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Author Topic: Knee replacement dilemma  (Read 585 times)

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Offline HTL

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Knee replacement dilemma
« on: March 10, 2015, 05:51:38 PM »
I am 63 years old and fairly fit or as much as my knees will allow although a stone or so overweight.

Over the years, I have had several arthroscopes on both knees. 4 on the right and 3 on the left. The last was bilateral in July last year. Unfortunately, the latest op has not helped and I think I am almost at the end of the road but I am trying to put off TKR (my OS says this is the next step) for as long as possible.

Last week I saw my GP for steroid injections which have done nothing for me. I talked to him about TKR and he says that as they only last 10 years, I should wait as long as possible as only 2 are viable in a lifetime. The pain doesn't yet keep me awake at night but taking long walks is becoming difficult as is walking round the shops with my wife, which isn't such a bad thing  ;D

I have just looked at Arthritis Research website and I quote

"For 8090% of people who have total knee replacement, the new joint should last for 20 years or longer. If you've had a unicompartmental knee replacement, you're more likely to need a repeat operation about 1 person in 10 needs further surgery after 10 years."

I am now confused as I also was led to believe that a TKR only lasts 10 years.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Offline vickster

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Re: Knee replacement dilemma
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 06:01:02 PM »
I think the technology is improving, although parts will wear out quicker if you are really active (why they tend to wait until you are older).  There are also different types, but you'd need to discuss with a knee expert.

If your quality of life is still good, can sleep, manage the discomfort, then waiting may be the best thing (TKR is a one way ticket).  People I know who've had them done say their life has been transformed but their knees were in a bad way and the benefits outweighed any possible risks. 10 years of good quality life is better than none

I'd perhaps ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon who does lots of knee replacements if you want a second opinion.  For example, mine does a couple of hundred a year for example, so I'd feel comfortable with him doing (he'll hopefully be retired by the time I need a replacement however).

Perhaps give hyaluronic acid injections a go, they work for my tatty 42 year old knee.  They are designed to lubricate the arthritic knee

Good luck :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline HTL

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Re: Knee replacement dilemma
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 06:51:23 PM »
Thanks Vickster.
Poor you at 42, I think that is about the age mine started to deteriorate. My OS does 100's of TKR in a year but I get the feeling he likes the 'sss coming in. Apparently in the UK they get 4 figures for every one they do.

Offline vickster

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Re: Knee replacement dilemma
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 07:02:00 PM »
I certainly don't begrudge good surgeons what they earn.  I have private health insurance, I'm sure over the years my subs have helped put the kids through school and what not. That said, I have never got the impression that he does anything just for money

In your shoes, I'd get a second opinion. Where are you in the UK?  It'll come down to whether you can live with what you've got.  Keep your own parts as long as possible :)

I've probably killed my knees cycling but I carry on turning the pedals. I reckon the benefits, outweigh the risks for me
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up















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