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Thread: Knee Joint Treatment for No Cartilage?

  1. #1

    Knee Joint Treatment for No Cartilage?

    Five years ago my orthopedist said that my left knee had no cartilage left in it (showed me X-rays of both knees to demonstrate). He said that there were four treatment steps (cortisone injections, lubricant injections, I don't remember #3, and then knee joint replacement) but that I might try Glucosamine Chrondroitin. Well the Glucosimine Chrondroitin was successful for five years but the knees getting bad again so I'm back to the four step treatment.
    Who has had these options, how successful were they, and what would you do if you had to do it over again? I've heard that the cortisone injections may or may not work, and tend not to last too long. Similar comments on the lubricant injections. And it'll have to hurt a while longer before I have knee replacement.
    I've got an appointment with him tomorrow and wanted to get some independent opinions before I jump into a course of treatment.
    Thanks for any input, I appreciate it,

  2. #2
    He will ask you what you want to be able to do once he's finished with you. Think of the things you don't do because of the knee, and be HONEST with him about what you'd like to be able to do once treated. He will recommend a treatment based on your answers.

    Lots of people opt for the total knee as a "do it and forget it" kind of treatment. You'll have more downtime and more rehab with this option, but it will last you longer. If you're considering a total knee, don't put it off and allow the joint to continue to deteriorate. You'll be compensating for the bad joint, and that leads to problems in the other knee, back, etc.
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  3. #3
    Trick Tool Maker, Super Moderator Hankl's Avatar
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    Lawrence,

    I just had a set of cortisone injections at the end of January. I had my first knee surgery in 1966, so I'm a expert at pain. They have already worn off and the pain is back, but I can go just a bit longer before it really kills me. The thing about cortisone is that successive injections last an even shorter time as you get them. I'm going to wait till the second week in June for my next set, as I have to attend a wedding out of state, and don't really want to be walking around in a state of continual pain.

    As to the wait as long as you can crowd, things are changing there. The basic thought is, that delaying the process degrades your quality of life, and waiting is not going to actually give you any measurable benefit. About 15 years ago, waiting was the standard response, mainly due to the longevity of the then currently available prosthesis. Back then a knee joint had a life expectancy of about 10-15 years, now there up to 20-25+ years.

    So part of the equation is your current age, your life style of activity, and quality of life with restricted mobility.

    I'm due for the first replacement in July, with the second one about 6-8 weeks later I'm looking forward to new knees, and no pain. Yes there are risk, but I've been under the knife 8 times, what's 2 more. Walking across the street is a risk, pick a good Surgical Team, and those risk are even less.

    Here's the kicker, a Forum member is doing my surgery, how great is this place!!

    Hank
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Gopher's Avatar
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    I had a friend who could hardly walk he did the total knee on one and half on the other in four month he was back on the golf course.About the only thing he can't do is kneel down without some type of padding.He's in no pain said it was the best thing he ever did and why did he wait so long.
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  5. #5
    Had knee surgery yesterday and laying in bed with knee elevated as I type! This is my 5th knee surgery, 4th on one knee. My issue has been torn miniscus and calcification and worn cartilage.

    I had a procedure done: microfracture, where they drill through the cartilage into the bone to stimulate new cartilage growth. I know nothing about the procedure, and was the first I heard of the procedure was in the recovery room. The surgeon sounded like this was going to buy me some time, because he told me that he would be seeing me again in 20-25 years for a knee replacement.

  6. #6

    Supartz

    I hope I spelled it right. That is the "joint lubricant" , it is derived from a rooster cox comb. No I'm not joking. My wife had a series of two shots in each knee. Was not painful but it really didn't help much . Insurance companies usually don't cover all the expense either. She is a candidate for knee replacement. She said she will wait untill it is very bad, as she has undergone 4 heart stents and a quad bypass in the last 2 yrs. When we were checking on the shots we heard of many people that did have good results, we werent that lucky. The only side effect about the shots was she "clucked " alot , NOW im joking.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Kenny

  7. #7
    Wouldn't mind the clucking if it'd help me find chicks!

  8. #8
    Junior Member daboozmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNCobra View Post
    Had knee surgery yesterday and laying in bed with knee elevated as I type! This is my 5th knee surgery, 4th on one knee. My issue has been torn miniscus and calcification and worn cartilage.

    I had a procedure done: microfracture, where they drill through the cartilage into the bone to stimulate new cartilage growth. I know nothing about the procedure, and was the first I heard of the procedure was in the recovery room. The surgeon sounded like this was going to buy me some time, because he told me that he would be seeing me again in 20-25 years for a knee replacement.
    Hey TNCobra Im in Sac as well, if you need anything [like someone to driver your Cobra] just let me know!
    Kidding aside I hope you all a quick recovery.
    B

  9. #9
    As a temporary fix you might investigate a brace called the V-VAS.
    This brace unloads the pressure at the knee joint.

    http://www.anatomicalconceptsinc.com/vvas.htm

    jack

  10. #10
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    "Supartz
    I hope I spelled it right. That is the "joint lubricant" , it is derived from a rooster cox comb."


    I have a coworker friend who is using this stuff. Old football and wrestling injury, and he's overweight, but its working for him. He's ~52, and he's wanting to buy some time before he does the knee replacement, knowing that knee replacements only last so long before you have to do it again, and he only wants to do it once. After getting periodic injections of the stuff, he went from limping and lots of pain, to no pain, and he's walking every day to take off weight.

  11. #11
    The injections (joint fluid or steroid) are both only temporary relief, same with the bracing and therapy. Unfortunately, the only definitive treatment for knee arthritis is a joint replacement. Fortunately, they're really successful and the hardware is much better today than even only 10 years ago. I'm a physical therapist and if it was my knee I would do the temporary measures until age 55, if older than that joint replacement.

  12. #12
    Hi there, how did the microfracture procedure go? I am scheduled to have mine in two weeks dye to no cartilage in my knee. Thanks!

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