KNEE PAIN - is it better to go the TKR or do partial?

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I have had significant pain following an arthroscopy last year, have thought I might have nerve damage, but cannot confirm it.  Two doctors have said I may need a knee replacement.  What is the general recovery time for a partial knee replacement? I am 55 and in otherwise good physical shape - I do Pilates regularly.  Do you think it's worth getting a partial replacement?  would you just go for the TKR?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I'd definitely go for partial x

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  • Posted

    I THINK, the partial would be considered better because it's generally thought your own body parts will last better than replacements, so if you don't actually need a part replaced then why do it.  Unless I've misunderstood this.

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    • Posted

      The problem is, I don't know!  It seems a bit drastic to me, because I know I need something on the left knee but all the pain I"m having on the right is since the arthroscopy last year.  It feels more 'surface', like nerves, but there's no way to test that accurately.

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  • Posted

    Let the surgeon decide!
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  • Posted

    I had arthroscopy 2 years ago and my surgeon told me on waking from the anaestitc that I needed a TKR. What a shock that was as I was only 56 so young like yourself. It took me until last November to pluck up the courage to go back to my surgeon and ask him to book me in. I'd had the maximum number of injections in my knee so I had no other choice even though at 16 weeks post TKR now, most days I regret it as I really didn't know what a huge operation it was, not just physically but mentally too. I wasn't offered a PKR but if i had been I'd have gone for that.

    You have to go with whatever your consultant suggests.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I have had 4 knee scopes and 1 total knee my last knee scope was in May of 2016 and showed some arthritis but at that time X-rays etc were good I know this because I was a surgical tech for 17 years by late august of that year my knee had deteriorated to the point I had to a tka in November of same year I have done both procedures but most people opt for a complete total knee there are advantages to a partial knee being you are only 55 I'm 62 a partial leaves you with more bone to work with if your knee has to ever be redone this decision should be between you and your doctor recovery time is usually 8 weeks but everyone is different

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  • Posted

    As far as recovery time...it depends completely on the individual. Read some of the From the people on here and ones I've met, when you have a knee opened, its opened and rehab is not much different from a total. Ask questions regarding the long term success of partial replacement and what % wind up needing totals. Personally, I would put off either until the pain disrupts your life style. Being in good shape is a great start toward making a full recovery but recovery is much more difficult than one cam imagine. I've been through 11 surgeries and 5 rehabs...it doesn't get any easier with repitition

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  • Posted

    It is based on actual knee. Knee has 3 compartments. Medial, patellar and lateral. Most surgeons will do partial if only one compartment has damaged. A few will do 2 but that is rare. If you have 2 or more compartments damaged, a tkr is the usual choice. NOT ALL DOCs are qualified to do both believe it or not. Makoplasty requires apecial training. If you have a partial and later down the line you need a total, it is easier and has better outcomes than tkr to tkr. Considering your age, and the potential for a redo, (as they CAN last up to 25yrs but do they?) a replacement could be in your future. Lots has to do w/ genetics and then, how well u care for it. I felt i only needed a pkr looking at my films-2 docs said tkr. Turns out, they were not certified to do pkr! I got the 3rd opinion of a doc who was approved- he actually teaches makoplasty to other docs. Word will always be "i may need to do a tkr once i actually see inside your knee" as films,ct,mri dont ALWAYS well define an area. Well, bilateral pkr it was. Post films are great. 25wks out i am doing 12inch off the ground squats, step ups at 20inches, walk 2-3miles a day etc and this is after an arthroplasty 3wks ago, took out a bone spur.

    Recovery time varies no matter WHAT you have done. They made out like i would be back to work in a few weeks! Hahahahar! Complications happen that are unforeseen and THAT dictates your recovery. And what kind of work you do...

    Quality of life is really important to me. And this is now a factor that US docs listen to. At 52, i could barely get thru my work day and my days off were fast becoming couch time just to recover from work!

    All this took 7yrs time from an initial meniscus tear from( a wet floor) fall at work and another meniscus tear on the other leg after a backpack trip.

    Hope this helps smile

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    • Posted

      You sound like me! I do Pilates like a fiend despite the pain smile my main problem is that I think my pain on my right knee is nerve damage from the arthroscopy last year, and that the arthritis pain is minimal, as I don't have much on that knee (the left I do). It's just diagnosing the pain source that's been so hard and I don't want a pkr unless I need it! That's my main issue. Saw a horrible doctor today who really refused to hear me and said I need surgery.

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  • Posted

    When my surgeon went over my X-rays he recommended the TKR. I asked about a partial because I was only in pain on the left side. He agreed that although the other parts of my kneee were not as severely damaged, it would not make sense to do a partial and a year later go back and do the TKR. The knee itself was deteriorating. So, last December I had the TKR. If I had had the partial and had to face the total at another time it would have been a depressing situation. Doing it once was enough. This is a brutal surgery. Research the procedure and read this forum. I wish you a great recovery.

    Ellie

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    Tore my right knee cartilige way back in 2000, when surgeon went in using keyhole surgery he found onset of osteoarthritis. I survived bone on bone until Nov 2015 when I had a partial knee replacement (age 71).

    ?The surgeon then offered me both and explained pros and cons of both. I opted for partial knee replacement, medial compartment.

    ?Surgeon agreed - providing when he got in he didn't find the rest of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, in which case he'd go straight for a TKR.

    ?Turns out I was OK and got away with a partial. Medial compartment. Back driving my car in 7 weeks and back at work driving a bus at 11 weeks. Job done - now coming up to age 73 (in Sept) - no problems.

    ?What do I think - well if the rest of your knee is in good shape as mine was I'd go for a partial - just depends on the state of your knee and your surgeon is best placed to advise.

    John

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  • Posted

    I had arthroscopy some years ago on my left knee, it worked well but now I need TKR as bone on bone. They found arthritis when they went in but early stage. Glad I had it done (they found 2 meniscus tears) as I had a few years pain free before the arthritis really got a hold! I had right TKR last year!

    I think you should have a good heart to heart with your surgeon. Get him to go over EVERYTHING with you, pros & cons.

    You don't want to know that you can GET AWAY with PKR, but it is temporary! If he says PKR will give you a decade of pain free usage, then you need to weigh up your options, but maybe then the decision will be easier to make.

    Don't have a PKR because it seems the easy way out, but don't go for TKR just because it would save having another op later on!!

    Recovery can vary from person to person with both ops. Although PKR is generally thought the easier option, but if you look at the operation, it is still brutal, but you get to keep more of your bone!!

    Unfortunately all these ops can have a protracted recovery period, it the luck of the draw as to how you personally will be. Believe me when I say I am so glad I had my TKR as the grinding pain of arthritis is now gone from my right knee, I'm sure those who had PKR will say the same.

    You really need ALL the information your surgeon can give you to make an informed decision! Make an appt to see him & say you want it all explained in laymans terms. Then ask questions as he explains don't just nod & go away.

    Informed decision means getting hold of all the information pertaining to you!

    I hope you get this sorted soon Sarah, you are too young to be in constant pain!

    At the end of the day only you can make that decision!

    Good luck & keep us informed.

    Marilyn

    XX

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