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Author Topic: Better Late Than Never  (Read 1039 times)

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Offline Dave

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Better Late Than Never
« on: April 10, 2003, 04:37:59 PM »
Gee, I wish I had discovered this site earlier... so many questions and finally a place where I can ask them.  Please excuse my amateur terminology.

I was hoping that somebody can give me some advice on my dilema.  About 16 years ago I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee because of torn cartlidge  I think I was pretty ignorant back then and thought surgery would sort out the problem.  The op went OK, but didn't realise the seriousness of the situation when after the op the surgen said that the cartlidge was in a bad way and 2/3 had to be removed, and that there was a chance of arthritis later.

Well now is later.  I have had a few doctors look at my knee and confirm that there is arthritis, but the general consensus seems to be, to live with it till is gets so bad that something has to be done.  I have lost a fair amount of range of motion.  I can just straighten my left leg, but certainly can get any negative on it.  And its getting worse.  I am quite active, and love to get to get out on the montain bike.  Afterwards my knee will be sore, but not agony, and it usually is OK by the next day.  Just by touch I can feel my knee is deforming, with bone/arthritis (?) growing in places I doubt it should be

My question is basic.  Do I just have to wait till I can no longer walk and then go through a total knee replacement, or is there something I can do know.  I would think its fair to say that my knee is in a bad way, and I know it can't be fixed, but can I slow the deteriation down.  Stopping excercising/riding is not an option.

I would love to hear anyones opinion.

Thanks in advance.

David

Offline cm

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Re: Better Late Than Never
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2003, 08:13:08 PM »
Have you tried any nutritional supplements?   Like Glucosamine and Chondroitin?   My doc said that while he can't really say whether or not it will help prevent degeneration or improve cartilege health, it won't hurt and might help.    He basically told me that if it's in my budget to buy the supplements, it's probably a good idea.  

I'd see a specialist (maybe a physical therapist specializing in sports and arthritis?) if you can to see if there's anything else you can do, but I wouldn't stop exercising either.   If anything, I'd try to work into a consistent routine.   Most of the older folks I've met in physical therapy and skiing and such with arthritis problems all seem to have found their best success in staying consistently active and doing things in moderation (not that you can't work up to whatever level you want to be at, but just to do it gradually).

Best of luck!
Left knee ACL reconstruction w/hamstring graft and meniscus repair 10/00
Left knee bucket handle meniscus tear - partial meniscetomy 4/8/03

Offline opal

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Re: Better Late Than Never
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2003, 10:08:33 PM »
David

Do not wait until you can't walk any more!!!  There are, I'm certain, options out there for you.  Also, the glucosamine/condroitin IS a good idea.  My OS suggested it as a pretty benign treatment option which does work for some patients, unfortunately, not me.

No one should live with that kind of pain unless all other avenues have been ruled out!  Get thee to a GOOD orthopedic surgeon, one who really knows knees inside and out.   I suffered for several years with an OS who was way too conservative, and probably did more damage to my knee by doing nothing!

Best,  Opal
7 arthroscopies on both knees since 1991; many torn menesci and plica syndrome; TTT 5/23/02 for maltracking patella.  Screws removed on 4/16/03!!!

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Better Late Than Never
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2003, 02:52:32 AM »
Hello David

Certainly do not wait until you cannot walk, by the time that happens you may not be suitable for any surgery at all.

If it is affecting your day to day life, then it is time to seek medical help and get this treated.

Before starting any supplements such as the glucosamine, check with your GP because it can give you a reaction if you take any other meds and if you have certain underlying blood disorders.

Iona x