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Author Topic: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation  (Read 1739 times)

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Offline Phil J

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Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« on: March 12, 2003, 08:32:28 PM »
Hello Forum

I'm desparately looking for answers/reassurance.

This is my saga up till now. 9 weeks ago I had my 3rd arthroscopy on my left knee. The previous 2 times I recovered within 2 weeks with no proplems. This 3rd time is just a nightmare.

The arthroscopy this time discovered slight damage to the articular surfaces, scar tissue of the synovial membrane and a small tear of the medial miniscus. Basically all these slight problems were repaired and I was/still am told I have a good knee and no arthritis.

I was swollen more than other times but for the first 2 weeks things seemed fine and I was recovering. After this everything went pear shaped.

My knee became quite swollen then over the next 7 days my calf became rock solid and the pain was terrible. The calf also became swollen and in addition I developed odeama. The medical staff kept thinking it was deep vein thrombosis or compartment syndrome but after an MRI scan, veno-gram, x-ray, ultra-sound scan found no such clot then everyone was confused.

Eventually, a diligent radiologist did another ultrasound scan and found a 11cm x 7cm haemotoma in the back of my calf. The diagnosis then was that I'd had secondary  internal bleeding of the synovial membrane. This bleed had ran down my leg into my calf causing the haemotomas.

My consultant advised me that in time my body will break it all down and I'll be as good as new. Well, 9 weeks on my calf is nolonger painfull but is still taught. As my calf healed my knee progressivly has become more and more inflammed. My patience is running out. I keep thinking that in a fortnight I'll be better but in reality I am no better now than I was 5 weeks ago.

My consultant gave me an injection in the knee 2 weeks ago to help with the inflammation. It hurt like hell but for 8 days I was pain free and I could nearly get my knee straight for the first time. Also I could bend it to 90 degrees. However, the injection has wore off now and I've slipped back to how I was prior to the injection.

My consultant assures me I have a good Knee and that it will be ok but I don't feel so optimistic. I'm have made no improvment in 5 weeks and fed up of being in discomfort.

What could be the problem?
Any ideas anyone or reassurance




Offline Janet

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Re: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2003, 10:47:05 PM »
Wow, you've been through a lot. Does your doctor say how long this process of swelling will continue? What are you doing to combat it....ice, elevation, compression, anti-inflammatories? I don't really have any advice except that maybe it's time for a second opinion.

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Ross

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Re: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2003, 01:40:20 AM »
Phil, definitely time for another opinion and fairly smartly too mate!  The bleeding in your calf is one thing loss of mobility is something else again.  

It sounds as if you should ask your GP to get some further blood tests done and get them to look for signs of infection arising out of the surgery or the haematoma.  Relief a couple of days after a cortisone shot is not unusual, a decline in the amount of relief is also not unusual, going backwards is fairly unusual.  

It is your knee and you have to take charge of the process to get it fixed, project manage it as if it were a building work.  Call in the experts to do the stuff you can't but stay in charge.  That way you are proactive instead of just being a victim.  It's amazing what it does for your recovery when you move yourself from a passenger seat on the recovery bus to the driver's seat!

God bless mate!
I'm a grumpy old bear with a busted knee.  The growling you hear is my tummy rumbling!

Offline Phil J

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Re: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2003, 12:15:27 PM »
Thanks for replying Janet and Ross

My op was done by the top knee specialist in this area and I had it done privately. I'm not sure there is anyone else I can go to.

In addition I have used up all my outpatient allowances on all the scans, veno-grams, ultra-sounds. He is treating me free of charge now. My wife, says it's a guilty conscience and he's frightened I'll sue him!!

As a private patient with the top knee specialist in the area you just trust his judgement and believe your getting the best available treatment. Perhaps I'm going to have to take your advice and ask him some very searching questions next time I see him. That'll be when he returns fron a Knee convention in New Zealand.

Offline Janet

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Re: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2003, 04:06:08 PM »
Phil:

Just because he is the top knee  surgeon in your area doesn't mean he can't miss something. I totally understand that financial considerations must be made, but it is your health and you deserve a good answer. Grill him next time, and if you are not satisfied, get another opinion!

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Ross

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Re: Persistent Post Op Knee Inflammation
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2003, 12:22:58 AM »
Phil, I reckon I'd have a chat with my GP rather than the OS.  A broader more general approach may be what's required.  A blood test to look for signs of infection would be pretty high on my list right now.  Intrusive therapy like surgery can let lifeforms in that you'd much rather were outside your skin mate!

The fact that you've had previous surgery without the complication of infection doesn't mean you'll get away scot free at every event.
I'm a grumpy old bear with a busted knee.  The growling you hear is my tummy rumbling!