Knee Replacement Failure - Need total reconstruction

Posted by babette @babette, Jul 27, 2019

I'm pretty devastated, everyone. I had my R TKR a year ago and always knew something wasn't right. My initial surgeon said everything looked great and to give it time, PT, etc. Well I went to one of the top ortho hospitals in the country yesterday and saw a surgeon who comes very highly recommended. He told me my femur is out of alignment, there is a problem with a ligament, and my knee cap is off to one side. I wish I had written down more specifics, dh was with me but once we heard this would all have to be redone, I think we went into kind of shock and didn't process the details very well. **He understood completely why I've been in so much pain this past year. ** He referred me to a colleague who does more complex revisions than he does and I feel great about that but have to wait a month to see him and begin the process. All over again. I have no idea what this will be like, the actual surgery, recovery, etc.

I'd love to hear from others who have gone through this. Also, has anyone successfully sued the surgeon who screwed up? I'm furious to have lost a year of my life to this and now even more time to the repair and recovery.

@artscaping

@dkapustin, I think I had an excellent surgeon for my TKR. He also did my Delta Reverse shoulder. It did take about 1 year to be able to get up in the morning and walk across the bedroom without noticing that I had an artificial joint.

When I visited him because of the pain, he took Xrays and then showed them to me and told me that the surgery looked very good. With a gentle hug, he said, "I am so sorry Chris, "it is the facia."

He was absolutely correct. I didn't even know what the word facia meant. He was very helpful. After three years of Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR), I was finally able to start walking again. Not the 5-8 mile walks…the 1-mile walk. Just two weeks ago, I had another "flare". Yesterday, I started to see some daylight. So I don't know if it was something I said that the darn fascia didn't like or ???????. Be free of suffering today….Chris

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@artscaping That is interesting and something I might look into. I"m sorry you didn't sail through the surgery like so many others but I guess it just wasn't in our cards. The good news is though that you found out what the problem was and can work towards healing. My surgeon has never showed me the X-rays he takes, nothing. Just says "everything looks fine" and that's it. He may be right but I am just going to get a second pair of eyes to take a look. It can't hurt. I just want to know why I am in excruciating pain 6 months PO. Some pain is expected but honestly, I'm miserable. If it's just part of the healing process, I'll feel like an idiot but be more hopeful at there being light at the end of the darn tunnel. I hope you are feeling better!

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@mwatts91757

Have fun at the wedding.Good luck with your pain management. I know they don’t like to prescribe much other than Motrin.
Dr Fitz has a great reputation unfortunately he doesn’t take my insurance. I think I will google “conformis knee” and find the list of MD’s that fo it.

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Thanks, @mwatts91757
You are right, these days they are very hesitant to prescribe much. I am post-transplant (liver) and the only OTC pain reliever I am allowed to take is Tylenol, which is not much help.
I am surprised that Dr. Fitz will not take your insurance since he is part of Brigham and Women's. Usually those large hospitals take pretty much every insurance I thought. I am sure you will find a good surgeon who uses the Conformis too.

@dkapustin I am really glad that you are getting another opinion. It can't hurt and it may be very helpful and enlightening. I hope the new surgeon will be able to shed some light on what the problem is.

@artscaping That's great that you are moving forward and doing better. What a huge relief that must be for you.
JK

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Thanks, I have read stories where people insisted that they knew something was off even early in their recovery but like me, had to wait at least 6 months before getting a second opinion. Many people claim that a doctor will not see you until you are 1 year PO but I found that simply not true. At least in the Tampa Bay area. Any surgeon will see you because they are in the office that day to see clients and it only benefits them to take an xray and consult with a new patient. I am also going to need my other knee done one day so I am also a potential future surgery client as well. LOL So sadly, it REALLY is about money in the medical industry. 🙂 I appreciate the support and I realize that I just may be a having a hard recovery and I hope that is all that it is. We shall see.

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I'm curious in how the insurance companies treat reimbursements for second and possibly third opinions….??

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@jeffkirc

I'm curious in how the insurance companies treat reimbursements for second and possibly third opinions….??

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@jeffkirc My husband and I have never had a problem with second opinions not being covered, and have even had third opinions!
JK

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Good to know; thanks!!

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@dkapustin

@artscaping That is interesting and something I might look into. I"m sorry you didn't sail through the surgery like so many others but I guess it just wasn't in our cards. The good news is though that you found out what the problem was and can work towards healing. My surgeon has never showed me the X-rays he takes, nothing. Just says "everything looks fine" and that's it. He may be right but I am just going to get a second pair of eyes to take a look. It can't hurt. I just want to know why I am in excruciating pain 6 months PO. Some pain is expected but honestly, I'm miserable. If it's just part of the healing process, I'll feel like an idiot but be more hopeful at there being light at the end of the darn tunnel. I hope you are feeling better!

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Yeah, I’m one of those people! I went to the most experienced TKR surgeon in our area. Then about 10 weeks after surgery, everything changed. The x-rays always “looked normal” in my surgeons opinion. After 8 months now, I can barely walk 25’ and my knee is clunky, and standing for more than 10 minutes kills me. After, 3 opinions from “out of network” TKR Surgeons, everyone says: “Revision” due to “Mid Flexion Instability”. I’m livid! I’m posturing for a revision, but have obstacles with Health Insurance until Nov (when I turn 65). I live in Central Florida and would love to hear revision success stories from people that have experienced the same problem after TKR. Thanks!

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@4seasons: OP here. Please don't give up hope, just research all you can about surgeons and find the right one for your revision. I had my revision in Boston last October and am doing wonderfully! I would not have thought this would be possible. Sometimes I'm hard on myself because I chose such a poor surgeon for round one not IN Boston! Why in the world would I go anyplace but Boston for such a big deal? I still can't believe I did it… other than locals telling me surgeon 1 was great.

Are you able/willing to travel for your revision? If not, are you near a teaching hospital affiliated with a research university?

As a fellow traveler, I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's hell, no question about that. But this too shall pass. Keep posting!

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@babette

@4seasons: OP here. Please don't give up hope, just research all you can about surgeons and find the right one for your revision. I had my revision in Boston last October and am doing wonderfully! I would not have thought this would be possible. Sometimes I'm hard on myself because I chose such a poor surgeon for round one not IN Boston! Why in the world would I go anyplace but Boston for such a big deal? I still can't believe I did it… other than locals telling me surgeon 1 was great.

Are you able/willing to travel for your revision? If not, are you near a teaching hospital affiliated with a research university?

As a fellow traveler, I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's hell, no question about that. But this too shall pass. Keep posting!

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Would you mind sharing your revision surgeons name in Boston. I may need one. Thank you

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@ardis3

Would you mind sharing your revision surgeons name in Boston. I may need one. Thank you

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@ardis3 Along with @babette's recommendation, another orthopedic surgeon I know of in Boston who did a wonderful job on a revision for a woman I know is Dr. Thomas Thornhill. He is at Brigham and Women's, as is my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Wolfgang Fitx. Dr. Fitz did a great job on my TKR but I have no idea if he does revisions.
JK

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