Consultant said yes to knee replacement, now it's a no

Posted , 17 users are following.

Hi, I'm posting on behalf of my husband, any advice is really appreciated.

My 59 year old husband has suffered with his knee for at least the last 10 years that I've known him. At first midly, but gradually worse due to a road accident and then a DIY mishap!

In short, since 2013 he has been having 6 monthly check ups. In June last year he was told he could have a TKR, all he had to do was make the call. A few days ago he had an appointment and he expressed his wishes to get it done as soon as is possible. He was told  he is too young and he can't get it done until he feels it is unbearable. He has had another steriod injection but it really doesn't help that much.

It already effects everything we do. We can't go for walks, we drive everywhere, he can't sleep, simple things like going shopping means he suffers for days after. He has to take tramdol several times a day. I'm so frustrated for him, our lives have been on hold for the past couple of years now.

What is considered unbearable? I feel he is too young to have to give up being able to do so many different things.

He doesn't want to 'make a fuss' but I don't understand why they won't give him the treatment he was offered, wants and needs,

Thank you

1 like, 30 replies

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  • Posted

    This is obviuosly NHS-land.

    Don't forget 'The sqeaky hinge gets the oil''

    Pester them.

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  • Posted

    I would go back to doctor and tell him the full extent of your husband's disability. Has he got x-rays to back up the extent of knee damage? Age should not be a problem after 50 especially with the loss of mobility. Don't give up keep at them,even if it takes getting a second opinion. Good luck
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    • Posted

      Get your husband to pester gp, he is entitled to ask for an explanation of the reversed decision and also for a second opinion, these days it's a case of who shouts loudest gets heard!
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  • Posted

    Hi! I know what you guys are going through. But my peace of advice that don't go for tkr as doctors are suggesting. It should be your last resort.

    You can try acupuncture or alternative herbal treatments. It actually helps a lot.

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    • Posted

      Yes I agree it is a last resort but when you can't walk anywhere,or walk a dog, or cross your legs then no quality of life and max painkillers every day , they mess you up in the end my husband had the lot injections cortisone acupuncture knee washout 3 times you name it he had it done but when it's bone on bone you just can't improve on that too far gone
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  • Posted

    He sounds like the perfect candidate for a tkr and he is not too young. I had a tkr last February and was only 53. His quality of life is compared so keep on at your GP

    And consultant. Don't give up!! 😉

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  • Posted

    Hi Kayley ,

    usually doctors don't like to do it before you are 60 but 59 is pretty close, perhaps your husband will have to get another appointment soon and say it is unbearable , my husband is 61 and also after 10 years he has had the tkr done 8 weeks ago , apart from constant pain the thing that pushed him into having it was that anti inflammatories gave him a stomach ulcer plus doctors stopped them because of all  the scares literally overnight , so he was put on painkillers it was a no brainier when he explained this to the surgeon she agreed , however I have to say that he was stage 4 as bad as the knees could get so his surgeon was ready for him the last few years anyways ...maybe a letter to the surgeon via their secretary , I know contact with my husbands consultants secretary has always got results for him , in the way f an appointment..good luck

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    • Posted

      Neither did we but desperate measures.... on the phone you get the runaround, you just ring hospital and say can I speak to X consultants name....his/ her secretary , plus the switchboard will either give you the name or the answer machine will if the secretary doesn't answer the phone like in our case so we wrote her a letter and she must of passed on to the consultant the following week no reply just an appointment in the post ,this happened twice for us 
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your replies, they really help. I know my husband is reluctant to make a fuss because his pain is not excruitiating like some people on here but it is a pain that affects him 365 days a year. 

    I just read on the arthritis uk website that replacement's last around 20 years! When is he old enough?!! smile

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  • Posted

    Tbh it's all about quality of life n sounds like he doesn't have that now
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  • Posted

    Hi there Kayley, welcome. I feel your husbands pain - literally!

    Am I right in assuming you're in the UK and using the NHS? Who is your husband having the periodic checkups and steroid injections with, is it GP or Orthopaedic Consultant? I'm guessing the latter. And if that's the case, does he regularly see the Consultant, or is it usually the Register?

    My story - at the age of 48, I was diagnosed with severe degenerative Osteoarthritis in both knees, the right much worse than left. It was my GP who diagnosed me, and referred me to an Ortho surgeon , with the caveat that they don't usually like to operate at such a young age. My first appointment was with a Registar, who talked me into a Steroid shot with a future review. BIG mistake, I was sensitive to the steroid and it made my pain worse! He was quite firm with the "too young" argument. My next appointment was with a 2nd Registrar, who carried out a full review of my x rays (and treated me as a person, not an appointment), and asked me in detail how I was coping with the pain and day to day life. Half an hour, and half a box of tissues later, she was on the phone to the Surgeon's secretary and I was straight on the waiting list for TKR. That was on December 1st 2014, and I was 48. My surgery was on March 6th 2015, I was still 48! Virtually straight away my 2nd knee completely gave up, and at my 6 weeks check up I was told I'd have to wait at least 6 months to give the 1st knee chance to get strong. 14 weeks later I was back on the slab for TKR #2 and I was 49!

    Sorry it's a long winded story, but I think it's important for people like your hubby to know he is absolutely NOT too young! I am very lucky with my surgeon, he is very anti reverse ageism, and says he treats the person and their life, and considers the impact that severe OA can have, especially in younger patients who may still be working etc.

    Your hubby needs to let the powers that be know just how much his (and your) life is affected - "diminished quality of life" is one of my surgeon's favourite phrases! They have to realise he is struggling if he has been prescribed Tramadol, it's not something they dish out willy nilly. If your lives have been on hold for a couple of years, then that's long enough and he should tell them it's now unbearable. HE NEEDS TO MAKE A FUSS!! It's a massive operation, and they won't go into it lightly, so if they're in any doubt that he REALLY needs it, then they're likely to be more reluctant to operate.

    I really really hope your husband gets the response he needs, and that you can start to plan for a pain free (eventually!) future.

    Feel free to ask me about anything, or message me if you prefer xx

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  • Posted

    i think a second opinion is required here ..but im not sure if you are public or private if private find another consultant .if your public i guess it will be harder to get another consultant . 59yrs is young but by no means unusual a good few of us on here were younger i was 55yrs got both done at the same time ,not a great outcome on one ,so my take might be a little different from others . im sorry i ever got it done .! i was in an awful lot of pain before i had the ops but now im still in some pain and its not the magic answer . but in saying that when i decided to go ahead with my tkr  i really didnt think that anything could go wrong but it did . its no harm to look at both sides just make sure the consultant is the best you can get . good luck i hope it works out for him
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