Personal stories about knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis
These stories are based on information gathered from health
professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health
Chuck, age 45: I've skied competitively since
I was 6 years old. In my 20s, I had several knee injuries and surgeries. About
7 years ago, I started having a lot of pain in one knee, and my doctor said the
only surgery left to do was to replace the knee. If I have the knee replaced, I
won't be able to ski or run or do anything that puts a lot of stress on it. I
can't do any of those things now because of the pain anyway. I don't know how
I'm going to deal with that, since being an athlete has always been a big part
of who I am. I'm worried about having my knee replaced when I'm so young, but
with the amount of pain I'm having, I don't see any other choice.
Esmerelda, age 61:The pain in my knees,
especially my left one, has gotten steadily worse in the last 20 years. The
medications just weren't working. It got so bad last year that I gave up on my
flower garden. My doctor and I discussed knee replacement, but I consider that
my last resort. My doctor and I developed a plan of swimming and healthy eating
habits that will help me take off these extra pounds I've put on. We agree
that's the best thing I can do to keep my osteoarthritis from getting worse.
We're going to try some different medications, too.
George, age 57: I feel like I'm too young to
have my knee replaced. But I definitely need something other than Tylenol for
the pain. I asked my doctor about my other options. She said we can try joint
injections and see how that works. I can always have the surgery later if I
need it, but I'd sure like to put it off for as long as I can. I'll see if
these joint injections make the pain better. My doctor says that as long as I
can handle the pain, we can hold off on the surgery.
Jean, age 71: I was an avid tennis player for
years, and it finally caught up with my knees. I had an osteotomy years ago,
and it helped for a while. But now so much of my time is focused on the pain.
I'm an active grandmother with no intention of missing out on my grandkids'
activities. I know that surgery will mean a long period of exercising and
rehabilitation, but it will be worth it to lose this stiffness and
Robin Parks, MS
Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
April 20, 2007
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 20, 2007
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