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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    3,863

    Knee Replacement

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    Well, things haven't gone exactly according to plan, as I mentioned here my ortho doc (not surgeon) said I could wait on the knee replacement, turns out two different surgeons disagree. Too much damage to the joint surface so if I wait I risk messing the joint up so badly that an implant won't "take".

    So, heading off for the official second option as soon as insurance okays it, then get scheduled. I can't tell you all how badly I DON'T want this surgery, but everyone keeps telling me how much better life will be afterward. *sigh*

    Electra Townie 7D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Well, things haven't gone exactly according to plan, as I mentioned here my ortho doc (not surgeon) said I could wait on the knee replacement, turns out two different surgeons disagree. Too much damage to the joint surface so if I wait I risk messing the joint up so badly that an implant won't "take".

    So, heading off for the official second option as soon as insurance okays it, then get scheduled. I can't tell you all how badly I DON'T want this surgery, but everyone keeps telling me how much better life will be afterward. *sigh*

    Yikes, best of wishes on determining the best choice for you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Ugh.

    Still, everyone I know who's had TKA and followed through with their PT has had no regrets whatsoever about the surgery. Same as everyone else keeps telling you. Hugs and pain-free vibes to you.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Ugh.

    Still, everyone I know who's had TKA and followed through with their PT has had no regrets whatsoever about the surgery. Same as everyone else keeps telling you. Hugs and pain-free vibes to you.
    I'll second that. My boss had hers replaced last year and now you would never know she had it replaced. She can be as active add anyone. Before the surgery she did a lot of hobbling around.

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Wow. Such a 180 turn. Hoping that whatever happens, you'll be able to get a great life back, full of unrestricted activities!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    3,863
    Thanks all. As my SO recently pointed out, the decline in activity level has been really gradual but now I'm at the stage where I have to decide between grocery shopping OR going to another store, I don't have enough knee to do both anymore. Guess it's time.

    Electra Townie 7D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
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    8,976
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Thanks all. As my SO recently pointed out, the decline in activity level has been really gradual but now I'm at the stage where I have to decide between grocery shopping OR going to another store, I don't have enough knee to do both anymore. Guess it's time.
    Best of luck and I'm sure you're making the right decision. What I hear from Knott is some folks and even some doctors push for a TKA too early. A patient complains of pain when hiking downhill, well everyone's knees hurt some when hiking down a mountain. Suck it up and strengthen your hams, gluteus and quads.

    But if your activity is declining so much you run the risk of losing muscle strength. You're an athlete, you will do the work but you just can't move anymore. Knott says or at least my understanding is good doctors want to hit that sweet spot where it's needed but not so late that you've lost any motivation.

    So keep you active and moving is the goal.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek420 View Post
    Best of luck and I'm sure you're making the right decision. What I hear from Knott is some folks and even some doctors push for a TKA too early. A patient complains of pain when hiking downhill, well everyone's knees hurt some when hiking down a mountain. Suck it up and strengthen your hams, gluteus and quads.

    But if your activity is declining so much you run the risk of losing muscle strength. You're an athlete, you will do the work but you just can't move anymore. Knott says or at least my understanding is good doctors want to hit that sweet spot where it's needed but not so late that you've lost any motivation.

    So keep you active and moving is the goal.
    That seems to be where my docs are. I'm getting heavier, but I still try to work out as much as I can; they seem to want to do it while I'm physically strong and anxious to get at that rehab!

    The xrays show significant valgus and the MRI shows almost no joint spacing left on the lateral side of the knee, guess the five previous surgeries (starting in 1974) have taken their toll.

    Electra Townie 7D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    Wishing you speedy healing and recovery.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,940
    I have been spending a lot of time at PT and I am amazed at how quickly the knee replacement folks are up and doing. There was a guy in there last week that had them both done at the same time, was 3 weeks post and was already doing rehab.

    Good luck with your surgery and speedy recovery.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    My mom had them both done at the same time also, and they started rehab the day of the surgery. At that hospital, they did all the TKAs the same morning each week (or maybe every other week, not sure) and then did group rehab twice a day - it was extra tough for her because all the other patients were unilateral and she had to get through the exercises on both sides in the time they did just one - IIRC she was walking the length of the hall before her discharge. She started with OP PT three days a week right away.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    That seems to be where my docs are. I'm getting heavier, but I still try to work out as much as I can; they seem to want to do it while I'm physically strong and anxious to get at that rehab!

    The xrays show significant valgus and the MRI shows almost no joint spacing left on the lateral side of the knee, guess the five previous surgeries (starting in 1974) have taken their toll.
    One of my friends had partial knee replacement surgery last month. His recovery is going very well. He is over 70 but a very active cyclist.

    I have a relative who is a nurse at an orthopedic surgery practice, and I mentioned my friend's surgery to her. She said that having strong ligaments is important for a successful outcome. So yes, having the replacement while you're still strong should help with your recovery.

    I understand not wanting any more surgeries after what you've been through already. FWIW, I had ankle surgery to repair a torn tendon years ago when I lived and worked in Manhattan. I was able to avoid the surgery for a couple of years by using orthotics and wearing snearkers all the time (even at work with business suits) but eventually I reached the point where I couldn't walk one block to go to the bank or get lunch. It was a long recovery process but well worth the effort, especially when the alternative was forced sedentariness (is that a word?).

    Good luck!!

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,636
    My step-father had both his knees replaced in the past couple of years; he's in his late 60s. His recovery has been a little slower than some of the folks reported here.

    Knee #1 was faster to heal up, but #2 had some complexities to the surgery that I can't begin to understand or explain, mostly due to some abnormalities in his physiology, I think. He recovered fairly well at first, but then started getting pain and swelling again, and turns out the kneecap is migrating to the side. His doc has some more conservative measures he wants to try first (though to me they sound primarily like band-aids -- icing, NSAIDs, and PT -- if the kneecap is actually out of place. We all think he's going to end up having to have a revision surgery.

    Not telling you this to scare you, but there are a certain % of patients who have this surgery who end up having to have a revision -- I really wasn't aware of this before my step-father. He's really bummed because he wants to get back to hiking, which he loves so much. He's got a long way to go as even walking is still a challenge, and this is 1.5 years out from the first surgery. I know he's frustrated!

    Hoping for a much better outcome for you -- sometimes it's just time to do it. He was also to the point where it was affecting his day-to-day life way too much to put off the surgery any longer. He'd kept it at bay for years through steroid shots, etc., but his cartilage was just gone.
    Emily

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    3,863
    Heading to the gym today to ride the exercise bike and do some weights, gotta stay strong!

    Second option is tomorrow, pretty excited since I got a recommendation to a younger surgeon who is getting great results with the new subvastus technique. It's less invasive and doesn't cut the quadriceps; really hoping I'm a good candidate for it.

    Electra Townie 7D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    That sounds like a great option, Pax. I hope you qualify!
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