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Old 08.09.2009, 10:47
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Knee operations

Hi, I have a knee problem which has now completely put an end to any type of sport or activity for me. Not great when you live in Switzerland with a great outdoor life to enjoy!

I had an arthroscopy in the uk last year which showed up serious wear and tear???? I'm quite young so must be genetic. We had a ski=ing holiday last year and it swelled up on the first day so that was it, only apre-ski for me! Then weeks later we went to a great party, where I danced crazily all night and once again It was up like a balloon the following day!
I really need to get it sorted but am worried that they will suggest a partial/Knee replacement. I have seen people who have had this operation and they rarely seem to be succesful ,although I stand to be corrected.

Does anyone have any experience of the operation in this Country? Are the Doctors here better? due to more sport ie. ski-ing, cycling , etc. being done. I would like your opinions please.
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Old 11.09.2009, 15:46
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Knee operation thread

Hi,
I started a thread regarding Knee surgery. I imagined this would bring a good response, however, I have had no replies, which I find odd. It is presently in the off topic section and wonder if you could put it somewhere more prominant please, such as general topics.
I'm certain lots of people have had knee surgery in this country and could advise me.
Many thanks, corrieorrie.
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Old 11.09.2009, 15:52
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Re: Knee operation thread

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Hi,
I started a thread regarding Knee surgery. I imagined this would bring a good response, however, I have had no replies, which I find odd. It is presently in the off topic section and wonder if you could put it somewhere more prominant please, such as general topics.
I'm certain lots of people have had knee surgery in this country and could advise me.
Many thanks, corrieorrie.
I have moved your thread to family matters/health forum but it doesn't really make a difference which forum you put it in with regards to responses as most people check the new posts function. If no one has answered it can only mean that nobody has anything to add/suggest

Edit: i am going to merge this with your original thread
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Old 11.09.2009, 15:53
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Re: Knee operation thread

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Hi,
I started a thread regarding Knee surgery. I imagined this would bring a good response, however, I have had no replies, which I find odd. It is presently in the off topic section and wonder if you could put it somewhere more prominant please, such as general topics.
I'm certain lots of people have had knee surgery in this country and could advise me.
Many thanks, corrieorrie.
what information are you looking for ?
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Old 11.09.2009, 16:06
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Re: Knee operations

your arthroscopy results showed wear and tear ? I would presume this would be wear and tear of your meniscus (cartiledge) or not? A partial knee replacement sounds a bit drastic and is usually done on older folks with degenerative conditions such as arthritis etc. If it's only the meniscus that has wear and tear, they may be able to trim it or do something with it. I had a ski accident a few years ago and ripped all mine, they managed to trim off all the damaged areas and touch wood, no further probs. Had the surgery done here, and was impressed.
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Old 11.09.2009, 16:14
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Re: Knee operations

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Hi, I have a knee problem which has now completely put an end to any type of sport or activity for me. Not great when you live in Switzerland with a great outdoor life to enjoy!

I had an arthroscopy in the uk last year which showed up serious wear and tear???? I'm quite young so must be genetic. We had a ski=ing holiday last year and it swelled up on the first day so that was it, only apre-ski for me! Then weeks later we went to a great party, where I danced crazily all night and once again It was up like a balloon the following day!
I really need to get it sorted but am worried that they will suggest a partial/Knee replacement. I have seen people who have had this operation and they rarely seem to be succesful ,although I stand to be corrected.

Does anyone have any experience of the operation in this Country? Are the Doctors here better? due to more sport ie. ski-ing, cycling , etc. being done. I would like your opinions please.
Wear and tear of articular cartilage or meniscus tears shouldnt stop you leading a fulfilling sporting life when you are young. I have had numerous operations, all on one knee, the majority of which were cartilage operations, and I lead a full and active life.

Everyone will have different recoveries but the key is getting knee strength back up, this will then both protect the cartilage and also act as shock absorbers which is what the cartilage is doing in itself as well.

Swelling of the knee can be helped by keeping the knee strong doing static excercises when it isnt swollen (rest it while it is swollen though).

Science is developing a number of new technologies, microfracture, cartilage scaffolds, chrondoplasty which in 10 years time will enable worn cartilage areas to be replaced more successfully which will hopefully mean a worn out cartilage is not as serious as people may think.

Finally, a word of advice: dont read the internet for advice. People who have had full recoveries dont write on the internet about it. People who still have trouble do. so remember that most people recover fully.

Switzerland is great for knee surgery as people keep screwing up their knees on the ski slopes.

And keep your chin up. I was out of sport for a long period in between as I also took on a bit of a "dont touch it because I could make it worse" approach. Now I am about as active as anyone could be, excercising most days. Its like a new beginning!

Good luck. get an opinion of a surgeon. Go to Physio. Dont have an operation unless you need to.

Mike
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Old 11.09.2009, 16:20
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Re: Knee operations

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I had an arthroscopy in the uk last year which showed up serious wear and tear???? I'm quite young so must be genetic.
There are many types of arthritis (which is the name for cartilage degeneration) but the two main forms come under osteoarthritis or Rhumatoid Arthritis. The former is wear and tear from general life and sports and we all have it to some extent once you are an adult. In most people it wears away slowly so in later life you get a bit of the sore knees. Thats all osteoarthritis is really.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is where the cartilage degenerates "by itself". This can be a genetic condition or it can just appear but it can be identified by tests done by hospitals as it is a medical condition.

hope this helps.
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Old 11.09.2009, 17:19
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Re: Knee operations

I know three people here in Switzerland who have had knee replacements. Two of them both sides, the third chap I cannot remember if one or both.

With the two ladies one side 'worked' better than the other - that is, it took longer after the one op before they could do without painkillers and walk without problems than in the case of the other knee. However, both were very happy that they had had them done.

The third, a chap who loves cycling, cross-country skiing and hiking had previously had hip replacements on both sides. He cycles, hikes and does x-country skiing again. The only difference is that he does a little bit more classical X-country skiing (where the ski points straight ahead) and a little less of the skating technique which is harder on the knees.

However, all these folk were no longer young. Replacements only last for a certain length of time I believe, so check it out! And if you do go for it, remember, it takes quite a long time before you are really ready for sport again, so try to be patient.
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Old 11.09.2009, 19:54
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Re: Knee operations

Thankyou for your replies so far, I wasn't sure whether or not to pursue this in the UK or not. I assumed, as most of you have confirmed, that the surgeons here would be more used to dealing with knee problems, It is really stopping me getting on with my life so I will go back and get it sorted.
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Old 16.09.2009, 21:57
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Re: Knee operations

i suggest you take a day off work and go to the schulthess clinik and let them check you out.

they may not have fixed, but they have correctly diagnosed me on 3 occasions (wrist, shoulder & knee) after years of pain. at this stage i refuse to have another knee operation because I took 18 months to recover from the last one, but thats a different story.

depending on your insurance (HMO, private, halb privat) you can just call them and ask to be checked out - maybe even correct exercises to help strengthen the joint?

i have gone to 2 other doctors here, due to shoulder & wrist pain - only after 2 years & one visit to them, did i find out what it was and how to fix it
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Old 16.09.2009, 21:59
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Re: Knee operations

forgot to say - at the Sportzentrum
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Old 16.09.2009, 22:22
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Re: Knee operations

I have knee problems galore. Osteoarthritis, meniscus damage, patellar cartilage that's shredded to bits... I've been in similar situations where I've done something as innocuous as dance at a friend's wedding and ended up in the ER having 60 cc of fluid aspirated due to swelling. I'm still the young side of 30, but a combination of aggressive sports and genetics means my cartilage no longer cushions impacts nor tracks smoothly during joint movement.

However, like MikeB I've refused to let this stop me. Two years ago I spent 6 months on crutches/in a wheelchair, but since then I've pushed myself to do the maximum amount of activity my knee will tolerate, and I must say that the more exercise I do the less my knee bothers me. Running sports (such as soccer) are out of the question, but cycling, cross-country skiing and even quite aggressive downhill skiing are well tolerated.

Keep in mind that cartilage replacement surgery is not a quick fix, it is very much a last resort. This surgery is extremely invasive with a very long recovery time, and the lifetime of any replacement tissue is quite limited. Unless you are literally incapable of walking, here the doctors will most likely recommend conservative treatment (i.e no surgery) with aggressive physio and exercise regimen to maximize muscle strength and minimize strain on the joint.

With constant exercise, you will be pleasantly surprised how much a joint can improve. It took me weeks before I could climb to the third flood of our apartment block without considerable pain, and another few months before I could cycle to and from work without discomfort, but this year I've done four 200+ km days on a bicycle, and I completed a 42 km cross-country ski race.

I saw a knee specialist at the cantonal orthopeadic hospital in Lausanne and he told me essentially what I already knew: they wouldn't even consider a knee replacement until I was 50 and no longer able to walk, and if I was really concerned about my knee, I'd remain as active as possible to keep my knee strong. Inactivity is far worse for a joint than exercise, even if there is a slight amount of discomfort. (Obviously severe discomfort and swelling isn't good, but hopefully you have the sense to stop before you do any serious damage to yourself.)

So I take it I'll see you on the slopes this winter?

Heather
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Old 16.09.2009, 22:23
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Re: Knee operations

MikeB looks like you have lot of experience with knee problems. Any tips on preventing future knee problems for someone who does not have problems currently? Build leg muscles for support?

Would OP's problem show up on X-ray too? If yes then why did they do arthroscopy thing?
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