6 months post TKR and many issues. Would welcome any feedback...

Posted , 7 users are following.

Almost 6 months since my first TKR. Plan was to return for the other knee 3 months ago/3 months after the first. However.....

Five weeks after the TKR I underwent an MUA (more painful than the op itself) as the knee wouldnt bend much beyond 70 degrees and the extension was around -10 to -15 degrees.

The surgeon managed to bend the knee to 100 degrees and hes a big bloke. I then rented a CPM machine for home and twice a day for 4 weeks, strapped myself in and (always starting at around 70 degrees) increased the bend to the mid 90's, over the next couple of hours.

The surgeon had mentioned the day after the TKR that he was in two minds as to whether to fit a 9mm or 10mm plastic, so went with the 10mm, 'so it didnt rattle around'..

The surgeon was/is therefore adamant that the lack of bend is due to the 1mm too thick plastic and gave me the following options : 1) Another MUA  2) Open the knee back up and change the plastic to a 9mm.

Neither option excites me, so he suggested I see a colleague of his for a second opinion. Another 5 weeks passed and I finally met with his colleague, who (given the info above) I was fully expecting to concur with surgeon one.. Much to my surprise however, he suggested I leave it alone and 'see how it goes'.

I now have two professionals who are diametrically opposed as to my next move and I am supposed to make a decision about my knee's future based on this !

I immediately went to see my surgeon who when asked how they can have such a different view, responded with 'Im a surgeon and if I see something not right, I fix it surgically'...   Not exactly helpful..

I decided to take the second opinions suggestion as it sounded less painful !

I have since tried hydrotherapy and another physiotherapist. My latest physio moved my leg around and is adamant that the plastic isnt too thick, as my knee does indeed rattle. Very irritating when driving, as I have to keep my left leg wedged against the footrest (I drive an auto) so it doesnt rattle.

The most useful info I have had so far was from a chance meeting when I took my dog to the vet a couple of weeks ago. Two ladies were talking knees, so I rudely interrupted !

One of the ladies had been in my position 6 months in, of still being uncomfortable most of the time, very itchy inside, especially at the back of the knee, unable to walk unaided due to the lack of extension and generally wondering why she bothered doing it in the first place.

She did however then tell me that she pretty much left the leg alone and now at 14 months post-tkr is able to touch her heel to her backside.

Im due to meet with my surgeon in 3 weeks for a followup, but not sure as to what to do next, if anything.

The thought of waiting another 1/2 year to 'see how things are' doesnt excite me too much, but nor does another procedure. Im therefore hoping that some of you will have been in a similar position and will be able to tell me how it went for you thereafter.

Im now pretty clear that changing the plastic isnt the way forward, given it has some play already. Im not so sure if a further MUA might help, but would do it, if I thought it would.

Looking forward to any feedback, be it positive or otherwise.

Peter..... 53 years old.....

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    If I were you, I will wait and see. I am sure it sort out itself just keep on with the physiotherapy 
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  • Posted

    So what's your ROM now? 

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  • Posted

    For any medical opinion I think it best to research who is the best expert in your area and pay for a private consultation, normally 1/2 an hour for around £200, and most of these Consultants do NHS anyway, and if you agree get your Dr to refer you to them.

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  • Posted

    I would wait and see. 6 months is still early in what is really a two year fullest recovery process. It takes a long time for all the soft tissues and muscles to adjust and get stronger. If you work hard at all your physio for at least six ,ore months and then see how it is then?
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  • Posted

    LTKR May 2017 - for three months my knee was locked in a 45 degree bend, I couldn't extend it but was determined to avoid surgery. Flexion was at 90. I started using a JAS brace for extension, got a new physical therapist- (found out later the first one had not given me  the correct exercises for extension,) and began seeing a massage therapist experienced in muscle massage for joints once weekly. Now almost 7 months post op my extension is at -13 and flexion is at 108. The improvements happened in the last 3 months. My surgeon and physical therapist are amazed at my recovery because they believed I would need surgery. The point being that your body can heal itself given the time. Everyone heals at a different pace, some of us take longer. I'm 67- give yourself time.

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  • Posted

    Thanks all for your responses. Seems I am a slow healer and we deal with it at our own pace. I know a chap who cycled in for his 3 week (post TKR) followup consultation ! 

    Off to my physio shortly so will know if ROM has improved over the last 10 days..

    Im going to resist surgery and will do all I can to avoid another MUA, but if that is what it takes, then so be it..

    Regards to all - Peter

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  • Posted

    Surgery now ruled out as since the swelling has subsided, its clear that the knee has some play in it. A thinner plastic would only make it worse. Sigh of relief !!

    Have been working on my extension and have bought it down from minus 13 to minus 6. Pretty happy with that and think I can keep improving. 

    Flex however just wont bend beyond 65 degrees. Its now 7 1/2 months since my TKR and despite the advice above to see how it goes, Ive just booked a second MUA for second week in Feb. 

    Scares the hell out of me, but so does not walking again, not riding my motorcycle again, not being able to fit in an aircraft seat etc etc,,,

    The original plan was to do my left TKR and my right one 3 months later. Clearly I have missed that window and am 99% certain that I wont ever be having my right knee done.. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the update! Good luck on your MUA, glad you don't need additional surgery now that swelling is down!  

      My extension is now -4 and flexion 115. I still have some swelling of the calf and I believe that is preventing more flexion. I'm getting a Synvisc injection in the right knee next Wednesday hoping to will buy me time to rebuild muscle and stamina of the left knee since I am just starting to walk with crutches more but still getting around mostly by wheelchair. i will have to do the right knee, (don't want to but I can hardly bear weight on it) but am preparing for surgery by exercising muscles preop and hope this one will be better than the left.

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