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Knee replacement age 34

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Catmom29, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Catmom29

    Catmom29 new member
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    Hello, I am 34, and have osteoarthritis, for about the past 5 years. It has progressively gotten worse, I’ve tried these things... leg brace, since my alignment is off, I’ve done cortisone shot (didn’t work) I am now trying the gel shot.. praying that it gives me some relief.

    I have a four-year-old son, and I want to be able to enjoy life with him, but as you all know it isn’t fun with knee pain. I am avoiding the surgery because I am so young and I know I’ll have to get it done so many years down the road.

    I know I need to lose weight, but like you all know again, it’s hard when you don’t want to move. I’m looking into low impact/exercises I can try and change of diet.

    But my question is: should I get the surgery at this young age? I know I will eventually have to get it done. I am all over the board on this one. I’ll take some advice.

    Oh and yes I am taking some otc medications to help with pain. Thank you all for reading this.
     
  2. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!

    I’m so sorry you are in so much pain. Here is some information 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
     
  3. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Catmom29,
    You can wait to have a TKR, your knee will just get worse and limit you ability to enjoy your son while he is young.
    You may want to give serious thought if it is worth it to wait, vs going ahead with TKR and getting your life back. Waiting only puts off the inevitable.
    As for a revision you may or may not ever need one. TKR's done 25 years ago have a very good survival rate. Here is a recent article about the survival of joint replacement.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47238523

    Be sure to fill out the score chart Jockette left for you, it will give you and your surgeon a good idea of just how limited your life has become.
     
  4. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Sorry that you are living with pain.
    My personal take is that a life limited or ruined by pain is a great sadness.
    Only you can decide when you need surgery.
    Read the great info here. Try everything offered. Start losing weight especially if you hope to wait for surgery. I lost 10kg and felt a difference (but not enough of one to avoid surgery).
    Strengthening muscles to support your knee may also help.
    At the end of the day, if there is severe damage, pain and disability will most likely still be a problem.
    My story is I didn't want surgery for a few years (had other things to deal with) so I postponed it. In August last year my knee buckled for the first time and puffed up like a balloon. Its been horrible ever since and I am no longer able to walk even a small distance without pain+++ and also my knee gives way and I fall or it locks in place and I stagger and fall. Sometimes I look like a battered woman!! My surgery is next week. That means Ive had 6 bad months where everything has been so limited.
    Don't be like me. Take your chance at freedom from pain and disability (if someone will operate). Its a disability and quality of life thing not an age thing. For the sake of avoiding a second surger. the cost is your current life. That's time you will never get back. Is it worth it? Nope!!! Good luck xx
     
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  5. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a surgeon, try to find one who deals with younger patients, not all of them do.
     
  6. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    We've had people here on BoneSmart who have had their knees replaced in their thirties, and even one or two who had it done in their twenties.
    When you feel the time is right, don't let anyone tell you that your're "too young".

    These are the only ways in which you're too young:
    • You are too young to be living your life in constant pain.
    • You are too young to have your mobility so badly compromised.
    • You are too young to be giving up the lifestyle you enjoy.
    • You are too young feel so old.
     
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  7. Catmom29

    Catmom29 new member
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    Thank you everyone for your input... I am going to see if this gel shot works, and if it doesn’t, I know what my next step will be. My sons father told me the other day... I don’t know why you haven’t done it by now... and I do like that list if you’re too young... good point!
     
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  8. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    What a sad state to be in. My heart goes out to you.
    If you are referring to the longevity of the implants, forget that. Evidence is now showing that knee replacements can last upwards of 30-40 years and maybe even longer! Don't worry about that!
    Why? Tell me your height and weight and I'll calculate your BMI. Then I'll tell you if you'd be classified as 'obese'!
    Read what Celle said - what you are too young for is to squander your prime years in disability.
    This is another good reason for getting it done - no pain meds will manage the pain of arthritis. None! The only solution is a replacement.
     
  9. Catmom29

    Catmom29 new member
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    I did read what she said, and it clicked and made so many great points.. I think when I go in and see my dr, I am going to talk more about it. Hopefully this injection works, so I won’t need it.. but ultimately it will need to be done... I live in Minnesota, so I want to wait until the spring/summer... so I won’t be so scared with the ice. Thank you to all that reply.
     
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  10. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Catmom29,
    Be sure to fill out the score chart Jockette left for you in post #2 before you see your OS.
     
  11. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, fill in the chart and take it with you to your appointment, so you can show how much your knee is affecting your life.
     
  12. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    Catmom, this is my second winter in Minneapolis and I have never seen worse anywhere I have ever lived. The one advantage to surgery in the winter is that I am sitting around doing nothing most of the time anyway!!!

    I have found that water aerobics are a good way to begin to exercise since they do not stress your joints. I did a lot of water aerobics when i first started back to gain strength after my tkrs. I find myself out of breath, but with no leg stress at all in the water. I often went into the deep end with a buoyancy belt and "ran" in the water which did help my knees recovery.
     
  13. Jajakio

    Jajakio graduate

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    I won't minimize the recovery. It is fairly painful for the first month or two and it was a more than a year to get as good as I was going to get. But I was able to get through a normal day by the 3 month mark and I consider that a good tradeoff for 20 or more years of good mobility. If I have to do it again in 20 years, it has been more than worth it for me. If I get lucky and it lasts 30 or 40 years that's just the icing on the cake. Im doing things i havent been able to do in 10 years. Before surgery i was doing good to make it through a walmart trip without quitting due to the pain. Last month we took a vacation to Florida and i hiked and walked on the beach all day. Its not perfect but im a 9 out of 10 instead of a 3 out of 10.
     
  14. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    Catmom29, I can share my experience for what it's worth.
    My knee issues go all the way back to childhood. I had multiple patellar dislocations and in high school, I had an arthroscopic surgery where the doc did a lateral release. That really did nothing to improve things and the dislocations kept happening.

    By the time I hit 39, the pain was so bad, it hurt to simply sit in a chair with my knee bent. I knew something had to be done. I thought for sure the surgeon would do a partial, but he said he needed/wanted to buy me some time. He said a partial knee replacement sets a patient up for a total knee replacement down the road.

    Needing the revision surgery to a total knee replacement typically isn't because the implant wears out; it's because arthritis starts to become a problem in other areas of the knee joint.

    He did a reconstructive surgery, instead, where he microfractured the femur (drilled holes into it to make it bleed and form a clot which hardens and acts like cartilage), replaced my MPFL (the ligament on the inside of the leg that tethers the knee in place), a VMO advancement (formed a better attachment of the quad muscle to the patella), and a general cleanup of frayed cartilage.

    He said it would buy me 10 years and he was right. I'm 9 years post-surgery and I can feel that the cartilage is getting bad again. So there are fixes that can be done if you don't want to do a replacement just yet.

    The recovery from the reconstruction was hard. It took me 3 months to finally say I was glad I did it. And it's held up nicely.

    I am scheduled to have a patellofemoral partial knee replacement on March 18 on my other leg. Once I recover from that, I will have the surgeon go back to do a partial (or full?) on the knee that has gotten bad again.

    Oh, and I did try to cortisone and gel injections. Most docs will want you to try the conservative measures first. The injections gave me about 3 weeks of pain relief. I remember thinking that first week, so this is how normal people feel! LOL! I say that because my knees have never been normal. Try the injections and see how that goes for you :) Good luck!!!
     
  15. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I got a couple of years from the injections. I also learned that strengthening the muscles around the knee can help a bit--even isometrics. But eventually these measures won't help any more. I wish you luck.
     

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