Knee replacement

Bluesy410

New member
May 10, 2024
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I care for my 91 year old father who lives independently and who has moderate Alzheimer's. He is in a lot of pain with his knees and needs both of them replaced. If he is deemed physically fit would the fact he has Alzheimer's prevent him from having the operation? Has anyone been in a similar situation with their loved one?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
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Nottinghamshire
Hi @Bluesy410, has your father had an assessment yet and is he on a waiting list? It might be worth discussing the pros and cons with his consultant before deciding Anaesthetics can have a detrimental effect on some people with dementia, and progress their cognitive decline, though my mother had one and was no more confused afterwards than she had been before. Also would your dad be able to follow instructions for physiotherapy and how confused would he be at being in hospital.
This is a very friendly and supportive place and I'm sure others will be along with their experiences and suggestions.
 
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,687
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Kent
Hello @Bluesy410

I`m 10 years younger than your father and don`t have dementia but I was recommended for a knee replacement too.

I really couldn`t face it and instead, I have been given a steroid injection which has been miraculous.

No general anaesthetic and no surgery but, for me, instant pain relief.

It might not be the same for everyone, just as knee replacements are not the same for everyone, but I suggest you seek medical advice about the possibility of this and whether your father`s doctor thinks it might be the better procedure.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
5,777
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Dorset
Apart from the concern with how an anaesthetic might affect his dementia there is the problem as to whether or not he would be capable of carrying out the physical exercises needed after just one knee operation, let alone two?
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
415
0
My Mum had a single knee replacement before the main signs of her dementia had become apparent. She flatly refused to do the physio exercises as she found them intolerably painful and “didn’t like being told what to do”. Longer term, she was no more mobile as a result of the op but wasn’t in as much pain.
 

Bluesy410

New member
May 10, 2024
4
0
Hello @Bluesy410

I`m 10 years younger than your father and don`t have dementia but I was recommended for a knee replacement too.

I really couldn`t face it and instead, I have been given a steroid injection which has been miraculous.

No general anaesthetic and no surgery but, for me, instant pain relief.

It might not be the same for everyone, just as knee replacements are not the same for everyone, but I suggest you seek medical advice about the possibility of this and whether your father`s doctor thinks it might be the better procedure.
Dad has been having steroid injections every four months for the last 2 years and unfortunately they have no effect any more.
 

Bluesy410

New member
May 10, 2024
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I really appreciate the replies so far but I was hoping some more people who care for a loved one with Alzheimer's and whose loved one has had a knee replacement might be able to give me their experience.
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
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I care for my 91 year old father who lives independently and who has moderate Alzheimer's. He is in a lot of pain with his knees and needs both of them replaced. If he is deemed physically fit would the fact he has Alzheimer's prevent him from having the operation? Has anyone been in a similar situation with their loved one?
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
0
years ago I worked as health care assistant in the orthopedic ward. more than once the patient was old and had som dementia type or another.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
415
0
I really appreciate the replies so far but I was hoping some more people who care for a loved one with Alzheimer's and whose loved one has had a knee replacement might be able to give me their experience.
Hi Bluesy,

Sorry, I should have been more explicit. Whilst my Mum’s Alzheimer’s hadn’t been diagnosed at the time of her knee replacement, her responses which we’d just put down to bloody-mindedness at the time, actually turned out to be key characteristics of her dementia as it has progressed.

Firstly, an inability to think a situation through and take actions in her own best interests. So yes, the physio exercises would be very painful to begin with, but she could have taken painkillers to help with this (she refused them) and long-term it would help her recovery (she denied this). And an aversion to complying with what other people ask, even when it’s greatly to her benefit, is also now a recurring theme.

I think in principle she should have been capable of following and remembering physio instructions at that stage, when many folks further on in dementia often can’t.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
7,234
0
Chester
I'm afraid I can't help with a PWD, but my MIL was 88 with no signs of dementia when she had a knee replacement (she's now 97).

She was reluctant to do the physio, as wasn't something that had existed when she was younger (she was a GP and A&E dr) so SIL came over from US and arranged for a private physio to visit weekly and made sure MIL did exercises daily. MIL wasn't happy about this but reluctantly complied.

She was pleased with the outcome as she had been in a lot of pain and could manage small steps into her favourite cafe. Her new knee is still giving no issues 9 years later.

MIL has atrial fibrillation controlled by a pace maker, so knee replacement was done with epidural as general anaesthetic deemed too risky.