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Jake1340 11-13-2012 12:24 PM

Total knee replacement problems
 
I had a TKR Sept 2011 and since then have had nothing but problems. Iíve been sitting here for the last couple of hours reading horror stories about TKR, so much of it sounds so familiar. My TKR was covered by L & I, and that was a joke in itself. I was covered for 4 weeks (twice a week) of PT and by October 2011 my work began nagging me about coming back. I worked a desk for a about a month then went back to full duty. A friend of mine had a TKR about four months ago and his career is now over and Iím thinking Iím next. Iím hoping someone can guide me in the right direction, Iím only 56 and not really for retirement.
The pain, swelling, numbness and buckling (backward) hasnít stopped, but become more frequent. The pain is in the front and inside part of my left knee mainly, the numbness runs from the front of my knee, down my leg and into my foot. My knee has never stopped swelling, even in the morning when I wake up it is swollen. By the end of the day it looks like a balloon. My knee gets almost like a ďpopping or clickingĒ sound when I move and it seems that is a common element now. The last part is pain behind the knee. After the surgery I found I couldnít extend my leg out (lay it flat) without the outside rear part of my leg feeling like it was being ripped out. I thought there was a bone back there and it turns it is the hamstring (shows how much I know). This (hamstring) started hurting bad! The pain was so intense I thought I would scream. I started PT about a week after surgery and asked why the bone behind my leg was hurting so bad. I was told there was no bone back there, it was the hamstring. She couldnít believe how tight it was and referred me back to my surgeon. The surgeon said it was normal, but now over a year later I still canít bend the knee flat without causing serve pain.
The pain in the knee is bad enough Iím canít help but limp, my knee is so swollen by the end of the day, I canít do anything but get off it and the numbness is really worrying me. I have done everything my surgeon told me to do and everything the PT told me to. Nobody had been able to give me an answer about the pain, numbness or swelling and the hamstring appears to be a mystery.
Iím hoping someone can help me with some answers.

Tampa Mom 11-13-2012 06:00 PM

Re: Total knee replacement problems
 
[QUOTE=Jake1340;5088293]I had a TKR Sept 2011 and since then have had nothing but problems...My knee has never stopped swelling, even in the morning when I wake up it is swollen. By the end of the day it looks like a balloon. My knee gets almost like a ďpopping or clickingĒ sound when I move and it seems that is a common element now. The last part is pain behind the knee. After the surgery I found I couldnít extend my leg out (lay it flat) without the outside rear part of my leg feeling like it was being ripped out. ...
The pain in the knee is bad enough Iím canít help but limp, my knee is so swollen by the end of the day, I canít do anything but get off it and the numbness is really worrying me. I have done everything my surgeon told me to do and everything the PT told me to. Nobody had been able to give me an answer about the pain, numbness or swelling and the hamstring appears to be a mystery. Iím hoping someone can help me with some answers.[/QUOTE]

Don't give up! Your surgeon was good, the hardware is good, but rehab isn't easy and has to hurt to help. I got the TKR after meniscus removal, numerous surgeries, a tibial osteotomy, a cartilage transplant, steroid shots, synvisc shots, and a custom brace over nearly 40 years, the last 2 in serious pain. I kept in good shape and my weight down, which helped me last as long as I did. When the surgeon did my TKR, he said he also removed lots of scar tissue, and saw significant damage from arthritis.

Since I started outpatient PT, I've spent at least two hours a day on my own, plus three hours a week with my PT, working on straightening and bending my knee. To be honest it has been very painful, barely bearable. I finally understand why my mother-in-law never recovered from her TKR. My PT told me that the knee would never get better if I didn't do enough exercising to keep gaining motion. Today I can say that while it still makes me cry sometimes, my pain is somewhat lessened, 6 weeks post TKR. I still have numbness and swelling, but the more I work the knee, hamstrings, etc., the better it's getting. Yes, my PT makes me cry but he has me to 98 degrees flexation and -4 degrees extension. Keeping the knee regularly iced and wrapped does help with the swelling; I am so glad I bought the DonJoy ice machine recommended on this forum, which makes icing neater and easier. I also take a pain med, which doesn't eliminate pain but does take the edge off.

Don't give up.

Jake1340 11-13-2012 07:21 PM

Re: Total knee replacement problems
 
Thank you for your reply. I wish I could say it has been easy, but the truth is, it hasn't. I had my TKR over a year ago and while I know I needed it, I wish the results could have been better. When I completed PT I was at 125 and zero on the extension, they thought that was great, but still nobody could figure out the pain and swelling after a year.
I will continue fighting on and hope for the best.
Hang in there and take care.
Robert.


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