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TKR Nickel Allergy Confirmed with Blood Test

Pumpkln

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Prior to my surgery I had a Baker’s cyst behind my knee. During the surgery the surgeon drained it and I thought it was gone for good. However, in the last week or so I am getting swelling behind the knee again. It is very aggravating. Is this something I should worry about? Have I screwed something up?
Here is some information from out library about Baker's cysts and other knee bursae .

Glad you will be cutting back your exercise and activity, the swelling in the back of your knee should ease.
I had a Baker's cyst rupture, the pain was right up there with my TKR while it was draining.
I would not wish that pain on anyone.
 
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Golfer1

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I am now 12 weeks postop and feel as though I’m at a standstill. Three weeks ago I stopped going to PT because it was too aggressive. I decided to stop doing the exercises and just let my knee heal, as many people advise on this forum. I am in a constant battle with swelling, which is very discouraging. I went out for a short walk today and had to turn around and come back because my knee was just too tight. When I am up during the day I’m usually wearing a tubigrip sleeve to try and keep the swelling down. I am also icing twice a day for 30 to 45 minutes. The swelling is relentless! Am I doing something wrong? All I am doing is some walking and riding a stationary recumbent bike for about 15 minutes. I would welcome any suggestions… It’s been a downer day.
 

Jaycey

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I am also icing twice a day for 30 to 45 minutes.
Ice for at least 45-60 minutes per session. Are you elevating when you ice?

Try taking a break from the biking until you get this swelling under control. Your knee is telling you it doesn't like all this activity.
 

sistersinhim

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For the first few months I iced and elevated the whole time I was sitting or laying down. I'd do an activity then immediately iced and elevated afterward. This helped to keep the swelling and discomfort down. If you listen and obey your knee you'll have less swelling and pain. Remember you can't ice or elevate too much as long as you have a cloth between the ice and your knee. I was addicted to icing! What a pain and swelling reducer it is!
 
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Golfer1

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Yes, I am elevating when I ice my knee. I will increase the time that I am “on ice”. (Sounds like we’re talking about a seafood market). I will also lay off the stationary recumbent bike and just do some light walking. Thank you for your wisdom. It is much appreciated!
 
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Golfer1

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I am six weeks postop right TKA today. I still have some internal swelling which results in discomfort on the outside back of my knee. And I still have that tight band feeling. Is this normal for being this far along?
 

Jaycey

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Actually at six weeks you are not far along at all in what is usually a one year journey. Keep icing and elevating to control that internal swelling. You'll get there!
 

Jockette

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Many of us had this issue at 6 months. It will get better. We all heal at different rates. I had better improvement in my second year than I did my whole first year.
 

kneeper

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I was much better at 6 months than 3 months, but far from healed. The knee was easily aggravated and still had some stiffness. It's still your boss at this stage. But you should find it gradually improving month by month.
 

sistersinhim

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At 6 months you are much better than you were at one month. At 12 months you'll be better than you were at 6 months. At 2 years you'll be better than you are at one year. This recovery takes a long time but is well worth it.
 

Sara61

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@Golfer1 I only really noticed a huge improvement at about 7-8 months, by my 8th month the swelling had mostly gone and I only got a tight band feeling when I over did things.
Now at 10 month, my knee is on the whole great, swelling all gone and mostly pain free, again I'm still careful not to push myself.
This process takes a lot of time and patience but hang in there as one day you'll notice a huge difference :)
 

NightQuilter

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It sounds like you are doing really well for 6 months out. It takes time and certain things occasionally pop up. My hubs, the Sainted Joseph, is 10 months out and just today developed some swelling and inflammation in his knee; the tight band feeling still wells up a little for him, but nothing like it was the first 3-6 months. At nearly 8 yrs, I sometimes get tightness or an occasional click in one of my knees. Yet I am overjoyed that I have these knees and do have so much more freedom of movement. As others have said, healing goes well into the second year oftentimes. I continued to develop ROM & extension after 12 months. Relax - it all sounds normal.
 
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Golfer1

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To Jockette, Kneeper, Sistersinhim, Sara61 and NightQuilter...THANK YOU for your collective reassurances and words of encouragement. They are much appreciated.

I had aggressive PT for the first 10 weeks or so, until I finally said I’d had it. Since then, I’ve had this reoccurring thought that maybe I had done permanent damage to my precious new knee.
 

NightQuilter

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When you're not recovered to the point you think you should be, it is natural to suspect different causes - real or imagined. Believe me, I am great at coming up with the imagined ones!! But it is unlikely even aggressive PT would have caused any permanent damage to "Precious." Taking it easy now and letting Precious guide you in how she wants to recover is probably the best medicine. Precious needs patience.
 

aquamarine117

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@Golfer1, aeries, and Sara61, Your experiences so resonate with me. It all started on october 2018 when after having problems with right knee ,several arthroscope surgeries for meniscus tears and finally OS saying I can give you a partial knee replacement due to much of the knee not being affected by osteoarthritis, in other words sparing my knee.

It sounded good to me and seemed like it would be a quicker recovery. Boy was I wrong! No one asked me if I had a nickel allergy beforehand . I proceeded with a patellofemoral knee replacement on October 2018. It was a very difficult recovery and actually never got much better, It needed to be drained multiple times, was on pain meds a long time followed by another arthroscopy for a meniscus tear post op. I thought to mention to the dr that I had a sensitivity to nickel and asked if there was any in my implant. He said a very small amount and true metal allergies are very rare.

While dealing with this partial replacement there were so many wonderful family events, especially the wedding of our daughter. I had to limp and tough it all Out! Finally this spring I did some self reflection and realized that my partial knee replacement surgery is failing me and sought out a specialist in knee revision surgery. I read the many excellent comments that his patients wrote about him and the majority of his surgeries are revisions of knees and hips. We discussed replacement with a revision to total knee and titanium implant.

I had surgery on the 29th of July and although I am still in the beginning stages of recovery, my knee feels strong and stable. I am hopeful that this time around I will regain the quality of life I had three or four years ago, being physically active, going on long walks often with groups for charity causes, swimming, hiking and generally moving with no pain. I sure deserve it. There is a very short line of people wanting to have two major surgeries within 1 and a half years.

Love this forum and the good advice, support and feeling part of this experience with others. Wish I had asked ahead of time about Nickel !
 

aquamarine117

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Hi NightQuilter, I didn’t dodge the bullet, paid for it dearly . To all considering a knee surgery do bring up nickel sensitivity if you have it to you orthopedic dr.
 

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