I had bilateral Total Knee Replacement on Nov 30, 2011. My right knee was textbook and works fine, the left knee is a different story!!
I soon realized that I could not do leg lifts with my left knee. My physical therapist kept me working at it, but was also worried about the lack of flexion. I could not reach more than 80 degrees on my own and could not ride a bike or go up and down stairs. My doctor said he could do a manipulation and get more bend, so I opted for that. After manipulation, I had lots of pain in the area of medial meniscus like where it hurt when my arthritis caused pain.
I went for another 6 weeks of therapy at another location hoping they would have more equipment to get more movement of the knee. They even tried neuromuscular stimulation to get my quads working. Still could not get my quads to activate, so they had me doing walking lunges. Soon I started having major back pain, since I was using my back to do the lunges and to make my leg lift. Had to go to another surgeon to look at my back and he also did knee surgeries. He thought I had a torn tendon and that was causing my extensor lag and not activating my quad. Went back to my original doc to tell him about the extensor lag and ask about a torn tendon. He dismissed that idea and said I just needed to work on my quads and I would be okay. I asked about water therapy and he sent me there for another 6 weeks.
At the water therapy, they accessed my problem and had me use a noodle under my knee while doing leg lifts in the water. This seemed to work and I kept that up but my balance was still bad and I couldn't go up and down stairs normally. They gave me a kickboard to stand on in the pool and work on balance and had me walking in the pool changing directi!ons suddenly and frequently to work on balance. This seemed to help. I opted to go to a warm water pool and do these exercises on my own, since I had no more money for therapy left with medicare. After 7 or 8 months of post surgery therapy, I still could not do leg lifts. I kept going back to my doctor and he just kept saying work on my quads.
Finally after a year went by, I asked for further studies. The bone scan showed inflammation on my left knee, the ultrasound didn't show anything applicable, but the nerve studies showed damage to the branch of the femoral nerve that activates my quad. My orthopedic doc said well it was nothing that I did, so you need to go to a neurologist. IS THIS THE END!!!!!
What are my options? Does anyone have any info about whether you can sue? I cannot walk for any length of time without swelling and pain. I can't vacuum more than one room without swelling or pain. I can't go up and down steps or get up out of a chair without swelling and pain. I am a single woman with no help and can't afford to get help with yardwork or housework. Can I get social security disability to give me money for help? My life has certainly been altered!! I was a very active person, hiking and kayaking all the time. I took care of two houses and two yards with no trouble other than arthritic pain. I took Ibuprofen whenever I wanted to hike and could go about 5 miles without major pain, but day to day activities were getting difficult and I didn't want to depend on drugs! I had bone on bone on my right knee and the left was getting just as bad. I talked with the doctor who told me after bilateral knee replacement, I could get back to hiking slowly in about 4 months. My grandmothers lived to be 103 and 98 and I have many years left, but now I don't want to be a drag on my friends that I hike and travel with!!!!