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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

Lorene - I had known that I had arthritis for years. Also I had the trifecta for TKR's - overweight, heretitary (my mother had both knees replaced) and for years I played tennis (very hard on the knees). Before we moved to Florida, after years of having my primary care doctor try different pain killers on me, I went to an orthopaedic doc in VA. Since we were moving he did not do much, had me take more nsaids, have a little therapy before I moved and told me to put up with the pain until I was older. My xrays showed that I was bone on bone in my right knee and somewhat better in the left. After 6 more months here of suffering, and several great recommendations, I went to my new Doc in Orlando. The first day she told me that I had a lot of fluid in my knee and that we should remove it and try a cortisone shot. I said fine, when do you want to do it? She said "I'll be right back". So I had no time to worry about it. When taking out fluid they use a larger needle, remove the fluid and then insert a smaller needle into the large needle to put in the cortisone. I was numbed up and had to ask her if she had started about the time she was done. Not much worse than a regular shot - just some pressure getting out the fluid. I took it easy for a couple of days - she told me to get the remote, get in a recliner and act like a man - let my husband wait on me. It worked. My knee felt pretty good for a couple of weeks, but when you are bone on bone, it rarely lasts months. Since then I had one more, then the three shot series of hylagan shots that are supposed to leave a cushioning fluid in your knee, but it did not work well for me (my knee was too far gone) this is similiar to synvisc shot treatment.
In November, I had one more cortisone shot (which was very easy, since she didn't use the big needle, since I didn't have fluid) and that got me through a cruise we were taking before Christmas. On January 19th, I had my TKR and I am still recovering. It is a long, painful recovery, but improves everyday. My left leg is still in good enough shape to wait awhile. So soon my life will be getting back to normal. And I won't be sitting on the sidelines watching other people do things that I wish I could.
I had gotten to the point that my knee affected my quality of life, if I did too much (which wasn't much) I suffered and sleep did not happen. I got to the point where I could not shop (and I like to shop) - even the grocery store was difficult. Travel, which we love to do, was no fun. I felt like a 90 year old woman - even sitting hurt. And I knew it was just going to get worse. But before you have a TKR, you should try the other options available - in fact many insurance companies won't do a TKR until you have tried the other treatments. Having a TKR should be your last resort. You may have time until you need the TKR, I had several good years, where once the doctor took care of the inflamation, and I stopped aggravating it, it was fine for quite some time. I would definitely check around for another opinion. My doctor only does knees and she has been great! Keeping exercising - non-impact, no running, lots of water exercises, water walking, swimming is the best and for me some of the only time prior to surgery, when I was not in pain. Look on the internet for knee exercises you can do, or ask your new doctor to have PT give you pre-surgical exercises. You want to strengthen your leg muscles. Good luck. Read the different posts on this website. Ice your leg.

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