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Anyone have increased pain in good knee while doing rehab for bad knee?

Cat_Girl

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Hi,
I’m scheduled to have my left TKR on October 30th. I have occasional pain I’m my right “good” knee. I have not been very active for the past 2 years. I’m wondering if going through the rehab for my left knee might aggravate or worsen the pain in my right knee. I’ve never had surgery on my right knee so I really don’t know what’s wrong with it other than I do have a plica. Has anyone ever experienced an increase in pain or flare up of pain in your good knee while rehabbing you’re operative knee?
Thanks,
Debbie
 

Rockgirl4

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Yes, even though the "good" knee isn't nearly as bad as the one with the TKR. Your good knee is having to take most of the load, and ANY problem (like early osteoarthritis) in the good knee might be more troublesome/symptomatic while you rehab the other one.

My good knee was FINE for 15+ yrs until I had my invasive ACI surgery on the right knee in December 2015. The whole experience involved 4 procedures, 2 yrs of PT, 5 months on crutches with only the good leg doing most of the work, plus LOTS of compensating. By the end of 2017, my left knee was complaining for the first time in 15 yrs. By April of 2018, a huge piece of articular cartilage broke off from my tibial plateau, resulting in Microfracture surgery to that "good" knee (my only option, as the chunk was knocking around in my knee tearing up other stuff and making the knee lock constantly!!).

Fast forward to late 2018----A different surgeon did my TKR this past May (2019) and he took detailed x-rays of my "good" knee a few months after that Microfracture surgery, just so he could see what BOTH knees looked like. His exact words were "it may not have bothered you for 15 yrs, but the last 2 years were NOT kind to it, and whatever OA you had has progressed rapidly." He said it might last another 2 yrs if I'm lucky, as there's almost no joint space left. The need for the Microfracture surgery and obvious patellar cartilage defects seen during surgery (which are also symtomatic) just prove that knee is on its last leg (no pun intended).

Even in my late 20s and 30s (knee surgeries Numbers 1 through 7), the non-operative knee always complained while I rehabbed the operative knee. Most PTs told me it's super normal and to be careful of how get up, sit down, do stairs, etc.....just to protect the good one as long as you can.
 
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Cat_Girl

Cat_Girl

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Thank you for the response. I kind of figured that might happen.
 

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