advice please

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I have had severe painin my right knee on and off for about15 years. When it first started my gp said it was a torn ligament although I hhadn't felt it snap. There have been times when I've needed to use a stick and then I've not. Last year I was diagnosed with polymyalgia and started on steroids. Very quickly I felt tons better and my knee pain went away completely, I was able to walk up and down hills and stairs, it was wonderfully. I then had to start decreasing my dose and gradualy the pain returned and my knee was more painful than ever. I now can't walk without a stick and within five minutes of walking I'm in awful pain. I saw an orthopaedic consultant who after looking at extensive xrays said I had moderate OA in my right knee and severe OA in my left which also had a lot of rubbish in it. He wanted me to have an mri scan of my right knee as sometimes steroids can cause problems within joints. The mri came back clear with only minor changes present. I was hoping that the mri might show something else which was causing the pain but apparently not. I am now waiting for an appointment to see the consultant to see what he thinks now. When I originally saw him he pretty much said that he will replace the knee but whether that will still be the case with the new information is yet to be seen. My question is has anyone been in the same position? I feel that I want the knee replacement as I can't bear this pain any longer but what if the replacement doesn't take away the pain. I appreciate that non of us are doctors but we all experience knee pain so hopefully you might have some suggestions. I know that sometimes the joint is much more damaged when they go in to operate than the xrays suggested. Any advice would be much appreciated. Debbie

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  • Posted

    By the way my left knee is also becoming more painful, probably because I'm limping on it and putting more weight on it to relieve my right knee.

    sorry about some of the above spelling..dratted predictive text!!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear of your knee pain. It's been my experience with knee replacement that the xrays show that the cartledge is severly torn or missing or bone on bone. The only way to walk with no pain that I know of is knee replacement. I have friends who like you have tried to cope with the knee pain for to long. The longer one waiters the worse damage to the knee and pain. Thank goodness there are knee joint replacements. Today they can custom make the implant form a form made from the measurements of your knee. My son had his knee replaced he had necrosis in the tissue and damage to the bone waited so long. It was replaced last summer and is doing so much better. I have had 3 hip replacements. Once your thru recovery you will be asking yourself why it took you so long to do it. Pain fee is a result of joint replacement. Thank goodness for them imagine the alternative. 

    Good luck!

     

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  • Posted

    I know where you are coming from as i have similar problems. I have had arthritis since a child in my left knee and consequently have had problems over the years. My left knee was replaced aged 39 then again at 52 after also breaking it. This knee as stents also to support the last replacement. I have being refered for physiotherapy to strengthen that one. Now to come to the right one i am having lots of pain. I have had treatment at physiotheraphy but cannot remember what it was. I have tried a steriod injection which didn't help. I have now being offered a replacement. I am due to go back in four months to say whether i want to go ahead. I know from experience that replacement is the only thing that will get rid of the pain. I also suffer nerve pain in my left knee due to damaged nerves from the operations i had when i was younger. THe nerve pain as eased with medication. I need Amitriptyline to help sleep with the pain of arthritis. I know the best thing for me is to go ahead as it will greatly improve my right knee. My mobility is greatly affected at the moment. I was told if i don't go ahead with the operation, i will be discharged and then it will be harder to get back into the NHS system. Some people can have minor degeneration and suffer a lot of pain, others can have a lot of degeneration and suffer minor pain. Everybody is different. Obviously there are risks to any operation ie infection, blood clots. The knee will get worse if you leave it. I am still battling with my decsion but know deep down i will go for it. 

    Hope this as helped.

    Elizabeth.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies, they're much appreciated. I am "only" 56 and my locum gp refused to refer me to an orthopaedic surgeon as I am too young. The trouble is I walk like a 90 year old! I paid privately to see the consultant who said age isn't the issue , pain is. If he thinks a tkr will stop the pain I will definitely go for it as my quality of life at the moment is pretty rubbish. I think that fairly soon after the first tkr I will need my other replacing as I am limping on it which is making it really sore. Take care all. Debbie
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    • Posted

      Some consultants are better than others in operating because of the pain, and to give the patient a better quality of life. I had my first done at 39, i had the ligaments in my groin go, i would not be walking now if i had not had a knee replacement. I will be on my third one by the age of 60. I find that it is getting past the the GP that is the problem. We want and need our quality of life now, we don't know how long we are going to live for. I do know of a couple of people that have to wait till aged 60 before they can have an operation. If your Consultant is offering to operate i say go for it. The pain will go straight away, once you recover you will be able to walk pain free, hey i don't know what that feels like now. Keep us all updated on your progress.

      Best wishes.

      Elizabeth.

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