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2 comments
  1. Gwen Reynolds

    I a to the point that my knees are bone against bone, all else is gone and behcause I’m mostly sedate because of the new and back pain, I’ve put on a whole lot of weight and my orthopedic surgeon says I’m not a candidate for surgery, I don’t want to live with this pain for the rest of my life, I’m about to turn 71. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thank you
    Good Bless
    Ola And Gwennita Reynolds
    1668 Calle Lindero
    Lompoc, CA 93436

    In case you want to mail me anything. I

    1. Barbara

      Gwen,
      I’m sorry you’re struggling so with this knee pain. I don’t know you, but my assumption is that you’re not a candidate for total knee replacement because of your weight. This is a very common problem. As a society, we are getting bigger and bigger. The incidence of complications (like infection), and poor outcome is higher in patients who are very overweight. You might also have medical problems which make it difficult to consider elective operations like total joint replacements. “Elective” means that you don’t have to have the operation. It’s not a matter of life or death. Losing large amounts of weight is probably one of the greatest challenges a person can undertake, but undertake it you must. You must lose enough weight so that your BMI is less than 40, or lose the amount of weight your doctor has recommended you lose. I’m not saying this is easy, and it might be impossible for you. You cannot increase your activity level because your knees won’t take it. So you must do it by dieting. This is so hard. Seek out the attention of a physician who specializes in weight loss.

      Now if you have tried to lose weight unsuccessfully, then the only other alternatives for you are things like taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (if medically, you are able to do that), taking cortisone injections or hyaluronic acid injections (things like Synvisc and Hyalgan). These are the gel injections you have probably heard of on the radio. They work very well in many of my patients. There are also PRP and stem cell injections. Insurance doesn’t cover PRP and stem cell injections, and they can be very expensive. Many patients cannot afford them. This is about all you can do, other than to get access to a motorized scooter or wheelchair. This is never a good thing, and certainly not a first line of treatment.

      You must also modify any activity which is causing pain. Don’t get involved in any aggressive exercise programs which involve squats, deep knee bends and lunges. Do not do high impact exercise. And don’t climb stairs unnecessarily. I know, I know. That seems counter-intuitive. You need to exercise, right? Right, but the benefits of stair climbing in a person who already has advanced arthritis, do not outweigh the liabilities. You can hurt you knees on the stairs.

      I hope this helps!

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