I Kneed You

Knee problems are probably the (older) hikers greatest enemy. My own left knee has had pain for five years (arthritis) but has suddenly given out this week. The MRI says ‘severe arthritis’, ‘macerated meniscus’ and ‘burst Baker’s Cyst’. My GP says there is probably no alternative except a knee replacement.

He has made an appointment for me with a knee specialist, but I have no way to know whether the specialist will be ‘the best’ – he is very old for a surgeon I would have thought (over 60 anyway). And, I will have to wait several weeks and be ‘out of action’ for at least another six! There goes my winter – and my three weeks in the Wonnangatta!

Dr Google is suggesting all sorts of courses of action for me. For example the Israelis have developed a cartilage ‘transplant’ Agili-C which sounds promising, but is probably not available yet. Other sites recommend stem cell therapy. I am wondering whether an arthroscopy and meniscal repair is possible. I have a copy of my MRI.

I am continuing with as much activity as I can, so lots of fencing work at the moment, gym mornings and a shorter walk of an evening. Still 8,000 fairly painful steps today.

If there is anyone out there who can tell from my MRI whether there is a better option for me than complete replacement – and something which will keep these old bones still functioning a little longer I would appreciate the contact. I can email the MRI. My email address is [email protected],com

I imagine these old knees have taken me about to the moon and back, so that if they were any car other than a Land Rover I might need a new one. A pity I wasn’t a Land Rover myself as their parts seem to be a lot cheaper than people parts, which are not so affordable even when you have paid your taxes and your private health for 55 years!

PS: Thank you to the people who have been making suggestions and offering advice about this (and to those who have shared it so that others might). I have received some valuable advice. I see a younger and closer  Orthopaedic specialist on Monday, so maybe I am somewhat forewarned, and perhaps i can defer or prevent a knee replacement with alternative therapy. I will keep you posted.

PPS: And as it turns out he thinks I can and should defer any surgery. The current episode will resolve itself with supplements etc (the sooner the better – I am taking them by the handful; everything anyone suggested!) and that there will be better artificial knees and treatments in ten years time…Perhaps it will be settled down after all enough for my Wonnagatta trip maybe in Aug/Sept?

6 Responses

  1. Hugh Hayward

    Give acupuncture a go mate! Make sure to see a licensed acupuncturist rather than a dry needler.

    I have had great results with knee recon candidates. It is definitely worth a shot before the surgery.

    -Hugh

    • admin

      Thank you for your suggestion Hugh. I wouldn’t have thought of that. Cheers, Steve.

  2. Trevor Mustey

    Hey Steve sorry to hear about your ol’ knees. I’m up for 2x replacements but been advised to wait till I can’t handle anymore pain cause the end result isn’t that great and angled at people in their 80’s plus,But for active people like us the best I can suggest is to contact an leading AFL club and see who their surgeon is”? or some other professional sports club, other than that shed some belly weight and carry lighter loads… it worked for me!,

    Cheers Trev P.S I suppose the lay up would give you time to finish The Deer Hunters Apprentice. L.O.L

    • admin

      Thank you Trevor. I’m not sure whether the knee hasn’t suddenly gone too far and that some king of intervention is necessary. The suggestion to try sporting clubs is a good one, and also suggested to me by a friend who has already had knee replacement. I am hoping for someone who can recommend some innovative therapy which works. I think we are on the cusp of much less invasive surgery. Do you mean I have to do a Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #3 – you have caught up with #2 I hope?

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