My 93-year-old mom is in good health, but her knee is totally shot. Should we consider surgery?

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My Mom is in very good health at 93 years old. Heart and lung both great. Doesn't need even reading glasses. She does have one main problem. Her knee is totally shot. The nurse practitioner told me she has never seen a knee anything like hers. It buckles in and causes her a great deal of pain. The Doctor recommended a knee replacement. My Mom still wants to be able to walk around, visit relatives etc. She will be wheelchair bound if she doesn't do something about her knee. Braces, athletic flexible braces etc. and surgery scares the both of us. I am her caretaker and have 3 useless brothers up north. One of them does come to Florida a couple weeks a year and has been helpful when she was north. I wish I knew what to do.. I have heard both horror stories and sucess stories. I love my Mom so very much but to recommend surgury at 93...

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I have a similar situation with my mom whose 86. She's diabetic with many other health problems including life long depression. We got through hip replacement about 3 years ago just barely.

Now her knee is bone on bone and docs say replacement is all that's left. She remembers well the long recovery from the hip surgery and is in no hurry to have the knee done. Her doc has been giving her periodic injections that help for awhile.

Unless she demands to have the knee replacement I'll not push it. I just can't imagine her fighting through another painful rehab successfully. If she was in better health and more active it might make sense.
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I think if your mother is fit and an upbeat, optimistic sort of woman, the surgery and recovery will go well. My dad had his knee replaced at 90 and he's now 95 and mobile, driving, working out. If you're skeptical, I would try braces first. Of course, it depends on what your mother wants.
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What did you decide to do re the knee replacement?
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Your answer should be largely dependent on whether she will follow the recovery routine including physical therapy. If yes, go for it.
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My mother will be 90 next month, and I am looking into "Synvisc One" (not sure of the spelling) that is a synthetic viscous gel that is injected into the knee to cushion the "bone on bone" that is so painful. You might take a look at that...supposed to last for at least 6 months.
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My aunt had a knee replacement in her early 90s. She had the same knee replaced 35 years earlier. Her dr told her replacement or wheelchair. She didn't need anyone else's opinion. She had her own. It went well. Full recovery.
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My mom is 94 and I would advise her to have what I did in my knee,they are called chicken shots. You take one a week for 3 weeks and they are amazing. I am 68 and that was 2 years ago and my knee is great after even falling on it on concrete.
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MarilynC, your suggestion is like mine. I have been looking into a collagen treatment process where they extract it from your own blood & then after processing it, re-inject at the point of pain. They also use a person's stem cells the same way. Very new & true, insurance won't cover..but if it works it would be worth it. Please let me know how it goes for your husband. Tiredat60, google "Regenexx" to research what I am talking about.
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Find out about having the surgery using an epidural block to avoid the risks of anaesthesia. Check that you're happy the surgeon is accessing the very best prostheses available, and ask how he's going to ensure the one he uses on your grandmother is an optimum fit. All being well, then go right ahead - keeping your grandmother active and mobile is the best way to keep her enjoying her excellent health. More power to her!
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Please don't jump into a knee replacement for your mother. Stem cell therapy, Prolotherapy and PRP injections are frequently being used before resorting to knee replacement surgery. There are several variations of these, and many people have healed successfully and not had to have the replacement surgery at all, or the long recovery process. If infection occurs, it is a complete nightmare to try to overcome it. I'm caring for a 62 year old friend after a fall, who has had three unsuccessful knee replacements (same knee) by reputable surgeons. His knee is more unstable and in very bad shape, and it has caused him to have balance problems and falls. 

There is quite a bit of information on the internet about stem cell therapies. I had one PRP injection thirteen years ago for a very painful  elbow that would not heal and was deteriorating, and it worked. No more tissue damage, no more pain.
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