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Knee Replacement
updated: Feb 20, 2014, 7:55 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

At 47 I need a knee replacement. My doctor says to wait until I'm 60 but I am in pain now, why wait? Has anyone my age had a replacement?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 496315 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:10 AM

Of course. There has to be a good reason why your doctor wants you to wait. If not, get another doctor.

By the way, if the reason your doctor is asking you to wait is that by the time you are 60, your other knee will need replacing, then I might listen to your doctor. Once you go through the surgery once you will never want to go through it again. It's always better to have both done at the same time.


 COMMENT 496317 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:12 AM

My sister had a knee replacment at about that age. After years of knee procedures and pain she had the total, and is now pain free and able to be much more active. The caveat being that another one will most likely be necessary in about 20 years, which may be the reason your doctor wants you to wait. Get a second opinion.


 COMMENT 496336 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:45 AM

Get it done now. Find another doctor. If you wait another ten years you will have used your body in such an unbalanced, one-sided way that you can damage other joints. Like elbows or shoulders. It's not a big ordeal and you'll be extremely happy with the results.


 COMMENT 496338 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:48 AM

Did they tell you the recovery time? you'll think twice when they tell you. Avoid surgery as long as you can, try anything else.


 COMMENT 496364 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:36 AM

Knee replacements are not body tissue, so there is no blood supply to that area to fight infections. If you get an infection, they have to redo the replacement. The longer you can wait, the better the procedures are for helping you. The replacements have been wearing out after 15 yrs, and so if you get one now you will need another one at around 60.

My neighbors both had them done and they were struggling with the rehab for a long time. Come to think of it, I haven't even seen them outside of their houses in a long time. But they were much older than you so maybe you can expect a different outcome.


 COMMENT 496372 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:49 AM

I have also been told I need a knee replacement. Both my knees give me a lot of pain. My reason for not doing it is because I have also heard the recovery time is very long. It is not an outpatient type of surgery. Will anyone suggest a good doctor to get a second opinion?


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:53 AM

I've known people who say it's horrible, others who went through like a breeze with almost no pain. A couple of other doctor opinions couldn't hurt.


 COMMENT 496386 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 10:12 AM

If you have options like weight loss, physical therapy to build up the muscle around the knee, natural supplements that help build up cartilage whatever it takes to avoid surgery that you can try I would say do it first and then if nothing helps get a 2nd and 3rd opinion.

I would say you have a good doctor, how many would turn down the opportunity for the kind of money they get for these surgeries? What were his suggestions, if any, for rehabilitating the knee and relieving the pain?


 COMMENT 496462 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 12:26 PM

I thought I was going to need a knee replacement a couple years ago due to osteoarthritus. I got a personal trainer who showed me specific excercises to strenghten the muscles around the knee. I got more active and it started feeling mush better! Granted the knee still has joint problems but the pain is managable. Just started doing spinning classes.Staying active is the key. I just turned 60, got to keep moving!!!!


 COMMENT 496472P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 12:36 PM

Procedures that can produce cartilage growth (even high-quality cartilage) from one's own stem cells are coming along. This is happening mostly overseas, but FDA trials are planned. Some newer procedures can even treat bone-on-bone wear and tear. Once you get a knee replacement, however, you can never take that route. Also, the artificial knee will wear out in 15 to 20 years and you'll have to do it all over again.
I lost a lot of weight, radically changed my diet and started exercising. My level of knee pain dropped dramatically. I feel that I can manage it until a biologic treatment option is available. My orthopedist agrees with this approach.


 COMMENT 496494 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 01:25 PM

427 These procedures are here!

Op I was going to get a hip replacement and was told by a professional athlete to try PRP therapy first. I went from 10 plus pain to 0 to 2 and will not be getting a new hip. I can't believe it but I grew cartlidge and my tendon is now strong. The future of medicine is here.

Dr Thomasevsky is his name and he has a great website to answer your questions.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 01:51 PM

Someone mentioned losing weight; being overweight causes stress/pain on knees and back, as well as many other areas of the body. Don't have to be obese either, losing 10-20 lbs can make a difference.


 COMMENT 496534 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 02:51 PM

Why did he or she ask you to wait?


 COMMENT 496577P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 04:20 PM

See a rheumatologist. You might want to look into this:

(electric stimulation knee brace, must be worn 8 hours a day for months/a year)



 COMMENT 496625P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 05:56 PM

op here - thank you all so much!


 COMMENT 496630 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 06:11 PM

OP: Why are you being advised to wait? How much time does someone want to be in pain as opposed to being active? Hope your situation resolves for you.


 COMMENT 496637P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 06:45 PM

To each their own. Get 2 opinions from 2 physicians. Better to wait if you can, don't wait if your knee is causing you to not do what you like. One doesn' always need a replacement. Just remember that there is a time and place for each type of treatment, replacement, therapy, or other.


 COMMENT 496655 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:05 PM

No going back on a knee replacement. Your own body is alive and can heal. Make sure you give it every opportunity before you go to metal and plastic.


 COMMENT 496667P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:14 PM

With medical advancements updating as they do, I'd wait. Look at the mess ACL repair used to be. A 10" long incision, and two 4" cross cuts with your knee and it's parts all splayed open - now it's two simple surgical input holes above and below your patella with a super small vertical incision. Wait brotha wait.


 COMMENT 496674P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 12:44 AM

I totally agree with 667; a relative had her knee destroyed due to overkill -- oh bad choice of words, and it was decades ago. In the mid-60's every bit of cartilage was removed and left a 4-6" crescent scar. Its been bone on bone since then. Hellish. Of course that won't happen now, but techniques improve so quickly. See if any lesser surgery can help. I say this because we don't know the problem or cause.

Try all other options, at least for a year or 2. If the cause is arthritis, see an athritis specialist. If tissue tears or sports, see a sports specialist. if you can manage money-wise,see a highly regarded ortho or sports doc. I get your desire for results, but look into other options and get as many opinions as you want and can. You will have to be proactive and do a lot of research on your own.

Dont leave it to docs! I hope the poster who said PT helped will recommend that PT's name. My fave is Mike at Sansum PT office.
And besides PT, go for good old "RICE": Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And use your knee. And use some anti-inflammatory OTC drugs, if you can. (Ibuprofen etc)
I'm sure you know most or all this; don't mean to lecture.


 COMMENT 496675P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 12:50 AM

And 386 is right on! Sounds like you have a good doc. would love to know what he suggested. And what kind of doc. Still curious if arthritis or sports or a previous injury caused your issue, or if you're really eager to fix the pain the hardest way. Can you walk without a cane? ride a bike? Swim?


 COMMENT 496678P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 01:03 AM

Sorry, 12:44 poster here, maybe 674. I meant to say "My fave is Mike at Sansum PATTERSON PT office." He's a manager/supervisor too. He went so above and beyond with my family members for other conditions that went beyond PT stuff. I've seen others too; there are many great physical therapists in SB, in and out of Sansum, (great ones at Rehab Institute and some are still there and some went to Cottage and some are at private offices) and they will work to get you to someone familiar with your condition/body part, as should your current doc or the next one you consult.


 COMMENT 496687 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 06:57 AM

Has anyone mentioned getting rid of any excess body weight? Carrying extra pounds is hard on the joints and precludes you from getting the exercise to stay healthy. Fortunately I've made it to 87 and am still active. It takes exercise following the surgery to get back into shape.


 COMMENT 496692 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 07:16 AM

Weight is a big factor. Exercise & good diet can do wonders.


 COMMENT 496727 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 08:43 AM

HAVE IT DONE!!!!! I had it done in my late 50's....I should have done it sooner but didn't. I was considered too young too but I needed and it was the best decision I have ever made....so I have to have it done again - yes, the rehab is a bear but you will enjoy life so much more with your knee done...quality vs quantity....


 COMMENT 496731 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 08:55 AM

I tore cartilage in my knee in 1966; surgery 1972. Back then their answer was to remove the medial cartilage that was torn. I am now 65 & two years ago I had a partial knee replaced in St. Helena (Coon's Clinic). They developed the machine that is used to help make surgery easier. Three weeks after surgery I was on a stationary bike, at six weeks out I was on my road bike. I had given up hiking, dancing, & other weight bearing exercise. If your pain is severe get it done now; if not wait. Technology is only going to get better. Don't do the surgery in SB.


 COMMENT 496770 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 10:34 AM

Your replaced knee will never be as good as the original.
Try every other option first. Losing as little as 12 pounds can greatly ease your pain. My friend in his 70's was scheduled for surgery and I advised him to get stationary bike to strengthen his muscles before the surgery so his recovery would be easier. He rode an hour or more a day and at the end of 6 weeks he was pain free when walking and cancelled the surgery.
He has thanked me repeatedly and has kept up with the bike riding.


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