Knee osteoarthritis

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Hi i have found this website to be really helpful so far and the people on here are full of great advice and make you feel your not the only one with knee problems.

Anyhow ive just been diagnosed with moderate/severe osteoarthritis of my knee and i have mild in my other. It was a shock in some ways to find out that it was moderate/severe, only found out last Friday so it might take time to sink in. Dont get me wrong i have suffered with painful, swollen,stiff knees for years (i had repeated dislocations of knees when i was younger) but in 2014 my right knee got worse so doctor sent me for xray which showed mild wear and tear, which was how she explained it.I didnt know that that meant osteoarthritis and doctor didnt explain that this was the case. So i just carried on as normal, boy if only i knew.

Anyhow here i am 3 years down the line. My doctor as said that im too young for knee replacement,im 43,but from what ive read im petrified of having this done! Basically i have got try and live with it and take painkillers. Not been given much advice, i struggle on steps and stairs and my walking isnt great but i might get a walking stick to help with this.

I was wondering if anyone else is going through similar to myself, any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks. x

A

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  • Posted

    I've heard of replacements at your age but only in very severe cases.  The TRK has a 20-25 year lifespan so docs don't like doing it too early.

    What got me through an entire decade was Synvisc.  Three shots 7 days apart lasted me 10-11 months each round.  There's also a 1 shot treatment that's supposed to last up to 6 months.  For me, it worked GREAT!!!  Check it out with your doc...and stay away from the damn painkillers...they will eat you alive!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Annette

    Yeah sounds all too familiar! I went to my GP surgery in about 2004, I was 51, with knee problems (which I'd had for years but was worse). I saw a locum GP who didn't examine me, just said " you're not Michael Owen, so I won't be sending you for Arthroscopy, just do knee exercises"! He didn't give me any exercises to do just shrugged his shoulder! My GP was horrified when I told her! And the surgeon who did the arthroscopy is still dining out on that one!!

    In 2006/7 having had an episode where I couldn't straighten my leg, I went back & saw my (now) GP.

    She referred me to Orthopaedics & Trauma & under Choose & Book, I chose a private hospital on the NHS. I had an MRI which was inconclusive & the surgeon decided Arthroscopy was the only answer. He found 2 tears in the meniscus which he snipped away! He also found OsteoArthritis in the joint. After Physio I was discharged. That knee, fingers crossed, will have TKR later this year. If the NHS will allow, things being as they are now!

    I was further referred to Orthopaedics in 2010 after another bout of my knee giving way & locking bent.

    The surgeon had X-rays taken, then referred me to physiotherapy & to come back in 6 months. When I went back I was xray'd again BOTH knees he said I have osteo both knees but too young for TKR, go away & come back when you can't stand the pain any more & we'll do TKR. I was offered no treatment, no injections, he said Physio wouldn't help.

    So I really do understand your predicament!

    The only advice I can give is 'bother' your GP, ask for other options, you will need to be on painkillers sorry to say! You won't get through either day or night without.

    I also know about the horrible grinding you get from your knee, particularly going up & down stairs, it sounds & feels awful as well as being painful. My left knee does all that!

    The only alternative you have, if you can afford it, is go private.

    And yes use a walking stick when you need to, don't do what I did & struggle on! In fact don't do what I did at all! Try to get them to listen, to understand that you are now disabled & need some treatment, even if not at this stage TKR!

    And yes you are disabled!! That was the one thing I came away with in 2010, when surgeon said " you are disabled now".

    I'm not much help I'm afraid. But I do understand & empathise with your situation.

    I hope that you can get something to help you.

    Keep in touch.

    All the best

    Marilyn

    XX

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    • Posted

      Thankyou so much Marilyn, this means so much to me to have someone who understands how i feel.

      I was thinking how it not only affects us but our families too! My poor husband is going through the mill with this as well. He hasnt got his head round it  yet and is devastated at this. We had so many dreams of living abroad in a few years time and allsorts of things we wanted to do. Let alone having to look after house, kids e.t.c. I do housework bit by bit. I dont know what i would have done without him because my family live a bit away from us.

      I will keep on at my GP, chico mentioned about injections so i will mention that to him.

      I really really hope you get your TKR and it goes well for you.

      We will have to keep intouch and thanks again for your great advice.

      All the best to you as well,

      Annette x

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  • Posted

    Hi Annette.

    I'm 40 and now TKR 6 wks post op, started back in 2010, with the same, trouble walking down hill/stairs, swelling, heat and pain. I had 2 arthroscopies, lasting approximately a year each, 3rd one he stopped half way through as there was no surfaces suitable for micro fracture or shaving I was referred pretty much straight away at the age 39, my date came for 5 days after my 40th, it's painful but I'm managing it well. Lots and lots of info here on this page, I honestly think the worst part for me is the night time, still not quite managing a full nights sleep but upto approx 4 hours unbroken, the next worst thing is/was being prepared mentally, that was never ever mentioned to me at all in any of my consultations, if I'd been of an unstable mind and without this page, I think I would of been a dribbling wreck. Some great advice here and a wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum. Just knowing/reading others feelings and stories I've certainly been able to relate to and get a full understanding that it's not just me and all par or the course. Good luck with your journey and please feel free to message anytime being a slightly newer/younger and unsuspecting candidate I do have an idea of how you are feeling.

    Michelle

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    • Posted

      I'm going to add a bit about kids and Family. Mine are 11 and 14, my partner is a very busy self employed and he has been great, but also melted with the pressure one morning, about how he couldn't cope with it all, just a little reassurance of how well he was doing and I pulled out a reserve pre-made (when I was getting ready for my op) frozen Lasagna for dinner that evening and the kids helped him outside with the animals that day. As for House work, delegation is the key and if it's not done, so what?!! My kids and I expect younger to be able, dust, sort washing, Hoover, mop etc. My 14 year old has been cooking, my 11 year old has had a crash course in preparing veg, I've had my stool and helped or supervised. We have a lot of animals and they have been made a easy to manage as possible, horses roughed off and turned away to grass, so only water/food and checking required, the dog is walked on a rota between children. The shopping, big bone of contention in this house, I stocked up and my partner has topped up and ate down the freezer/cupboard contents, I did go shopping with him last wk (not a great idea both physically nor mentally for our relationship) so from now on, until I'm back on form it will be Tesco online and delivered. School run for the younger has been slightly tricky and my partner has been great at juggling, I've also took advantage of school clubs and the eldest getting of her bus and walking him home (just under a mile) we do live on the edge of a very small village and if I was really stuck I'm sure I could rely on another parent dropping him home or collecting if I asked (only had to ask once in the last 6 wks, due to horrific weather only) walking never hurt anyone.

      You will manage, it can be done, just a bit of planning and go with the flow, accept help where offered and make things easier for yourself and household where you can.

      Michelle x

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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle, yes its very hard on our families. I don't know what I'd have done without my husband's help & understanding. I remember breaking down about 2 weeks post op, & blubbering! I'm a useless burden! That's what revolved around my head until I could actually DO things! He told me off said to me don't ever say that again, you are not a burden! Still felt it though!

      I did get into the mindset, however, that reallly the vacuuming wasn't critical, so what if everything's dusty, which eased the conscious somewhat! Once I started actually doing stuff, I felt much better. Still got told off though! Talk about wrapped in cotton wool! All done in love though.

      Tesco has been delivering my shopping for the last 2 years, as I just couldn't manage going there!!

      You'll get through this, by the time you are able to have your op maybe things will have moved on & they'll be using stem cell therapy?? Research is going on all the time. Dream come true, knee fixed without surgery. Lol!!

      Chin up & keep in touch

      Marilyn

      XX

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  • Posted

    Hey Annette, unfortunately knee problems don't get better with time. You are young, and if you can avoid TKR with Cortisone, Orthovisc etc., then by all means try and wait. TKR is not horrible, but the recovery takes time. 9 weeks now for me, this support group helps a lot!

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    • Posted

      Hi ken thanks for your advice. If only knees got better in time!

      I really hope your feeling not too bad after your TKR. Hope you dont mind me asking but why did you need TKR and how do you cope round your house after surgery. I dont know if im overthinking about coping round the house, like going up and downstairs because my bathroom is upstairs and it sounds really painful, do the Gps give you painkillers to cope with it, ive read where a lot of people cannot even sleep through the pain. Mind you i do struggle most nights to get comfortable in bed so maybe i could cope with that? 

      Anyhow i will stop badering you for advice.

      Thanks again for your advice.

      Annette. x

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  • Posted

    Huge article on NBC News website today...

    "Knee Patients Spending Millions on Wasted Treatments, Study Finds"

    Recommends only PT, NSAIDS and Tramadol; says all the other treatments like Synvisc, opioids and braces don't work in the majority of patients and those options cost Americans $48 million last year.  Very weird report.  We, as patients with heavy duty knee pain know that those "recommended" methods don't do anything but the insurance companies will not pay for the surgery until you have tried them and they failed.  Some docs are suggesting that some patients need to go directly to surgery but that won't happen.

    So people new to this are supposed to live in pain for a long time until they can get serious relief.  The article harps on the "savings to Americans" so it's all about the money and not pain relief.

    PS: SynVisc worked GREAT for me.  Delayed my TKR for over a decade.

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    • Posted

      Yeah i agree that its all about money, they couldnt give a  hoot about the people suffering day in day out. but what can you do apart from push, push, push your GP for the treatment you need.

      Im learning this as more time as gone on.

      Annette. x

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    • Posted

      Yes it is about the money and in the UK I can see that TKR will be a last resort as in a hips and other routine but necessarry operations. Our NHS is i am afraid at breaking point. Already some areas are only performing one cataract and refusing to do the other unless casing other issues such as raised  pressure in the  eye. In 2 years time I think we will a very different  health system. I have worked in the  NHS for 37 years worst I have seen it.

      Hopefully my other knee is way off so going to start saving now!!!

      BW

      Jan

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    • Posted

      Yes Jan, the NHS has been brought to its knees ( forgive the pun!). Rationing is already being done & I worry about getting my other knee done now.

      The NHS was always the jewel in the U.K.'s crown, it's certainly been left to tarnish now which is unforgivable!

      Marilyn

      XX

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  • Posted

    Hi Annette. I was able to delay my replacements for 7 years. I took glucosamine with chondroitin and msm. Recommended by my GP. Worked for me. Good luck.x
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    • Posted

      Hi annette. My Sydney GP is a progressive lady and her husband is a sporting person who was too young for replacements. She'd heard from a Naturopath that it works for some so she gave it to her partner. It does work for some. Not for everyone. I guess it depends how far the cartilage has detiorated. I still ahd some but in the end, it was bone on bone, both knees and I knew I didn't have much choice. I asked her about stem cells and she said "we're a few years too early." It cost me around AUD30 per month and while it did not stop pain it allowed me to continue working and walking and gym for 7 years. Maybe it's worth trying? xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Lyn thanks for advice. I know i am going to need knee replacement(s) unfornately, i just dread that day that i need them, just the thought of the very long recovery time of this procedure, coping mentally with this but if it needs to be done im going have to dig deep and do it step by step.

      Im not sure how far my knees have progressed just been diagnosed one week ago with left knee moderate/ severe osteo and right one was last xrayed in 2014 which was mild but it does feel more than mild now.

      I can manage my housework in stages throughout the day, i cannot work  due to this due to this,my husband( he works from home, thank goodness) does the shopping, heavy stuff because if i go out my walking is slow so at the moment i dont get out much but im in the middle of getting a walking stick which i hope will help me to get out a little more!

      I just thought that the glucosimine and chondrotin might help but i know i cannot avoid the inevitable.

      Really nice to hear from yourself and advice.Many thanks.

      Annette. x

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Marilyn, i know. Im still in the middle of finding the best painkillers, yesterday was a nightmare with pain stopped taking my co-codomols just took paracetmol, cocodomol  were causing me severe constipation but im sure i will find the best one eventually.

      Thanks for your advice.

      Annette.

      x

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    • Posted

      Hi again annette. If you can maintain a healthy, low body weight, do some upper body resistance exercise and light weights, pool walk and do research as much as you can, you will at least be well informed about your options, now and later. It came as a huge shock to me, the pain, the depression, the lack of mobility post op but gradually we get our lives back, better and in less pain. You are so young to be going through this trauma. Stay positive and keep doing what you can to be strong in the upper body and in your head. xxx
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    • Posted

      Hi Lyn

      thanks so much for your advice, i keep saying this but everone is so lovely on here with great advice, its helped so much mentally with coping with this god damn condition!

      I was thinking of getting a exercise bike because ive read its good for your knee and leg muscles, to make them strong. Ive lost two and half stone(probably the shock  of the diagnosis with most of the weightloss).

      Im going to take your advice and work on my upper body as well.

      Im trying to keep postive, i have good and bad days, mentally. I am determined to not let this blight my life and my families!

      thanks again for your great advice.

      Annette. x

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    • Posted

      Happy to help lovee. I am paying forward the input I received, when I needed it. Stay strong. It is so necessary. I am flying today for 3 weeks away. My right knee is aching but my head is saying " never give up" and the discomfort passes usually. When we get to a stage that a couple of paracetamol is all it takes to remove the pain, it feels darn good. Perspective and gratitude are necessary too. It could be much worse! xxxx

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