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Offline anndumpling

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Scared to death
« on: October 04, 2010, 06:30:09 PM »
I just found out last week that I have grade 4 osteoarthritis, definitely in my left knee and possibly in my right knee. My Dr has given me a cortisone shot (not helping) and pain killers (not helping, but at least I don't care that it hurts). I start physical therapy today to try to strengthen the muscles and such around my knee. But he has made it clear that the only thing that is really going to help is knee replacement. Here's the problem: I'm only 39 yo. He is trying to delay surgery as long as possible since the parts only last about 10-15 years before they have to be replaced. But the pain is so bad that I really don't know if I want to delay it any longer. I have had knee problems since I was 14 and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. But on the other hand, I'm terrified. I cant seem to find much information online about recovery and I was hoping that someone who has can help me out and maybe ease my mind a little.

Thanks for letting me vent.


Offline mlbbarry

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Re: Scared to death
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 05:51:40 AM »
Hello Christine,

Sorry to hear about that, kind of odd as I just finished posting about my left knee seeing it's last days, and my doctor wanting to do a total knee replacement also.  I am a mother of three and only 41.  I too am terrified that I may be making a mistake going through with it, but am sick of the pain, and the inability to perform simple tasks.  What type of implant did your surgeon say he uses?  Mine is putting in the Oxinium, by Smith and Nephew.  Supposedly has a longer life span, but really hasn't been around long enough to prove it.

It helps me to study up on what the docs plan is, so you have a better idea what to expect.  Ask him what product he plans to use and all about his success rate.  How many revisions has he had to do etc, etc.  Good luck and make sure you get a second opinion if you haven't already.

88' torn ACL, MCL, LCL repair
92' clean up
95' clean up
96' lateral release
99' meniscus repair, and clean up
2004 meniscus repair, & failed micro fracture attempt
2010 April, arthritis clean up and meniscus repair, poor outcome.
2010 Nov. 8th tkr left knee

Offline Dad3

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Re: Scared to death
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 01:48:58 PM »
A complete knee replacement will be the last thing the surgeon will want to do.
there are many things that can be done to prolong your existing body parts, before they reach for the parts bin.

I had a grade 4 cartilidge defect on my femur. I had an OATS procedure which is where they take some cartlidge from a non weight bearing area and plug it into the hole. This has brought me some time. I also hae grade 4 on my patella - so i have just had a lateral release and mosaicplasty and medial reefing - which has brough me some time.
Eventually i will have to have my knee replaced - but not yet.
Physio will help, exercise will help, getting weight off will help.

Have a read of the post op diaries of the successes, including the TKR stories.
don't give up hope just yet!

good luck
RT Knee collapsed 08/2009
MRI 10/2009 - torn ACL
Arthroscopy and MFX - 10/2009
ACL and OATS 11/2009
RT knee lateral release, mosaicplasty and medial reefing - 22nd September 2010.
Still not 100% OK :(

Offline Kimberly 77

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Re: Scared to death
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 07:01:55 PM »
Just wanted to say I can relate! I am only 32 and need a replacement. I am trying to hold off as long as I can too. My OS said he wouldn't consider it at my age now. I also have other circumsatnces that make him a little reluctant. I am a right leg amputee and have been for years (hince the reason for my left knee overuse problems). He said I would put twice the strain on the new knee and it would last me less time then someone with two legs. The thought of no doctor wanting to touch it right now and the thought of someday putting metal in my only leg has me scared to death too! Literally! From what I have read the recovery varies from person to person, but it is a painful long process with lots of physical theraphy and pain. Good Luck!
Right leg amputee.
Osteoarthritis in left knee.
Medial femoral condyle defect, arthoscopy 8-2-10
Grade 3 defects, patella, medial femoral condyle, tibia scoped1-12-2011
Physical theraphy and awaiting microfrature 2-1-12