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The decision(s)
Old 10-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #1
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The decision(s)

I've learned something over the last few years - there are some very bright, pragmatic and thoughtful souls on retirement sites. I am unashamed to say I've used them as my personal think tank. I am a bit older (61) then most of my fiends and much older then most colleagues. So none of them have any real health issues so not much help there...

Facts
1) just went though the second round of shots for my knees.. It didn't work
2) I avoid the stairs, walking to restaurants at lunch, I search out the handicap stalls ...
mostly it aches all the time - it is definitely affecting my life. Lying on my bed writing this - it is a steady ache - standing for my shower stirred it up.
3) I called the doc and have an appointment Tuesday to discuss next steps.
4) the right knee has its days too but usually it is the left that is leading the charge..

Pretty sure where this is going... The question is one or both? Several people have suggested do both. "Most people won't do the second after that first one..."


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Old 10-10-2015, 09:09 AM   #2
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As for my experience, naproxen is my very good friend. Not yet to the point of looking at replacement (I'm assuming that is what you are inquiring about), but an old meniscus tear and probable osteoarthritis are teaming up to make things unpleasant at times.

DW recently had a total knee replacement on the left, right was done 2 years prior. Same surgeon for both, can't say enough good about his abilities. They called the rehab for the recent one "fast track" and had her up out of bed same day as surgery, home in 2 days. Walker for about a week and a half, cane occasionally for about a week after that. She had no qualms about getting the second one done, pain relief from having the first done was quite convincing. Brave souls, in my opinion, are those who have both done at the same time. Complete reliance on others to assist with mobility while rehabbing would bother me a bit, retaining a modicum of independence would trump that for me so I would opt for two separate surgeries.

I'd advise researching the potential surgeons thoroughly, finding the right one is golden.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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An older friend at work had knee replacements when a bit younger than the OP (one after the other about 6 months apart). Rehab was hard work, but now at age 70 he's still playing tennis and is largely pain free. Maybe he represents a best case scenario, but I was very favorably impressed with how well the treatment worked. He was a classic case of a very active and athletic guy who just wore his joints out and, depending on the causes of the OP's condition, his outcome might of course be different. But it has certainly worked out for my friend.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:29 AM   #4
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Have a friend who had both knees done at the same time. That was 2 years ago when he was 65. Worked hard at the rehab. He's thrilled with the results, still plays softball (pitcher) but takes his turns at the plate as well.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #5
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+1 for my uncle... both. It was painful to watch him hobble around when we went golfing together and now he's doing great.

A good friend recently decided to have knee replacement too... his other knee is doing ok so he is just doing one... for now.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:53 AM   #6
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DW has a friend who had both knees replaced, a few months apart, last year. Within three months of the second one he was back to walking marathons, with his best times in years. He's delighted with his new knees.

Another friend has had both knees replaced twice (severe arthritis since a young age) and is doing quite well.

Another friend has been able to go back to skiing with his new knees.

The impression I get from observing is that knee replacements today are a bit similar to cataract surgery -- scary but routine and well worth it.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:08 PM   #7
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Our neighbor across the street had his 2nd knee replacement at 85. Still does his own yard work at 88...

A friend had both knees replaced at the same time last year - she was 57. She lost a lot of weight before the surgery which she says was a big factor in her good recovery.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:09 PM   #8
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My mom had both replaced, one at a time, a year or two apart. So it is possible to do the second one at a later date when it is really needed. The rehab seemed to be the hardest part, but doable.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:16 PM   #9
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My old boss did his at 55.... did not go to therapy, but did it on his own...

He heals fast and was back at work in a week... said it took away the pain... it was funny as he had never complained of knee pain and seemed to walk just fine...
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The decision(s)
Old 10-11-2015, 06:30 AM   #10
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The decision(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
My old boss did his at 55.... did not go to therapy, but did it on his own...

He heals fast and was back at work in a week... said it took away the pain... it was funny as he had never complained of knee pain and seemed to walk just fine...

Funny my boss once said Ray can barely get up for his coffee...
I would crawl for Java.. Not Starbucks mind you regular coffee...


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Old 10-11-2015, 07:39 AM   #11
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My MIL had both knees done. She was overweight and not very active, but it still added more than 20 years of mobility to her life, and greatly improved her quality of life. I suspect the procedure is even better these days. Best of luck...
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:26 AM   #12
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Everybody's experience is different. I've heard the one or both conversations as well... in my own case only one knee required a replacement. i had my right knee replaced at 48... years of sports abuse and it literary cracked into a bunch of micro fractures. Plus it had "frozen' for about 10 years before the fractures and i went through the shots and some minor surgeries from 20 until 48. Lots of discomfort during those years. I'm glad i had it done, but my rehab was very challenging and painful. it was 6 months before i felt like it was worth it. I'm seven years post surgery, play golf, walk a lot, get around great and am pain free. I'm glad i did it and rarely think about it anymore. My only words of advice is the doctor usually undersells the rehab.. it is hard work and hurts, but you get the results you put into it... kind of like LBYM and FIRE !! good luck
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:38 AM   #13
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Knee replacement can often be a Mexican Standoff. Physicians try to put you off on replacements until later in life because they want the patient's new knees to outlive the patient--no second knees to install. But they'd have better success with replacements if the patient is younger, in better condition and more active.

I had an orthopedic surgeon friend that would often see as many as 85 patients on his office days. And of the people coming in his office, a large percentage were truly obese. Best thing anyone with mobility problems can do is go under physician's care for weight loss and get a handle on their weight before attacking any other medical condition.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:31 AM   #14
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My dad had one knee replaced, thinking he would get the other one replaced after the first one had healed. Well, the pain and stress of the rehabilitation after that first operation caused him to rethink his strategy and he decided to wait until he absolutely needed the second operation before he got it done. Bad choice...his ticker went bad and when he needed the second knee replaced, no surgeon would do it. This caused his whole body geometry to be skewed and he ended up with one leg strong and upright, and the other bent and painful, causing him to favor the side with the good knee, further complicating his gait, spine, etc., etc.. So when my time comes (I've had three knee surgeries, so far) I'm going to "bite the bullet" and get them both replaced at the same time.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
Knee replacement can often be a Mexican Standoff. Physicians try to put you off on replacements until later in life because they want the patient's new knees to outlive the patient--no second knees to install. But they'd have better success with replacements if the patient is younger, in better condition and more active.

I had an orthopedic surgeon friend that would often see as many as 85 patients on his office days. And of the people coming in his office, a large percentage were truly obese. Best thing anyone with mobility problems can do is go under physician's care for weight loss and get a handle on their weight before attacking any other medical condition.

Yes, according to my old boss who did his knee.... the doc said he was one of the very few who was at a normal weight... doc said it would be much easier to do his as he did not have to cut through a bunch of fat.... and he knew he would actually move after the operation....
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:54 PM   #16
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The decision(s)

I explained my symptoms to the assistant and she puts it all on the electronic chart and calls up my old X-rays on the screen...A few minutes later the PA comes in with the sample new knee and explained the procedure -1 month out of work, walker first two weeks then a cane ...whats your time line he asked ..I said as soon as possible. He leaves and they send me for new X-rays (to see if it is worse)

Even this old accounting degree could see the new X-rays on the monitor showed the bone on bone area had expanded. I had an opportunity to study the old ones when I was waiting 15 minutes for the PA. No surprise the the chicken comb injections hadn't worked (yeah that's what there made of) and the ache was worse.

Not long after the surgeon walks in and he also explains it all... I ask what's your lead time he says about a month. Then he says the danger is infection if you get an infection it is terrible...ill have to remove the knee and then you'll wait 2 months... Then we put it back " I say you mean ill be without a knee?" he said yes in a wheel chair. But we keep everything very sterile to avoid that. (not verbatim mind you terror makes me focus on content) I am immediately convinced this guys had a patient who got an infection ...and it was terrible. There was such conviction in the way he said it.

Sweet Moses - a month with nightly dreams of infections (they are terrible you know!) So I'll be googling infections + knee replacements but not tonight. I've got a date with a single malt.

I still feel blessed...




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Old 10-13-2015, 07:19 PM   #17
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Good Luck with your surgery ! My Mom had her knee done at 92 and she bounced right back .My SO had his done in April and is really happy with the results . He did have a few painful days but not awful .He was more bothered by having to be driven my me for three weeks !
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:53 PM   #18
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I do not know your specific situation, but the one person that I KNOW had a knee replaced was not without a knee for any time... I would want to know why it cannot be done at one time.... there could be a valid reason, but I better know it....

Also, he was back to work in 2 or 3 weeks... without a cane or walker... I know that he is unusual and a fast healer, but the timeline you gave seems like the longer option....

Good luck with the new knee....
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:52 PM   #19
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Many success stories here. My neighbor opted to have both her knees replaced at the same time. That was two years ago. She still doesn't have full ROM and still takes painkillers. She said she did her rehab work as instructed. She just started with a new physical therapist - I hope that helps. She is now 75 and Unfortunately has become less active since the surgery.


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Old 10-15-2015, 10:00 PM   #20
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Interesting, glad you posted this. I had TKR about 5 yrs ago with right knee and am all about waiting on left knee. Granted, left knee is not nearly as bad. When i had tkr on right knee, i could barely stand over 5 minutes because of the pain and it woke me up several times a night.

Mobic helped a LOT(!!!!)---until it didn't.

I may have told this story before, but i think it is important. The surgeon's nurse gave me good pain med refills for a couple weeks and then she just would not. When I went in for 6 week checkup, I mentioned this to the surgeon and he was, "What? There is no reason for this to not be prescribed. It is not addicting." It was Tramadol. Tramadol was not as awesome as the drugs they gave me the first few days, but it helped tremendously and allowed for two naps/day.

My right knee is now working just fine, but it was a ten week recovery. Glad I had the TKR, but want to put off left knee as long as I can.
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