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Change In My Plans For My Knee Surgery - Opinions?

This is a new thread about my upcoming knee surgery as my plan has totally changed as of today.

Recap: I fell Thanksgiving Day went to ER, tests show I am bone to bone on my left knee. My left side is the side most effected by my back injury.

The Drs explained that most knee replacement are really "just" the front part of the knee replaced. Where as I need a full knee replacement.

The thought is there is a spinal nerve caught up in the bone spurs behind the knee cap - this is based on the use I don't have of that leg since the fall.

MRIs still to be done.

I got a steroid pill pack which I finished today and last Friday I got a cortisone injection in the knee.

Based on my x rays and MRI on my other knee they said it would maybe be best to do both knees together. The right knee is just a tad better then the left ( most injured knee ) knee.

They also want me to play around with fillers and such and then in 6 months or so get the surgeries.

THAT is my opinion is their $$$ game.........sigh

However due to my situation at home and lack of help ( maybe you seen my marriage issue thread ) I have decided that is not what I am going to be doing.

I am making a new appt with knee Dr sooner then the one I currently have and tell them - let's get the MRI and get me in to see the nuro guy I need to see about the spinal nerve issue in the knee and lets move forward with one left knee surgery NOW.

I will do the shots and fillers in right knee instead of double knee replacement at one time. Hopefully it will buy me some time that I need.

I honestly feel that this decision is in my best interest all around as well as in my down time for healing from a double knee replacement.

I feel very strongly about this and already have an appt made with my GP this coming Thursday to share everything with him. He is the one Dr that always has my full best interest at mind and will help me make the right decision.

If current knee guy disagrees my GP will find me one that will work with me.


L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.


  • I think you should get one done now. Not sure if I mentioned my Father lives alone with stairs to his apartment and got one knee done and he was able to get out everyday with his crutches to eat or get his daily coffee and meal then he got his other knee done a few months later. So I think it's possible to get it done and manage but maybe try and get someone to help with the cleaning and make meals up ahead of time and freeze them.

    I'm sorry to hear of your lack of support right now but wondering if it will keep getting put off because maybe your husband won't change. You should put yourself first when it comes to your health and it may help your back pain walking better and eventually you'll be able to do more things like shop on your own once your knees are fixed and have more independence then you do have now. Prayers things get better for you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Howdy Ms. Humpty,

    Before you can really make any decisions, wait until the MRI results come in. Then you and your doctors can 'truly' look and see what is going on.

    There aren't any "spine nerves" in the knees, so maybe a miss-type? When they did my knee in 89, I lost a lot of the cartilage and had spurs. Painful for sure! It might be they want to do one knee at a time so you have some mobility? I agree with you that 'band aide' treatments if your knees are that bad is a waste of money. Let them do their tests before you think of what road to go down is my vote. :)

    Now if they feel you can handle both knees at the same time, go for it. Get them fixed and off the pain radar so you can heal is my second vote. Please keep us posted! Big *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • yes, i think you have a good plan there, as you say , you have to consider your home situation.
    so having one knee done first, then other later , you would be in a better position to manage post surg.

    i can understand the surgeons wanting to do both together as its then only one surgery, but you have to take into account your personal situation.

    i also wonder why they wont to give you fillers on both knees for 6 months, when you need surgery

    so yeah , sounds like a good plan you got

    take care
  • I've never heard of them doing both at once. I had wanted to have foot surgery on both at once and was told absolutely no. And that was a much much smaller recovery than knee replacement.

    I would get another opinion since your current doc seems to be on the $$$ trail as you say. I like your plan to do one and have injections to the other. Hopefully your doctor will agree or you will find one who will.

  • These are decisions that only you can make. When I had the same decisions to make I decideed to have both knees done at the same time. They were both total knee replacements. When the doctor explained down time to me I opted for both knees because I consided 4 months of 'hell' to be beter than three months of 'hell' twice. I am extremely pleased that I did both done at the same time. A couple months after the TKR's I was back walking and my knees hurt much less than before the surgery. They hurt but less than before. We must remember why we hard the surgery in the first place!!


    I have a wife and a teeage son who helped me. If you don't have help even doing one knee will be a huge issue.

    What I did, even with the home help, was to go into a rehab facility for a week after surgery. I could have gone for longer but I had the help at home and of course everything is determined by insurance coverage. After I got home the VNA came out three times a week to do PT with me. I also had the option of having a nurse come out daily to help me with the shower, cooking, the bathroom, etc, etc. And there would have been institutions like 'The Ride' to bring me to and from appointments and shopping.

    When my mother in law had her surgery recently we made sure she had ready prepared meals, her meds, etc handy for when she was alone.

    Good luck.
  • Also, when doctors say you need surgeries or treatments thesy are not always on the money trail. My ortho gave me the injections, etc prior to the TKR's to put off the surgeries as long as possible. When I had them done I had both done at the same time because they were both bone on bone. The doctor did not decide it was time to fill his pockets; it was my kneess that did!

    With that said, second, third, and fourth opinions are always a great idea but for4 a different reason.
  • Oh Ms HD...I can understand your decision....this will not be an easy surgery and top that of with no or little help....dont blame you at all for going with just one for now!!!

    Please keep us posted on what the Drs say!!

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers!!
  • Thanks all :)

    I see my GP tomorrow afternoon and we will talk about all this and see what his thoughts are. I will update then.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Just a quick pop in. sorry. I was gone all day yesterday and have to go to Pittsburgh in a few minutes. It will be a few hr trip today as it is really snowing. I hope to update later tonight.

    I do have lots more new info. I just did not want anyone to worry

    My Dr did get me a wheelchair - for now which I am trying to be grateful for ;)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • OK. Finally time for a real update:

    First I do now have a wheelchair. My Dr said with my back issues using 2 canes or the walker was putting too much stress on it. I was walking different. I did use it last night for the grand kids taekwondo practice and again today. Today going through that huge hospital it was such a help. But around the home which is about 1,100 sq feet, I will keep using my canes and walker. Plus without the footrests the chair weighs 32 lbs - which is a lot for me to get in and out of my car trunk alone, so I doubt I will use it much out & about.

    I seen several different Drs in the past 2 days and to sum it up here is what all of them agree with. I am to have the left knee surgery ASAP - 6 to 8 weeks later have the right knee surgery. THEN as soon as I am healed I am to have my hips resurfaced ( I think that is what they called it )???
    My hips are really really bad too :( and need replaced but 4 major joint surgeries so quickly is not what they are recommending for me.

    Now all these decisions were made by NON surgery Drs. I wanted their opinions as of my back issues. They all said that they will go to bat for me with the knee surgeon.
    He wants to do shots, fillers etc and then the knees. Both the Drs I seen the last 2 days said "no". Just get the knees done NOW! Both these Drs are also against me getting both knees done together in the same surgery.

    So Monday I will be calling knee surgeon Dr back and making an appt to see how well he accepts these ideas.
    If he won't play ball, my GP said he has a few other good knee Drs who he thinks will.

    I also need to see where the heck the pre approval for the Lidoderm patches are from knee Dr office. He gave me the script 12/3 and insurance said it needed pre approved and I am still waiting. I called pharmacy tonight and they tried again to put it through - no go.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • to see things are moving along in your plan and your drs support you
    good luck with the surgeons visit

    will it take long to get an appoitment? mine takes ages

    after your surgeries, you will be able to look forward to less pain and more independance

  • Thanks so much for the update. Glad to see that you now have a wheelchair. That I'm sure extends your activities even further. :)

    As to your knees. It's winter (with snow) where you live now right? I think I would to one at a time especially if that is the case. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for ya woman! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am glad to see you had that advice about not having surgery on both knees at same time. I was given this option in 1980 not replacement knees but removing stones that were in the knee damaging cartilage. As I had just started a new job I thought getting it over and done with would be for the best, but the pain was just too much, even though both knees were equally bad, having surgery pain in one knee and having the other knee to use would have made all the difference.
    I wish you well.

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Things have changed and not for the better :(

    I am falling a lot more and don't leave the house without being in a wheel chair now.

    My "good knee" is getting a lot worse very fast. I assume as I use it more now that the left knee is 100% shot.

    I tried to get back in to see Dr but there are no openings until my appt Jan 5th.
    I can call every day to see if they have any cancellations - so I will be doing that.

    Also not sure which way I am going to go now that the good/strong knee is so much weaker. I am giving some thought to both knees at once. Just not sure.

    My knee pain is SO bad any more. My back pain meds don't touch knee pain. I assume as it is "bone" pain ?

    My back is hurting more - I guess from the off way I am walking now makes it hurt more?

    I was turned down for the Lidoderm patch as the insurance says I was not diagnosed with post herpetic neuralgia. I have NO cue what that is lol But will go look it up. I just got the letter about it tonight.

    BUT I am determined to have a great Christmas with my daughter, her hubby & our Grand Children :D

    I will take next needed steps towards making a decision after that.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Beth,

    Ouch! Sorry to hear they are getting worse. Be careful about the falling, you don't want to kick your back into overdrive while all this is going on woman! I'll send positive energy your way that you can get in with the doctor sooner, and they have answers as to the best course to take. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • the other knee has got worse, youve certainly got some thinking to do!
    re , one or both done

    keep us updated
    good luck at drs app
    take care
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