Mon 17 Apr, 2006 12:34 am
Interesting: sagging joints confront lifestyle expectations:
Boomers buckle at the knees
By Julie Robotham
April 17, 2006/the AGE
Knee replacement operations are surging and have outstripped hip replacements for the first time as joints buckle under the twin pressures of burgeoning weight and the baby boomer generation's high expectations.
In 2004, 29,899 artificial knees were implanted, up 58 per cent on 1999, the Australian Orthopaedic Association's National Joint Replacement Registry reports.
"In the past, people just managed with a dicky knee," said orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence Kohan. "Now people don't want to change their activity pattern. They want their knee brought into line with their desired lifestyle."
No longer laid low in middle age by chronic heart disease or diabetes, arthritis is now the chief culprit in slowing down the healthiest generation of retirees in history.
My bloody knees!
Stuffed they be by a dumb regime on a walking machine and such.
But I eke them out on green lipped mussel oil and glucosamine.
But, I am a BABY baby boomer, it isn't fair!!!
It's not my knees, that are the problem ... yet!
Deteriorating vision is a bloody nuisance though ... of the close & distant variety. <sigh>
I find the notion of just replacing the offending part (in this case the dicky knee) & not adjusting one's behaviour to accommodate the condition, interesting. A bit like spare parts for a car!
In Germany, more than 120,000 knee replacemnt operations are done annually - about the same ratio, if I'm not totally wrong.
And at last half of them are worse than useless, am I right?
(Everywhere, not just in Germany?)
Hmmmm ... I was thinking of asking my doctor about knee replacement surgery, which I have heard has a very high success rate.
Yes, I am a baby boomer with arthritis. In my particular case, I have no family support, I am now a widow, and self-employed -- therefore no pension or benefits. I cannot foresee a time when I don't have to work in some way to support myself, and that will be very difficult without functioning knees. Additionally the next 10 years will be critical for producing income for future use.
Ironically, I've heard that I may not be allowed to have the surgery in this country of socialized healthcare, because I don't have anyone to provide the at-home post-op care.
It's not exactly "a desired lifestyle" choice. That smarted a bit, although I realize that these articles are written for effect. If everything was peachy in my life, the knee thing would still bother me but would not have the importance it does now.
I was getting into my van one morning before dawn, and as i stepped up with my right foot, and prepared to slide into the seat, my left foot, which was on ice (no alternative after an overnight ice storm), turned and slid. I overbalanced as i reached out to grab a hold, anywhere, and all of my weight shifted to my left leg, which was now turned at an extremely awkward angle.
My left knee has never been the same, and will never again be as it once was. I don't know that i'd call that a lifestyle choice, though--unless you consider going to work a lifestyle choice, and that was why i was getting into the van.
I have had "bad" knees for over 30 years and was told at 18 that I would probably need surgery in middle age. I'm now late middle age and still resisting the knife. I carry far too much weight and regularly forget my vitamins and minerals BUT I do practice t'ai chi twice weekly and it has made a dramatic difference to my flexibility and balance. If strenuous exercise is out of the question this "meditation in motion" is a terrific alternative. I have even led classes in nursing homes while the elderly sat in chairs. It is relaxing and yet energizing. (Obviously I can't say enough good things about t'ai chi.)
That's interesting, t'ai chi wannabee.