Total knee replacement REGRET!

Posted by say @say, Jun 26, 2022

Hi, i'm new here. I had a total knee replacement (I chose/trusted that this would fix my problems). Not! it has made my life unbearable. I am 6.5 months post-op. Let me start by saying that I was born with severely deformed legs, both had tibia only. and, had a BK amputation of both at the tender age of 3. I have been wearing BK prosthetic legs since age 4 and as my late mother put it: "the moment they put them on you, you took off running and blew everyone away by owning them".
I am 61 years old now and believe me, there isn't anything I have not been able to do. I bore 3 healthy babies that are all adults now, so my nest is empty. Anyway, I do recall my prosthetic person of over 35 yrs say to me, "you will never be a good canidate for knee replacement". As my knees were not "normal" in the sense of an able-bodied person. I began experiencing age related osteoarthritis to which many an MRI, Xray's showed that I was basically bone on bone. So, after I found a surgeon who said he would take me on… Despite his admission that he had no luck finding any papers written on someone like me, I can believe that. I honestly don't know WHY i chose to have this done. My residual limb has always maintained its pediatric size of 10" in length with a very tiny circumference. The vertical incision he made was 6.5" long! despite him telling me it would only be a couple of inches… I am left with an inability to fully straighten my leg, it is bent and no amount of PT can fix it, i walk with a limp, cannot have new prosthetic legs made due to my limb being bent. I take norco for pain, not that it helps. This surgery was done at a UC hospital where believe me, i will NEVER return or recommend it to anyone. So, now that i have vented here, i worry that i will never straighten my leg out, climb stairs or walk a brisk pace with my faithful Service Dog. I can feel the pain affecting my thigh, femur and i can ice the heck out of it, only to get a short amount of relief… and here i was going to do some traveling but can't now because i tire very easily 🙁 I live alone and have become isolated because i am insecure. Oh and please don't suggest a wheelchair OR cane because both my arms have congentital deformities so those are out of the question in my case.

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

Hi @say, welcome. I honestly am at a loss as to what to write. I want you to know that I hear you. I'm listening.

It sounds like there are no simple solutions. Are you continuing to work on the range of motion of your knee? Are you working witha physiotherapist?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @say, welcome. I honestly am at a loss as to what to write. I want you to know that I hear you. I'm listening.

It sounds like there are no simple solutions. Are you continuing to work on the range of motion of your knee? Are you working witha physiotherapist?

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Thank you for your honesty.
I am not working with a physiotherapist and have no plans too. Range of motion is something I do on my own, in my own way. The issue here is that I have not regained full flexion. I have read a little about the use of laser therapy to break up the scar tissue… it does intrigue me in that it is non invasive. If anyone has had this done with success I would like to hear about it.

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Hi, I’m so sorry you’ve had such problems. Fifteen years ago I developed peripheral neuropathy in my left leg which traveled to include my right leg as well. I had a TKR in my right leg and have had nothing but problems and still have pain two years later. I believe because nerves are involved with the PN yours may have nerves involved as well. As there is still pain two years later, it is much improved. I also take two meds that help a bit with the PN. Keep on with whatever physical therapy you’re doing and perhaps in two years you’ll be in a much better place. God bless.

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say @say
I've heard both glorious stories about total knee replacements and terrible stories. I find myself wondering if those of us with congenital joint problems who function pretty well throughout our lives are going to have more problems later in life if we have surgery for those joints.

I had osteoarthritis in my hip. I had congenital hip dysplasia in my left hip that was diagnosed when I was an infant and repaired. But it left me over time with a leg length discrepancy and less flexibility in that left hip. Like you, I took off running but over time the hip wore itself down and I had more and more pain. I figured I could look at a total hip replacement as an option or walk my way into disability as I got older.

I did the total hip replacement option. I asked the surgeon to make my legs closer in length and he did that. I had the surgery in 2019 and it was not until I went through three physical therapists that I found a physical therapy assistant who helped me build up strength and flexibility again. The game changer for me was a referral to a personal trainer. I'm retired and need to be careful with my money however I finally decided that my health was a priority. I gave up other things so I can focus on my strength and balance.

I shared the above as I thought my story might be meaningful to you. Six months after my surgery I was nowhere near where the surgeon said I'd be. It's now 2 -1/2 years later and I'm doing better.

I'm here to listen. You're the expert on you.

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How long does it take to recover from mua? I was not even able to get to pt afterwards ,so now I may have more junk built up. Dr. Had home health finally come out almost a week after the mua. I was doing pt at home 2x a day that I was given after pt after mum. They have me off my feet unless I have to get up. I am just in a mess. A husband who doesn't half comprehend what I say. And it is just me and him.i am his caretaker. Looking pretty grim. I can't stand pressure on this left foot. Is this how it should be? No one I know that has had 1 or 2 knee replace placements knew what a mua was? My leg is so crooked it is pitiful. And when I read the story of the person who had something wrong with the legs and arms I balled my eyes out. That Dr was an idiot. My heart goes out to them. Dr really focus on those numbers, DONT!!!!! MY RANGE OF MOTION WAS 105, A little limp. But I'd trade for what I have now. Pain can't walk without clinging to this walker. Not going anywhere cause I'm miserable. Came out of mua with rom 100 barely. Home Health measured 83. So not worth it. Been 5 months out from the 7/2/22. I would never recommend anyone have one. Way too risky. I know this is my experience and I am a person thT will be honest. I would want someone to be honest with me. I pray anyone going thru any of these surgeries can have good healthy experiences.

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Let me start by saying how frustrating it is to come out of surgery worse than when you went in ….I totally understand that I am like 11 months just waiting another month before having revision surgery dr put wrong size tkr in….I was never able to get flexion…. I can put my leg straight thanks to myofascial release ….only thing I can think of is find another dr always good to have second opinion…..if you can try myofascial release it is talked a lot about on this site …trust me it’s the only thing I believe got my leg straight…insurance don’t cover it here in pa it is 100 a session so worth it…..good luck to you I hope you find some help out there

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@ammaw52

How long does it take to recover from mua? I was not even able to get to pt afterwards ,so now I may have more junk built up. Dr. Had home health finally come out almost a week after the mua. I was doing pt at home 2x a day that I was given after pt after mum. They have me off my feet unless I have to get up. I am just in a mess. A husband who doesn't half comprehend what I say. And it is just me and him.i am his caretaker. Looking pretty grim. I can't stand pressure on this left foot. Is this how it should be? No one I know that has had 1 or 2 knee replace placements knew what a mua was? My leg is so crooked it is pitiful. And when I read the story of the person who had something wrong with the legs and arms I balled my eyes out. That Dr was an idiot. My heart goes out to them. Dr really focus on those numbers, DONT!!!!! MY RANGE OF MOTION WAS 105, A little limp. But I'd trade for what I have now. Pain can't walk without clinging to this walker. Not going anywhere cause I'm miserable. Came out of mua with rom 100 barely. Home Health measured 83. So not worth it. Been 5 months out from the 7/2/22. I would never recommend anyone have one. Way too risky. I know this is my experience and I am a person thT will be honest. I would want someone to be honest with me. I pray anyone going thru any of these surgeries can have good healthy experiences.

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So sorry to hear still having difficulties…..my experience with mua is not good either but my circumstances are little different….but result still the same did not work…..did you get your second opinion …. I know it’s frustrating but don’t give up do what exercise you can …. They broke up scar tissue that why painful ….when soreness and swelling goes away hopefully you will get your range back…you were at 105 I think you will get that back …. I know it’s hard but ice and massage helps …I know taking care of someone else when you can barely take care of yourself is difficult …..just a suggestion maybe there are some agencies that can assist you for little until you are on your feet …. I know here in pa we have bureau of the aging that assist when needed….each day it will get better so stay strong

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