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Hi, I'm new......and a bit scared

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mamabash

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My name is Laurie. I am 50 and was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees at age 32. I live in the Pittsburgh area. I am obese (BMI 47) and in so much pain that I want to cry. I avoid doctors like the plague because the ones I have seen are down right nasty about my weight.
Last year, I got up the nerve see a surgeon about my knees. They took x-rays then took me into the room. He walked in, looked at my chart, looked at my x-rays, but never even looked at me. He just said "You need new knees. Most people like you would never come to see me until they had their stomach stapled first." I was devastated. My uncle had just passed away 2 months before from the procedure he mentioned. I left in tears, after he gave me cortisone shots in my knees. The shots made me sick for several days. Then I got so hungry that I gained a few more pounds.
I made an appointment with a new surgeon. I am horrified that I will have to go through the same ordeal, but I have to try. I go in 3 weeks. I am praying that he will help me. I don't want shots, I don't want the rooster comb injections (I have read horrible things about that!). I just want new knees.
I have been married to the most wonderful man in the word for 22 years. I am about to ask him to divorce me so that he can find someone that he can be active with. Biking hurts, walking hurts, sleeping hurts, even sitting hurts. I miss our bike rides, our walks in the woods, our weekend trips, and sleeping through the night.
If this doctor turns out as horrible as the last, I will be asking for recommendations for Pittsburgh area drs. Wish me luck!
 

pjw

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I do wish you the very best and don't settle for anything less! You will be able to do all those things when you get more mobile. I too am overweight and my OS never seemed concerned about my weight. My left knee was replaced two years ago and I will probably have a new r knee in 2014. Walking in the shallow pool is my best way to exercise but you need to keep as active as possible with hand weights and stretching to keep up your upper body strong. Keep looking. There is an OS for you.
 

crystals5

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Welcome, I agree with pjw, don't settle for less. You will get tons of help and advice here. Don't give up you will find someone.

Since you must wait so long for an appointment (this seems normal for any os around the world) is there any way you can find out ahead of time of he objects to surgery on obese patients? Or, can you just make several appointments at once and go with the best of the ones who will do the surgery? Just a thought. For me, the waiting has by far been the worst part of this whole knee replacement so far. Best of luck to you. You have come to the right place.
 

leejaa

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There are many doctors out there that will do a knee replacement not matter of the weight. It might be painful emotionally but keep looking. I am 5'4" and 262# and now had had my second knee replaced in 2013. It is possible. There are many people on this site that are also obese and have had knee replacements. Once you get over the pain and have new knees you will be able to be active again. Do not give up a loving husband because of your knees - get a good OS to help you get back to activities. They are out there. I am not in Pennsylvania but in New York state - mid state and they exist here so I would think that Pittsburgh would have some also - look for an OS who does a lot of replacements they might tend to have more experience dealing with people of all shapes and sizes. Good luck and keep us posted - we care and we are here to support you.
 

Tweet25

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Hi Laurie: I am 45 and found out recently that I need knee replacment. Unlike you though I don't really want it. I am scared to death of the pain. Someone that I work with has a boyfriend who is extremely overweight. The same thing happened where the doctor wouldn't do the surgery. He did find someone that would so I imagine that you will as well. Plus do you even want a surgeon to do it who would even say that to you? Loosing weight is hard. I am doing water aerobics twice a week and I have lost some weight doing that. I am infact overweight but since all this stress of needing knee replacement has taken its toll on me I have lost 12 pounds in 3 months. But not the right way. I hope you find someone that will do it for you. How have you gone though from begin 32 to 50 in so much pain? Were you taking something for it? Just curious.
 

Kissy

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I totally understand your dilemma. My BMI is around 50. i was also scared to go to an OS. But, when you find the right one all the stress will be worth it. I wished you lived near me, my OS never commented on my weight. I am on the young side, and that was mentioned only because realistically I have a good chance of needing revisions in my future. He asked me if my quality of life was affected by my knees and I said yes. It has been for 5-6 years, but worse now than ever. I asked him if waiting would do me any good... he said no. You will suffer more and probably gain more weight as your activity level decreases. I'm to a point that i barely make it through work and dread having to walk my dogs and I used to love that. I'm abut 3 weeks away from my first surgery and I am scared, nervous, and so excited! Keep looking, be persistent, and don't let them treat you like mess!!

Laurie- I know for me... I'm in severe pain every day... I'm not at all scared of surgical pain. Nor the work of rehab. Im just ready that in 2 years from now, both knees will be replaced and recovery done. Looking forward to that day!!
 

VancouverUSAgal

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There are many people on this site that are also obese and have had knee replacements.
I echo that. I gave up for 10 years after being told I was too fat but a couple of surgeons. Finally I changed ins. and my new primary care doc pushed me to keep trying. I called around and asked the surgeons' staff if they would do surgery on someone with my BMI. She said try Dr. X and so I did and he didn't make any big deal about my weight. My surgery has, unfortunately, been postponed due to the surgeon needing surgery :hairpulling: so now I've decided to wait until March when I'll be on Medicare. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you to get on the phone and call every OS in your area until you find one. Most of them will have their staff tell you no right up front if they have a BMI upper limit. That way you won't waste time waiting to get into see surgeons who won't operate on you. But keep trying - you DO want your life back!!!:console2:
 

Josephine

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Oh Laurie, you poor girl! I do feel for you. I have a wonderful surgeon who has never mentioned my weight (BMI 48) and once operated on a lady who's BMI was 65! She did extremely well. What you need to do is avoid seeing such Eeyores in the first place by phoning their office and asking this "Is obesity and issue with him? Does he have a BMI limit beyond which he will not operate?" That way you can know beforehand that the surgeon will be sympathetic. There are plenty out there that are, they just take a bit of finding!
 
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mamabash

mamabash

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How have you gone though from begin 32 to 50 in so much pain? Were you taking something for it? Just curious.
My pain was severe at 32, but has had it's ups and downs. I can't take prescription meds or even otc meds for arthritis except Tylenol, because they affect my liver. The past 2 years have been the absolute worst pain and nothing is helping at all anymore. Fortunately, I don't have to get up and go to work. We own 2 small businesses that we run out of our home, so I can have as much "off my feet" time as I want. I move slowly, but I get there. I just recently convinced myself that I should use a cane. THAT was a big step for me! I must be vain? lol. If I were to find a surgeon that said they could give me a TKR the very next day, I would be at the hospital before him/her in the morning
 
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mamabash

mamabash

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Thank you, everyone, for your comments. You are all so kind. I just SO miss doing the little things that I used to take for granted. My mom is 74 and I feel like I am her mother! We can't do shopping trips like we used to and now that she is getting older, she is going to need my help more. I am so hoping to find someone to help me. Unfortunately, our entire family is affected by this.
 

Josephine

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That's the way of these conditions, isn't it? You hear it about things like cancer or stroke - it's not just the patient, it's the entire family that is effected.
 

knees

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I feel so bad for you Laurie. Don't give up. You will find a surgeon! I'll be praying for you. Keep us posted.
 

denpucc

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Laurie -

Welcome to BS. You have found the right place. The people on this forum are wonderful, experienced, knowledgeable and non-judgemental. I agree with all the above advise, especially calling around before your next appointment to find an OS who will operate on people with weight issues. It does take some time to get appointments as a new patient so i would do my research now and you can always cancel if you find the right OS before your appointment with someone else.

Please keep us posted!

Hugs,
Denise
 

referee54

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Hang in there! We will be here for you! I am sure that you will be able to find the right surgeon who will take your case---and help you get your life back for you!
Remember---life is to be enjoyed and savored---it is not to be merely endured!
 
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