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Bilateral arthroscopy

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Dotty, Nov 3, 2010.

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  1. Dotty

    Dotty Junior Member

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    Hi there, I am 51 and so far this year I have had two arthroscopies in my right knee, the first one in February was awful and I was off work for weeks, however there had been complications as a blood vessel had been cut through which didn't help, when I had the second one in June I was back at work within two weeks and did seem to get some relief for a while. I have also had steroid injections in both knees. I have arthritis on the inner side of my right knee and behind the knee cap and in both knees have patella femoral for which I have been to physio to try and strengthen the muscles supporting the knee caps and I think the exercises have helped. However I am still in a lot of discomfort and my life has changed so much over this year from someone very active, always popping here there and everywhere, but now its mainly just work then home, I go shopping but find my knees sore and uncomfortable, I can't do my usual jobs around the house as I can't bend easily. Having said that, walking on the flat isn't too bad and I do try to exercise to try and keep flexible. Whilst there is pain it isn't unbearable and I am coping but have to say I am always tired these days.

    Yesterday I saw my consultant and he did Xrays on both knees as I think the left one is getting as bad as the right! on both knees the arthritis is in the same places and as I am just 51 he doesn't want to do a replacement yet, which I understand but he does know he has to do something to help me so he has suggested another arthroscopy but also doing it on the other knee at the same time. He has suggested leaving it about a month and I have to keep applying the pain relieving gel to see if that will help in the short term. I have agreed to have arthroscopy just before christmas as I will be already off work and hopefully won't need any sick time off as I feel as if I dont want any more time off with these knees but I am worried about the recovery and my mobility having both knees done together, I'm also not confident at the moment that arthroscopy will help, but I think he feels even if it gives me a few more months relief it will be worth it.

    Im starting to think my knees are taking over my life and that I should snap out of it and get on with my life as I know people get more pain than I do but when I do try and get on with things they are still sore and debilitating. I am not overweight so that isn't a factor and am very independent and try to do most things for myself, I won't ask for help which is why I think I am worried about having both done and not being too mobile for a few days.

    I'm sorry to go on but wonder if anyone has any advice or anyone had arthroscopies on both knees together? I am aware of people having bilateral knee replacements so I suppose arthroscopy is nothing in comparison.

    Looking forward to hearing from anyone who can help.

    Thank you
     
  2. WillK

    WillK Junior Member

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    I can't comment on having both knees scoped at the same time, and I'm assuming these scopes are trying to buy you time before needing you knees replaced.
    My recommendation would be to try non-invasive (non-surgical) things before even considering another scope.

    Ask your doctor for a referal to physical therapy.
    Get set_up with some excercises to help keep the knees strong and active to help with pain.
    If nothing else, you can ride a (stationary) bike, swim or walk on an elipcitial machine (if you have access) which all are great things at reducing arthritis pain.
    Having another scope will not stop the arthritis, or the pain, and actually it may cause you more pain since the joint is already inflammed. Then add the invasiveness of the scope and you could get more pain.

    Good luck to you...
    Will
     
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  3. cotton1958

    cotton1958 Supremo

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    Hi, welcome to Bonesmart. I am sorry to hear you are in so much discomfort. Most of us have been there and understand what you are going through.

    Did your Doctor give you a diagnosis on the condition of your knees? Or a long-term plan of action? Unfortunately, if your knees are bad enough, they will take over your life and get in the way of daily activites and such.

    Actually, your knees sound like mine were when I was 50 years old, and the injections didn't do anything. You may be right in thinking the arthroscopies may not help. But Jo and Jamie should be around soon to give a better medical opinon. : )
     
  4. Dotty

    Dotty Junior Member

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    Thanks for your replies,Will, I have been having physio for months, which has helped the problem with the knee caps being out of the groove but hasn't helped for anything else, I do exercise myself but unfortunately to no avail. Consultant has said he would consider replacement if next arthroscopy doesn't work.
     
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    It sounds to me like you need to be a bit more insistent with your consultant...or get a second opinion from another. He is not doing you any favors by continuing to do arthroscopic surgeries when they are not working.

    Our forum nurse, Josephine, is from Great Britain and she will have more details for you. @Josephine: She is away from the forum for a few days, but will return shortly. I have tagged her so that she'll see your post quickly.

    Oh....and welcome to BoneSmart!!! We have a great group of folks here who are ready to support you in whatever choices you make for your knees.
     
  6. Dotty

    Dotty Junior Member

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    Thanks you for you comments Jamie, I am becoming more and more convinced that I don't want a third arthroscopy, I shall look forward to receiving Josephine's comments on her return.
     
  7. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    And here I am, Dotty! Does your surgeon give you any explanation as to why he is prevaricating like this? Does he think you are too young to have knee replacements yet?

    If you would tell me which hospital and surgeon you are seeing, I could maybe recommend someone who would be more proactive. Sadly there are still a lot of doctors who think that replacements are still only for those over 65 and that they have to be redone in 10-15 years! Tommy rot, of course.
     
  8. Dotty

    Dotty Junior Member

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    Hi Josephine. My Consultant has said he would look to do replacement if this next arthroscopy doesn't help, he does think I am too young but has said he has done them on younger people but he wants to have done everything possible before going ahead. Of course now that the other knee is bad as well the thought of a replacement doesn't thrill me as I know I will still have pain with the other knee so feeling just a little fed up with it all at the moment. I don't think I fully understood the arthroscopy before but I have read up in depth this weekend and know that with arthritis it won't obviously cure me but may help make my knees more comfortable for a few more months. What I don't want though is more time off work so am scheduled (if I go ahead) for 17th December hoping to return to work after the new year, I was only off for 2 weeks the last time but am wondering what to expect this time having both done?
     
  9. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Well, honey - if I were in your shoes I'd tell him "uh-uh [​IMG]" to the scopes and "for goodness' sake let's crack on with the real job"! Why waste your life like this? Anything could happen next year and you'd have wasted precious time with your family.
     
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