How can i delay TKR for simply 4 months?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello all...im looking for any suggestions regarding my left knee.

I am a 50 yr old teaching tennis pro. Five months ago (Dec 2014) i had major rotator cuff surgery on my right (dominant) shoulder. All went well and I was told I'd be back to work in 4-6 months. My plan was to do the surgery in winter and id be ready to go for the BUSY summer season.

My problem is... all of a sudden, for no reason whatsoever. my left leg, from the hip down to the knee has apparently flared up with the most painful arthritis. I can barely walk, let alone think about returning to work.

- alittle history on my left leg...I've had 3 surgeries on my left knee ending with a total ACL replacement about 20 years ago. I KNOW i am bone on bone on my knee but it has never prevented me from working, running, playing/teaching tennis nor any other physical activity. Every 9-12 months however the knee does fill with fluid and my range of motion becomes hampered. But I simply go get my knee aspirated followed by a cortisone shot and I'm ' good to go' for another 10 months. (all the while i am aware that the day will come that a TKR will be inevitable)

The conundrum is I've been resting the past 5 months. I have placed no pressure on my leg the whole while I've been rehabbing my shoulder and there's no fluid build up whatsoever...yet the pain is excruciating!

So as usual i went to the doctor and while no aspiration was needed i had my usual cortisone shot (Kenalog) injected in my knee and also the hip which X-rays showed some minor new arthritis.

Results-absolutely NO relief! My reliable cortisone shot which has been serving me grandly for years had no effect whatsoever.

I then insisted a few weeks later that a different brand of cortisone (depa-medrol) be used thinking my body has become immune to the Kenalog- NO RESULTS!

Desperate i then had a series of "some new lubricant" injected in the knee one injection a week for 3 weeks- NO RESULTS!

Ok..ok i get it the inevitable has come. It's now time for a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) But it's just not reasonable, i can't wrap my head around the fact that while rresting my shoulder...putting no trauma on my leg whatsoever, my left leg, hip/knee is in soo much pain...let alone the idea of having one major surgery immediately after another...ITS JUST TOO MUCH!

Im desperate. I'm looking for answers WHY this is happening...could there be a simple answer im overlooking? Additionally does anyone have any suggestions as to what i can do to get back on the tennis courts just 1 LAST SUMMER, then i shall acquiesce and do the TKR.

Please PLEASE...someone help! 😟

Sincere thanks,

TENNIS IN CHICAGO 🎾

David

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  • Posted

    I don't think its anything to do with rest or anything you have or haven't done, your knee has got to the stage where injections won't work any more. Tkr is your only option.  We have all been there and you will just have to face the inevitable I am afraid.  There are no answers, your knee has had enough and needs replacing, especially now arthritis has set in.
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    • Posted

      Ohh Susan 😥 it's just not fair. I know you're probably right, but its analogous to being told you're going to be executed by a firing squad at dawn. I'm in a hysterical panic clawing and scratching trying to escape.

      Tennis is my lover, it's literally all i have. Everything seems to be taken away from me just....when im close to complete peace and happiness.

      I know...I'm wallowing in self pity sad

      Grant me the serenity to accept the things i can't change..

      The courage to change the things i can...

      And the wisdom to know the difference.

      Ohhhh my 😥

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    • Posted

      Definitely self pity and I sympathise, but it could be worse.   Look at the comments from OFG to see what he has been through and is still going through, poor man.  You can still play tennis with a new knee, if you need one!
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  • Posted

    What a dilemma. The body is so complex these things are hard to grasp. BTW, I'm in KC and I finally had to change doctors about e years ago so I could have all the resources of a teaching university. I'm 2002 I was just beyond retirement age and decided to work anothe year or two. One day in early Sept i was o u t on a call and felt a strange swelling in my knee. 3 hrs later I started to leave and the most horrific pain and swelling I've ever had hit my knee. I almost fell and literally had to drag myself to the car which became a nightmare getting into. That night e.r. and pain meds. Next morning my orthopod. He nor anyone in the practice had a clue. Surgeries began and finally, through an orthopedic oncologist it was diagnosed as pins, a rare tumor that normally surfaced between teenage and 40's. I was almost 66. I won't go into all the rest of it but 12 years later I am getting ready (next month) for my 11th surgery, the 5th that will actually be a complete opening of the knee and insertion of the 3rd prosthesis. Needless to say, I'm no trained, qualified orthopod but I sure as hell have enough time and expense to be one. (Medicare billing is approaching 3/4 of a million). My surgeon has called on me to meet with a couple of others that suffer this same fate. All of this long mindedness doesn't pertain to your situation but just shows you the delicate nature of this organism we call the human body and as I know in my case, the tendency to think whatever abuse I give it, it'll be like Timex and keep on ticking. I suspect, in your case like mine, something just snapped. No explaination. I would suggest if possible, an appointment at a medical school that has a recognized ortho clinic or e en a trip to Mayos in Rochester. Unless you have been hospitalized in the last 3 months you don't need a referral. They would like your last set of xrays and mris. They do require a 4 day window for a stay. If you would like to contact me through email use the envelope in the corner across from my name. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Ohh how i hear you Oldfatguy...ohh how i hear you.

      The delicate mechanism of the human body.

      How we take it for granted with the potency of youth, and how we pay the price with age.

      What an interesting time of year to recognize this. With memorial day upon us let's think and pray for the men and women who have given their life, liberty and body parts for us all!

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  • Posted

    I've also had the rotator cuff surgery, and the TKR . .You may love tennis, but unfortunately it rather looks as if tennis doesn't love you too much!  I hope you can get some relief, but with both hip and knee pain, looks a little difficult for this summer??  
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  • Posted

    I do know what you are going throu and there is life after joint replacements.

    whilst I was doing my dive masters course, I had a scuba diving accident..

    " the bends ". ...untreated ( another story ) I had my first hip replaced at age 37 due to AVN caused by the scuba event. 

    I had my passion job also working in the OR for my treating ortho surgeon. 

    And had a total of 5 joints replaced by age 42..

    naturally I lost my passion of scuba diving too high risk to go again, and I also lost my job, as. I couldn't physically lift the sterile equipment out of the autoclave

    so yes I do know, I lost my job, my passionate sport. But I tried different things, now I do aqua aerobics swim laps in a fashion as my shoulders are reverse. And I've taken up art and been published in a few magazines.

    so although you are worried about now there is a future you just have to find. A new one, living in pain is not an option that's not living.,,

    just me 2 cents worth,, 

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    • Posted

      That is brillant Mary!

      Thank you. It is difficult to let go of anything we all love so much...but hopefully as you say...there is a new and possibly even better life after ...!"

      From my heart ❤

      Thank you

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    • Posted

      there was someone else on the forum who had also had the bends following a computer error on the diving equipment on the barrier reef. . , and subsequently a vast number of joint replacements.  Not something I knew about before being on this forum . . .So glad that you have managed to survive such an awful experience, and actually come out the other end and found new passions!  Wonderful . . . 
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  • Posted

    Hi David,

    First of thanks again for your wise words the other day....I don't know that what I have to offer will equal your words. But my knee(s) story is similar. My knees have bothered my for 35 years, I am 57. They would be horrible, one at a time, pain swelling, etc.... I'd need a brace for awhile, then it would be fine for months or a year or so. Then several years ago I started with cortisone shots. At first, they were a great relief, lasting a year or more. Then it got to the point I needed shots every few months. Finally the shots did nothing. Then I tried the cartilage building injections, which did nothing. Right before my knees went to the point of no return, 2 years ago, I was walking 8-10 miles, jogging and hiking. I felt so betrayed by my knees and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't get better like they had for most of my life. My OS explained that they had come to end of their road. I know intellectually that we are lucky that we are alive at a time when we get a second chance with iur knees. Sometimes it's just not east to accept. Sounds like you are in good shape and tennis is on the lust of "ok" activities for TKR. The only other thing I would add us to do the surgery when you are ready and convinced that your knee is at the end of its road. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Once again you have nailed my feelings Joyce. Yes..it's just so difficult to accept when just months prior we were jogging and playing and skipping and jumping.

      It seems that aging can be such a humbling experience. Am i being punished for something i did when i was young?

      Why do i find myself alone during this aging process. It'd be so much easier to have someone who loves you around to help carry the load (see my note to Martinvarelo)

      But tell me about the "cartiledge rebuilding injections" I've never heard of that....maybe????????

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    • Posted

      I was advised to have those, but didn't bother. .went straight to the TKR. I think what David is referring to is a more complicated treatment though.the stem cell treatment I think is pretty much in its infancy, and still rather experimental.  Hyaluronic acid injections don't work for long, so I have been told.   
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    • Posted

      There is an injection that is compounded with the blood from the cockscomb of the rooster. It is a 3 injection process and very expensive. One name, I believe, is synivek. Some people have had good but temporary relief. Because of the cost, Dr's are hesitant to use it on a whim. I asked about it and they just shoot their collective heads and said no. There may be other, newer things in the works but nothing that's been approved, at least in the US.
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    • Posted

      I think that's Synvisc-one, which is only advertised as giving 'up to' six months relief, and works better for cartilage damage rather than when the cartilage is gone altogether, although apparently can be helpful. the stem cell thing actually harvests stem cells from the hip, which are then (after some sort of treatment) reinjected into the knee . . According to what I'm reading on internet, about 4000 a shot, although apparently rules  in the USA insist that the stem cells be  used within 24 hours, which apparently reduces the effectivity of this procedure.  Again, not a permanent fix . . .
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    • Posted

      David, for some time my wife fought the punishment angle. One night about6 years ago we were on vacation in CA. and she woke up in the middle of the night in a drenching sweat and couldn't move. I had her moved to Stanford medical center where they checked her for heart and stroke. No problems. She continued to have a myriad of problems so I took her to mayo's clinic...still nothing for sure. She went through a myriad of docs in different locations. Finally about a year after it all started..........Parkinson's disease......absolute and positive. Since then she has tumbled, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly but always downhill. She is now in an advanced stage and with all that she has to depend on a cripple like me as a care giver. Her answer is she has gotten over the punishment aspect and just waits for me to get back on my feet so I can take care of her because we both know her condition Will only deteriorate. We have had to bring in meals on wheels and someone to clean and do the yard work but we're making it and will as long as there is still hope that one more surgery will have things looking up. I have to go to a rehab unit for a couple of weeks just to gain strength because this surgery drains you and there is no way out. I guess the one thing I have learned, as much as I always thought I had control of things and I certainly found out I better make my long range plans a out a week at a time. Keep talking and working through it. This is a great spot. I feel like I have made a lot of friends world wide and really appreciate their emotion a I support

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