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Old 07-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #1
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Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hello All,

This is my first time to post with a question. I had Rt. TKR 9 weeks ago and have really had a rough time. First of all, this was the most painful surgery I've ever had and I've had many.. 4 lumbar surgeries including a fusion that ws quite complicated. I also have other health issues...Fibro, an inflamatory thyroid disease called Hashimoto's. Chronic daily back pain for at least 8 years. From the get go the Ortho. said this would be tough for me. but I didn't realize how tough.

I managed to get through PT and was able to reach all of the goals set for me. The Doc ws pleased with that. Right after surgery I was so swollen it even swelled in the opposite leg. It was in the most pain I had ever been in. I also had to have two units of blood post op and verry low BP.

I went along with what ever the PT's said to do, but there were times when I felt excruciating pain and begged them to slow it down a bit. Every time I had therapy the pain and swellinng were so bad I'd be in bed for a day and a half. Now, when I do any of my home exercizes my knee flares up and gets very hot and turns red and almost purple. Just walking around is very painful. I thought the pain would be better by now. So, I was wondering if anyone else has had similar issues after TKR. I'm not sleeping well and am having some depression. Would really appreciate and input.

Thanks so much,
Connie

 
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

I am only about 3 1/2 weeks post-op from LTKR, but if you have a hot, red, swollen knee you may have a serious complication. I'd go see your surgeon ASAP if I were you.

Hope it turns out ok for you. I "feel" for ya.

Debbie

 
Old 07-23-2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Thanks Debbie...When I mentioned swelling at my check-up, my Doc said , "oh,swelling's normal and can go on for months". Sometime I get the feeling that doctors just don't want to be bothered with post-op problems and tend to minimize lots of things. I call them cut and run doctors. He acted as if he didn't want to be bothered withany complaints.

How are you doing at this point of your recovery ? I hope it is going better for you. Take good care and I'd like to know how you do on down the road...

Connie

 
Old 07-24-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Connie,
I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. I wouldn't worry about the swelling or the redness at this point, like your doctor said, thats all pretty normal stuff and unfortunately, can go on for a year or more. My 16 week right knee still swells on a daily basis. Turns red, hot to touch, the whole nine yards. I would put lots and lots of ice on it and keep it elevated. Keep up with whatever pain meds your doc gave you too.

I would consider any fluid oozing from the incision to be a serious complication. Anything that might be an infection.
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Left TKR 7-7-10

 
Old 07-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Thank you Jersey for your reply. I appreciate it..It's really difficult to know what is normal and what is cause for concern. Does your knee feel tight, like something to big is in your knee ? Mine feels as if there's a tight band around it, squeezing it. It feels so abnormal.
I have been adding Ibuprophen to my pain meds, but that doesn't give me much relief. I'm on pretty strong meds as it is and that caused problems after surgery, because I'd built up such a tolerance.
Anyway, I will continue to ice, elevate and tqke meds......thanks so much. I hope that you do better also...

Take good care, Connie

 
Old 07-25-2010, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Connie
Welcome to the club! This is the second time I have had a TKR on the same knee in 3 years. So far 10 surgeries total on the same knee. It seems like I am reading about my knee as opposed to yours. My last surgery was May 19th and depending on my activity it either hurts pretty bad or just plain hurts. With activity meaning trying to pretend things are normal I have swelling redness heat and yes I have called the Dr. on call numerous times on weekends or in the evening when the pain is pretty bad. Some swelling along with everything you described is normal however if the pain gets too bad the knee gets too hot and you start running a fever then you call immediately or if you have very pronounced redness samething. After all that I have been thru and going thru there is no quick remedy for healing. It is very important to stay proactive with therapy but that does not mean over doing it as I have done. When I am watching TV I either have a pillow under my foot or keep my leg straight, you have to be able to get your extension between 0-5 to get the best results on the new joint. I hope this makes some sense.
Norman

 
Old 07-25-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie620 View Post
Thank you Jersey for your reply. I appreciate it..It's really difficult to know what is normal and what is cause for concern. Does your knee feel tight, like something to big is in your knee ? Mine feels as if there's a tight band around it, squeezing it. It feels so abnormal.
I have been adding Ibuprophen to my pain meds, but that doesn't give me much relief. I'm on pretty strong meds as it is and that caused problems after surgery, because I'd built up such a tolerance.
Anyway, I will continue to ice, elevate and tqke meds......thanks so much. I hope that you do better also...

Take good care, Connie
Hi Connie, As far as any tight feeling??? No, and I would go on to say that with the left knee, it's just the opposite! Almost like a loose feeling, but because of the poor extension I got from the right, the doctor hyper extended the left, to help me get a better extension. One thing is for sure, and that's the strength in the left quad is far less that the right. I have tried using the cane some, but I feel very unstable with it so am mostly still using the walker, which in and of itself is depressing!

The funny thing is I honestly don't remember how I felt day by day with the right knee. I took daily photo's of the incision, but didn't do a time line of how I was feeling and what progress I made. If I had that I could see from day to day how much better, or worse I am doing.

If you don't do anything else work on extension. My right knee is somewhere around -8 and I will tell you that when I stand on my feet longer than a couple minutes at a time, I get very fatigued!
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C5-C6 Diskectomy & Fusion 9-15-98
Right Torn Medial Menicus 5-10-99
Right TKR 3-31-10
Left TKR 7-7-10

 
Old 07-25-2010, 05:04 PM   #8
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Norman, Nice to meet you and thank you for your response. This helps me so much to know I'm not alone here. Oh, I know many people have TKR, very common, but it's new to me and I've had about 12 surgeries in my lifetime and never one that hurt like this one. What's more,I've talked to a friend who had his knee done in Jan. and said he doesn't have pain and felt great after about 2 months. I guess being that we're all different, some folks breeze by and others....well, you know what I mean.

I cannot fathom having as many knee surgeries as you have . I'm so sorry, Norman. How on earth did all this happen, if you don't mind my asking. Yes, we had our s very close to the same time. Mine was May 24th. Did you have an epidural with yours ? I was supposed to but am allergic to Marcaine and they were afraid to try anything else n the same category. At least then I would have been numb the first 24 hrs.

I'm hoping that I will begin to feel somewhat normal pretty soon. Right now, nothing about this feels normal. I hope this for you , as well.
Take good care , Norman and don't overdo...lool

 
Old 07-25-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Jersey, So your's feels loose. Interesting..mine feells as if the whole thing is just too big for my knee.
My gosh, you had yours very close together. You're braver than I am. After this, I said I will never have another. I don't think my body could handle it. I just have too many other health issues gong on. I understand about he fatigue though. My leg feels as if t just won't go if I walk too far or am up on my feet for a certain length of tme. Get tired out very easily.
Did you have the Stryker system put in your knee ? That's what my Doc used. Just curious..
Well, it's about time to do some stretching and settle down to a movie.

Take care..I enjoy hearing from you.
Connie

 
Old 07-26-2010, 06:17 AM   #10
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Connie
Back in 2000 I use to be an electrician I use to be way overweight. Being overweight and working on my knees was my downfall, in a sense it was my own fault. I did have an epidural which helped and afterwards while I was in the hospital they had me on so much pain meds I could not even think straight. I truly wish I was farther along than I am and I do wish the pain would subside. This weekend especially yesterday I was pretty much miserable all day. I am very tired of taking pain meds but every time I try and cut back the pain just gets worse. The thoughts I have currently are pretty depressing I so much want to get back to work to do normal things but as of yet I still do not see the light at the end of this tunnel. If there is a plus side however small my flexion and extension are getting back to normal. I still do not fully understand why I still have the pain other than all that was involved in the revision. Being at home for over 2 months and not being able to do much is driving me nuts. Hopefully things will get better.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 08:05 AM   #11
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie620 View Post
Thanks Debbie...When I mentioned swelling at my check-up, my Doc said , "oh,swelling's normal and can go on for months". Sometime I get the feeling that doctors just don't want to be bothered with post-op problems and tend to minimize lots of things. I call them cut and run doctors. He acted as if he didn't want to be bothered withany complaints.

How are you doing at this point of your recovery ? I hope it is going better for you. Take good care and I'd like to know how you do on down the road...

Connie
Oh, Connie, I love that cut and run comment. I feel the same way. And I had the most popular doc there is here for doing knees. Story is he is so good he can do one with his eyes closed. As good as he is he has no sense of humor. I did ask him to please keep his eyes open when I am on his table. He promised he would. But from then on I feel as though I've been on my own and have gotten more info from my PT who is great.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi there,

I know that most of these Drs. who do the TKR surgeries are good Drs....I think because I worked in the medicaal field for many years, I got an inside view of what goes on.

Surgeons, I believe, do not want to hear many complaints after the fact. One surgeon I had who removed a malignant growth from my forehead and in the process cut through an important nerve that left me with terrible headaches...he said I would probably have numbness there and when I called to tell him about this pain, he said" well, I can't do anything about that..you'll just have tofind someone to give you pain meds. He was considered to be a very skilled Doc. That was 6 yrs ago and to this day, I still have headaches from that surgery.
The Doc who did my knee keeps 2 OR's goign at the same time. Does 300 a year ! Yikes..I can't imagine...he's all about speed.

Take care and I'm wishing you well....
Connie ( hop-a-long)

 
Old 07-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #13
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi there Norman....I do feel for you ..I would think that just the fact that your knee has been cut into so many times, makes recovery much tougher. I am right there with you as far as the pain goes.. even my back surgeries were never this painful and this is a different kind of pain. It is just so darn debilitating. Every day I say I'm going to do more and when I do, I can barely walk. Now I'm having terrible pain in my feet. Go figure. It is depressing and hard to maintain an upbeat attitude when you're in this state. But, we just have to hang in there and pray that things will get better..

Big Hugs, Connie

 
Old 07-26-2010, 11:22 AM   #14
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

hi Connie i had a trkr on jan 7th and like you had swelling and hot to touch.I had my knee drained about 3 times which helped. On the 19th june i had to go back in for a revision,my knee was making a loud knocking sound and the liner was replaced for a larger one.Longer in hospital this time and yet more swelling,had knee drained twice again but still swollen.Walking unaided but with a limp i am 52years old and very sporty cant wait to feel fit again,apparently iam one of the unlucky ones[surgeons words].Keep up with pt and if swelling is bad and very soft it might be worth draining,good luck.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 05:24 PM   #15
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Re: Still Much Pain & Swelling 9 wks. Post-op TKR

Hi Charlie,

I keep trying to be positive, but just now after doing a little laundry and some stretching, I can hardly walk.. How are you doing now ? Having much pain ? I hear more and more about revision surgeries. Seems that it happens quite often.
There was somethihng on TV the other day (I didn't see it, my sister did) about TKR and how unnecessary some are. But, when you're having daily pain and severe arthritis and your leg keepsgiving away...what's a person to do. there aren't many options.

Take care and wishing you pain free days...

 
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