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Knee pain in my 40's
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persistent99 posted:
I have had knee pain since I was a teenager. It started in my right knee and by the time I was in my 20's I had pain in both knees. I had my 1st arthroscopy when i was 19 years old with minimal improvement. I started taking daily Motrin when I was in junior high and have been on many different Nsaids since then. In 2003 I tore my meniscus in the right knee and had another arthroscopy. The surgeon told me after the surgery that I had worn my cartilage to the bone in two compartments and had "fisures" in the cartilage of the 3rd compartment. But at least the meniscus repair went well. In 2011 I had another MRI of my right knee which know showed the cartilage in all three compartments to be bone on bone. My left knee used to be my "good" knee, but now it is pretty much in the same shape. I have continued to work an average of 80 hours a week in a profession that requires a lot of standing and walking, and I am continuing to manage. I have never missed work due to joint pain. I am, however, getting more and more frustrated. As my pain continues to get worse,I have found that I am also becoming cronically tired. I think deally with the discomfort has started to take a significant amount of my energy. I am also having an increasing percentage of nights I have dificulty sleeping due to the discomfort. sometimes it distracts me to the point I am afraid it will soon, if not already affect my job performance. I rarely complain though, and am still managing. The pain is not excrutiating. Sometimes, if I am still, it doesn't hurt at all. At the worst it is 8/10. A few times I have even had to ask my wife to help pull me up from the toilet. Quite humbling for someone in their mid forties. I find myself wondering what life is going to be like in another 10 years. However I have recieved mixed advice regarding the possibility of a knee replacement. The medical consinsus seems to be that I am too young. But my older sister and brother who both have had bilateral knee replacements highly reccomend it. For the 1st time in my life I have excellent disability insurance that kicks in within two weeks. I hate the idea though of missing so much work. If I have too I can probably limp on for a few more years, but my frustration level is at an alltime high. I really want to be able to do more. It even hurts my knees to try to swim which I have been told is one of the best things for them. Any suggestions?
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atti_editor responded:
Hi persistent99,

I am sorry that you are in so much pain. Have you had an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of a knee replacement at your age with your doctors? Knee replacements generally last 10-20 years, so there is a chance you will need another replacement if you have the first at a younger age. However, if your quality of life is greatly affected by your knee pain, and a replacement would greatly improve that quality, it is definitely worth discussing with your doctor. This information may help you in deciding if a knee replacement is right for you and can help you begin to think of points to discuss at your appointment.

In the meantime, these knee pain dos and don'ts may help you find some relief until you make a decision regarding replacement. Please keep us updated on what you decide!

Best wishes,
Atti


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