Activity lower than hoped after knee replacement

Comments (3)
JerryB6768 wrote:

The popular belief that knee replacement is the only way to reduce knee pain is a myth. I’m 76 yrs old and developed debilitating OA about 6 yrs ago. I found a combination of the newer joint supplements (OmniFlex), that has eliminated my pain and stiffness, and allows me to exercise all I want. I play racquetball (competitively), three times per week and run on two other days and have no pain and stiffness, with my original joints. I find it hard to believe that people would opt for a surgery that is painful and dangerous and limits what you can do, and might have to be done again in 10 years, versus taking a few capsules every day. But then again, it’s hard to explain why we do a lot of things.

Apr 11, 2012 5:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GMartinMD wrote:

Knee replacement has helped millions of people get out of pain and restore function. Even in this small sample of patients, a greater than 5 fold increase in activity was obtained. With regards to knee replacement surgery, there are three key variables which can influence the outcome and return to function. These include individual patient characteristics, technical factors with the surgery (how the surgery is performed), and the device itself (the implant). In a motivated patient with no other limiting factors, with a well performed surgery, and a high performance implant, extremely high levels of activity can be achieved. As surgical techniques and implant technology improve, we can expect patient outcomes to continue to improve. This is happening now with the development of less invasive surgical techniques and patient specific implants. Patient issues not directly related to the surgery (obesity, back issues, arthritis in other joints, etc) will continue to be the limiting factor.

Apr 12, 2012 11:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pepineagles wrote:

There are several factors to consider that were not mentioned in this study being: weight of the individual before/after surgery; other physical restrictions; physical activity levels prior to surgery; dedication to post-op therapy; the surgeon; the joint itself; and attitude.

There is one other factor. Make sure a replacement is necessary. Over 30 years ago, I was told I needed surgery. A second opinion bought me all of those years by merely going through several weeks of rigorous physical therapy.

It has been 5.5 years since having bi-lateral total knee replacements. Having simultaneous surgeries was slightly more difficult on recovery, but I only wanted to hurt once. Not being overweight going into the surgery was a big advantage. With coaching from my spouse, I took physical therapy seriously. I can not stress how important the regimented physical therapy is both at the facility and at home. Not gaining weight after surgery was also critical.

Recovery was not the advertisement on TV. You know, surgery in the morning and flying off into the sun in the PM. I didn’t feel I was ready for release after three days. But, in three months, I was back doing construction work, laying concrete, gardening, fishing, getting in/out of the bathtub, getting up off the ground and all the things I had done before. Did I mention I was retired? My spouse ratted on me during one of the recovery visits with the surgeon. Surprisingly, the surgeon indicated that working those joints was the best medicine.

Life has been good. Knowing the limitations and keeping in those bounds is a basic rule. To me staying mentally and physically active is very important. In that light, I totally disagree, by experience, with Ewa Roos’ statement, “My take is that total knee replacement is primarily for pain relief, it’s not a lifestyle intervention,”

For those of you who may anticipate knee replacements, make sure you need one. If your leg is atrophied because of joint deterioration, pre-surgery physical therapy should be strongly considered. It will aid in your post-op recovery. Research your surgeon, research the manufacturer of the replacement, and go for it. Life is what you make it.

Apr 13, 2012 12:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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