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Scheduled, but still undecided...

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Zeldaray, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Zeldaray

    Zeldaray New Member
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    Hi all. I'm new to this forum (and new to being part of an online community.) I'm scheduled for TKR , March 7, but I'm having second thoughts and wonder if I am rushing into this too soon. Family and friends wonder why I'm doing this: "You don't look like you have any problems walking." (Husband gets it, grimmaces at the sound of my knees grinding every time stand up.)

    My knees are both quite painful when getting up out of chairs, climbing/descending stairs and on downhill walks BUT I am by no means debilitated. Don't use cane or walker. Trickiest is walking with heavy things (e.g. baby granddaughter, groceries), but ordinarily I can walk a (level) mile with only mild discomfort. OS says both knees are bone-on-bone and are 'long past eligible.' Injections haven't helped and I can't take NSAIDs any longer. Dr. is with health plan that discourages 'unnecessary' surgeries, so I know there's no financial incentive on his part.

    I'm concerned about taking such drastic a measure too soon. I'll be celebrating both my 70th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary in the Fall and want to be in good enough shape to travel, hike, do yoga. Should I wait til next year?
     
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  2. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor Staff Member Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Zeldaray
    Welcome!

    Your surgeon says your knees have bone-on-bone damage and they are long past eligible for replacement. You've already tried the injections and they no longer help. That is not going to get any better. It can only get worse. Go ahead and have the replacements.

    Don't listen to what your family say. How many knee replacements have they had? They haven't seen what your surgeon sees and they don't have his experience. You have pain and it is already having an effect on your quality of life. Don't wait until you become an invalid.

    You and your husband both realise that you need to have these knees replaced. Go ahead and get it done.
    It is your decision about your own body, and is not up to your family to decide.

    Here is some pre-op 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?
    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. Arttie

    Arttie Member

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    I'm a year younger. I can walk like you. My knees grind when getting up. My "good" knee hurts periodically when I use the stairs and caused me to flinch when applying the brakes while driving. I can only mow the level part of my lawn. I'm not going to enter the 1/2 marathon as I have done for several years. My legs ache the next day if I do too much. I'm past ready. My surgeon is booked out 10-12 months. I'm going to see him and ask to get the good knee done 3 months after the 1st one. I want to be able to do things and to not say "no" when asked.

    We are beating ourselves up when we hear about others who sound like they have much more chronic pain than we do and that we should persevere. Being bone on bone, it isn't too soon in my opinion.
     
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  4. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 Forum Advisor Staff Member Forum Advisor

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    Given how you've described feeling, I don't think your family really wants you to get to the point where you can't do anything before you have the surgery. Fortunately, your husband knows the real story. You're at a very good age, and you're doing it early enough in the year to be comfortably recovered enough to enjoy your birthday and anniversary. Are you having one or both knees done in March?
     
  5. zzevi

    zzevi Graduate

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    I also had the bone on bone. On our last vacation each day of walking brought on more discomfort till towards the end of our vacation I was very sore, and had a pretty good limp going.
    Injections didn't give me any relief either.
    Just decided now is the time, as who knows what the future will bring regarding health care, job status as I still work full time, etc....
    The one thing I didn't take into account as I didn't realize it or know differently it has a slow, long recovery period. It's a painful surgery, but the pain from it is different then the pain your experiencing now and this pain can be managed with meds thru the recovery period.
    Over all I would say you should go for it, as I think it won't be a over night miracle of feeling great again, but it will come in time and you will be able to enjoy life more.
     
  6. Dragonfly7

    Dragonfly7 Member

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    I understand what you're saying. I'm waffling a bit for my 3/22 PKR. I'm 59 and work 40+ hours per wk. I walk pretty well about half way through the grocery store, but after that, I'm miserable. My daily activities have decreased considerably and I think hard before I walk up stairs & I park close to shop entrances. I used to run up stairs for exercise & park at the other end of the lot so I could walk. I'm nervous but excited about the prospect of getting my life back.
    Good luck with your surgery. I'll be thinking about you.


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart mobile app
     
  7. Zeldaray

    Zeldaray New Member
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    Wow...I'm flabbergasted by the generous wise counsel, information, and encouragement in your replies. Thank you all SO much. I'm feeling much better about my decision and will proceed as planned. And I'll be adjusting my expectations regarding recovery pace and challenges... I'll be following this and other threads and post my progress and questions along the way.
     
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  8. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner Forum Advisor Staff Member Forum Advisor

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    IMO if it's ready, it's ready. Go now, you'll be recovered in a year, not in the same place as now. Some more stuff to ponder...

    - if your knees rule your life , it's time
    - take charge, don't be dictated to; it's your knee, your future
    - don't believe in either horror stories or miraculous recoveries that happened to 'a friend of a friend'
    - there is no such thing as too young or too heavy or even obese for TKR
    - choose a specialist surgeon who does several hundred TKRs a year. Ask the nurses, if you can; they know who's best
    - all replacement knees are very similar, don't believe that a special new one will give magical recovery -- it's the skill of the surgeon that counts
    - if you need two done, think carefully about the time gap between surgeries, it's not a trivial decision
    - try to plan for at least 12 weeks off work
    - your recovery is your time to be selfish and idle; plan to embrace this, you'll need it
    - don't think you can work hard (even if you're an athlete ) to speed recovery, healing works at its own pace
    - look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread and for full reference the Library index.

    - finally, if there's any part of this that you aren't clear about, ask here; it's what BoneSmart's for.
     
  9. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Staff Member Administrator

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    I was also like you, very little permanent pain, no sleep disturbances, hardly ever took pain meds, only occasionally used a walking stick. But that I would get is just what I referred to as a 'stone in the shoe' pain which came and went erratically. Sometimes it lasted for an hour, sometimes for a week but I knew what caused it so let me share that with you.

    Arthritis has the effect of making our joints crumble like an old concrete step.

    ai64.tinypic.com_wb2fr6.jpg

    It breaks down, creating lots of grit and debris. Generally this stays in the pouches at the side of the joint but every so often, a bit gets into the weight bearing part of the joint and then we get that extreme pain and can't bear weight on the leg at all! Pain killers do nothing, nor do things like braces. We are just conscious of this horrible burning pain that all of a sudden goes away!

    ai66.tinypic.com_vcxieq.jpg


    It's every bit as disabling as the constant bone-on-bone pain so many others suffer and is a very good indicator that a joint replacement is needed.

    To assess your need for replacement, print off the form in this link, read the instructions and fill it in
    Score chart: how bad is my arthritic hip/knee
     
  10. Arttie

    Arttie Member

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  11. wilsonma

    wilsonma Junior Member

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    I thought about delaying my surgery and some days my bone on bone pain wasn't that bad...there is also fear of the unknown and we think
    "at least, right now, I know I can do...". Now I am on the other side and feel great! Just yesterday I ran upstairs and then downstairs without even thinking- I couldn't do that before.
    I am also looking forward to my vacation shortly and long walks on the beach-without pain.
    Go ahead and have your surgery, listen to the great advice here and look forward to the future,
     
  12. Red's Mom

    Red's Mom Graduate

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    I'm surprised no one has said this. With a new knee things ONLY GET BETTER. With the old arthritic knee THINGS WILL ONLY GET WORSE. My situation was very similar to yours with the exception that this past summer I suddenly started falling, my knee just gave out. You wouldn't want that to happen while you were holding that precious grandchild! I was lucky not to be seriously hurt. Two new knees later I'm getting back to my life with no more arthritic pain! Don't underestimate the recovery time three months before you start to think you did the right thing...
     
  13. Celle

    Celle Forum Advisor Staff Member Forum Advisor

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    I did say it, although in a slightly different way, back in Post #2.
     
  14. zzevi

    zzevi Graduate

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    @Red's Mom your reply about your knee just giving out, reminded me for yr's I just would seem to go down from time to time. Sometimes for no apparent reason, but my left knee is the one that usually caused the issue, and got banged up in the falls. Knock on wood, I have been extra careful since my replacement, but my left knee hasn't given out or failed me in anyway, in fact it feels very study all the way around. Think my knee gave me more issues than I realized for many yrs prior to a diagnosis of it being bone on bone, and over the yrs, I looked for treatment for different irritated, painful knee issues. But any diagnosis seemed short lived with little relief.
     
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