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Old 09-23-2016, 03:33 PM   #41
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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.
I'm pretty sure they require the cheapest options be tried first, which makes sense. Before I could have the cardiac ablation (a six or seven hour procedure and definitely not cheap) I had to try and fail two out of three drugs for afib. One didn't work and the other made me weak and short of breath. Only then was I a candidate for the ablation.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:47 PM   #42
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Wouldn't a rowing machine be rough for someone with bad knees?
I don't know, but I don't think so. It's often recommended because it's so much less stress than running, walking or other upright activities.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:45 PM   #43
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I know several people who have had knee replacement and every one of them is glad they did. Only 1 person had some issues with one of her knee replacements and had to get it redone (sadly I don't know much details outside of that). But she is very happy now and walks 2-3 miles a day without a cane. She is in her mid 70's.

Losing the weight might help some but not if they are too far gone. Still according to some information I had during my last knee surgery 25lbs of extra weight results in 3X more force on the knees. So less is going to be better.

My grandmother had bad knees but they didn't think her heart could handle the surgery and she likely wouldn't live that long anyways...I think she was in her 70's at the time....she made it to 97 but those last few years were hard because she was always in pain
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:29 PM   #44
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My Mother had a knee replacement at 92 and did fine . She aced rehab and then was able to walk without a cane for a few years until falls scared her into using the cane .
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:08 PM   #45
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Re meloxicam: I took it for a shoulder issue that had been hurting for months (it's better now) and wow, did it work. Knocked the pain right out. Did not upset my stomach. Your situation is obviously much more dire but I hope you get good relief from this drug.

Re weight loss: although technically not overweight, I was almost 10 pounds heavier than my usual weight some years ago, and my feet were aching constantly. When I gave up sweets to try to save my teeth, I dropped seven pounds, and my feet stopped aching. So weight loss can help pain in some cases. GOOD LUCK - you are very disciplined financially, so you can do this thing too!
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:29 PM   #46
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Thanks, Amethyst.

Meloxicam seems to be working very nicely for me, and while it doesn't remove the pain it has taken the edge off. What a relief even a little damping of pain can be.

Because the pain is less with Meloxicam, I can ride my stationary bike a little at the lowest intensity. I want to exercise as well as count calories because I am supposed to lose 25 pounds for the surgery.

I could be totally trashing my knees by doing this, but hey, they are already trashed, so why not.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:19 PM   #47
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To avoid the risk of any further knee trashing, suggest you see if the PT at your Dr office can give you some appropriate exercises. For my muscle strengthening, I have a dozen or so different exercises. With 10 to 20 rep's each, it makes for a decent workout, apart from the muscle strengthening aspect.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:33 PM   #48
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To avoid the risk of any further knee trashing, suggest you see if the PT at your Dr office can give you some appropriate exercises. For my muscle strengthening, I have a dozen or so different exercises. With 10 to 20 rep's each, it makes for a decent workout, apart from the muscle strengthening aspect.
But does it really matter? My thinking is that if my knees are going to be replaced, so what if they are trashed more than they are now? Out with the old, in with the new.


Well, you're probably right. I will find out tomorrow how much pain results from doing this and I may find that this is not a good idea.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #49
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I had a bone spur taken off my big toe last March. It was the first time I'd ever been to PT and was initially surprised when most of the exercises were for strengthening the ankle and legs. But of course it made sense in the long run.
I don't have knee issues but gained weight because of nearly a year of inactivity with first a slow healing broken foot and then toe surgery. I'm having a hard time losing it. So I sympathize with your need to lose weight. I sure wish there was a magic bullet. While the knee replacement sounds daunting most people apparently do very well with it.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:02 PM   #50
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I was actually focusing in the pain aspect. Particularly, if you do not replace both knees at the same time. With recovery, it may be at least a few months between surgeries.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:50 PM   #51
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I'm sure you've already thought of this, but the meloxicam can fool you into thinking you are not feeling as much pain as you would without it. I had to remind myself not to strain my injured shoulder at the gym because the meloxicam made it feel like it was healed, when it wasn't.

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But does it really matter? My thinking is that if my knees are going to be replaced, so what if they are trashed more than they are now? Out with the old, in with the new.


Well, you're probably right. I will find out tomorrow how much pain results from doing this and I may find that this is not a good idea.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:57 PM   #52
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I just had my annual physical today, and the GP said I need to see the Ortho and he expects that my right knee will get steroids the first visit, then the Synvisc shots after that. Surgery is not expected within the next 2-3 years, but after that, unless I lose 50+ pounds . . .

Good luck with the knees, they are so much better now that when my Father first looked at getting it done in the early 80's, and better still than when he had it don in the mid 90's.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:29 PM   #53
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I am with MamaDogMamaCat. I would definitely go with the PT before surgery. At a minimum it will help with pain relief now and after surgery. At a maximum, it may prevent or delay surgery. Surgeons business is cutting and that is all they know. I personally would do everything possible to keep my own parts, before adding new ones.

I remember reading a study that gave patients PT before knee surgery. (not sure if it was replacement or not). After PT, they no longer needed the surgery. The PT was just as effective.

My knees have been complaining lately and I know it is lack of knee focused exercise and weight.

I also have a friend that had 4 surgeries on 1 knee. 1st botched, 2nd (same surgeon) to fix, 3rd - new surgeon, 4th was with the 2nd surgeon to refine the end result that was sub-optimal...
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:56 PM   #54
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W2R, for some bright news, a 60+ year old lady had one knee replaced at a time. She is a figure skater. After the first one she joking only went around in cricles saying with one leg shorter it was the best she could do. It was a joke. But she was a bit limited with one good and one bad one.

Some six month later had the other one done s well, she still went around in circles as joke. In fact she could skate a lot better afterwards.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:17 PM   #55
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The difference in leg length after the first knee surgery was the one thing that drove my SO nuts . He had to have two lifts in his shoe and when he was walking around the house without shoes he limped and it started to bother his hips .
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:34 PM   #56
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I hate to be the THORN, but I have had my right knee totally done 5 times since 12-28-2008. It is in need of another replacement but I am unable to convince surgeon to try again. Good luck and mine is probably that 1% that does not work.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:49 PM   #57
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I hate to be the THORN, but I have had my right knee totally done 5 times since 12-28-2008. It is in need of another replacement but I am unable to convince surgeon to try again. Good luck and mine is probably that 1% that does not work.
Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum, retbarber!

Wow, I'm so sorry you had such bad results with your knee. That certainly does sound like the worst possibility, doesn't it. On the other hand, if one can hardly walk or cannot walk due to bad knees, whether it's before any surgeries (pretty much my situation) or after 5 surgeries, I suppose it's six of one or half a dozen of the other.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:38 PM   #58
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So I'm in the same predicament and personally can't wait to have surgery. I have osteoarthritis couple with playing basketball in H.S. and I'm bone to bone. some days are better than others and I've been managing fairly well with ice packs and otc pain meds.

waking up is a %$%tch though. I have to use a cane for about 5 minutes to get the knees working and some times the pain wakes me up.

I had the syvnisc shots in July, didn't put a dent in the pain. I also had cortisone shots which actually worked but only for about 3-4 weeks. I'm back to the orthopedic surgeon in about 2 weeks and we'll move on from there.

I use to dread the surgery but seriously who wants to live with daily pain?

I'm not worried about the p/t as prior to these surgeries I had arthroscopic knee surgery so I'm at least familiar with the p/t grind
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:20 PM   #59
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I had a scope on my left knee in 2004, Dr said then I was about 5-10 years from a knee replacement. Since then the other knee began giving me problems. The injections helped a couple years with the left, they never helped the right knee. I'm a 64 yo female, had the left knee replaced June 16, had 7 weeks of PT. I go in Oct 18 to have the right knee done. Gotta get recovered so we can leave the end of December for wintering in Arizona.


I had a painting and wallpapering business for about 10 years, I'm guessing climbing a ladder and crawling around the floors didn't help my knees any.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:24 PM   #60
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Bclover, I am so sorry to read that you are going through this too. Sounds like you are further along than I am, since I have not had the Synvisc shots yet.

Although surgery scares me, as does the recovery period, it would (will?) be wonderful to be able to do more. So, I am eager to "get this show on the road" whether that involves surgery or whatever.

Two more weeks until my Synvisc shots. And in my case, 18.8 more pounds to lose before surgery, which is doable.

Calico1597, how exciting to have one knee finished already. Soon you will be done with all of this and hopefully walking more easily.
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