I hand a TKR that failed miserable and now need the other knee done

Posted by kartwk @kartwk, Apr 9 12:19pm

and I am scared to death, so to speak.

The first surgeon was terrible. Hubby and I didn't know much about TKR's and had used a PA at this office who did good things for us. He recommended one of the surgeons there.

After a PKR that failed the first time the nurses got me on my feet (leg went crooked, out of alignment from the knee down!) and they told me there was nothing wrong, just to walk. Even with the pain killers they give you the pain was excruciating. Then, whenever I would "exercise" the leg it would make this clunk, clunk sound, which no one seemed concerned about but me.( Right!) When the doc finally showed up he told me to keep the leg straight and the scar tissue would start to form and keep it in plate (?) Very little therapy was given me or ordered. Kept me in hospital 4 days. Nothing changed. Each time I would see him he would tell me to wait. At one time he had me try to walk (about 2 weeks after surgery), which I could barely do and told me I would bet my full range of motion back. When I told my hubby what he said, the Doc changed the story saying it was up to me. *he wasn't being honest with me because he wanted me to commit to the other knee operation. In fact, he originally wanted to do both at the same time but I said no – thank heaven)

4 months later he wanted to do a full TKR. Now this was during covid time and things were tough to do. I had been in pain every time I extended my leg, forget about walking…even using a rollator or walker was painful and difficult. Found out later that if he had done surgery on me before the 4 month mark, Medicare would not pay or let him charge me as they consider it corrective surgery!!

After 2nd surgery all he was intersted in was getting me to schedule for the other knee. To this day I have problems with leg. I have seen another surgeon who flat out told me the 1st surgeon should never have done the PKR on me as they have a high rate of failure and at my age, 75, why. He prescribed therapy for me, which has helped me, but only another TKR is goig to correct it.

His advice to me is never let someone tell you when to have non-life threatening surgery, that I make that decision. He is very good, but alias, he just retired. Bummer

Now I do need the other knee done. Cortisone shots don't work well, and it hurts at night when I try to sleep. I am scared to death to go through that again.

Any suggestions or encouragement appreciated.

Also, I want to leave a review for the 1st surgeon but am rather afraid to. something to the effect of "PKR failed first time I was gotten up. Had to have total knee 4 mths later. after 2 years stil having problems and pain in leg." I do not believe that would be liable as it is true. What do you think? I can say leaving something would give me peace after all this time.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Joint Replacements Support Group.

BTW, the irst doc would not approve PT for me after the first round even though I could barley walk etc. Three months after 2nd surgery he told me, after yet another request for help, that he would "hold off on any PT until AFTER my other knee operation"(!) That did it, got a referral from GP to an excellent practice.

He was also sneaky in other ways. The PA had given me a percription for a cream to help with the pain in other knee. Four days later the office manager called up and told me not to use it! Didn't give a reason when I asked, just said not to use it. Note it was not a nurse etc. Then when I canceled my apt with the surgeon, a day or two later the office manager (again) called me and wanted to know if I was going to see the PA. Strange. Seems she could have found that out from the front desk. No longer felt comfortable dealing with them and am glad I changed. I don't know if the first surgeon was concerned about what had done with me or was just trying to push for the other knee surgery. Heck, I would be a fool and idiot to go to him again.


I hear you and feel your pain, literally! I had to two TKRs (OUCH, right?) in 2016. The left knee no problems what soever. It's better than my knees had been in 20 years. My right knee has never been the same. During the 2 post office visits with the surgeon, I explained to him how painful the knee was and it constantly swollen. He laughed out loud and ask me if I wanted my old knee back. So rude and unprofessional. His response made me feel like I hadn't done enough pt or that I was lacking in some way. Bring me to 6 years later when I once again needed a wheel chair or bedridden. I went to another town and tried a new Orthopedic surgeon who did MRI's, x-rays and intensive look. It didn't take long to find out, the 1st surgery was never right. The pieces of me and the knee replacement didn't fit right together. Long story short(er) I had a TKR replacement 8 months ago. My knee is worse than before the replacement! This new surgeon blew me off after I finished pt (obviously unsuccessfully) and one office visit. He sent me to a pain management clinic which couldn't see me for 3 months. By the time I had my first office visit my leg had atrophied and I was back to using a cane. I've been instructed to waterwalk 3 days a week and finally given pain meds. Hopefully it will help.

Now to answer your question about reviewing your doctor. First of all I want you to fight for yourself at every chance you get. Your situation is yours alone and no body can tell you different. For doctors that I have given unfavorable reviews, I googled "how to write a negative review about your doctor." Try googling your thoughts and you'll be surprised with the info you get.

Good luck. Bad knees are horrible and I wish I could tell you ALL WILL BE WELL. I can't. Work for yourself and do what you can, it will be what it is.


Wow! What is with these guys? I had similar experience wtth 1st doc with having terrible pain up and down leg. This was after 1st failed surgery and I was in a nursing home. The nurse called him and he told her it was somethign else and not his problem!!!

When I changed doctors and got all my records from him, all my follow up visits said I was doing great, fine, but that I "wasn't ready" to commit to the other knee. Not a word about the pain, not being able to stand on the first leg, nadda. IMHO, he knew what happened and was covering his butt so there would be no record, just my word against his. Things like when he told me, as I tried to stand and hobble for him in the hallway where he told me I was doing fine and would get back all my leg mobility. When I repeated what he said to ;my hubby when we returned to the examining room, he backed up saying that would be up to me.

I begged for more PT (he only gave me the standard visits after surgeries) because it was obvious that I needed help. Others I knew who had had this type of surgery were walking around with canes etc. and I could not even stand on the leg or I would fall over!!


I had both knees total knee replacement, one in June 2022 and the other one in February the 23rd. The left knee was doing real good and I could actually sleep with my knee straight and it felt good. But since the right knee surgery something went wrong broken bone during surgery. But for some reason now both knees are stiff and hurts so much at night


It's taken me years to figure out my knees since the doctors have not been able to. The answer is doctors don't know either. With my research (extensive) I truly believe that in the long run, what we get with our knees after surgery is all we can ever get. Am I making sense? I hope so. After all this time of trying to understand some doctors, I feel like a top spinning round and round. 😉


I also had a tkr done 5 years ago and was in so much pain after that I cried in the hospital for a solid 7 days. Was in hospital a total of 15 days the last 8 in the rehab unit just so I could get to the bathroom. After still having a great deal of pain and having a hard time doing anything that I enjoyed I was referred to pain control. I now have had nerve ablation done twice in said knee and it has changed my life. They basically burn the nerves that cause the pain in the knee it lasted for almost 11 months before the pain returned as they told me it would. The nerves reattach after a given amount of time and pain returns but the easy part is all you have to do is make an appointment and have the ablation repeated. Afterward you are frozen for about 4 hours but all you need to do is ice to keep the swelling down take a couple of tylenol and you have your pain free life back!


After 2 years my knee replacement is in poor shape it has never been good X-ray normal mri tendinitis it’s aweful both my feet have neuropathy I regret having it done the other knee is painful but I won’t have another replacement. Horrible hopeless situation

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