TKR How To Decide When

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I am 54 years old and have bone-on-bone in my right knee.  My orthopedic surgeon has had me try physical therapy, a cortisone injection and then a gel injection.  None of these have really given my any relief.  My knee is swollen and stiff.  I walk with a limp and my leg is just starting to bow.  I am hesitant and anxious to get my knee better for the same reasons.  Am I too young?  Am I in enough pain?  I have three young children ages 3,8, and 10.  I am unable to play and do things with them that I want to do.

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  • Posted

    I'm 52 and had a replacement knee only thing I would say your children are very young this past week I havnt been able to do anything as have been in a lot of pain taking lots of pain killers I have a very supportive husband who has done every thing for me .good luck hope you get yourself sorted soon

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  • Posted

    Hi Altrky

    Having read your post I was the same only 51 could hardly do anything, bone on bone in left knee all I can say I am now 6 months post TKR (March 17) and I feel like a different person (my old self) I am not saying it has been easy but all the hard work is now paying off and I cant believe how much better I feel, my surgeon was worried about my age but said it will have to be done so why are we waiting when your quality of life is suffering.

    I would say go ahead but be prepared to put a lot of hard work and it will be worthwhile.

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  • Posted

    Blimey, you sound just like me but without the children. Same bone on bone and tried injections which gave relief at first. Physio is not the answer as you seem too far gone for ant benefit. You are a couple of years younger than me so they might try and wait before surgery. I also think you are going to find out hard with the children but cannot really comment as I have never had any. This forum us really good so sure you will get some good advice. Good luck. Sue
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  • Posted

    Hi Altrky, i first went to see about my TKR about 15 years ago, they said i was waaaaaay to young at 45, so i went through hell, battled and battled same as you with ALL the treatment they could think of, i said to them when i was 50.......just exactly how long am i going to have to wait, they said to be honest the longer you can hold on the better, so i waited till i couldn't stand it any more, i had it done in March this year aged 60, i do wish i had been able to have it done sooner because of all the pain over the years, so all i can say is..............push them to do it, its not worth the pain hanging on, and why should you be in pain for years anyway

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  • Posted

    Get it done as soon as you can , I had my first one done when I was 55 and the other at 56½  I am now almost 76 and have had no problems , and both knees should last a good while yet .

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  • Posted

    I am 52. Six months post op. So glad I had it done. My life was closing in on me. It is a big decision. Do research, and weigh it up. Quality of life IS very important. Is pain and disability affecting your life? Is depression and anxiety setting in at all? Logging how much you can do each day is useful. i.e. how long can you stand for? Are you getting pain at night which wakes you? How many minutes can you walk for? Are you using a stick on a daily basis? You need to consider it for sure.

    Ask friends and family what they think? What does your surgeon think? Are you overweight and have you tried weight loss? Do you have other health issues? So much to think about!

    You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It includes my experience before the surgery and my decision to have a TKR. It has a lot of useful suggestions and information too.

    Best wishes to you, whatever you decide. It is hard work, and it is a major operation, but for me personally it has been one of the best decisions in my life!

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  • Posted

    Get done as soon as you can I had my first one done at 55 and waiting for 2nd one at 57, best thing I did recovery can be long and arduous but the benefits outweigh it.
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  • Posted

    Sadly, only you will be able to answer the question. But 1st, make sure the Dr is brutally honest with you about the future. Right now the medical profession is giving the average life of a prosthesis 15 years with one revision which means you could be out of options in your early 80' s. However, among the unknowns, science has advance dramatically. When I had my 1st tkr 15 years ago at age 66 they didn't discuss that with me. Then 9 years later I had the revision due to my own actions, I had to have it removed w years later because of a staph infection and of course there were no options on the table. So a t 80 I'm on my 3rd appliance and living with it. Don't fantacize that you will be as new with unlimited activities becau see e you won't know till you get there. One thing that's for sure, the better care you give the prosthesis the longer it will last. Your occupation may be the answer to some of that. If you are a telephone company, power company employee or the like and are used to jumping off poles etc you are risking your long term use of the leg but if you are in a desk job, etc, you can expect a more normal life. I always tell people to leave me out of the equasion as far as use of the leg. I have a rare tumor that caused heavy bleeding. I've had 11 surgeries and 5 complete rehab. Others I met during rehab have hardly missed a lick. However, things like running, kneeling, body building, sky diving and being a house painter living on a ladder may create problems. As you can see by my ramblings, you are an individual and your knee a d recovery are as differt f rim the next guy as are your fingerprints. Ha ing a tkr is like jumping off a cliff, no matter how much you flap your arms and scream, you can't go back once you've taken the initial step. I would let my pain level be my guide. When pain is running or ruining your life you'll know when its time.

    Not much help, I know, but like a lot of other things in life, you just have to feel your way along. Good luck and be assured, when pain has taken over, you'll have the answer and you'll make the right decision without looking back.

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  • Posted

    I, too, waited and I waited too long. Do it before your bad leg gets worse. Your muscles will keep loosing strength and that will hurt your recovery. God bless. 
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  • Posted

    Hi there. I had my TKR at 54yrs old

     9 1/2months ago. I too had the same stuff as you are currently experiencing. My leg also bowed out when walking (was excruciating). I wore a brace to "help" keep it straight. Also had the injections...cortisone (no help), Synvisc One (helped a "little"wink. I saw three orthopaedic surgeons who told me I didn't have a knee problem, I had a weight problem, and besides was too young ....THEY were the ones with the problem!!! My friend who had a TKR at the age of 48....referred me to HER surgeon. What a wonderful man he was.  Said it's not about your age, it's about quality of life. He saw the same X-rays & MRI as the other guys, and didn't know what they were talking about. Even showed me the problem....which I knew I had anyway.  Sorry, long winded. Lol. I saw him last August/September, and had my surgery at the end of November. Yes, in the beginning it was rough....and more painful than I expected, but now.....I am soooo thankful that I did it.  And my leg is straight now, too. I still have the occasional "little" pain, but absolutely nothing compared to before. You have young kids, and a lot of stuff to do with them. Go for the surgery....they will have to be patient while you recover, but it's totally worth it!! Good luck with your decision. 

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  • Posted

    hi

    youre gonna hate me.i am 55 waiting on 5th knee replacement.pt knee r leg good l leg been nightmare.was 45 when i had it done first. ten yrs later i wear leg brace and use crutches. .i have 4 young grandchildren who i cant get as involved as i would like.

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  • Posted

    I had the same problem - without the young kids - at age 51. They didn't want to do a knee replacement until I was 60. We tried all of the options you mentioned and bought a bit of time butI felt I missed out on my 50's due to pain and limitations. It was very frustrating andI can sympathize with you and understand your suffering both mentally and physically. Finally at age 59 I had my first TKR which bought me some time on having the second 8 years later. I am now 4 months post op on my second TKR and doing great. I was not about to miss out on my 60's too!! From my experience I say work with your doctor but be very pro-active in your health and recovery. Best wishes to you!

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  • Posted

    I went the same route many years ago and am now 18-months post-TKR..  Cortisone never worked for me but the SynVisc (gel) was GREAT for many years.  Moved to a warmer climate and my knees felt waaaaay better for a long time.  With everything previously repaired or removed, the only thing left was a TKR at age 68.  Fifty-four is NOT too young as these implants have up to a 25-year projected life span.  Be prepared for a year-long recovery and, even after that, kneeling on an unprotected knee will still be problematic because of the nerve involvement.  Your leg will also feel stiff and awkward for a while longer.  Note that it will NEVER feel like your original knee but you will be free of pain and regain a lot of mobility.  It just takes, time, patience and strength of will to achieve the maximum result.
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