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Author Topic: Should I keep trying to get help  (Read 2193 times)

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Offline JuneR

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Should I keep trying to get help
« on: September 16, 2007, 12:53:43 AM »
Iím new here and I would like to get some advice.  Four years ago, I had an ACL allograft reconstruction with two meniscectomies, and I did pretty well for three years.  Then I started having increased knee pain.  My surgeon had noted that I had some arthritis, and had recommended hyaluronic injections.  I had moved, so I went to a new OS for this, and he took x-rays.  He proceeded to tell me that I should never have had the ACL recon, Iím old, Iíve got arthritis, and thereís nothing else to do but wait until I get bad enough off for a TKR.  I did go ahead and get the synvisc injections from him, and did not notice much improvement.  But by this time, my thigh muscles and my hip were also hurting very much.  This year I found a Physical Medicine doctor, told him my story and he sent me for PT.  The therapist told me that my quads were too weak, and the muscle inbalances were affecting my hip.  PT got me started on a program of strengthening my quads and stretching.  I have been doing this for several months, and my quads are stronger, but I still have a lot of pain in my knee, quads and hip.  Now when I go to the Physical medicine office, the PA that I see just wants to give me drugs for the pain, and says youíre old, youíve got arthritis, etc.etc.

Am I being unreasonable to try to have an active life (dancing, aerobics) at the age of 61?  And is there really nothing else for me to do but hang around and wait for a TKR?  Iím not sure that the arthritis is really whatís bothering me; it could be another soft tissue problem, or loose bodies, or even the screw in my tibia that holds my graft could be what hurts so much.  Maybe itís not any of these, but I wish I could find out and maybe prolong the TKR longer into the future.  My question is Ė should I try again to get some answers with a new Orthopedic doctor?  Or am I just going to get the same answer, youíre old, get over itÖ         

Offline jathib

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 01:30:25 AM »
There is no cure for arthritis. The next step will be a TKR and you're certainly old enough to have that done any time you want. The longer you wait the worse the results would be. A TKR is designed to get you out of pain so you can resume you activities. Dancing and low impact aerobics would certainly be something you could enjoy once again. You've done the shots, physical therapy and now you're living on pain killers. Seems like you're ready for that TKR. I had a PKR last December just short of my 49th birthday. The results have been great.

Offline Silkncardcrafts

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 08:42:30 AM »
Hi June,

I can't believe that they've told your old and you have arthritis. It's not very helpful. Have you thought about going to see a sports physician ? I go to one and they have been able to advise on the appropriate exercise to do depending on where my joints are at. My sports physician has been my god send.

Don't accept that because you're 61 you can't be active. I wouldn't sit around waiting for the TKR. There are still forms of exercise that you could do that would be safe. I would have thought that things like swimming, clinical pilates and a gym program may be appropriate.

I think you really need to find an OS that specialises in sports injuries and has treated a lot of active patients. My knee surgeon is one of these and has been able to advise me on the most appropriate forms of exercise. I have chronic instability and so have to adjust my exercise program from time to time. I regularly go to the gym, do clinical pilates and go to the gym to swim or use the hydro pool.

I hope this helps.  8)

11/1996 - RK LR
07/1997 - LK LR
11/1998 - LK MPFL Reco
12/2005 - RK LR Repair
07/2006 - LK MPFL Repair
11/2006 - LK LR Repair
22/05/08 - LK Trochleoplasty
11/02/10 - RK Trochleoplasty
07/03/11 - RK Chrondroplasty

Offline Berta

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 04:21:06 PM »
I really don't understand he thinking of the medical profesion, Ok I get that replacement knees wear out, BUT, is it better to be spending the time when your you're young enough to dance, walk, run, ride, cycle, whatever it is you want to do, living on pain killers and limited mobility, just so when you get to an age where you may want to be less active, you can new knees to wander round on?

61 is no age at all, and you want to be active, I would say go for it, get new knees, then do your damdest to wear them out, live your life now, no one knows what's round the corner.

Good luck

Denny

PS.....................Hit the next person who says you are old, bl**dy cheeck!

6th Dec 2007 arthoscropy, major debridement and meniscus trimmed
Jan 08 2008 Arthritis grade 2/3 told to wait until TKR needed.
August 2010 Left knee arthroscopy

Offline mmaxell

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 07:15:21 PM »
Hi there - GET THYSELF TO A NEW OS !!!  Hope that wasn't too blunt ;-)

I totally agree with Denny - I am soon to be 52 and in the last year have had both my knees replaced (LTKR 10/06 and RTKR 2/07) - 3.5 months apart!  MY OS never even suggested that I was Too Young for TKRs - and I was Only 50 when I first saw him and had my first TKR!!!  I had lived with OA for ten years and bi-laterel bone-on-bone for the last three of the ten!  Not to mention (please Don't mention it ;-)  I am also overweight and God Bless him, he Never commented on That either!!  [In retrospect, I guess I'll forgive him for being stingy with pain meds!]

Also,  I'd rather go sliding into my grave worn-out than neatly preserved !!!  Bring it on !!!!

Good Luck ~ Melanie in PA
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/House_of_Hens/

Ten Years OA Both Knees
3 Years+ Bone on Bone (Medial) Both Knees
TKR Left Knee 10/17/06 ~ TKR Right Knee 02/06/07

Offline L. Thomas.net

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 11:09:15 PM »
Hi June
Denny posted in the HenHouse.  She thought we might share some of our collective experiences.  Mel (posted below) is there and so are a lot of other "fed-up fiftish females".  We have several TKAers.  Drop in if you would like and cluck with us.

I had TKA @57 in December 06.  I also had ACLr with an allograph (2002).  The whole reason I had ACLr was to stall TKA for a few years.  I knew when I had it that it was a temproary fix.  Honsestly people talk about rehab with TKA, believe me rehab with ACLr was much more to endure.  The PT is the same but ACLr takes 3-6 months of tough PT.  I only had 9 PT visits after TKA.  For me pain was not an issue with ACLr but pain is an issue with TKA.  BUT I got great meds.

The reason you have TKA is pain relief and increase quality of life.  My OS said that revisions are not a problem now.  He has some TKAers need the spacer replaced but that could be done as many times as needed.  It depends on different individual factors.  He said some need it several time that there was no way to know.  Some may need 5 or more.  He has one 92 year old that had TKA years ago and hasn't needed even one. 

I know that I needed TKA a couple of years before I had it.  My old OS was ready to do it in 05.  My new OS said he was ready just give him a call.  What really made up my mind was when he told me that post surgery results are totally dependent on pre surgery condition. 

He said 15%-20% get about the ROM they had before surgery and 15%-20% less while 50%-60% have about the same.  I said, You mean that the longer I wait the more I have to lose?  He said when a knee was a bad as mine the only way I was going was down.  I called about 2 weeks later and scheduled the surgery.  I have a little more ROM in the TKA knee than the other.

Your recovery will be better/easier/quicker if your quads are strong.

Louann

HenHouse:  http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=27179.new;boardseen#new
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 01:27:21 AM by L. Thomas.net »
Mulitple Knee surgeries/ TKA: 06  
Left Hip femoroplasty : 08   
Post Op- TKAinTN 06: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=33906.

Offline JuneR

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 02:55:04 AM »
Thank you all for the good advice and ideas.  I am keeping active, because I refuse to give up my lifestyle, but it hurts a lot on the days I am active.  I know I am old enough for a TKR, but the OS actually told me the arthitis in my knee wasn't that bad yet.  But it seems that they just don't want to explore anything else that might be wrong.  I have a lot of pain BELOW my knee, and I'm really starting to think it might be the titanium screw that is in my tibia.  On my x-ray it looks like it's sticking out crooked.  But so far, no medical person has been interested in that; it's just "you've got arthritis".  I've always been kind of leery of getting a TKR, because I thought you couldn't be very active after you had one, for fear of wearing out the parts.  I'll definitely have to check with you guys to find out more about that.

The suggestion about a sports medicine doctor is a good one, because I think my current OS mostly sees inactive old people who need TKRs.  Unfortunately this is a small town, and there aren't that many OSs here, and also I'm limited to the ones in my insurance network.   I'll keep working on this until I get this OS or a new one to listen to me.

Thanks again to all, and good luck!

Offline costumer

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 03:12:23 AM »
Definately get a new OS if you can, and don't worry if you have to advocate for yourself, just make sure you do! I have a top notch OS that everyone loves, but he and I seem to have a few .. diffrences of opinion. I'm only 47 and going in for a bi-lateral TKR in 2 days. Yeah, he tried to give me the 'too young' bit - but I couldn't do anything! I can barely walk now and it's not going to get better. There's nothing else that can be done, so why on earth wait? I finally had to look him in the eye and push the Quality of Life issue. Honestly, the drs keep going on about 'good medicine' and they can't even catch on to the concept that Good Medicine does not have me housebound and having cut everything that makes life worth living (except internet - that I have no trouble with. course there's standing up afterwards...)!

61 is definately still a time to be active! Heck, my stepmom is nearly 79 and she runs all over (no, she doesn't have much arthritis). But the point is that unless YOU want the life, you're not ready to be stuck in a rocker on the porch. Don't let ANY OS do that to you!

We're all in your corner!

           -Judy
Dx: bi-lat subluxating patellae w/chondromalacia 4/1977
6/78 LR - LK
1/80 TTT-Hauser LK; 12/80 Proximal Realignment Mystery- RK
1/82 Maquet TTT- LK
11/06 Meniscectomy; Mild OA- RK, 12/06 Meniscectomy; Mod OA- LK
3/07 Bi-lat severe arthritis
9/18/07 bi-lat TKR

Offline L. Thomas.net

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 01:09:33 PM »
Thank you all for the good advice and ideas.† I am keeping active, because I refuse to give up my lifestyle, but it hurts a lot on the days I am active.†

The suggestion about a sports medicine doctor is a good one, because I think my current OS mostly sees inactive old people who need TKRs.† Unfortunately this is a small town, and there aren't that many OSs here, and also I'm limited to the ones in my insurance network.† †I'll keep working on this until I get this OS or a new one to listen to me.

Thanks again to all, and good luck!

I changed OS because I wanted to go to a† joint replacement center.† My new OS is 90 miles away.† The travel has not been a problem.† He (or his partner) is on call 24/7 and he encourages me to call with any problem or questions.† The joint replacement center has now improved to a status of joint replacement center of excellence.†

When it is time to have the other knee (due to overcompensation since the injury in 1968) I wonít hesitate to use the same OS.† It might be worth your time to check into OS other than in your hometown.†There is only 1 OS in my hometown.

My OS told me I could do anything I wanted to except singles tennis and downhill skiing.† He did suggest that I not learn anything strenuous but that anything I did before the surgery I could do after TKA except singles tennis and downhill skiing.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 01:12:53 PM by L. Thomas.net »
Mulitple Knee surgeries/ TKA: 06  
Left Hip femoroplasty : 08   
Post Op- TKAinTN 06: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=33906.

Offline EMTSgirlfriend

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 09:25:41 AM »
Some PTs and OS seem to have no empathy whatsoever! First of all I think they should be tarred and feathered for telling you that you are too old, and to deal with it.  I am a firm believer in the idea that you are only as old as you feel, and that being said although I am chronologically 26, I refuse to progress past 18!

As far as the pros and cons of a TKR...I know quite a few people who have had it done and their quality of life has improved drastically.  One of the people I know is a police detective who had a brown belt in some martial art before the TKR, and after recovery and PT, obtained her black belt.  While that result may not be typical, the point is no one should have to live with pain, or in a haze of pain killers.

I love the way it was put by mmaxell, and I agree that you should get thyself to a new OS

GOOD LUCK!!
Live everyday with hope!

Offline mineemowse

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 06:31:23 PM »
Thank you all for the good advice and ideas.  I am keeping active, because I refuse to give up my lifestyle, but it hurts a lot on the days I am active.  I know I am old enough for a TKR, but the OS actually told me the arthitis in my knee wasn't that bad yet.  But it seems that they just don't want to explore anything else that might be wrong.  I have a lot of pain BELOW my knee, and I'm really starting to think it might be the titanium screw that is in my tibia.  On my x-ray it looks like it's sticking out crooked.  But so far, no medical person has been interested in that; it's just "you've got arthritis".  I've always been kind of leery of getting a TKR, because I thought you couldn't be very active after you had one, for fear of wearing out the parts.  I'll definitely have to check with you guys to find out more about that.

The suggestion about a sports medicine doctor is a good one, because I think my current OS mostly sees inactive old people who need TKRs.  Unfortunately this is a small town, and there aren't that many OSs here, and also I'm limited to the ones in my insurance network.   I'll keep working on this until I get this OS or a new one to listen to me.

Thanks again to all, and good luck!

How in the world can your doctor tell you your arthritis isn't bad enough? Does he have the ability to feel your pain? When I started with my new ortho while looking at my xrays, I asked if I was being a "baby" about my pain - at 46 should I continue to tough it out? He said they don't treat xrays - they treat people. It is up to the person on how much they want to accept and the quality of life - so - am getting my new knee in Dec.

Good luck to you and get a new doctor!!!!

Donna
'98 torn meniscus
'99 arthriscopy repair
'02 cartilidge replacement injections
July '06 arthriscopy cleanup
Oct. '06 Oats Allograft procedure (failed)
May '07 arthriscopy cleanup
Dec. 3 '07 - TKR

Offline Janet

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Re: Should I keep trying to get help
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 08:30:32 PM »
I had a doctor once who said something quite profound, I thought. He said that x-rays can't diagnose pain, they can only show damage. Some people have lots of damage and no pain. Others have little damage and a lot of pain. I agree with Donna that they need to treat the patient, not the test results. That's why x-rays, MRIs and other tests are only part of the equation. A good doctor will take a detailed history, do a full exam, interpret test results, and then put it all together into a treatment plan.

Yes, I think you should get another opinion. Maybe even two opinions. A sports medicine OS is a good choice for one. Then why don't you go to a joint replacement specialist (one who only does replacements) and see what he says? They will not recommend surgery if they don't think it would be helpful for you.

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.