- I had a left knee replacement 3 1/2 years ago that has NEVER been right. IE: painful can't walk on it correctly, lots of sweling, many times of cellulitis, has caused a back issue etc.. Now I am told I need a new one done. Have you came across this much in your experience. J. Domingo
It wasn't until January 2007 that I found out the reason for the pain I was still having, extreme swelling, no extension and could only get flex to 68 degrees was that the first surgeon put in an old implant that was too big for me and it had not been lined up properly. The first surgeon is the one who sent me for a second opinion to the ortho surgeon who diagnosed what was causing all the problems but when he read the letter the other surgeon sent to him, in front of my husband and me, he denied that the other ortho dr. stated I needed a total revision. He insisted that all I needed was to be taken back to the OR to open me back up to remove all the scar tissue and maybe shave down a little more of the bone. I emailed the other dr. and asked for a copy of the letter he sent my surgeon and he did indeed state that I needed a total knee revision.
It wasn't until I finally had the revision surgery that I found out just how much damage had been done. It took me almost a year to finally find an ortho surgeon who had enough experience to do the revision and one who was willing to do the surgery. I had been told by all the other ortho dr.'s that mine would be a very difficult surgery and quite a few told me that they would not touch me. I found out from one that the reason was due more to the fact they worried that I would sue the first ortho surgeon and that they did not want to get involved with that.
My revision surgery was only suppose to take about an hour and a half but ended up being two and a half hours which really freaked out my mother and my husband who were there waiting for me to get out of surgery. My new os (orthopedic surgeon) had hoped he would only have to remove the top portion of the implant (femur) because that's the part that was too big and not line up right. It wasn't until he opened me up and started to remove the implant that he realized my bone had started to dissolve! He also realized that the implant that had been used was a very old implant and that it contained nickel to which I am highly allergic to so he not only had to remove the entire implant but also tried to remove as much of the nickel surrounding the knee and soft tissue as he could. All implants will have very tiny metal particles that shear off due to wear and tear and these particles will travel through the circulatory system which most of the time, does not cause any problems at all but for those of us with a nickel allergy, it can cause all kind of problems such as - hair falls out or breaks off, severe swelling from the knee down to the foot, unexplained rashes over the entire body, swollen lymph nodes, kidney and spleen problems, etc.
When the bones start to dissolve, it is called osteolysis and if you are diagnosed with this, it is not something you can put on the back burner and deal with a year or longer down the line. The longer it is put off, the more damage that is done and if you wait too long, you could end up with an amputation. The good news is, the dr. should be able to see this on a simple x-ray. If my dr. had taken more than one x-ray after my surgery, it might have been caught before so much damage had been done. The one and only x-ray he took was a few weeks after my tkr and he never did another one. Guess I know now why he didn't take any more x-rays, because he saw from the first one that he had screwed up.
So, as you can see, there are as many reasons for needing a revision as there are people who need them. You need to have a serious talk with your OS and ask why he/she thinks that at five months, you are still having problems and don't be surprised when you here - it takes time, it can take up to a year to completely heal and they are right but if the pain is so bad that you can not sleep or it keeps you from doing your daily activities, then you need to ask why and not settle for a brush off answer. Seek out a second opinion and do your own research. No one will be a greater advocate for you than you will be for yourself.
I wish you luck and I hope that you do not have to go through what I've been through and everything that I will have to face in the future.
I am actually writing this for my dad. But I just have a question,
My dad has had 2 TKR's on his right knee (plus a bunch of arthoscopic)...the first I guess was defective, then the second one he had the doctor didn't bother sending him to any Physical Therapy and he had to use that machine that does the exercise for him..which did not help because now he has barely no range of motion. Later on down the road the doctor discovers that he needs a knee replacement in his left leg. The doctor said that they were going to try a new surgery on his left leg and he was sure that it would help, but he didnt want to do it right then because his knee wasnt, I guess, "horrible" enough. So a couple months later he went back to the doctor and he says "oh! your knee is too out of shape for this type of surgery, I'll just have to give you a new knee."..Seriously?!. So my dad went through with it. While in the hospital recovering, the nurse rushes in and yanks out his blood tube that's draining his blood out and says " I had to do this because it got contaminated." After that TKR my dad kept saying that something wasnt right with his knee..it started getting really hot, red, and swollen and we all thought it was infected. So we called the doctor told him that we think it is infected. He took him in, looked at the knee, and did manipulation on it. He came back home and felt better for a little bit..A little while later he said again "Something is not right with this knee." So once again we call the doctor and all they say is, Well here is some more pain meds it'll get better. We have called THREE times and that's all they'll say. You would think that by us calling so much they would get the hint that something is wrong and maybe they should let him come in and get an x-ray done to make sure this is all normal.
He can't do his daily activities, he is a VERY active guy, he use to work out all the time, use to be on tv doing aerobics and now all he does is sit around because of this stupid doctor that can't make it right on ANY of his knee's.
Now, I dont know if all of this is normal or not. But I am tired of hearing him grip all the time. I keep telling him that he needs to go to a different doctor and get a 2nd opinion because I thought he would of learned with the last 2 knees that it wouldnt work.
So I guess this isn't really a reply..It's more of a "What should my dad do" type of thing.
My advice is to investigate, investigate and DO NOT HAVE SURGERY until you have checked prolotherapy out. Look for it on websites and find out all about it - it does work.
Hope I have helped someone.
Jenny XD XD
My knee is so swollen and hurts so bad that when I first stand on it the pain makes my leg buckle. It swells all the way down to my foot and I have no range of motion. It was manipulated two months post operation with no help.
Doctor ordered tet hose for leg swelling. Keeps saying looks okay and feels okay but no x-rays have been taken after surgery and I had infection when I came home. Tests in blood work shows no infection, but a high count for blood clots, but no blood clots yet.
I have tried to have a second opinion, but no doctors want to look at me in my home town and now have to hope a doctor out of town will look at me, I contacted Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and hope they can figure out what is wrong.
I am only 42 years old, I own a motorcycle that I want to ride and can not ride it because of knee. I know there is something wrong, my knee and body is telling me there is, but damn doctors think pain pills will work and by the time you try to quit there you go with another problem, addicted to pain killers.
Does anyone have any advice, I woould appreciate, my family doctor is the one that keeps telling me to get it looked at by another doctor.
Other problem was that out of the blue it would just buckle on me. Had my surgery out of town with a doctor who had done all my other knee surgeries. Went back to see him for a 6 month postop check in Dec. 2008 and told him I still had swelling, it still didn't feel right and it was buckling. This doctor is my hero. He immediately said it didn't sound right, ordered xrays, compared them to all my prior xrays and then showed me what he felt was a strange shadow that shouldn't be there. He had me rushed over to the hospital that same day for a CT scan to see if he could get a better picture and ordered the results to be sent back to him ASAP. Well radiologist didn't see anything but my doc said he still saw a shadow that didn't belong. He felt strongly that some portion of the plastic implant must somehow be broken or slipping out of place.
He operated a few days later and did find the part broken just as he suspected so had to do a revision of all the plastic components. Boy did it feel good to have the revision done, my leg no longer swells other than normal post op swelling but only at the knee, my incision (full length in same spot) is extremely tender but that is to be expected. But great news is no more buckling and my leg finally feels like a leg should feel. I no longer walk with a limp and my recovery is coming along much faster this time around. The pathology report confirmed my doctor's findings that the tibial implant had failed, just my luck to get a lemmon.
Bottom line is there are really great surgeons out there who know what they do, my doctor has been doing knee replacements for over 25 years and he spends about 60% of his work week in the OR working on knees which is why I went to him. I am a firm believer in having orthopedic surgery done by subspecialists who concentrate primarily on the body part that affects me. If you do not have faith in your doctor, drop him or her like a hot potato and find someone you trust and ask for references as a happy paitent is the best reference I can think of. I have a great family doc who refers me to all the specialists I see, she asks for feedback and if her patients don't like them, she takes them off her list and lets the doctor know why she is no longer referring her patients to them.
Good luck to all the folks about to have TKR or who have had them and still have problems. I relate and was always frustrated when I heard everybody else's tale of success when I was having problems. I think we have to listen to our bodies, we know whether the surgery worked or not and if it didn't we have to keep trying until we find someone who will listen to us and fix the problem. My family think I am crazy but I intend to continue traveling from Florida to PA everytime I have a knee problem and need surgery.
Has anybody else ever had an actual defective part in their TKR? I am frustrated because I believe my knee implant was defective on the part of the manufacturer but am having trouble finding legal help since I refuse to sue my surgeon for malpractice since my surgeon did nothing wrong. My best guess is that the implant had some sort of defect that was not able to stand up under stress so over a few months just gave way, I am glad that my surgeon upon finding a defect decided to err on the side of caution and rip the entire plastic component out and replace it with a new one.
My knee has never felt right, always a stabing pain and loose and unstable
Anyone had experience at Mayo clinic for knee surgery?
Same story as others told the plastic insert may not be right, but new surgeon wants to replace my zimmer implant with a johnson and johnson
Its now July 5 2009 and i just finished riding my road bike 20 miles.Last weekend i went with friends back packing with a 40 lbs pack on my back and hiked 4 miles into the smokie mtns.Walked a 6 mile day hike to Abrams falls the next day and then hiked back out on sunday.
6 months ago i would have never thought i would ever be doing these things again.There are good days and bad.plan on a year before you can say it was worth it.
Everyone is different.my pain was in and around my knees only.swelling,stiffness,hot to the touch after walking.Clicking and clacking,feeling of artificial limbs all were things i felt.The worst pain was in my head.It really messes with you.Thank god for xanax and prcocet.It was hell coming off of them but you know you got to.Compared to the knee pain, that was a breeze.A couple of sleepless nights and the withdrawls were gone.
Good luck to all of you.Iv'e felt your pain.Listen to your body.If it doesnt feel right get it checked.
My implants are Depuy pivoting/rotating.and my dr is Dr khenn Moeller,Snellville,Ga.
The 11th of September I had a malignant melanoma removed from my back. It became infected and I was put on Keflex for 4 days by my surgeon. Several days after I finished the Keflex, I got a sinus infection. I was given zithrymax by my primary care physician. On the second day, I became sick. By that night, I had joint pain throughout my body that then it centered on my both knees. I was put in the hospital diagnosed with septic, infected knees.
I spent 5 days in the hospital. My ortho surgeon aspirated my knees and took out yellow and green fluid. But - nothing grew out of these cultures. My labs were all high reflecting infection, but they were unable to identify any agent causing the infection. I did 5 days of IV antibiotics. Then I was released. No one had any real answers other than to call it a viral infection.
I went to a rhuematologist who felt the knees were inflected and needed treatement. I then returned to my ortho. I had repeat labs and aspiration. All were normal and the fluids still did not grow any bacteria. I still had pain and swelling and had lost my flexion from 115 after summer therapy to only 75 degrees with this illness.
I was sent to the infectious disease specialist who reviewed all the records and declared that both knees were infected and that I needed to go through the replacement process of the 2 stage revision - he desribed it to me as "having no knees for several months and unless I had good care at home, needing to be in a skilled care facility".
This certainly freaked me out - I called the ortho the followng day and asked to see her to discuss this. She was skeptical of the infections because she could not explain the normal labs. The ID specialist explain the "no bacterial growth" to my being on several rounds of antibiotics prior to getting sick. He felt these surpressed the bacterial growth.
That was December 3rd. Since that time I had the nuclear medicine bone imaging three phase and indium white cell imaging tests marking white blood cells in areas of infection. These were read as the left knee having inflammation/infection of the synovial fluid of the left knee.
If my knees are truly infected and need revisions, I want to go to someone who does many, many of these and has the support of a good infectious disease. I am from a smaller town in Iowa and although I have great trust in my ortho, I requested to be referred to Mayo or to the University of Iowa for more specialized care. I am still struggling with pain and swelling - I take many pain pills each day. My U of Iowa appointment is on Jan 14th. I see the Infectious disease specialist on Jan 5th.
I guess I am just venting. I feel like no one really wants to deal with my knees. I am very much hampered by this pain and swelling. It is depressing me as well as minimiing my activity. I have tried to become a knowledgeable patient. I have read all I can find on knee revisions and synovial fluid infections. If anyone has any experience with this type of infection, I would love to know how you handled it.