Swelling and stiffness, 3 years after total knee replacement

Posted by bengalady @bengalady, Oct 9, 2019

I had knee replacement 3 years ago. It is worse than previous knee pain, and getting worse as more time goes by. My surgeon (in another state) says everything normal based on X-ray. Ortho doc here says the same, and said I’m having pain and he referred me to pain clinic for possible nerve block. I want to know WHY am I having pain, although I didn’t call it pain. ROM is 100. They can’t see everything on X-ray. I want an MRI. Want to go for second opinion. Should I tell new doc I’m there for second opinion, I don’t think that’s necessary……I think that would cause some bias, ie they would just say same thing.
Has this happened to anyone ? Thoughts ?
TIA

@contentandwell

@gardeningjunkie your poor grandmother. I don’t people realize just how serious osteoporosis is unless they have been confronted with it. Now that I know that I have it, I am quite concerned about falling.

@bengalady that’s a really great service to have. I knew a woman whose father had apparently been dead for two weeks in his home before anyone realized it. Shame on her for not being more in touch with her father.

I hope you do get to another orthopedic surgeon for another opinion. I just do not think a person should have to endure such pain following a surgery that is supposed to help. There has to be a cause, and when that cause is finally discovered, hopefully a fix.
JK

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Thank you. What upsets me sometimes, is most of my friends act like it’s my fault, I should be walking more, bending my knee more, list goes on and on. This doesn’t even make sense anymore.

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hi @jwademan and @dmr1271, welcome to Connect.

@dmr1271, there is another discussion in Joint Replacements you may find very helpful to read through and participate in. It focuses on IT band issues after knee replacements and is titled, "IT band syndrome after knee replacement." You can find that here, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/it-band-syndrome-after-knee-replacement/.

@jwademan, if you are comfortable sharing, is your MRI soon? How long ago was your fall? Did you land on your knee?

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Thank you

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@bengalady

Thank you for this information. I looked up on the Conformis, and found a doctor in my area. Maybe he can see about what’s wrong with my current TKR. I’m thinking about stem cells, but although I know nothing is ever guaranteed, I’d hate to spend that money and have it not work.

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@bengalady that would be my problem with stem cells too. I would hate to spend all of that money and not get permanent relief.

@dmr1271 it’s not surprising that you would lose mobility since returning to work, your knee is probably not getting enough exercise. I fractured my femur in July and am just in the last two weeks getting exercise again. My leg hurts less after exercise than it does if I do not exercise. It always hurts when I get up in the morning, I think when you are not active it stiffens up and hurts. If your surgeon says exercise is ok you might want to get some, even just a brisk walk.
If you try exercise I would like to hear how it works out.
JK

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@bengalady

Thank you. What upsets me sometimes, is most of my friends act like it’s my fault, I should be walking more, bending my knee more, list goes on and on. This doesn’t even make sense anymore.

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I also use the services of regenexx. I found them to be ethical and helpful with my health issues. I used PRP on my back 3 years ago and it saved me from an operation. I also did the stem cells on the left knee and have followed it up with PRP injections yearly. Yes, it costs out of pocket. Yes, i avoid surgery and the pain that follows. My right knee was TKR and 5 years later it is now lose and painful for 5 years. Water therapy caused my knee to swell. Swelling never went down after the operation. PT was living hell. So, to those who had a good experience, i am happy for you. I will not give another surgeon the chance to ruin the knee i garden on and bike on an golf on. Yes, there is some pain but i take no pills. Just ice, baby.

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@contentandwell

@msstoppainnagginme PRP is Plate Rich Plasma, an injection. More info here:
https://www.healthline.com/health/prp
I personally know nothing about it, I have had two TKRs. Are you considering a TKR or something else for knee arthritis? I have been very happy with my TKRs, particularly with the second one which was done with a Conformis knee. From what I hear the robotic method, MAKOplasty, is extremely successful also. Stem cell therapy and PRP are not generally covered by insurance.
JK

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Well, I found out that the doctor that does the Conformis knee takes my insurance, so I made an appointment for the 14th this month. It seems they have diagnostic facilities there too. I said I wanted to come in for issues with my current TKR, and future one. He is only one in my area that does this. His reviews from patients were very good, but he’s only been in practice for six years. Also, somewhere it said he had one malpractice suit that was settled. I can’t seem to find out more information on that. My pain doctor gave me referral for doc with only 2 years, so forget that. I got one more recommended Ortho, and info. said he does revisions also , (not necessarily his own work).
I’m so scared and confused right now.

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@bengalady

Well, I found out that the doctor that does the Conformis knee takes my insurance, so I made an appointment for the 14th this month. It seems they have diagnostic facilities there too. I said I wanted to come in for issues with my current TKR, and future one. He is only one in my area that does this. His reviews from patients were very good, but he’s only been in practice for six years. Also, somewhere it said he had one malpractice suit that was settled. I can’t seem to find out more information on that. My pain doctor gave me referral for doc with only 2 years, so forget that. I got one more recommended Ortho, and info. said he does revisions also , (not necessarily his own work).
I’m so scared and confused right now.

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@bengalady I would be confused too. I doubt that a revision can be done with a Conformis knee since it is made to mimic your natural knee. You might want to check on that if you are choosing that doctor be he does the Conformis knee.

I hope you can find our about the malpractice suit too, that would put your mind at ease. Six years is a pretty good amount of experience probably, that would not put me off if he has good reviews, and there are multiple reviews. I never rely on reviews unless there are a good number of them, either good or bad.
It sounds as if you are researching well, I think that is key.
JK

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UPDATE : I have decided against seeing this Surgeon that has a malpractice suit. I'm not seeing any doctor that I question. Regarding the knee replacement I have now, I've seen the pain doctor. He prescribed me Gabapentin 3x a day. I will say, my knee is somewhat better, but still gets very swollen by end of the day. I went for a bone scan, don't know the results as yet, and follow with the pain doctor on Monday. (Hopefully he'll have results). He's planning on giving me an injection, but I don't have info. on that yet. He said he'll explain it when I get there. He prescribed me Tylenol #3 also, but I haven't been taking it.
I don't think I need it for tightness and swelling.
In the meantime, I have an appointment with a new Orthopedic Doctor that does the Conformis knee replacement. (For my other knee). Thank goodness he accepts my insurance. He was Head of an Orthopedic Unit awhile back. I asked reception if he could look at my knee replacement, and she asked me to bring in operative report, and he'll decide. Hoping so, I want an MRI. I'm trying to find out the type of replacement I had, but I got all my reports, and all it says is Johnson & Johnson Rotating cuff. That doesn't tell me if its Dupuy, or what. Didn't they record that somewhere ? I know there has been recalls, which is why I want to find out.
My Ortho Appointment is December 7th.
I think I'm going to force myself to start walking or something, going to the Y again. I certainly couldn't hurt my knee (s) anymore than they are already ?
Well, I'll still be careful.
Anyone with the Conformis knee, can I have your thoughts on this ?

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yes, I am 2 years out and my doctor says x[rays look ok. I want an MRI too and I hope to see another doctor soon. I have had pain and stiffness from the beginning . I was very active before and have always exercise.

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@lukyme

yes, I am 2 years out and my doctor says x[rays look ok. I want an MRI too and I hope to see another doctor soon. I have had pain and stiffness from the beginning . I was very active before and have always exercise.

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Have you had a blood test for metal or bone cement allergies.

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I’ve had my orthopedic doctor mention a MRI would explode my TKR! Opinions!!!

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@willieblack

I’ve had my orthopedic doctor mention a MRI would explode my TKR! Opinions!!!

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I hope your doctor was joking – I've had 2 MRIs since my TKR!

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I no longer see this doctor. I spoke with a radiologist who was surprised.

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@babette

I hope your doctor was joking – I've had 2 MRIs since my TKR!

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@babette @willieblack there are certain things that can cause a problem if you need an MRI. If I recall it’s anything with metal that could be affected by magnets. Perhaps your knee replacement has some metal that would not be OK for a TKR. I’ve had two TKRs by two different surgeons, but never had an MRI of my knee.
JK

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@willieblack

I’ve had my orthopedic doctor mention a MRI would explode my TKR! Opinions!!!

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I have had three doctors tell me no MRI. After TKR So I’m going with majority rules! I happen to have a titanium Stryker implant

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Almost 5 years after my TKR I was having pain and was put on crutches and told may be a bone scan needed to be done. Couldn't take the pain any longer made an appointment and told VA I want the bone scan first-floor thin I did that as the lowe part of my replacement failed, now 4 month out from a revision and have a rod down my leg to stabilize it, I am doing much better.

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