I want to thank you again for all your helpful information. I still have some things to think about and work through before I'm ready to take the plunge. I may have some other questions in the future. Will keep you posted.
Again, thank you both!
Let's see, my FIL had one knee done in late summer, and the second one done in the fall. He was on his feet and moving around remarkably well by the time I saw him during the holidays. He definitely went to a professional physical therapist for his rehab, and also did exercises at home. I think he might have had one of those passive motion machines that kept his knee moving even at rest.
He and his wife went to Florida for their annual, two-month sojourn and all went well. By the next spring he was back on the golf course and gradually returning returning to ballroom dance classes.
I think the key, for him, was that he stayed as active as he could before the surgery, even though that meant he spent a lot of time with huge ice packs on his knees after most activities! He also made use of TENS units to manage pain.
Whenever I get a joint surgery done, I like to do it in January - that way by the time the weather gets nice in the spring, I'm at the point where the doctor says it's okay to return to full activity.
My first knee replacement was done, 6 week recovery on crutches, not quite straight away but I think about 10 months later (I could look it up) I had the other one done. A lady in my riding group has had a knee replacement and canters over fields, I have also heard of people cycling.
11 years ago we went on holiday and I can remember hubby pushing me in a wheelchair with rug wrapped around me. I can also do a little dancing (not twisting). I would say go for it sherrie!
I was in a wheelchair whilst out before the knee replacements, they gave me my life back. I was only in hospital for 4 days! The only think I can not do is kneel but manage in short bursts in garden on kneeling pad. I did every exercise given to me and yes it was hard but worth it.
As I was only 47 years old at the time my consultant said riding would be ok but wear shoulder and body protecter which I do, it's light gentle hacking but I can get further than on foot in countryside and have ridden since a child. I had about a 99 per cent bend in the knees so yes a full success.
My knees do not feel as strong these days but my weight has crept up, 10stone to 13stone (14lbs in a stone) doctor wants me at 9 stone!
Thank you both for your input. You can see my dilema. I know that rehab is long and painful. I'm OK with that if the outcome is acceptable. Carolanivey,how long, approximately, did it take your father in law to 'recover'? Did he go for physical therapy or do it on his own? If he did have professional therapy, how long did it last? Also, during this recovery time, was he able to participate in life activities or was he house bound? These are some of the questions that I have. Purbeckgirl, I would like to have you respond to the same questions. Also, did you have both knee replacements at the same time, and if not, how far apart were they?
Purbeckgirl, are you planning to have your knees done again? Would you say your replacements were a success first time around? How would you rate them? I think the technology has improved over the last ten years. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the replacements last longer, barring something unforeseen happening. You said you like to ride horses. Is this something your docs said you could do? I had the impression that mine would not want me to participate in such risky behavior. Is there anything you can tell me about your experience?
Carolanivey, I find your comments on the new research very interesting. This type of procedure was what I've been hoping for. I recently heard of something similar being done on animals with great success, but there haven't been trials on humans, yet. I've had other surgeries over the years where the procedures have improved dramatically since I had mine. I just don't want the same to happen in this case. Because, as you know, this is not an easy surgery. I have not had a second opinion, but will do so before deciding to go ahead with surgery.
Again, thank you both for your thoughts. I'll be awaiting further comments. Good luck to you.
I am 57 years old and had 2 knee replacements 10 years ago which they said would last 10 years or so. Your letter could have been mine I identify so much.
My knee replacements were done one after the other.Were told they would not last for ever and would need new ones at some point, mine are not as strong as they were and they are starting to get painful. Not sure this helps but at least we identify. Nicky
My father in law had both knees replaced in '08, each one about 4 months apart. It really improved his quality of life. He's back on the golf course, dancing with his lovely wife, bicycling, traveling.
It's true that knee replacement rehab is hard, hard work. Harder, IMO, than hip replacement (I've had both hips replaced). It's not going to be fun, and it will hurt for a while, but you MUST do the rehab diligently or you'll end up no better off, or worse, than before. It's up to you to decide when you've had enough of waiting for something better to come along, and to go ahead and do what you need to do to get your life back. When it comes to knees, there are no easy fixes.
I assume you've already sought out a second opinion? If not, don't hesitate to do so. In the meantime, try to keep the knees moving as much as possible. Inactivity will only make things worse.
I believe there is some research going on right now that is using the patient's own tissues to grow new cartilage, however I don't know that this is covered by insurance yet, or even generally available. It might take some legwork (pardon the expression!) to find out who's doing these studies and how to get in on the trials. But again, is this time you want to spend when you could use the best technology available right now, and get back to your life? It's up to you. Good luck!