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TKR at 44

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by badknees82, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    Hi everyone,

    I’m interested in speaking to anyone who has had a TKR in their 40’s. I have bi-lateral valgus knee (knock-kneed). I had my first surgery @ 15 for a knee dislocation. I’ve had 2 subsequent surgeries on my right knee for torn meniscus, had a lateral release, medial reefing. I’ve tried every viscosupplementation there is, I’ve tried cortisone, I’m using a custom offloading brace. I’m at my wits end. My OS has said only thing left for me is replacement but says I’m too young & he won’t do. He says I’ll need a revision in 15-20 years & revisions never get the results of an original replacement. I’m crippled to the point of not being able to go on vacation because I can’t walk more than a few blocks, am in tears at the end of every day & can’t sleep at night, no amusement parks...the list goes on. I’ve been at a job that I love for the past 18 years but if I don’t get some help fast, I won’t be walking in a year, which means I won’t have a job. I am in debilitating, unrelenting pain. I know there is a surgeon search on here but I’m specifically interested in surgeons willing to look at replacement in a younger patient. I reside in California. Any referrals & advice would be greatly welcomed & appreciated!
     
  2. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello again, @badknees82 and :welome: back.

    I'm going to give you the link to your previous thread,
    OATS vs TKR

    This is what I wrote to you there:
    You are not too young to have a knee replacement. We've had people here in their forties and even in their thirties, who have had successful knee replacements.

    Yes, your surgeon is one of the old-fashioned type and he is out of date and wrong.
    Nowadays, a TKR can last for 30+ years and the spectre of repeated revision is much more remote.

    He's also wrong in saying that revisions never get the result of the original replacement. In many instances, when the original has gone wrong, a revision can be better than the original.

    I've had a revision and I can tell you that my revised knee is working so well that I usually forget it's artificial.

    You've tried all the"holding measures" and nothing but a TKR is going to fix your knee now.

    Since your current surgeon has refused to give you a TKR, you'll need to find a new surgeon.
    You can start by looking at our surgeon locator and making a list of "possibles". Some surgeons may even state that they are interested in helping younger patients. If they don't say that, phone and ask.

    Alternatively, you could tag @Jamie and give her your zip/post code. Tell her how far you are prepared to travel, to find a suitable surgeon.

    Surgeons should look at the state of your knee and the effect that has on your quality of life before they look at your birth date.
    Your quality of life is seriously impacted by the state of your knee.
    You might like to fill out this chart and take it to your new surgeon:
    Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?


    This article could be useful, too:
    Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
     
  3. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    Celle,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! Yes, that post was a few years ago & I'm in much worse shape now, knee-wise. You have put me at ease knowing not all revisions go wrong. I will check the surgeon locater on here & get in touch w/Jamie if need be. Again, thank you for your encouraging words & putting me at ease. I think to be in this kind of pain at my age when I’ve no other health problems is just crazy. I have 2 young nieces that I love to spend my downtime with & this handicap is seriously cutting into that as I can’t go anywhere that requires a lot of standing or walking for long periods. I feel I’m losing my best years w/them.
     
  4. luvcats

    luvcats graduate

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    I was a bit older than you, but not by much when I first saw an OS about my bad knees. He said I was both too young and too fat. And I crawled away and cried and then tried to make the best of things. And my knee pain just got worse and worse and I gave up most of my life because I just couldn't manage it with the pain.

    What I should have done, and urge you to do, is keep looking. There are surgeons out there who will be more compassionate about your lack of quality of life and your need to live without constant pain.

    My first new knee is amazing. You deserve to find someone who will help you get your life back.
    Good luck!
     
  5. Tykey

    Tykey Sr Bonesmartie

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    Look at it another way. If that misguided surgeon is correct (which he isn't!), if you ever got to the stage of needing a revision (which you more than likely won't), then you won't be worse off than you now are, and you would have had 10 to 30 years of your life back.
    Add on to that, I have read reports on here that these days revisions are much easier and successful than in the past, and no doubt will be even better in the future.
    It's a no brainer.
    Good luck with finding a surgeon with a bit more empathy.
     
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  6. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Excellent, thus proving he is not the surgeon for you. Job done.
    As has been said, very possibly wrong on both counts
    So he wants you to be a cripple for 20 years until old enough for TKR? I don't think so.

    I'm sure advice will be forthcoming but, with respect, you must keep control of this.

    You could try asking nurses, they know who’s the best. My dialogue, after surgery had been decided upon, went like this - I went to my local hospital and walked around the orthopaedic ward looking lost;

    ‘Can I help you?’ a nurse asked/challenged me.

    ‘Oh yes, I’m here for my knee soon, I just wanted to see what it’s like,’ I replied ‘Dr Jekyll is doing my surgery.’ Rising tone at the end, to prompt a reply, and trying to turn the nurse into a friend (worked at once, nurses are nice).

    ‘You’ll like him,’ she replied, but adding quickly ‘of course Mr Hyde and the other doctors are very good, but Dr Jekyll is our best.’

    That last is the response I got (luck works in life, a very fine surgeon living less than a mile from my house and working in a hospital 200 yards away) but you might get something like 'Yes Dr Jekyll is very good.' in which case you prompt 'But what about Mr Hyde, I've heard fine reports about him too.'

    You get the idea. I found nurses and other staff only too keen to help; and they are like the NCOs in the army, the backbone that holds it all up.
     
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  7. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    luvcats,

    That’s what I’m worried about. I’ve gotten up to 190. I’m 5’9 but my orthopedist said that’s too heavy & that’s contributing to some of the pain. I told him I would weigh 150 like I used to if I could still go to spin classes (which I can’t). I’ve been seeing the same OS for 10 years so it’s going to be hard to leave & find someone else but w/the pain I’m in, I think I have no choice. Thank you for your advice/encouragement.
     
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  8. mtsumomm22

    mtsumomm22 new member

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    I am 45 and having my left knee replaced on 9/11. I am a little scared but the closer it is getting the better I am feeling about my decision. I am mostly scared of the pain the week after the surgery. But and super excited about how I will feel this time next year!!! I think more and more people are doing it younger.
     
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  9. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    If you can't pedal a bike, you are in a bad way. It was the last thing that went for me, I could ride 50-60 miles where I couldn't walk 50 yards. Find your TKR surgeon now!

    You can do upper body weight training. This builds muscle, raises your metabolism and can help burn fat.

    Plenty of 'overweight' people have TKR. I make your BMI 28 which is FAR below the level many people on here have had it done.
    If he is a good guy he'll recommend someone!

    Pardon me, but you have to take control of this.
     
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  10. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    @mtsumomm22 I’m very excited for you! I hope you keep posting here & keep us all informed of your progress! That’s less than 2 weeks away, exciting ! I’ll be thinking of you on the 11th. What (if you don’t mind me asking) had your doctor tried before coming to the decision that replacement was right for you?
     
  11. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    And Roy, I can still pedal but I pay for it dearly afterwards & I definitely can’t go 5 days a week like I used to. I always loved spinning because it was 1 thing I could do w/little pain & I knew I wasnt hurting my knee continuing to do so. At least I thought I wasn’t. I will definitely take your upper body training advice tho! I need to build upper body strength anyway. I need it a lot now for getting off the toilet, couch, chairs, etc.
     
  12. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You weren't. Cycling is very low impact on knees and the rapid motion helps whatever mobility remains. I know this.

    You will be able to cycle as much as you like post BTKR. My knees work well now, and are no handicap.
     
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  13. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It's obvious that your current surgeon doesn't want to give you a knee replacement, so there's no point in staying with him.
    You need a knee replacement now, not in several painful years ahead, so go find a surgeon with the empathy to know that asking you to wait around until you reach some arbitrarily-set age is just plain cruelty.

    I was also told I was "too young" to have a knee replacement. I didn't know any better then - I do now! - so I waited for 9 long, painful years, during which time my life shrank and I became almost house-bound.
    Having my knee replaced gave me back the life I wanted, the life that had been denied me for all that time.

    The only ways in which you're too young for a knee replacement are these:
    • 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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  14. luvcats

    luvcats graduate

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    Exactly this. That comment about your weight being too high is absurd. My BMI at the time of surgery was 54! She offers some excellent ideas about finding a new OS. You might also stop by some physical therapy offices and just ask who has the best reputation locally for knees because it can be hard to know a doctors specialty just from a website.

    I was in PT for something else and asked all of the people I worked with who they thought was the best for knees. That's who I picked, and he did a fabulous job with the first one and now I'm up for the second one on Wednesday.
     
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  15. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior

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    I just had my right knee replaced in May at age 46. I'll have the left done in a year or so. My surgeon in St. Louis sees patients as young as 45 with no questions asked. He'll even see younger ones for certain situations like RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) or PsA (Psoriatic arthritis). He made it clear age is not a deciding factor, especially for those of us who have had numerous surgeries or traumatic injuries in our youth. I had had 7 previous surgeries on my right knee, one of which was called ACI. It failed in less than 2 years so he knew there was absolutely nothing left that could be done for the knee, as it had already been to he** and back.

    Also, I am only 5' 3" and weigh 175 pounds. I'm very athletic and muscular though. My weight was never, ever a consideration and he did not bring it up once.

    My last piece of advice is do not ask your current surgeon for a recommendation. He will most likely only refer you to people who think like he does and suggest you wait longer. I got 4 opinions, 2 of which came from my former sports surgeon. Those 2 Tried to talk me out of it and even suggested a partial knee replacement---- Which was crazy considering I have arthritis in all 3 compartments of that knee. The 2 separate opinions both agreed there was nothing left to be done as I had tried every injection and every surgery available, plus YEARS of PT.

    I wish you the best in finding someone that looks at you and not your age. I've been a member of Bonesmart now for almost a year, and the one thing I've learned and noticed is that you have to do your research to find the right surgeon for you. The skill of the surgeon is a big part of the success of a TKR.
     
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  16. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    Celle,

    Thank you for the good advice. I have a 2nd & 3rd opinion appt in Oct & Nov w/ 2 different OSs. I hope I can hang in till then. I’m having some pretty severe tibi ma or shin pain due to being bone on bone. I actually almost went to the ER a couple weeks ago thinking I had broken it somehow but when my OS X-rayed it he said it was bone bruising & that I was forming new bone & had a bunch of bone spurs. Just tired of going to bed every night in tears & hobbling around.
     
  17. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    @luvcats I just saw your post now. I hope your surgery went off w/o a hitch today! Keep us posted. I’ll definitely be following your progress.
     
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  18. badknees82

    badknees82 new member
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    @Rockgirl4: my original post states everything I’ve had done but it looks like your list almost! My own OS has said he’s done everything he can. All 3 compartments now have arthritis. I’m just mad I had a super painful surgery 5 years ago that never truly relieved the pain. Yes, it bought me 5 years but they were still crippled, semi-painful years. I have spent more money on shots, an offloader brace, etc, than I care to recount. None of these truly solving the problem. I understand the reasoning in asking someone to wait. TKRs only last so long & 2nd TKRs are more difficult & not always successful but I can’t walk now & I feel like in 20 years there will maybe be better revision TKR’s. That’s all I can hope for. I do try to look at the big picture as I expect to be around for a long while.
     
  19. JennyLynne

    JennyLynne post-grad

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    Hi... I am not around much anymore but popped in because I know my right knee needs replacing in the next year or so. I did the left 2 years ago, at 43 (almost 44), and had bilateral hips in April. Age should not keep you from the life you deserve to live. My surgeon has never batted an eyelash at my age and never suggested putting off any surgeries. He has always said, "Just tell me when you are ready."

    Good luck to you!!
     
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  20. mtsumomm22

    mtsumomm22 new member

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    @badknees82 My Dr. has been unbelievable! I had tried cortisone shots years ago and my insurance wouldn't cover gel shots. That's when he decided to do a partial replacement back in June. When he got in to surgery and saw how bad my knee was he cleaned it a little and closed up. That's when I was told I needed the total knee whenever I was ready to do it, and if I put it off it would only be for a year to 18 months.

    Weighing all my options and meeting my deductible this year made since to do it sooner than later. I can't believe it is next week!!!!
     

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