Doesnt someone here work for an ortho?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If so could you please ask them a question for me?

    Billy met a man at work yesterday and didnt get his name or the exact name of the operation performed but this man said he had a procedure done to avoid getting a knee replacement. It also was not the rooster comb injection stuff.

    This procedure involved the man going in to the hospital for an outpatient procedure and they numbed him from the waist down. They stretched his leg in some contraption so that it separated the knee as far as they could and the they inserted some form of artificial cartilage into his knee joint. He said he could hear this grinding noise and feel a sort of pulling but no pain. He said it was really strange and weird sounding. Afterwards he was in pain for 3/4 days but slowly his pain got much better and now he is so much better than he has felt in years. Now this wont last forever but it lasts much longer than the Synvisc which only lasts 6/8 months at best. I have had those shots so many times.

    I am so very interested in this new procedure if I can find out what it is. I just am not going to do the knee replacements I dont think. I have heard too many bad things for people at my weight. Even as recently as 3 days ago. Risk benefit ratio. I would do the above.

    I also just read about a brace with a bionicare electrical system inserted into it. I want to talk about trying that.

    See....I am willing to do other things to help I have been begging for other things to help. One website said people like me would do best with a higher bed such as a hospital bed so I dont have to push myself up from a low sitting position everyday. I agree there. My bed is very low and it is so hard to get in and out of. Worst money I ever spent. I dont know if I could get them to order me a hospital bed though. Medicare does say that I fit the qualifications for one. Who knows.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    That sounds very interesting. I am in the same place as u are with my knee. I almost am at the point where I can not walk.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yep. In the last two weeks something has come up with my right knee. I am used to the knee itself hurting but now the shin bone has started to have this really bad pain up at the top right under where the knee attaches to the shin but it goes down about 4 to 5 inches further. It makes it so painful to even stand on that leg at all and if I even slightly move wrong when walking, standing or getting up oh boy does it hurt! It can just about bring tears to my eyes and I have fallen back onto the couch or bed, ended up grabbing the counter tops or door frames and just taking the weight completely off that leg. The bad thing is you cant even see anything wrong except that it is a bit more swollen than normal but then again, my knees are always swollen. They look and feel like I have gravel under my skin.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Janet, I know you've told me before but can you remind me why you can't have the replacements done? Is it due to your other health issues?

    I love mine. I just finished completing the one year survey (I get one every six months as part of my follow up) and it was so nice to report that I LOVE MY NEW KNEE!! It's not perfect, but I can do stuff that I had to avoid for nearly two years prior and because of my new ability to move more, I've lost 20 lbs (along with help from WW). My right knee is going so that will be ready for a replacement in about 3-5 years no doubt. I wish everyone was able to get new knees if they can.

    I'm sorry you're in such agony - I sure know what that feels like...crunching bone on crunching bone, ugh.
  5. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Janet, this is off topic a bit but.. have you ever tried bed risers? If you don't think they would be sturdy enough you could use concrete blocks. I used to have my bed on blocks and loved how easy it was to get out of bed.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Tony is a carpenter... you don't need a hospital bed, you need a custom platform for your mattress (or mattress plus boxspring depending on how firm you need things). Build it like they do in motels (where it's NOT done for height, but to keep stuff from going under the bed), only high enough that when you are sitting on the mattress, your hips and knees form a 90 degree bend.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Okay I have to answer questions in order.

    About the knee replacements. I honestly dont want to do them. Not only that but at my weight they are a much bigger risk for failure. I talk to more people who are my size who have poor outcomes with replacements. I also simply cannot talk myself into going through learning to walk again. I realize this is probably a mental block but every time I even think about it, my mind goes right back to what I went through in 2008 and I just freeze. That was the most miserable thing I have ever gone through and no amount of rationalization can get me past it. All I see is all those months of rehab. Literally I lost all ability to use my legs and arms. I had to learn all over again and to even think about doing it again is too much for me.

    Now about the bed.

    I bought a brand new king sized box spring and mattress 2 years ago. I went to a mattress store and asked the salesperson for a set that would hold up well for a person of my weight who would be in bed quite a bit and I wanted one that wouldnt break down on the sides when I got up and down because I do have to sort of slide out of bed. Well they flat out lied to me. This thing is already broken down. Its not like they didnt see me in person. The mattress cant be flipped because its a pillow top. I did ask for a fairly firm mattress because I figured it would be less likely to sag. I figured if it was too firm I could add a topper.

    The last mattress I had, the box spring broke, so I put this one directly on the floor so the wood inside wouldnt have as great a chance to split. I havent been able to pick up the actual mattress to see if the wood has splintered or not. But right now, there is a huge dip or hole whichever you want to call it, where I sleep and that is even after I have stuffed a pillow under the mattress between the mattress and the box spring. Its right where my hips sit on the bed.

    I paid $1500 for this bed. I tried to invoke the warranty but they said it was voided because there are stains on the mattress which is true. I dont know why that matters though, they certainly couldnt resell it.

    If I just put this up on blocks or even a platform, Im just increasing the height of this sagging mess. I wish I hadnt gotten rid of my mom's old hospital bed but we gave it to a neighbor who's father moved in with them. Now that entire family has died and I dont know what has happened with any of their belongings. That hospital bed was one of the old ones that I got from a good will type place and I just put a twin mattress on it. It wasnt electric, it had a hand crank.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They make little pedestals to raise a bed up. You can buy sets of four and the stated purpose is to let you have more storage space under the bed. I found one set that was about a hundred bucks, but it is metal and not plastic. The manufacturer says that they do not decrease the weight limit set by your bed frame, no clue if that is true or not. There are many cheaper versions, down to under twenty bucks for a set of four. If you have a queen size or king size bed, you may want cinder blocks instead, or at least find some support for the middle of the bed.

    Here is a page from amazon iwth many bed risers to choose from:

    This is a simple thing that will make your life better for a small investment. Please don't try to install the risers yourself - that is what you have menfolk to do for you!

    I did some research online and cannot find anything like what you describe. I did find this article on botox for severe knee pain: .

    Here is an article about different knee injections:

    I also found this list of treatments for the knees, but none sound like what you describe:

    I will caution you that ANY treatment that will need you to use a motion machine is going to be incredibly painful. Years ago my aunt fell while teaching her son to ride his bike. She ended up shattering her kneecap badly. A very short period of time after the operation to repair it, the doctor had a motion machine installed in her home. She would have to lay there with it while it moved her knee. The purpose is so that you do not end up with the knee being fused due to improper bone fusion and scar tissue adhesions. My aunt is tough, and was in really great physical shape - she was a runner, managed a swimming pool (and used it for hours a day), and had been a gym teacher. even with pain medications, this was sheer agony. She would cry during the use of the machine (fifteen to thirty min three times a day!) and for over an hour afterword. Nothing helped with the pain.

    This is not going to be something you want, and if it s necessary, push the doctor for a LOT of pain medications and muscle relaxers. It wasn't until I saw what they were doing and how her muscles were spasming that anyone thought to rx muscle relaxers for her. The doctor 'forgot' and they were supposedly a standard part of the treatment to keep the patient from totally resisting the use of the machine. I don't know that this was true, I do know that after we convinced my aunt to take them she didn't cry as much. She just didn't want another round of side effects from another medication as the stuff she was on already was upsetting her stomach.

    I know you have real problems with the MRI due to horrible claustrophobia. Is there ANY chance you could get a psychiatrist and the ortho doctor to consider full anesthesia for the MRI? If they tell you this isn't ever done, laugh at them. They gave Jess full anesthesia, not just a sedative or twilight anesthesia, the first time they needed the mri of her head/neck/spine after the constant muscle contractions that make her look like she is shivering happened. She was doing this movement in her sleep, which we first noticed because she was asleep in the recliner and it started squeaking from the movement. If they will knock out a 12 or 13yo, they can do it to you also.

    I hate that you are kept from surgery that would be a huge benefit to you simply because they cannot work around your claustrophobia. in my opinion that is medical neglect on their part.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Were you watching re-runs of the 6million dollar man and this was some WEIRD cross over dream?
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Janet, love, I just want to tell you that you do not have to learn how to walk all over again. The pt is only a couple of months and usually within a couple of weeks you're off the walker and onto a cane and then off that and on your own. It's doable. I won't ask you to post your weight, but my sister was well over 225 lbs when she had hers - both of them three days apart - and she did fabulous and she is 17 years older than you and me!!

    However, that said, each of us should only do what we're comfortable with. I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions about the recovery. Hugs.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo, I am well over that and I know what I think in my mind isnt rational. I realize that a knee replacement isnt the same thing I went through but convincing myself to do it is a whole other thing.

    Susie, I could do a knee MRI. I have had one done before. At least I can do an Open MRI of my knee. Have no idea how the do the knee in a closed MRI and have no desire to find I do know I have handled the open MRI before for my knee so I can do it again.

    I have looked online too for this procedure Billy talked about and I cant find it. I am hoping the guy goes back into his store so Billy can ask him the name of it. Or heck, maybe Billy completely misunderstood him.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm the one that USED to work for an ortho. I haven't worked there in about 16 months. I have no idea what that procedure is that you are referring to. My ortho guy is retired from surgery anyway. He refers most of his patients to this guy now....he's the leading hip and knee replacement surgeon in NJ.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Janet, one of my oldest and dearest friends - in fact she was babysitting me from the time I was one week old - is literally twice your size and avoided the knee replacement for decades. She hobbled around with a cane and had to retire from her work before she finally gave in and got it done. She was so pleased with the results that she set up the second one for as soon as she was fully recovered from her first. The knee improvement has helped her to get around and be more healthy. She is still very large, but she doesn't feel that she has to be wherever she is going half an hour before her appointment time so that people won't see how hard it is for her to get around. Don't let your weight stop you!
  14. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    3S, that might sound like it actually.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My father in law resisted knee replacements for quite a while. He was afraid he would have a long recovery, that it would result in more pain, etc... Finaly stepMIL flat out said 'Do the replacements or I am going abroad without you." They go to Europe each year pretty much, usually for a month or two. He would not have been able to handle the trip with-o the knee replacement.

    We have been amazed. He is as active now as he was 20 yrs ago and the phys therapy was not awful for him in any way. He had both knees done either at the same time or maybe a few weeks apart.

    Janet, every single person I know who has had knee replacements ends up kicking themselves for not having done it years or even decades sooner. I have NEVER heard anyone say they wish they had not done it. For years we had a chronic pain support group here and my mother was a member. Over half the members and some of their spouses had this done and they ALL wished they had done it sooner. I know it will be hard to talk yourself into. just think about what you could do with the grandkids if you didn't have your knees hurting so bad! Would that be enough to help?
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Janet, I do remember when people first started doing knee replacements and they had four inches of scar above and below each side of their knee. It's not at all like that now. You can hardly even see the cuts anymore. I know your insurance situation is precarious, but if you can get a consultation on it, I think you should. You might be surprised at how much less invasive it is than it used to be.

    Here is a super neat link to the different types of surgery available.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The people I see here who have the knee replacement surgeries still have the large scars on their knees. About a 6 to 8 inch scar straight down the side of the knee. I think if I did it I would go to DUKE though. I dont much trust any place else in this state for ortho issues and it would most likely take me well over a year to just get in to their ortho clinic. I dont believe my doctor has any sort of in with them. He only has privileges at my local hospital. I do like him but Im not as fond of my local hospital for major things. I dont even know if DUKE is taking patients at this time. Sometimes they close their appointments if they get too backed up.

    One good thing I did find out though, I went to this place we have here which is called Church and Community Center. Its a place that people donate old clothes, furniture and stuff like they would to Salvation Army or Goodwill but we dont have any of those places here. Also people and places like rest homes and nursing homes who go out of business donate old hospital equipment like hospital beds, wheel chairs and the like to them to give away to people who need them but cant get them. Thats where I got my mom's when I didnt realize I could have got hers from Medicare through DME. Lord I was stupid back then! Back then I got this old heavy steel bed with no mattress. It had the crank on it. I had no idea I could have had her doctor order a new one for her. If I had done that, I would still have it. Anyway, I called them last Friday right before they closed and they told me they have a couple of beds and I can come in next week and most likely I can get one. I know I didnt have to show proof my mom needed it so I will just go in and explain my issues and hope they understand. If I can get the hospital bed, I will be able to have both the hospital bed plus Tony's double bed in my master bedroom and we can sleep in the same room again. My room is big enough for that. I will just have to rearrange the room a bit. It will probably help me keep the room cleaner too because there wont be as much room to toss stuff on the floor. Tony will have to help me get the closet cleaned out so we can use that for storing clothes though. Something I have been begging for since we moved in.
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It's true, knee replacement leaves a scar. Mine is about eight inches long down the FRONT of my knee, not the side. I scar ugly but a majority of the scar has faded, only the top part is still noticeable. I felt so fantastic this past Spring and Summer that I had no problem wearing dresses and skirts...I was finally able to move again and I didn't care much about the scar. I thought I would be very self concious about it, but turns out it didn't matter after all. My sister had to wait until she acquired Medicare before she could have her knees done...she is an artist without insurance. I watched her suffer and swallow amazing amount of NSAIDs over the years. I didn't want to 49 years of age, I wanted to move and keep living. I am fortunate to have insurance that covered the surgery and rehab. I'm not trying to talk you into anything, but I do think more information and new technology is available for you to research. My only word of caution is DO NOT WATCH A VIDEO OF THE SURGERY!!! I didn't...everyone kept sending me videos of the surgery to watch, I refused and I'm so glad I did.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wont watch videos. I had a stupid ENT who wanted to do sinus surgery on me years ago because I had a sinus infection for over 8 months that simply wouldnt go away. I would go on antibiotics and as soon as I was off them, the infection came back. Well idiot doctor made me watch the video and I never went back.

    I know sooner or later I will have it done, if I dont die first. Hey, I might get killed in a wreck and save myself all that pain and Or get something else like a heart attack. Or a never knows. I can hope cant I? Maybe they will come out with some miracle invention while Im being a wimp.