This is my first post and I wanted to talk about my experience as well as respond to everhlpf. It's been about 2 years since you discussed some of your health concerns. I hope you are feeling better and have received some relief.
I was diagnosed with mild knee osteoarthritis about 2 years ago, and in both knees. I didn't take it seriously and didn't lose the weight nor did I exercise regularly. Earlier this year my right knee started bothering me and the orthopedic dr. suggested an MRI and then synvisc shots. He said I had medium arthritis in both knees. I wanted a second opinion before I let anyone put the material in my knees and I didn't like his bedside manner. Long story short by the time I found someone and insurance approved it, my left knee started hurting. I had a series of 3 shots in both knees. My right knee feels pretty good but I have to be careful. But my left knee keeps swelling up, lots of pain and I've now had two cortisone shots. My new orthopedic dr. (whom I like a lot) said that if my knee doesn't get better after the shot I had today then he wants to consider orthoscopic surgery. Although he said this surgery doesn't have a great success rate for people my age with my level of osteoarthritis -- he thought it had a 40% chance of helping my left knee. I'm home with ice and elevating my knee. My knee really hurts right now, and I don't know if it is because of the osteoarthritis or if it is the effects of the cortisone shot. I guess I'll know that in about a day or two.
Of course I'm scared, I don't' want surgery and I know that eventually I'll have a TKR. Which scares me even more! I've been lucky, most of my life I've been healthy, able to do whatever I wanted to physically. Now I'm always sitting, icing and elevating my left knee (or sometimes my right knee). I've applied for short term disability and luckily I live in California so I should be receiving income replacement for a while. But I want a high quality life. I want to travel, I want to feel free to clean the house or go out and do things without always figuring out will this hurt my knee, do I use knee braces, how long can I stand without damaging my knee further. I'm losing weight but of course you can't lose weight over night.
Does anyone know how difficult it is to go through rehab on a TKR? I was thinking maybe I should just go for it. How successful in general is a TKR? I'm concerned about rejection, infection and continued pain even after TKR. Any information on this or links to more resources would be very helpful.
I'm looking forward to discussions and hopefully I can also help others.