Total Knee Replacement

I have had both GCA and PMR for nearly 8 years. I now need a total knee replacement and was told by the surgeon:

"Replacement hip surgery is more successful than replacement knee surgery. You won't be able to run, jump,kneel down or squat but if your pain level is eight out of ten at the moment it should go down to two out of ten. The biggest risk for you is infection because of your suppressed immune system". Talk to your rheumatologist.

If anyone has had this operation I'd appreciate any advice you could give.

Many thanks.

8 Replies

Hi daw50

My Surgery was completely different from yours but the concerns were the same, that I wouldn't heal well, I'd be more prone to infection etc & the evening before the surgery the Consultant sent for me to talk me out of having a breast reconstruction at the same time as my Mastectomy because of all the above & the risk of rejection. She'd taken a lot of advise from other Specialists so l didn't have the reconstruction & guess what?

No infection, healed up in a week & no post operative issues so you never can tell. I am however glad I didnt have any reconstruction as it involved moving muscles from my back & the more I've thought about it l realise it was for the best.

Hope someone comes along with some orthopaedic input but thought I'd let you know about the Specialist's concerns in general.

Best Wishes

Mrs N 💅🏼


Hello Mrs Nails,

Thank you for your quick response. I'm glad all went well for and that the decision you came to was the right one for you. If my surgery is as successful, then I'll think myself lucky.

Best wishes



My husband used to do research work with the plastic surgeons who did reconstructions. He said what the women went through was horrendous - and unfortunately it wasn't uncommon for it all to be for nothing because it is a very tricky thing to get the blood flow going and the oxygen supply good enough for it to "take" (that's was his research "thing").

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I had successful replacement knee surgery in April of last year. However, having PMR, GCA, Asthma, T2 diabetes, etc etc, my concerns were quite different. Run? Jump? I couldn't do those if I wanted to, knee surgery or not.

My replacement was for pain relief alone and has been more than 100% successful. I still can't run or jump, but I can kneel, I can squat and I can tend to my (very small) garden which is a sheer joy for me. And I can do all this without pain.


Thank you polkadotcom. Like you, I can't run or jump and I would happy to be pain free. It is really good to know that your operation was such a success. I'll keep that in mind.


The only advice I would give is that it is essential to do the exercises you are given diligently, and you should start right now. There is plenty of information out there - find the Arthritis Care booklet, it very good.


I work as a ward sister on a busy elective orthopaedic ward. Over the years I have nursed many patients on immunosuppressants, especially rheumatoid arthritis patients. The vast majority do very well, there are a few patients who heal a little more slowly, or develop wound infections. As long as any infection is picked up promptly and treated it rarely causes long term problems. If you are in DMARDs they will normally stop them prior to surgery, and the anaesthetist will cover you with further steroids because the stress the body is under during recovery. I would suggest getting familiar with the cerci sea for the quadriceps, as strong muscles make a quicker recovery. Good luck 😁


Thank you runrig01 for your professional insight. I take 20mg methotrexate weekly as well as the steroids and blood pressure meds. My consultant rheumatologist did tell me that I would need the steroid to be administered intravenously before going to theatre. I shall look into the cerci sea for the quadriceps as you suggest. Many thanks.


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