Should I have joint replacement for my knees?Should I have joint replacement for my knees?

I have been told I need both knees replaced or I soon will not be walking. The surgeon said I have a higher risk for blood clots because of some varicose veins on my thighs. They didn't seem that bad to me so I did more research and found that a tourniquet is used during surgery. While it bothers me greatly that the surgeon did not mention this, it concerns me even more because I occasionally get severe problem with lower leg edema and statis dermatitis when I sit with my feet dependent for long periods. I am concerned that a tourniquet on my legs for 2 hours that is inflate 100ml above my systolic BP will make the edema worse and the dermatitis will end up as open sores. The skin has been so tight at times, my regular doctor was afraid the skin would split. It was bad enough to worry about having a stroke or MI from clots. Now that I understand why the surgeon was concerned, I have to ask myself if pain and soon a wheelchair is the lesser of two evils?

Answers from our Doctors

RheumMD Admin says:

This is a big decision and is best to be discussed by you and all of your doctors, ie. surgeon, primary care and any others, that would have information on your overall health status to help you decide on what is best and safest for you.

Answered on: Friday, April 8, 2011 - 13:10

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