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can dental problems affect knee replacement surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by newnee, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. newnee

    newnee Graduate

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    My doctor agreed it was time to replace the knee. I have quit smoking and must wait at least 30 days for the nicotine to clear my system, I am also loosing weight per the doctors instructions. While waiting I decided to get a dental check up.

    Everything was going well the dentist and hygenistboth said my teeth look good. He saw a spot on the xrays and had a new xray taken of the back upper tooth. When I got home I had a message from my dentist saying he had refered me to an endodontist because the spot appeared to be a periapical lesion. He said the endodontist will evaluate adn talk to my surgeon about the surgery.

    I do not want to wait any longer because the pain in my knee just gets worse. I am willing to have the tooth yanked if that will get rid of the problem.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any information on how this will effect my having my surgery. If the extraction will work how long will I have to wait before I can have knee replacement, thanks for any help you all can offer
    Mary
     
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Hi, newnee.....welcome to BoneSmart.

    Be happy that your dental problems were discovered BEFORE your knee surgery. That way you can get them resolved now with no risk of infection problems while you're in recovery.

    Don't panic. Any delay while you get this resolved should be fairly minimal. Try not to have the tooth extracted unless you really must as that can cause you more dental problems down the road. It's always best to save teeth.

    We've had a number of folks who needed root canals and crowns before their joint replacements and it all worked out just fine. You'll be taking some antibiotics either way that will resolve the problem.

    Your surgeon will not proceed with the surgery until your infection has cleared and that's really a good thing for your health!
     
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    • newnee

      newnee Graduate

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      Thank you
      I was so depressed when I got the message it took all the control I had not to go buy a pack of cigarettes but your right it is better to find out prior to the surgery rather than end up with the knee becoming infected. Hoping the surgery won't be delayed to long as my job will be in jeopardy if I don't get back to full duty soon, Thanks again
      Mary
       
    • Jamie

      Jamie Administrator

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      Mary....do you work for a company that has more that 50 employees? If so, under the Family Medical Leave Act you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a personal or famlly medical problem. You cannot be fired for requesting FLMA and it must be granted.

      That said....I don't think any delay you may experience will be that great. However.....the recovery period for knee replacements can easily extend over several months. Have you prepared for that?
       
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      • newnee

        newnee Graduate

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        I figure the FMLA will cover me for the surgery recovery time. We are considered at will employees so we can be let go for any reason. We have a policy that says we can't be on light duty longer than 6 months.

        We are so desparate for employees that they have pretty muched worked with me since I have already been on light duty for almost that long already. I have been with them for 12 years so I am hoping my loyalty will count for something.

        Thanks
        Mary
         
      • Jamie

        Jamie Administrator

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        I hope so too, Mary. What type of work do you do, if I may ask.
         
      • newnee

        newnee Graduate

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        I am a publc service officer with a police department I take reports work in dispatch and in the jail.I have been searching the internet but can't find any answers any idea what kind of time frame we are ooking at for this to clear up
        Mary
         
      • Josephine

        Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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        What on earth is a "periapical lesion"? Fancy term for an abscess?

        When you say clear up are you referring to the tooth or the knee?
         
      • newnee

        newnee Graduate

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        I am not exactly sure what it is I have researched it on the internet and talks in medical terms that I don't understand but never quite defines it. I looked it up in a online dental dictionary and it was not listed so I am not sure whether it is a cyst, a granuloma or an abcess. I am wondering how long this problem could delay my knee surgery. It is frustrating to see the light at the end of the tunnel fade away.
        Mary
         
      • Josephine

        Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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        Actually, 'lesion' is a cover-all term for almost anything anomalous or abnormal. Until you find out, from the dentist, exactly what kind of lesion it is, your question can't really be answered. The identity of the lesion will also tell me what treatment might be involved. That's a factor too.
         
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        • newnee

          newnee Graduate

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          OK thanks I have an appointment tomorrow with an endodontist will let you know what I find out. Thanks for all the quick replies you folks are great. I was getting frustrated because the doctor I had talked to 6 months ago told me to just suck it up and take the pain in my knee. I told him I would have to quit my job if we did not get my knee fixed and he said fine. He never updated the xrays that were over a year old. He told me about getting a knee replacement, he then said no you're too young, then he said my knee was not bad enough. He would then offer me the knee replacement then he would change his mind and tell me no. He was driving me crazy so I asked for a second opinion

          This doctor was great. He listened to me and ordered new xrays and MRI's. The MRI's showed severe tri-compartmental arthritic changes in the knee and a baker's cyst. That combined with the knee pain he decided knee replacement was the way to go. It has been a roller coast ride. Just trying to hang in there till I am actually at the hospital for the surgery
          Thanks again for all your advice
          Mary
           
        • Jamie

          Jamie Administrator

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          Gosh, Mary....good thing you fired that first doctor. He was NOT the person to be seeing!

          Good luck with endodonist.
           
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          • Josephine

            Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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            Off - on - off - on - off ..... I'd have fired him too! Jeepers! :DOH:
             
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            • BigGene

              BigGene Sr Bonesmartie

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              My knee surgery was three weeks after multiple extractions they needed to be resolved prior to TKR.

              Do what you have yo do. Your new knee is worth it.
               
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              • newnee

                newnee Graduate

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                Thanks I think that first doctor of mine is why this little set back upset me so bad. My first thought was my dang the surgery is off again. Will just try to relax till I find out what is going on. I love this forum I am glad I found it. It helps talking to people who understand what is going on.
                Thanks
                Mary
                 
              • Ahmo

                Ahmo Junior Member

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                Hi Mary,
                I was planning on having a root canal done two days before my scheduled surgery. Luckily, I checked with my surgeon (last minute) and he advised me to put it off as long as the tooth wasn't killing me.

                I had the root canal work done three months post-op with no problems. Took four 500-mg amoxicillin tablets one hour prior to the procedure - and ate a lot of yogurt afterwards!

                Good luck - glad you changed your doctor.

                Maureen
                 
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                • MarkZ

                  MarkZ Junior Member

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                  Good Evening Newnee,

                  I had my 6 month follow-up with my OS a couple of weeks ago. Last parting words from him were "....if youhave any dental work done twll your dentist about the knee and request antibiotics a few days before the work...".

                  This said I would agree with everyone else. I guess dental infections can cause alot of issues through out the body.

                  Best of luck. Continue with posting here to keep us all informed.
                   
                • referee54

                  referee54 Moderator

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                  My father had his TKR delayed for several months while he had some dental issues taken care of---very frustrating for him, but it was absolutely the right thing to do.

                  I take the antibiotics before dental work---my dentist has no problems with prescribing it.
                   
                • newnee

                  newnee Graduate

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                  Well saw the endodonist and he said there is a bad infection at the root of the tooth and some bone loss. I have never had any symptoms. There was never any bleeding. pain, sensitivity to cold or heat. The hygenist at the endodontist tapped on it made me bite down on a bite stick and tested it with something sprayed a cold substance. I felt nothing. I wish my body had given me some warning signs so I could have had the tooth taken care of earlier. At least I found out before the surgery.

                  I have an appointment Wednesday to have the root canal. I am surprised that he did not prescribe antibiotics prior to the procedure, since there is an infection and I am also diabetic. He told me he can take care of the root canal in one appointment and it should not effect my knee replacement.

                  The surgery has not been scheduled yet since I have to wait till the end of July for my nicotine screening. My surgeon said as long as the nicotine screening is negative and I have lost the weight he wanted me to lose (I only have 3 more pounds to go) he will schedule my pre ops. I am assuming the surgery should not be scheduled to far after the pre ops so I am hoping that August will be my month

                  So I was wondering if the dentist is right that having the root canal next week I will be able to proceed with the knee replacement. Is there anything else I should have checked out before surgery?

                  Thanks everyone
                  Mary
                   
                • Josephine

                  Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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                  That all depends upon the surgeon, Mary. Have you told him you are having root canal?
                  I think will be plenty of time elapsed between the dentistry and the surgery. Best to check though.
                   
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