Type 1 Knee Replacement and Healing Process

Wow, type 1 for 63 years! That’s amazing! Base on what I see on this website, I didn’t realize there are quite a number of people living with decades of type 1. So all thank you, I don’t feel so alone.

I had my bi-annual visit with my endo yesterday and addressed my knee/feet issues, she suggested not to do surgeries until it’s medically necessary. She agreed with me to have additional ortho consults to better understand what’s currently going on.

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I hope your knee issue is corrected and your recovery is quick!

Thank you! I will do.

I have bone on bone in my hips, I guess the right one being worse… The surgeon told me when the pain level started interfering with what I do, then he’ll do the hip replacement surgery. Right now it just aches some off and on.

I had a follow up appointment as it’s been a year and he said it hasn’t changed at all.
I could go 10 years with possibly no more issues other than the slight ache I have sometimes. Since I am riding my exercise bike and swimming, he said he wouldn’t want to chance disturbing my doing well at this point by doing surgery.

I am thankful he was honest about there not being any reason to go ahead with surgery until there is an actual need. That is for me, and others might have different circumstances. I am also talking about a hip replacement surgery and not knee replacement. I don’t know if there could be a difference, but there was no warning I could worsen anything by any delay.

I suggest you ask the doctor if there is any reason if waiting will hurt you and maybe pursue a second opinion for what another doctor thinks…

I’ve been T1D for 55 years and have had a number of surgeries, both planned and unplanned. For many years my a1c’s were in the 7’s. In the past 3 years my a1c’s have been between 6.0 and 5.4. Here’s the list: 2 c-sections, double-bypass surgery, gall stones removed, appendix removed, surgery on my left eye, many cardiac stents and last year an emergency arm surgery due to a hematoma. Whew. The good news is that I healed well after all of these events. My blood sugars are not perfect, but I do work at it every day. Everyone’s different, but if your blood sugars are reasonably well controlled then you should heal just fine and it won’t take any longer (or much longer) than anyone else.
Oh yeah, and I forgot about the cancer surgery on my left breast. In spite of these, at the age of 60 I’m in good shape and feel pretty healthy. Best wishes on your surgery.

@NoSugarorGluten, I had a knee replacement in 2013. I nad been a type 1 diabetic for 68 years at that time. My knee function was restored after using physical therapy and doing the recommended exercises at home for a few months. The knee was strong and in great shape, and it still is after 9 years. I started working out at a gym in 2010 and continued until the pandemic began in 2020.
If you do work out at a gym do not use the “leg extension” machine. It can damage the replacement structure. A knee replacement doctor told me that.


Do not be afraid of the surgery or the healing process if they are necessary. I have had a torn rotator cuff that needed major surgery and a broken knee that needed to be wired and screwed back together. I have had Type 1 diabetes for 56 years, and my keys to success were the following:

  • Get a good doctor who does a thorough exam and gives you good reasons to have the surgery. He or she should have x-rays, MRIs or other visuals to prove that you have a bone-on-bone situation that warrants the surgery. Then GET A SECOND OPINION from another trusted doctor to assure yourself that surgery is necessary.

  • Keep your blood sugars under control. The better in control you are, the faster you will heal. Have back-up personnel available to help you the first few days so you can concentrate on following doctor’s orders and taking care of your T1D control.

  • Follow PT instructions religiously. My PT after the broken knee started a week later. He worked with me and gave me exercises that I had to do three times a day. I did them without fail, and today my broken knee has better flexibility than my “good” knee.

I have no doubt that with your already excellent control, you will do well with the surgery, will heal as quickly as anyone else, and will be glad to regain your strength and mobility without having to deal with pain. Good luck and Godspeed as you go forward.

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Type 1 for 32 yrs. Have had good A1Cs and had shoulder replaced due to torn rotator cuff and bone on bone 15 mos ago and knee replaced 2 1/2 mo ago. I tried injections etc before I did surgery. I am doing well and have started playing some golf already
Being under control and doing the exercises and PT is important.

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