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Knee Replacement - Gransnet?

(9 Posts)
OverlyYappy Fri 22-Feb-13 09:44:36

I have had junior Arthritis in my knees since I was 13, I was advised then not to over exert my knees, I was 13 and did not take this as seriously as I possibly should have and went on to party for full weekends of dancing at 18/19/20/21.

I had a bad flare up at 19 and had steroid injections and rest for 3 months.

I haven't had it as bad as that for many years and wear surgical stockings if I have a flare up and usually hope it will get better as the weather does.

I am now 39 years old and this year the pain and stiffness of my knee isn't going away so I decided to go to the GP as I also have what I can only describe as my hip feeling like something such as a belt is digging into it and sciatica down my left leg. The same leg as the huge knee.

I have been on Depo injections for 9 years and only read this week this injection can affect my bone density so have stopped having this. (No-one advised me of this or looked at my records and I should never have been on Depo)

I have been advised that it may be time for me have my knee joint replaced as it it having an effect on my hip and that may lead to a hip replacement, I am hoping I go for ex-rays and my knee will be fine and the pain will dissapear again but it is not looking great just now and I am hobbling after 2 hours of being in a sitting position (bending my knee)

I guess I am looking to see just how painful this procedure is and if anyone has had this horrid sounding operation. I may have to go to Gransnet as I realise most people at my age do not have joint problems.

Sorry this is so long but wanted to give a full picture of 'the knee'!


CMOTDibbler Fri 22-Feb-13 09:53:34

At 39, you really, really don't want to have a knee replacement unless its absolutely necessary - the trouble is that they will prob only last 5 years or maybe 10 if you aren't too active, and then revision is really bad.
You need to be seen by a knee specialist with an interest in young patients, then get doing physio, maybe a biomechanical assessment and do everything to strengthen your leg.

My dh is 41, and will probably have his knee replaced this year, and prob his hip too. He's been avoiding it for a few years now, and always limps. But he has been assessed for everything else they could do, has had cartilage surgery, and has custom orthotics and an unloading knee brace to reduce the pain - it has helped a lot

OverlyYappy Fri 22-Feb-13 10:11:02

Thank you, I agree I really do not want this surgery. A family member had it last year but she is 75. I have had physio so I guess I will wait to see what the ex-rays find this time.

I may try get an appointment with a Doctor and not a Locum and he has put the fear of life into to me about this, saying I may need it replaced to avoid any further damage to the hip but the thought of this terrifies me. Perhaps the locum meant cartilage surgery.

I guess I thought I would have another round of injections and all would be well, hopefully this may be the case. Or cartilage surgery.

Did your DH have relief for long after the cartilage surgery ? (even this fills me with terror) I have 2 DC and have no idea how I would cope after any surgery.

Thank you very much.

fedupwithdeployment Fri 22-Feb-13 10:36:09

I have had knee problems (self inflicted - skiing) but they have largely been resolved by arthroscopies. One at 20 and one at about 37. They will never be great and I am sure that I will need replacements at some stage.

Over the past few years I was blaming a few things on my knee. But in Oct 2011 I started getting what I thought was groin strain. I ignored it for a couple of months, and then saw a physio. Not much improved and I was referred to a Dr. I was told I had severe osteo arthritis in my left hip and that the right one would have issues within 5-10 years. so at the age of just 41 I had a full hip replacement. I was pretty shocked at the time, but the recovery was amazing. Within 8 weeks I hiked up an Alp (quite an easy path), did Tarzan style swinging through the trees with the boys and most importantly felt I could keep up with the children, as opposed to walking slowly and gingerly. If I hadn't had it done, the pain was gettinga lot worse, and I worried that it would impact my back and other parts of my body.

I know the kneee joint is different and more complicated. My father had one replacement following septic arthritis about 18 months ago. It was a slower recovery than mine, but now he is a new man. At 71 he is happily cycling, walking round the golf course etc.

My Dad said it was pretty painful - but nothing like the pain of the septic arthritis.

I can honestly say that it was never that bad. The burning of the arthritis was the worst. And if I stubbed by toe, the hip would reverberate. But the op itself was fine. I was warned it would hurt, and the worst pain I had was from the constipation caused by the drugs. I was up within a day, walking along the corridor within 2 days, up and down steps on I think 3rd day. I did get tired though, and perhaps had a tendency to try and overdo things. I walked to shops (a mile) after 4 weeks, and while it didn't hurt, I felt sooooo tired.

I don't know what will be right for you Yappy, but I am very glad I had my op, and have no fears of the next op when I need that one (on the right hand side). Less thrilled about having a replacement replacement in 25-20 years - but I want to spend my 40s adn 50s having fun and being active, and not crippled before my time.

Best of luck.

fedupwithdeployment Fri 22-Feb-13 10:36:55

Oh, and I was by no means the youngest patient in the hospital. Someone had both sides done at 21, and there were also a couple of patients in their 30s.

CMOTDibbler Fri 22-Feb-13 10:39:44

Well, one lot of cartilage surgery was really easy, the other (where they took most of the cartilage out) left him on crutches for 5 weeks, but it did help.

Really, don't panic till you have seen someone who knows what they are talking about and has seen MRIs of your knee - and thats not a GP. Sounds like your knee is nowhere near as bad as dhs and they were still looking at loads of alternatives for him and couldn't make that decision till after 5 sets of xrays, an MRI and a nuclear medicine scan

OverlyYappy Fri 22-Feb-13 11:08:28

Thank you both, the Tarzan comment made me feel better as last summer I was swinging from Trees at the local country park and hopefully, the ex-rays may show my leg just needs rest and the cold weather to go away.

It feels fine in the morning but sore as soon as it has to bend again (walking, sitting) and is at its most painful after a full day of either.

I will put it to the back of mind again for now.

Thanks again. smile

fedupwithdeployment Fri 22-Feb-13 12:00:37

Good luck. See what the consultant recommends, and when you have the full facts you can then make a decision.

I have also remembered that when i was 30 I fell and badly damaged my ACL. By the time I saw a consultant it was 6 months after the accident, and I felt ok (I had booked my next skiing holiday (I am a glutton for punishment). He said he would do a replacement given the state of my knee. I said I'd see if I managed to ski, (everything else was working fine) and get back to him....I skied, it was fine, and I am glad I postponed that one! Clearly I didn't need it. Feel very different about the hip.

digerd Fri 22-Feb-13 20:37:21

You cannot kneel with replacement knees or crouch. The most usual knee damage in younger people is cartilage, but most of them have been ballet dancers/athletes etc.
But only an MRI scan can diagnose that. Keyhole surgery is also used to flush out debris causing knee pain, but all those I know have been over 50.
I had the cartilage done and they found arthritis in the bones as well 7 years ago, and recently I have had pain in my hip area . But I am also well over 50. A normal X-ray should show if the hip is arthritic and the knee, but for the soft tissues only an MRI scan can detect them.
I don't want either replacement joint.

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