissecans since teens and had 3 loose bodies taken out from teens to mid 20's, arthoscopies in 30's and my knee was what id call good considering on first being diagnosed would need TKR by age of 40, i had spells where it gave me problems for about a week or two a year but otherwise not on painkillers, walking aids......
    My dad had a TKR year and a half ago aged 78 and he had complications, lost loads of blood, really weak post surgery...Started going out walking with him and got knee pain, awful pain that wouldnt and never really has shifted since then....Had arthoscopy in March last year, then got offered kneecap removal, surgeon wasnt helpful at all and i sought second opinion...However still no further on as fear first surgeon has influenced second one in notes and am currently losing weight...Im told im too young and too fat to put it politely......
    My quality of life has decreased, my parents now in their 80's can do things i cant, have stick full time, blue badge, cant even think of a holiday abroad due to mobility obstacles....Cannot find work and government see me as potential for work.....Have muscle wastage and am in pain daily, i do exercise as much as my knee lets me....
    I dont want TKR no way but feel i need it to get quality of life back...I just wanted to end and say i wish i had great surgeon like the two of you seem to have/id love to have the option of being given if you like a lifeline back...Instead im up against it at the age of 42 but feeling about 62, Im told by GP that TKR possibly wont happen for me till im in my 60s and if i think about that too long it gets me down.......
    Youre both lucky to be able to have that option and i mean that in a really sincere, (if slightly green) way....

    All the best to you both


    Elainex
  • seadreaming
    seadreaming Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Elaine

    I keep reading about people being in each other's pockets on the forum - are we allowed to give virtual hugs as well?!
    Life is so tough for you and frustrating that the medics won't go ahead with a TKR.
    I had a second opinion which the consultant suggested but he organised it with another consultant at the hospital. I did say 'but how objective will that be', he said it would be but it wasn't. I wouldn't say that the second opinion was a complete waste of time as I did get some useful info about my knee from it that I didn't know but it wasn't objective. However it then got me to thinking about seeking an opinion elsewhere and also my brother had been like a broken record at me to seek another opinion elsewhere - so I did my research, decided where and who I'd like another opinion with, went to the GP and asked for a referral. He tried to talk me out of it and I almost was but my partner stood his ground and said it needed doing. However because it is in a different health trust the GP Practice Manager has to write to the other health authority and ask if they'll accept the referral so it's not definite that it'll happen.

    My knee has a few things wrong with it and I need to make sure that all are being taken into account and that replacement surgery is enough of a solution. It might solve one aspect but not others and then I'd be no better off than I am now.

    Can I ask - & forgive me if this is a daft question - you say that weight is one of the factors they won't operate but that you are losing weight. If you reach a target weight will the operation then become more of a possibility?

    Very best wishes
    Ana

Who's Online

18
frogmorton
frogmorton
hamilton10
hamilton10
N1gel
N1gel
Sophie98
Sophie98
toady
toady
+13 Guests