total knee replacement

Posted by Susie2 @susie2, Nov 16, 2011

I had a failed knee replacement elsewhere, and went to Mayo for a second opinion. I am considering having a knee revision and would appreciate hearing the experiences of those who have had a revision.

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I am one year out from a total knee revision. Pain is still present and no better than before I had the revision although the tibial portion of my original TKR had become debonded so my knee was very unstable before the revision. It is more stable now, but I am plagued by chronic pain

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@maryann1753

I am one year out from a total knee revision. Pain is still present and no better than before I had the revision although the tibial portion of my original TKR had become debonded so my knee was very unstable before the revision. It is more stable now, but I am plagued by chronic pain

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Hi @maryann1753 – I'm sorry to hear about your level of pain – especially a year after the revision. It must be terribly frustrating. Are you doing any physical therapy? I hear people saying that sometimes forcing themselves to be active helps reduce the level of discomfort. I had a TKR in April 2017 and I'm having the other knee replaced next month. Fortunately, I didn't have a lot of pain – certainly by 3 months there was very little discomfort. I'm wondering how long it's been since you've checked back in with your doctor? I believe I would see what advice he might have – and if its not satisfactory, seek a second opinion.

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I worked with an experienced personal trainer 3x a week for 6 mos after PT and now see the trainer 2x per week. I went to a respected Ortho surgeon for a 2nd opinion just last week. He told me up to 20% of people have pain following the procedure and encouraged me to do daily leg lifts to continue strengthening the VMO area of the quad muscle. It is very frustrating as I should have my left knee partial redone to a total, but I am very fearful.

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@maryann1753

I worked with an experienced personal trainer 3x a week for 6 mos after PT and now see the trainer 2x per week. I went to a respected Ortho surgeon for a 2nd opinion just last week. He told me up to 20% of people have pain following the procedure and encouraged me to do daily leg lifts to continue strengthening the VMO area of the quad muscle. It is very frustrating as I should have my left knee partial redone to a total, but I am very fearful.

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@maryann1753 – I can totally see why you are fearful. This would be so scary. Clearly you've worked hard to get back to "normal" and the pain is still there. I am so sad for you. Is the pain diminishing any at all?

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@susie2 Hi Susie. Sorry to be reading your post so late. I have had two TKRs but never a revision but I know people who have had them and have been very happy with how things turned out. You say you had a "failed" knee replacement. How did it fail? If it really is bad then it is worth having a revision I think.

I recovered very quickly after my first TKR but never reached the flex that they like to see — 120°. I had a lot of pain for about six weeks after my second TKR, enough that it put tears in my eyes frequently, but then the pain suddenly lifted and things were great. My knee replacement was on October 17th last year, and on December 8th I was walking all over NYC, pain-free! That knee also did not reach as much flex as I would like though, but there is no pain there now at all, ever. The knee that was replaced first, in 2012, still is a bit painful after a lot of exercise.

I think if you have a really good doctor that I would get the revision. I think both the doctor and the brand of knee make a big difference. I researched more fully before my second TKR than I did before my first one because I was in pain 24/7 when I scheduled the first. I took whoever could do me first basically. I should have realized that was a stupid move.
JK

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@franciesusan

I had mine 2 months ago, still painful

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@franciesusan How is your knee doing now, any less pain? I know for some people it can take quite a few months but hopefully, then things will be great and you will be thankful that you had it done.
JK

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@franciesusan

I had mine 2 months ago, still painful

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@franciesusan I hope by now that the pain is gone or at least greatly reduced. If not you should contact your ortho. When my serious pain persisted beyond a few weeks my ortho was having me come in weekly to check on things. He was quite concerned.
JK

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@hellothere

I am 6 wks out from bilateral knee replacement. 130 degrees both knees. Pain is tolerable during the day as I am moving well and taking Aleve or ES Tylenol, however, night time is terrible. I can't get any sleep. No matter what I take for pain, I cannot get comfortable, and thus no sleep. My 4 week post op x-rays showed small amount of effusion and demineraliztion–could that be the cause and should I be worried? My surgeon indicated that the effusion will subside and the demineralization will improve with weight bearing.

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@hellothere Your flex is impressive, I wish I had that much flex. That's terrible that you have not been sleeping well though. Has that improved?
I am not at all familiar with effusion and demineralization. What causes that?
JK

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@golfshrink

Hi Melcpa86, only time being young puts you at a physical disadvantage, right?! I know I was in a lot of pain before my double TKR, but it’s hard to remember. The pain I have now is totally different. I had full ROM before on both knees. I never even thought about this being a problem when I did the surgery.
I know after having had one manipulation where my knees had full ROM immediately after, then daily regression thereafter,revision would produce the same results.
I’ve unfortunately been stymied going back to the gym as I’ve developed planter fasciitis in one foot and a torn Achilles in the other. I went to an Ortho yesterday for the Achilles and he said it’s a result of the TKR replacements. I learned to compensate when my knees were not straight and centered. When they fixed that, it shot my tendons in a bad direction. As you would Suspect, I’m now In a Sophie’s choice predicament . I need to keep exercising for my knees, but somehow wear 2 boots and keep my feet up to take care of my Achilles and plantar fasciitis. Lovely!
I keep checking these posts because I’m looking for hope that people have made gains after the 1 year mark. This is my anniversary week. I’m hoping to still make progress. Most physicians are saying at this point, I should be done gaining any more ROM. I’m finding some antidotal evidence that it’s possible on this posts.

I think I could almost live with a decreased range of motion if upon standing I no longer felt like I was going to pass out . I’m hoping to make this improve by strengthening my quads, but as I previously mentioned, I’m limited with my new afflictions.
Thanks for your reply…

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@golfshrink I doubt you can gain much ROM at this point with just exercise but I am also more than a year out and there is a minor procedure that can be done where they make two 1/2" incisions and go in and snip something, the adhesions I think, which can improve the ROM. I am planning to get that done in the next month or so, when I can find the time. If I do I will let you know how it turns out.
JK

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@ellerbracke

At 3 months and 1 week after TKR I am still dealing with a good amount of pain. Always present, usually more of an annoyance at level 1-2, but quite often, and especially at rest and at night, it goes up to a 4, with occasional spikes to 5. I am not taking and meds for this, since OTC products do not really seem to help that much on a once-in-awhile basis, and I don’t want to stress my digestive system, liver, etc. by popping pills. I still have Oxycodone, but not taking that either. Here it is 3.30 AM, I’ve been awake for over an hour with “discomfort”. During the evening I mostly use a heating pad for 1/2 hour to pamper the knee, which helps with falling asleep. Other than the pain, everything else is great. Good flex and extension, 100% of the feeling back around the scar (which was only about 5” long to begin with), scar slowly fading, the “sandpaper” skin area down to nickel size. Just trying to hear from other patients when the pain totally ends!

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@ellerbracke That really sounds unacceptable to have so much pain at this point that you are having trouble sleeping. Have you spoken to your ortho about it?
As I mentioned in a different post, I had very severe pain for about six weeks and it very suddenly got better! I hope the same happens to you. Are you feeling any improvement?
JK

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@maryann1753

I am one year out from a total knee revision. Pain is still present and no better than before I had the revision although the tibial portion of my original TKR had become debonded so my knee was very unstable before the revision. It is more stable now, but I am plagued by chronic pain

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@maryann1753 I agree with @debbraw, it may be time to speak to your ortho again or to have a consultation with a different orthopedic surgeon. I really do not think you should be in such chronic pain.
I think if I had read all of these posts prior to my TKRs I may not have had them, I would have been too scared! I feel very thankful that my pain did not persist for that long, my only problem being a bit less flex than optimal.
JK

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@contentandwell

@hellothere Your flex is impressive, I wish I had that much flex. That's terrible that you have not been sleeping well though. Has that improved?
I am not at all familiar with effusion and demineralization. What causes that?
JK

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I contacted my ortho and he said the effusion (swelling) is common postop and demineralization would improve with increased weight bearing. Since I was having trouble sleeping, he did give me a prescription for Tramadol. I have used it for five nights now and have been getting great sleep. I plan to try 1/2 tablet tonight along with an Aleve and see if that works so I can cut back. I am doing my regular postop exercises along with walking 40-60 minutes per day and biking 30-40 minutes per day. I am doing pretty well and am sore, especially from standing, so I have to rest a lot. I take an Aleve once or twice per day and the Tramadol at night. Hopefully, I can get off of the Tramadol soon. Is this everyone else's experience? How long before I have no pain- I am 8 weeks postop now.

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