The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Unicompartmental knee replacement => Topic started by: al317a on August 23, 2011, 12:57:26 AM

Title: PFJR
Post by: al317a on August 23, 2011, 12:57:26 AM
Im 34 years old and have been told that Im a candidate for PFJR on my left knee,  I have grade 4 osteoarthritis in that compartmnet only.  The rest of my knee is fine.  Im wondering if anyone out there can tell me what im in for here.  How long of a recovery time, how long off of work, how big is the scar, and do I have to spend the night in the hospital?

 I work full time for a big box hardware store in the paint department so I am on my feet all day long, I am also a fitness instructor...which i guess is my"other fulltime job".. as I have to learn new material constantly.  I am just wondering what im up against.  I have been through a few rounds of cortisone, draining the knee, and an arthroscopic debridment that has basically not helped.  So this was the OS next suggestion... and from what ive been reading it seems like the logical next step..

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
Title: Re: PFJR
Post by: KW on August 23, 2011, 01:33:27 AM
I had my left PFJR done in 2009 after a long battle with TTT's, complications, and never ending knee pain.  To be honest I was prepared for the surgery to be much worse then it actually was.  I was in the hospital for 3.5 days (held captive I like to say) but I could have gone home after 2 day had my OS been willing to release me. I took very few pain meds once home and found that ice and elevation was more effective. I have about a 6" scar which runs from just above my patella to just below my patella tendon.  My OS sets up home nursing and PT care from the time you get home from the hospital until the staples (all 27) are removed.  PT expected my flexion to at 90* within 3 weeks around the time you are released to outpatient PT.  As for work...I took 3 weeks off from work which was the min my OS would allow given I was able to work from home.  I did not travel into my office until about 6 weeks PO but that was mainly due to a 1 hr train ride followed by a 10 block walk to my office. 

At 8 weeks PO I traveled 1/2 across the country to help a friend look for a new home and at 12 weeks help with the actual move. 

Give you work on your feet all day I would not expect that you would be back at would too quick.  You are going to swell and be stiff for quite a while.  It took me a good 5ish months for the knee to feel like "mine". 

Let me know if you have more questions...I'll be more then happy to answer. 

My Rt knee is scheduled for 01-10-12 :)

Best of luck,
Title: Re: PFJR
Post by: al317a on August 23, 2011, 02:14:10 AM
Thank you Karen!... Wow you sound like you are very active as well.  3 days in the hospital... I could handle that... although its the recovery at home that is gonna be rough for me as I am the kind of person who cant sit still!  i always have to be moving or doing something.  Im hoping to only be out of work for 6 weeks... as I have financial responsibilities and bills to pay.  Short term disabliity isnt the greatest... but its something,  right!  Its gonna be hardest for me not to teach my classes.  I teach Low Impact Jazzercise... and its gonna kill me to watch everyone else do what cant for a while.  I will work hard at the PT so that I can be a stronger more effective instructor!

Thank you,
Title: Re: PFJR
Post by: Brambledog on September 15, 2011, 01:24:48 PM
Hi Anne and Karen,

I'm slightly further back in the process, having been diagnosed with advanced PFA after L knee arthroscopy 6 weeks ago. My R knee is getting worse every day, and my OS has said it's the same problem in that. OS said microfracture is an option, but he wouldn't want to do it really as success looks unlikely. Having read up on experiences on here I don't fancy that!

I'm trying to work out for myself what might be best to do. I'm doing PT to try to build up my L knee quads (only hydro possible at the moment) until Feb when I have my follow-up, then we'll be discussing options. From all the reading I've done, the PFJR seems to be the quickest way to get life back, as long as it works...

I don't want to while away my 40s with knee pain and being able to do soooo little. Equally, major surgery is a scary thing. What's the life-span of a PFJR? Does it need revision after a certain length of time, or do you go straight from PFJR to TKR? If both knees are in similar state is it better to do both together or is that just asking for trouble?!

My word it's complicated!

Title: Re: PFJR
Post by: snorunner on September 20, 2011, 11:46:51 PM
Hi Brambledog:
I'll join the span for PFJR is similar to tkr assuming no progression of arthritis. My doctor had a patient who's lasted 20 yrs. then finally the other compartments went bad. I was told 5 yrs is a success and 10 is great. Personally I'm hoping for the 20 yr mark! No revision on PFJR, they give you a primary total knee. But notice its a primary total knee, and that's the beauty of the partial if you qualify for one. The bilateral question...that's between you and your surgeon. Some do, some don't. There's a bilateral KG (gr8fit) who isn't on the board much anymore who did both at the same time. I spaced mine 6 months apart. Which is better? Hard to say!
The PFJR does work (despite what so many will tell you!)-it works pretty well. The trick is finding a surgeon with a proven track record of good outcomes. That's the hard part! I've got two of 'em, Karen is going back for more and there's been a number of us "survivors" around the boards for a while now. Karen had great success early on, I had all kinds of problems with the first knee(and still have a couple) but it's me not the implants. And even w/some pissy issues I am skiing, backpacking, hiking etc. better than the last decade.
Oh and don't worry about the "can't sit still" just motivates you to outpatient PT faster and keeps you working out! Hope that helps.....
Title: Re: PFJR
Post by: Brambledog on September 21, 2011, 12:37:56 AM
Thanks snorunner, that's loads of really great information! I'm still waiting for my OS's report, hopefully to find out what actually caused the PFA - he said when i was told the dx that it was bad wear and tear, no mention of maltracking etc., so just want to check the technicalities - I don't remember much of what he said afterwards...!

I am happy for now to persevere with the PT and hope that I can get quite a few more years out of my knees before I have to go for any surgery. Having said that, I want some kind of life away from these four walls, so if the conservative approach doesn't work then who knows... I've always been active, and all this sitting about is wearing very thin!

I'm looking into a specialist OS, and have found a couple of possibilities, but none in my county, so I'll have to apply to the NHS Trust to see someone out of county. Got to be worth it though to have two half-decent knees again one day...

Thanks again  ;)