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Old 09-29-2009, 02:02 AM   #1
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Chronic Pain and then Knee surgery

A little background although most people may remember me. I had a double Lumbar fusion with instrumentation, Discectomy and Laminectomy in 2006. Since then I have been in horrible pain and it only keeps getting worse. Now it is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. Since 2006 I've tried the spinal injections once in 2007 and doing them now. Went through months of therapy at two different places. Doing Aqua Therapy now twice a week. Insurance kicked me out so not allowed to see a therapist. Have been using a cane almost 3 years. I also suffer from Chronic neck pain. It's not bad all the time but enough to aggravate me. Have 3 herniated discs in neck. Also have pain down both legs, tingling toes, sore feet.

In June both knees started hurting. It was patella pain (swelling above the knee). Took Celebrex and one felt better. Then by July the knee was locking and painful. My Dr. said it was from the back (nerve pain). I knew it felt different as I had the other knee done in 1998. So I talked him into ordering an MRI but made it look like his idea. He said if a small tear I should do nothing. Although I had been limping and could not do stairs easily. I said I would do whatever he suggested. Of course the MRI came back with severe damage. Had a large tear and flipped over and fell into the gutter (open space at bottom/side). There was a gangolin cyst, Oestoarthritis.

So I had surgery on September 21st on my knee. I had to tell anyone that came near me that I suffer with chronic back pain. I was more afraid of how the back would be and not the knee. The therapist kept trying to give me crutches. I kept telling her that I have to use a walker because of my back pain. Finally they got it. I knew it would hurt and it did. It is a week later and now the horrible pain is gone. Now it is more of a stiff pain. Can't put alot of weight on it either.

Don't know if anyone else gets this...... My back pain has been unbearable. But when the knee was done it seemed that it hurt so bad that I didn't feel the back pain. It's like your body says "I'll only let one thing hurt at a time". Now my back is back to hurting so that means my knee is getting better. I get the staples out of my knee in 3 days. Then I guess I start physical therapy.

The surgeon wanted to give me pain meds but I told him I take two daily so I did not need them. In post op they were giving me 5mg of Percocent. I take 10mg every 4 hours. So it was useless. I told them I needed more and they gave to me luckily.

My Dr. said down the line I will need a knee replacement. I'm only 44.

After the back surgery I got an adjustable bed. Still can't lay flat. So it has been a godsend. I've been in bed all week just out of conveinence. I did take a shower a few days ago with my husband's help and a chair in the shower. I ate dinner out of the bedroom too tonight. But the knee was hurting more.

On a good note, I finally got a court date of October 22nd for my Social Security Disability hearing. I filed in March 2007.

 
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Pain and then Knee surgery

Oh Hessie....sorry that you are having a double whammy....back and knee pain. I had awful knee pain...even had knee surgery prior to my SI joint surgery...well, guess what, after the 1st knee surgery....extreme pain in the knee...worse than anything else ever....but when I had the SI joint surgery...that pain went away...it was connected to my back problem...not that I hadn't had a knee problem...I had...but the remaining and worsening pain was from my back....amazing how many body parts we can aggrivate isn't it???? Just had my 2nd knee surgery, and that one was soooo much better...didn't have the horrible pain after surgery.... My Dr. said that the knee pain was probably from the L5/S1 area...lovely.... Hope you feel better soon.

Leslie

 
Old 07-29-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Pain and then Knee surgery

Hi Hessie:

I'll be 44 in two weeks. I have been out of work since May 2009. It started with my neck and back and now I have developed knee problems. I have a history of knee problems but they have worsened significantly in the last 6 months.

My knee surgeon is more sports medicine oriented and isn't really getting that I've got severe spine stuff. So I may be switching to a knee surgeon in the same practice as my orthopedic spine surgeon.

The back affects the knees which affect the back which affect the knees, etc.

Walking abnormally due to a back problem can cause new stresses on a knee, whether it was healthy or had some problems before the back problems. Right now I'm struggling with how much of my low back pain is due to my knees and visa versa. In addition I've had SI joint pain but is that all SI joint pain or partially knees?

It's tough since the whole lower body is inter-related. My dad had a right hip replacement and based on how he was limping had inflammation of the other hip and low back pain. So I wonder if my limping is causing some of my back pain, or is it the other way around.

Sorry this isn't really an answer for you but wanted you to know I'm here with you. I am wondering if I am a total or partial knee replacement candidate since I have Grade III joint line arthritis on my right knee and Grade IV is the worst. So I need to talk to the new knee surgeon about what we do to work wtih my spine surgeon to see if a TKR or PKR is good now? In the future?

I've recently seen commercials about a new knee thought to possibly last up to 30 years. This is only based on laboratory simulations but it's making me feel better about the possibility of doing this at 44 or anytime before 50! If it can last 20-30 years then maybe I'll only need to do it one more time if I'm still active in my 70's.

A physical therapist I saw last year for my spine said that at my age, 42 at the time, I'd do very well with my first TKR. Age is on my side for recovering from that. It's the second one in 10, 20, or 30 years that would be difficult for me.

I'm in formal pain management for my spine with monthly visits with the PM doctor and some significant meds (MS Contin, Soma, Norco, and Neurontin). These however have often still left me with knee pain.
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Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

Last edited by SpineAZ; 07-29-2010 at 12:56 PM.

 
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