Arthritic knee - what am I to make of this report?
I am an active retired bloke aged 74 with no significant afflictions apart from mild arthritic pain in my wrists from time to time and a wonky left knee which is prone to giving me grief. I am not one for sitting still: I am up and down stairs at home at least 20 times a day, and because of issues my wife has, I do all the “hard” work in our large veg garden and on the allotment. I either walk or cycle everywhere as we have no car. I am not on any medication and my BMI is currently 25 (and going down as I aim to lose 4Kg).
Over the last year or so I my left knee has taken to hurting occasionally (night or day) for no apparent reason, and quite often when walking down steep hills, particularly on uneven ground. I have also noticed that despite my best efforts I am now walking differently with my left leg, and that I am nowadays going for daily walks of only a mile or so whereas previously it would have often been 3-4 miles. I have for some time been doing the knee exercises shown on this site.
The offending knee was X-rayed last week and I have just got the report, which says
“Almost total loss of joint space in medial compartment of main knee joint with minor degenerative remodelling and subtle appearances on the lateral projection suggesting almost bone-on-bone articulation. The lateral compartment shows minor joint space narrowing. Minimal osteophytic lipping is seen at the tibial plateau and minor degenerative change at the patellofemoral joint. Bone texture is uniform. Vascular calcification is noted.”
My GP has now referred me to triaging for physiotherapy or whatever, and I would like to have a better understanding of how this all leaves me. If a knee was to be rated on a scale of dereliction where 0 is perfect and 10 is a total mess, whereabouts would that report put mine?
Obviously the knee is not going to get any better, but am I right in assuming that my best bet now is to do anything I can to push for surgery ASAP ? I ask this particularly in view of my age, the fact that we have no car, and that my wife is dependant upon me for most of the heavy work in the home and garden. We have no family.
(with apologies for the long post!)
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