Bone on bone knee arthritis in avid biker

Question

I have had bone on bone contact for more than a couple of years. I am very active and my cycling often relieves the constant pain for some weeks after regualr riding, 50 to 75 miles per week. Unfortunately, I can’t always fit this into the schedule of work, family and the like. I am 50 years old and feel that the replacement would probably go OK but after another 20 years it may need to be redone based on what most doctors advice. Is there a therapy that could give me an other option. I am afraid if I wait too long the current imbalance will produce other problems in my hips or back. Most DRs say just do it but they will not be around when I am needing the next one in 20 years. Perplexed!

Answer

HI Peter,

Unfortunately, there is no proven remedy yet for slowing progression of osteoarthritis other than weight loss.  But I am betting that you are not overweight, so that doesn’t help.  I am also assuming that osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis that you have.   I wouldn’t put off the knee replacement surgery if you are very symptomatic.   Getting 20 good years post-knee replacement is pretty good compared to 30 years ago when the surgery started.  Then, you could only expect 10 good years.  Plus, the revision surgeries are now very successful, too.  Recovery from knee replacement surgery is also much quicker and less painful than in the old days.  I would agree with your doctors to go ahead with it.  good luck !! 

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.