Elbow Osteoarthritis

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Have had Elbow Osteoarthritis since (first symptoms) Oct 2015 This injury has caused me to change my profession. The pain has not changed in 2 years the same nauseating  feeling with chronic pain cracking and stiffness. Surgery recommended cannot fix the problem they say I would need a replacement Elbow when 65 I'm only 38 However they say it can take away pain has anyone had this surgery and how was the recovery ?

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    I have had finger joint replacement surgery and it was the best thing I ever did as I am not 100% pain free, that is priceless. 

    Its rubbish to say you have have to wait until 65, did an elbow surgeon tell you that or your GP. 

    Are you in in the U.K. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Elbow Surgeon said I need a new one cause damage is serious. Could do a Arthroscopy for pain but  I needed a Arthroplasty or replacement apparently it's uncommon at 38 I guess. I just don't want to operate on it incase it makes it worse then it is already recovery time is estimated at 5 months 

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    • Posted

      If you are in a lot of pain a replacement joint will solve that problem. What is worse than pain? 

      Go go see another surgeon who will do the op and you will soon be pain free. 5 months rehab is a small price to pay for no pain for the rest of your life. What are you waiting for, get it done?

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  • Posted

    I don't understand the whole principle of replacing joints and I've never had it done to me but I've heard this said to so many other people and I think it's insane. They don't want to do it when you're that young because the joint will wear out before you die so instead they want to keep you hurting. Tell me what is the sense in that. It makes entirely no sense to make you suffer in pain for 30 years so that you can get relief from the pain for the last 20 years or however long you live. I would try seeing another doctor maybe you can convince another doctor to do it sooner.

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  • Posted

    Where do you live Kingcarz?  In the UK they usually don’t like replacing joints when you are young.  The only reason is that replacement joints don’t last forever and, heaven forbid, they may have to do another one in 10 years time and that would cost “more money”!!!  Shock horror!!

    I do commiserate with you (I have polyarthritis so I know what pain is).  Try another rheumatologist.  If that doesn’t work find out what it would cost privately and try and save up.  It wouldn’t take you 30 years to do anyway.

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    • Posted

      Totally agree Constance.  Of course it's down to funding, not what's best for the patient.  New technology means artificial joints last much longer than the original ten years in any case and Amkoffee is right - pain free quality of life is far more important now than for the latter part of life.  If the diagnosis determines a new joint is needed then there is no patient care reason to wait, it's just money.

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    • Posted

      My cousin was told they would prefer not to replace her ankle joints about twenty years ago because at present it isn't possible to do the operation a second time, physical not financial reasons.  She ended up having them done, I don't think she was much past 50 and it is been well past the 10 years she was told they would last, but she has to severely limit her time walking, gets most of her exercise through swimming, in order to preserve the replacement joint as long as possible.  She has RA.  I don't think she's ever regretted having the operation as she was in a wheelchair by the time she had it.

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    • Posted

      They say that ankle joint replacement isn't as advanced as hip and knee development.  I was told they couldn't replace my ankle joint only fuse it.  The consultant said the technology wasn't available for an effective movable replacement joint.  I'm glad to hear your cousin's treatment was effective however.  I am still getting told I need the joint fused and there's no other option but am refusing that surgery as I don't want permanent restricted movement of that foot. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie.  I know two people who have had ankle replacements/fusen.  Both are not happy with results.  Ankles seem to be a problem, don’t they?  Of course things are improving and there are some who have been happy with the results.

      I’m with you in refusing surgery.  I’d rather struggle along/waddle along the way I am - at least I know my ankles can move and they don’t hurt when I sit down (can’t say that about being in bed though)😡

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    • Posted

      At first I wasn't listened to - every appointment was with a different registrar and they just assumed I'd do as I was told.  Finally I managed to speak to a consultant and made him explain fully what fusion involved.  I would lose all dorsa flexion in the ankle joint, which would leave me with a limp and altered gait, which in turn would cause excessive wear and tear on the knee of that leg and in fact also the other leg.  IE both knees would therefore probably develop OA and need replacing.  They just couldn't seem to understand that although I'm in pain at least I have a fully functioning joint that moves properly and I don't want to lose that option.  Fusion is irreversible.  Nobody I spoke to would enlighten me on actual ankle joint replacement, most just saying it wasn't yet available/proven, etc.  I decided to fight my corner and keep refusing fusion surgery as to be honest I'd rather have the pain than permanent disablement.  Maybe one day they'll develop a workable solution, until then I'll cope.

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    • Posted

      To be honest I didn't even know there was such a thing as fusion.  I believe she had a replacement, but also with the warning it would only last ten years and could not be redone.  

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  • Posted

    You can't compare elbows with ankles with fingers with hips etc they all have DIFFERENT OUTCOMES.

    Hips seem by far the best along with knees as everyone I know with a hip replacement can move better than me!!

    I have had fingers done and my surgeon does it for pain relief and you don't get a lot of movement, he considers fusion the very last resort. I am delighted with my two finger joint replacements and will need another soon because I am completely pain free and that is priceless.

    Therefore you need to talk to a consultant and understand the likely outcomes for your condition. 

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    • Posted

      very true wknight - elbows are a very different kettle of fish from hips and knees.  The flex required is different, weight bearing versus weight lifting etc.   Hip and knee replacement has had far more funding and research than other joints, firstly because the outcomes are more significant, ie mobility, and secondly because of the nature of the joint itself.  There are some joints for which a working replacement is just not available or not to the standard of other joints.  I've personally not heard of anyone having had an elbow joint replaced, so cant comment on the efficiency.  Youre also right about fusion -v- replacement.  Fusion may reduce pain but the outcome is loss of mobility in the particular joint and its irreversible.

       

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