Follow
Share

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...

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What did you decide to do re the knee replacement?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your answer should be largely dependent on whether she will follow the recovery routine including physical therapy. If yes, go for it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't do it. The days spent not using her legs during the recovery time may weaken her lags and never recover. My mom could walk around the house and was self sufficient. She was bed ridden for 10 days due to a leg infection, and lost leg strength and never regained it. Now has 16 hr a day care giver, can barely walk with a walker if someone helps her up. From completely independent to completely dependent in 2 weeks. She's 89.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have you looked into prolozone therapy? Insurance won't cover it, but my husband doesn't want anymore surgery and is trying it for his shoulder.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't be afraid of getting a second opinion. If knee replacement is her only option, I say she should go for it. Why does she need to live in grievous amounts of pain and have a knee that keeps buckling?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Many people in their ninties do tolerate hip and knee replacements very well and go on to enjoy several more years of healthy living. Young or old it is a long recovery and lots of hard work in PT.
When I look at a question ike this my first though is would that person be prepared to devote one of her few remaining years to recovery?
Life in a wheelchair is not the end of the world and supervision is needed which is probably a good idea at her age anyway.It maytake awhile to find the right combination of drugs to keep her comfortable an I would suggest s specialized pain clinic for that.
Surgery is very frightening at any age and the oder one gets the worst becomes the fear of simply not waking up
Braces and supports are certainly nothing to be afraid off. They are a nuisance to put on and someone usually needs to help but they are specifically fit to the patient and if Mom doesn't like it simply take it off, but do give it a fair chance.
Of course surgery carries many risks but hip and knee replacements are often done under spinal anesthesia with heavy sedation.Mom won't know the difference but it is easier to recover from. Knees take slightly longer to recover form but the blood loss is very much less which means your body feels better sooner.
Find a good surgeon in a reputable medical center and go from there. Remember you and Mom make the final decision and get another opinion if you are not satisfied
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Anesthesia in the elderly is VERY tricky. My DIL is an anesthesiologist and she will pre-view a patient and she has refused to be the Anes. doc when she feels the patient is just too high risk.
IF they can do the knee replacement with an epidural and "light" sedation, that will significantly reduce the chances of a poor outcome. You really need to be talking to her drs about this. My mom had a hip replaced (she really did need this done) but went from walking with a cane for support to now being permanently needing a walker and using a wheelchair out of the house. I don't know if she'd do it again. She wanted a 2nd hip done but was refused and told she'd be wheelchair bound and the doc discharged her as a patient.
Sometimes the "desired outcome" is not what you want.
Maybe some kind of external brace would help your mother--I am anxious about surgeries and recoveries in the very elderly.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would vote "no". My Dad who was 94 at the time went to see an orthopedic doctor and the first thing the doctor offered was surgery. I was so relieved when my Dad said he didn't want surgery. But Dad still kept thinking about it.

Where I work there is a chiropractic and sports injury doctor across the hall. When he heard that my Dad could be thinking about surgery, he told me if Dad changes his mind and wants surgery to bring Dad in so he can talk to Dad. No way would he want my Dad to go through knee surgery at his age. Plus the rehab recovery is about a year for an older person. He has patients who are half Dad's age who come in for rehab and wished they never had the surgery.

Plus the risk of memory issues accelerating which isn't uncommon in the elderly when they have surgery. I know I lost a few brain cells when I had a kidney stone removed and that surgery was short.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Please think this through very carefully. My 95 year old mom fell and broke her hip early April. Within a week she had pneumonia, an MI and a UTI. Despite a month in skilled nursing and physical therapy she still can't use her walker and now has blood clots in both legs. She had been living independently 4 months ago and has lost so much in such a short time. All I can suggest is to weigh the benefits vs the risks, get another opinion and a full cardiac work up. When you and your Mom make your decision, don't look back or feel guilty if there are complications. Good luck!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mother had a hip replacement at 99 and did fine, Like your mother her heart, lungs etc were healthy. She is 105 now and bedridden from vascular dementia but she had several more years of good mobility after the surgery and is not in pain in her hip which she was. I would go for it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I say yes! My mom is 95 and just had a right reverse total shoulder replacement in January after a fall. Just existing is not good enough, quality of life is necessary. The rest is in God's hands. As long as she is on board and can be cleared for the surgery, don't let the naysayers hold her back.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I would consider it very carefully...I am so happy for you and your mom that she is otherwise healthy! My mom is 85 and last year broke her hip and went to surgery for repair. She did fairly well,especially since she is tiny and not a good eater. THis year in March she had a hemicolectomy for colon cancer. She has again recovered well physically which seems almost miraculous..the one thing I notice is that her memory for some words and names isn't like it was prior to surgery...she struggles to find the right word at times and says "sound alike" words sometimes...I think her critical thinking and reasoning skills have declined since her second surgery..and I wonder if it is "just her age" or if it is related to the two anesthesias in 15 months...I know that your mom is having pain and that must be difficult to live with...particularly since I have noticed that pain control in the elderly in my area leaves a lot to be desired..but don't underestimate the toll that a major surgery and anesthesia may have on your mom..it's so much to go through! But if she is a good eater and a vital person
who has a clear desire to go for it, I would say approach it cautiously, make sure you find a few opinions from reputable surgeons, and get a good presurgical evaluation (mental and physical) and be very aware of her baselines ! Good luck!!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

That is a tough one to decide. Since she is in such good condition and may live many more years, the surgery and rehab could be worthwhile. The anesthesia can be hard on older people. She may have continuing pain in the knee after the surgery -- many do. That would be my main consideration. If I were making the call, I would probably encourage my mother to do it. What does your mother think? What do you think?
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.