Bone on Bone

I’ve heard lots of other people use those words to describe their knees. But never had it applied to my knee. Until yesterday. My insurance company finally approved the gel shots, and so yesterday I went in to my knee doctor for the first of three shots. I like this doctor SO MUCH. He is kind and encouraging, and not an alarmist. And for a surgeon, he has always been more interested in trying other less invasive methods rather than “surgery is the only option” like so many surgeons seem to think.

So yesterday he started the conversation by asking “have you been thinking about surgery at all?” To which I replied honestly, “I think about it ALL THE TIME.” I think about how my knee hurts  and how I avoid walking places and how I wish I could walk longer and farther. And then I think about how I don’t want a part of my body REMOVED FOREVER and replaced with a hunk of plastic and metal. And I think about my friend whose knee surgery was botched and how it took five years and almost as many doctors to get someone to listen to her and she had to have the first device removed and then wait 6 weeks WITHOUT A KNEE and then have another surgery to have it replaced. And I think about my sister-in-law’s dad, who died 2 days after his knee replacement surgery. And, of course, I do think about the many people who have had successful surgeries, and report lack of pain, and even the ability to take long hikes.

Anyway, then he told me he had reviewed my August X-rays, and my knee was now bone on bone. After a couple of minutes of that setting in, I said I was almost relieved to hear that, because now I didn’t feel like such a wimp for feeling that my knee hurt so much. And he said kindly, “no, you are not a wimp.”

So we discussed a bit more. And the plan is to go ahead and try these gel shots, but if they don’t work, we will go ahead with planning for the surgery. It is almost a relief to me to have more of a concrete plan in mind. For someone like me, its much better than the ubiquitous “you’ll know when its time.”

I don’t have any travel plans after February, and I kind of think that this eventuality might have been in my mind already. I know I will want to add any exercises I might need beforehand to optimize my outcomes. I’m pretty sure that is all a part of planning for the surgery.

In addition, (and I am reluctant to say this after just one week of success,)  but a little over a week ago, I decided to try restricting one more time. I re-set my calorie limit to 1400 on LoseIt, and what do you know? This time I didn’t internally rebel, it was pretty easy to stick to, and I stayed true to it for one whole week and lost 3 pounds. That is the most I’ve lost in months. Now, always, the big question is, how will you MAINTAIN any loss? I am not optimistic about that. But it is always a part of what I think about when I am in losing mode. With this surgery looming, any weight I can lose will be a big bonus, so that is a huge motivating factor for me right now. As you know, I live alone, and having a good recovery and being independent AS SOON AS POSSIBLE is the most important thing to me.

So that’s the news for now. I am off to the gym for a nice long session in the pool. Yes, we are still having pool weather here in sunny California 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Bone on Bone

  1. I’ve had both my knees replaced and I can assure you exercise before and rehab after are extremely important to the success of knee surgery. Both times I was able to take care of myself after about 4 days with meals I’d prepared beforehand.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Linda! Yes, prepping meals ahead of time is already in my mind. I did that for my carpal tunnel surgery, and it was kind of fun 🙂

  2. You don’t know me but I want to send you some encouragement. I had both knees replaced (one at a time) in 2007 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Just do whatever the physical therapists tell you even if it hurts. They had me back in the pool as soon as my incisions were healed and was back teaching in a college classroom 5 weeks after the second surgery.

  3. I had both knees replaced 6 months apart about 5 years ago.The Best thing I ever did for myself! It was tough–I won’t kid you, but it is worth it. I was also bone on bone for quite a few years. I tried all the shots and nothing helped. Finally I discovered it had changed my body structure–I had become knot-kneed. When I went into the orthopedist he said I needed to have both done within a year or I might end up with a dropped foot. That got my attention!!! I know you live by yourself, but some go to rehab for awhile before they go home.

    • Thank you Kathy. Yes, going to rehab for a little bit is in the plan. I hope insurance pays for it, but we haven’t gotten that far yet.

  4. My mom has had both knees replaced and she is doing very well. She didn’t have any trouble with either surgery and all went as planned. I think you’ll be glad you did it eventually!! And you are active and healthy, so I’m sure your recovery time will be much shorter than my mom’s was. 🙂

    • Also, I remember my mom had a physical therapist that came to her house a couple of times a week for several weeks after the surgery – that helped a lot.

      • Yes, that is how they do it up here too. I guess since you can’t drive for a while, they have to come to you!

  5. I hope the shots work for you and the insurance company didn’t drag its feet too long on their effectiveness. I have typed soooo many ortho reports on joint replacements and by far and away the majority say it’s life changing for them.

    • The gel shots work for some and not for others. It doesn’t seem to matter how bad your arthritis is. My doctor explained again that he has seen people much worse than me have a great response to the shots, and others who were not as bad as me did not respond at all. I think the randomness of it is what makes the insurance companies reluctant to approve.

  6. Yowzers, bone on bone sounds tremendously painful!!! I suspect you’ve lived with this chronic pain for so long that you don’t even know what life is like without it…and while I’m a person who doesn’t jump into surgery willy-nilly, I’d do this one. You are fit and healthy, you are a compliant patient, and I’d wager that you’ll be recovered and feeling like a million bucks before you know it.

    • Thanks, Shelley. I do think I will be a good patient 🙂 And I do have several friends who have told me that getting knee replacements eliminated all their pain.

  7. I have two friends who went the gel shots routine and ended up with knee replacements and both are doing fantastic. They are runners if that encourages you at all. My mom is doing great with just the gel shots, and she’s 77 years old. So, one way or the other, I know your solution is out there.

    Here’s to pain relief!

  8. Ugh, knees. After 40 years of obesity, overweight, morbid obesity, I fear I may need to have 1-2 knee replacements as I age.

    I find I can keep my knees the happiest when I keep foods that keep my joints inflammed out of my food template. It’s one stop shopping since sugar, grains, and dairy all help keep me a normal weight and keep my weight maintenance strong.

    Onward and hoping for the best for you.

  9. I’ll echo what others have said about how wonderful it is to now be completely pain free. There was an adjustment period where I had to teach my feet and hips to relearn how to properly walk, but a good physical therapist will get you through that. I also live alone and fortunately only needed one knee replaced. Good luck!

  10. My knee was replaced a year ago and I am also pain free now. I agree about the importance of physical therapy, and if you can find one with an indoor pool, TAKE IT! I also live alone, and for the first month I had home visits for PT and a visiting nurse. All I have is Medicare for insurance. This was one of my most successful surgeries (I’ve had too many.) I hope yours goes as well as mine, if needed.

  11. I haven’t blogged or read blogs for some time, but today I touched base with a few. I am sorry to hear about your knee. It can be so painful and debilitating. I had a knee injury early in the year and hardly left the house for two months. I then graduated to a walker and then to a can. I now can walk unassisted, but I also have some bone on bone on part of my knee. I am not ready for surgery yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. I wanted to wish you the best with whatever you end up doing. I know you like to be active. Take care…

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