TKR How do I get my Dr to take me seriously?

Jockette

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No problem, better to post than not to. We’ll move posts as necessary.

We like comments to stay in recovery threads because if they are all over the forum, we can lose important history, when we need to advise members.
 

Catalien45

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So, IHaveTwins, we are HERE to help!! The wonderful people here helped me through TKR#1 so I’m doing so well with #2 I want to help in any way I can!!
Hi.... I am a first-timer, right knee. My Surgery was Oct 6, so close to 3 weeks. The opioids. Also were not for me. - the 2nd day home, I passed out cold on my way back to bed ... scared my daughter & Husband, who, thankfully eased me to the floor. I had a reaction ( stomach pain) identical to what I remembered from years ago following major surgery , with Vicodin. Decided this was my body warning me. We switched to Tramadol ( also in my prescribed “pain Arsenal”.). Took a bit to come up with correct combination for me, but now successfully taking 1,000 Tylenol 3 times daily & Tramadol every 6 hours. And ice. . We bought an ice machine, well worth it. We set timers on our cell phones so that I am not late, or miss a dose. Always make sure my tummy is not empty, and Plenty of water! Somewhere, sometime, that was drilled into me.....
I still struggle with sleep at night, most nights, but realize this is common. I do nap during the day, and, for the time being, I just have to accept that. I’m just used to being active - I miss my cooking, gardening ( tho, thankfully, our garden for the most part, wrapped up Prior to my Surgery.), sewing. But, I AM looking forward to walking a bit soon! And I can read some on my new novels we got. Also, do some handwritten notes to friends & loved ones. I’m learning that when I Do overdo, to ice, elevate & rest! That is from this site. It really does make the difference, and no doubt, Everyone has those days, it’s inevitable. I learn So much, regularly, from others’ experiences, & it is very encouraging to feel part of a community in this adventure. My pain seems to be getting better, basically , the extensive bruising. My Dr explained that there is a lot of bleeding, a lot drains into the tissue. Looking forward to that improving, my leg & ankle not so “ colorful. an exciting, unrelated note... just took Felicity Kitty out back, & my husband found a nice crop of potatoes from a plant that volunteered in our garden, evidently from the compost! An extra little gift amidst trees in our yard and neighborhood giving us all a beautiful display of reds, yellows, gold & orange...fall is here!
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi all,

I am 1 yr, 5 months post TKR and while walking on my treadmill started feeling a little "pain" on the inside of my left knee. Everything has been going really well so I was a bit surprised. It reminded me of the pain I had while hiking downhill prior to the TKR.

Has anyone else experienced this and is it normal?

Thanks so much for your help.
 

Pumpkin

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@ihavetwins
Most likely it is just a little twinge from walking on the treadmill.
When we walk on a treadmill we take the same step every time, which can stress our legs.
When we walk on regular surfaces, each step is a little different, changing the stresses through our legs.

Recommend you Ice your knee to help it settle down.
 
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Pumpkin

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You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, we have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you keep starting new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here. If you prefer a different thread title, just post what you want and we'll get it changed for you.
If you need an urgent response to a question, just tag a member of staff.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.

How can I find my threads and posts?

Thanks
Chris
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi everyone,

I was riding my bike back in November just like the old days but started feeling discomfort and loud clunking in my newer, right knee replacement a month later while using an exercise bike.

I stopped bikinghoping it would improve and stuck to the treadmill. Fast forward and I’m able to do steep hikes, about 6 miles roundtrip, but still can’t rotate my knee without experiencing the same problem.

I visited my dr and he said X-ray showed everything is in place, some minor effusion, and to back off on the biking until it no longer feels uncomfortable.

Can someone explain while vigorous hiking isn’t a problem but pedaling a bike is????

Thanks for any advice. This doesn’t make sense…
 

Roy Gardiner

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You'll notice that I have merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread. For several reasons, we prefer that you only have one recovery thread:
  • That way, you have all your information in one place. This makes it easier to go back and review your history before providing advice.
  • If you start new threads, you miss the posts and advice others have left for you in the old threads, and some information may be unnecessarily repeated
  • Having only one thread will act as a diary of your progress that you can look back on.
So please post any updates, questions or concerns about your recovery here.
 

Roy Gardiner

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Can someone explain while vigorous hiking isn’t a problem but pedaling a bike is????

Thanks for any advice. This doesn’t make sense…
Hmm, I don't know either. I did have a bit of clicking & clunking when I first started riding again. It just eventually went away.

If you have a static bike some gentle pedalling might help.

Are your feet straight on the pedals?
 

sistersinhim

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I was the opposite. I could ride, but hiking, especially going downhill, was painful. Roy has a good idea about your foot placement.
 
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ihavetwins

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Roy Gardiner, I have a static bike and even gentle pedaling becomes problematic.
 
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ihavetwins

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Hi everyone,

I could sure use some advice.

I know the healing process can take 1yr+ but it feels like I have been going backward with my Right knee TKR recovery. The Left TKR has been a success in my mind.

At 6 months I was doing incredibly well—hiking and biking as if I had a normal knee—and in December 2021 it headed downhill. I don’t know why. By January 2022 I couldn’t ride my bike as the pedal rotation caused clunking and pain. My dr took X-rays and said everything was in place, minor swelling, but to discontinue riding until it resolved, which I’ve done. I rested my knee for several weeks but now even walking on the treadmill results in pain.

I have tolerated 24/7 stiffness when bending my knee (feels swollen inside) since the surgery but now there is constant aching. I often have trouble at night with the aches.

I can handle not biking but pain after a treadmill walk is really depressing. What’s worse is the discomfort I feel all day from the ache and feeling of an internally swollen knee.

Is it possible that something is wrong that can’t be seen on an x-ray? I never thought I’d regret doing my right knee, which was always the lesser screwed up knee in the first place.

I’m just feeling really down…
 

Jockette

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I’m sorry you are feeling so down and and have issues now that you didn’t earlier on. Yes, there are problems that can’t be seen on an X-ray. I would think you have a year check up coming up? Hopefully your surgeon will take you seriously and look for a cause. I would ask about possible loosening of the implant, which can sometimes be seen in an X-ray, but not always. I would also ask for some bloodwork to be done to look for an infection. If you‘re not happy with your surgeons efforts you might want to consider a second opinion.

Second opinions don’t always have an answer, I’ve had 2 and they found nothing to fix, even though I had a long list of issues, that I still have now, 5 years later. My second second opinion did order blood work and it came back fine, and he looked carefully at the new X-ray done that day and told me what we’d see if the implant was loose, and we didn’t see that evidence.

I will say, I really did have a lot of improvement in my second year, considering how slow and difficult my first year had been. I’m at a point now that it‘s manageable and I’m living with results that aren’t great.

By the way, I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread, as we prefer that members in recovery have only one thread.

This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Best wishes on your continuing recovery! :flwrysmile:
 

lovetocookandsew

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I was in a similar situation within a few months of my original surgery. It got bad enough that my OS decided I needed a revision. (I had a different OS do the original TKR due to my regular OS and his schedule at that time)

They did find, after testing, that I had a nickel allergy, although it wasn't a highly reactive allergy, but it was reactive. While doing the revision, my OS said he went to start chipping the implant out, and before he even started it slipped right out. It was more than just loose-it was completely disengaged from the cement. He had done multiple x-rays and couldn't tell on any of them that it was loose. We don't know if the allergy was the culprit, or something else, but today I have a new, non-nickel implant and a great knee.

This doesn't mean that's the reason for your issues, but is just to let you know there are reasons for post-op pain and I'd suggest you tell your OS at your one year check about it, and don't let him dismiss you. No matter how much you need to push, don't let him tell you it's all in your mind, etc. It doesn't hurt to check everything thoroughly, see where you are after the results come in, and proceed from there.
 
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ihavetwins

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I’m one year out on my right knee. I’ve been having problems since early December and saw the dr in mid-January. Xray looked normal and he said to take a break from the activity causing the issue. I did, as well as resting the knee completely for several weeks.

My activities are becoming even more limited. Yes, I can walk. Yes, my ROM is good. No, the pain is not sharp and severe, more like a 24/7 dull ache.

But the tight, vice-like feeling in my knee is uncomfortable, feeling like there’s internal swelling, although the exterior swelling is a bit visible. What I could do in February now causes enough discomfort that I must stop. I regularly have enough pain at night that it interrupts my sleep. I can “feel” my knee all day long.

I visit the dr in 2 days and I am afraid he will minimize my concerns and say it’s all part of the healing process. My situation is not tolerable.

How do I get him to take me seriously. Something is wrong.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Jockette

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If you’re not happy with this next appointment, get a second opinion from a surgeon a distance away who has no association with your current surgeon.

By the way, I merged your newest thread with your original recovery thread, as we prefer that members in recovery have only one thread.

This benefits you because all your information is in one place, easy to find, and maintains a nice journal for you.

This also benefits our staff, as your information is all in one place, and we often go back through your thread for previous details, so we know what you‘ve been through which helps us advise you better.

So, please keep all your posts in this thread. If you’d like a new title, let us know what you want, and we’ll change it for you.

Many members bookmark their thread in their computer browser, so they can find it when they log on.
How can I find my threads and posts?

Best wishes on your continuing recovery! :flwrysmile:
 
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ihavetwins

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I am almost 14 months post TKR on my left knee. I’ve been having tightness problems since January, when I saw my dr again. He said the X-rays looked great, my gait fine and overall everything seemed good. I also have good ROM.

Just give it more time and rest.

I saw him again in early May and he said my hamstring was tight and extension a wee bit off. Also, more rest.

I’ve rested, again, for a solid 2 months now and not much has changed. I have read many articles and have implemented anything I think might possibly help—rest, TENS, voltaren cream, magnesium cream, chewing turmeric, pool exercises. I can’t bike, hike, use the treadmilol or walk very far without increasing the “internal swelling/tightress I feel.

He said you can’t do an MRI with a TKR and get back to him in 3 weeks. I think the MRI comment is not correct. Would it show anything at this point?

Please, please help. Thank you.
 

eaglemom

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I don't know about his MRI comment. I will look into it for you.

However, are you comfortable finding another surgeon not associated with this one and having someone else exam you? It just might be time for another opinion.
 

kneeper

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I think you either need a specialized mri machine or techs who can do specialized mri scans for total knee patients.

Sometimes people continue to have discomfort and are still recovering after a year. I would get stiff after standing for about an hour at one year, but it continued to diminish. It does sound like you are having more limitations than that though.
 

eaglemom

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I have very briefly done some quick research on MRI after TKR. Of course each physician has their own idea's, but for the most part unless you have screws it 'should' be fine. I do remember discussing this with my surgeon whom said he doesn't like the image that the MRI gives - its fuzzy / not clear. Which when you think about it defeats the purpose of the MRI.

I'll look into this more. I still say possibly look around for another opinion.
 

Ghostpipe

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I’ve got a similar problem at 16 months with one of my bilateral. Anything other that sitting on my backside causes swelling and pain. The surgeon just does not listen. I’ve been told that I have high expections, that everything is fine with my x rays etc. So why is one leg so much worse than the other? He tells me to build strength in that leg, but the aftermath of trying is pain. So I’ve done no exercise for two months just like you, and nothing much changes. I just can’t get the message across. Had to demand an MRI today, was not offered.
I can’t see that expecting a future of being pain free after a walk or a bit of any exercise is a high expectation.
 

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