The latest about my knees!

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
The latest about my knees!
2
Sat, 05-31-2014 - 7:12pm

Well, I went to see my rheumatologist on Friday.  The purpose for the visit was to have my left knee injected with cortisone.  But I had recently had X-rays done on my knees.  It  has been just over a year since my last X-rays on my knees.  So the doctor pulled up the results of these latest ones on his computer screen to show Ray and I.  Well, within the year I have lost significant amount of cartilage!  Now I didn't have much before this, but even the doctor was surprised at how quickly the cartilage in two areas of my knees had vanished - basically leaving me bone on bone! 

When before this the doctor had said that I wasn't so severe a case to need knee replacement surgery, now he was definitely recommending it and so was going to refer me to a surgeon and indicate with great emphasis that my case was severe - hoping that I will be moved up to having surgery fairly soon.  First I will have to see the surgeon myself.  I'll be phoned to be told when my appointment is.  Not sure how long a wait that will be...maybe months, is how it goes here.  Anyway my doctor said that when I do see the surgeon that I should really 'lay it on thick' about how painful my knees are.  With the cortisone injections, the pain is reduced, but I should not mention this, I guess!  I may have a high threshold for pain because even with bone on bone it hasn't been extremely painful, Although well, it's not been any picnic either. Now that I think back just this past number of months,  I would say that I  have been severely impaired in that I walk extremely slowly and basically I can't do so much I used to so...walking or otherwise.  Even standing for a certain length of time is painful (or has been prior to this cortisone therapy).  When we flew south this past March the worst was, after sitting so long on the flight, just trying to stand to get out of my seat and to walk off the plane!  It was downright embarrassing and very painful.  These are important factors to remember to tell the surgeon.

So this is the latest.  Never did I think I'd have osteoarthritis but here I am - to the point I need knee replacement surgery. 

Shirley

 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 05-31-2014 - 7:31pm

I know all about the stiffness when you first get up.  Getting up for a potty run in the middle of the night is an experience too, because there is no "hurry" in these knees! 

Hopefully, your surgeon will allow you to have both knees done at once, and send you to rehab for a while.  Ed's aunt had them done together, when she was 88!!  My neighbor had them done a year apart, and said it was the worst decision she ever made.  Done together there is only one hospital stay, one surgical recovery, one rehab.  It might mean you stay in a rehab facility for a few weeks if your house has stairs, but once it's done, it's done.  And EVERYONE, including all the physical therapists I've had, have told me when I have mine (coming, but not yet) to make SURE to do all the assigned exercises or you will not regain proper function.  Even tho the hip replacment exercises are not as crucial, once I slacked off, I lost range of motion.

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Sat, 05-31-2014 - 8:20pm

I have no idea if you can choose to have both knees done at once or not.  So that's something I will find out.  I do know that to do the physiotherapy afterward is very important.  There is a woman in our walking club who had a knee replacement and she did her exercises religiously.  Now she's walking normally and did a long walk with the walking club women for the first time (first time for a longer walk, that is, than she had been doing before this).  I should take some time to talk with her more about her experience.  I am not sure if she's a candidate for the other knee to be done.  Possibly not.