What’s the criteria for getting a knee replaced?

Posted by Tttttt @ecook, Sep 7, 2018

I’ve been suffering with knee pain for over 5 years yet get the run around with doctors wanting me to get cortisone shots or pay for synvisc shots. I’ve done both of these with cortisone 4 times now. I’m only 60 and think that’s the real reason they won’t do it. Any insight would be welcome.

I had TKR 16 days ago. Age 69. Not sure if one would call it elective…. arthroscopic surgery on same knee 12 months ago for torn Meniscus, torn cartilege, and arthritis on Tibia and Patella did not result in long-term relief. In spite of consistent rehab exercises for months, Supartz injections, and Cortisone. Aleve -daily- would help to some extent, but by afternoon knee would be hot, painful, and swollen. Not a fan of lifelong pain meds. (kidney, liver….) Anyway: I was able to do pretty much all I had to do — with considerable pain – , but none of the things I like to do (tennis, hiking….). So rather than wait and prostphone the inevitable, I went ahead with TKR. Turned out that Arthritis had worsened a lot, and several bone spurs had developed, so pain would only have gotten worse. I figure I’m getting more benefit out of being active at 69 and potentially have to slow down at 85, than miss out on good things now by worrying about potential revision 15 years from now.

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PS. Forgot to mention that the pain in the right knee started to affect my movement, so my Sciatica started to re-develop, also right hip pain and left ankle pain. I was concerned that by waiting on the knee I would end up with other joints “out of joint”!

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@vvfleisch

I've had knee pain for four years, receiving Ortho Visc injections and/or cortisone shots and when I realized these weren't giving me the relief I needed, I had surgery, 12 days ago. These initial days have been basically rough on me but like so many other people, I do not even look forward to going to bed at night because I'm restless much of the night. I have looked for videos of the best sleeping positions after TKR and feel like I'm not seeing what I'm looking for. I'm sleeping on my back but can't find 'that comfort spot' for my knee. I put my leg on a pillow and then my other leg almost feels a tingling sensation. I hate sleep at night………I'm icing my knee as I type now but know I need to return to an uncomfortable sleeping position. I almost look forward to daylight so this restless sleeping cycle ends.

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Hello @vvfleisch, welcome to Connect. I have not had a TKR yet but do share the knee pain and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position at night. I ran across a YouTube video that may be helpful.

Best Position to Sleep After a Total Knee Replacement:

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@ellerbracke

I had TKR 16 days ago. Age 69. Not sure if one would call it elective…. arthroscopic surgery on same knee 12 months ago for torn Meniscus, torn cartilege, and arthritis on Tibia and Patella did not result in long-term relief. In spite of consistent rehab exercises for months, Supartz injections, and Cortisone. Aleve -daily- would help to some extent, but by afternoon knee would be hot, painful, and swollen. Not a fan of lifelong pain meds. (kidney, liver….) Anyway: I was able to do pretty much all I had to do — with considerable pain – , but none of the things I like to do (tennis, hiking….). So rather than wait and prostphone the inevitable, I went ahead with TKR. Turned out that Arthritis had worsened a lot, and several bone spurs had developed, so pain would only have gotten worse. I figure I’m getting more benefit out of being active at 69 and potentially have to slow down at 85, than miss out on good things now by worrying about potential revision 15 years from now.

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@ellerbracke sorry for your pain I live with pain from back fracture and other problems one thing I found helps is drinking ginger-Tumeric tea research has shown Tumeric is anti inflammatory response for the pain we have When your knee is as you said swollen,hot drink the tea You can only buy it at Trader Joe's Several people have told me drinking it before bedtime gives them a restfull quality of sleep This goes for everyone who has pain .I also do a 500 mg capsule daily.

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@johnbishop

Hello @vvfleisch, welcome to Connect. I have not had a TKR yet but do share the knee pain and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position at night. I ran across a YouTube video that may be helpful.

Best Position to Sleep After a Total Knee Replacement:

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Thank you!

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@lioness

@ellerbracke sorry for your pain I live with pain from back fracture and other problems one thing I found helps is drinking ginger-Tumeric tea research has shown Tumeric is anti inflammatory response for the pain we have When your knee is as you said swollen,hot drink the tea You can only buy it at Trader Joe's Several people have told me drinking it before bedtime gives them a restfull quality of sleep This goes for everyone who has pain .I also do a 500 mg capsule daily.

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Thank you for this helpful information!

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I am at day 17, and even a few days make a big difference. Not being a back sleeper, I have differrent problems at night (yes, I have pain, and have yet to sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch), but I suspect that the tingling in the good leg is caused by pressure on that sciatic nerve. I was told in the hospital not to use a pillow cross-wise when on my back, but use it lengthwise under the leg to cradle it. Perhaps you could try to put a very small and low pillow crosswise under your good leg to balance your hip angles. Can’t hurt to try! Otherwise, try looking toward the future (and remember how bad it was that made you go for this surgery). I try to do that when I get discouraged.

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If I could go back 6 years and refuse my 1st left TKR I would. I ended up fracturing the 1st 3 prosthesis'. I was told the 1st 2 were due to me being allergic to bone cement. Never have been able to find out why #3 failed. But it also fractured. I had a fractured tibia when all this started and a delay in a proper diagnosis caused me to hobble around on the fracture which destroyed the cartilage. I am told each of the 3 new joints were 'top of the line' and they shouldn't have broken. Now, after 3 new knee joints and 4 operations (incl 1 antibiotic spacer) ended up with the bone ends being "trimmed" and now my left leg is about 3" shorter than my right. I was told by my surgeons (4 over the 3 new knees) and each said this was a operation performed thousands of times/year. I believe I used the top of the local surgeons around here and do not doubt their experience and qualifications. But something isn't right! I hope no one else has to go through what I have. As far as knowing when it's time, the docs all said the patient knows when it's time and the meds and procedures no longer give relief. Good luck!

Liked by gardeningjunkie

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@lturn9

If I could go back 6 years and refuse my 1st left TKR I would. I ended up fracturing the 1st 3 prosthesis'. I was told the 1st 2 were due to me being allergic to bone cement. Never have been able to find out why #3 failed. But it also fractured. I had a fractured tibia when all this started and a delay in a proper diagnosis caused me to hobble around on the fracture which destroyed the cartilage. I am told each of the 3 new joints were 'top of the line' and they shouldn't have broken. Now, after 3 new knee joints and 4 operations (incl 1 antibiotic spacer) ended up with the bone ends being "trimmed" and now my left leg is about 3" shorter than my right. I was told by my surgeons (4 over the 3 new knees) and each said this was a operation performed thousands of times/year. I believe I used the top of the local surgeons around here and do not doubt their experience and qualifications. But something isn't right! I hope no one else has to go through what I have. As far as knowing when it's time, the docs all said the patient knows when it's time and the meds and procedures no longer give relief. Good luck!

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@iturn9. What metal was the prosthesis made of ?Ive heard alot of TKR people have had a cobalt prostheses I would suggest finding this out before you have anymore done When I was in O.R. the Dr used titanium knee replacement .

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@lturn9

If I could go back 6 years and refuse my 1st left TKR I would. I ended up fracturing the 1st 3 prosthesis'. I was told the 1st 2 were due to me being allergic to bone cement. Never have been able to find out why #3 failed. But it also fractured. I had a fractured tibia when all this started and a delay in a proper diagnosis caused me to hobble around on the fracture which destroyed the cartilage. I am told each of the 3 new joints were 'top of the line' and they shouldn't have broken. Now, after 3 new knee joints and 4 operations (incl 1 antibiotic spacer) ended up with the bone ends being "trimmed" and now my left leg is about 3" shorter than my right. I was told by my surgeons (4 over the 3 new knees) and each said this was a operation performed thousands of times/year. I believe I used the top of the local surgeons around here and do not doubt their experience and qualifications. But something isn't right! I hope no one else has to go through what I have. As far as knowing when it's time, the docs all said the patient knows when it's time and the meds and procedures no longer give relief. Good luck!

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Like you I have allergies to adhesives, cements and this has been a concern for me for when I need knee replacement.Just plain liquid bandage makes me blister up, even regular bandages. I am surprised the mesh put in for prolapsed bladder almost 3 years ago has caused no reaction. The surgeon told me the 'new mesh" did not cause reactions, but because of my fiber allergies I was concerned.

I am sure your bones have been tested, but do you have osteoporosis and weak bones so the knee replacement can't heal up with the bones. Many times it is not just one issue that leads to the calamity you are now dealing with.

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@ellerbracke

I am at day 17, and even a few days make a big difference. Not being a back sleeper, I have differrent problems at night (yes, I have pain, and have yet to sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch), but I suspect that the tingling in the good leg is caused by pressure on that sciatic nerve. I was told in the hospital not to use a pillow cross-wise when on my back, but use it lengthwise under the leg to cradle it. Perhaps you could try to put a very small and low pillow crosswise under your good leg to balance your hip angles. Can’t hurt to try! Otherwise, try looking toward the future (and remember how bad it was that made you go for this surgery). I try to do that when I get discouraged.

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@ellerbracke I also have sciatica from my fracture ,pain in lower back Im getting a adjustable bed ,when demonstrated with legs,head elevated some the release was to instant I could feel it let go no pain The bed is coming Thrusday

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So happy about the hope you have for getting relief with your new bed.

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@gardeningjunkie 2more days .thanks

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