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Knee Infection Finally Finishing Up

PegGar16

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Hi,
I wish I had found Bonesmart.org a few months ago. I had my TKR at the end of June and everything was going great. I was lucky with not having a problem pain after the first couple of days and my best friend was/is an "iceman". I was in so much pain before the surgery that it was a relief to just deal with the surgical pain. I was just about done with PT, bending it to 120 and straightening it to 0. Then on the 30th of August I was getting up from a seat on a friends boat and stepping to the left and my knee gave way. It was the most painful thing I had ever felt and my husband said it sounded like ripping velcro. I fractured my patella and ruptured the patellar tendon. They went back into the knee through the original incision and attached the tendon to my remaining patella (80%). Recovering from this surgery I went 6 weeks in an immobilizer, and the for the next 3 weeks I had a brace that would let me move 30* more each week.

I started PT last week and it is very frustrating to have less mobility than I did after the TKR...and I totally understand the depression one goes through. Although I am still in a brace and using crutches I am very thankful that it could be fixed and now I have to work to get it going:)

I am having a problem with serous drainage and wondering if anyone else has had that problem. There was a little bit after the TKR but stopped after a couple of weeks. This time it has been going on for 2 months. Every time I think it has stopped the knee will swell up and start to drain again after a couple of days. There is no infection but it is very messy. Has anyone else had that problem?

Thank you for any insight.
 

newlybionic

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Hi and welcome. A moderator will be along and give you a list of articles to read. I would call your OS to ask about it. I think if you make sure to elevate it 'toes above nose' and icing your knee would help to keep the swelling down. You and your knee have gone through so much in the last few months it will take extra time to heal. I hope you're feeling better soon!:flwrysmile:
 
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Celle

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Hello @PegGar16
:welome:
I'm glad you found us.

I'm sorry to hear you had such bad luck as to damage your knee like that and that you now have to start your recovery all over again.
I'm going to ask @Josephine , our Forum Nurse Administrator, to advise you.

About the drainage - I think it's time that stopped. I'm sure you think so, too. What does your surgeon say about it and has he suggested any treatment for it? When are you going to see him/her again?

You've had some serious surgery to repair the damage. Do make sure that your PT progresses very slowly and doesn't strain or hurt your knee. Don't allow your therapist to push on your knee or do anything that causes pain.
I'm afraid that progress could be a bit slow, but it's better to take it slowly, rather than overdo the exercise.

Now I'm going to give you our recovery reading list - even though it's been a while since your knee replacement.
For you, the mantras are particularly important.
First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist (PT) - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!
- be active as much as you need to be but not more than is necessary, meaning so much that you end up being in pain, exhausted or desperate to sit down or lie down!

Next is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread.

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Activity progression for TKRs

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Home physio (PT) and activity progress: suggestions
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

And then some wise words from members who have shared their experiences ...
Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
Five “P’s” of knee recovery
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Recovering a knee - from one who knows!
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM
 
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PegGar16

PegGar16

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@newlybionic: Hello! And thank you for the welcome.

@Celle: Hello and thank you for the welcome and the information. I see my OS 02 Dec and I will definitely be asking a ton of questions about the drainage. I was lucky enough to get the same Physical Therapist that I had with my TKR and she is fabulous. She also watches that I don't over do it and does not inflict pain-has a very gentle touch, especially when manipulating the incision area for scar tissue or moving the patella. Thank you for the reading list and mantras and to be honest I will have to work a little harder on the mantras.

@Bikesouth: Hi! He did cut the same incision (the whole thing) and I noticed it took a little longer to heal. They kept the staples in an extra week. It has healed pretty well. I just have less than a 1/4 inch area about midway that I keep getting the seepage from.
 

Josephine

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I am having a problem with serous drainage and wondering if anyone else has had that problem. There was a little bit after the TKR but stopped after a couple of weeks. This time it has been going on for 2 months. Every time I think it has stopped the knee will swell up and start to drain again after a couple of days. There is no infection but it is very messy. Has anyone else had that problem?
It depends where it's coming from. Can you post a picture?

When did your surgeon last set eyes on it?
Are you using any dressings on the area?
 
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PegGar16

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Hi Josephine,
I last saw my OS 28 October...they are working me in tomorrow.
I have been keeping it covered with nonstick gauze pads..not using any ointments.
ImageUploadedByBoneSmart Forum1448323411.488431.jpg




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PegGar16

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It depends where it's coming from. Can you post a picture?

When did your surgeon last set eyes on it?
Are you using any dressings on the area?
Hi again Josephine. I just finished with my OS. Looks like it is a inflamed bursa. He sealed the last part of my incision and has put me on antibiotics. If that doesn't help cortisone injection or surgical removal were mentioned.


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Pumpkln

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PegGar16,
Glad your surgeon has seen the open area, hope it heals quickly.
Josephine will be along and take a look.
 

Josephine

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Looks like it is a inflamed bursa - cortisone injection or surgical removal were mentioned.
I take it you're referring to the bump in the red circle rather than the spot in the blue square, yes?
If so, I agree.

pg.jpg
 

Glamg1979

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Welcome to bonesmart!! Glad you found the forum. Such a difficult time you have had. Hope the support here is of help to you.
 
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PegGar16

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I take it you're referring to the bump in the red circle rather than the spot in the blue square, yes?
If so, I agree.

pg.jpg

It is. The spot in the blue box is the little part of the incision that would not heal. The fluid from the bursa was draining through it. I feel a lot better knowing what is going on. The fluid was a worse feeling than regular swelling if that makes sense...almost heavier. I go back to see him next week....thank you so much for your help.


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PegGar16

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Welcome to bonesmart!! Glad you found the forum. Such a difficult time you have had. Hope the support here is of help to you.

Hi and thank you for the welcome. I am very happy that I found this forum. The information available is amazing. I can't believe the recommended articles....and I read most of them. And there is nothing like the real life experience that you get from the members. It is really fascinating that we have all had the same thing done and all the different ways it was done and the different aftercare.


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newlybionic

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I'm glad you got to see the surgeon and now have your answer as to the reason. I hope you are back on track soon and your knee is back in action better than before!
 

newlybionic

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Great to hear the drainage has stopped. It's ok to take things slowly. You'll get there in the end. Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving day!!
 
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PegGar16

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Just got back from OS..he is keeping me on antibiotics, has me down to 1 crutch, kept the brace at 90* and to see him again next week. The knee is looking better, swelling is down and there didn't seem to have as much fluid. I still have s lot of pain in the front (where the bump is) when trying to do the leg lifts. He said it is almost 3 months and everything looks good..the pain is in the of the area of where they reattached the tendon. I am so thankful I have quad strength from the TKR PT...I think it is the only part of the leg that has strength:)

But it is progress!

ImageUploadedByBoneSmart Forum1449079341.037638.jpg



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PegGar16

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Had a good PT yesterday afternoon. I am working on walking without the brace. Because the knee and muscles are weak that it gives way I tend to lock up the knee and limp. After discussing walker/crutches/cane on another thread I pulled out my walker. I live in a one story ranch style house with lots of walking space. I am using the walker to practice the heal to toe (I swear I say it in my sleep)walk. It works just like bars in PT to balance me and grab if I feel the knee going. The crutches do not give me that balance--I put the weight on the crutches too much. This is working great and I feel like I am accomplishing something:)

PS: I have no weight bearing restrictions anymore.
 

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That's great @PegGar16!! Certainly sounds like progress to me! Slow and steady does it. Heel to toe, heel to toe, that's the same coaching I get from my PT.

Love your Avatar? Is that a Rhodesian Ridgeback? I had one and we had her pose with reindeer antlers too...so cute.
 
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PegGar16

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@Glamg1979 Thanks. He is a 7 year old Rhodesian and is big enough to be a reindeer. Best dog I have ever had. With so many pets being posted I had to show off my baby:)
 

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They are such sweethearts! We had to put ours down last summer, she was 11 years old. I miss her so much. Gentle giants but will protect you when needed. I will see if I can find the picture of her with her "antlers".
 

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