My mom, a former athlete/dancer/ER nurse, has had problems with her knees for at least the past 10-15 years. Usually the pain stays for a week or so and goes away after physical therapy. Unfortunately the pain is getting more frequent and more intense. She went to the doctor yesterday and found out that all of the cartilage in her knee is gone (he gave her some kind of shot).
She said the doctor gave her three options for future treatment:
- Get another, stronger shot that may last a little longer.
- Have an arthoscopy done and “clean it up in there” (which the doctor said is temporarily effective and can’t be repeated).
- Go ahead and get a new patella.
My mom seems to think the knee replacement surgery would be the best option. However, she’s worried about what will happen to her own mother if she has the procedure. Grandma is 83 years old and relies on mom to take her shopping, help her run errands, etc. It’s usually a once-a-week deal, but mom’s worried that she’ll have a long recovery and won’t be able to drive for several weeks (I’d gladly help out if I didn’t live 240 miles away).
So I’d like some input from my fellow Dopers. Have any of you had knee replacement surgery? Can you tell me about your recovery, and whether the procedure helped? I’ll take feedback on other treatment methods, too. I want to find out what she can expect from various treatments so that she’ll have something done and be able to walk without pain again.