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Old 09-22-2016, 11:14 PM   #21
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W2R-

Hope this turns out well for you; sounds like you have a competent doc.

I've had several friends who had knees (and hips) replaced. Their common advice seems to be:

1. Pick a surgeon who's done thousands of surgeries.
2. Do the PT religiously.

I too have bone-on-bone in my right knee, and will be following your progress closely.

Hope to see you shortly after surgery.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:25 PM   #22
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W2R-

Hope this turns out well for you; sounds like you have a competent doc.

I've had several friends who had knees (and hips) replaced. Their common advice seems to be:

1. Pick a surgeon who's done thousands of surgeries.
2. Do the PT religiously.

I too have bone-on-bone in my right knee, and will be following your progress closely.

Hope to see you shortly after surgery.
Thanks! This surgeon has done thousands of knees and hips. I will do my best with the PT.

I'll be posting all about it afterwards, unless it turns out that I don't need surgery after all for some reason.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:55 AM   #23
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My wife's the same age as you, and she's got the same symptoms. She's scheduled an appointment with an orthopaedist next week.

Her mobility has deteriorated greatly in the last 6 months--from mid foot arthritis. She can barely stand to wear shoes, and the foot problems has flared up pain in her knees and lower leg to where she can barely sleep.

God gave us pain for a reason, and it's important to listen to that pain. When you're miserable is when it's time to do something about it. No reason to be a "he man". And remember that a square peg's not meant to go in a round hole.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:35 AM   #24
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So sorry you are going through this pain and disability, and I hope it can be well and permanently fixed. How are you planning to lose 25 pounds "asap"?

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I thought I'd carry this over here from the "What did you do today?" thread.

OK, I went and the orthopedic surgeon that I don't know impressed me as a very intelligent, competent, and sensible doctor. Whew, what a relief! After examining the x-rays, he told me that both knees are bone on bone and need knee replacements. I gather this is due to age, overweight, and degenerative arthritis. They wore out.

My symptoms have persisted for at least 20 years but have been bearable and I have not been eager to have surgery. It's that thing I have about inviting someone with a sharp scalpel to cut me open, ewwww.... My knees got fairly trashed during my move into my new house during the summer of 2015. I chose to have cataract surgery in 2015, which was even more important, and that seemed like enough for one year. But now it is time to see about my knees.

For now, the surgeon gave me an NSAID to take until my next appointment and I will be dropping 25 pounds ASAP.

I have to come back in 3 weeks for the Synvisc shots and then he can do the surgery. As he spoke, I got the definite impression that he is pretty sure the shots won't work. He kept talking about WHEN he does the surgery, not IF he does the surgery, and so on, and saying things like "after that we'll schedule your surgeries and get this taken care of". So, I am speculating that maybe Medicare requires one or two cheaper options to be tried before they will pay for surgery. Who knows? Not me.

I am fairly crippled with pain right now and a couple of weeks ago I had to start using a walker like an old lady despite my deliciously youthful age of 68. That was huge ego blow, but pain trumps ego every time and it really helps. Hopefully with the help of this doctor I'll be able to ditch it eventually.

I'll update this thread as my quest for good knees progresses. Rayinpenn also described his experiences within the past year and I plan to read and study his several threads on this topic. They are easy to find if you search on threads he began in the past year, in this "Health and Early Retirement" subforum. And Khan and others have also posted on this topic here. I just thought I should start my own thread instead of hijacking one of theirs.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:49 AM   #25
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I have a good friend my age (68) who had both knees replaced at the same time. She later did both shoulders, one at a time. She had the same, bone on bone, issue you describe. I'm sure she would encourage you to go for it (but one knee at a time). She is an avid cyclist and is now back to long rides and international bike trips with no pain. One thing I will mention based on my hip surgery a few weeks ago -- get some advice on setting up your house for the first week or so after your return. Get an inexpensive "knee and hip kit" from Amazon. And check with others whether you need a raised seat with hand grips to stand over your toilet - I sure did for the hip. Lastly, make sure you take Miralax or some equivalent from the get go so you don't get "backed up" from the pain meds you will probably use for the first few days.

As to waiting out the time to do surgery I would recommend researching how long the new joints last. I suspect there is a sweet spot in your late 60s that pretty much guarantees you won't need a redo but gets you the most advantage in your active years. The first few days after my hip surgery was quite doable for me -- but I am skinny and fit. Someone who is marginally fit or unfit in their 80s with more than a few spare pounds will have a much harder time in the early days and likely be moved to a PT facility from the hospital.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:03 AM   #26
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If you've never had synvisc before you may get some partial relief, however, that product takes a few days to work. I've had several rounds with each treatment being 3-5 injections but don't get relief anymore.

I'm due for new knees but have been putting it off until fire. I think I can stand it another year or so. A good friend had both his done a year apart, he sent me pictures of him skiing this winter. I couldn't even think about skiing now.

Go for it ASAP, you won't regret it.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:30 AM   #27
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So, I am speculating that maybe Medicare requires one or two cheaper options to be tried before they will pay for surgery. Who knows? Not me.
Medicare's standard requirements prior to surgery are NSAID/injections, use of a brace/cane/walker, and 12 weeks of PT. If the Medicare enrollee reports the PT is too painful to complete, a waiver can be granted with documentation from the provider.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:00 AM   #28
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My friends wife (about same age as you), had knee surgery about 1.5 years ago for one knee, and then last month had the other knee done. I know she was very diligent about losing weight and doing her rehab work post surgery. She was delighted with both outcomes. I believe she got custom knee replacements vs some of the off the shelf type replacements.

I know you are very diligent in working out, so hopefully dropping some additional lbs and rehabbing post surgery will be very easy for you, best of luck.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:52 AM   #29
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My sister at 68 last year had both knees replaced at the SAME time. The surgery was harder on me and DH than her...I suffered greatly. She has custody of a nine year old grandchild !!!! I was also the caregiver for both of them and driver for all appointments. Sister did fine and was even driving to her PT in three weeks. She did use a walker for about two weeks and her house was already set up for handicap. Have a good support system for after care and you will be better than new after a few weeks.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #30
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Thanks, Bamaman. I probably let it go too long, but hopefully the doctor can help. He has great qualifications and his patients seem to love him. I hope your DW can find some relief. Her situation sounds pretty dire.

Right now I picking up the Meloxicam he wants me to take in the meantime, and cut back on my morning coffee since NSAIDS usually mess with my stomache. Actually I am glad he wants me to lose 25 pounds because I wanted to do that anyway and that is a reasonable goal.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:43 AM   #31
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...
For now, the surgeon gave me an NSAID to take until my next appointment and I will be dropping 25 pounds ASAP.
...
This comment stuck out for me. How are you going to do this W2R? Would be real tough I would imagine if you cannot do active things like walking to increase calorie burning. Maybe a lot of heavy swimming? If you are going to increase activity, my only advice is to ramp up slowly to avoid overuse injuries.

W2R, I wish you all the luck with the knee issues. There are plenty of people here with good experience and possibly useful advice.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:15 AM   #32
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My sympathies, W2R.

As it happens, I have just been reviewing the literature on the outcome of knee replacement for a friend. The results are generally excellent and over 90% of prostheses are still working even 15-20 years after the surgery. Most people achieve significant improvements in pain and mobility (about 30% better) but 10-34% of people report some ongoing pain. Approximately 85% of people are satisfied with the result and 15% are not (you can't please everyone). Aquatic resistance training helps mobility during the first three months after surgery but the effect is lost if people stop going. People who said they couldn't lose weight because of their painful knees didn't lose weight after surgery either. High impact sports such as skiing are not advised after knee replacement, but golf is fine and handicap may improve!

I'm sure you will do well because you are motivated and have Frank for support.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:30 AM   #33
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1. Pick a surgeon who's done thousands of surgeries.
2. Do the PT religiously.
^ What he said.

One other very important thing to check is the post-surgery infection rate for the hospital:

Your Risk of Infection After Knee Replacement Depends on Your Hospital
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:15 AM   #34
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This comment stuck out for me. How are you going to do this W2R? Would be real tough I would imagine if you cannot do active things like walking to increase calorie burning. Maybe a lot of heavy swimming? If you are going to increase activity, my only advice is to ramp up slowly to avoid overuse injuries.

W2R, I wish you all the luck with the knee issues. There are plenty of people here with good experience and possibly useful advice.
Thank you! I'm going to count calories and do what I can as far as exercise. My gym has an "arm bicycle", and now that I am using the walker I can probably manage to walk far enough to get to it. Swimming is another good idea and one that my internist suggested. I have a stationary bike at home, and if my knees are shot anyway I tend to think maybe it doesn't matter if it makes my knees hurt. But it would be more sensible to use the arm bicycle I would imagine.

Meadbh, thanks, great post and great input! It's encouraging to read how successful these surgeries often are.

ReWahoo, I'll try to find out about the infection rate and I'll read your link carefully. Right now, F is coming over so I've got to skedaddle (sp?). The hospital is the biggest with the best reputation in the area, but who knows about the infection rate so I'll look into it.


Sorry I didn't answer everybody! I'll get back to the thread in a few hours. Your posts have been outstanding and I promise I will read and carefully reflect on each and every one of them.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #35
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A good friend was recently visiting, and we spoke quite a bit about this. He's 76 and had both knees replaced years ago, and just had his second hip replacement last Spring.

He does pretty well, except for one of the knees that still gives him some trouble when standing up from a chair.

His main point was that if he skips one day of his PT exercises, it takes him nearly a week to get caught up again. He often does his daily exercises twice some days, just because he understands how important it is.

So PT seems to be the key. FWIW, he has never been an athletic type person, but also has never been really overweight.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:30 PM   #36
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My gym has an "arm bicycle", and now that I am using the walker I can probably manage to walk far enough to get to it.
You might already have experience with them, but if not you could also consider a rowing machine. Most gyms have them (like the Concept2 that I bought after reading haha's experience with his). I can get a great aerobic workout on it with very little stress on my joints.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:52 PM   #37
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W2R, I will be reading your posts about this with great interest since I'm fairly sure there is a knee replacement in my future as well. My mother had three (one done twice after it wore out) but that was nearly 20 years ago. I'm sure they're better now.

Still, like you, I'm not keen on somebody cutting out an important joint and replacing it with something I don't know much about.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:05 PM   #38
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I'm not keen on somebody cutting out an important joint and replacing it with something I don't know much about.
How could it possibly be as scary as cataract surgery? That turned out to be a snap (to my astonishment), so the knee replacement for some reason doesn't worry me nearly as much.
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Yet another knee surgery thread
Old 09-23-2016, 02:17 PM   #39
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Yet another knee surgery thread

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You might already have experience with them, but if not you could also consider a rowing machine. Most gyms have them (like the Concept2 that I bought after reading haha's experience with his). I can get a great aerobic workout on it with very little stress on my joints.

Wouldn't a rowing machine be rough for someone with bad knees?


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Old 09-23-2016, 02:20 PM   #40
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Amethyst, I'm going to lose weight by counting calories and doing whatever workouts I can tolerate. Obviously no walking and right now and even a brief time on the stationary bike at the lowest intensity is enough to mess me up for several days.
 
Braumeister, I think that even the Concept 2 would probably be too much for me right now, but I will try it. Sounds like PT would have to be part of my daily regimen for the rest of my life.
 
Donheff, thanks for the idea to look for those "knee and hip kits" on Amazon. I do love Amazon! I'll also check concerning the raised toilet seat and stock up on Miralax. If the sweet spot is in one's late 60's, then I'm there since I am 68.
 
SonofCohoes, thanks for the report on Synvisc. If that works I'll be in 7th Heaven, although I'm not counting on it, but still. It would be great to not have to have the surgeries. If you are close to Medicare age, that might be another reason to put off knee surgery since apparently they pay for the whole thing or very nearly so.
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Medicare's standard requirements prior to surgery are NSAID/injections, use of a brace/cane/walker, and 12 weeks of PT. If the Medicare enrollee reports the PT is too painful to complete, a waiver can be granted with documentation from the provider.
MBSC, thanks so much!! I just KNEW somebody here would have that information, and you came up with it, and I am so grateful. That is very helpful. I will have had the NSAID and injections and I will have been using my walker for some time before surgery. He didn't mention PT but probably thinks it would be too painful to complete. I tend to think so too given my condition at this point. But he works with a staff of physical therapists and if he wants me to give it a whirl, I'll do that too.
 
DFW_M5, I am hoping that my results are like those of your friend! I do plan to follow whatever my doctor wants me to do because I'd love to end up with good results like that.
 
Bingie, that does sound like a lot of work for you and your DH! Glad to read that it wasn't as hard on her as it was for you two. At first I didn't like the idea of having both knees replaced at once, but now I am thinking that is a possibility if I stay in rehab afterwards, and then I'd be done with the whole thing. Hmm. I'll discuss with the doctor when the time comes to make these decisions.

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W2R, I will be reading your posts about this with great interest since I'm fairly sure there is a knee replacement in my future as well. My mother had three (one done twice after it wore out) but that was nearly 20 years ago. I'm sure they're better now.

Still, like you, I'm not keen on somebody cutting out an important joint and replacing it with something I don't know much about.
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Walt, I am the same about this. My knees have been hurting for 19 years but I was determined to "tough it out". It finally got to the point where the problem was not toughing out pain, but immobility. For me it was like a cliff, with things deteriorating very rapidly in the past year or two. You'll know when you get there because if you tried standing too long or walking too far, along with hurting you would just collapse. (I visualize a cartoon x-ray, showing an empty space inside my knee instead of a joint). So I am at a brick wall and decided now is the time. I am glad that I waited because I can only see two paths: what the surgeon does for me, or becoming wheelchair bound from here on out. There's no way that the results of surgery could be any worse than that, so I will have no regrets no matter the outcome. Well, assuming I survive, which sounds like a very likely outcome according to Meadbh's post above and the high success rate of TKR surgeries.

If I forgot anybody, trust me, I read and thought about what you posted and I thank you very much for your insights and input. I'm just a little scattered in these responses.
 
 
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