Swelling showing no signs of improving

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Hi

I had what I thought would be a routine arthroscopy 6 weeks ago (I had had 3 similar operations previously and had recovered within a couple of weeks).

3 Weeks after the initial surgery I was still in considerable pain, could not sleep, had a very angry and swollen knee and could not get anywhere close to straightening the knee by lying prone. Due to the swelling the surgeon carried out a further operation to wash the joint out for fear of infection (turned out not to be the case) and to further trim the cartlidge. He also trimmed the sinovial tissue which had become very inflamed.

I have since been told that I have significant arthritus in the knee joint with a lot of "bone on bone" action and that I will require a TKR in circa 5 years time. This is not ideal as I am only 50.

Following the second operation the swelling has eased very slightly but I still cannot bear any weight on the joint, cannot walk without crutches, struggle to straighten the knee and am in considerable pain.

I am due to see a rheumatologist tomorrow to see whether the inflamation is related to osteoarthritus, or gout (as I have suffered from this in the past).

I wondered if anybody else had had similar problems, what treatment they received to help with the swelling (I am considering asking for steriod injections) and what sort of timeframes were involved before a level of normality returned. I just need to know is there any light at the end of the tunnel!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi so sorry to hear about the problem you have got, mine is 6 weeks tomorrow and have to say it's painful, keep trying plenty of ice and gentle exercise which does help, I had my other knee done last year and 3 weeks I was back to work with out the ice and exercising, I still have to be careful how I walk and getting off the sofa and going upstairs isn't very good, the only thing I found as I say was ice as much as you can and exercise, wish you well

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    • Posted

      Thanks

      I must admit I'd slackened a bit on the ice and exercise over last few days, so will make sure I stick to the regime.

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  • Posted

    Hi... I am due to have a TKR on Saturday due to osteoarthritis, I have just turned 55 a week ago, I cannot walk unaided, have bone on bone, suffer locking of the knee which is extreme pain and my knee gives way with no notice causing me to fall anywhere, I cannot straighten my leg or bend it, I have been like this for nearly 18months, my advise at the moment would be to go with the replacement as soon as rather than suffer the pain in between and you will end up with the replacement because once you reach the bone on bone there is no cure, keep the swelling down with ibrofen and ice packs but there is no quick cure, I was told a clean up op may help and then steroids but when it came down to my options the consultant decided the only one he had was to replace it!!

    Not good news but I am hoping for a good result now... be happy to let you know the outcome?

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your feedback.

      The annoying thing is that the knee wasn't causig me too many problems before I had the arthroscopy. I think I'll hope to get back to how I was pre-op (hopefully when the swelling goes) and delay the TKR for a while. Only so much pain I can take in a year!

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  • Posted

    I am 3 weeks post op also.  I still have a lot of swelling.  I have found that wrapping my leg with a 6 inch ace bandage starting just below the knee and going up has helped a lot.  I start it a little tighter and as I move up I wrap it loser.  Ice has become my best friend.  

    I bought a transition brace from Amazon that is amazing.  It is what got me off the crutches.  My doctor told me swelling can be seen for up to 6 months.  Are you seeing a physical therapist to help you gain range of motion.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Yes, I am haing physio once a week, albeit it is just ultrasound at the moment as too painful to do any exercises. I am also due to start hydrotherapy tomorrow.

      I'll check out the transition brace, thanks

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  • Posted

    Hi NIck - I had an arthroscopy on my right knee last year, and have had pain ever since.  Three doctors have told me it is arthritis, and I think part of it could be, but I have extreme pain and sensitivity on the SURFACE - not in the joint.  I have thought about damaged nerves, but there doesn't seem to be a way to treat that.  I'm told this is as good as it gets, but I can't walk very far without pain.  Sleeping is also impossible without meds.  I had an arthroscopy done the previous year on my other knee, which has visible arthritis and I know I'll need a partial knee replacement on that one at some point soon, but it never hurt like the right one does.  Very frustrating.  PT did not help.  

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