TKR < 40 - TKR Decision

JeremiahD

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Hi there. Quick backstory:

37 year old dad of two. Had my ACL/MCL (R knee) obliterated in 04' playing football. Had a complete reconstruction of the ACL/MCL for that injury; a couple "clean ups" over the last 7 years to remove scar tissue, leaving me with a 70 year old arthritic knee. With the advanced stages of my arthritic knee, my ortho and I have bypassed cortisone, and moved right into gel injections. Earlier this morning I wrapped up a meeting with my ortho; it basically came down to, a third injection OR TKR.

I'm still active (teach dance, play disc golf), but have taken out all other physical activities. Pain is always around, but spikes dramatically after teaching or walking a round of disc golf. Honestly, if it was just pain...I would probably just gut it out, but it is the ROM (lack thereof) that is really devastating. Can't go fully straight, I have a 2-3" gap under my knee if I sat with my legs out; but the worst is flexion, I can't go past 90 degrees...and even less after a long day. Getting in/out of low cars is comical, so is going down the stairs, or getting out of my office chair after 45 min of sitting...

I guess I am just in a place where I am over it. I've been reading much more lately about TKR, along with the pros/cons of having the procedure done at a "young" age. I've only lurked this forum for a few days, but have seen several posts of late 30's/early 40's getting a TKR. Most of those posts are pretty positive/inspiring.

Hoping maybe a few of you might chime in and let me know about your experience? Or just any other words of encouragement from those that have been where I'm currently at. Thanks in advance :)

-J-
 

Jaycey

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@JeremiahD Welcome to BoneSmart!
I've been reading much more lately about TKR, along with the pros/cons of having the procedure done at a "young" age.
There are no cons to having TKR these days. Age is no longer a factor. It's all about getting your quality of life back and getting on with living.

As you have already seen, we have plenty of members your age and younger getting joints replaced. I'm sure they will stop by and chat soon.

Meanwhile here's a bit if reading for you Stories of amazing knee recoveries
 

Celle

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Hello @JeremiahD - and :welome:

It seems to me you've done all you can to save your knee and now it's reached the stage where the only thing that will help is a knee replacement.

There was a time when people were considered "too young" to have a knee replacement. That was back when replacements only lasted about 10 years or so, and there was a prospect of needing multiple revisions.
I was caught in that mind set and I had to wait for 11 long, painful years before my first replacement gave me back my life. During those years, my mobility, my activity, my social life and my enjoyment of life decreased, until I was almost housebound.

Now that replacements can last 20-30 years, it's no longer necessary to wait until you're "old enough".

Your knee won't get any better unless you do something about it. In fact, it will continue to get worse.
There's no point in waiting. Go ahead and get it done.

Complete recovery from a knee replacement takes a long time and you'll probably wish many times that you could make it faster, but it really is worth taking the time.
 

Steelergal

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Hi @JeremiahD! As a relatively young TKR and THR patient, I agree, DO IT NOW! I definitely waited too long with my first hip replacement and was in constant pain. My recovery took quite a bit of time because my muscles were so tight. I didn't wait long for my second hip and the recovery was much easier. Again, I probably waited too long for my knee (my ROM was also horrible prior to surgery). Don't base your decision on my recovery from TKR surgery (which has been long and slow), but know that I wish I'd done it sooner, before my ROM was so bad. It's taking a very long time to get the ROM back post-surgery. Although it's been frustrating at times, I'm SO HAPPY I had the surgery. My quality of life has improved quite a bit and I know the ROM will come in time.

Whatever you decide, good luck, don't rush your recovery, and use this valuable forum!
 

Sara61

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:happydance: Best thing I ever did, my quality of life has vastly improved, I'm now at 9 months post surgery and suddenly all the previous achy knee pain has disappeared, first time in years I'm limp free so all I can say is :yes!: go for it, and hopefully you too will have the same outcome xx
 

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