Concerns about coping post op crutches, any advice?

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I'm having surgery to straighten the leg (ostetomy) and a repair of the meniscus (arthroscopy) at the same time, so I will be non-weight bearing for at least 6 weeks while the bone heals. 

I have ongoing myofascial pain (similar to fibromyalgia) which gives me hip and shoulder muscular pain plus creaky pain in my joints in general but especially my hands.  Oh and my balance and co-ordination isn't great either!

So I'm really worried about how I will manage with crutches post op.  I hope the pain killers will help any pain caused by them, but also might make me dizzy or woozy?

I bought some crutches to practice with and it isn't going great I can't see how I will manage to move around without accidentally jarring my bad leg. 

Has anyone else been restricted to crutches for a long time, if so how did you adapt? 

Also having second thoughts about the surgery in general.  It seems like once people start on knee surgeries the problems often just escalate?  Then again if I don't have surgery I will probably be bone on bone in a few years and I'm not even 30 yet. 


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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Guy26

    thats a really hard one,as you are still so young. I had my knee done at 42 but I had 4 other joints done from age 37 , 

    lit depends on quality of life to. Like I have my left knee the one I was born with, and now it  requires an arthroscopy on that, but I'm too scared to do in case I end up worse,

    have you had a long chat with your surgeon about your fears ?

    the longest I had on crutches was 5 months due to hip complications at a revision. And that was awful as both shoulders were replaced and really didn't like using the crutches.

    i hope you can decide what to do for the best,,


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  • Posted

    I had Total Knee Replacement 3 and a half years ago.

    Like you my blance and co ordination is not great.

    However I was actually surprised how well I adapted to the crutches.

    They do show you how to use them so it's not like practising yourself on your own.

    Regarding knee surgery itself all I can say is I've been there and done that.

    I am now 65 and have had problems with my knees since I was in my teens.

    Both knees started dislocating. One knee I had pinned when I was 20 and the other knee I had patella removed when I was 24.

    So I do understand where you are coming from.

    My Total Knee Replacement has been very successful and I was fortunate to have an excellent consultant.

    I don't know where you live but I had my knee replacement at Hereford and my consultant was Matthew Oakley. If you are anywhere neasr that area I would certainly recommend him to you.

    Good luck with all this.

    Keep in touch


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  • Posted

    Hi Mary, 

    to answer your questions - I've had two consultations with the surgeon (well regarded one too), a long chat with the physio and specialist nurse.... several chats with my trusted GP... etc, etc.  They all say it is the right thing to do. 

    I can't manage any intense exercise at present, but I can manage a reasonable walking distance (1 hour, slowly) with pain killers. I walk with a limp and it hurts if I jar my foot on uneven ground or have to change direction suddenly.   Kneeling and bending is an issue and sometimes it hurts at night in bed. I can also cycle gently every now and then, as long as it isn't steeply uphill or too bumpy ground. 

    Logically everything points towards it being the right thing to do.  Apart from anything they tell me the ostetomy is supposed to protect my knee from being 'bone on bone' and needing a TKR in the near future.

    But I'm still not feeling good about it, it is major surgery and I dread the hospital and long recovery experience, the risk of complications, attending all the follow-ups and getting around on crutches. 


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  • Posted

    I think if it was me, I'd go straight for a knee replacement. I think you are going to end up there any way. 

    Why have 2 major surgeries and 2 long recoveries ?

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    • Posted

      They can't do a knee replacement in someone my age... it would be worn out by the time I'm 45.

      The idea with the ostetomy is I have wear on one side of the joint cartilage due to the leg not being straight which puts excessive load on one part of the joint.  They hope by straigtening it to transfer the weight to the other side of the joint which will hopefully buy time... until I wear out that side.



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    • Posted

      I had my first joint replacement at 37 a hip followed by 2 shoulders and a knee the knee will be 18 years coming up and my shoulders and hip went to 18 years. The revisions are actually better than the first...

      if the osteotomy can give you back your life then I'd do it, but if it's only going to give you a few years it seems silly doing 2 major surgeries.

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  • Posted

    Will they be immobilizing the leg with a hip to ankle brace? Late w o enter I had the of other I a removed due to staph. The leg was immobilized and I was non weight bearing on a walker for 4 months then the new hardware put in late June, the brace was replaced, back to non weight bearing and using the walker. They never discussed crutches as they are not too unstable for non weight bearing conditions. Have you actually discussed assistive devices with your medical staff.
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    • Posted

      I'm not too sure about the post op and assitive devices, I didn't take in all the information.  I think I will have a straight knee brace that can be unclipped to allow some movememnt sometimes. 

      I think a walker sounds preferable to crutches. 


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    • Posted

      Always good to ask a lot of post op questions prior to surgery so you minimize the post op shock of having all of it tossed at you when you really aren't feeling your best.
      Report / Delete Reply

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