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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board

Knee & Hip Problems Board Index

Hi marrie12,

If you are saying that your mother's knees are shot (Was she told this by her doctor or an Orthopedic surgeon?), chances are that her knees are WAY BEYOND liquid cartilage injections being of any help. Sounds like her knees are bone on bone, meaning there's NO CARTILAGE LEFT. A lot of insurance companies are reluctant to cover the cartilage injections because they've only been around a few years and do NOT have a long term success track record. They would rather pay for the $50,000 (per knee) total knee replacement surgery because it has a 30+ year and 90%+ proven success track record! Plus, they only have to pay ONCE for surgery and that's it. With the injections, that can cost about $300 per shot, the insurance company would have to keep paying at least 2 to 3 times a year for years and it might not work.

I would find a highly skilled Orthopedic surgeon who specializes in total knee and hip replacements and take your mom to see this kind of specialist.

Two ways to find someone really good - Ask family and friends if they or a relative or friend has had a good experience getting a TKR from a particular Orthopedic surgeon where you and your mom live and go to him or her. Word of mouth is the BEST recommendation you can get. (I had both my knees replaced over the past year, and my surgeon is the top Ortho guy in my county specializing in knee and hip replacements. I have had so many requests for referrals to him since my first TKR last year, that now he calls me his "Poster Child for his practice"!! I carry a bunch of his cards with me to give to people who need this surgery. He's already done the knees of 3 people I referred to him and will be doing both knees of the mother of my late father's former neighbor - probably in January!)

The other way to find an excellent, highly trained joint replacement Orthopedic surgeon is to call your nearest University Medical Center and ask for at least TWO recommendations.

When you find someone, check his or her credentials online. A site should tell you where they went to Med School, where they did their residency and/or fellowship, how many years they've been in practice (Ideally should be AT LEAST 10 YEARS) and hopefully will tell you how many TKR's a year he or she performs. (SHOULD BE AT LEAST 200/YEAR!)

Then make an appointment for your mom and GO WITH HER!! The amount of info regarding knee replacement surgery provided by a surgeon can be overwhelming AND confusing, especially to an older person. This way, you can learn, along with your mom, what's involved and help ask the necessary questions that are sure to come up and the answers will help your mom make the decision to have the surgeries.

TRUST ME - SHE WON'T BE SORRY! It IS a long haul recovering and doing physical therapy post TKR, BUT, as long as she does EVERYTHING THE SURGEON ASKS OF HER POST SURGERY, she will have the kind of great outcome I've had, and will be glad she had her knees done!!!

After both knee replacements within the last year (right one - 4/5/11 and left one 3/23/12), I am FINALLY WALKING NORMALLY WITH TWO STABLE PROSTHETIC KNEES WITHOUT PAIN, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS!!!

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask me. As noted, been there, done that, and I ain't sorry I had the surgeries!

Carol (2012 carol)

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