Kneecap replacement. Should I have one?

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I have chronic OA just in my knee cap. My consultant seems reluctant to operate. Told me 25% fail. But if it fails is it worse than before the op?

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  • Posted

    Well, my first thing to do would be to get a different consultant.  if 25% of his knee operations fail, he is a very bad surgeon. or a very unlucky one.  . I am quite serious there.  some do fail, but 25% . . certainly not.  Your question about if it fails, is it worse. . well, that would rather depend on what happened to make it fail.  if it was an infection, then, yes, it certainly could be worse.  Of course, I don't know what sort of surgery he is talking about, as sometimes they can do arthroscopic operations, which might very well have less success . . or partial knee replacement . .or if there is osteoarthritis apart from the knee cap, a total knee replacement.  I should get all the facts before you decide to do anything . . . .and perhaps a second opinion?  Hope they can get you relatively pain free!

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    • Posted

      I don't actually think they are that rare it depends on circumstances and structures involved. I believe some surgeons will do this if OA has damaged on compartment of the three in the knee but don't know your details.

      If you go onto the NHS site or Arthritis UK there is factual information with diagrams.

      I presume you are in the UK.

      25% failure rate does seem high I would clarify that's right and get him to show you why partial. If you go into the NHS choices you can look at individual Orthopaedic Surgeons there qualifications procedures they do and both have success figures for there procedures and infection rates against the national average.

      Also hospital sites look up orthopaedics and it should list Surgeons there qualifications and interests in their speciality but I think most would do partial as well as tkrs. They all seemed to when I researched before my TKR.

      I don't your hx or why he's said 25% risk in your case might be worth a second opinion which even on the NHS you are entitled to.

      All the best let us know how you get on., Jan

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    • Posted

      Partial knee replacement is not particularly rare . . .there are also operations which are just for the kneecap . . when no other part of the knee has arthritis . .  .I know a lot of people prefer to opt for the TKR because often a few years down the line a partial has to become a total, but of course it will depend a lot of what is actually wrong in your knee, and the surgeon is the man who will know that, after doing the proper tests. But if yours is patellofemoral pain syndrome, with no affectation of the other parts of the knee, then it is true that operations are not particularly successful.  However, as you say it's OA then it's a bit different. . . You really kn eed to speak to a good surgeon who knows what he is talking about!  we are just people who've had knee operations, in the main!!!

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  • Posted

    This sounds a very high percentage Della - I don't think it's anything like as high as that, but my suggestion would be to look online - search 'how many knee ops fail?' and see what sort of percentage comes up.  Then you might be able to look online and see what sort of results this particulary consultant is getting if you type the name in.  It depends on what you mean by fail?  Some have complications and the very worst that I heard of was a lady having her leg amputated because she got an infection and didn't want to have a leg she couldn't bend while it got sorted out, so ended up having the leg amputated - it was her husband who told me this.  BUT serious complications aren't that common.  It really depends on how it affects the quality of life you have now.  Personally I'd got to the stage of feeling I had nothing to lose when I chose to have a knee replacement - it was constant pain and we were limited wherever we went because I could hardly walk anywhere!  Everything was a struggle.   But I'd have a look online and see what the general results are - there is plenty of information about and studies that have been done.

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  • Posted

    Hi Della

    I know someone who had a partial knee replacement about 2 years ago at university college hospital london. It was so successful that she went back to work shortly after and said it's good to ski on !

    Maybe try ask if you can be referred for a second opinion at an orthopaedic hospital near you ?

    UCHL is linked to the royal national orthopaedic hospital .

    Best Yasmin

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    • Posted

      Dear della ,

      In fact, ' twas this lady who encouraged me to have the new knee ( I had op 8am today ) .

      Another older lady, very active had a hip replacement, (whom I know from from my course ) at our local hospital.

      When I did not even get to speak to a surgeon at the initial referral . I was assessed by a physio who could not answer my questions. .Mary said you need to gp to the orthopaedic hospital!

      I had a very empathetic young Gp ( new ) who listened , understood my worries about my leg /knee and referred me on request a week before Xmas. So , della please ask for a second opinion at a hospital of your choice . I hope to hear of a more informed and positive assessment for treatment of your knee all the best

      Yasmin x

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