Decision to be made.

Posted , 8 users are following.

i saw the Consultant on Monday, I thought to start the proces for the first knee replacement but it's not that simple! It was arranged through NHS Choices and if I was paying I would have chosen him as he is very nice extremely well  qualified. However I am 59, can walk reasonable distance (eg to the shops) even though it hurts, no significant pain when resting but difficulty with stairs and getting up from chairs etc. An arthroscopy four years ago showed a lot of problems leading to me be told I would need the joints replacing in both knees and he acknowledges this is probably worse now than then. He advised me that a new joint would have a life expectancy of only 12 to 15 years which would mean it is likely I would have to have it done again(!!!) Any replacement would likely be less successful and more problematic.  He said TKR in younger patients (me!) is often not as successful as in older ones as there is a greater expectancy to be able do more and this can lead to disappointment in the outcome. 

He he explained that the easy option for him is just to do the surgery but that may not be the best option for me. He wanted to get up to date X-rays and to see me again to discuss everything.

I was initially disappointed as I had built myself up to having the operation and was armed with a whole list of questions about aftercare, dates etc but realise the wisdom of his words. I think I was thinking if it needs doing just get it done and work hard and get over it but if I would have to go through it all again....!!!!

Xrays (lots of theme) were done yesterday and I have an appointment to see him on 10 November which is the next date he is at that hospital. 

I cannot not stress how impressed I have been with NHS Choices and how quickly everything has been arranged.

So.....any advice from the voices of experience on this forum!!

Many thanks for wading through all my waffle and probable mistakes with predictive text. 

Gill XX

 

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  • Posted

    Hi gill, I am 7 weeks post op and aged 45. I have had knee problems since I was a child, this was my 10 operation and hopefully the last. For a few years when I was in my thirties my consultant kept saying I was too young then 2 years ago he told me I needed a full knee replacement but I refused. This last year I became less mobile and started to put weight on, he said it came down to quality of life and extra weight would be a strain on the joint. Also the pain was horrendous.

    He did say it may only last 10 to 15 years but if I looked after the joint and myself it may give me longer, also he said a lot may change in 10 years. I am normally very fit, walk, cycle and swim and this is my goal with a new joint.

    Get all the facts Gill from xrays etc, I listened and respected my surgeon and I am sure yours will look after you.

    Nikkix

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    • Posted

      hi nikki ... your story sounds like a carbon copy of mine, minus the 10 knee operations! i am determined to get fit once my bend is back ... want to be as fit as possible to keep my knee in tip top shape! 
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    • Posted

      Doesn't anyone in the  UK work with supps to work on keeping their knees?  We in the US are committed to many supplements to keep our own knees....my own knee is stiff enough but it bends at 76 and I can't imagine gutting my knee out and ridding me of any cartlidge that is still in there...

      Collagen supplementation is important and I can't imagine not doing that....

      10 knee operations....hard to believe....I've had 2 surgeries in my 76 years and both left me with nerve damage for sure....I'm one who does everything possible to steer clear of knives and cutting.    

      Opposite thinking on both sides of the pond it seems to me.   

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    • Posted

      yes lots of us do , some they work well for others not , itook stuff for a while with no change , so out came the knife  , havind=g said that i needed ti get back to work 

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Gill,

    i am a bit younger than you but the symptoms you describe are exactly like mine were, although I had osteo arthritis in mine. I am now nearly 3 weeks post TKR and to say it is hard is an understatement. Apart from the pain, especially the first week, my knee is still very stiff, doesn't straighten or bend very well but I am hopeful it will get better. I too will have to have it done again in the future. You are right when you say it is easier for older patients as they are not expected to regain as much movement as a younger person. As I feel at the moment I wish I could've left it a bit longer but as I have been suffering for the last 10 years it really needed doing but as yet I can't honestly say I am feeling the benefit but after reading other people's experiences on this website I am hopeful for the future. You seem to be going into this with all the necessary information to make the right decision for you and your consultant is not going to pressure you into having it done just yet if you don't need it so that is a positive.  Wish it had been like that for me. I went to the consultant expecting them to say I need the bits 'hoovering' out so was shocked to find I needed a new knee (need other doing as well, so he says!) and because I was going private within a few weeks here I am with a scarred knee and walking sticks!!  Sorry I haven't been much help really.  Hope it goes well, whatever you decide to do....😃

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    • Posted

      Thanks Shanders, Thanks for telling me your history and glad you're on the way to recovery. The only way is up now for you! I'm sure you get a lot of good advice on this forum.

      Kind regards,

      Gill X

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  • Posted

    I AM 12 WEEKS POST TKR ...I AM A NURSE AND TOOK CARE OF MANY  TKR PATIENTS  . I NEVER REALISED HOW DIFFICULT THIS SURGERY IS ...UNTIL I WENT THROUGH IT !...WAIT AS LONG AS YOU CAN ...OVER THE YEARS  , I COUNTED AT LEAST 6 DOCTORS  WHO SUGGESTED THIS WAS IN MY FUTURE  ,,,I DELAYED ALMOST 10 YEARS !...I AM NOW  65 YRS AND ITS A LONG SLOW ROAD TO RECOVER
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    • Posted

      i understand what you mean , but i have a full time very heavy job on a school kitchen ,feeding 1700 people daily , and at 53 i couldnt work ,im lucky my job has been left open , i swam up to 2 miles per day pre op and swam after both ops , im now going back to work on monday ,i couldnt have done this if i had waited as long as poss , and i cant retire for another 13 years , so finishing work was not an option or even changeing jobs at my age and needing full time work , i think that people should think long and hard about the op and what it would give them back , as you know too well this op is very tough indeed , for me i know i made the right choice ,and if it only lasts 10 to 16 years so be it ,at least i would be able to finish work and take care of my self and also wouldnt need the movement as ive got now , think its pros and cons .
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  • Posted

    The results of your x-rays will probably give you all the answers you need.  Then weight up your quality of life with painful knees.

    I, too, went privately courtesy of the NHS and the whole process has been first class.

    Lynn 18 weeks post op.

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  • Posted

    I was in a similar situation to you.  My GP sent me for physio on 2 separate occasions when I complained about my knees.  I was prescribed painkillers and various anti-inflammatory tablets.  When I eventually saw my Consultant, he said that he thought one knee was repairable but one needed replacing,  As I was younger he performed an arthroscopy on my better knee but this did not work.  So he gave me a choice which knee I wanted replacing first.

    I had my left TKR in January 2013 and my right one in July 2013. I have often thought I should have had them earlier as I can now do much more than I have been able to do for years.  I feel that even if you have to have revision surgery later in life, it is better to have TKR when you need them so that you can enjoy life whilst you are still young.  (I was 57 when I had my operations).

    Hope this helps!

     

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