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Knee surgery

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suechu | 16:49 Wed 15th Feb 2012 | Body & Soul
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Due to an RTA in 1967, I underwent a fusion of the left knee (aka arthrodesis of the joint) leaving me with a completely stiff left leg with no flexion of the knee.

Ever since have periodically sought a reversal, i.e. with a replacement knee joint. Have seen surgeons both privately and on the NHS. The last seemed extremely doubtful at the wisdom of proceeding, but acknowledged it was theoretically possible.

This doesn't rule my life, but am slightly tormented by the thought that if only I saw the right person... So my question is, do any AB'ers have any knowledge or recommendations? Thanks all.


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I, too, had an RTA in 1967. Although the knee was shattered (femur, tibia, fibula, femoral condile and patella all broken) the surgeon actually saved my knee which lasted 'til 2000. I had knee joint replacement which has been brilliant.
However, even though I still had the knee there was significant muscle wasting. I had to work very hard to build the muscle on that leg. I suspect that after all these years without a knee joint you will have little or no muscle on that leg and joint replacement wouldn't be very effective at all.
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Thanks Graham-W I think you're probably right. Sigh.
Was it a motorbike?
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How did you guess?
My understanding is that replacement knee joints don't last very long, which is why my doctor is making me wait as long as possible for mine.
On the other hand he may be lying to save money.
BTW When I was looking to get a replacement knee joint on the NHS, I was far too young at 50. When the company I worked for gave us private health insurance as part of our salary package there was a compete change of attitude. "Come in Sir. I'm sure we can do something about that. When would you like it done? Before or after Christmas?"
Same orthopaedic surgeon as I'd seen through the NHS as well.
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Hi Craft1948. This is my history of misinformation: when I had the original op. i was told, not to worry, I could have a knee replacement when I was older. Then in periodic consultations over the years, was told I was too young as these joints only last c.10 years, come back when you're older. Now I'm told it was and is never going to be a possibility. As John Cleese said in Clockwork "I can take the despair, it's the hope I can't stand"! (slight exaggeration, I'm not in despair as such but you get my drift)
Difficult ...very very difficult.

Knee Arthrodesis is the "end of the road" for all disorders of the knee.

In a "fresh knee" that is one the has never been operated on before and the problem is that of pain due to degeneration, results from knee replacement range from 10% failure to 60% failure depending upon surgeon and hospital.
That is everything is going for you.......

Now with a long standing knee fusion secondary to trauma, then you are starting off at a HUGE disadvantage in terms of success and that will certainly depend on the expertise or otherwise of the surgeon. Complication rates will be high for you///deep infection, loosening of the prosthesis and even breakage of the joint.

Do you want replacement because of pain or immobility or both? Either of these would need to be life disturbing to a severe degree before you should contemplate life tolerable?

I am not an Orthopaedic surgeon, but the chances of a successful arthroplasty looks remote.

An excellent unit.......many in the choice?

The Wrightington Centre for Hip and Knee Surgery.
Nr. Wigan
Greater Manchester

Good luck
I had my first knee op in 1963 which was not a great success (I'd only gone in for a cartiledge op) and I was warned that I would have severe arthritis as I got older.
I have carried on playing sports but after a lot of time on my feet the joint swells, stiffens, and is extremely painful.
My doctor wants me to wait another 2 years.............
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Thanks Sqad for the information on the Wrightington Centre but I think I know what their answer will be. And thanks for your informative comment.

Heigh ho.

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