Advice about knee replacement

Posted , 12 users are following.

Just thought I would ask for some advice about when is the best time to go for knee surgery.

I have suffered from arthritus on the inside of my knee for many years which is steadily getting worse. However, I can walk quite long distances and sometimes the pain disappears after walking for a while. The pain does not keep me awake at night. However, my surgeon says that the X ray is quite bad and is surprised that I can walk several miles.Because I am able to walk a few miles he feels that it is not the right time yet to have a knee replacement as he claimed that the success rate is only 80%. This is another issue. What is regarded as a successful outcome?

A couple of weeks ago things suddenly deteriorated and the pain was so bad that I could hardly walk from one room to another. I saw another surgeon who stated that my knee needed to be replaced and I happily agreed with him as the pin was so excruciating. I was counting the days until the operation!

After a few days of rest though the pain has decreased and I am back to where I was before and this afternoon I managed to walk a mile and a half.

I have heard that knee replacements should only be given to patients who are in extreme pain and who are unable to walk any distance. I do not want to wait too long so that I have caused lots of damage to the joint but I am extremely worried about this operation as although I know that most people have a positive outcome and consider that it is the best thing that they have ever done I have also heard of some operations that are unsuccessful. My phsyio tells me that she has not met any patients who have had a negative outcome and as long as people carry out their exercise routine faiothfully they are usually OK in the end.

Just be interested to hear what other folks feel about this

1 like, 24 replies

24 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Christine,

    My advice is get it done now.

    I was like you. Still working as a nurse 

    And taking the dog round the block. 

    Looking back I don't know how I did it.

    The op has been the best thing I have

    done. I was petrified. I woke from the 

    Anaesthetic and felt like a new person,

    body,mind & spirit. There are more good days

    then bad. I take one day at a time.

    3 weeks + 4days today. I am in love with 

    life again. Best sleep last night. Still wake

    a lot. Made myself a cup of tea. Just used 

    one crutch so I could take tea to bed.

    Great achievement. 

    Good luck,

    Christine NZ 


    • Posted

      Hi Christine thanks very much for your encouraging reply. It is good to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to you and I hope that you continue to have a smooth recovery.
  • Posted

    Hi Cristine i had osteoarthritis in both knees for a couple of years untill it got bad enough to get to hospital for exrays etc.I used to struggle driving with quite a severe naggingging pain ,and also when kneeling and standing back up was very painfull and sometimes impossible.Also coming down the stairs i had to come down side ways to make it ease the pain.I think if you feel your quality of normal everyday lfe is suffering then it may be time to get the replacements done.I am now 7 weeks post op patello/femoral replacement in both knees and recovering well as i already have 140 deg knee bend and visit my physio regular.
    • Posted

      Hi Rick thanks very much for your reply. Sounds as though you are making a great recovery. You have achieved a great knee bend. Areyou still experiencing much pain? It is great to hear about positive experiences.
    • Posted

      What a great bend Rick. I am starting at the physio this week. They have a circuit. Hope I can manage it.

      Christine NZ

  • Posted

    Hi Christine! I could be reading about myself! I am 59 and have had osteoarthritis for a number of years. I have had an arthroscopy which showed significant damage in my knees and have had regular steroid injections in both knees with decreasing success. I too can walk quite long distances on the flat  but struggle with stairs, walking with slopes, getting out of chairs and haven't been able to kneel for quite a few years now. I had decided that now was the time and saw a consultant in October. He said he said that the people he operates on typically can not walk 200 yards! Because of my age I would need them redoing as the new joint would only last 12-15 years. He said the easy option for him would be to just do the op if that's what I wanted but that I could be disappointed with the results. I had up to date X-rays which showed my knee caps were just bone on bone. He advised more steroid injections which I had already arranged with my GP. He said he could either discharge me or see me again the three months time. 

    My appointment had been arranged via NHS Choices at a private hospital I like with an excellent consultant so I told him I wanted to see him again in three months because I wanted to keep my options open - and really keep him on a 'retainer'!!!

    I had originally decided I would start the ops next February and as such had not booked our normal holidays in America but after seeing him have now booked two flights for next year so really nothing is going to happen next year.

    So, your story was very interesting! And I am looking forward to any responses and to what you decide to do.

    Kind regards,

    Gill X


    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I have never had an arthroscopy as my knee it was decided that it would not be worthwhile. On good days I think that I will leave it for a while but at the moment I have a hot water bottle on my knee as I think I may have overdone it today.

      It is strange the different things we are told. The second consultat who I have seen said the implant he uses usually lasts about 20 years and 95% of the implants last people for their whole life. I would be 63 if I had the operation in the next few months so that would last until I was 83 if I am lucky enough to live that long. I have also be planning to have bunion surgery for over 8 years and I had actually decided to go ahead with the operation after Christmas. But at the moment I amnot sure which is thr priority.Best Wishes x

    • Posted

      Hi Christine,

      My story is yours. Wow. 

      I would suggest knee before bunion.

      It is all about quality off life.

      When I had my staples out I asked  surgeon about my bunions. He told me to 

      get  over the knee op first. I laughed.

      For someone who was petrified about op

      I am planning my next .


  • Posted

    Hi Christine 

    my name is Nadine I was working in a rehab hospital 4 years ago and it sounds like you should be going with your 2nd surgen it sounds like from what u have said that ur rubbing bone on bone and if that what's happening this is only going to make things a lot worse. Now when I was working at the hospital I was inspired so much by an old framer we had at the hospital for 3 weeks but this is the part that moved me he had  both knee's done at the same time at the age of 85 it blew me away which they say get ont done then the other one so u have the other one to stand on I got to know him a little bit he is now he is now 92 and I see him every now an again he has told me a few times he wishes he had done it a lot sooner then he did. But what I say now to even friends mums an dads do your resurch and make sure u are happy and very comfortable with your surgen which is the most important thing because then you will be more then happy to have it done so good luck with everything and take care 

    • Posted

      What a wonderful post 

      and what a great man to have both knees done at that age ,...when I feel like moaning I will remember that 

      Jean ...age 76 

  • Posted

    The best time for hip or knee replacement is before it stops you being able to exercise - the fitter you are the better the recovery. And almost everyone who delays a joint replacement says they wish they'd done it sooner.
    • Posted

      Thanks Eileen I am trying to keep as fit as possible. My physio has given me several exercises to do. I am not very brave about elective surgery which is why I am putting this off. I already have a hip replacement because of an accident and then had to have the operation redone .Fortunately everything is fine now. I am finding this decision about knee surgery very difficult

      particularly when I meet people who tell me about people they know who have had problems. I know I have to be positive


    • Posted

      "particularly when I meet people who tell me about people they know who have had problems"

      It is well known that people ALWAYS have disaster stories - but rarely tell about the brilliant ones. That's why the media is full of terrorising stories about the NHS! On balance, while it has its moments (and they are increasing due to people who know nothing about it messing with it) it is a triumph the vast majority of the time. Have you got children? Didn't people tell you horror stories about pregnancy and childbirth? 

      I see someone suggested the private sector - if you do go that way make sure the hospital you are having the op in has its own ICU facility and an anaesthetist is on duty all the time, 24/7. They aren't always - and whilst it is unlikely anything will go wrong, if you are ill the last thing you wnat is to be put in an ambulance and transferred to the nearest NHS hospital for them to sort it out. Not a horror story - sheer practicality!

    • Posted

      Thanks again for your reply. It is great to receive so much positive support.Luckily I have got private healthcover and I believe I

      have one of the best surgeons in the area. However, I am still unsure. I felt very confident and reassured when speaking to him

      but once I get home the doubts and worries begin to creep in


      Thanks very much for your posts x

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