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Old 12-08-2007, 02:03 PM   #1
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Knee replacement questions.....please help!

My husband was told back in June that he needed a TKR. All of the cartiledge was gone on one side of the knee. He was given anti-inflammatory drugs and they really helped the pain. When he went back to the doctor he was doing so well with the medication that he told the surgeon that he wanted to try to wait two more years until he was on medicare for the surgery since our insurance isn't the best. As we knew would happen the medication is no longer working NEARLY as well as in the beginning. In fact, this last week I thought that I was going to need to get a wheel chair from a shopping maill in order to get him back to the car. He can no longer do much walking ESPECIALLY any walking for excercise.

One question that I/we have is this. Normally, with medication, he isn't in pain unless he is on his knee a lot. We know that seems to be changing though. He is afraid that there will be more pain after the surgery once he has healed than he currently is having. In order words, is he READY for TKR yet? His doctor said "You'll know when you're ready". I'm sure that is correct but unless he is in BAD pain you can't help but wonder if he would be better off to wait a while longer.

Last question, can anyone out there give me any idea what hospital/surgeon/anesthesiologist/therapy, etc costs? He haven't gotten a good idea and until he goes back to see the doctor we won't know. Right now there is a 1/23 slot available for surgery which could work well with our schedule and hopefully have him up and around by vacation time. If the cost is REALLY out of sight, he is talking about waiting for a while until we can save a bit.

Any help, advice, information of any kind would be greatly helpful. My husband seems to have a great doctor who was rated as one of the top ten orthopedic surgeons in Atlanta and does more than 350 TKR's a year. Just hope that he's making the right decision whatever it may be.

Thanks in advance for your help.

 
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

I also forgot to ask if anyone out there has had success with TKR's? It seems that mainly what I've read are BAD!!!

 
Old 12-08-2007, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Personally I wouldn't wait too long before doing the TKR. While you want to be in a position where you truly need the TKR, you don't want to get yourself into agony debating over it. Also, how old is your husband? I'm holding off on the TKR partially becuase I am 41. My surgeon has said the first TKR will be easy for me and I'd recover well. But if in my 50's or 60's he had to do another TKR as a replacement - that surgery would be more complicated in terms of technique and recovery.

Costs are very hard to determine. Do you have insurance? If so your end costs could differ substantially from other people. Each insurance plan is different so while the total out of pocket costs for one TKR patient may be $1000 or less - someone else could have a high deductable plan that least to co-pays and co-insurance of $5000 or more.

Last year I had a cervical fusion and my plan required I pay the first $5000 in any year. I paid the $5000 for my neck so when my knee needed to be scoped again (in that same year) - since I had met my out of pocket maximums - I payed virtually nothing for the knee surgery.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Thanks so much for your response. My husband is now 63 and his doctor said this would be the only replacement he would ever need! Well, I HOPE that he lives longer than 83 since all I've read seems to indicate that they last about 20 years. I'm all for him having this done when it's right for him whether it's tomorrow or five years from now.

Yes, we do have SOME insurance coverage but it's an old 80/20 straight indemnity plan. Since I know that the charges vary greatly in different parts of the country, I was just wondering what anyone has had to pay just so we have a starting point.........$20,000 total or $50,000 total? Just an approximation.

Again, I appreciate so much for your response.

 
Old 12-09-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

I had my knee replaced 3 years ago in March. When I had mine done in 2005, the total cost was about $45,000.00 of which I did not have to pay any of, thankfully. My best bet is to add maybe $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 on to that for your best estimate.

Personally, I don't know why your husband's doctor would say this should be his only replacement, maybe in a perfect world! I have heard estimates of up to a 10% loosening of the implants per year, at that rate, you're looking at the knee only lasting 10 years. Everyone is different. I am now 47, had mine replaced at 45, and already a component is loose. Hasn't been fully diagnosed as nothing is showing up on x-ray, but let me tell you, I know something is loose.

A replacement does have pain involved, personally, I was in less pain after than before. But a replacement is not as good as your own knee, and I truly believe you know when you have had enough. If you don't take it to that point, you leave yourself open for regret. You have to be fully committed to the decision to replace that knee because you are left with no other choice. A replacement can be more trouble than it's worth, or the answer to all your desires, it can go either way. Research it, know all about the surgery, know all about the complications and risks involved, and I would go into it expecting another one, and if he ends up never needing it, more power to him! Good luck!
Lisa

 
Old 12-09-2007, 03:26 PM   #6
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Cody:

With most indeminity plans there is still an out of pocket maximum - the most you'd have to pay out of your own money. That will be key in figuring your potential costs. And I assume January starts a new medical insurance plan year so you'll start from $0 1/1/08.

The tough part is costs will vary based on the local economy (a TKR may cost more in NYC than in Boise), the length of hospital stay, recovery progress, etc.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 12-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
Cody:

With most indeminity plans there is still an out of pocket maximum - the most you'd have to pay out of your own money. That will be key in figuring your potential costs. And I assume January starts a new medical insurance plan year so you'll start from $0 1/1/08.

The tough part is costs will vary based on the local economy (a TKR may cost more in NYC than in Boise), the length of hospital stay, recovery progress, etc.
Yes, I'm well aware that the costs vary dependent upon MANY factors. I'm just curious as to what it cost anyone, anywhere, anytime. We do have a small out-of-pocket max with our insurance plan but will have to pay quite a bit ourselves which is why my husband keeps saying that he would like to wait for two more years (medicare) if he can.

 
Old 05-15-2010, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

I guess I'm confused. The out of pocket max, along with any co-pays for physical therapy and meds, should be all you are spending. My out of pocket max is $1500. I met most of that with my spine surgery in February. My knee doctor wanted to get me a knee brace last week but he said it could cost me $150. It was $6 since I had $6 left in my $1500 out of pocket.

Now I need some neck surgery and it will cost me $0 since I met my 2010 out of pocket maximum.

If I only had a knee replacement this year it would cost me my $300 deductibe plus my out of pocket max of $1500 plus my $10 co-pay for each PT session as long as I chose an in-network hospital and doctor.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 01-16-2011, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

[I just had knee replacement myself. I have had 4 arthroscopic surgeries which didn't work. so I had my knee replaced. It has been 8 days and I am still on pain killers, my knee and leg are swollen and in constant pain. when will the pain start to subside so I can live a normal life. I find that My Ice machine helps the pain. I have had one physical therapy session and I am able to walk but always in Pain

 
Old 01-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cody48 View Post
I also forgot to ask if anyone out there has had success with TKR's? It seems that mainly what I've read are BAD!!!
Most people do well, but not me. And I had the top Ortho in town. We have a clinic here that people come to from all over the world, especially for transplants. So it is a fine hospital with the best doctors. So even if you have a bad doctor and you heal well he is good.
My TKR was over a year ago and in one month I will be seeing another Ortho because I still have pain 24/7. That is not to scare you, but the knee is not going to get any better so I would suggest taking care of it as soon as possible. I just happened to be one of the bad cases, I guess.

 
Old 01-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #11
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

My experience has been very positive. I am almost 7 weeks from a TKR. I am walking, going down stairs with both legs, riding a bike. I currently can extend to 100+ & Bend to 133. Therapy is going great & I am taking very little medication - sometimes at night.

Just FYI- like all subject matter, people who need to vent are more likely to post. My peers at the therapy sessions have had similar results to me. We have challenges to see who can excel at the exercises & bending machines.

I know people who have had TKR's going on 15 years & would highly recommend a replacement if required.

Prepare - Select a great doctor, lose weight if necessary, exercise as recommended & give the rehab 125%. These steps will help acheive great results!

 
Old 02-25-2011, 07:54 AM   #12
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Had bilateral knee replacement on Jan 26 2011-- have ins.-----hospital cost 45,000 in NC 1 knee --I do not know probably more than half this figure

 
Old 03-25-2011, 07:23 AM   #13
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

Had b oth knees and hip and shoulder replaced in 2010, doing as well as can be expected. Has anybody else had so many replacements and how are you doing I am 59 had sepsis and kneed removed and put back in after ten weeks. Now I need another hip done. Last hip done Feb 11 2011, Im walking with cane, right knee clicks but shoulders are sore from getting up and down and walking with cane. Anybody had similar surgeries. Im Mr. Bionic man

Thanks and glad to have found a place to vent.

 
Old 03-25-2011, 09:32 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

had both knees replaced late jan. 2011--everything is good still getting rehab 3x week --1 more week still stiff but doing everything --stairs etc continue icing is my sugg. 59 male--- old athletic injuries

 
Old 06-21-2011, 08:21 AM   #15
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Re: Knee replacement questions.....please help!

I feel he should definitely contact his insurance to find out the different coverages and how much his deductible will be and if you have a secondary insurance to cover. My father recently had knee surgery and he is doing very well. Everyone varies on their recovery time due to their age and diagnosis (if he has other ailments). My father was in rehab in a skilled nursing facility for 4 weeks and released home. He continued to have home health care with rehab therapist and nursing care for 4 more weeks. I feel if your fathers's physician says he is a good candidate for surgery and your father is at the end of his rope and ready for the next step, he should definitely have the surgery as soon as possible.

 
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