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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
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I am 72 years old and suffer from arthritis in both my knees,

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I am 72 years old and suffer from arthritis in both my knees, with my right knee giving me the most pain. I have had this problem for the last 5 years., increasing in severity over time. I first had a cortisone injection to my right knee last year, which helped the pain for about a month. I have now had 3 cortisone injections this year, all in my right knee. I am due to have an injection in my left knee this week. I am on 30mg of morphine a day, for about two years now, to help with pain relief. I also 1000mg a day of Naproxen.
I am finding the pain from my knees increasingly unbearable and it is seriously affecting my mobility. I am also becoming quite depressed.
I have spoken to my GP about the possibility of a replacement knee operation and he is insistent I lose weight before referring me for one.
I am 5ft3 inches and currently weigh 14.04 st. I have lost 2 stone over two years. My doctor believes I should be at 10stone before the operation, which I do not think is achievable given I find it very hard to exercise and I have taken two years to lose two stone. I regularly attend water aerobics, however several of the exercises I cannot do.
I do not know what to do next but can not believe that I need to achieve such a significant weight loss before the operation. I know anecdotally of several friends, heavier than me, who have had the operation successfully.
Do you have any advice on what weight I should be at or what I can do next?
Thank you for your question:

While in the ideal world, al people would be at a normal or target weight, the reality is that many of us are overweight.

As a Family Physician (GP in the USA) for 30 years, I have seen many patients who were above their ideal weight do well with joint replacements.

I would suggest asking your GP to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to have an evaluation. The specialist would be much better prepared to give you outomes and prospects for a speedy recovery than you GP.

Besides replacement surgery, there may be other options available. The specialist would be the best place to start.
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