Arthritis is supposed to be for old folks. Unfortunately, it runs in my family. I have struggled with arthritis for the past several years. The worst of it is my knees.
My left knee has now lost some function-it doesn’t straighten completely, so I have a pronounced limp. I feel at least ten years older than my true age due to this.
Despite my attempts to lessen the pain and inflammation by gulping down massive amounts of ibuprofen, receiving shots of cortisone and rooster combs, my knee only gets worse. It has come to the point that I am nearly ready to *gulp!* have surgery. A knee replacement is really the only next step available to me.
I have put this off for the past few years, hoping to avoid or delay this. But earlier this week I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon.
He told me that I am too young to have the surgery. He said that I should try to wait until I am at least 60 if at all possible.
I was stunned. I feel old, but I am too young to do anything about it? I need to go for several (I’m not saying exactly how many!) years with pain and a limp before doing anything else? Doesn’t it count that I feel like my body is over 60?
My sister (a physical therapist) assured me that I don’t have to wait. She told me that she has seen many successful knee replacements in folks even younger than me. She also thought it made no sense to suffer until I am 60, by then the surgery will likely be even more difficult and recovery more limited.
So, I am going to get another opinion. I don’t like the idea that I may be doctor shopping, but I just don’t feel as though I received good advice. This doctor is part of a large orthopedic practice, but I got the impression that he was a bit disdainful of someone coming in for informational purposes. Who knows? Maybe he was just cranky.
My biggest struggle is in figuring out how to find a good surgeon. I am a bit of a snob….I do research and don’t respect the credentials of some of the doctors who have been recommended to me by others. I can’t believe that I am trying so hard to find someone to cut off the ends of my bones before putting me back together to face 6-8 weeks of difficult recovery. Not to mention a beautiful scar.
That could only be described as Irony.
We’ll see where it goes from here.