KNEE ARTHRITIS - General principles of managing Osteoarthritis of the knee :
What's next? - - Posted by need_help (need_help), 30 May 2003
Well, never done this before but here it goes: Just had my eighth knee surgery (on mon. may 26th) and it was only a scope. I have gross swelling and stiffness and can not walk without a walker or crutches. (today is fri May 30 early). This injury happened in 1976. I have severe arthitis in the joint. The scope was to see if they could do a HTO. (high tibial ost.). The ACL is gone and repair of that is not recommended, as the joint would become stiff, they say. Worker's Compensation Board has me wearing a Generation 2 knee brace now for the last 4 years so I can work. But this is not working much anymore. (been walking bone on bone since 1991 and am so tired of the pain). I have been to seven specialists. The wear and tear of this knee has taken its toll as the other knee is started to wear out. (acl reconstruction 1986). And now I am having to wear a generation 2 knee brace on this one. As you can see at age 45. and from a active person to I can barely do anything anymore. As far as the last surgery on monday the Dr. said that the HTO would be okay as there is enough meniscus on the lateral side to do the operation successfully. I take up to nine T-3's per day so that I can work. And drink a gallon/4 liters of water a day to help wash out the liver and kidneys. I have had to start taking morphine also (20mgs at a time but not very often as of yet and only at home). The Dr. in 1991 said that I need to have a HTO done or need a knee replacement. They say (WCB) that I am to young for a knee replacement. (I live in Canada). Besides the knee problem and if anyone has any ideas please let me know. The osto-arthris has put me in bed almost every day after work til the next morning and I have no life. I need to work to help support the family as I have never been a quiter, but am so tired of the pain. Is there anything that I can do to help battle this arthris? I know there are other that are far worse than I but Til they decide what to do maybe your input may help me out. Thanks again and God Bless You, now and forever.
Posted by Janet (Janet), 30 May 2003
Can't tell you anything about the surgery, except to say that if the pain is unbearable, surgery is probably a good option. As for WC wanting you to work, of course they do (and you do, too). But if the pain is too bad, perhaps it is time for a term of disability until you have surgery and are recovered. At least here in Michigan, WC pays 80% of your salary while you are on disability. Your doctor would need to convince them you are in too much pain to work, but with the amount of pain meds you are taking, that shouldn't be a problem! Sometimes it is time to give in and take care of yourself first.
Posted by lam651 (lam651), 30 May 2003
If you decide to have a HTO be sure to ask the doctor how many of these he has done. I had a HTO done on my left leg in Oct. 01. After 1/12 yrs. it still hadn't healed and I was in more pain than before the surgery.
I now have an external brace bolted to my leg to correct the botched surgery. After this is healed I'm going to have another HTO on my other leg by the doctor who installed the external brace. He says he does 150-200 HTos a year. Take care and get a good doctor. Larry
Posted by jathib (jathib), 30 May 2003
My doctor also wants to do an osteotomy on my knee except using my femur instead of tibia because my lateral mensicus is gone. I've read a lot about them and they are very controversial. A uni-compartmental knee replacement seems like a better option. Go check out what the joint replacement doctor on WebMD has to say. There is some great information there.
Posted by enuff81020 (enuff81020), 1 June 2003
hi--i'm 47 and after almost 3 years and every treatment and procedure under he sun,my ortho bit the bullet and did the tkr on my left knee--all i can say is hallelujah. after he saw how really nasty that knee was inside and the rapid deterioration since his last surgery in it (from may to december) he decided in no time at all that my other knee needs a tkr as well. we will do it in july.
i understand their unwillingness to do a tkr on someone in our age range--but if the pain is debilitating, if the quality of life is poor--or non-existant, then it is more than reasonable to just do it. will i need a revision? most likesly--but this will hold up and keep me mobile while my kids are active and growing nd it will allow me to keep working. those are such important things...
there are docs who absolutely won't hedge on the age thing and there are others that understand the quality of life issue. it is important--and if i were in your shoes, knowing what i know from personal experience, i know what i would want.
i hope that you get some relief and help very soon. good luck and take care, sylvia
Posted by jhemeon (jhemeon), 6 June 2003
I'm 47 and had continuous pain right knee for years, had bone on bone, could no longer run, jump, kick while swimming, ride our horses, or walk even nine holes of a flat golf course. I had my opening wedge HTO with graft from my hip 1/03, and currently am doing wonderfully. My PT discharged me weeks ahead of schedule. Yes there was significant initial pain, esp. in my hip, but the results appear to be more than worth it. I chose the HTO rather than the partial knee because I still want to be active, and am more confident in my own healed bone rather than replacement parts. My surgeon feels that this will buy me at least 10 years before a replacement is needed. Good luck to you.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010