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  • Knee Fusion

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    Old 11-14-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
    killerpenguin55
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    Knee Fusion

    Hi, Im new here. I dont have a question as much as I need to vent a little. Heres my story:

    When I was 16, i was diagnosed with leukemia. Im happy to say I am now 2 yrs in remission. However, the cancer still haunts me. A big part of the chemo treatment involved prednisone, LOTS of prednisone. Because of the prednisone, I developed osteonecrosis (also called avascular necrosis) in my right hip and knee. Since it got over looked for 6 months, It was severe in my hip and moderate in my knee. THey fixed the hip in 2005 with a vascularized tibular bone graft. It was wonderful. Not permenant, but I was only 18 so I didnt really want to have a THR yet.

    During recovery time for my hip, my knee deteriorated at an alarming rate. The bone died and the necrotic fluid left an ample environment for an infection to form. This ALSO got overlooked for months, leaving me in severe pain and ultimatly made my knee freeze at a 90 degree angle. WHen they finally did find the infection, it wa severe. The bone had been eaten away. They couldnt do anything for 2 yrs while they waited for the infection to clear. Finally, it was okay to go in and fix the knee. The only option I had really was a knee fusion with an external taylor spatial frame. This past july that was put on.

    In 7 days the extrenal fixator comes off. I wont lie, im nervous. They just loosened the struts holding the knee in position and my knee now hurts. I dont think its the fusion that hurt as much as an ache due to the amount of activity I am force to do (I am in college. I put off college for 2 yrs for the knee, i decided I couldnt wait any longer. It is hard, dont get me wrong, but I am very happy with the choice Ive made.) My knee will never bend again. I am 20 yrs old and still have so much life to live. Im nervous about what my life will be like now with the fusion. I know it wont be easy and im trying to be upbeat about it, but im still nervous. Will I be able to get around okay? Will I be able to adapt like I have so many time before? Will I be in pain? I go into surgery wednesday and I have to be back to college for that monday for classes. WILL i be able to do it? Im just sick of living in pain and people only noticing me for my handicap. Since 16 ive been a medical mess and now it may seem like Im coming to an end, but im not. Ill have complications from the cancer for life. I will eventually need a THR and have the option to get a TKR in place of the fusion 5 yrs later. I have big dreams and am not the type of person to let a disibilty get in my way, but Im beginning to feel defeated.

    venting done! I just cant wait to wear pants again! for 3 months its been nothing but skirts! I finally will get to wear my pants again! haha 7 more days!

    Last edited by killerpenguin55; 11-14-2007 at 05:04 PM.

     
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    Old 11-15-2007, 11:18 AM   #2
    caneguy71
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    Re: Knee Fusion

    Hey you,

    this is very moving story. I also have a fused knee, I'm a guy in my thirties and had my knee fused due to a rare syndrome. I hope you do well. I use a cane for walking, I walk so much better with a cane, though I could walk short distances without it. If it helps, you really should try it!

    Hugs

     
    Old 11-15-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
    killerpenguin55
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    Re: Knee Fusion

    thank you for replying! its hard to find anyone with info on life with fusions so i really appreciate the post.

    How long have you been using the cane? Im hoping not to have to use one (ive been on crutches for 2 yrs so im hoping to get rid of all extra hardware haha). I will if it will help me, but if it is not necessary, it wold make life easier. Im also interested in energy levels. I know, at the moment, i am on 1 crutch with the extrenal fixator (which, id like to say, is HUGE haha). It takes a good amount of energy toget around campus. Lots of sweating and I am very tired at night due to the amount of energy I exert. (though i do get to eat ice cream after dinner and it melts right off...ill miss that haha).

    All joking aside, i was wondering if you still require a lot of energy to get around? I am tired all the time and need to shwoer in the morning and at night because I sweat alot. Also, how awkward of a limp should I expect? I understand that everyone is different and I only had about 1/2inch taken from the leg, so its not a terrible length differance, but im anxious about what it will be like coming out of surgery this wednesday. Anything anyone can tell me would be VERY appreciated. I keep hoping all this medical stuff is coming to an end, but i know i will need to deal with it the rest of my life, and sometimes that can a bit daunting. im only 20 and still have a long ways to go, but i know i can do it.

    ashley

     
    Old 11-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
    caneguy71
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    Re: Knee Fusion

    Hi again!

    I really can understand you want to get rid of all the harware. I've been using the cane for 2 years and I think a cane is far less cumbersome than a crutch in my mind, just give it a try. Once your fixator is away it will surely be a big relief! I'm sure you will then see the first time what a big relief it is to have your leg fused, because the fusion puts an end to a nightmare you had before! You will adapt to your limp quickly, when the fixator is away your leg will feel much lighter! I don't consider myself disabled, I am just the way I am, i hardly notice my straight leg! If your leg is slightly shorter it even might be an advantage, because it makes the swing phase of your leg easier. And with this little shortage you may not need a shoe lift. Don't worry too much! You will be fine!

     
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