Alternatives to knee replacements

Posted by rorygrabowsky @rorygrabowsky, Jan 2 12:43pm

I 'm looking for people that have had injections of some materials into the knee that can give me some info that will help in my decision. The arthritis in both knees are always creating clicking sounds. I don't have pain in the knees, but it's affecting my balance and creating pain in other parts of my legs and more. Please help me.

@rorygrbowsky: even though you addressed the question regarding pain/activity to John, I want to tell you that the worst pain – during the day, at least, not counting while doing the rehab exercises, gradually got better over the span of about 6 weeks. At night I still had quite a bit of pain for at least 4 months. However, after the initial 9 days of Oxycodone, and maybe another week of X-strength Tylenol, I never took any kind of pain reliever. My choice. Lots if icing, though! Activities: walking on relatively level surfaces pretty much immediately after surgery. Walking up and down stairs possible, but painful for a while, and about 6 months before it felt safe doing it without holding on to railings. But I still prefer a railing when there is one…. Walking on uneven surfaces (trails, or, in my case, doing yard work, lugging dirt/mulch etc.up and down backyard slope) took about 3 to 4 months. Swimming: backstroke within 2 months, breaststroke another 4 weeks after that. I don’t do butterfly or freestyle. Kneeling: pretty much forget it. Some people can do it with knee pads or pillow under knee, but for all practical purposes, not realistic compared to what your own knee is capable of. Getting in and out of car – about 6 to 7 months of swiveling butt in seat, and stepping out with both feet at once. This refers to right-knee replacement, and the leg twisting motion most people do without even thinking about it when exiting car hurt for the longest time. Getting in, no problem. That about covers the basics, as I remember them. Hope that helps. One more comment: it really depends a lot on your current lifestyle, and limitations because of the knee pain. I am pretty active, and was tired of the pain each time I got up out of a chair, or was walking down some stairs, or down a hill, or just plain walking. So even if I could have waited with the TKR and taken a lot of pain medication perhaps, I wanted to get back to something approaching normal function.

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You are so generous and I thank you. Would you ever go thru the procedure if there was an alternative like injections of a material to cushion the knee and or stem cell replacement. If you explored those and or any other alternative, I would welcome that info.

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@rorygrabowsky

You are so generous and I thank you. Would you ever go thru the procedure if there was an alternative like injections of a material to cushion the knee and or stem cell replacement. If you explored those and or any other alternative, I would welcome that info.

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@rorygrabowsky, I'm not sure if your question was to me or @ellerbracke but for me if there was an alternative that would provide relief and it would last several years I would probably do the alternative unless the cost was prohibitive and not covered by most insurance like stem cell therapy. I think most of the alternatives are really more useful for younger adults but that's just my non medical opinion.

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Thanks again for your valued info

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@rorygrabowsky

Do you know if a recumbent bike is better than the regular setting? Do you feel that if you did all the exercising and built up the muscles around your knee, that you could have avoided the procedure??

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@rorygrabowsky My TKR had to be delayed for a few years due to platelet problems. During that time I exercised my knee a lot and got to the point where I had much less pain. A number of people did not understand why I still went through with the TKR but I figured that eventually I would need it and the current thought seems to be not to wait until you can't manage without, but to get it when you know do need it. If you wait until you are in very severe pain the rehab is more difficult. That being said, I do not have the flex I would like to have, and for me as with most people, replacement knees are not as good as natural knees, so I am not sure if I jumped the gun or not.

I think it's really a personal choice and if you manage to get your pain under control I think delaying the TKR may not be a bad idea, unless your orthopedic doctor has reasons that would contradict that. My doctor is pretty honest so I would trust his opinion. There are doctors, I am sure, who would want to get it done and not be as honest about waiting.
JK

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@rorygrabowsky

You are so generous and I thank you. Would you ever go thru the procedure if there was an alternative like injections of a material to cushion the knee and or stem cell replacement. If you explored those and or any other alternative, I would welcome that info.

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I would absolutely try stem cell therapy or similar before having a knee replacement if my other knee should get to that point. No matter how good the artificial knee works, and in my case it works extremely well, super flexible, occasional aches when overdoing things, or big weather changes, otherwise just fine – it is not the same as your original. Unfortunately, no surgeon will tell you about alternatives, and I did not do enough diligent research to know about them.

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Cortisone injections will help at first for varying lengths of time but there will come a time when they no longer work. Same thing with hyaluronic acid injections. Stem cell treatment only works for some people and seldom lasts that long. They are certainly options to try before having a TKR though. Good luck!

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@clbs

Cortisone injections will help at first for varying lengths of time but there will come a time when they no longer work. Same thing with hyaluronic acid injections. Stem cell treatment only works for some people and seldom lasts that long. They are certainly options to try before having a TKR though. Good luck!

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i found the combination of stem cells and PRP worked the best. Yes, its expensive. I had my TKR paid for and now i suffer daily from that mistake. Its your call.

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@ellerbracke

I would absolutely try stem cell therapy or similar before having a knee replacement if my other knee should get to that point. No matter how good the artificial knee works, and in my case it works extremely well, super flexible, occasional aches when overdoing things, or big weather changes, otherwise just fine – it is not the same as your original. Unfortunately, no surgeon will tell you about alternatives, and I did not do enough diligent research to know about them.

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Glad to hear your TKR worked for you. I agree, its not the same. All my surgeon said was my scar tissue looked good. 5 years later he said it appeared lose. I went to another surgeon and he said he did not think so. So i bike a lot. Walking is not fun.

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Definitely do your research. Before my TKR I was told by many that all would be good just”do the physical therapy. “ I did the therapy for about 5 months and it has now been almost one year later and I still have much pain and lack of mobility. Now I hear that many have this same problem. I absolutely wish I had researched more . At my last exam my surgeon said…”the implant looks perfect. I wish I could help you.” I am thinking of seeing another for a second opinion? Is more therapy needed? scar tissue? I need more answers.

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@glokart1957

Definitely do your research. Before my TKR I was told by many that all would be good just”do the physical therapy. “ I did the therapy for about 5 months and it has now been almost one year later and I still have much pain and lack of mobility. Now I hear that many have this same problem. I absolutely wish I had researched more . At my last exam my surgeon said…”the implant looks perfect. I wish I could help you.” I am thinking of seeing another for a second opinion? Is more therapy needed? scar tissue? I need more answers.

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Please keep me posted. I'm very interested in your decision.

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@cobweb

Glad to hear your TKR worked for you. I agree, its not the same. All my surgeon said was my scar tissue looked good. 5 years later he said it appeared lose. I went to another surgeon and he said he did not think so. So i bike a lot. Walking is not fun.

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I'm starting to do my exercycle again. What kind of resistance do you use and do you feel any pain. My physical therapist always told me that the pain that you feel is feeding nutrition into the muscles around and into the knees, Please stay in touch and a Very Happy and HEALTHY 2021 to you and your great family.

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