should I have a knee replacement?

Posted , 16 users are following.

I have osteoarthritis of my right knee and am in moderate pain when walking more than about 50 metres,not controlled by simple painkillers.I can do everything in the house and garden,climb stairs and sleep ok.I do aqua aerobics and non weight bearing exercises in the gym,as well as swimming,but the walking is getting slowly worse.

This is limiting my enjoyment of life as I cannot walk round an exhibition,or even round more than one shop at a time.

I have a date for a total knee replacement later this year but cannot decide if it is the right thing to do.

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  • Posted

    Go for it. I had a TKR 6 months ago.  I kept putting it off and it's the best thing.  I've got a new lease of life.  It is hard work at first but well worth it. I couldn't even bear to walk around a supermarket and now I walk a couple of miles home from work.  
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    • Posted

      thankyou for your encouragement.How bad was your knee for things other than walking?You see I have no pain when sitting or at night and can potter about indoors,and do the gardening,it's only walking more than 50 metres that's painful.
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    • Posted

      I have just had a partial knee replacement, just over two weeks ago. I too could do all things you describe but walking was the problem, no maor that 30 metres without gritting my teeth and limping badly which started to affect my back. The surgeon said it would just get worse and eventually walking without lots of pain would be impossible. There was no choice except to go for it. As mine was a partial my recovery time has been much quicker but I would say have it done whilst you are still fit and you will be going round exhibitions pain free next year! Good luck.
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  • Posted

    I am 66 years old and was going down the TNR route

    and at last minute 2 days before op found out about

    Synvisc injections I had this treatment 6 weeks ago and all I can say is that it's working for me - after 1 week the pain had gone and it's still good 

    so until someone comes up with a less invasive treatment I will stick with these every 6-9 months

    give it a try you have. Nothing to loose as the other route there us no turning back as many people on this site are saying that maybe they should have waited a while

    the biggest problem I had was the thought of having 2 kg of plastic inside my body

    hope my input helps

    regards

    jude

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    • Posted

      Hi Jude interesting blog wish I had known about that treatment .i am 4weeks post op and bitterly regret having it done. I am 82and injections would have been brilliant for me. Problem is consultants seem to want to go round the operational route. Keep well and take care x
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  • Posted

     Hi

    I had a TKR 6weeks yesterday and for the first month recovery was slow but can now walk fairly well and each day improving. 

    Initially thought what have l done but l know l didn't want to live in constant pain. 

    So go ahead with surgery l'm sure you won't regret it. 

    All the best x

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  • Posted

    I put mine off for years and the walking has got steadily worse. I'm having it done on the 16th but if it hadn't been for the excellent posts on this site I would still have been dithering. I told myself i could manage but now I can't even enjoy a walk along the beach with the dogs. A lot of the reason I could get along with moderate pain was because my leg has now bent to a ridiculous degree to compensate. This op isn't done lightly so if your surgeon says you need it then you do. It will only get worse without it.
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  • Posted

    I would go for it. I'm due to have mine in January and can't wait. The only thing that worries me is that I had a THR in July and theyve told me a TKR is much more hard work afterwards but I can do it and I think you should toobiggrin
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  • Posted

    Hi there. I am 82andhad my tkr done 4week ago. I spent months agonising what to do. My knee pain wasn't constant but flare ups got worse and walking anywhere was really hard work. Well it is now done, still in a lot of pain, can't sleep,completely lost my appetite. Am only allowed 4paracetomol per dat as some of the meds had adverse affects on me and I began hallucinating. I woke this morning after 4hours sleep which is the longest I have been able to sleep since the op. I can walk around the house without a crutch but leg is very hot and sore. You have a lot to weigh up as to which road to take.i feel I have lost my independence and the joy of living. I know I'm in early days yet but who can say how long these feelings will last. I wish you well whatever decision you make,but for myself I deeply regret having this done. Take care hope this helps
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    • Posted

      Dear Tucks,I'm so sorry that you are feeling so bad about your operation,but after only 4 weeks it is early days and I hope you will start to feel better soon.

      Reading the other messages a lot of people say it's very hard for the first 6 weeks but seem to turn a corner then.

      It really is a hard decision to make.

      I wish you well soon.

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  • Posted

    I felt exactly like you before having my TKR. I am now nearly 7 weeks post op and don't regret having it done. Please be aware though that it is not easy afterwards. I still can't do as much as I was able to do before the op yet but have been reassured by my consultant and others on this site that things will improve. Before the op there was no chance of improvement. I can now walk without crutches and am not in severe pain though the leg is still stiff and sore. The exercises are tough but have to be done to improve flexibility. I haven't tried driving yet and can't manage to use my stationary bike yet. But I'm looking forward to achieving these things soon. I've learned you have to be very patient; it is a very long recovery process but I am looking forward to being able to go on long walks comfortably in the future. Hope this is some help to you.

    Jen 

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your encouragement.I am realising reading these posts what a difficult time it is for a long time after surgery,and will be better prepared because of that.

      The thing is that the knee will not get better bt itself,so TKR is the only chance of long term improvement,and I would like to be able to go out for a walk again.

      Please let me know about your progress.

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    • Posted

      You seem so much like me before the op. I too could manage things about the house and simple shopping trips but any longer walks were becoming impossible. That is what motivated me and I am looking forward to some holidays when I can enjoy walking like I used to. I hope we can both reach that goal. Good luck. Will keep in touch.

      Jen 

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  • Posted

    Iwaited almost 10 years...i am a retired nurse....saw doctors where I worked..as well as in my area ....tried the shots...they provided relief...for a while . In 2/2014  had a fall...fractured the left fibula .The intermittent locking of my rt knee  made decide to do the rt knee 8/1/2014....to avoid further injuries,as i get older .Its a long haul...nausea with pain meds ...and lots of pain ...I make a very deliberate choice   every day....push through the pain  ,do what physical therapy tells you  ,ice ,or cold packs all the time....DO the homework...check out  your surgeon and hospital  on a website like Healthgrades...choose wisely...MANY PEOPLE PUT MORE TIME INTO CHOOSING A MECHANIC..THAN A DOCTOR !...Maybe my effort will pay off .At 5 weeks I can gently do the stationary bike , no driving  yet....Bst wishes with your decision...MAMABEAR
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    • Posted

      So interesting to read your experience you are at 5weeks I am 4. Ican walk on my new knee without crutches around the house. I have been out to the supermarket ect with my daughter in law, she is a nurse so she has been so useful. Have you any tips for the continual pain in my leg. I am doing the excersises and ice but the pain seems relentless. I haven't had a decent sleep since the op and am continually in floods of tears. This is not me at all I know there are no quick fixes but I want someone to tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have always been posotive in whatever I do, but I really feel so down. I am on just 8 paracetamol daily but GP seems reluctant to offer me any other alternative. Thank you for listening to my gripes, but any tips would be really appreciated. Best wishes tucks
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    • Posted

      Morning,

      First of all, nobody tells you quite how difficult this operation is.  Just as well, as I'm not sure most of us would go through with it.

      However, there certainly is light at the end of the long tunnel.  You must try to get your pain under control as that is the key to everything else - exercising and sleeping.  A visit to your GP is vital to explain what you are suffering.

      I am almost 11 weeks post op and it has been the most difficult time of my life.  Loosing my independence has hit me SO hard, but I am clawing it back by driving again and doing more around the house and for my family.

      Progress is frustratingly slow.  I sometimes don't see any at all, but those around me notice improvement from week to week.

      So, visit your GP and endeavour to get some pain relief.  It really is the key to everything else.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn, I agree "progress is frustratingly slow". Like you, others keep telling me I'm improving but some days I feel I'm getting as much pain and stiffness as I was getting a few weeks ago. I keep persevering with the exercises. I have tried my stationary bike - managed 5 turns backwards yesterday and 7 today. I feel I need something to measure my progress by. I 'm still a bit reluctant to try driving. When did you start? I'm 7 weeks post op today. I think I expected to feel a little better each day but it doesn't seem to work like that. Sorry to be so pessimistic and this doesn't help you much, Tucks. I agree with Lynn and suggest you ask your GP again for more help with the pain. I manage on paracetamol 3 times during the day and cocodamol at bed time. I really hope it gets better for you soon.

      Does anyone else share my frustation at slow progress? Can anyone suggest any way to speed things up? I go for a final individual physio session this week then I start a knee class next week. Maybe that will help. Otherwise I suppose, as so many on this site say, I must be patient 😊

      Jen 

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    • Posted

      Hi Jennifer,

      I was about 9 weeks post op before I actually drove.  My physio advised sitting in my car each day, adjusting the seat and practice using the clutch (yes, to make life a little more difficult, I have a manual) before setting off.  My husband came with me for a couple of short drives before I ventured out on my own.  Felt very nervous, almost like a learner again, but was determined to do it as I felt if I left it too long, I'd loose my confidence.

      As far as hurrying up the progress goes, I am afraid 'the knee' decides this.  I am longing for the day when this bl....dy knee doesn't dominate my every thought!  And when it doesn't, I have to get my head round getting the other one done.  No choice.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Lynn. I might try sitting in the car on the drive. Yes, I've got a manual too and it's my right knee that's been done so I'm a bit nervous. Not the keenest of drivers at the best of time! You're probably right about the knee deciding on progress. Everyone is different too. Sorry to hear you need your other one done. I suppose you 'll know what to expect this time and some people have said they didn't find the 2nd one so bad. I'm lucky my left knee isn't too bad (yet). My left hip is a bit problematic but I'm hoping it'll last for a while yet. You're right about the knee taking over your life - it's such a pain isn't it (literally!!)? 

      Hope to hear from you again on your continued progress.

      Jen 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your comments Lynn . You are so right no one tells you how difficult it will be.. I take on board your comments about the pain relief and will go back to Gp on Thursday. I wish the hospitals would set up post op counselling there are so many unanswered questions.which patients need to know. I have been to the supermarket this morning with my daughter in law. Walked about 300yards with one crutch. My leg feels very strong and in a while I am going to put that crutch to bed. That is my goal. So nice to talk to someone who understand take care tucks
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    • Posted

      This site will give you the best possible post op counselling.  We've all been through it.  THEY haven't!  So, ask away ....

      Let us know how the visit to the doctor goes - and don't leave without a prescription for painkillers that work for you.

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