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Knee replacement
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jake7871 posted:
I am a 37 year old male. My right knee has degenerated and I have had micro-fracture surgery in hopes of hold off a knee replacement. I want to make an informed decision about replacement. I worry about getting it done at such a young age. Is this a myth? Also I am an active person in my job and my recreation, is a replacement going to effect my ability to do my job? (Mainly climbing in and out of manholes.) Can someone please give me some advice on these questions? I am really concerned. Thank you.
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_swank_ responded:
The problem with having a joint replacement at a young age is that young people tend to be more active and wear them out sooner. Revisions can only be done so many times as the bone breaks down. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done, especially when quality of life is an issue.

The purpose of a joint replacement is to reduce pain and improve your quality of life. They are not meant to return you to high impact sports and activities. If that is your goal then don't get a replacement. Most joint replacement recipients just hope to be able to walk down the street.

It might be possible to climb in and out of manholes after a replacement but I wouldn't place my hopes on that. Ladders can be difficult at best. If you're not prepared to be unable to do your job then don't get the replacement now.

Get as many opinions from orthopedic surgeons as you can before you proceed.
 
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mommie12356 responded:
I feel i can answer your questions by my life experience.I had a total knee replacement at the age of 36.And i don't think you wear your knee out faster then a older person.You have to except a new life style after knee replacement surgery.And that goes with anyone who has a knee replacement.I can do almost anything.Except jogging,running,lifting heavy over 50 pounds,and jumping.I know my doctor told me my knee would last 15 years.And the hospital said i have a good 23 years.I would do it all over again in a minute.And i climb at times also.
 
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VivaVegas responded:
Mommie,

I am 48 and just had replacement. Had about 7 other surgeries in the past for arthritis, since I was 25 but this is the first surgery like this. I had to go in one month after surgery to have a manipulation under sedation to break through the scar tissue. Hard to imagine that adhesions happened so @%$^(* fast!!

It is still there but not so bad and I can actually bend my leg now. Still need to get a MUCH better range of motion though. Can you please tell me if you had any issues with scar tissue adhesions? If so, how did you deal with them?

Thank you,

Viva Vegas
 
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mommie12356 responded:
I never realy had any issues with scar tissue.I am thinking maybe you should try to use and use a bike.And place the seat kind of low to make you bend even more.Sorry if i can't be much helpfull.
 
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Markjointreplacement responded:
Jake, I am 45 yrs old & had a total knee replacement 3 yrs ago now. My case is different than yours, as I have had 5 scopes, 2 re-constructions (with bone being cut & grafts) all leading up to the replacement. The loss of degree of the knee bending can be 30% or more. Risk of infection is paramount. And normally, the doctor will tell you your physical activities will be severely limited. No hockey, tennis & in your case I would think it would be the end of climbing up& down ladders.

I am a carpenter by trade & just trying to enjoy working in my shop (opposed to being out on site; which is over for me) is pretty much intolerable. I last 3 to 4 hrs & out come the pain pills. But as I said, my case is different than yours, but think long & hard before committing to this. Go as long as you can before having surgery of any kind. I mean, take the pain for as long as you can stand it, because as I have discovered, knee replacement is not the be all, end all it is made out to be.

A lot of doctors make it sound great, but don't forget, they are no different than a building contractor trying to sell a job. Keep this in mind. After all the surgeries I have had, the replacement was the most painful & the biggest let down of them all. I hope that wasn't too rough for you, but I have nothing to gain or lose by being honest with you. Good luck buddy & God bless!

Sincerely, Markjointreplacement
 
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mommie12356 responded:
I went through alot of knee reconstructive surgerys also.And the knee replacement was so successfull.That today i have no pain at all.
 
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heynick responded:
I had bilateral knee replacement 3 years ago. It was sucessful and I can walk and climb steps with no problem, However, I have pain in both knees, that is different to the pain before surgery. I've visited the doctor three times, he xrays and claims everything is great., my range of motion is perfect, so, he suggested it may be my fibromyalgia. I still cannot kneel. I've seen a rhuematolgist who gave me meds, they made me sleepy, so I stopped them. Anyone have pain. The doctor didn't say anything about scar tissue, it is a good suggestion. Caio, Rae
 
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wanttoride responded:
Hi...I am a 48 year old female, very active, and ride horses...or used to. I had a TKR (left knee) in October 2009 after 3 surgeries and a "McKay"procedure in 2002, which was the last resort before TKR. I have/had osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disorder, which affects my right shoulder, left knee and jaw. Lucky me! After a lot of thought, and daily pain from the sore knee, I went to my surgeon in April of 2009 and told him I was ready for the TKR. We discussed this at long length, and I thought I asked all the right questions. I wanted to ride my horse without pain, and he said I would be able to, and that I'd be out of work for about 8 weeks. I am a dental assistant also, and spend most of my day on my feet and getting up and down out of a chair. In September of 2009, my surgeon committed suicide...I kid you not. My surgery was set for early October, and I had made all the arrangements at work to take the time off, etc. I was able to get another surgeon in the area to do my TKR, as he took on my Dr's. surgery patients (they were good friends). I met with the new surgeon, and he told me that indeed, I need a TKR. He also told me that he was not going to use cement to fuse the parts....that he was going to use parts made by "Zimmer" that were gender specific, and those parts would adhere to the bone...no cement. So...I underwent the TKR. That's when my nightmare began. I woke up in EXTREME pain and leg spasms. I had a "pain pump" in my knee for 6 days, and that and pain meds still didn't stop the pain. I was transferred to a rehab center, which was a nightmare and a whole other story in itself. When the therapist there lifted my leg and twisted it slightly, I screamed in pain and just about went through the wall. They put me on oxycontin, oxycodone and something else, and my pain was finally managed...somewhat. I knew something wasn't right when I saw other TKR patients walking down the hall on crutches and I was still realing from pain and spent most of my day on the CMP machine. I reached 80 degrees and was sent home. Therapy started at home, 4 times a week. This was now about a month after surgery. My left foot turned somewhat outward and I could not get my knee straight....20 degrees was what I got....and flexion was only 60. I went for my first post-op appt. with the Dr. and he said "well...we knew we had problems right out of the gate". WHAT???? He never told me that before this day!!! He said that he was pretty sure that I had RSD. (my foot was always freezing, and clothes that touched my knee drove me nuts!) He took xrays of my knee and said that everything he did was done right. The pieces were put in correctly, in other words. So...I went to a pain clinic. He wanted to do a nerve block, and I refused. Too many "ifs" and it might last an hour, or maybe longer...so what's the point in this? So..he put me on Lyrica. I had an under anesthesia manipulation in November 2009, and Dr. said he got my knee to 130 degrees flexion and 5 degrees flexion. Said there was no scar tissue either....?????? It's now January 2010, and I can get 85 degrees flexion and 10 degrees in extension. I WANT ZERO! My body is taking a toll on all of this...still walking on 2 crutches, quad muscle is gone. My Dr. says I should have the nerve block, but I'm scared to. He also says if I can't get it to bend/flex more, I'll have another under anesthesia manipulation. He says "no" to a revision..says no point. I live on oxycontin, oxycodone and Valium for leg spasms, which I have after therapy. I feel like I've lost my life, will never walk again, and never ride my horse. I have not received a second opinion yet. I'm afraid of the nerve block....no guarantee and I don't want to go through a series of these for "temporary" pain relief. The RSD is under control with the Lyrica. I NEED HELP and ADVICE! Is my replacement too big? I'm freaking out at all of this...I WANT MY LIFE BACK! :cryin
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
Have you tried the injections to lubricate your knee? The injections have helped my left knee.

I had a TKR Aug 2006, and my right knee has a perfect bend. My leg is strong and straight, and I can walk a long way with it. I am careful about other activities concerning my knee.

My friend is a runner. She had a TKR and continued running. She had a great deal of trouble with her TKR. You have to be your own advocate to make a TKR work.

If I were you, I would not continue to be as active as you are now after a TKR. Ask your doctor. He has had lots of experience and can give you the answers you seek.

Good luck.
 
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dmacmama responded:
Hello - I am 54 and now 6 months post op from bilateral TKR. I think my knees are finally starting to feel like part of my body now! I am moving well...wobble a bit, but moving! I am plagued with a chronic shin splint in my left left...this is my only complaint. Anyone else have this? And sometimes, that same leg, gives me pain on the outside of the knee...tendon?
 
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mind_situation responded:
hi jake i am charlie. i must agree with Markjointreplacement. i am 55. i have had torn ligs and cart. in my left knne to the point i underwent 4 op's. finally went for the tkr on march 3rd 2007. i came out 19 days later with perm . nerve damage to my left foot. this pain is by far worse than my knee pain ever could be, and that hurt alot.i have had 6 procedures done to try to correct this without success. now walk with a cane,take methadone and oxocodone for pain and a sleeping pill at night. not all surgery is successful and can come bearing surprise. myself ,like Markjointreplacement, am in constuction of some sort. or was. those days are over. i loved what i did and did not think i would retire so soon. i am blessed to have been in the position that i could. forget about the climbing of ladders. you can do it but not in a professional manner so to speak. you will be limited in ways. i worked hard during rehab. but never came back to even close to being able to do things i did before surgery. what happened to me happens in 2% of tkr. good luck and god bless,charlie
 
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Berky225 replied to dmacmama's response:
For dmacmama - I too am 54 and had my knee replaced in April 2008. I started having shin splints about 6 months ago. I contacted my surgeon and he said not to worry unless my knee was red or had fever; which I have neither. I can't say though that's my only complaint. I have other problems with the leg, nerve and tendon damage...all suffered from a fall off a ladder onto concrete. Plus my foot is numb. Had 6 knee surgeries total, the 6th one being the replacement. I really should have had my knee replaced beginning with the 1st one, but I was told I was too young at age 46. Now after all this time, I have secondary issues, bilateral knee pain, both hips and back; plus depression. I don't think 54 is old, but at times I feel like an 80 year old person 'cause of the pain in all my body parts!

But despite the pain I still have in my knee after the TKR, I would do it again as this pain is much more tolerable than the bone on bone pain I had before.
 
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An_206533 replied to VivaVegas's response:
I had a tkr in 2008 and it was and still is a disaster. My doctor cut my mcl resulting in limited range of motion and scar tissue. To have another one put in would be too risky for me--I had multiple bilateral blood clots, collapsed lung and pneumonia. I am on pain meds for the pain in both knees--need to do a replacement on the other knee but too afraid because of prior complications--I wish you the best but like the other person said--these tkrs are not at all what they are cracked up to be--ESPECIALLY IF THE SURGEON IS TOO OLD AND DOESNT KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING--LIKE MINE DID----have any of you out there heard of the doctor cutting the MCL during a knee replacement?????????
 
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_swank_ replied to An_206533's response:
Actually, it's not uncommon for a doctor to not only cut the MCL, but to also remove it along with all the other 3 ligaments in your knee. Last I knew, they still removed the MCL and LCL. As far as I know they're no longer needed if you have a TKR. There's not a lot your doctor can do about scar tissue. Some people make more of it than others. It doens't make him a bad surgeon.


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