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Age 45 TKR in September. SCARED!

mtsumomm22

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Hello everyone I am new here on bone smart. I’m hoping to get some advice/stories if you will, if I’m making the right decision. I’ve had a couple people tell me I’m way too young but the majority says go for it I’ll be happy I did. I went in on June 10 for a partial and the doctor closed me back up and said I needed a total. Anyone on here in their 40s that have had this done that might be able to ease my mind that I’m making the right decision. And if so how was your recovery? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated Thanks.
 

Jockette

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Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!

Once you are recovered I think you will be glad you have the total, as partials have issues and usually have to be converted to a total some years down the line. They also have a very similar recovery as a total but some of us are not told that. Be thankful your surgeon recognized that. I sure wish I’d had a total instead of my partial.

Recovery from a knee replacement, partial or total, is tough, but once recovered you should do very well.

Hang out with us, Bonesmart is a great place for information and support.

Here’s some information to get you started:

If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing knee recoveries
 

lovetocookandsew

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Welcome to BoneSmart! This is a great place to hang out, learn and ask questions.

Here's my personal philosophy on age and knee replacement; if you're old enough to have a knee that needs replacing, you're old enough to have it replaced. Here's what you need to ask yourself; "Do I want to keep living my life this way, or do I want to take my life back"? Where do you see yourself in one year, five years and so on? With an even more crippled knee stealing away even more of your life, or with a new knee that allows you to function fully and live your life again?

The criteria for knee replacement should not be your age; rather your quality of life, or lack thereof. Recovery from a knee replacement is not really age-related; it has more to do with the amount of damage that was repaired, your individual knee and body and how they recover, which no one can predict. There are some "averages" but overall everyone will recover at a different pace. It's not an easy nor quick recovery, no matter your age, but the end result is well worth the journey.
 

Celle

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Hello @mtsumomm22 - and :welome:

Do you have a date for your knee replacement in September? If so, please tell us when it is and which knee it is, so we can make a signature for you. Thank you.:flwrysmile:

The others have said it all. When you have a knee replacement should depend on the state of your knee and the effect that has on your quality of life, not your age.

If I had been able to have my first knee replacement in my forties, I would have been spared nine very painful years, during which I became progressively more disabled, until I was almost housebound.
 
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mtsumomm22

mtsumomm22

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Thanks everyone for being so welcoming my surgery is September 11 and my left knee!
 

Celle

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Thank you for your surgery date. It's in your signature now.

It's normal to be scared before surgery. We've all been through that and we understand.
Make your preparations, keep busy, and stay with us here. We'll help you through this. :friends:
 

Josephine

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Your surgeon did you a big favour by abandoning the partial. If your knee was borderline then you definitely need a total. No two ways about it.

But do tell us what you are scared about?

I recommend you read my recovery thread to see how I did for my two knees!
Knee recoveries UK style Parts I & II (Josephine)
 

kneeper

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I was in my 40s with my first total knee replacement--the results were great. Before surgery I felt like :old: ; after recovery I was :walking:

BTW my surgeon said something like "usually we don't like to do knee replacement in someone so young, but you need it." I could have hugged him I was so glad something could be done.
 

Rockgirl4

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Welcome to Bonesmart. You are in the right place for emotional support and modern advice about knee replacement. I just had my right TKR 7wks ago and am 46. I will have the left knee done in a year or two. My recovery has had some complications, but I know it was the right decision. This was my 11th knee surgery (3 on the left, 8 on the right), after 20 yrs of strange knee problems.

I was also told I was too young at first. After being "sports-surgeoned to death" by my famous Midwestern sports surgeon, I had another specialist tell me I needed to move on and find a modern-minded TKR surgeon who had seen it all, especially all ages. My first question was "Will I be shown the door once he knows my age?" She was mortified and informed me how many all-out lies I'd been given by my famous sports surgeon during the last 5 yrs.

Lastly, I SHOULD have had it done 3 yrs ago but was talked into an ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation) instead. I was told I was simply too young for TKR and didn't think the guy would actually lie!! That surgery failed in the end, but the surgery and recovery was :censored:,resulting in 4 procedures in 5 months to walk/bend normally again. I learned later it could have all been avoided if I'd done more research and gotten a few more opinions. My new surgeon is a reconstruction and revision specialist---not just any orthopedist, and he answered all 19 of my questions when I first met him. He reiterated some people need TKRs sooner, and our age should NOT be the deciding factor.

So I feel your pain and wish you the best in this journey but will spare your my recovery info. :heehee: I had a weird complication and don't want to taint the process. Plus, this knee had already been to he** and back, and no two knees are the same, thus it's impossible to compare.

One last thing as you prepare----many say we "young 'uns" heal faster because of our age. Others swear it was their pre-op fitness level that aided their recovery or slowed their recovery. The problem is you will find some older people healing much faster than younger people. You will also find many of us super-fit "younger" people did NOT have an easier recovery. :yikes:It's simply a complete gamble as to what will happen, and has A LOT to do with the skill of your surgeon. :) All you can do is prepare the best you can and hang on for the ride. Your body will recover as it sees fit, and there is nothing you can do to speed things along.
 
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Tykey

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I'm 71 and waiting for the call to surgery for my second TKR.
Only half my knee is worn out, so I asked if a partial is a better option
He said no, because I'm too young!!! Not often do people day that!!
The logic is that if he gave me a partial the knee would only last about 10 years, and I'd hopefully still be an active 81 when they had to do a full TKR. However if they went for the full monty, I'd be 95 or so before it needed seeing to again.
That'll do me

Is 45 too young? Noooooo!

Let us assume you will then get 25 years of good quality life during the prime age.
We never know what awaits us in life, but (sorry for speaking the truth), there's every chance by the time you are 70, something else will come along to challenge you, so enjoy your best years!!

We have a British saying, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!"
 
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luvcats

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Not 40s any more, but I just crossed 50 last winter, so close. I had a LTKR 11 days ago and I already know I love my new knee and can't wait to have the right side done as well.

When I originally saw a surgeon about leg pain, he said I was too young and too fat. He did me a terrible disservice. Instead I spent 5 years getting steadily more disabled until I barely left my house.

The thing is, every year they make improvements to the artificial parts and frankly, I don't think they really know how long they can last any more. No one has had it long enough to be sure. The 20 years is just a guess. But I also see revisions here every day, so that's something that will be practically routine by the time we should need one.

Go forth and get your new knee. Take your life back.
 

Josephine

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I don't think they really know how long they can last any more.
Actually that's not quite true! It IS true that many surgeons really don't know anything about the longevity of these devices but they're not looking! I know of reports that state unequivocally that TKRs will last around 30-40 years already and those are ones that were done back in the 1980s! So much has advanced in bio-mechanics, metallurgy and various other allied sciences that all this has changed out of all recognition and probably increase the longevity even more. It's generally thought that modern knees will last in excess of 35 years so if you had your revision done now, you would be almost 90 before you needed to give it a thought!

However, the thing that fails most in a knee replacement is the bone-cement interface.
 

FitGal

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Hey fellow youngin’! I’m 45 too and totally freaking out about my surgery on July 23! I had total knee ligament and cartilage reconstruction in 1990 and was lucky to go on and do lots of cool things in the Army, become a triathlete, and had many years teaching aerobics. Unfortunately all those years took a toll on that knee and now I have arthritis and bone spurs throughout. I fell a few weeks back doing some Army training and the OS I was referred to seemed very comfortable about a TKR...basically that is the only thing I can do to provide longevity to my good leg! I have no pain or swelling a few weeks after my fall, but I am still going through with the surgery, as my knee has turned valgus as well....

For us, it’s not an “age” it’s a “mindset”! We are not too young to become bionic and we will do this together!!!
 

Tykey

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Even our own beloved NHS have just officially admitted that new knees last in excess of 20 years, but don't yet know how long of course.
Prior to this, the official time was only 10 years.
So now age is far less of an issue in them agreeing to fit new knees at a younger age.
They really ought to join this site, then they might learn summat
 

AjesMum

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Hello middle aged neighbor! I’ve just turned 46yrs and had my first BiPartial Makoplasty in Jan when I was 45yrs.. and yes, been told I was too young and the youngest patient they’ve had in while.. etc etc.. However, almost 6-months postOp and I’m starting to see some real progress!

Now here’s the doozy, Left Knee is scheduled for the same type of surgery next Friday -19Jul.. dreading the first 3-mos, but now that I been through this once, I’m confident this other knee will do much better (and it’s not the driving knee!).

Several docs told me I was a candidate for TKR in both knees but a very special doctor re-examined me and told me I could get by with a bi-partial in both, sparing the lateral side of my knee so I was thrilled. I’m former Military and super active..(reword for clarity) SI joint syndrome caused this secondary condition for me and the knees became like glass... easy to break. After this surgery, it’s it’s much better.

But look, when you get to the point where you are depressed because your knees hurt and buckle and pop daily and you no longer can be active, something has to give. The pain got so unbearable I had no other options at this young age.

So all I can say to you from my experience, if it affects you the way it did me, why not? The surgery is here to help and thus far, I’d say I’m doing okay and will do okay! Stay strong! Get the surgery because YOU think it will benefit you — not just because a doc says to. Like I said, I’ve been told TKR in both knees should be done and I haven’t had to do that, sparing my tendons and ligaments- this is called “traditional TKR” - he didn’t mention the “minimally invasive procedure”..and explained that b/c I am a younger knee surgery candidate, and super active (fitness trainer) .. a partial will feel more natural than a TKR...anyhow, listen to your body and be sound with your decision. And yes, recovery is tough- but only for a little while. :)
 
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Rockgirl4

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I’ve been told TKR in both knees and I haven’t had to do that, sparing my tendons and ligaments.
Just for the sake of accurate information, keep in mind only some TKRs eliminate the ligaments. No tendons are removed. I had a TKR in May at 46 yrs of age and still have ALL of my original ligaments and tendons---even after 10 other knee surgeries.
 

Jamie

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the knees are made of glass now
I'm glad to hear you've had a successful partial knee replacement. Good luck on your next one coming up soon. I'm not quite sure what you mean by this comment, though. Are you saying you have some ceramic components? Or do you feel that your implants are delicate like glass? I can assure you they are very, very tough. Even though there might be some things you shouldn't or don't want to do with them, we have plenty of members who return to just about any activity they did before surgery.

sparing my tendons and ligaments
Rockgirl4 makes an excellent point. Not every patient loses their cruciate ligaments when they get a TKR. As for the tendons, people still talk about "quad cutting" surgery, but frankly that surgical procedure has been replaced by much better techniques for quite some time.
 

AjesMum

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Have clarified my comments above but glad to hear there are better and more
Improved techniques with TKRs. I don’t doubt there will be needed revisions in my 20-year forecast and by then, even more improved TKR procedures.
 

Celle

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I don’t doubt there will be needed revisions in my 20-year forecast and by then, even more improved TKR procedures.
Nowadays, a TKR is expected to last 30+ years, so you may never need a revision.
 

AjesMum

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Oh that would be grand! I tremble at the thought when I’m 65 ..that’s encouraging!
 

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