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Hi, I have chosen to write a (homework) paper about Knee Fusion (arthodesis), and I thought the info from our textbook would be sufficient – but it isn’t! All I can find here are some pictures, accompanied with explanations of post-surgical functionality of knee, but I am looking for explanations of *why* and *when* they make a decision to do Knee Fusion. If you could help, that would be great!!

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Well, I’m not sure how far you need to go with details in your research, but here are some facts you certainly need to know:
1) They only rarely choose to do arthrodesis, and only when the knee-problem is quite hopeless;
2) “Hopeless” includes: knee with recurrent infection, or the possibility that reimplantation (or reconstruction) of soft-tissue wouldn’t work; also, failed attempt at total knee arthroplasty; single-joint disease; or in situation when dealing with highly virulent microorganism.
3) Then, it’s useful to know that the surgery is actually cutting off bony ends of the femur and tibia, stripping out synovial joint lining, and so fusing two long bones.
4) The result is quite stable and (really) painless leg, and if the patient doesn’t mind stiffness and shortening (of several inches) – the surgery is well done.
However, you need to know that not all arthrodesis work out at the end: sometimes the patient catches infections, and sometimes (when performed following total knee arthroplasty) bone loss or gait disturbance. Hope that helps!
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Hello!



This sounds highly interesting to me! I´m a male in my thirties and I am disabled with a fused knee. Would you tell me more about your paper? Or may I even read it? I´m very curious what you wrote about knee fusion in your paper!



Ahab
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My father is having to make a decision about knee fusion surgery. His knee was shattered in a car accident 4 yrs ago. He had reconstructive surgery and had an external fixator for 5 months. He then developed MRSA. The infection is not active and he is on oral antibiotics for life. He is in extreme pain due to failed surgery and arthritis. He was told his choices would be knee fusion or amputation. TKR is probably not advisable due to MRSA. Does that make sense? Why could you do knee fusion and not TKR? What is the recovery for fusion surgery and will he be able to drive a car?
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my boyfriend is in the hospital right now, after having his knee fused for the second time. he fell off a six story building in 1983. he was too young to have a tkr, so they fused his leg. in december he had the knr, and developed a bone infection. he was on iv antibiotics for months. he was finally clear of the infetion, and he went into surgery not knowing what was going to happen. if the tendent was strong enough, they would try another knee. if the tendent was too damaged they would fuse it. well, they ended up fusing it. the doctor said he will be walking again without a walker in 2 months. my boyfriend has been driving a car since 1983 with a fuse leg. when you get in the car, you just have to wrap your leg around. you will learn. also, the leg that is fused...will be shorter than the other leg. i definitley recomend the fuse. tkr is too risky in my opinion, and if you get an infection, you may lose your leg. if you have had an infection before chances are it will come back. it did for us. good luck!
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I had my knee fused in 1974, I was 23 at the time, involved in a car accident, the femur and knee were crushed and after 5 operations, the surgeon decided to fuse it. Although it is probably one half inches shorter, I am able to get around fine. Can drive automatic, though have driven gear cars, can walk fine, swim, garden, housework. Only thing I would like to do is cycle, and I did know someone who did with a fused knee. But takes a bit of courage and stamina. I cannot run, so that is sad. But hey, I have enjoyed my life am 58 years old, married, two children. Life does not end when part of our body fails, we compensate and get on with our lives. I do not see many people with this disability, but when on holiday in Spain two month's ago I saw a very handsome man with same problem. So there we are.
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Pixartra .Thanks for the positive reply sometimes posts on these forums tend to be dome and gloom.
With regards flying and driving with the fused knee are there any problems such as support ,leg space etc.
Regards Ian :-)
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No there are no problems driving, obviously I drive an automatic these days, much easier. I think I would prefer an automatic even if I had two good knees. It is a shame that we have these accidents. One thing is that I am much more accident conscious now. I take my time avoiding possible hazards, whereas able bodied people just seem to have more confidence, resulting in accidents sometimes.

Hope I have been encouraging.
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Hi

After a bike accident in 2004, eleven operations later (already tried two knee replacements they have failed)....I'm awaiting a knee arthrodesis, using internal fixing, which will be designed specifically for me and should be done by the end of Novemeber 10, obviously I'm a little nervous!! I was looking a anything positive to come out of this type of operation, an anyother information for example is 'flying' and issue? I already drive an automatic so no issue there. Are there any negatives I should be aware of, I am aware that this type of surgery is not so common anymore? My other choice was an above knee apmutation...so if all else fail's, there's always that but I'm hoping this will be the solution I need, I'm a 37year old mother of two young daughters aged 7 and 1 yr. Many thanks
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Hello! A successful knee arthrodesis can make you pain free, so don't be too afraid, you may be happy with the outcome in the long run! It saves your leg and it just will be straight permanently, that is an acceptable sacrifice! It is good to hear your car has automatic transmission. Is your right leg affected? If it is about your right leg it might be necessary to put the gas pedal to the left side so you can use it with your left foot. If your left leg is to be arthrodised you will not have this issue.



Good luck and let us here from your surgery!
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As mentioned it will save your leg and allow you to be pain free. Obviously only downside is that you will look different to other people, but to be honest you get used to that, you are unique anyway. On planes, well you just put your leg under the seat in front, the only problem I have sometimes is sitting on a dining chair and after a while my leg aches. But over time, your whole body adjusts to the fused knee.

I live a full, active and happy life with this disability. You too can also.

Hope you feel less anxious about the op.
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Many thanks for a really positive and encouraging response, I'm still awaiting a date and Left leg such a nusiance, I'm eager to get this done and 'get on with life! Thanks again! :-D
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Hi piedpiper!



You say you awaite a date? Will you have a knee fusion done too?



Best regards
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hi im new to this site and dont want to scare anyone iv had degenrating bone disease from birth and have had my knees dislocating since the age of 7 i had many operations i requested a knee replacement that never happned instead my surgon took my knee cap away and because i was in such pain he then done a knee fusion which is now over 5 years ago iv been left with no mobiltly constant agony the stiffness i understand i have 2 inches removed and it left my foot only able to walk on tiptoe as the surgon has wrecked my life and my other knee now needs surgery because its taken the strain of the fused knee im begging any person who is looking at having a fusion done to look up how life will change for you and make sure u have a surgon who knows what they are doing love anita x XD
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I had my Knees fused 15 years ago, at that time i was 24.   This was due to an infection in my right tibia. When my ortho specialist informed me about this surgery, i was shattered.  The whole world was falling around me.  I finished my masters and the whole world to enjoy and this happened.

But sometimes, things happens for no reason.  I went in to surgery and the recovery period was 9 months.   I learnt to walk second time in my life with my fused knee with the help of others,walking stick etc.   15 years later, i am still here walking.  The operation was performed in India. After that i came to United states.  I drive the automatic car, got a family with two kids.

so far i dont see anybody with this defect.  But when i see this forum, i see there are some people in this world living like me.

Its nice to see the encouraging words

Life is there to enjoy.  There are somethings in life happens, we dont know the answer for it.  Just swallow it and move on.

 

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