I need a TKR: Do I do it, or go as long as I can?

Posted by happyat76 @happyat76, Oct 30, 2019

I was told in January of this year that I need a TKR as there is bone rubbing on bone, no cartilage in my left knee. I was seen by an Orthopaedic surgeon in a hospital and I saw the x-ray myself. My question is this. I can still walk, although my knee gives out sometimes, I have a throbbing pain constantly and I do have some troubling walking. I can’t walk far. What should I do? Should I book the operation? Should ?I let it go for a while longer? What will be the outcome if wait? I am 78 now and really don’t want to go through with this, but am worried that I may end up in a wheelchair not being able to walk. I am also about 50 lbs. overweight. I have a bad back also. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Joint Replacements group.

Oh my, all of you have posted some great remarks and suggestions. Would you believe that I still haven't had the operation on my knee. The Dr. wanted to do the operation in the summer of 2019, but I said no. Now here it is May of 2021 and because of Covid, I haven't been able to have this operation. My knee is much worse now and I am still trying to lose the weight. I can't walk very far and when I get up from sitting, oh boy does it hurt. I am going to be 80 this July 4th and am still not sure if I want to go through this ordeal or just suffer with the pain.

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I want to find out what this operation is about

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@happyat76

I want to find out what this operation is about

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Hello @happyat76, You will notice that we have merged your discussion to a similar discussion you started on the same topic so that other members following your story can stay updated. It sounds like you are still undecided about getting a knee replacement to help with the pain. I had my right knee replaced two years ago when I was 76 and it has gotten rid of the pain for me. One of the keys for me for having a successful recovery was following the surgeons instructions by doing pre-surgery exercises and post-surgery exercises to build the knee strength and make recovery easier.

Here is some information on the knee replacement procedure if that is the question you are asking – https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/knee-replacement/about/pac-20385276.

It sounds like you were still trying to decide whether or not to live with the pain in May of last year. Have you made a decision yet or discussed your concerns with your doctor or surgeon?

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@johnbishop

Hello @happyat76, You will notice that we have merged your discussion to a similar discussion you started on the same topic so that other members following your story can stay updated. It sounds like you are still undecided about getting a knee replacement to help with the pain. I had my right knee replaced two years ago when I was 76 and it has gotten rid of the pain for me. One of the keys for me for having a successful recovery was following the surgeons instructions by doing pre-surgery exercises and post-surgery exercises to build the knee strength and make recovery easier.

Here is some information on the knee replacement procedure if that is the question you are asking – https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/knee-replacement/about/pac-20385276.

It sounds like you were still trying to decide whether or not to live with the pain in May of last year. Have you made a decision yet or discussed your concerns with your doctor or surgeon?

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Im 65 years of age. I worked a very physical job heavy lifting on my feet the entire time 8 hours. I had to wait for my retirement. I waited over a year. I wore an off loader brace (got from my ortho doctor) however. If I had not been so close to retirement (if I had taken off the time to recover I would of had to make up the time for retirement) i didnt want to go back to the tough job after I had the TKR.
I also need the other knee done. I had my TKR in July 2021 end of the month. I will be getting the other knee done March 2022.
I believe there is such a thing as waiting too long. Ive also heard and read about this theory.
Im doing great with my replacement. I have had issues with hypertrophy incision THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY SURGEON.
I wish I could of had my TKR sooner. The no pain in my knee joint and getting around has been wonderful .

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@happyat76

Oh my, all of you have posted some great remarks and suggestions. Would you believe that I still haven't had the operation on my knee. The Dr. wanted to do the operation in the summer of 2019, but I said no. Now here it is May of 2021 and because of Covid, I haven't been able to have this operation. My knee is much worse now and I am still trying to lose the weight. I can't walk very far and when I get up from sitting, oh boy does it hurt. I am going to be 80 this July 4th and am still not sure if I want to go through this ordeal or just suffer with the pain.

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I had my tkr in Aug of last year my recovery has been very difficult….6 weeks after surgery I had manipulation with swelling it did not help much……I started land therapy after first appointment with dr I did not get far my knee would swell up each time we change therapy ….. I used ice I exercise at home I do everything they tell me to do with no results. I know I am not the average tkr patient …, when I went to get my knee done I looked at dr reviews I seen all the positive there were few negatives I read them it was just what I am going through I thought than that won’t be me I be back to work in three weeks…. Well I am one of those negative outcomes …… my dr gave up on me told me just keep exercise at home may take 6 months to a year …well that was not good enough for me did my own research found this website which is awesome, water therapy , and mfr …. With mfr and water therapy my leg is straight my bend still work in progress it is 85 but I have come long way ….. I know my other knee needs to be done but I will never put myself through this again…i am not trying to scare you just letting you know does not always go as planned ….. good luck to you have a speedy recovery whenever you decide to do …. You are doing good getting support system in place ….good luck to you in whatever you decide to do

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@johnbishop

Hello @happyat76, You will notice that we have merged your discussion to a similar discussion you started on the same topic so that other members following your story can stay updated. It sounds like you are still undecided about getting a knee replacement to help with the pain. I had my right knee replaced two years ago when I was 76 and it has gotten rid of the pain for me. One of the keys for me for having a successful recovery was following the surgeons instructions by doing pre-surgery exercises and post-surgery exercises to build the knee strength and make recovery easier.

Here is some information on the knee replacement procedure if that is the question you are asking – https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/knee-replacement/about/pac-20385276.

It sounds like you were still trying to decide whether or not to live with the pain in May of last year. Have you made a decision yet or discussed your concerns with your doctor or surgeon?

Jump to this post

Hello John,
Thank you very much for your reply. To be honest, I did have the surgery done on my knee on October 21, 2021. I was kind of looking for some remarks as to how long it takes to get back to some kind of normal. I will tell you my story. I don't have any more OA in my knee and I can walk pretty well, go up and downstairs with not too much trouble. I did see the specialist last week and he is quite pleased with what he saw. I didn't ask him the questions I wanted an answer for as I was in a very depressed mood that day because I was alone and was very nervous. I usually am. I can bend my knee just so far and it begins to hurt in the back of my knee. This will most likely get better as I do the exercises right? My knee still feels very tight, what is this about? I get some really sharp pains in my knee and down my leg now and then. The Dr. said to be patient and the pain will go away in another three months. He also said it takes about one year to get sort of back to normal. What do you think about what I have said now?

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@ezas123

I had my tkr in Aug of last year my recovery has been very difficult….6 weeks after surgery I had manipulation with swelling it did not help much……I started land therapy after first appointment with dr I did not get far my knee would swell up each time we change therapy ….. I used ice I exercise at home I do everything they tell me to do with no results. I know I am not the average tkr patient …, when I went to get my knee done I looked at dr reviews I seen all the positive there were few negatives I read them it was just what I am going through I thought than that won’t be me I be back to work in three weeks…. Well I am one of those negative outcomes …… my dr gave up on me told me just keep exercise at home may take 6 months to a year …well that was not good enough for me did my own research found this website which is awesome, water therapy , and mfr …. With mfr and water therapy my leg is straight my bend still work in progress it is 85 but I have come long way ….. I know my other knee needs to be done but I will never put myself through this again…i am not trying to scare you just letting you know does not always go as planned ….. good luck to you have a speedy recovery whenever you decide to do …. You are doing good getting support system in place ….good luck to you in whatever you decide to do

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I am so sorry to hear of your pain and struggle after your knee surgery. I did have the surgery on October 21, 2021, and I think I am doing quite well with the exercises, etc. I still feel like my knee is in a vice as it is tight all the time. I can walk, climb stairs and some of the exercises I can do and some I can't do.
I am still getting pain in my knee, but the Dr. said to be patient that this is very normal. He said it takes about 6 months to get back to some normalcy and up to a year to get back to normal. I am truly blessed that this operation turned out the way it did, especially since Covid.

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@happyat76

Hello John,
Thank you very much for your reply. To be honest, I did have the surgery done on my knee on October 21, 2021. I was kind of looking for some remarks as to how long it takes to get back to some kind of normal. I will tell you my story. I don't have any more OA in my knee and I can walk pretty well, go up and downstairs with not too much trouble. I did see the specialist last week and he is quite pleased with what he saw. I didn't ask him the questions I wanted an answer for as I was in a very depressed mood that day because I was alone and was very nervous. I usually am. I can bend my knee just so far and it begins to hurt in the back of my knee. This will most likely get better as I do the exercises right? My knee still feels very tight, what is this about? I get some really sharp pains in my knee and down my leg now and then. The Dr. said to be patient and the pain will go away in another three months. He also said it takes about one year to get sort of back to normal. What do you think about what I have said now?

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@happyat76, It sounds to me like you are right on schedule. I think I may have had similar feelings at 3 months out from my TKR. Patience is not one of my better virtues and I do think it takes some patience, as well as sticking with regular exercises to strengthen the leg and knee.

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@johnbishop

@happyat76, It sounds to me like you are right on schedule. I think I may have had similar feelings at 3 months out from my TKR. Patience is not one of my better virtues and I do think it takes some patience, as well as sticking with regular exercises to strengthen the leg and knee.

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thank you so much for your quick reply John. Being patient for me is a good
thing and I do it every day. You must work on this for yourself.

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Here is my experience:
I am currently 48 years old and have had both knees replaced. The right in August of 2020 and the left in November 2021. Both were troublesome surgeries that have left me with a lot of anxiety and my depression has kicked up a lot also. The first replacement itself wasnt bad, but I got sick with a stomach bacteria from the pain meds.
The second one, I ended up having to have a second surgery because of a malfunction with the device and a catch pin came out.
Lately a lot of my pain is in my back, as I had with the first.
Both surgeries I feel were worse on my mental health and relationships than the replacement of the knees. A lot has happened that I cant get back.
If I had to make this decision again, I dont think I'd do either one. But that is me, with my experience. And I am in no way saying anyone else would have the same experience or even close to it.
I guess my message is more of making sure you know every possible thing you can know. If you have depression and/or anxiety be aware that this can really cause havoc on you!
Best of luck with whatever you choose.

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@bluesquirrel

Here is my experience:
I am currently 48 years old and have had both knees replaced. The right in August of 2020 and the left in November 2021. Both were troublesome surgeries that have left me with a lot of anxiety and my depression has kicked up a lot also. The first replacement itself wasnt bad, but I got sick with a stomach bacteria from the pain meds.
The second one, I ended up having to have a second surgery because of a malfunction with the device and a catch pin came out.
Lately a lot of my pain is in my back, as I had with the first.
Both surgeries I feel were worse on my mental health and relationships than the replacement of the knees. A lot has happened that I cant get back.
If I had to make this decision again, I dont think I'd do either one. But that is me, with my experience. And I am in no way saying anyone else would have the same experience or even close to it.
I guess my message is more of making sure you know every possible thing you can know. If you have depression and/or anxiety be aware that this can really cause havoc on you!
Best of luck with whatever you choose.

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I backed out of my TKR based on a blood test showing I would be allergic to the metals in the implant. I had to pay $600 out of pocket as Medicare will pay for the TKR, but not for allergy testing to the implants. After reading from bloggers like yourself I am now grateful I paid for that testing. Even if I wasn't allergic, I would rather be using a boost chair or a walker than living in the physical and mental pain that you and others are experiencing. I can walk on flat ground all day without pain, but bending and getting up and down is a painful challenge. I've accepted this amount of difficulty.

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@happyat76

I want to find out what this operation is about

Jump to this post

This might be a little long. I injured both my shoulder and knee back in approximately 2005. Had meniscus surgery on my knee in 2006 because it was completely torn. Everything went well. Had shoulder surgery in 2008 or so. Dr said was a mess and would take year of pt to rehab. Did not get good physical therapy. Anyhow I was only pain free for 6 months after a year and a half. I suffered in pain with shoulder for many years after thinking there was nothing else to do. Knee was great until I fell in 2018. Went to therapy for shoulder and knee. Knee got better but therapist said my shoulder was not improving and sent me back to primary care physician for MRI which then I was sent to orthopedics. He was a military surgeon who said I needed a reverse total shoulder which would require major rehab and hard work on my part. Anyhow I was very anxious about it but went through it. He told me to find a physical therapy place for rehab close to home. I called different places then visited a few and picked where I wanted to go. The place I chose said I would have the same therapist for each appointment! That clinched it for me. Ortho said reverse total shoulder is the most difficult recovery then the total knee with hip replacement being the easiest. I ended up with a great young 2 years out of school therapist who was and is a great therapist. Being into fitness and body builder he had just been through shoulder surgery himself and he rehabbed himself so he honestly had first hand knowledge of what I was experiencing. He is very detail oriented and it was so nice to have continuity of care. My scar looks amazing he made sure no scar tissue built up and I noticed that things he would say was exactly the same as the surgeon. Unfortunately for me there was an area the surgeon was unable to fix because he said I wouldn’t be able to use the arm. Having said all that even though I still go for dry needling from overdoing it because other muscles have to take over since I no longer have a rotator cuff. I am still way better off today with replacement. I believe had I gone back after the initial surgery failed I would have done better quicker. why do I say that
My knee started hurting etc again in 2021. When I saw my same surgeon he did X-rays said I needed a total knee. I said only if he would do it. Then I asked my pt would he take me on for that. I felt like I had the dream team again. Did pre surgery pt had the knee surgery was in the pt office doing therapy 2 days post op. Had surgery in May 2021 my knee is great.
Had 8 months pt with my same therapist. My surgeon used a robot I forgot it’s name but you can watch a total knee replacement surgery on u tube. I watched it after my surgery. I feel I did so much better with knee because I didn’t wait too long. I watched my mom end up in a wheel chair because she refused to have knee replacements and the pain got so bad for her! Did not want that for myself.
In addition my therapist explained that the exercise program he gave me needs to be a lifetime commitment. To date since reverse total shoulder surgery 2019 and total knee 2021 I’ve been doing all my exercises! Hopefully I will keep it up because I don’t want to take any steps backwards if I can help it.
Made sure to get all equipment and clothing ahead of time for surgery. Find a great surgeon and physical therapist!
Best of luck

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