TKR Knee Buckling and Back Pain 6 Months Post Op TKR

Ccfbarb

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Hi, I’m a newbie, but, looking for answers to what I’m starting to think is a failed TKR. I’m six months post op left TKR due to a subsequent fall and patellar fracture of same knee. Had ORIF surgery on patella, but just wasn’t walking normally about 5-6 months from surgery. I got a second opinion from a different knee surgeon, who explained that I had a lot of arthritis from previous surgery and I needed. TKR. Now, I’m six months post op and I feel I’m worse now than before surgery. I have some pain , though minimal, but my knee is unstable and buckles, so much that I can’t walk without a cane or walker, plus I get unbearable back pain with walking, so can’t go very far without having to sit. Anyone else have these symptoms?
 

Roy Gardiner

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:welome: to BoneSmart. First some general information for you:

Knee Recovery: The Guidelines

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access these pages on the website

The Recovery articles:

There are also some cautionary articles here


We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 

Roy Gardiner

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I’m six months post op left TKN due to a subsequent fall and patellar fracture of same knee
Had ORIF surgery on patella, but just wasn’t walking normally about 5-6 months from surgery.
I got a second opinion from a different knee surgeon, who explained that I had a lot of arthritis from previous surgery and I needed. TKR
Am I correct to say you had TKR, had a fall after TKR, had ORIF to correct what was wrong, and that you are now about 6 months out from the TKR? Please correct me if I've misunderstood this.

It strikes me that there may indeed be something wrong, and that a detailed examination should be done including X-ray and MRI. You will then know if (a) the new joint is correct and you have soft tissue problems or (b) there is a fault. You need to know otherwise you cannot take action.
 

Celle

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Hello @Ccfbarb - and :welome:

I'm a little confused about the order in which you had your knee surgeries. Did the Total Knee Replacement (TKR) come first, and then you had a fall and fractured your patella, or was the TKR done after the ORIF of your patella?

If you can tell us the full dates of both surgeries and also which knee it is, that will clarify what happened and we will be able to put the dates into your signature.

Thank you.:flwrysmile:

I agree with Roy Gardiner, that you need to go back to your surgeon for further investigations and assessment. You need to know if your patella has healed.
The instability at this stage is concerning and its cause should be discovered. It may be that you still have some muscle weakness, or that some of your tendons haven't yet regained their tone.
 
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Ccfbarb

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Sorry for confusion . I tripped a year ago in February 2019 over my grandson and fractured my left patella into 3 pieces. Had ORIF surgery within 2 days to repair the patella. I subsequently underwent about 6 months of PT for the knee and felt I wasn’t walking well and sought a second opinion . This surgeon said arthritic changes from the surgery would always be with me and recommended a left TKR. I had this done on Dec 17, 2019, have been in PT since then. I cannot fully straighten my leg by myself and when I walk with a cane, I have terrible back pain and my left knee buckles and gives way. My surgeon said my repaired patella looked pretty bad and at my last visit with him said I had to give him a year to get my knee working. I’m afraid I’ll never walk without assistance again.
 

Sara61

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Have you expressed these concerns with your surgeon, if not I would definitely ask him to run some tests and investigate further.
I have forwarded your details so that a signature can be created for you.
 

Celle

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I've done your signature for you, @Ccfbarb , and I will add you name to the December Supernovas 2019 surgery thread.
 

Jockette

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It seems you’ve had a lot of PT. We have found in some cases too much and/or, PT that is too aggressive, can actually make it harder for the surgical site to heal. What do you do at PT?
 
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Ccfbarb

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Yes, I’ve made my surgeon stop and give e 15 minutes to answer my questions! Willi walk again? “ Yes, but because of your previous circumstances with the patella , I need you to give me a year? Why is my knee buckling? “Your quad muscle is extremely weak, and e b
meed to strengthen it). For PT, we work on s.trengthening my quad which seems to make no progress whatsoever !
 

sistersinhim

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and e b meed to strengthen it).
I am sorry, but I don't understand what you are saying here.

Listen to your doctor. It takes most people at least a year to fully heal from a TKR. You had major surgery before your TKR, so your body needs even more time. I've had both kneecaps removed in the past and I remember how it took time to get my quads' strength back up. But they did and I never took one day of PT. I just used my legs in my daily life. The knees automatically gained strength as I used them.

I think you need to relax and let your knee take the time it needs to heal and then it will strengthen itself up naturally. Sometimes too much PT can cause us to have a setback. You don't want to do that.
 

longisland

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" I have some pain , though minimal, but my knee is unstable and buckles, so much that I can’t walk without a cane or walker, "...

My situation has some similarities. I'm 5 months post TKR and still using cane to walk for about 20 minutes at a stretch. I also feel unstable with new knee. Once in a while I have a misstep where I feel off balance. I have lots of pulling and some pain in back of knee and pinching in knee back outer corner although that is decreasing.
My surgeon also says it takes time and I need to build up my leg and thigh muscles. Have been going to PT 2x/week. Very slow progress.
 

Roy Gardiner

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In the above message you put quote marks around an extract of another user's post. There is a standard way to do this, illustrated here: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/how-to-use-the-quote-feature.56660/

Using that method you'd get something which I hope you'll agree is better:
I have some pain , though minimal, but my knee is unstable and buckles, so much that I can’t walk without a cane or walker
It's no big deal, you can continue with your way if you like.
 

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