major surgery and AD

Discussion in 'I have dementia' started by shelagh, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. shelagh

    shelagh Registered User

    Sep 28, 2009
    My spatial awareness is dreadful and so I am constantly falling almost always involving my left knee. I now have a walker which helps but my GP says my knee really needs replacing. Surgery is always difficult for me as I am on long term Warfarin but what worries me most is that I have seen friends with dementia deteriorate a lot after surgery and when I questioned my GP he admitted it was a 'probability' Does anyone have experience or advice to offer. I really am in awful pain - because I am not good at remembering to take pain killers as much as anything. But I would rather keep my mind a bit longer and suffer than have a painfree knee and easier walking. I would really welcome your views,
  2. Oxy

    Oxy Registered User

    Jul 19, 2014
    #2 Oxy, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
    I am so sorry that your knee is causing so much pain. That in itself is tiring and will not really help your other symptoms. Whilst you say your spatial awareness is very poor, it seems to me that your falls are very much connected to your poorly knee. This will cause you increasing problems in time. I certainly don't feel in any way qualified to give you advice-wish I only could.
    Not being in your situation makes it harder too BUT if it were me, I may have the knee done as I think the consequences of not having it done could make things rather hard over time. I would get advice from admiral nurse advice line, yourGP or consultant and from Alzheimer's society. The take on it from a variety of professionals would hopefully help you in a very difficult decision.
    Many good wishes for a good outcome and I do hope that professionals'advice coupled with family/ friends will help you. First and foremost wishing for pain free times. All the very best.

    Just wondered whether it were possible to have this with epidural and whether it would offer less risk. The warfarin element must be included in the discussion when weighing up pros and cons.
  3. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
    I’m sorry you are in such pain, Shelagh. Good advice from Oxy.

    I had a hip replacement ten years ago and that was done with epidural instead of anaesthetic. In my case it was a complicated surgery (not osteoarthritis) and I was told there would be a lot of noise… so they also gave me a sedative which put me to sleep until the latter part of the surgery.

    Best wishes to you
    Loo x
  4. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    I would definitely ask about having the knee surgery via an epidural.
    Alternatively, it is carried out here with the patient being semi- awake. My friend had it done this way and apparently was able to converse with the surgeon though remembered nothing about it afterwards.
    She had her second knee done via an epidural and she recovered much quicker and the epidural meant that morphine was not needed.

    I think knee surgery is very common these days and considered routine surgery.
    My husband had an amputation at upper thigh level and yes, the trauma affected his dementia but he also had always had bad reactions to morphine and that played a major role in his deterioration.

    I would have the surgery and gain the resulting relief from pain but discuss all the options regarding the actual operation with the surgeon and anaesthetist well beforehand.
    Very best wishes.
  5. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    My MIL aged 88 (no dementia) is contemplating a replacement knee and hip (opposite sides) and as she has a pacemaker they have said it will not be a general anaesthetic. I think most surgeons are used to using epidurals now so you need to ask the surgeon and his anaesthetist about methods of sedation before you commit to any op.

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