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Too young for knee replacement?

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newnee

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When I finally got someone to listen to me I walked in and told them I was tired of not being able to do the things I used to do. I told them you tell me I am too young for the surgery but I am too young not to be able to enjoy life. It was a long fight but I finally got them to listen and now I have a TKR scheduled.

If you have any questions about anything come back and talk to us. The folks that have been through this will tell you the truth. If is a shame that there are some in the medical profession that still believe and give out outdated information
 

Josephine

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You know, I really cannot believe people were saying you were too young at 57! That's just unbelievable! :DOH:
 

newnee

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I agree I was surprised when the nurse at my scope said I was younger than most of their knee replacement patients. I had been told in the past they did not want to do a knee replacement till I was at least 60. Their reasoning was that a knee replacement usually only lasts 20 years. I am thinking in 20 years I will be 77 and if I don't get around too well then ok at least I will have enjoyed my life with the little ones. Heck at 77 I could be in a nursing home chasing the good looking guys in my scooter:hysterical:.

The other side of the coin what if the replacement lasts a lot longer than they believe should I live in pain needlessly I think not/
 

Josephine

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Well, I can tell you for sure that there are recorded cases of people still happily walking around on their original knees after 48 years! And my own opinion is that, calamities aside, these joints last an awful lot longer than 20 years. Considering the millions that have already been done since the 1980s, if they all needed to be revised within 15-20 years, we'd be so overwhelmed with revisions by now, we'd have no time to do any more primaries!
 

Dewy

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Jo,

Do you have a reference for the cases of knee replacements lasting > 48 years?

I'm aware that some old style metal-on-metal hips (eg McKee Farrar) could be very durable, but my understanding is that old-style knee replacement were not? Those old knee replacements are not a good design.

Perhaps the main reason we don't see many revisions from patients with knee replacements done >> 20 years ago is because they were mainly done on elderly patients in those days and the knees outlived the patient (ie the life expectancy of the patient wasn't so long)
 

Josephine

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Oh indeed! That's perfectly true about the age thing but ages have been dropping exponentially since about 25 years ago. We used to do a lot of 40 year olds when I was theatre manager. Retired from that in 1986. The modern type of knee first came from two Americans called Insall and Burstein and that was the one we were using. Plus unicondylars designed by a chap called Marmour, also American. The knees prior to that were hinge type and had very poor results see here

Actually the source of that case was a local newspaper article from about 2 years ago which I have somewhere but have mislaid it and haven't been able to source the original. The article had a photo of the man walking down the street! Or marching more like! I'll have to renew my efforts it hunt it out.
 

jeffreyclay

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Racewalker45, glad to have read your post. I've discovered you can really receive some conflicting information from our medical community. The first Osteo Dr I saw told me that I was too young (I'm 55) and to come back in 4 or 5 years! The 2nd Dr said he would be glad to see me through the BLTKR and I should have no problems or regrets. I'm 75 lbs over weight and will be able to work on that much more efficiently once I'm mobile again. I'll be cheering for you from the top of the mountain. Jeff:yay:
 

Dewy

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Thanks.

If you do find the newspaper article, it would be interesting to see it. Presumably that patient must have had one of those nasty hinge joints :hate-shocked: if it was done 48 years ago.
 
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Racewalker45

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Hi MarkZ. Thanks for the encouragement! I am not willing to wait any longer either. I have heard too many stories of people who have told me that their only regret was waiting too long to get surgery, either because they were told to wait or for other reasons. My boyfriend's brother, in his mid 50"s told me to get it done now and don't wait (he has had a TKR). I look at the cane my previous OS gave me and sometimes, I have to use it. I no longer want to be a 45 year old with 80 year old knees. Ironically, I was looking at some literature about minimally invasive surgery and I chuckled as I read it. I understand the concept of a smaller incision, shorter recovery, etc, yet I would consider a 12 inch scar over my knee a badger of honor if that means my knee works normally again!

Angela
 

Jamie

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Perfect attitude, Angela!!! You are READY!!!
 

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Racewalker, your story is my story. I have survived for the last years off cortisone and chicken (Synivisc?) shots. I was told my knee was bone-on-bone but that I should wait to replace it. As I've gotten more and more pain, I got less and less active and gained weight. My doctor did not tell me to lose weight before my surgery, but I did lose 20 pounds and really worked on building strength in both legs.

I have absolutely no regrets about having the surgery done and I don't care if I have to get it re-done in 20 years. I am going to be able to have a life again at age 46 and that's what I wanted. Good luck with your appointment and keep us posted!
 
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Racewalker45

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Hey guys,

Saw a new OS today (4th in 6 years). We talked about my desire to racewalk again and what I have tried in the past, just about everything. I was talked into cortisone shots in both knees. I will see how these help. In fact, what I am doing is buying myself a couple of months to get ready for surgery. My surgeon showed me my X-Rays and explained that the choice of having a TKR is mine, and that I am in what he called the "grey zone". I have moderate disease in the patellofemoral and medial compartments, the lateral compartments don't look very good either. He said that if I waited till I am 50, I have a better chance of only getting one surgery (versus primary and a revision 20 years later), but if I want to do it now, that would be fine with him, the choice was mine.

I asked if I could racewalk again with a new knee, and he said probably not, but he soon realized that it would not change my decision to get the surgery, because I have to stay active no matter what. Depending on how these cortisone shots make my knees feel, I anticipate scheduling surgery for December 2011. This timeframe works better for my work schedule as it is not a busy time of the year, and any work I will need to do can be done from home on my computer.

He did not tell me that I am too young, only that I have to consider that I will probably need a revision. He also assured me that implant materials for primaries and revisions have improved so much, that it is less of a concern than in the past. He gave me a pre-op clearance form for my Primary Care doc and said to call him when I am ready for surgery and he can schedule me for sugery in about a month. It would be done at a specialty orthopaedic hospital.

One other thing: I as told by my previous OS that my option was to have patellarfemoral arthroplasty. He could not tell me what the condition of the rest of my knee was??. After talking to this new doc, I confirmed what I suspected, that the only option for me was TKA, as all three compartments are affected to varying degrees. Go figure!

Anyway, thanks again for all your support and perspective. I realize that this is major surgery, but I am also ready to be able to move about pain free and not have my every waking moment focused on my knee.

Angela
 

sheryl7

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Good luck with the shots. I too got the shots today will see how they work, buy me a little bit of time. Anyhow hope all works out for and you get your tkr in dec:wink1:
 
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Racewalker45

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Sheryl,

Best of luck to you too. If I get some pain relief, perhaps I can focus a little more on getting moving to lose a little weight before the "Big Day".

Angela
 

BigGene

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When I tried shots, I first did cortisone, it was great, for two weeks and then everything was back. Followed that with Syn-visc type treatment, that actually helped with flevibility but did nothing for the weightbearing issues like steps, up or down. Messed with shots for a6 months and then finally got the first one done.

Should not have wasted the year. Tomorrow morning I sill do the second knee. I can't wait to live my new, active, painfree life.

We all need to get there in our own way. This is a life-style decision not a medical decision.

The question is "Am I willing to continue to give up the activities I love, or suffer the pain doing them.

Yes, there are risks, but it is 100% guaranteed that your knees will not get better and your activity levels will decrease. We each make that choice in our own time.

I struggled with that choice and yes I waited too long.
 

newnee

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Good luck with the shots. I tried them but they never really did much for me either
 

Jamie

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It sounds like you have a more capable surgeon this time. I'm glad you found someone who could correctly determing what is going on in your knee. Good luck with the shots....sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. It just might give you the few extra months you're looking for.
 

Jazyb

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So glad you have found the right OS and you can now plan to move on with your life. It is such a relif when you get that green light for the op and the time will fly by to December. Good luck and best wishes to you.
 

Josephine

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Well, Angela, we none of us knows what the future holds for us nor how long we have left to live on this planet. Why worry about what might happen 30 years down the line and sacrifice your enjoyment of life in the process? You need to read this article you caused me to write! Impact of running styles on knee joints, arthritis and running
 
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Racewalker45

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Thanks Jo! I did read the article, but I could not access the link to the blog (probably my computer's VPN). Thanks for posting.

You are correct, I only have today, so why not enjoy what I love now, as opposed to waiting for a " better time". If that means when I am completely miserable, NO WAY!

For a fleeting moment, I had some second thoughts today, but I had to remind myself that I only have today, I don't have 5, 10 or 20 years promised to me.

Thanks to all of the wonderful people on this forum, I do need to make sure my insurance will cover this surgery, or there are certain criteria I need meet. I also have a few more questions for the surgeon once I call to schedule.

Angela

RTKR pending
 
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