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11/07/2010 03:43 PM

Overweight & Need Bilateral Knee Replacements

tiacaron
Posts: 8
New Member

Hi everyone. I'm new to the group and appreciate any help anyone can offer. I'm at the point of needing bilateral knee replacement surgery. I weigh a little over 300 pounds, and I'm afraid. I am generally in good health, except for the orthopedic problems and the weight issue. I was injured when I was 17, and weight has been an issue ever since. I've already had a total hip replacement at age 39. I'm about to turn 50. I will be having both done at the same time, and my feelings about the whole thing start with resignation and end with terror. I've been looking at it that I need to lose 100 pounds to make a difference in my pain and mobility levels which is beyond discouraging. Can 20-50 pounds really make a difference?

Does anyone have experience with being overweight and having this procedure done?

Does anyone have experience with losing weight and having a lesser amount of pain?

Any responses are much appreciated.

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11/10/2010 07:34 AM
BPB
BPB  
Posts: 801
Senior Member

tiacaron,

Let me take this moement to welcome you to the knee replacement support group!!!!!! I was extremely overweight prior to my knee replacements bt I had gastric bypass and lost 348 lbs and I have no pain now that the knees are done. The only time I notice them is when it rains or snows and they get a little stiff and sore but Motrin or Advil usually takes care of it. I only had one knee done at a time so Kudo's to you for getting both done at the same time. It is going to be challleging but you can do it and your recovery time will be about the smae as for one-usually 4-6 mths before you are completely pain free. You will be so glad you did it. And during this time it might be a good time to start a healthy lifestyle because weight does affect the joints tremendously. For every 1 lb of weight you carry on your body it puts 3 lbs of pressure on your knees walking. So it adds up quickly. Again welcome to the group and I hope to hear from you soon and get the chance to get to know you. We can be here for you during your replacements as support so don't forget us when all this happens. Your'e in my thoughts and prayers honey, Carol


11/10/2010 01:07 PM
tiacaron
Posts: 8
New Member

Thanks so much for the welcome, Carol. I was injured in 1978 at age 17 in a very bad auto accident. I had one "good" leg and one "bad" leg. Well, two years ago I injured my "good" knee and since then it has all been downhill. I think I began overeating/sugar addiction particularly to deal with the pain and depression I felt and now it has just become a habit. I'm feeling so encouraged by what you had to say. My mother has asked me about having a gastric bypass as a way to put off the knee replacements, but I don't know if she understands what it is like to walk without cartilage. My knees are so damaged that they can't even get the needle under them to give me cortisone shots. I'm hoping that with new knees I can improve my physical fitness and move forward...literally and figuratively. Thank you again for your sweet words of encouragement. Bless you.

11/14/2010 11:25 PM
BPB
BPB  
Posts: 801
Senior Member

tiacaron,

Honey I know the feeling of bad knees due to weight and the humilation I flet because of it. I knew my knees were bad but I had to lose the weight before the doctor would do anything about my knees. So after 348lbs down I have bilateral knees replaced and I can walk again and have even ran....... There is a new life out there for you just take it one day at a time and you are in my thoughts and my prayers hon, Carol


11/26/2010 11:56 PM
tiacaron
Posts: 8
New Member

Carol, did you lose the weight before or after your knee replacements? Did you notice a difference in your pain level after losing any amount of weight or only after a significant weight loss?

I have an appointment with my "new" orthopedist to discuss the TKRs on 12/6, and boy, am I nervous. I want to feel better, but it is so scary.

I appreciate so much your willingness to share your story with me.

Thanks.

Caron


11/27/2010 06:39 PM
keeter

Hi Caron!

Carol does such a great job that I hardly ever talk any more! Smile

I also was overweight when I had mine done. I weighed about 250. I had one done in January and one in May. If you are already bone on bone and it sounds like you are, losing weight won't help. Once you're at that level, it's going to hurt. But Carol is right that once it's done and you can move again, it will be easier to start to exercise again. I did. I joined a gym the following year. Had also walked a 5K and done some other things along the way. It is so wonderful to have your life back!

It is a scary surgery. Know what to expect before you go in. I have a brochure with some questions and answers about knee replacement on my web site www.tippecaknees.org

Take care,

Diane


11/28/2010 12:47 AM
tiacaron
Posts: 8
New Member

Hi Diane. Nice to "meet" you. Thank you so much for referring me to your brochure. It answered a lot of my questions and was very encouraging. I had to laugh to myself at the part about not sleeping. I haven't had a good night's sleep since I can't remember when so that won't be anything new. Smile As you can see, I was injured when I was 17 so decreased mobility and pain to one level or another has been a part of my entire adult life for the past 32 years. I will be honest and say that I am exhausted in spirit. I cannot take much more of this.

I noticed that the brochure said that being under 300 pounds is best so I think I'll try to drop at least 30 pounds to be around 280 when I have the surgery. I know that I'll be able to lose more with increased activity. Right now I'm just so frustrated. I just started having to use a walker full-time for most of my walking and even use a cane around our apartment. Standing up and walking is torture after sitting even a short time. My cartilage is gone under my kneecaps so they are slipping to the outside rather than riding straight up and down in the front which makes straightening my legs a particular piece of h***. I feel extremely disabled by this and am absolutely ready to have surgery from that perspective. I am fortunate to have a loving and caring fiance and family so I will have help after the surgery.

Again, thank you so much for the wonderful brochure and the encouragement. I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated. It is so helpful to talk to people who know what you are actually going through.

Blessings.

Caron


11/28/2010 09:45 AM
lee2
Posts: 8
New Member

Hi, I am sorry you have such pain. I just wanted to tell you that I have a friend who had one knee replacement and then she had pulmanary embolism & is now on blood thinner so she can't have her other knee fixed. She goes to a hospital where they put her knee under X-ray, or something where he can see the needle and then is able to inject her other knee. She has been doing this for years. Without the benefit of the machine to see where he is putting the needle she was in the same position you find yourself in - they were unable to give her the shots effectively. Good luck, Lee

11/28/2010 05:03 PM
tiacaron
Posts: 8
New Member

Hi Lee. Your poor friend! I really feel for her. I did not know that they could do such a thing as xray while putting the cortisone shots in place. I was told that since my knee cap will no longer come away from the other bones effectively that I could no longer have the shots. I'll have to ask about the procedure you mentioned. Thank you so much!

Blessings.

Caron


11/30/2010 04:09 PM
keeter

Hi Caron!

I'm glad it helped you! It is based on questions and comments from people who went through it. So you are a pro with the waking up! You will be ready! I still have that problem but now I have something else that causes pain (not knee related). I keep saying I need to get a recliner.

The under 300 comment came from the doc who did my surgery. I have known many people who weighed more than 300 and had it done successfully. I think the concern is that the extra weight puts more pressure on it as it heals. But you need to decide when you are ready to do it. Weight is just one factor. Don't suffer if you're struggling to lose weight. Lots of things to think about!

Hugs,

Diane

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