Anything but Surgery…

This is what I genuinely believe- once you need a knee replacement there really isn’t a lot you can do to avoid it.  The only people, in my experience, that “avoided” a knee replacement with a particular exercise regimen or injection product didn’t need the knee replacement in the first place.  Once the bone on one side of the joint touches the bone on the other side and you begin that terrible painful slide down into arthritis pain it is unlikely you can avoid surgery.  You can definitely do some maneuvers to temporarily relieve the pain and as long as you continue these things you can grab a few months or maybe a year.  As in any situation there are some exceptions and everyone has unique story but ignore the Synvisc ads and the glucosamine ads as their claims are based on no science.  They don’t lubricate the joint or build cartilage.  Don’t get me wrong, some people get pain relief from both of these but neither biologically make a change in your knee.  If you are part of the few and the proud that get some pain relief from these then thank the odds makers in Vegas- they are just as responsible as hard science.

I did physical therapy, focused strengthening, glucosamine, Synvisc injections, cortisone injections and 600-1200 mg of Alleve Liqui-gels daily.  The Alleve worked in bringing the pain down from high of 8 to a low of 5.  Everything else- no go.  Again- I still intend to recommend all these modalities to my patients that failed for me because even if a small percentage do well they are so minimally invasive that there is no harm in trying.  So go for it but if your x-rays show you are done then you are probably done.

Denial works though.  The best thing that went through my mind was “who needs to run or even walk quickly anymore?”  There are more than enough Netflix and Amazon series to avoid ever needing to leave the couch. Also- so what if it takes me 15 minutes to walk across the street.  This runs thin though as life is motion and motion is life but it did hold me for 4-6 months and until nearly everyone I knew said something like “when are you finally going to do something about that knee?”  “Alright already,” I said, “I will go get major surgery so you don’t have to feel so much pain when you watch me walk!”

Next…preparing for the surgery.



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