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 ... it is a huge decision, isn't it?  i always had clicking knees, all my life, and i could feel how they were gradually getting worse.  three years ago i was till very actively doing sports then, in the blink of an eye, my right knee went.  my surgeon told me nothing could be done, i was FAAAR to young.  my right knee got better and then my left knee got bad, then terrible and then i couldn't stand it anymore.  so i went to a second surgeon, a young dynamic one.  and he told me the same as yours: bone on bone and gave me a cortisone injection.  8 hours later i was dancing the tango (in my head!) but by week 4 was back to square one.  it continued getting worse.  then in june this year my right one went again on holiday.  so there i was staggering around like an 80 year old!  i can remember walking to my last appointment with the surgeon before my operation ... both my knees screaming with pain whilst taking loads of anti-inflammatory and pain meds.

    i wish i could tell you that my recouperation has been a walk in the path.  despite this, i have never ever wished i had not had it done.  i can feel my right knee is strong, on a good day i can really stride out, up or down a hill.  i am optimistic.  unfortunately - who knows why - i never got the right degree of bend and so i am going back into hospital on tuesday to have it bent under anesthetic.  but i am an absolute exception, this only happens to one in every 30th patient.

    long story short: i think your pain cycle will get shorter and shorter, i.e. the good times get shorter, the bad times longer and then all you have is bad times.  you don't want to get to that stage as you may then have to wait until you get a date for the operation.  and let's face it, it is inevitable sooner or later.  but it is for you to decide when the sooner is!

    good luck with the decision.

    • Posted

      Thanks Britta for your reply. I have heard of another person

      who had a similar problem but the operation to manipulate her leg was very successful and she is very pleased that she

      made the decision to have a knee replacement. I hope everything goes well for you as well. Is your other knee OK?

    • Posted

      Hi Britta

      all the best at the hospital I will be thinking of you 


  • Posted

    I am 57. I have severe OA in both knees. The first surgeon I saw told me I was too young for a Tkr and told me to take panadol and lose weight. I was already taking regular panadeine forte. When I could no.longer work went to another surgeon. he booked me in as soon as my private health insurance kicked in. He agreed I was yound but said it us all about quality if life. I have had both done, 10 and 6 weeks ago. I can walk further than I hsve been able to for sone years. 4.5 km. u can walk up stairs properly. Not down yet. I am aiming to go back to work in 6 weeks or so. I have less pain than I had before although still take painkillers. I dont care if I have to have them redone in 20 years. I will have had 20. *years of life and mobility that I wouldn't have otherwise had.also I was told that the metal part if the joint doesn't wear, just the plastic spacer and that is easy to replace.
    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I feel very positive after reading all of

      the replies I have received this evening.

  • Posted

    I would say go for it. I think recovery rates are a bit of a lottery, but the final outcome isn't.

    Four months ago I couldnt walk more than 50 yds without horrendous pain in my complete leg, not just the knee. Yesterday all be it slowly I walked about three miles. Knee felt a bit sore last night, but OK this morning and I know I am not fully recovered yet. If you are going through a NHS GP, ask if choose and book is availiable. You may be able to get into a private hospital quicker than NHS and also choose your consultant at no cost to yourself.

    • Posted

      Thanks Rego for your reply.You are doing really well to walk

      three miles. Are you totally pain free at the moment?

  • Posted

    i would say go for it ,its tough and lots of pain and cryin days , ive had both done now and would advise any one to go for it , the difference is amazing although i didnt think so while recovering , but now i can see how much it was affecting  me and my family , im back at work full time and can shop drive and be part of life , good luck x
    • Posted

      Hi Debbie thanks very much for your reply. Glad to hear that you have made a good recovery. How long did your recovery take 

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