Should we get a knee replacement for Mom (86)?

Follow
Share

Mom is diabetic with many health issues. She had hip replacement about 2 years ago and we got through that. Her doc says there's nothing left but replacement for this knee. She's barely mobile and getting zonked out on pain pills which will probably cause a fall or diabetic coma. I'm open to any info, suggestions or experiences regarding knee replacement at this age.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
27

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Windyridge,
I'm sorry your Mother hurts so much with her knee and you have such a big decision to make.I think it would be awful hard on her and may cause more problems.I take Prolia,but it only slows down the progression of my bones thinning and if the doctor said that a knee replacement is the only answer,it probably is.I don't think I'd do it if it were my Mom and I'd work hard to get the pain medicine leveled out,finding the right one that controls the pain but doesn't zonk her out.Maybe a long acting pain killer that she doesn't have to take as often or a fentynal patch would work.The biggest problem with those though is constipation but that can be worked through by taking a stool softner like miralax and a poop stimulator like senna.I hope you find an answer and soon.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I had my knee replaced 3 1/2 years ago when I was 63. I could only walk about 10 steps before the pain became so bad I would pray for death. I was one of the lucky ones, I was able to have in home therapy and did as the doctor told me, "keep the knee moving". The pain was 10+ on a 1 to 10 scale. The therapy left me in tears and my husband hated having to cause more with the help I required from him. But, after 2 months, I was so far ahead in my therapy, my therapist said I didn't need his help any longer. Just keep up with what I did daily. Truthfully, at 86, the surgery could be more painful and traumatic than the patient could stand. Walking a lot is required and I almost fell several times. I am glad I had it done now that it is over but it does get stiff on me sometimes and now, I am looking at needing the other one done also. See if there is an alternative to a total replacement. If it was my mom, I wouldn't do it. The best to you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Lots of good discussion. Carla, thanks for your comments. That's certainly a consideration, how long will she live, is it worth the pain etc. Send, what my mom wants is for nothing to change, just like most old folks. But if the pain becomes too much, like her hip did, she may consider the surgery. But we're getting very late in the game here.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What does Mom want?

I know of someone taking "Prolia" injections, surgery is delayed. But not enough to be conversant on the topic.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Windy,
You said:
"Getting them here is not going to happen until we have the crisis that ends their independence."

This is that crisis, imo. If you take action earlier instead of waiting, major troubles can be averted. Your Dad should not be alone. If you wait, they may end up in separate facilities or homes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If I already responded to this, forgive me for saying the same thing twice. I'm not seeing my previous post on this thread.

My mother had knee replacement when she was 78 and already had pretty severe mobility and balance problems. As well as high blood pressure and diabetes, but no cognitive impairment. I was not in favor of the surgery from the outset. I asked her if the doctor expected it to improve her mobility, and she said no it would relieve her pain. I thought she should get by with pain patches. Of course, at that time I didn't think she's live more than a few more years.

Her surgery did not go well. She had cardiovascular complications, a pulmonary embolism, was in the hospital days longer than planned and then had to go to rehab for 6 weeks, which hadn't been the plan at all. I think among other things she didn't want to do the physical therapy or exercise and that made her recovery long and complicated. Of course, 6 years later, maybe it's a good thing she had the surgery because that's a long time to live on pain meds. But now she's 85 and the other knee needs done, and at this point I would say it's not worth going through again what we went through last time.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Like Jeannegibbs, 2 of my nieces have had both hip and knee surgeries, both of them said the knee was the most painful and harder to get through rehab.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My husband just had knee replacement surgery one week ago. He's 87. He was in the hospital 3 days. They gave him a block during the surgery and he did very well. He told them he was going home and I am the caregiver. The first days were exhausting for me but now that he is a little more mobile things are better and I can get some rest. He's sleeping and on the machine :). I'm a little younger so am able to do the lifting part and did my homework concerning items needed to care for him. The patient really can't be alone. If no one can be there a rehab facility would be needed for safety and care. He said he is glad he had the surgery because his knee hurt anyhow .
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Mom is normal weight, her mind is pretty good still, and she did really well in a rehab facility after hip replacement 2 years ago. Dads dementia wasn't that bad then but it has progressed. I would have to stay with him or hire in home help, most likely a combination of the two, for the period of surgery and rehab.

I've been talking to her about where this is going and discussing options.

-No surgery but would have to have in home care/help daily

-Move to assisted living where her lack of mobility can be handled

-Surgery and a month of rehab

Of course she doesn't want to do any of this and I can't force her. My gut feeling is she will have a fall or diabetic episode that will put her in the hospital and from there to a nursing home. Dad will then be the problem. He's not quite ready for memory care but would have to be in a locked facility or he would try and walk home. He can't be on his own for more than a couple days. So for now I take it one day at a time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The further down the body you go the more difficult the replacement and rehab.
The hip joint has the weight of the head and torso. The knee joint has the weight of the head, torso and the upper portion of the leg. So weight bearing is more difficult.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.