Yes.  Total Knee Replacement.  I visited my ortho this week and learned that instead of needing one new knee, I need two.  The Doc told me in 2009 that I needed a new right knee.  So far I’ve managed my life without getting it done.  Now he told me that the left knee has no cartilage and is also bone on bone.

With RA,  the synovial membrane that surrounds the knee joint becomes inflamed and thickens.  Over time, the resulting chronic inflammation will damage the cartilage.  This will cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.  Then there is OA (osteoarthritis) where as you age, the cartilage cushion that protects the knee will soften and and wear and this causes pain and stiffness.

Another factor is trauma.   I’ve been involved in athletics since I was young and I always had bruised or skinned knees.  I had my share of falls while skiing or hiking.  I fell while biking.  I recently got bifocals and took 2 really hard falls on my knees and hips.  So I think that all three of these factors – RA, OA and Trauma – have contributed to my current knee situation.

So I’m continuing on my normal pace – which is typically warp speed until such time as the pain and discomfort is bad enough that it impacts my life.  Then we will discuss the first knee replacement.  As the doctor said, I’m highly functioning considering the state of my knees, so there’s no reason to rush.  He suggested that when my world narrows is when I need to address surgery.

Until that time, I’m trying to concentrate a bit more on my eating and exercising.  I have been the same weight for 5 years.  Yeah, just about since I started this Blog about trying to lose weight after turning 50.  So I think that I’ve failed!!  Miserably.  I’m doubling down on my efforts because other than my weight and my RA, I’m very healthy.  I’d like to stay that way.


7 thoughts on “TKR

  1. Wow, so sorry to hear that you have no other option. But at least you don’t have to rush into it. Hopefully, you can have something for the pain when it gets out of hand. And I agree, get the most out of life no matter what.

    And no, you haven’t failed. Our metabolism slows down as we age. Nothing can be done, except a good diet, meaning nutritious foods, not barely any food, and moderate exercise for our heart and lungs, and to keep our muscles strong. Now, do I follow my own advice? Mostly!

  2. Irma – I guess I should have said that it wasn’t totally unexpected. My father has had 2 replacements in his left knee and 3 in his right. Mom just had a new hip. It’s part of life especially for active people like my parents and me. I have excellent health insurance and very good medical care so I’m better off than a lot of people. I’m hoping I can get at least 6 extra years on it like I have with the right one.

    Hope you are well.

  3. Here’s hoping you can go at warp speed for as long as possible and that you won’t have too much pain in the interim. I love that you continue to find joy and adventure in your life in spite of arthritis always trying to pull you down. Keep smiling, keep moving, and may you always find pockets of healing energy in small pleasures to keep you motivated. X.

  4. Sorry about the knees but glad there’s no rush! As to weight, if you make no effort then on average I think women put on about half a stone a year, so staying the same for five is an achievement! 😉

  5. Oh, man. I’m sorry you got that diagnosis, but the good news is that there have been a lot of advancements in knee replacements lately. You know from reading my blog I’ve had three joints replaced (hip, shoulder and knee – in that order). Each of my surgeons have told me the same thing — the best result is when the original joint is still relatively healthy. If you wait until it’s completely “gone” the replacement becomes more complicated. That being said, if your doctor is willing to wait a bit, there’s no need to rush into things. Did he suggest hyaluronic acid or other treatments until then? Those were quite helpful for me and helped me delay the knee replacement for a while. Good luck!

  6. Thanks for the input Carla. My family is well versed at replacement joints. I won’t wait too long, but right now it’s just everyday discomfort that doesn’t interfere with my day. I’ve had a couple rounds of synvisc in one knee and would consider it for the other. We shall see. Meantime, headed to the gym tomorroe

  7. Sorry about the knee. When you posted about skiing I had hoped it would settle back down. I have done synvisc a few times. Not sure it helped as much as the steroid shots. Insurance denied it last time. I am bone on bone too. That is from the ortho doc. Rheum doc claims my knee is fine. Go figure.
    I hope you manage for a while yet.

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