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TKR Second thoughts

Sandy11

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My left TKR is scheduled on May 19. I am 69 years old, weight 165 lbs and height 5'2".
I have no other health issues with the grace of God.

Posting this on recovery forum because after reading many posts about the post-surgery pain and problems, I am having second thoughts about having the surgery. I have given below my condition details.
1. I can walk about a mile without pain.
2. I can do the stairs holding the railing.
3. My general pain level on 1 to 10 scale [10 being max] is around 3.
4. I am comfortable if I take 1 Aleve on alternate days [3 to 4 a week].

Since this is a major surgery cutting through the nerves and muscles, would appreciate the advise so as to undergo the surgery or not from the experienced and helpful group like this.

Thank you in advance.
 
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Sandy11

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I forgot to mention that I walk 2-3 miles everyday.
 

Jaycey

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@Sandy11 You will notice I moved your post to the pre-op area since you have not yet had your surgery. Don't worry - our members and staff review all areas of the forum.

Please don't assume your result will be like any other recovery recorded here. You do have an advantage as your knee has not had a major impact on your mobility. In my experience, having a joint replaced when it still functions is a much easier recovery. Other areas of the body are not impacted by limping around for months.

Yes, Aleve may be helping you. But do you want to keep taking medication to mask the discomfort? Long term use of NSAIDs is not really recommended.

One thing to remember - members posting here are not necessarily representative of people in TKR recovery. For every member who is posting there are literally thousands out there who had the op, recovered and got on with living. BoneSmart sees many members with problems - those with a good result move on very quickly.
 

Jockette

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1. I can walk about a mile without pain.
2. I can do the stairs holding the railing.
3. My general pain level on 1 to 10 scale [10 being max] is around 3.
4. I am comfortable if I take 1 Aleve on alternate days [3 to 4 a week].
What are the things you can’t do?
What is your diagnosis that resulted in surgery being recommended?
 
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Sandy11

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The things I cannot do are squatting, sitting or kneeling on the floor. Absence of these activities does not affect my life style.
I have bilateral lateral and patellofemoral knee arthritis. MY knee arthritis is primarily patellofemoral with some medial component involvement.
My most recent x-rays show K-L 4 [severe] on the left and K-L 3 [Moderate] on the right.
My doctor had left to me to decide whether to have knee replacement and when to have it. According to him, my pain level is mild to moderate.
 
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Sandy11

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@Celle,
I tried to use the chart earlier but I am not sure how many points are for each question.
 

Celle

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I'd be inclined to just put a tick in the appropriate column of difficulty (levels 1 to 4). Do it for every activity and add up the total number of ticks in each column.

It's easy for restriction of your activities to creep up on you slowly - do you avoid going somewhere because you'll have to walk further than you like? That sort of thing does affect your quality of life.

According to him, my pain level is mild to moderate.
That's for you to decide, not your doctor - he isn't feeling your pain.

One word of advice: Just because your main pain is patellofemoral, don't be persuaded to have a partial knee replacement (PKR).
You have arthritis in more than one knee compartment, so you need to have a total knee replacement (TKR).
 
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Sandy11

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@Celle,
"I'd be inclined to just put a tick in the appropriate column of difficulty (levels 1 to 4)."
Even if I put 4 for each question, total will be 32 as there are 8 questions. Grading at the bottom starts from <65 as worse. So I will land up being in that category only wherever I tick mark.

"It's easy for restriction of your activities to creep up on you slowly"
Same thinking made me decide to go for the replacement. Arthritis is not reversible. It's going to increase as the years go by. So sooner better than later. Just that because it is not that bad now, I am having second thoughts. I see your point. Thank you.
 

Celle

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There are 38 questions, and each question scores 1, 2, 3, or 4 points, depending on the degree of difficulty. So even if you can do every activity with no difficulty, you would score one point for each question = 38. You can't kneel or squat, so you'd score 4 for each of those.

Go down the list, assess how hard it is for you to do each thing, then put a score in Column 1.
The numbers will soon add up.

I cecided it was time to get my first knee replacement when I couldn't even walk to teh local corner store. I was almost housebound.

I had waited for 9 years and that was too long. My recovery was difficult.

I went for replacement of my second knee as soon as it started making it hard for me to negotiate stairs. I had a much easier recovery.
 

Jockette

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You are the only one who can decide when you’re ready to do the replacement. Recovery is a long haul, as it’s very slow. Most of us were not prepared for that.

I agree, I’m glad they are not talking partial replacement for you.

I’ll be very honest, I feel I did my surgery too soon. I only had arthritis in my Patellofemoral section, so I got a partial. My recovery has not gone well, but I think that is because my surgeon may not have had a lot of experience with my procedure, but he’s had great results doing totals. (Most of my friends had him for their totals) I’ve learned from Bonesmart that the experience of the surgeon is key to the success of the procedure.

In my case, it’s been 4 years, and I still wish I had waited.

It’s a very personal decision, and a hard one to make, when you do have pain, but not really “all that much.“ I only had pain going up and down stairs, but not always, and sitting down, and getting up, usually. At the time I thought it was quite painful. But, I was not bone on bone, and I had no pain that woke me up at night. Few of my activities were compromised by my knee. I could walk just fine. And like you, also by the grace of God, I don’t have any other health issues, just arthritis.

I wish you the best as you wrestle with this decision, I understand how you feel, because I’ve been there. I so wanted to cancel at the last minute but I couldn’t face my friends and tell them I chickened out. (How’s that for a reason to go ahead with the surgery! :doh:) Not to mention all the money we’d spent on the pre op tests, as I had a very high deductible at the time.

I’ll be thinking of you. :console2:
 
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Sandy11

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I cannot see more than 1 page with 8 questions on Tegner chart. I could do the scoring on OKS chart. :) and got 30.
I read about your wait for 9 years on other thread today. May be, I should go ahead with my surgery after all. :)
 
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Sandy11

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@Jockette, I am glad that you understand my dilemma. I see that you had similar problems on your knee that I have now. :)
After reading many others views including Celle on another thread, I am tilting towards getting it done. I am already close to 70. Only thing, recovery is scary! :scare:
:console2:
 

Sisterpat

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Yes, recovery is a challenge. But at 70, you will recover more easily than at 72 or 75! I probably waited TOO long, suffering with bilateral bone on bone for at least 5 years. That is 5 years of increasing pain and limitations. But I resisted surgery until I finally couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Having the surgery is a very personal decision and I know you will make the right one for yourself. Just know that, if you have the surgery, there are a lot of supportive folks on this forum who will cheer you on and give you good advice. My sister had both knees replaced a few years ago and it was life-changing for her. I’ve had both mine done since January and I am still very much into recovering from both surgeries, but I am optimistic about how much improved my life will be in a few months.
 

Celle

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Since this is a major surgery cutting through the nerves and muscles,
@Sandy11 - Your surgeon cannot do a knee replacement without cutting through some nerves, but very few surgeons cut muscles nowadays. They try to access your knee joint by going between different muscles and pulling them aside. In the past, your quads might have been cut, but that's very rare now.

Your muscles will be bruised and sore, but probably not actually cut.
 

Celle

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I cannot see more than 1 page with 8 questions on Tegner chart. I could do the scoring on OKS chart. :) and got 30.
Download the .pdf attachment at the bottom of the article - that's the one you should be doing. It has 38 questions.
 
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Sandy11

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@Sisterpat
Just know that, if you have the surgery, there are a lot of supportive folks on this forum who will cheer you on and give you good advice.
I agree with you totally. There is lot of great info as well as encouragement here.
Hope your recovery gets smoother and you are back to normal soon:prayer:
 
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Sandy11

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Download the .pdf attachment at the bottom of the article - that's the one you should be doing. It has 38 questions.
Done. I was clicking at wrong place :banghead:
Thank you.
 

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