TKR Having Second Thoughts

Susieqroo

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I'm scheduled for TKR on right knee 9/5/23, but I don't know if I should go through with it. I don't have knee pain, it only locks up on occasion. It began when my sump pump went out and was on my knees for a prolonged period cleaning up water. Had a cortizone shot 2 months ago and knee feels good most of time now. It does swell a little when I walk 2 miles or longer. I was wearing a elastic bandage with fortified sides for past 2 months, but had sudden sharp pains in hips, so now I'm trying to walk normally and do hip and back exercises. Hip pain is mostly gone. Was diagnosed with stage 4 arthritis in this knee 5 years ago. I'm afraid that I won't get any benefit from the TKR, that my range of activity will remain the same. Thoughts?
 
Have you done the Oxford Knee score and the other one here on BoneSmart?
Like you I didn't have much knee pain. This made recovery hard because for several months I had much worse pain post op.
My decision to have surgery was because my leg was getting more and more crooked ( valgus) because the lateral arthritis caused that side to collapse.
This was giving me severe hip pain and sciatica.
Have you had an MRI? Mine showed an awful lot of damage in addition to the lateral arthritis ( various bursae/ complex tear of lateral meniscus and bone deterioration). This persuaded me that things were not going to improve and my pain( although mild) was worsening.
Only you can decide on the basis of your symptoms and X rays/ MRIs. The surgeon can advise and if you are not sure- why not get a second opinion?
 
Welcome to BoneSmart, @Susieqroo. I'm so glad you found us!

Please don't back out of your Surgery. If you are stage 4 arthritis, your knee will not get better on its own and the longer you wait, the harder the surgery will be.

I was also bone-on-bone. Like you, I didn't have much pain, but my knee kept buckling. And like you, I was afraid to have the surgery.

One day, I fell. What a disaster! After that, my knee wouldn't support me and I needed a cane to walk,

I finally gave in a had the surgery. I am so grateful that I did. My knee is stable and sturdy. I have good range of motion and can do just about anything I want.

I'm so happy with the outcome, I'm getting ready to schedule surgery for my other knee!

And I'm not alone. 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: Stories of amazing knee recoveries


Knee Pre-Op Guide
Since your surgery is scheduled for September I will share BoneSmart's helpful pre-operative guide here -- I'm sure you will find many of these articles helpful as you prepare for surgery.

Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?
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?

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.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. Please, feel free to ask any questions you have about this surgery and recovery; our members will be happy to share their experiences with you!
 
Hello Susieqroo,
Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us.
I'm afraid that I won't get any benefit from the TKR, that my range of activity will remain the same. Thoughts?
If you don't mind answering, Why do you think this? I believe if you familiarize yourself with the forum, your thoughts on this may change.

Joint replacement surgery is one of the most prevalent surgeries performed worldwide. The outcomes of these surgeries have become excellent based on a number of techniques changing over the years. The implants are durable and long lasting, with longevity much greater than before offering an increase in the likelihood you’ll never have to experience this procedure again.

The pain will be gone and you'll be able to return to all that you love, but have been missing out on. Also, you are compromising the stability of your hip and back as your gait has changed to favor your ailing knee. Give serious thought to TKR soon since you're as young as you'll ever be and possibly as healthy as you'll ever be so you may as well enjoy life now.
Best wishes as you make decisions and move forward.
 
@Susieqroo , I can understand why you are having doubts about surgery. I think we all questioned if we were doing the right thing. When my OS showed me my MRI results online, I could see what he was talking about. Why the injections wouldn't work long term. I wanted to be able to do the things I enjoyed doing. If you like your doctor sit down and talk to him about your fears. If not get another opinion. I'm at 10 months and I am doing very well. It was kind of a wild ride at times to get here but I'm glad I had the winter months to recover. I was even able to make dozens of cookies for Xmas. There are many helpful posts to get you through this. Good luck with your decision.
 
I understand your concerns, @Susieqroo . I do think people find recovery harder if they don’t have too many problems before surgery, and the worse your knee gets, the more quickly afterwards it feels worth it.
I put off surgery too: I was diagnosed with stage four damage in 2016, but I’d had a hip replacement in 2014, and couldn’t face surgery again so soon, and then there was the pandemic, so… the trouble is badly damaged knees tend to ‘go’ at some point - and I’m not sure you can predict when - so that you suddenly go from managing to not being able to walk at all. I was already on the waiting list for both my knees to be replaced when that happened to me, but I became suddenly housebound and pretty much completely incapacitated, and had to wait almost a year longer before I reach the top of my surgeon’s list. It has been a very difficult year, and my recovery is much harder and more problematic than it would’ve been, if I’d had surgery two or three years ago, before my knees collapsed.

So I’m sure you could manage for longer before surgery, but you’d be taking a gamble. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t leave it so long. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
Was diagnosed with stage 4 arthritis in this knee 5 years ago.
If your knee was stage 4 that long ago, you are one very lucky lady to still be making any use of that joint. As everyone has said, this will never get better. And in fact it can get much worse. Get that knee replaced as soon as possible. Any complication will only make recovery longer and more complex.
 
I agree with the idea that if your knee was at stage 4 years ago, you're lucky to be doing so well now. Also agree that arthritis doesn't get better.

I had TKR 6 weeks ago and got a dropped foot after. Anyone else experience this? I could use some positive feedback. Thanks. Caroline
 
Personally, I would leave it. I had a TKR on my left knee in October, I am still in pain now (June) and can’t walk far on it. The left operated knee hurts more than the right unoperated knee! I have the right knee scheduled in for September but I think I’m going to cancel it, the thought of both knees hurting like this is scary. Even my physio said leave it until it really needs doing. However, having said that, everyone is different so you may not have any trouble. It will need doing at some point but only you can decide when’s the right time.
 
I had TKR 6 weeks ago and got a dropped foot after. Anyone else experience this? I could use some positive feedback. Thanks. Caroline
@guitar lady Welcome to BoneSmart! We have several members who had the same experience. If you start your own thread in the knee recovery forum you will get much more input.
 
Hello Susieqroo,
Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us.
I'm afraid that I won't get any benefit from the TKR, that my range of activity will remain the same. Thoughts?
If you don't mind answering, Why do you think this? I believe if you familiarize yourself with the forum, your thoughts on this may change.

Joint replacement surgery is one of the most prevalent surgeries performed worldwide. The outcomes of these surgeries have become excellent based on a number of techniques changing over the years. The implants are durable and long lasting, with longevity much greater than before offering an increase in the likelihood you’ll never have to experience this procedure again.

The pain will be gone and you'll be able to return to all that you love, but have been missing out on. Also, you are compromising the stability of your hip and back as your gait has changed to favor your ailing knee. Give serious thought to TKR soon since you're as young as you'll ever be and possibly as healthy as you'll ever be so you may as well enjoy life now.
Best wishes as you make decisions and move forward.
 
I think I'm fooling myself. I can get around, but I have to make adjustments like wearing a bandage or not kneeling or not kicking my leg when I'm in the pool. I just hope I'll be able to do these things post surgery. Also, I have minimal pain, I wouldn't even rate it a 1 and I don't have it too often. My worst symptom is some swelling and/or stiffness after walking for an hour or standing still for a bit. I'm going to have the surgery because my cartilage won't come back and I'm not getting any younger.
 
You still have a couple months to go and your feelings may change over that time.
If your deteriorating knee is already affecting your life, it won’t get better, but only worse given time. I reminded myself often that I had an escape clause….cancelation. However, I knew it was unlikely I’d cancel only to go through all of the pre-op anxiety again at a later date, but I somehow took comfort in the fact that I was in control of whether / when my surgery would take place. No one, but me.
Also, I have minimal pain, I wouldn't even rate it a 1 and I don't have it too often.
But remember, you shared that you are dealing with hip and back pain, likely from favoring the leg with the ailing knee?

Best wishes for a peaceful week, Susieqroo.
@Susieqroo
 
I did back and hip exercises for a few days and that eliminated my pain. I do get an occasional stab of pain in my left hip flexor but I don't think it is related to my knee. I think it occurs if I make a sudden pivot movement. I just don't understand how I could have stage 4 arthritis for the last 5 years and have no difficulty until recently. I guess the years are taking their toll.
 
not kneeling or not kicking my leg when I'm in the pool
Kneeling is very variable post knee replacement. According to studies I have read it is the most poorly rated outcome measures after surgery.
A lot of people still cannot kneel afterwards. I can kneel but only for shortish periods on a soft surface.
 
just don't understand how I could have stage 4 arthritis for the last 5 years and have no difficulty until recently
I remember saying something similar about my knee to my primary care doctor. Her reply was "Yep. Our joints work ... until they don't."
 
Personally I would get the surgery, but you need to be comfortable with your decision. My friend put hers off and was very sorry because when they finally did it, there wasn't enough bone left to stabilize the replacement and she had to go back in about 2 weeks. She suffered greatly as a result. I know TKRs are not easy. Especially if you're not suffering beforehand. Have you gotten a second opinion? That might help you to be more confident in your decision. ❤️
 
I couldn't seem to edit so I will add, I needed both knees replaced and have one done. Then my hip went very quickly and I had to figure out which surgery was next. Thankfully I got my hip x-rayed and went for the hip before the second knee. The day I walked in to get my hip done I knew I would not be able to walk anymore should I have not had that surgery. You can go a long time on a bum knee, but a hip is a whole other story IMHO. If you're having trouble with the hip, please ask for x-rays. You might be glad down the road.
 
ou can go a long time on a bum knee, but a hip is a whole other story IMHO.
I think you might be right. The comparison between me & a friend of mine (reported in another thread) is another set of data points. I can't imagine going on much longer with this hip problem (at least, now that we're in this age of miracles) but my friend has had bad knees for at least a decade & soldiered on.
 

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