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Bilateral PKR scheduled for 3 October

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Wags, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Wags

    Wags
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    Hi Guys,

    Just to introduce myself, my name is Julie, Im 54, 4ft 11 1/2 inches tall. I'm mum of 3 + two stepchildren, they are all grown up now, my youngest is 19.

    I have 3 dogs (two schnauzers and a Jack Russell) and a chameleon.

    Oh also have a husband, nearly forgot to mention him lol, been married 9 years this October.

    Been having knee pain all my life but no one really took any notice until I went to a private consultation. Right knee was always the worst but left is quite painful too. Consultant said my hips/knees/ankles weren't in alignment, had orthotics and then physio which hasn't helped. Two weeks ago he did an MRI and found that damage to both knees was quite severe and we are now going down the Bilateral PKR route, he has told me I am quite young at 53 to have this done and may well need TKR's in 10 to 15 years - anyone else had this experience?

    I am quite nervous, don't really know what to expect, read a lot about recovery from TKR which seems more common and a bigger op and recovery. Bit vain and didn't want scars on my legs so hoping they are nice and neat and disappear quick :/

    Looking forward to chatting on here :)
     
  2. SusieShoes

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    Hi Julie! Welcome to BoneSmart. You've come to a good place to ask questions. Quite a few people on here have had PKR and gone later to TKR. I'll tag @Celle for you. She's gone this route.

    From what I've heard on the forum from people who have had PKR, it's not very different in pain level and recovery time from TKR. If you go to the Recovery side of the forum, you can read threads from those who have had PKR to find out more about what their experience was/is like. You're being smart to look into this surgery before just diving in, because having knowledge ahead of time ultimately helps you in recovery.

    Here are some links to excellent reading that will help answer some of your questions, and also assist you in preparing for 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


    If you have any questions, fire away - we're here to help.
     
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  3. SusieShoes

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    Hello, fellow vain person! :) As far as scars go... they're scars, so will look like scars. Their eventual appearance depends on 1) how you scar (are your other scars neat and skin-colored, or do you form keloids?), 2) the skill of your surgeon (some are just better at creating neat incisions) and 3) other stuff that can happen. In other words, no guarantees. That said, most TKR patients I know personally have barely noticeable scars, meaning you notice them if you look at their knees, but not if they're just walking past in the grocery store or on the street. Mine are four months old and still pinkish, but they are nice and straight and I'm not unhappy with them.
     
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  4. Wags

    Wags
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    Thanks SusieShoes, I have a C-section scar which I don't really notice any more, actually not looked at it in years lol. Have a scar on my neck where I had a tumour removed from my parotid saliver gland, which is just a very thin silver line, don't seem to develop keloids so hopefully all should be well.

    I just think I'd be self conscious of scars on my knees, I wouldn't put my hair up for a long, long time because of the one on my neck, the only reason they bother me I think stems from just after I had the op on my neck, everyone who came to see me after the op was saying upbeat stuff about my neck, like really neat scar etc and of course I couldn't really see it, then my rather insensitive step daughter saw me for the first time and looked shocked and exclaimed in a very loud voice about how awful it looked and made the sound of reaching, like she was going to be sick and every time she looked at it she pulled a face, made me feel really awful when I was in a quite vulnerable state, at that point we didn't know if it was cancerous or not (it wasn't!), and very self conscious, that has not gone away to this day and that was about 6 years ago. Now I have a thing about wounds and scars - stupid really!

    Thanks for all the info on the Knee op and things to read, I will definitely do some reading. I am just trying to be positive at the moment, scars are definitely better than the pain....going up and down stairs is excruciating!
     
  5. SusieShoes

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    I read you on the stairs. My knees were totally shot, both bone on bone, and walking of any kind was agony. Now, just four months out from bilateral knee replacements, I walk for miles just for fun and walk up and down stairs with ease. Totally changed my life.

    Knee scars are easily concealed. Pants from capris to jeans cover them. So do leggings and pantyhose or stockings. Only short dresses or lingerie, swimming suits, and shorts leave them visible. I wear whatever I want and let other people feel about it however they want to feel. That said, I hope your stepdaughter has grown up a bit since your neck surgery. :skep: Scars just mean we fixed a problem. How wonderful, too, that you don't have cancer! That had to have been a terrible time for you. This surgery will be more straightforward.
     
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  6. Wags

    Wags
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    Would be great to be able to walk up or down stairs or hills without pain, looking forward to that, even after walking about 10 mins on the flat I struggle with the pain, I often stumble too, its like my legs aren't working properly, think I have a problem with my right hip but hoping that will sort itself when my knees are done.

    Step daughter was 20 believe it or not when that happened, she didn't get a lot better, but she lives away from home now so not so much of an issue, and if she visits I shall cover my knees!

    We have a house out in Spain and visit often so shorts are the order of the day there so will just have to get used to it, with the scar on my neck I was warned not to let the sun get to it for as long as possible, is that an issue, something about it changing the colour of the scar maybe? Don't really remember, it was a long time ago.

    Thanks for all your help and info :)
     
  7. PolarBear60

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    I love my knee scars. They can be a great conversation starter with people who have TKRs or are considering it. To me, they are symbols of my new lease on life.


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  8. SuperSnapper

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    @Wags I had a right medial PKR nearly three years ago and it has been wonderful. I walked 90 miles in August including a lot of hills and it's very dependable. You asked about scars - mine is a thin silver line which I hardly notice anymore.
    I did not do a lot of physio after my surgery but did a few exercises at home and quite a lot of walking after the first few week. I think I spent the first month icing, elevating and doing a few little walks around the house. If you follow the mantras on here, you won't go too far off track. And there are always people around to support you. Good luck with your surgery.
     
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  9. Wags

    Wags
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    Thank you @PolarBear60 and @SuperSnapper it's great to hear comments from people that have had it done, I think I can deal with the scars and know that this is the best thing for me, I will eventually be pain free and if I do nothing it will just get worse. I feel quite calm and relaxed about it now, give it a few weeks and I'll be a wreck again lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  10. Celle

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    Hello, @Wags .

    It sounds as if a knee replacement is needed. My advice is to go straight to a total (TKR), as they can last for 30 to 40 years, where a partial (PKR) will likely need to be replaced in 10 years or much less.

    In spite of what you may have heard, recovery from a PKR can take just as long as recovery from a TKR.

    As for your scar, that will be a badge of honour, gained for having a surgery that has given you a knee that is getting less painful all three time, instead of one that keeps hurting more and more.
     
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  11. Wags

    Wags
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    Hi @Celle,

    Unfortunately I don't have the option yet of a TKR, they didn't want to do the PKR as said I was young to have it done, seen younger than me having it done on here, mainly in USA though. UK don't seem to want to do things unless they seriously have to, took me long enough to get someone to even acknowledge the pain and do anything about it! Went through Orthotics and physio first but they didn't help so this is what my consultant calls the last resort, he told me it would probably need doing again between 10 and 15 yrs down the line.

    Husband and I are due to drive from UK to Spain on 20th December - do you think this will be possible, we take regular breaks and get out and walk around, take the dogs with us so will need to do it for them and me. Usually take it in turns to drive, not to sure if I'll be able to do this? Guess I'll be around 11 weeks by then.
     
  12. PolarBear60

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    You should just be feeling up to that drive by then. It will be easier if you're riding but you're likely to be able to drive for short periods. Bring your ice packs. I made a drive of 150 miles at 12 weeks with ice packs on my left knee. I stopped to take a nap at the half way point. I was fine with those two exceptions. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and your recovery may be faster or slower than mine was.

    I disagree with you being too young, and since the recovery from a PKR and TKR is very similar, I scoff at them saying PKRs are a suitable sub for TKRs due to age. The only reason for a PKR (as I understand it) is if you have two perfectly good compartments in your knee and one destroyed one -- something that's highly unlikely. (But I'm not a medical professional, so that's only my opinion, and you know what those are worth.)

    It's true, you'll probably need a revision to full PKRs down the line. From what I've seen here on the site, you'll be very lucky if your PKRs last 10-15 years. @Josephine has the numbers, but I think it's closer to 3-5 years for most people.
     
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  13. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    So you've allowed them to railroad you into two PKRs which are not going to be very different (recovery-wise) to two TKRs?
    No they don't do they? Mostly they're just fob off shops! (my opinion!!)
    And that is absolute piffle! There are still people walking around, fit and healthy, who had their knees done 30 years ago and more! Just stick with us and you'll be fine!
     
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  14. kneeper

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    Yes, you will want to keep the sun off the scar until it's fully healed. For me it took what felt like a long time, but gradually the knee scar becomes barely noticeable.
     
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  15. sistersinhim

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    My surgery was in June '16 and my scar is almost invisible unless you're really looking for it. I'm careful to keep extra suntan lotion on it. It is a badge of honor for me, too!
     
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  16. Wags

    Wags
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    @Josephine
    I'm not sure I was railroaded, I went to Drs many times because of pain in my knees, but they would never do anything except give me anti inflammatories which I can't take because I'm allergic to aspirin. My husband works for a company that has private health insurance for employees and they can sign up their family for a discounted premium so he got me covered and I went back to the Dr who yet again said the same old thing, pills I can't take, so I said I have private health insurance and before I'd even finished the sentence he said he'd refer me!

    My husband is a runner and has had problems with his cartilage before and had to have it trimmed, I truly thought that this was what would probably would be done on mine. Two X-rays later I was diagnosed with hind foot valgus and bilateral patellofemoral degeneration lateral facet. Consultant explained I was young for a PKR and best to try orthotics and physio first.

    I was shocked because didn't really think it was that bad. OK I'd had knee pain as long as I can remember but learned to live with it. As a child I would cry with the pain and my mum kept taking me to the Drs and was told it was just growing pains and no one can see a reason why you have pain so I've just learnt to put up and shut up.

    Over the years it's got worse and I struggle to get out of chairs, go up or down stairs, walk for more than about 10 mins on the flat, slopes and hills are a no no, not good when you have 3 dogs and the beautiful South Downs almost outside your back door. To be honest it felt good to me that someone had finally validated my pain so I was willing to do what the consultant said to try and help relieve it.

    Orthotics and physio didn't help so went back and consultant did an MRI and found lots of micro fractures and fluid in the bone structures, and he said the next course of action would be the PKR, a TKR never even entered my mind. This has all been so unexpected for me and I'd never looked in to anything before going to the consultant so never knew my options, guess I've been quite naive about it all.

    My dad, brother and niece all suffer from Ankylosing Spondylosis and pain was a part of family life. I've asked my Dr to test for the AS gene in me because of back pain, hip problems, knee problems etc. but all they do is test for inflammatory markers and results say there isn't any.

    I just want an end to my knee pain because I've had enough of struggling every day.

    Having said that the thought of what they are going to do to my knees scares the living daylights out of me
     
  17. SuperSnapper

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    I was talking to another PKR person this week who has been skiing pain free again 3 times since his surgery last year. At some point you have to have trust in your surgeon. Mine was very good and straightforward and recommended a PKR as I was very active and he thought it was a good option for meas damage appeared to be limited to one compartment. He believes that PKRs are only for a limited number of cases and he did warn me that sometimes when he sets off to do a PKR, he finds more damage in the knee and then does a TKR. I trusted him to do that in my case and we talked it through before surgery. Perhaps you could mention any misgivings you have to your surgeon and I am sure he will be ready to do the same anyway.

    It's a shame you can't walk the South Downs and you need to get back to them. My niece lives near Worthing and had her wedding actually on the South Downs in a marquee! There were wonderful views in all directions.
     
  18. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Oh my gosh! Isn't that just typical?
    I can remember lots of conditions that were summarily dismissed that way in those days that later got an identification and treatment.
    I am shocked that he never discussed any options with you. That would have been the least of his responsibilities.

    But how do you feel about it now you know there are other options? I would suggest that you consider how you only have one shot at getting this done properly, you know.
     
  19. Wags

    Wags
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    To be honest I'm worried now, I don't know what to think, heard some horror stories but also some positives but worried I'll go through it all just to be left with pain after, can't live with the pain anymore. It's bad enough now but he tells me it'll just get worse. I think he thinks I'm too young for a TKR, he definitely said I was young for a PKR in the beginning. Having said that he's not even mentioned it, the 3 options were orthotics, physio and PKR.

    So far I don't have any other appointments with him authorised by insurance co. Everything has to be authorised and have excess to pay. Having to watch the pennies because my job ends the end of Oct and don't know what the future holds job wise. Not going to be much of a catch having just had knee surgery and not being able to get around much. Need a job asap as need the income.

    Confused.com now
     
  20. Wags

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    Used to walk the dogs on the Downs, I live in Worthing, think I'd struggle big time now :bawl:
     

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