Hi! I am a prime candidate for knee replacement, but at age 51 I am trying to hold off as long as possible. Now research shows you shouldn't wait until you are really incapacitated. Also, I have no kneecaps and everything I have read about knee replacements without kneecaps has been about failures, not successes. I would appreciate hearing from anyone out there with some personal experience. Thanks a lot.
I don't know anything about how your kneecap situation would impact the operation . . . but I know several people who have gone through regular knee replacements.
From what I understand, considering your age, it would be desirable to hold off as much as possible. But I think you have the basic idea . . . you can't get so inactive that your muscle tone starts to go or recovery will be harder.
My mother had one, and her surgeon put her off several times. He told her that the recovery is difficult and painful, so he won't operate on people until they are in nearly constant pain getting around, that way even the pain of post-op therapy does not seem so bad.
Hope that might be some kind of guide, if you have not heard it already.
Sorry, this doesn't sound too hopeful. Around here the doctors stress how difficult the recovery can be so people are prepared to deal with it.
I am a knee replacement candidate, too. My surgeon said not to do it unless I absolutely cannot walk and am in constant pain even when not standing on it...surgery is invasive. It destroys tissue, may destroy important nerves, and it weakens the joint each time it is done.
I have a misplaced knee cap and detached ligaments.
I got a custom made brace because my leg is distorted from an accident injury. But if your leg is normal shaped, you can buy a good knee brace less expensively.
I was unable to walk due to extreme pain, wore the brace for a couple months, and the knee joint healed, so it feels mostly OK now.
Keep the muscles strengthened with low or no impact exercises or therapy. It makes all the difference!
Avoid surgery. My surgeon says it doesnot fix the problem. It just gives temporary relief, then it has to be redone repeatedly. It is very painful!
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Hi Auntjudyg and Tree Frog,
Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. All of your comments have been helpful. I have had over 10 operations (right and left). The right is the worst ... bone on bone. There is no cartilege, no kneecap, the patellar tendon has been resectioned and I have bone spurs sticking out all over the place. I take Celebrex and work out religiously. I ride a Schwinn Air-Dyne bike, lift light weights, and do stretching exercises three times a week. I have heard that the lack of a patella will reduce leverage and stability in a knee replacement. Thanks again for all of your support. I will continue to try and stay active, despite the fact that I am losing range of motion pretty quickly. I am an avid golfer and that is keeping me moving. Take care.
Thanks Tree Frog for your continuing support. I have good days and bad days. Most frustrating for me is that I love being active and involved in sports. I have a great orthopedic guy at the University of Florida; he is someone I trust to give me good advice. I had most of my knee surgeries in the early 70's when they just took everything out. I wish that today's kids would be screened before playing sports and fitted with orthotics, if necessary, or counseled to avoid certain activities based on body structure. Take care.