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47 years old, having knee replacement & scared to death!
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kenn4us posted:
I will be 47 in a few months, I am about 70 pounds overweight and I am scheduled for bilateral knee replacement on my left knee this summer. After reading some of the posts, I am scared to death! I've had my knee scoped and the dr. tried to repair a shredded maniscus that wasn't successful. Before that i tried physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, the injections and wearing a special brace that I was fitted for, but nothing has worked. My ortho dr. said he was shocked at how bad my knee was and described it as the knee of an 80 year old. He has me seeing a different dr. in his (very large) practice that just does joint replacement. That dr. wants me to wait 5 years before I start with knee replacements, but also says he see's from my xray and MRI's there is no way I can wait. But then says again that I really need to wait 5 years! If I stay off my knee completely, I have just a little stiffness. but if I try to walk around the grocery store or clean my house, I have a lot pain. I am pretty healthy, with the exception of my weight and my knee, and I want to make sure I am doing the right thing with this surgery. I am so sick of not being able to do anything but I don't want to make a mistake. One more thing...I had a cortisone shot in March (which didn't work this time) and the joint replacement dr. says I can't have the surgery for 6 months after I had the shot. I have talked with other dr.'s that say you have to wait 3 months, but he says 6 months. Has anyone else had this situation? And advice would be appreciated!!! One more thing, I am doing weight watchers and plan/hope to have lost 20 lbs before my surgery.
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_swank_ responded:
I'm a little confused by you saying you're having a bilateral knee replacement on your left knee. Bilateral would indicate you were having both knees done at once. Are you having both done?

In my opinion, the time to have a knee replacement is when your quality of life is seriously affected by the pain. Some doctors seem to think you should wait for some magic age and some think quality of life is most important. In the end, it needs to be your decision. You really don't want people on the internet making that decision because we can't feel your pain.

I'm having mine replaced in a couple of months at the age of 52. It's time for a lot of reasons but the doctor left the decision to me.
 
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Mistymoonfire responded:
hellos Kenn4us,
I have osteoarthristis in both knees. Left is worse and my ortho was talking knee replacement as well,I have done the cortizone injections, and also the new ones that you do 3 weeks in a row to put fluid back between the bone. It has failed. Iam over weight as well but the fact is my arthritist started at a very young age at 105 pounds when I was 15yrs old. My ortho said I need to wait but then again as bad my knees are it cant. I am confused and scared as well. I cant walk around the store and just cleaning house puts me in extreme pain. I wish you all the luck as for myself I am going to see the joint specialist first then decide on the knee replacement in the near future. Good luck
 
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Mistymoonfire replied to _swank_'s response:
hello swank,
I do agree Iam 49yrs old and have not decided to do mine yet its up to each and everyone of us to make are own choice. Knowing that in 10yrs after you first knee replacement you will have to get another one and if weight is a problem or you gain it will not last as long. good luck on yours )
 
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charofkentucky replied to Mistymoonfire's response:
I had a total knee replacement five years ago. It took mine a while to heal (longer than I expected), but it was well worth it!
I was 55 yrs. old when I had the replacement done. The ortho surgeon said I had no cartilage left and it was bone on bone. I had terrible pain just trying to get around before the surgery. Now, it's a great relief to have no pain in my knee.
My ortho surgeon said mine would last well beyond 10 years,
so I'm hoping.
But I now have lower back and hip pain, so here I go again.
I know a lady who had her knee replacements on both knees at least 12 to 13 years ago. Hers are still fine.
 
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_swank_ replied to Mistymoonfire's response:
My doctor told me the life expectancy of a knee replacement is well beyond 10 years now with new materials and whatnot being used. He said I could go the distance with this one but likely will need maybe one revision.
 
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Ravens1162 responded:
Hi I am also 47 with osteoarthritis in both knees. The right knee is in worse shape than left with bone spurs along with almost no cartilage. The ortho doctor is talking knee replacement but gave me synvisc1 injections in both knees last week. After the inital pain subsided I did feel better until yesterday. I'm hoping that it was just the fact that it was a rainy, damp day and that the injections are really helping. I too am overweight and would like to get some more weight off before I have the surgery. So far I have only lost 9 pounds. I am also doing PT to improve my range of motion in right knee. I cannot bend it that much so steps are a problem. I too have a problem doing anything around the house since too much walking irritates the bone spurs which irritates my tendons and ligaments so its a vicious cycle. So hang in there!!! I pray that we will both feel a lot better in the long run after surgery
 
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kenn4us replied to Ravens1162's response:
Thank you all so much for your replys! I really appreciate all the information you passed on to me and _swank_, you were correct, I am not having bilateral knee replacement. Just the left knee. But my head is filled with so much information, I'm not sure why I even put that. (???) I see another surgeon on Wednesday....I'll be anxious to see what his opinion is.
Thanks again!!
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to kenn4us's response:
Post an update please. I wish you all the best.
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
Good for you that you are losing the weight. Some doctors are more conservative than others. It is good to listen to your doctor because they usually feel strongly about their opinion.

If you disagree with your doctor, you can always find another doctor that will be less conservative, and you have your surgery. Good luck.
 
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rogerj62 responded:
I can sympathize with you. I have had a total of 6 replacements (3) on each knee over the past 13 years. It was a comedy of errors until I found the right doctor (on the third attempt). Since the last one (3) years ago, I have had no problems, no pain. I would suggest you try to lose the weight before doing it (or some of it). It will be much easier on you. I am 62 now, so, I started when I was 49. Don't get discouraged afterward. I have been fortunate, I always have had good mobility quickly (90 degrees or better) before leaving the hospital (3-5 days). Ninety degrees is the first huge milestone after replacement. Good luck and let us know how you do.
 
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Karen3467 responded:
I am a 66 year old woman who had a knee replaced 6 months ago. I waited as long as I possibly could, considering the pain from osteoarthritis with bone-on-bone in both knees. I still need the other one done but am waiting for the first one to heal to a point where I can depend on it to get me around while the second is not usable.
I got an infection (superficial, they said) after the surgery and was back in the hospital for 3 more days, on IV antibiotics, 2 at a time, followed by home infusion (we did IV at home with the help of home caring nurses), followed by oral antibiotics, 2 kinds for another 3 weeks. It got rid of the infection, but by then, of course, the digestive system is messed up and sleep habits totally messed up, too. Took another 6 weeks to feel somewhat normal.
I still have pain in my knee when going up or down stairs and am having PT for that. Walking is great - no pain. They tell me the knee cap is still adjusting to it's new form and it will just take time. Also have shin splints in that leg - they say from straightening my knee so it pulls muscles in a different way than it was used to. The shin splints don't hurt for walking - only when pressing on tissue along the shin.
They tell me I need to strengthen my ham string muscles to help with navigating stairs. I'm working on it.
I had lost weight before surgery, but gained some back now with all the inactivity. The old knee still bothers a lot, and the new still has a ways to go.
I would suggest talking to others who have had your Dr do their surgery, and get their opinions. Also, physical therapists who have helped the patients after surgery. Success rates mean a lot, I think. It's a huge step to take, and can mean months of recovery if all does not go well. If all goes smoothly, a person can be back to normal in 6 months.
My sister had a partial knee replacement 4 months ago and is doing great.
I wish you the best, and hope all goes well for you.
 
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bluewhisper responded:
I was 48 when I had my left knee done. 49 when I had my right knee done. I do not have any regrets. I am unable to kneel anymore, but it wasn't that easy to do before , when I was in so much pain. My knees were so bad, that when I walked, sometimes they would give out on me and I would fall. Cortisone shots did not help, braces did not work, anti-inflammatories did not help. When your knees go out, there is no other alternative, than replacement. It is inevitable. You are in constant pain and your quality of life is compromised. Do not prolong it.
The therapy is very painful, but realize, it is HEALING pain. Do everything your therapist asks of you, you will be very glad you did. My doctor says with the advances in this surgery, the knees usually last 20 years, it used to be 7 years. That is why doctors hesitate at your age. Why not worry about your knees in 20 years instead of now? Good luck and God Bless.
 
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nvbecca replied to bluewhisper's response:
I can't speak for the knees, but I had both my hips replaced at 49 yrs old. I had the right (worse one done in may), then realized I still was dealing with a lot of the same problems, and had the left done in dec. I had so much pain, and was unable to walk even short distances. I sat in a recliner most days, and had a terrible time at work. I feel like a new person now!!!! I feel at least 10 years younger, and have lost 30 pounds so far, and to lose 30 more. I can walkj almost any distance, I can garden again, I can walk the dogs. I dont need to park next to the door at the grocery and worry if I will make it through the store(even with a cart). I feel I have a new life ahead of me. Speaking only for myself I can not imagine how my life would be if I had not had the surgery done. I was very scared also, more the second time for some reason. Best of luck to you!!! Good days are ahead.
 
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diannn responded:
I had my right knee replaced April 1st, was off a walker on the 6th, and signed off Physical therapy on the 21st, with completely flat extension and 120 degree bend. I am also overweight, but what worked for me was EXERCISE !! I started doing the after-surgery exercises 4 weeks ahead of time, and continued 6 days a week at Curves for Women. I had been told of the importance of Physical Therapy, and doing what you need to, even when it hurts... carefully. I asked around my pain control groups to find the best surgeon within my HMO, and followed through with him. I am thrilled to have my life back, though my energy hasn't come back yet completely. It is wonderful not to have the bone-on-bone pain in my driving leg any more.


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