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  • Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

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    Old 01-18-2008, 09:56 AM   #1
    donna70
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    Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    Hi,
    I am writing this for my sister. She just arthroscopy and they found out her bones in her knee are rubbing together, the pics are terrible do not look like she has any cartilage left. Do any of you know what treatment she could get while she waits for knee replacement? I was thinking of that stuff Synvisc?? that gets injected in knee. She has Kaiser as her health plan and they are terribly slow in moving on health problems. Thought someone here might have had experience with this. Any input would be appreciated.
    Donna70

     
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    Old 01-18-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
    MoLu
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    Re: Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    Hi Donna-
    Sorry to hear your sister has knee problems. I think that probably if her knee is that bad no shot will help her but that is just a guess. Did her doc suggest any other treatment such as the shots to help her? I have tried cortisone and synvisc both but neither one helped me. I did feel it was at least worth a try to delay the inevitable TKR. I just met with a new knee doc who will do my replacement but I'm going to put off yet for a few more months. I've been talking to as many people I can regarding their surgeries and all are very glad they did it. I hope your sister doesn't have to wait too long. She could use a cane to ease the pain in the mean time. I remember when a nurse suggested that to me and I was horrified. To think it has come to this already. I'm 57 and the thought of using a cane really bothered me. I feel so old sometimes already I just couldn't get over that old age image. Such vanity. But sometimes I do use it and it does help.
    Good luck to her.
    Molu

     
    Old 01-19-2008, 03:16 AM   #3
    Tobias
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    Re: Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    She should consult her doctor about relief measures. While he might suggest cortisone shot (an ortho surgeon would administer this), there are other possible conservative measures that might give some relief such as medications (i.e. NSAIDS), walking aids, even exercises or a course of physical therapy. At minimum, using a cane or walker to take some weight off the knee is cheap, safe, and effective and she doesn't even need to see a doctor to buy one.
    A caveat: long-term daily dosing with NSAIDS (even OTC ones such as Aleve) should only be done under a doctor's care. She doesn't need a surgeon for this; her PCP can do it.

     
    Old 01-21-2008, 05:59 AM   #4
    donna70
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    Re: Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    Hi,
    Just want to thank you both for your input, I am passing it on to my sister. She sees the ortho surgeon this week and finds out what their plans will be. She is not 50 yet so this is quite a shocker for her. She has been going to the drs at Kaiser Permanente for months over her knee issues and they would not drain the fluid and also kept telling her that it was "just arthritis", so hope she can get a good surgeon to do the knee replacement. thanks again!!

    Donna70

     
    Old 01-21-2008, 10:33 AM   #5
    leeleelanilou
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    Re: Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    Does your sister need a TKR or could the pain be relieved with a partial knee replacement? This would be determined by the areas of the joint that are bone on bone. If it's just on one side, the surgeon could do a partial. The Synvisc works for people who still have cartilage in the knee joint so if your sister's knee is already bone on bone, I doubt she would find relief with it. Using a cane should help because it will keep some of the body weight off of the painful knee. She will need to use the cane in the hand opposite of the side that her knee pain is on.
    I had a TKR done 2 years ago at the age of 44. My new knee works great but I've had problems with pain ever since. I thought I'd be pain free after TKR so I hounded my surgeon until he finally told me that it may be my fibromyalgia causing the painful knee. I went to another doctor last month who ordered a bone scan. The scan shows several hot spots which may be areas of my knee that are infected or where the prosthetic has loosened. I'm waiting for results of a aspiration of my knee joint to determine if it's infected. If it's infected & loose, I'll need 2 surgeries for a revision. I'm telling you this because I want your sister to know that there are down sides to the surgery too. If she can possibly put off having the surgery the greater chance that her new joint will last her the rest of her life. Weight plays a factor too. I was and still am over weight even though I've lost 20 pounds since my TKR. If she's carrying extra weight the new joint will wear out more quickly.
    If her doctor thinks she would benefit from having a TKR, I would recommend that she read, read, read until she feels comfortable with going a head with the surgery. It is a very painful surgery & there should be about 2 months of physical therapy afterward. She'll need help with household chores, taking kids to school, shopping, cooking, etc for the first 2 weeks after surgery. If he's a kind doctor, he'll prescribe narcotic pain meds for her to take 1/2 hour before she goes to physical therapy so keep in mind that she probably shoudn't drive herself. There's so many things to consider & if she can have a big support group her recovery will go much smoother.
    I wish you & your sister the best of luck. Here's to happiness & living pain free!

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 06:06 AM   #6
    donna70
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    Re: Knee problems ? what to do before replacement?

    Thank you for your info and input. I am printing it up to give to my sister. She is hoping that she can get a partial replacement. She is an x-ray tech and spends all her work time on her feet which has only aggravated her problems and does have a weight problem which she had been using a treadmill and walking and trying her best to combat. This is the kind of info she is seeking from people who have been there, so thanks so much, it is a lot to think about. I am very disappointed in her health care from Kaiser, they make a patient even one who works for them wait for weeks before they see a specialist and then they get inadequate care. I have RA and my rheumy is trying to prevent joint replacement, Kaiser doesn't seem to make the patient comfortable or at least pain free as possible. thanks again,
    Donna70

     
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