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Readers Respond: Having Knee Replacement Surgery

Responses: 52

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Updated January 13, 2010

knee

You have knee pain that keeps you awake, or awakens you, at night. You have knee pain which limits activities necessary to go about your daily routine (such as getting up from a chair or climbing stairs). You have knee pain that limits activities that give you pleasure (such as walking for exercise, traveling or shopping.). You have tried other treatments for a reasonable period of time, and you still have persistent knee pain. You and your doctor must consider many other factors prior to surgery, including age, overall health, and bone density. But the list above will give you an idea when you should begin to consider knee replacement surgery.
—Guest geeta

I think its time.

I am 33 years old and had knee surgery at the age of 18 years old due to the fact that I shattered half of my knee cap playing volleyball in school. I had my knee cap reconstructed with ligiments. But over the last year I have had extreme amounts of pain that have brought me to tears and my knee cap has started popping in and out again. Do you think I am thinking of knee replacement too soon? I am going to see my doctor about it asap.
—Guest TooYoung

It is time

I am 48 years old. My knee is now bone on bone. It hurts to walk and I am occasionally falling.
—Guest diane sholly

Total knee replacement

I just turned 70 and I go two the gym at least 5 days. I can walk up & down stairs with not too much pain. I am almost bone on bone with no cartilage. I do wear a brace when we walk a lot. I am afraid with surgery because I fear it would be worse...
—Guest taurus

Its time

I am 46 yrs old and have complete bone on bone. I have had osteochondritis since the age of 15 with many surgeries. I am just fed up and tired of living with knee pain. When my knees take over my thoughts for the majority of the day, then it is time. No more waiting because I am too young. I Am on the list now.
—Guest Cbee

patient

total hip replaced in '09 rt knee pain, no cartilege, bone on bone, love playing tennis but told not to now, golf ok. Is replacement inevitable?
—Guest mary lou

Recovery

I am a 70yr old female with bone on bone left knee and OA. I walk and climb stairs when the OA kicks in I take one step at a time. Do I wait when I cannot take the pain and would I be too old for surgery.
—Guest maygirl

Also struggling with decision.

I am 56, have bone-on-bone arthritis of lateral left knee and starting on the right. I’ve had the scope, shots , have curtailed activities, worn a brace, and taken various NSAIDS for years---long term those have their own side effects. I am amazed at how much older and more active than me some of the contributors are & with even more discomfort. Makes me ashamed to even think of my own pain....but hard to ignore it. When to do it considerations are what keep me holding on a little longer. Such as, younger you are more likelihood of outliving them and needing another replacement—and health at that time unpredictable. Too old and surgical risk is poorer and recovery time longer. But, that advice that “you will know when it is time for you…” My mom subscribed to that for many years…then when she decided it was the “right time”…her remaining bone structure was too deteriorated to work with. She will continue to suffer the rest of her days. That's why I may go sooner.
—Guest Guestdeddy

Which knee should I do first?

Both need a partial knee replacement. Only one at a time. The right had a scope in 2000. My left knee was scoped in 2003. I have tried to hold on because I had other health problems that could not be delayed. The pain is never gone. My right aches all the time and I can manage it but it is getting harder. My left knee really bothered me when I over did until the last few months. When cold weather and snow would be coming the left knee would hurt to the point I could not do anything. I had to ice it and take medication. It is the left one flares up and makes it impossible to do anything. But the flare ups are not consistent. The right leg does more with driving and aches everyday. The doc said to pick the one that is the worst...I am afraid I am going to make the wrong decision.
—GredaC

Knee Surgery

I am 62 moderately active (golf, walking, mountain biking). I have a bone on bone issue in the knee and I have discomfort. Is it sooner the better or wait until I am in real pain
—Guest Paul D.

I think it is time

I have had 4 operations on my right knee, the last one being a micro fracture (failed). I have run 88 marathons, used to play hockey, softball, Tennis and golf. Now I live each day with 1 hour of no pain. The doctor has tried cortisone, nerve blockers, pain meds, etc. Still in pain. I have very little arthritis but I have no lateral cartilage, bone on bone. I am 54 and the last two years have been hell. I have gained weight and have made activities a non-existent memory.
—Guest vtguy

Am I ready?

After athroscopy on both knees and numerous pain treatments, my doctor told me it's time to consider knee replacement surgery. I have trouble walking distances and general shopping, but they say when "you wake up at night from the pain" it's time. I wake up because my knees become stiff and won't bend when I move, is this the pain?
—Guest Cajun754

Limiting my life

Some doctor's seem to use an arbitrary age to determine time of surgery, but I think it's more about functioning in everyday life. Two months ago (10-21-10), I had my right knee replaced. I'm 49. When the surgeon told me that eventually it would need to be done I cried. It was a shock. Then I went home, the cortisone shot wore off quickly, and I stopped doing most of the things I enjoy because of pain. Recovery has not been the walk in the park that many indicate. I'm still uncomfortable and still have some pain two months out. I spent close to 3 weeks in rehab because I live alone; when you live alone, even if someone stays the night, you tend to do too much. My surgeon did not tell me to expect going to "a nursing home" for that long! Doing PT diligently is critical. I am confident that I will soon be pain-free and function well. But nothing anyone said prepared me for the level of pain which I experienced after surgery.
—Guest Anne

Pain and Restricted Mobility

I have bone on bone with a torn ACL in left knee. I can still play tennis (doubles), and walk 2 miles any day I wish. But I do experience pain during the night and restricted mobility with limited knee flexion. I'm 74 and worry if I wait too long I may regret it...
—Guest desertdood

Knee Replacement After Multiple Surgerie

I'm 49 years old and have had 8 surgeries on my right knee two of which were ACL reconstructions. I have a hard time walking (painful) and with a limp. I wake up during the night. My family physician said he hasn't seen a knee this bad for someone my age. He said knee replacement is needed. I have no problem with PT--I had to be slowed down by my orthopedic surgeon after my last ACL surgery. I have been athletic all my life.
—John2261

When is it Time?

Having Knee Replacement Surgery

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