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How did you decide it was time?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by MerryJ, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. MerryJ

    MerryJ new member
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    When did you decide it was time to pull the trigger and have knee replacement surgery? I have one pretty bad knee - but am a big fat (actually big and fat - which is a problem I know) chicken. I have heard stories that you can't do a lot of what you did before, even simple things like kneeling could be an issue. So, when and what made you decide to have replacement surgery.
     
  2. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    @MerryJ
    Mine was easy. I could barely walk and even using a cane would often cry out in pain.
    I could drive but when I go at where I was going I couldn't do anything.
    No choice for me
     
  3. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Dear Chicken (you are not really a chicken. Just scared of the unknown like most of us)

    I waited way too long for both my knees. All I got from that was wasted time, disability and pain! I'm a slow learner. I waited because Im a chicken too. I put everyone's needs (real or my opinion on what others want) first. Both times were miserable until I had the surgery!!!! Yes. The surgery set me free.
    Knee 1: 2+ years post op. Normal now. I can kneel on it and it is just like a normal knee I dont think about it and it wouldnt restrict me at all except for knee no 2!!!

    Knee no 2; 3+weeks post op. No pain now but some discomfort at night like a little stiffness or the occasional ache. I am better and more mobile even at this early stage than I was preop.

    The surgery is challenging but only for a short time (and there are drugs which DO work).

    So if you are approved for surgery you do need it. Don't postpone your future xxx

    Also, lose some weighr if that's bothering you. I know from experience its challenging too. But also it can be done. I'm crazy and used Optifast to kick start it. I spoke to my doctor first who encouraged me to just do it!
    So you can sort it all and be mobile and ready for a less restricted future life. You just need to be your own best friend and remove any road blocks you can see holding you back. Like worrying about kneeling!! Its highly over rated whereas walking isn't Best wishes
     
  4. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    My reasoning was simple, I had a bad knee had had several things done to it which did not last. I did not want to miss a ski season like another instructor did, she found she could not ski and had to have her knee done in January. Instead, I pulled into the surgery the day after the mountain closed and had the pesky knee operated on. For the next one, I also arrived the day after the next season.

    I cannot comfortable knee, although I do knee occassionally. However, I can do lots more things that I could not do before the surgery--like ride in 50 mile bike rides and hike for 20 miles in Glacier National Park. Think of what you can do---really is kneeling that important to you?
     
  5. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    Here are some questions for you:


    New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

    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

    *************************************************************
     
  6. MerryJ

    MerryJ new member
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    Thanks so much everyone. I have to put on my big girl panties and find out what my options are and move forward.
     
  7. Rick951

    Rick951 junior member

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    @MerryJ I like you was Very reluctant to have a knee replacement. I kept thinking of all of the things I might not be able to do. My turning point, was a vacation to the beach last spring with my Wife. I am the type that likes to take long hikes on the beach. This time, I would get about 3 blocks, and worry I would not be able to get back! Also when I would walk on the beach with my Wife, I would constantly have to tell myself to SLOW down, and not leave my Wife behind. On this trip, I was having trouble keeping up.
    I could not drive for more than 20 minutes without pain in my right knee.
    My choice was continued pain, and more limitations, or surgery. It was time!
    On a side note, during my per-surgical checkup. The doctor asked If I had quit smoking? I replied NO,,, He informed me that my surgeon has been known to cancel surgeries of people that refuse to quit smoking. :holysheep:
    I am 6 months and 2 weeks smoke free, and 6 months post surgical! So far the some of the best decisions I have made in my life! Was it easy, #$%^ NO!!!!! Was it worth it @#^% YES!!
    In 7 weeks My wife and I head back to the same beach for vacation, I will be doing a LOT of walking, with NO pain in my right knee, I hope my non surgical one can keep up!

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    On my 50th birthday, my surgeon told me I would need a knee replacement. However, he also said that I was "too young" and he wanted me to wait until I was 60. That's an old-fashioned concept now that knee replacements can last for 30+ years, but I believed it at the time.

    I waited for 9 long, painful years, during which time my pain increased and my mobility gradually decreased, as did my quality of life, until I was almost house bound.

    One day, I realised "That's enough! I can't go on like this!" That was the moment that I knew I needed to get that knee replaced as soon as possible.

    My knee replacement gave me back the life that I had wanted for so long.
     
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  9. jeffjob

    jeffjob junior member

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    @MerryJ I am Big and Fat, LOL (well, working on that)!

    I knew when I could no longer do the things I wanted to (enjoy walking on vacation with my wife, etc) and was really struggling doing the things I had to do (was taking twice as long to cut grass as I had to take so many breaks)!

    I could not stand very long anymore and really the pain just got worse and worse.

    I went to two OS and they both told me I had to loose weight. Both suggested I look into weight loss surgery as I was almost 350lbs at 5'10". One told me that my BMI would have to be 40 or less. All this was hard to hear.

    So I motivated myself, ate better, joined a gym and lost 68 lbs (as of today). Then the second OS said yes to my LTKR and I am scheduled for 4/11 - getting close!

    Ask yourself how much your knees are limited you, and how much pain they give you.

    I will also be a lot less bow-legged!!! That will be a big plus!

    I wish you well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  10. possum65

    possum65 new member

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    @MerryJ The decision was easy for me, I am 65 and have always loved walking, cycling and yoga. A year ago I developed severe pain in both knees very suddenly, and could not even manage a quick shopping trip without crutches. The pain never improved, despite 24/7 pain relief and anti inflammatory drugs. So, I had bilateral tkjrs 4 weeks ago, just 5 months after having both hips done for the second time. Although there was not really a choice, I still wondered if it was the right decision right up until surgery! Of course it was, and the dreadful constant bone on bone pain has gone, but of course there is now stiffness and quite a way to go for a full recovery. I am glad it's done, although it was tough the first 3 weeks, but I feel better each day now. Best of luck yo you.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Atlas_aus

    Atlas_aus junior member

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    Howdy all,

    My knees have been mess since I was about 45..... Had done everything possible but that was 10 yrs ago and the Surgeon back then said I was too young....

    The catalyst for replacement came in August last year when I failed a medical for a job I wanted.... It was a kick in the guts as I had thought I had done ok.

    With that news it was straight to a recommended surgeon from a Vet's F group I am a member of. Really nice bloke and he wasted no time and asked me when I wanted it done. Because of my age (55) and relative fitness he said I should do both at the same time.

    Having researched this prior I was hoping he would say that. Not sure why anyone would choose 2 seperate operations and recoveries instead of one... I jumped at the chance.

    I love my photography and asked him about kneeling down, he said he can cut down the side or something and that it would be no problem so I was very happy about that.

    Have a bit to do to get the house ready but I am excited at what is to come, the bone on bone feeling really rubs me up the wrong way ! :D
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 member

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    My decision had been in the works for a few years because I knew replacement of the right knee was coming----just not sure how long I could avoid it. I've had 7 surgeries on the right, 3 on the left, but Righty is by far the worst of the two and the one we knew was a time bomb.

    My progression from 1 to 2 bad knees was fast though, and over the last few months, I've read of this happening A LOT from those here at Bonesmart. That's why I warn people not to make my mistake and wait TOO long. Things can go downhill faster than I EVER thought possible.:sad: Here's my progression:

    A) 2016--One really bad knee that limited life some, but mostly exercise & vacations.
    B) 2017---Same bad knee that limited life a lot more each year.
    C) Feb. 2018---the good knee (Lefty) fell apart seemingly overnight and needed surgery to stop the locking/catching that was a daily occurrence.
    D) Summer 2018---BOTH knees became impossible to live with. The rehab from Lefty's May '18 surgery pushed Righty over the edge. I started seeking 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions plus the opinion of my Rheumatologist. She was my saving grace through all of this and helped me learn the truth about knee replacements for us "younger folks", as I'm only 46.
    E) Fall/Winter 2018---Life was at a standstill, as I began struggling with simple activities of daily life.

    Losing my daily activities was the final straw, and I knew the choice to put off knee replacements was finally out of my hands. My knees made the decision for me.When my life went from "planning around my knees" to being "100% ruled by" my knees, I knew it was time. The change in my life over 4-5 months was staggering. :bawl: Absolutely staggering.

    Another warning about waiting-----I was supposed to have the right knee replaced last December but had to cancel due to a family emergency emergency that ended badly. I rescheduled for May 21 and am counting the days. In the meantime though, I developed problems in my left ankle & foot due to compensating so much for the horrible right knee during that tragic time. Little did I know OTHER body parts could so easily be affected.

    If I could only go back in time and not wait so long. :shrug:

    I have hope though----hope for getting my active lifestyle back over the next year. I'll take anything at this point.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  13. Atlas_aus

    Atlas_aus junior member

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    Wow, what a ride. I hope all goes well and like you say the rapid rate at which something that was annoying to limiting your ability to have a normal life can be very quick.

    Good luck.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  14. Alloyssius

    Alloyssius new member

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    MerryJ,

    Just had bilateral TKR March 20th and though it’s not been a walk in the park I should have done earlier. I waited 10 years, lots of exercises, braves, shots but just couldn’t bring myself. Then seeing myself barely able to walk up stairs at 60 and dealin* with terrible pain I finally made the call.

    When your quality of life us such that you can’t enjoy things you know you should be able to do, its past time.

    It’s 2:00am and having trouble sleeping more than 3-4 hours but no regrets.

    As my amazing Orthopod said, “you will know when it’s time.”

    For me when I had to ask myself is it time I knew it was.


    Wish you all the best


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  15. MerryJ

    MerryJ new member
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    Thanks so much for all the responses. I have an appt in May to discuss my options. I have found that I have been limiting my activities because of the knee. My left is much worse - bone on bone - but now the right is starting to give me problems. For those who had both at the same time -how did you handle the recovery? that sounds pretty gruesome!
     
  16. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Let's ask @SusieShoes to talk about her Bilateral TKR recovery.
     
  17. Alloyssius

    Alloyssius new member

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    I can’t say it was without some trepidation. I found a surgeon who practices quad saving, computer assisted surgery. He doesn’t evert the patella and happened to be and engineer undergrad.
    It wasn’t easy being 6’5” and 250lbs (think that’s about 18 stones)
    Supposedly a little easier if your a bit shorter and lighter but first three weeks were tough. Entering 4th week just now.

    Other than severe cramps in right leg it’s mainly muscle pain and worth meds tolerable. The cramps however have been brutal, I don’t think cramps are normal so hopefully you’ll escape those.

    I am glad I’ve had both done but recovery still early and still a challenge.

    Benefits and cons listed many places and all seem to be pretty much in course for my experience.

    My wife’s been amazing and without her caregiving I’d be a mess. Hopefully you’ve someone who can help keep the meds scheduled, help to the bathroom (or empty the urinal) and help with the blues.
    Wish you the best!
    Be Well
    Richard


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     

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