Complications after meniscus surgery

Posted , 4 users are following.

hi. I am new to this forum, and looking for some advice. I tried contacting a second orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion, but he said it is too soon after my surgery. I had a torn miniscus trimmed on May 30th. The pain was improving each day, and then just over a week after the surgery the pain went up to a 9 even when sitting or lying down. I went to the ER with no relief, and saw my surgeon two days later. He said I needed a surgery to clean it out because I had an infection. I had that surgery on the 12th of June, and was started on oral antibiotics after a day in the hospital getting IV antibiotics. I took the oral antibiotics for about 12 days, and I was having a lot t of symptoms that seemed like a reaction so I saw my primary care doctor. He determined that I was having a reaction, and my kidney function was way down, so I was admitted to the hospital for a week. I have been on IV antibiotics at home three times a day since I was released. It is now the 22nd of July, and my pain when I stretch the leg or put any weight on it is worse than it was before the first surgery. I can’t walk without crutches or a walker. I was wondering if anybody else has had similar experiences, or if anybody can tell me if this is normal. My surgeon tells me the pain is from arthritis, which I knew I had, but if that were true I would expect it to be the same as it was before surgery, not worse. Please let me know what you think.

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  • Posted

    I had two meniscus repairs, one each side a long time ago and a few years apart. My experiences were quick, virtually painless recoveries. Ice and elevate a few days, swelling one in a week, and back on my skates a week after that. No brace, no rehab. I have also heard from people on here that their recoveries were a bit longer yet very successful. I have not heard of a case with so many issues for such a long time...it is definitely not normal.

    The problem I see in your story is that you have FOUR doctors involved: surgeon, second opinion, ER doc and your primary...and NO ONE is talking to anyone else. I would recommend that your primary's nurse arrange a conference call between the original surgeon and your primary. Have them discuss the case and agree on a single course of action. Right now you're getting bounced around with no relief in sight.

    Take control of the situation and get on a single path to recovery with your docs working together for your well being.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I had a partial menisectomy 3 years ago.

    After a couple months my pain got a lot worse. The surgeon continued to say everything was fine. After not sleeping and horrible pain I got a second opinion. That surgeon ordered an MRI and stated it was probably a SONK lesion. He was right. It was spontaneous osteo nectcrosis of the knee. I had to have a full knee replacement and dead bone removed.

    Get another opinion or ask for another MRI. It sounds like the same thing.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Thank you both for your replies. Chico, I don't think a conference call will work because the surgeon doesn't want any input from my primary care doctor. He actually told me specifically not to see my primary care doctor when I brought my concerns about a possible reaction to him. If I had followed his advice and just kept taking the antibiotics, my kidneys could have failed completely. I heard unofficially from an ER nurse that wasn't supposed to say anything that my surgeon has had problems with infections before. After hearing my story, she guessed which doctor it was without me having to provide any details.

    Lailon, when your pain got worse, was it constant or only when putting weight on the knee or stretching it? If yours was the same as mine is now, then i think it is a likely possibility. The problem is, my surgeon won't admit there might be something else wrong and I can't see a different one because the surgery is too recent.

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  • Posted

    I tore my meniscus and although didnt get an infection it was extremely painful after the tidy up , it was a waste of time I should have just got a knee replacement , and thats what I ended up with after two years of struggling , and seeing another surgeon . End result because I limped for that time my other knee had to be replaced after 7 years . Sorry but sounds like you got a dud surgeon ! are you in uk ? . I got to choose both of mine and asked nurses etc before hand , they know whose good. I hope you get it sorted out , cant see why you cant have a second opinion !

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply, Jenny. i am in the US. i used the surgeon my primary care doctor referred me to. When I tried to get a second opinion, the other surgeon said it was too soon after the surgery. He said I had o wait 6 months if I wanted to see him. I am seeing the infectious disease doctor Wednesday, so I guess I will wait to see what he says about the infection and whether or not it has cleared up before I decide what to do next.

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  • Posted

    No, it is absolutely not to early to get a second opinion. That is your right. I got my second opinion 3 months after my surgery. I didn't tell my surgeon. The second surgeon saved my leg.

    Don't wait, go with your gut.

    Too much pain for a simple meniscus surgery. Sounds like they did not get all the infection. Btw, I am also an RN. Hopefully you can find a good surgeon willing to step up.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice. I called around and found another surgeon who has very good reviews online. He is willing to see me this week, so I hope to have some answers soon. I told his office that I am unhappy with the service I received from the first surgeon, and that I am looking for a second opinion. I don't want to let the first surgeon know I am seeing a new surgeon yet, since he has been such a jerk, so I am going to try to get the records either from my primary care doctor or the infectious disease doctor so I can leave him out of it. If it turns out that he did something wrong and I end up pursuing legal action against him, I don't want to give him extra time to prepare and try to discredit me. Again, thank you all for the advice. I will update you after I see the new doctor.

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    • Posted

      Well, I got my MRI, and found out that I have a piece of loose cartilage floating around in my knee. It is 10mm by 5mm, and will require another surgery to remove it. I am now waiting for my insurance company to approve the surgery. At this point, I am seriously considering contacting a lawyer. I should not have had so many complications from a supposedly minor and routine surgery.

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your suggestions and encouragement. I saw the infectious disease doctor today, and he said my inflammation is improving but not gone. He also said my white blood cell count is abnormally low also, which may be caused by the antibiotics. At this point, he is not sure if the infection is still there, or if the inflammation is the arthritis that has been made worse by the infection. He is asking the surgeon to aspirate my knee to see if there is still any infection present. When I asked him about the possibility of SONK, he said it could be, and if it was that would mean I would have chronic pain. He said it casually, as if it were no big deal, but if this is going to be my level of pain going forward there is no way I can go back to my job. I am a supervisor at a trucking company, and have to walk around on a concrete dock for 10 hours a day. I can't take narcotics while working because it would be unsafe with all of the dock workers driving around on forklifts. I see the new orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, and I really hope he is able to do something more for me.

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  • Posted

    Just got home from getting a second opinion. He did an X-ray there and said I only have mild arthritis in that knee. He does not believe it could be causing my current pain, and it also does not explain the fact that my range of motion has decreased in the last five days. He ordered a new MRI, but I have to wait for the insurance company to approve it. He also said that in over 20 years of experience, he has only seen infections from this kind of routine surgery once or twice.

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