If and when to have TKR

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello  I have already posted on the general arthritis forum.  Only found this one by chance.  Quick story I am 67 female and have had knee OA for well over 20 years.  I also have OA in the spine and neck and according to my latest hospital visit in the hips but not so bad at the moment.  My knees are the worst though.  The consultant said I have OA all over which I already knew and I will need TNR both knees.  He seemed to be putting me off by saying that it is a really painful op and that I should only consider it if I find my quality of life is unacceptable (not quite there yet).  He also said 1 in 10 surgeries don't work and they are not as successful as hips and you can sitll get some pain in the long term.  I wondered what everyone thinks about this.  How did you decide when to go ahead with surgery.  I also wonder whether he thought that I would not cope with the surgery because of my other arthritic problems.  I also have a few other health problems and am on various medication.  I

 can't tolerate most painkillers just paracetamol.  On the other forum members have suggested femopam and gaberpentin. (hope I've spelt them right).

I am going to ask my gp. My other question is about referred and radiating pain.  As I understand it oa in knee causes knee pain.  Yes I do have alot of knee pain, but what gets me down is pain outer side of leg a few inches each side of the left knee, low back pain and pain down below knee to ankle.  As said I can ony take paracetamol and also pernaton cream to rub on.  I have trouble working out what is causing what pain.  Anyone else have this problem.  I am overweight and have lost 1 stone but still a couple to go.  I find that often the pain starts when lying in bed if on my left side seems beter on the right.  Thanks for reading this.

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  • Posted

    Hi Libralady,

    Im due my surgery in 2 weeks,im 52 and cant walk too far now due to 85% arthritis,i cant wait to have it done and get my life back on track i know its a hard road but anything is better than the constant pain and swelling im in...i know you do need to have really strong pain killers with this surgery,but hopefully that can be sorted for you,i really hope you decide to have it done at some point...

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately painkillers like ibuprofen and codeine types upset my stomach as I have IBS.  I have tried them and end up with stomach cramps and constipation/diarreah.  Even antibiotics cause problems.  Also the omeprazole you are advised to take as a stomach protector with ibuprofen cause even worse problems it has taken me a few months to get my digestion back on track.  My husband who has hip OA has not problem with either drug.

      I must just be unlucky.  I have been recommended gaberpentin.  Not sure if that is the right spelling.  I am going to ask my gp about it.  I am sorry you are in pain and I wish you all the best for your surgery.  Hope all goes well for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi! I am 57 and had a left TKR on October 22nd. I too have OA and the consultant told me before my MRI scan that he did not do TKRs for anyone under 60 but after seeing my scan he informed me that the only option for me was a TKR! I was a bit shocked, but I asked him what he'd do and he said he would personally get it done and save sitting around for when I was in my late 70's/80's!. I went away and spent a month thinking about it, but in the end it was a "no brainer" as I couldn't walk for more than 10 minutes and I realised that inactivity would result in weight gain and more health problems and eventually a mobility bike! Anyway, I can't lie as it is a painful operation, but I can now walk for over an hour and my knee improves week by week. A bit of a long haul but worth it I feel. I did join Slimming World and lost a stone and a half to get nearer my "ideal" weight and this does help, so I'd say keep up the weight loss and go for it!

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Glenda I hope your knee continues to improve.  It is good to know you can now walk for an hour.  I am going to seriously think about it and try and lose more weight but at the moment I have other things to sort out.  I have to go to ENT clinic and have laser treatment on 1 eye in May, plus my husband has some hospital appointments, so I really need to sort these out first. 
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  • Posted

    I've had OA and a host of other problems in both knees for many years. I am a bit younger than you.  I am 5 weeks out from surgery and still feeling pain and swelling.  I'm am preparing to go out and walk 1/2 mile (with cane because it is snowing).  I feel less pain walking now than I have in the last 20 years. Afterwards I will need icing and elevating and perhaps a half a pain killer. I am very grateful for this 2nd chance.  This is not saying that it is not major surgery. And 9 out of 10 odda? I'm not a gambler but those seem like pretty healthy odds to me. AND keep in mind that you influence the odds by what you do prior to surgery in terms of strengthening and stretching the leg, maybe losing a little weight if necessary.    I wish you the best of luck either way.  With OA.... your knee is not going to improve.
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  • Posted

    Hi I am 13 weeks after TKR and had arthritis in both knees but had one done so far.  I will be honest, this was not what I expected.  I haven't the bend in my leg as before, it is stiff.  Most days I do feel I wished I hadn't done it.  I don't intend having the other knee done, I will live with the pain.  I still take pain killers regularly and my sleep is not what is was before.   Prople react differently to this op.  I am 64 and overweight.  Exercising is crucial and you are in it for the long haul.  I don't want to put you off but if I knew then what I know now, I don't think I would have done it.
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    • Posted

      Thank you, I appreciate your honesty.  As you say everyone is different but at the moment although in pain I am not ready to have surgery.  I am trying to lose more weight but difficult if you can't exercise enough.  I wish you well and hope your knee improves with time.
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    • Posted

      Hello Susan, I'm 64 too. I wish someone had talked me out of this operation. I am now at 18 weeks, still suffering with fluid & swollen knee. I went shopping this morning, & it has meant I cannot do anything this afternoon. I haven't slept right through the night for the whole 18 weeks. Also, I'm sick of taking painkillers too. I am not having the other knee done - I see my consultant tomorrow re the fluid & I'm going to ask him to take me off his list!! (It was supposed to be done 6 months after the other one!). I has OA in both knees, plus bone on bone, but could walk, run a little, & sleep!!!!
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    • Posted

      Exactly like mine Veronica.  Bone on bone, could walk too.  Went shopping this morning first time without stick and I have paid for it.  My sleep last night was awful, every time I turned awful pain in the knee.   It's done now though but never again.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I fully understand everything you have mentioned. I attended hospital on and of for almost 20years to be told all the same sinarios as yourself.

    I've just turned 53 and had my right TKR on the 5th of November. I was told years ago I was too young and it mightn't work. There was also concerns about my weight,

    I made the decision to have it done because the pain in both knees, hips groin and lower back were getting unbearable and I was struggling to walk any distance.

    It was a tough op but nothing as bad as I thought it would be, I am delighted with the results and am hoping to have my left knee done ASAP. Even the surgeon told me I more than likely wouldn't get the other one done as having one done would put me off.

    I still have a bit of stiffness and burning, but nothing like the pain I'm having on my left knee. Hope this helps and make sense.

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  • Posted

    Hello there, just read your interesting post. It's very difficult to know which way is forward for you. I had arthritis in my right knee which was very painful in flare ups, I had several falls due to the knee giving way and was strongly advised to have TKR. At 82 and with other health issues I reluctantly went ahead with it. I have regretted having it done and have found it a long hard road. I am now 7months post op and have just about got my life back, only you can weigh up the benefits or not of having this op. I would hold out as long as you can before you decide, I wish you well whichever way you go.
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    • Posted

      I totally agree with you to hold out for as long as possible.  I did weigh things up but I wished I had read more of people's experiences instead of people saying to me how wonderful it will be if I had it done.  
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