7 years after total knee replacement

Posted by theresahubble @theresahubble, Sep 11, 2021

I have had both my knees replaced. But for the last 3 weeks my left knee is burning and has a hard lump on the out side. It also has been making a popping sound when I walk.

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Hi there…….this is your first post on Connect. Welcome–Welcome. We are all patients, former patients, caregivers, and folks with experience to share that may be helpful to others. Just so you know, I now qualify for having both knees replaced as of 4 weeks ago. My first total knee replacement was also my left knee and happened 10 years ago. I have had the same experience as you appear to be having. One time it was some old scar tissue. That took several weeks of working with an MFR therapist to remove it. The next time it was just the "burn" with a cyst along the side. It kept me from my daily walks so I went back to the MFR therapist and she was able to make it go away in just a "few" weeks.

Because I have small fiber neuropathy, I now see the MFR therapist twice a week for sessions to relieve the symptoms of that condition. Whenever my knee is squawking a bit, I let her know and she works on it.

So….I do think these prior surgeries can come back for a visit. Maybe you had that knee tucked up the wrong way when you slept last night. Maybe you helped string blow the lower level of your yard and stepped in a squirrel hole that stretched the tissue. Because these are minor incidents, we tend to forget about them. Think about how your original knee used to complain when you took a stumble. There is still tissue and muscle around the replacement.

The bottom line for me would be to go back to the post-surgery "ice and elevate" routine for a couple of days and see what happens. If nothing helps and the symptoms do not retreat, then it would be advisable to ask an orthopedist to take a look at your knee.

Were both of your knee replacements done at the same time? Is the one giving you trouble the first one or the second one?

May you be safe, protected, and free of inner and outer harm.
Chris

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@artscaping

Hi there…….this is your first post on Connect. Welcome–Welcome. We are all patients, former patients, caregivers, and folks with experience to share that may be helpful to others. Just so you know, I now qualify for having both knees replaced as of 4 weeks ago. My first total knee replacement was also my left knee and happened 10 years ago. I have had the same experience as you appear to be having. One time it was some old scar tissue. That took several weeks of working with an MFR therapist to remove it. The next time it was just the "burn" with a cyst along the side. It kept me from my daily walks so I went back to the MFR therapist and she was able to make it go away in just a "few" weeks.

Because I have small fiber neuropathy, I now see the MFR therapist twice a week for sessions to relieve the symptoms of that condition. Whenever my knee is squawking a bit, I let her know and she works on it.

So….I do think these prior surgeries can come back for a visit. Maybe you had that knee tucked up the wrong way when you slept last night. Maybe you helped string blow the lower level of your yard and stepped in a squirrel hole that stretched the tissue. Because these are minor incidents, we tend to forget about them. Think about how your original knee used to complain when you took a stumble. There is still tissue and muscle around the replacement.

The bottom line for me would be to go back to the post-surgery "ice and elevate" routine for a couple of days and see what happens. If nothing helps and the symptoms do not retreat, then it would be advisable to ask an orthopedist to take a look at your knee.

Were both of your knee replacements done at the same time? Is the one giving you trouble the first one or the second one?

May you be safe, protected, and free of inner and outer harm.
Chris

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MFR?

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In reply to @futureglory "MFR?" + (show)
@futureglory

Myofascial Release – a type of massage/manipulation that breaks up the painful bond between the fascia (tissue under the skin) and underlying muscles Here is a description of how it works: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/expert-answers/myofascial-release/faq-20058136

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I am 12Years + after Total Knee Replacement and still have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week, which I have been doing religiously. Just saw my orthopedist the other day, as I have for years; he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal".

Is this common to have this stiffness? If, for example, I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming.

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@hoff77

I am 12Years + after Total Knee Replacement and still have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week, which I have been doing religiously. Just saw my orthopedist the other day, as I have for years; he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal".

Is this common to have this stiffness? If, for example, I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming.

Jump to this post

Good evening Hoff77, and welcome to Connect. We are a sharing group with members and each other. That is how we learn. Let's see what I can share with you. I have had 2 TKR's…..one 11 years ago and one last year. I will admit right up front that I have more trouble with the first knee TKR than the recent one. At four years, I thought I was going to have it redone. However, about 6 weeks of MFR (myofascial release therapy) was quite helpful. And yet, last week, that first one was bugging me again while on vacation. I do think I hit it on the bed frame. (I should stay out of strange beds!)

Does your 12-year-old TKR exhibit pain as well as stiffness? Have you changed your exercise program? Added a new activity, e.g. walking up and down hills? You may want to get some imaging to make sure that nothing has moved or relocated a bit. And then, there is the improvements in technology and materials that have happened in the last 10 year. I had a Mako Robotic surgery, and I followed the pre-surgery and post-surgery exercise recommendations this time. I was in PT the first day after surgery this time. I think I waited weeks before PT the first time.

I am going to visit my TKR surgeon on Friday for my final check-up. I am happy to ask him what he knows about situations like yours. Please let me know what symptoms you now have, what you are doing about them, and whether you have sought help from a medical provider or professional.

What bothers you the most and how have you attempted to eradicate your discomfort?
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

Chris

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@hoff77

I am 12Years + after Total Knee Replacement and still have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week, which I have been doing religiously. Just saw my orthopedist the other day, as I have for years; he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal".

Is this common to have this stiffness? If, for example, I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming.

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Thanks for answering, Chris.

I haven't been doing anything new and, as I said in my post, I saw my orthopedist the other day and he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal". I have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week. I have some mild pain at times, but if I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming. The aquatic exercises help immensely in my opinion.

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@hoff77

I am 12Years + after Total Knee Replacement and still have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week, which I have been doing religiously. Just saw my orthopedist the other day, as I have for years; he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal".

Is this common to have this stiffness? If, for example, I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming.

Jump to this post

Hi there,

After seeing your post, I just wanted to tell my story and offer support for the current issues you are having, which I know cause great frustration. I had a TKR in 2017; I am female and was 61 years old at the time. Prior to this, arthroscopic surgery was performed in 2016 due to an injury that resulted in a large tear and shredding that could not be repaired, consequently approximately 40% of the lateral meniscus was removed. After 8 months of PT, my gait remained antalgic and the pain had not decreased, so a TKR was discussed and the best option. Even with intense PT, stretching, aquatic therapy, etc, the pain was present, knee hot, stiffness after sitting for short periods, and difficulty with reaching both extension/flexion goals, etc. I should mention that prior to the injury I was active, (hiking, swimming, gardening, canoeing) and of normal weight with no other issues.
After extensive testing (x-rays, bone scan, bloodwork, aspiration) to identify possible inflammation, loosening of the prosthesis, or other problems, nothing was found. I had a third surgery in 2019 called “pie-crusting of the ligaments”, both medial and lateral. This gave me more extension/flexion, but the pain and stiffness have not gone away, plus my balance is challenging when standing, bending, or relying on the operated leg. My orthopedic surgeon has been very supportive and informative, but this remains a mystery. He believes the only other option is a revision, to replace the current prosthesis with one that is more loose/moveable, which sounds logical to me. A different orthopedic surgeon has been referred, one that specializes in joint revisions and is a salvage surgeon as well, who informed me that this procedure can give me relief in the areas of pain, flexion/extension, and stiffness. Also, he may put in a slightly smaller prosthesis.
I have always felt that my operated leg is slightly longer, which is causing pain in my back and hip. A Scanogram was performed, and it showed a slight difference in length as surmised, a few centimeters. My new surgeon said this may be corrected because there may be some bone loss. Does anyone have any insight or information to help me? Possibly I just fall into a certain percentage of individuals that have ongoing problems for unspecific reasons?

REPLY
@hanginthere19

Hi there,

After seeing your post, I just wanted to tell my story and offer support for the current issues you are having, which I know cause great frustration. I had a TKR in 2017; I am female and was 61 years old at the time. Prior to this, arthroscopic surgery was performed in 2016 due to an injury that resulted in a large tear and shredding that could not be repaired, consequently approximately 40% of the lateral meniscus was removed. After 8 months of PT, my gait remained antalgic and the pain had not decreased, so a TKR was discussed and the best option. Even with intense PT, stretching, aquatic therapy, etc, the pain was present, knee hot, stiffness after sitting for short periods, and difficulty with reaching both extension/flexion goals, etc. I should mention that prior to the injury I was active, (hiking, swimming, gardening, canoeing) and of normal weight with no other issues.
After extensive testing (x-rays, bone scan, bloodwork, aspiration) to identify possible inflammation, loosening of the prosthesis, or other problems, nothing was found. I had a third surgery in 2019 called “pie-crusting of the ligaments”, both medial and lateral. This gave me more extension/flexion, but the pain and stiffness have not gone away, plus my balance is challenging when standing, bending, or relying on the operated leg. My orthopedic surgeon has been very supportive and informative, but this remains a mystery. He believes the only other option is a revision, to replace the current prosthesis with one that is more loose/moveable, which sounds logical to me. A different orthopedic surgeon has been referred, one that specializes in joint revisions and is a salvage surgeon as well, who informed me that this procedure can give me relief in the areas of pain, flexion/extension, and stiffness. Also, he may put in a slightly smaller prosthesis.
I have always felt that my operated leg is slightly longer, which is causing pain in my back and hip. A Scanogram was performed, and it showed a slight difference in length as surmised, a few centimeters. My new surgeon said this may be corrected because there may be some bone loss. Does anyone have any insight or information to help me? Possibly I just fall into a certain percentage of individuals that have ongoing problems for unspecific reasons?

Jump to this post

Greetings @hanginginthere19. Welcome to Connect and all the folks that sort of wander in and out of the TKR posts. It does sound like a revision may be the right solution for you.

Even my newest TKR knee feels different than my older one. The material is different…..no metal and the patella feels loser. However, I only notice it when I get down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor (just kidding—I don't do floors anymore at 80) or do a set of "Child's Poses" as part of my daily Yoga.

What brings you to Connect? Are you looking to learn about your health?

I will see my surgeon in the morning for my 6-month check-up. I hope he also feels that I have had a pretty good experience this time.

May you be safe, protected, and free from inner and outer harm.
Chris

REPLY
@hoff77

I am 12Years + after Total Knee Replacement and still have stiffness and tightness in the knee. It is greatly alleviated by my doing aquatic exercises 3-4 times per week, which I have been doing religiously. Just saw my orthopedist the other day, as I have for years; he took x-rays and said everything looked "normal".

Is this common to have this stiffness? If, for example, I miss the aquatic exercises for a week or two, when I go away on vacation, etc., the pain can get at times overwhelming.

Jump to this post

Hi @hoff77 and welcome. I moved your post to here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/7-years-after-total-knee-replacement/?pg=1#comment-720074 so you can connect with others.

REPLY
@artscaping

Greetings @hanginginthere19. Welcome to Connect and all the folks that sort of wander in and out of the TKR posts. It does sound like a revision may be the right solution for you.

Even my newest TKR knee feels different than my older one. The material is different…..no metal and the patella feels loser. However, I only notice it when I get down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor (just kidding—I don't do floors anymore at 80) or do a set of "Child's Poses" as part of my daily Yoga.

What brings you to Connect? Are you looking to learn about your health?

I will see my surgeon in the morning for my 6-month check-up. I hope he also feels that I have had a pretty good experience this time.

May you be safe, protected, and free from inner and outer harm.
Chris

Jump to this post

Greetings Chris,

I hope you received good news after your visit with the surgeon. Thank you for the support and kind words! I am hopeful a revision will address the ares I mentioned, in addition to giving me a lighter prosthesis, as the weight of this one makes sleeping through the night and turning over painful and difficult. Yet, I am still apprehensive, as there are no guarantees, due to a lengthier surgery, longer rehabilitation period, and decreased shelf life of the prosthesis-10 years vs. 20 years. If anyone has had a revision in the past year or so due to unexplainable problems such as mine, I would certainly appreciate the feedback! Blessings to all…..

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