TKR Hi! New Here - My RTKR Recovery Thread

Hello, everyone! It's been a while! I've been lurking and reading but just not posting since there really wasn't much to say. My recovery has been going well, the normal aches and pains but nothing unusual until now.

My right knee is now just over 10 months old, and my left knee, just over 7 months. In the last couple of months, it seems like the left knee is progressing at a much better pace than the right one, even though it is 3 months younger. I know that no knee is going to heal the same, and each surgery can be different. But I'm starting to have some pains in my right knee that I'm not sure whether I should worry about or whether it's another normal healing process.

The tightness I've had is starting to slowly get better and better. But in the last few weeks I have had what I can only call a strange pressure under my kneecap on the right knee. I do not feel this on the left knee (younger one). It feels like my kneecap is pressing on the knee. And there are times when I'm squatting or going down stairs where I feel some pain along the bottom of the kneecap. I have no pain when I'm just walking or standing. It's only during certain movements. But there seems to be a constant pressure behind the kneecap.

I will be seeing my surgeon again for my year checkup before too long, but I'm just wondering if this is another of those things that can occur during the long healing process. Or should I be worried about this?

Thanks for all the great support on this board! And I'm hoping someone has some thoughts on this, or maybe has gone through it.

Thanks!
 
It's probably nothing to be concerned about, @VegasGirl.

I had a similar experience Although I don't remember exactly when it started, it was a bit before my one-year check-in as well. For me, it was more of a "pulling" or "pinching" sensation. It only occurred on the stairs. My surgeon wasn't concerned -- said it was likely just some scar tissue and would resolve with time.

You can probably wait until you see your OS for your upcoming check-up. But, if it becomes really painful or if it worries you, definitely call and see if you can move your appointment earlier.
 
Thank you, @benne68 for your comments! I'm glad to hear it's probably something normal. I will definitely keep an eye on things and call if it gets very painful!
 
Just a quick update - The pinching and pressure behind my kneecap seems to have resolved mostly. I'm not noticing it nearly as much. I'm thinking maybe it was some swelling from overdoing it one day, although I don't remember doing anything that aggravated it. LOL But I am out and about a lot more now since I'm able to do things again.

And a fun story - a couple of months ago, someone from my hospital called asking if I would be willing to do an interview for an article they were doing in their magazine about the Mako robotic surgery for TKR. I said I would be happy to, and a couple of weeks ago a very nice reporter called and we chatted for almost an hour about my experiences before and after surgery, etc. Then just today, they sent a photographer because they wanted some "action" shots of me doing things that was painful before the new knees. It was actually a lot of fun doing this "photo shoot." I took my dog for a walk, walked up and down stairs, worked in the garden, kneeling and bending to pull weeds. All of these things had been painful for years before I got my new knees. But this definitely reminded me of WHY I did this, and that I would do it again!
 
Well, I am super frustrated! I just called my Ortho's office to make my 1 year appointment. I was told their whole practice has changed to a different owner and they no longer take my insurance!!! I can go in and pay myself, but who knows how much that will cost with x-rays, etc.

And with my insurance, I always have to get a referral from my PCP to see any specialists, so I probably have to start all over. I really liked this doctor. I'm so upset. I will probably need a new hip eventually (hopefully not for a few years. )and was hoping he would do that as well. We got his name from a lot of referrals and I really don't want to just go through the yellow pages to find one.

Has anyone gone through this? What did you have to do?
 
And with my insurance, I always have to get a referral from my PCP to see any specialists, so I probably have to start all over. I really liked this doctor. I'm so upset. I will probably need a new hip eventually (hopefully not for a few years. )and was hoping he would do that as well.
Oh no! I have read that more and more medical practices are being bought by non medical investors. Ugh. Here's hoping you can nurse that hip along until you hit Medicare at 65!!!!
 
I messaged my insurance company to see what I needed to do. She did say that the doctor could send in a prior authorization request, and since this is for continuity of care, it should be approved. So hopefully my doctor is willing to do that.
 
Your last appointment should still be covered under post-op surgery follow up care, mine is. If it is not you should have been informed prior to surgery. You should have received notice from your surgeon on the sale and change. Is there any way you can contact your OS? Is he still at that practice? When you call back say you need to schedule your post op follow up appointment. If he is retired there still should be a OS he signed his cases off to. The appointment desk is sometimes clueless.
 
Last edited:
Your last appointment should still be covered under post-op surgery follow up care, mine is.
Thanks @Flashlight I will have to look into that. I do know that my 6-week follow-up was billed to the insurance as well as for the x-rays for each of my knees. That's why I assumed my 1-year check would be as well. I'm currently waiting for a call back from the person that handles this stuff as well as the prior authorizations. My doctor is still there. It's a group of about 5 surgeons and they all went into partnership with a new group. Sadly, it seems that the customer service is not as good as it was. They used to always get back to me almost right away. I put a call in to the nurse a few days ago and still have not had a call back.
 
I'm currently waiting for a call back from the person that handles this stuff as well as the prior authorizations. My doctor is still there. It's a group of about 5 surgeons and they all went into partnership with a new group. Sadly, it seems that the customer service is not as good as it was. They used to always get back to me almost right away. I put a call in to the nurse a few days ago and still have not had a call back.
Vegas girl, Unfortunately, medical practices are run like businesses. In my experience, the larger the organization, the worse the service, and more mistakes are made, since there are too many personnel involved. You may have to change your insurance if you want to keep seeing the same doctor, or switch a smaller, more personalized orthopedists' office that has good patient reviews..... Good luck!
 
Just a quick follow-up. I just spoke to the lady who handles the pre-authorizations. She was very nice and was already working on getting that filed. She didn't think it would be an issue to get it to go through using the continuity of care defense. So now I wait for the insurance company to respond. Fingers crossed!
 
I hope this ends in a good result for you. My son in law broke his collarbone in a cycling accident. After surgery they were charging him a co-pay for each follow up appointment. Someone had put the wrong codes on the paperwork which ended up giving him a refund. Some insurances might not pay for xrays but your post-op follow up should be covered under aftercare following joint replacement surgery (code). Fingers X!
 
Hello again everyone,

An update and a question.

Good news! My insurance has approved my follow-up visit and the needed X-rays! So I am very happy and have made an appointment for September 11. My right knee will be 1 year old on August 9! Lefty will be 1 on November 1, so the doctor will do the follow-up for both on that same visit.

For the question, which I will talk to him about when I see him, but wanted some opinions from you all. My right knee, which is 3 months older, is still having more issues than the left knee. Mostly I'm having more tightness with it. There are just times when it feels almost swollen, although I never see any swelling on the outside, no redness, no heat. It's worse when I've had a busy day, of course. For about the last 4 months or so, my right hip seems to be acting up quite a bit more than before I had the knees done. I don't know if it's just that I didn't notice it much before because the knee pain was taking over everything. Or if it's because I am more active again now, so there is more stress on the hip again.

But my question - could the hip arthritis getting worse be causing more swelling or stiffness in the knee? I think I have heard that hip issues can radiate down into the leg? Any thoughts you have would be welcome! And then I will speak to the surgeon when I see him.

As always,
Thanks so much!
 
Hello VegasGirl,
Wow! It’s almost a year already for, Righty. Time sure flies!
I’m sorry you’re dealing with some swelling in your right knee, but aside from that it seems you’re doing really well.

Most often with hips, pain is felt in the groin, the lower back and also the front of the thigh, which I experienced late in the game, close to my THR. If you‘ve received a diagnosis of arthritis in your hip, I am guessing it could be the reason for the swelling. I don’t really recall swelling in my knee, but did experience pain all the way down my thigh to my knee. My surgeon did also share with me that there can be swelling for up to a year after joint replacement, slowly easing over time, but it sounds like you’re right about at that point with your first (right) TKR.

Definitely talk to your surgeon about it. He may want a current x-ray to check the status of your hip.

I wish you all the best for your visit on September 11th. Please let us know how it goes and enjoy the rest of the week!
@VegasGirl
 
Thank you @Layla I haven't had a doctor actually say to me, you have arthritis in your hip. However, I've felt slight discomfort at times for years, but nothing that really worried me then. I had a CT before my knee surgeries, and that also showed my hips. In that report it noted that I had "significant DJD of the right hip". Also some in the left hip, but I'm not having issues there. And also in my ankles, which only cause me problems when I've had a really busy day on my feet. So, I am slowly falling apart. LOL But my knees are in great shape!

And like you mentioned, I have pain in my lower back (which at first I had hoped was just from my body getting used to my new knee) and pain going down my thigh at times. So I will discuss this with my surgeon. Whether he will be able to do an x-ray, we'll see, since the insurance approved 2 knee x-rays, nothing else. I'm really hoping my hip can hold out for another 4 years until I'm on Medicare so that I can have him do it.
 
I saw my surgeon today for my 1-year check of both knees - no sense doing 2 visits, so I just set up the appointment halfway between the 2 anniversaries. He said the x-rays looked great, and the knees were doing well! I went over the stiffness and pain I had been having, and the consensus was that if I'm having inflammation in my hip, that can very well cause more inflammation down the knee. But I did ask him if that could possibly cause issues with the knee replacement, and he said no. No worries about that.

Because of the insurance issues, I didn't have him do an x-ray of my hip, but he did manipulate it to see if he could feel any hip degeneration. But all the things he normally looks for, I had no problems with. So I'm hoping that means my hip is not as far along as I had feared. He did suggest that I work on strengthening my quads as that would help keep the hip more stable.

All in all, I'm mostly happy with everything. I wish this hip issue would have waited so I could really enjoy the progress in my knees, but it is what it is. Hopefully, the hip will keep working, at least until my insurance situation changes.

I hope everyone is doing well! I'm sure I'll be back here at some point with more questions. LOL
Right now I'm getting ready to go on a cruise with my daughter at the end of September and I am very much looking forward to being able to walk around all the foreign ports!
 
I'm getting ready to go on a cruise with my daughter at the end of September and I am very much looking forward to being able to walk around all the foreign ports!
How exciting! Have a great time and enjoy those new knees!
 
Thanks for the update on your progress and visit with your surgeon.
I hope you have a fantastic time on the cruise. Stay safe and enjoy!
@VegasGirl
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Forum statistics

Threads
63,961
Messages
1,577,559
BoneSmarties
38,717
Latest member
Night Owl
Recent bookmarks
0
Back
Top Bottom