Just some thoughts about my TKR, reasons for certain decisions, and results. If this topic should be posted in the “just want to talk” group instead of here, I’m sure the mentors can move it.
Also, I wanted to mention right from the start that I have had tinnitus for several years, which can be aggravated by pain medications, especially long-term, so that really was not ever an option.
Here it goes – and I have to go way back to lead up to TKR.
10 years ago I suffered ever increasing severe pain in my right shoulder and arm. MRI showed bone spur, and rotator cuff tear. During repair surgery it also turned out that the biceps tendon had been worn down and was too damaged to repair, so it was cut and released. Normal recovery, back on tennis court within 4 months, total recovery and 100% back to normal within a year.
5 years ago same problems started on left shoulder. Instead of waiting and suffering, and potentially messing up the tendon as well, repair surgery on that side. Identical recovery, 100% mobility within a year.
Forward to 2017: rather sudden, severe pain in right knee. Went from slight twinges to intense pain in the span of 4 weeks. The leg would buckle when I tried to walk on it since it was that painful. When I tried to do my standard 2-mile walk in the morning, I had to turn back after 20 yards, could not do it. Cortisone injection, no relief. MRI showed osteoarthritis, meniscus tear, cartilage damage. Based on the excellent results with both shoulder procedures I easily consented to arthroscopic surgery, of course expecting the same wonderful results. Not this time! In spite of doing everything the PT people recommended, the knee kept hurting. 5 months after surgery I tried hyalunic injections – no improvement. I was able to walk with varying degrees of pain, but only on level ground. Absolutely impossible to walk down steps in a normal fashion, or to walk downhill (had to turn sideways!), and uphill in pain. That brought me to the decision to have the TKR 11 months later.
Now, 6 months have passed, things are mostly going very well. However, there are definitely limitations as to what I can do, and I sometimes question whether I jumped the gun by having the replacement done in the first place. On the other hand, once I had been in pain for over a year, and not a fan of or candidate for long-term pain management with medication, it seemed like the best option.
Perhaps there are others who are also ambivalent about having had the TKR, or who decided to not do it? And what alternative did they chose? Not that I can undo the surgery, but who knows when the left knee decides to follow suit and starts acting up……..