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Got a second opinion today.

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Agnes, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Agnes

    Agnes
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    This doctor said I have a tremendous amount of arthritis in the patellofemoral compartment and lesser amounts in the other two. In both knees. My first ortho said he could delay surgery for six years or so with injections, but today's doc doubts that. He took somewhat different angle X-rays and said there is no space at all between the kneecap and thigh. I let him give me steroid injections in both knees.

    I liked this doctor and his staff! They were all so friendly, and when I called from the road due to being lost, the gal who answered stayed on the phone with me until I found the right place. I'm taking that as a good sign. Doctor said I could choose to try the orthovisc injections or go straight to surgery. My head is spinning.

    If knee replacements are the only cure, is there any advantage to trying to put off the inevitable with injections?
     
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  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I can't see any point in putting off the surgery, because your knees will not get any better than they are now, but will continue to deteriorate.
    The steroid injections may buy you some more pain-free time, and you will have to wait for three months after them before you can have surgery, but they don't always work for everyone.

    I was wrongly advised and I postponed my first knee replacement for 9 painful years. During that time, my tendons and muscles distorted, which gave me quite a difficult recovery. I didn't make the same mistake with my other knee, and I had an easier recovery.
     
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  3. Agnes

    Agnes
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    Thanks, @Celle! I think that's what the doc was trying to say without scaring me off. As I'm sitting here, my knees are aching up a storm. I sure hope the steroid shots help. I can't possibly have surgery any sooner than three months, anyway. I've got some thinking to do!
     
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  4. Jennszoo

    Jennszoo

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    6 years? Such a random projection. The shots might work but it sounds like he just wants to get you to an arbitrary age milestone (70) bc he's out of date about how long the implants last. Get them done while yours still active enough to enjoy them. Not after you've let 6 more years of pain beat you down.
     
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  5. Arttie

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    I'd go for it. If you wait 6 years, you will have had 6 years of pain, reduced activities, possibly other health issues to complicate knee surgery...
     
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  6. Agnes

    Agnes
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    Thanks for the support! This second doctor is younger, and I liked him a lot. Everything he said makes sense to me, too. It is news to me that both knees are shot, though. I thought one was bad enough! I'm going to have to give myself time to get used to the idea of surgery. I might summon the guts to do one knee later this year.
     
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  7. Arttie

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    Check in with your surgeon's scheduling. Sometimes it can take several months for a date if they are booked out a while. I found that out and having surgery scheduled gave me time to plan my activities.
     
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  8. nensi

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    Yes, I would second that! I scheduled in Feb for bilat surgery at the end of June and even though that 4-1/2 months sounds like a lot, the last few weeks before the surgery were a little TOO hectic.


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  9. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    The older we get (I am 65) the more 1 year is as a proportion of what we have left. Wait 6 years? No way! Get it done right now - both knees if necessary, as close together as possible, recover and enjoy life!
     
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  10. Agnes

    Agnes
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    Well, my husband and I tend to operate at glacial speed when making big decisions! I'm thinking I could be ready near the end of the year. We are currently dealing with a family crisis involving my elderly mother in law. I guess there's never going to be a "good" time to be laid up.
     
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  11. Arttie

    Arttie

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    Best wishes on making the decision that is the right one for you in your situation.
     
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  12. Virgo Lady

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    Hi - I too have had a second opinion and also had the Synvisc injection 6 weeks ago. Have not had any relief and pain is getting worse. I've made the decision to have the TKR - right knee - believe me I have a high pain threshold but the pain in my knee is becoming unbearable and no medication helps at all. The anti flammatories I was prescribe bring some relief but not much. Good Luck with your op
     
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  13. Jajakio

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    It depends so much on how you respond as an individual. Some people get several months relief from a steroid shot. Some get none at all. Depending on your insurance, it may be necessary to try more conservative means (steroids, synvisc) for a period of time before insurance will approve TKR. Many of us reach a point where shots provided little to no relief. My last steroid shot barely took the edge off the pain for less than a month. A couple of years ago I could get a good 3 months of greatly reduced pain. I have a friend would takes the synvisc once a year and says he has no pain in between. Those pricey shots helped me for less than a month.

    Only you can decide. I spent months doing research on risks of steroid, risks of TKR, kinds of knee replacements available. I interviewed 3 different surgeons with 3 very different approaches. It's a big steps so take your time and be sure you understand your options. 10 days ago I had knee replacement with 3d printed custom Conformis knee. I didn't even know that was an option when I started out.

    You might make a different choice but it was almost scary how different one surgeons approach was from another. Did I want a minimally invasive side approach that spared the quad? Did I want a more athletic platform or a more stable one? Most surgeons seem to have an approach or a brand of knee they liked and it is very important to find a surgeon experienced with whatever they are going to use on you. So many surgeons in the US have a lot of info available online.

    I got to watch my surgeon do a real time 1 hour and ten minute surgery using the Conformis knee and it answered a lot of specific questions I had. My husband, on the other hand, looked at less than 30 seconds of video and was grossed out and left the room.

    I had my surgery 10 days ago so don't yet have much of a feel for long term results but I'm happy so far and believe I probably made the right choice for me. Good luck to you!
     
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  14. Agnes

    Agnes
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    I'm so thankful to have their wealth of personal experience to learn from. I realize every surgery is unique, but I feel more and more prepared by hearing others' stories. This doctor says I don't need to try the orthovisc shots as a prerequisite to surgery; it is my choice. I'm not inclined to do that. I'm concentrating on getting my courage up to take the plunge.
     
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  15. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Many people have had the series of the shots with no relief. I'm one of them. As a matter of fact, my knee felt worse for a few weeks afterwards the third and final one.
     
  16. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I had a couple injections. One before I was referred for surgery to allow me to go on a vacation with more comfort, the rest while I was planning surgery around my life until I found a convenient time for my schedule. I had previous plans and a husband with health issues to balance. I think that's the true value of injections.
     
  17. jaschembra

    jaschembra

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    It's a big decision but @Jajakio has given some good advice. Be sure and ask questions of the OS when you decide to get more information. How many TKR does he do? Did you go to him based on someone you know having had a TKR by him? I believe there is an article in the library here that talks about questions you can ask the OS.

    I too have severe bone on bone under my kneecap and that tends to give me pain across my whole knee. It's not the only place missing cartilage so my right knee has a future replacement (most likely in Jan). Cortisone and orthovisc have not helped in the past, but I'm trying them again just to give me a few months time. I'm waiting for my LTKR to feel better. My steroid shot is 3 weeks past and Monovisc (1 shot, versus 2 orthovisc) is 1 week past. No help yet.

    Keep reading on BoneSmart. Stories and info will definitely help you with your decision.

    Bottom line: Osteoarthritis will never get better but will only continue to get worse.
     

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