Knee revision surgery

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I had knee revision surgery 3 weeks ago.   My knee replacement surgery #1 was Aug. of 2014.  I develolped a contracture, had -30 for extension and do not know what it was on bending.   I had a MUA as well as a Arthoscopy surgery, none helped at all.   So, fast forward to Jan. of this year, I opted for my only choice left, a knee revision.   While I was really worried about all the "what ifs"  I knew this was my only chance at trying to walk normal again, as I was now in a wheelchair following the first knee replacment.  

I did well in the hospital, as I did before, up quickly, participating in pt at the hospital, home within two days, etc.   My knee does not feel as stiff as it did, before it literally felt like concrete.   However, it measures -20 for extension and 60 for bending.   Not very good numbers.   I have been in physical therapy, just had my fifth session.  I fear the numbers wont get any better, they did not budge before, I came out of surgery number one at a minus 30 and after three months of pt was still at a minus 30.   

I am better able to walk with a walker, which I attempted  before,  and wound up on the floor.   Now, I can take short walks about the house on the walker, into the pt office, etc.  Anything longer than that and I need my power chair.  What frustrates me one of several is my surgeron saw me at my two week followup, saw me on the walker and declared no more wheelchair!   How does he expect someone with the ROM I have to be able to walk much further than a short ways?   I dont know if he is not being realistic or what.    I would LOVE to be able to say no more wheelchair, ever, but thats just not possible  at least not yet.   

I am feeling a bit discouraged, as like I said I have been down this road before, I feel as if I am gaining absolutely nothing, and very worried I wont be able to leave the wheelchair behind someday.   The pt tries to force my leg to straighten, oh my gosh does this hurt, but to no avail, it goes right back.   Anyhow, thanks for letting me vent......

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    You deserve the vent. Of all the posts that have appeared on here in the last year, yours is one of the most difficult to comprehend and heart wrenching. I hope the Dr realizes what he asking you to do and what kind of pressure he puts you under. You still have to participate as a human not just as his patient. Hope things start moving for you soon in a more positive manner.
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  • Posted

    hi, are have you been doing the exercises at home as well? the single best exercise for extension is extending your leg and putting a pillow or 2 under your heal, and also put 5 to 10 pound weights on top of your knee or just above the knee. do this ALL DAY!!! 10 pounds could be too heavy, put a weight that you can bear for 10-15mins at a time. you could switch between no weight on your leg to 5-10lbs. buy ankle weights, theyre easy to put on and off

    also, you could lie at the edge of your bed and tie the ankle weights to your ankle, then extend it while on your stomach. alternate between these 2 exercises for extension

    for bending, sitting then standing is a really good exercise to strengthen your quad.

    i am not sure what is exercises are good for bending.

    please make sure that whatever you do at physio you do at home. i learned from experience.

    after my surgery, my extension wasnt good, and i believe it is b/c i didnt do the physio exercises at home. going to PT ONLY IS NOT ENOUGH

    i had a manipulation and arthrofibrosis surgery, 6 weeks ago and now i am doing physio at home all day, and my extension and bending are almost perfect.

    so, if you do your exercises everyday it could help, even if it doesnt make your leg perfect. you may require another manipulation/intervention, but thats ok b/c if you do these exercises everyday you will get better. if not now, maybe after a manipulation

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  • Posted

    you may have arthrofibrosis. manipulation alone isnt enough sometimes
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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear that you have had such a rough time.  I have also had real problems with straightening my second TKR, even after having excess scar tissue removed last Sept...my leg is unfortunately bent again now and I am back to using a stick again.

    I hope that you manage to get a resolution to this soon.

    please feel free to vent at any time.

    Patsy

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your predicament.  Do I understand correctly that you have had surgery on just the one leg
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  • Posted

    hi mystical dare i say its only 3wks very early days ,ive had a revision 18mths ago and my leg is still not straight but im still pushing the leg to straighten like faroboy said put weight on the knee a good few times a day .look im probably going to be cruel here but you have to start getting tough with yourself here ,as its your only chance to get back to living ,physio is very important and if you can manage to pay privately for it go get a good physio and work at it ,dont let it get you down (i know its not easy to let it get to you ) dont let this knee get the better of you .do the straighening and bending at different times its hard to bend and then straighten it straight after leave a little gap !! ive had it hard as well ,its very hard on your wellbeing and state of mind .but please give this all you can if the pain is crazy (which id say it is ) go to the doctor and make sure your meds are up to this anti inflamatorys are also needed strong ones !! plenty of ice for after and if you want warm up the knee before you start and ice after .inbetween plenty of rest (very important) i wish you the very best its a very hard time for you but it can improve before my revision i was 70 and it wouldnt budge even when he was doing the revision he couldnt move it so what hope had i ,after the revision 90 -95 is all i have but its better than it was,  i never had a problem with straightening before the op but did after but id sy now im -7-8 its bugging me but im still pushing the straightening with weights on my knee its helping . fineally i would say to you that the revision can take longer to recover from (well for me it has)i think tkr it can take 12mths to realy feel better and in my opinion it can take 24mths but its not the lenght of the journey but the outcome at the end of the journey . good luck to you keep the hope up !!! and moan to us anytime x
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  • Posted

    Sorry you are having and have had so many problems.

    The trouble is you need to be able to bend but also have the muscle strength to straighten as well.

    I had TKR nearly 4 years ago. I had trouble bending afterwards and had a lot of physiotherapy and exercises at home, but I did not have a revision.

    I think the point about walking is that you have to learn to walk without a limp, so it is not a question of being able to do a long distance but limping, better to be asb le to do a short distance distributing your weight properly, then that will improve. Quality not quantity in a way.

    So do not be discouraged that you are not able to walk far at the momelnt, it is still very erly days.  Perseve eand be patient 

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your kind responses, just what I needed.   I usually do fairly well, but yesterday just had me kinda down.   

    I know this is make ir or break it time, (so to speak)  I have to put the work in ,in order to get some results, I also know from the first time that even with doing the work sometimes it does not turn out like I want it to, however, I will try to remain positive.   

    I have found that a small weight bag or a simple bag of rice placed across my knee while I lay down helps to try and get that leg flat on the bed.  I usually read, watch tv, or listen to music to try and get my mind off of the pain etc. 

    thank you again. 

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    • Posted

      yes mystical sarah is right the muscles they will be weak very weak so it will take time my muscles went into a coma after revision ,so that is why the excersises are so important ,glad to see you are a fighter and yes a small bag of rice at this stage is all you need your muscles would be far too weak for the heavy weight that i use . maybe if you can get a flat board or something like that under your leg so that you dont cheat on the bed its also encouraging to feel the back of the knee to touch the board . and get someone to give you a nice box of chocs to treat you !!   oh one thing you could use to bend more is  a gym ball that you sit on i use it all the time even watching tv while your sitting you can push the bend slowly and it encourages the bend with the forward and back motion i wouldnt be without it
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