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Author Topic: PKR - Post Op Diary  (Read 925 times)

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Offline GillyJay

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  • 64 year old fit female. Had PKR March 2018.
PKR - Post Op Diary
« on: May 01, 2018, 04:17:24 PM »
Hi, after being diagnosed with Severe Patellofemoral Degeneration (osteoarthritis left knee) last summer, I had a unicompartmental knee replacement in March (10/03/2018). I'm 63, female and have been an active runner, skier, gym participant all my life. A couple of bad ski falls where I twisted the knee and a crash on a mountain bike seems to have contributed to the knee problem!

Prior to deciding to have the op, and on the advice of an NHS consultant physio, I had a corticosteroid injection (Nov 2017) which at the time I was happy to try. The consultant was very persuasive too. He also gave me a lot of exercises to keep the quads strong. He said if this didn't work he was happy to refer me to an NHS surgeon but warned me that the waiting time for that appointment plus op lead time could be around 24/32 weeks. Trouble is once you have one of those injections, you can't have any surgery/invasive treatment for three months. I resumed the gym a week after the injection and it was bliss - no pain and all normal but a week on from that and my knee started to give out again, with pain, frequently. Had to give up the gym. Got pain meds from the doctor but the real issue was not having any confidence in my knee and having to keep it slightly bent to walk. It appeared to improve in December after I'd done my best to rest it more but that turned out to be a brief respite. I resumed gym work early January but couldn't cycle or use elliptical trainer so kept up brisk walking on the treadmill. However second week in January the flare ups/knee giving out started again and more frequently. Doc prescribed me Naproxen and Co-Dydramol but they only masked the pain for me. So rather than wait another 8 weeks for NHS consultation I chose to dip into savings and go private for a diagnosis. I researched who to go to and found a knee surgeon in Exeter who specialised in sports knee surgeries. After a consultation with him I was told I would benefit from a partial/full knee replacement. The Xrays suggested that I only needed a partial but the final decision would be made during the op. Thankfully I only had a partial replacement. Even in the early days post op I could feel that the knee was so much better. I was in hospital for 2 nights. Came home on elbow crutches but was down to one crutch after 8 days and gave that up after 14 days. The flexibility is gradually improving with daily exercises. So, 6 weeks on since the op and I am so very glad I had it done. Recover times are different for everyone I know. The early days post op are painful and awkward and in my case I had a very swollen knee but as long as you keep up the pain meds and start exercising as soon as you can, things do improve. Just thought I'd share this with you guys.
OA in both knees probably brought on by lifetime of various impact sports.
PKR on left knee 2018 after years of problems
March 2019 start of problems with right knee but with different symptoms.

Offline millen

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Re: PKR - Post Op Diary
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 07:50:48 PM »
Well done GillyJay!  That's not dissimilar to my story except you've progressed the medical procedures much more rapidly.  I got absolutely no benefit from a steroid injection though some sufferers do - I gather the NHS tries interventions in increasing order of cost, which sounds logical.

What puzzles me is why the NHS deems total replacement to be the default surgical solution when a partial can achieve a more functional outcome for someone who wants to remain active.  The first consultant I saw never mentioned the possibility of a partial.........but then he said he didn't even need to look at the X-rays!  I'm very pleased with my partial from nearly 8 months ago.  I'm cycling more strongly than before and and have just returned from a week in Mallorca which included 30,000 ft of climbing, something I'd not have thought possible this time last year.

Rehab has its ups and downs but it sounds like you have the right attitude.