Thank, again, Susie. I'm going to keep that in mind to discuss at next visit...depending on whether or not I make a decision to go forward with disk replacement.
Thanks, Abilene. I'm pretty comfortable with my selection of the top ortho practice in the region. When George Bush had his knee replacement, he flew from North Texas to Chicago, to the practice I go to, to have his done.
The functional life of knee replacements is primarily dependent on the use and abuse one gives it...so it can vary widely and has to be generalized. In today's technology, a knee replacement can only be replaced once due to how much bone gets cut off each time, so without counting on a leapfrog improvement in one's lifetime, the rule of thumb on not having it done too early in life is to avoid running out of options when much older. The disk replacement is a simpler operation which does not involve the bonded upper and lower metal pieces, so it does not count as a replacement. It certainly is, therefore, a simpler operation—although any general anesthesia operation should not be considered minor—and requires PT rehab (usually about half of the effort which follows full replacement). Both my surgeon and the 2nd opinion surgeon had done the disk replacement; despite their expertise, neither had full success in all cases with it eliminating the issues, so I understand and greatly appreciate their hesitancy to commit to success in my case. It's a bit of a gamble on my part whether to commit to the time, effort, resources, etc when there is less than very high likelihood of success.