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To knee or not to knee

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Spanakopita, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    I have my name on the list for a knee replacement in 3 months' time. But I can't decide whether to have it done or not. The consultant tells me that 80% of the people who have it done are pleased. 1 in 300 dies of a blood clot, 5 in a hundred get an infection and some feel stiff and uncomfortable ever after. I am in constant discomfort and have to go upstairs on all fours and find it painful to walk but I wonder if the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. Anyone here know anyone who's had such a replacement? Any anecdotal info? After the op one is apparently in pain and immobilised for 6 weeks and is not back to normal (even if one is one of the happy 80%) for 6 months. Any advice?
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I have my name on the list for a knee replacement in 3 months' time. But I can't decide whether to have it done or not. The consultant tells me that 80% of the people who have it done are pleased. 1 in 300 dies of a blood clot, 5 in a hundred get an infection and some feel stiff and uncomfortable ever after. I am in constant discomfort and have to go upstairs on all fours and find it painful to walk but I wonder if the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. Anyone here know anyone who's had such a replacement? Any anecdotal info? After the op one is apparently in pain and immobilised for 6 weeks and is not back to normal (even if one is one of the happy 80%) for 6 months. Any advice?
     
  3. oliverferret

    oliverferret New commenter

    My mother (an extremely active 76 year old) had this done about 2 years ago. She was in considerable pain for longer than 6 weeks and it was probably a year before she was comfortably mobile. During this period I think she regretted having the operation done, however, she is now back playing to playing golf once or twice a week (she was unable to play even a few holes pre-op) and is glad she went ahead. She is still not 100% and seems less steady on her feet (on stairs etc) and her knees are still sensitive ie she doesn't like my dog resting her head on her knees now.

    I think the op has considerably improved the quality of her life (and probably extended it as she is now physically active again). She recently took my teenage son out for a round of golf and complete thrashed him - not bad going for someone who was struggling round the house a couple of years ago.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Thanks for that feedback, v, which I have to say I don't find encouraging. I'm glad your mother is able to play golf now though.
     
  5. A ex colleague of mine had one knee replaced a few years ago, he is 62. He is now back on the badminton court with us and looking forward to having the other one done. Go for it! [​IMG]
     
  6. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    That sounds more positive, giggirl. Do you happen to know how long it took him to recover after the op?
     
  7. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    Mine said much the same, Lily.
     
  8. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    I have now, giraffe, and it made gruesome reading!
     
  9. The upshot seems to be that in the short term it will probably be rather unpleasant but that long term the chances are that it will improve your mobility and reduce pain.
     
  10. inq

    inq

    My dad aged 70 had both knees replaced at the same time as the consultant said this made life easier in the long run. He was told the key was perservering with the physio after and using a good vitamin E cream on the scars. He now plays golf several times a week, plays bowls and gardens. It has revolutionised his life having it done. (He's now 73.)
     
  11. I'd rather be uncomfortable for the rest of my life than constant pain, and the odds are you will be better.

    I'm suprised it is as high as 1/300 dieing of a blood clot, i could understand 1/300 getting a blood clot but that seems high to die.

    A friend had one about 20 years ago - she came off he motorbike so didn't have a choice in having the replacement - she has been fine since.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I think you'd be mad not to go for it.
    The 89 year old woman who lived across the road from me had both hers done (not at the same time) and went from being near crippled and unable to walk any distance to being able to get around no bother.
    The main thing is to DO AS YOU'RE TOLD by the physios - far too many people think they know better and don't follow through on the exercises.
    None of the people I know who've had hip or knee replacements were allowed out of hospital until they'd proved they were able to do stairs. My mum has had 5 hip replacements, I've had the same hip done twice, a pal has had his knee replaced, the old lady I mentioned.... ALL had to prove they could do stairs.
    Kneeling is a different thing entirely...but they usually give you a picker upper thingie (like jannies use) which takes away the need to kneel...gardening is certainly a bit tricky until everything heals up and your mobility improves.


     
  13. My dad's partner has had both hips and a knee replaced over the course of 18months (she's now 67 and had them done a few years ago).
    She's not quite back to the tree climbing 'auntie' I knew in my youth, but she has just popped round to take my dog out for a nice long walk and is certainly more spritely and agile than my dad (same age)!
    She feels that the pain and discomfort she went through to have them done was worth it in comparison to the pain and discomfort she felt everyday.
    The key seems to be to do as you're told and keep at the physio exercises.
    As with anything in life, there are potential problems/risks, but they are fairly rare. It's good to be informed, but you have to consider whether this surgery has the potential to improve your quality of life. Would you be questioning whether to have the surgery if you hadn't been told the facts and figures? Why the change of heart now when you were willing to go through with it before?
    Whatever you choose to do, make sure it's the right decision for you.

     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    And therein lies the difficulty!
     
  15. reddevil

    reddevil New commenter

    I'd say get it done. My dad was due to have it done last August but it got called off twice for ridiculous reasons. They've now decided that he can't have it done due to other medical conditions that he didn't have last August. He struggles on a daily basis and his doctor has now told him that he will end up in a wheelchair.
     
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    My hips and right knee are giving me gyp but we live in a second floor flat. [​IMG]
     
  17. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    My mother had it done 12 months ago at the age of 78. Frankly I think she found the short term pain worse than she was expecting however the long term outcomes have improved the quality of of her life as she can get around much than before. One thing that did surprise her a little was just how quickly they chucked her out of hospital - she had heard that they would not discharge her until *she could climb stairs* which she thought meant to climb the flight of stairs to the upstairs of her house but in fact the test was whether she could make 2 steps so she was only in for 3-4 days. She found she needed much more help at home than she had expected and it was first after a couple of weeks at home that she made it upstairs
     
  18. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    Goodness me, no, Lily! I am a notorious vacillator.
     
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Having met you, nutella, and knowing your enjoyment of walking and gardening etc I really, genuinely think it's something you should do. The few weeks immediately after the op would be difficult but you are tough and bloody minded enough to get through that!
    I'd be inclined to wait until spring though so that you're able to get out and walk as soon as possible without being scared of slipping and falling. When I had my hip done we had snow days after I got home and I was petrified I'd fall.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I don't want to be on crutches for my 70th birthday, seren! I won't be able to do Knees up Mother Brown.
     

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