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Author Topic: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain  (Read 2663 times)

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Offline Cristi

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2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« on: September 01, 2006, 05:11:58 AM »
This may be on the wrong board, but I wasnt sure where else to put this..So heres the thing...I have had 2 knee surgeries in the last 2 years...one in 2004 and one about 4 months ago or so...both arthroscopic knee surgeries...Now the first surgery a fair amount was done the doctor didnt do an MRI he just went in for surgery fixed a couple of tears, removed some band in my knee, and removed cartilage..Says Im good to go...a couple months later I come back in saying my knee hurts he does an MRI saying this time that there is a tear that he forgot..okay...so I wait about 6 months or so before I got to another doctor just to see what this guy says...he looks at the MRI says theres nothing, but that he would operate...so I have my second arthroscopic knee surgery...get out, go in for my visit says he found nothing just a piece of fat that was being pinched between 2 bones, that he removed..says my knee is 100% better..nothing wrong.okay alls well and fine....been about 5 months now and my knee is KILLING me, for one I cant stand on it for long periods of time, I can not bend down on that knee, I can not kneel on that knee not even on a soft spot, if you touch it I'll scream in pain, it is always sore, and always in pain...there are times that it throbs so much it puts me in tears....I dont know what to do, but this is killing me, and my doctor thinks that my knee is immaculate....what do I do?? Do I check with another doctor and see what this one has to say, or do I go back to this guy and say hey it still hurts...I asked him if I could go into physical therapy but he said I didnt need it....I dont know what to do...but I cant take this pain anymore..should they stop doing arthroscopic knee surgery and actually open up my knee this time???

Offline Nettan

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 06:36:18 AM »
You haven't done any phys at all ? How about your quads and muscles...have you lost much of it ?
Is your knee swollen ?
It can be like this that you're going directly on your knee because lack of muscles.
That makes your knee feel sore.
I would go back to your doc and discuss this with phys and rehab.
On the mainsite here you find a good rehab program you can use.
Hope this helps !!

HUGS NETTAN  8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline stgiles16

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006, 02:17:48 AM »
I am confused here. The second doctor said that he saw nothing wrong on the MRI but that he would operate anyway? Was that what you meant? By fat in your knee, it sounds to me like he was referring to your fat pad. When my fat pad was full of scar tissue, it would get pinched between the bones when I bent my knee. That was very painful. It took a long time to get over the surgery where they cut out the scar tissue. I have had that surgery done twice and I still cannot kneel on that knee.

About your question about should they just open up your knee instead of do it arthroscopically , no one on here can tell you that. None of us are doctors and even if we were, no one can diagnose a person over the internet. First of all, you need to go back and talk to the OS that did this surgery. Do some research and ask some questions. If you dont like his answers or he blows you off, go for another opinion. It may take several opinions before you find a surgeon that you like.

take it from me, I have had 5 knee surgeries (2 scopes and 3 open), Open surgeries HURT. They are harder to get over too. You do NOT want an open procedure unless it is absolutely necessary.
good luck
missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012

Offline plantgeek58

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2006, 04:29:42 AM »
Christi, I agree with StGiles. You should get another opinion, because it sounds like these two doctors don't have a clue and there is definitely something wrong with your knee. Plus, I've had open surgery too and he's right about the pain. It's tough. Recovery takes a long time and a lot of hard work. You need to be sure open surgery is the right option before putting yourself through that. But do talk to another doctor. Good luck.
Terre
RK 7/04 part. m. menisc., plica resect., MF
    3/05 part. m. menisc., open OATS
    1/07 part l. menisc., MF, patellar chondroplasty
    9/08 MF
LK 11/04 & 8/06 part m. menisc.
     7/07 LR, patellar tendon debrid., part m. menisc.

Offline luckygrandma

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2006, 01:09:46 PM »
This may be on the wrong board, but I wasnt sure where else to put this..So heres the thing...I have had 2 knee surgeries in the last 2 years...one in 2004 and one about 4 months ago or so...both arthroscopic knee surgeries...Now the first surgery a fair amount was done the doctor didnt do an MRI he just went in for surgery fixed a couple of tears, removed some band in my knee, and removed cartilage..Says Im good to go...a couple months later I come back in saying my knee hurts he does an MRI saying this time that there is a tear that he forgot..okay...so I wait about 6 months or so before I got to another doctor just to see what this guy says...he looks at the MRI says theres nothing, but that he would operate...so I have my second arthroscopic knee surgery...get out, go in for my visit says he found nothing just a piece of fat that was being pinched between 2 bones, that he removed..says my knee is 100% better..nothing wrong.okay alls well and fine....been about 5 months now and my knee is KILLING me, for one I cant stand on it for long periods of time, I can not bend down on that knee, I can not kneel on that knee not even on a soft spot, if you touch it I'll scream in pain, it is always sore, and always in pain...there are times that it throbs so much it puts me in tears....I dont know what to do, but this is killing me, and my doctor thinks that my knee is immaculate....what do I do?? Do I check with another doctor and see what this one has to say, or do I go back to this guy and say hey it still hurts...I asked him if I could go into physical therapy but he said I didnt need it....I dont know what to do...but I cant take this pain anymore..should they stop doing arthroscopic knee surgery and actually open up my knee this time???
Crisit I could have written your story you poor thing. Keep getting another opinion and another until you find someone to listen and take you seriously. My story is so extensive that I felt it necessary to share it with others so they don't go through the same thing and I want to share it with you. Your pain is real and don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Doctors don't want to admit when they don't know something and so the patient suffers.

MY STORY

My OS sent me to  Pain Specialist for my back as I was constantly complaining about my back. An MRI revealed I had Spinal Stenosis.  I had complained about my knee to my OS but he was sure it was because of my back that I was having the pain. Afrer going to the Pain Specialist for awhile and the knee not getting any better the pain specialist told me that I had a knee problem and that was not his specialty and I needed to talk to my OS about it. I went back to my OS and he said I needed to strengthen the muscles and sent me to PT. I went to PT for a couple months but the pain just kept getting worse. I quit PT and went back to see my OS and he ordered an MRI. The MRI showed I had a torn meniscus. He said I needed an arthroscopy to correct this. When he did the arthroscopy he said the cartridge was hanging on by a thread but that my knee was also filled with arthritis and looked pretty bad. He did a debridement. He wanted to send me to PT again but I said I would do it on my own. As time went on I noticed I couldn’t put any pressure on my knee to stand. I called the OS office again and once again he told me I need to go to therapy.  After going to therapy a couple more months and the pain continued to increase, I went back to my OS. This time he said he tried all the conservative treatments and since nothing worked I need a TKR. I went through all the preop stuff which takes sometime as you know and a week before my surgery he took another x-ray, now remember I’ve already had an arthroscopy where he was inside my knee and is a much clearer picture then an x-ray. In fact an x-ray was the first thing I ever had done that didn’t show the problem.  A week before the surgery on one last visit to his office he said to me “I’ve looked at you x-rays again and I hate to do a TKR if you tore the cartridge again. This made me so mad. He wanted to start over. I had done nothing to tear the cartridge again. In fact the pain was so bad I had to quit my job. I told him that I was not going to wait until I had one foot in the grave to have this done, and the surgery was back on. Seconds before I was wheeled into surgery my OS came to the holding area with some pictures of Partial knee replacements and told me “he looked at my x-rays again and he feels I could get by with a Partial knee replacement. I was in no position to argue and told him I trusted him to do what was right. Never once was I free of pain in fact the pain still continued to get worse until I could hardly walk.  I went back to him every 2 months for the next 8 months complaining that I was still in so much pain. He wouldn’t give me anything for pain and he continued to ignore me. He told me to swing my leg often to work the arthritis away from my kneecap. How idiotic can you get? Finally I had it and after 14 years I told this Doctor where to go and went for a second opinion. The new OS said the prosthesis had come lose and that I should never have had a Partial as the arthritis was too advanced.  Nine months from the date of the Partial I had a TKR, which I am still recuperating from but getting there. The other Doctor screwed me over so bad that he made my recovery from the TKR more complicated.  Anyway thanks to that other Doctor I had three operations on the same knee within 10 months.  It is 8 months after my TKR which took much lionget to heal because of the previous surgeries, but for the first time in three years the knee feels great. The only problem I'm having now is muscle cramps which I'm told is coming from my back and I need back surgery, so as it turns out the problems were connected.


« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 02:39:42 AM by luckygrandma »

Offline lilly_kc

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2006, 06:24:57 PM »
You know I have been reading so many stories like this, and I might be missing something - but it SEEMS like the problem is that the docs try to get by with "less" surgery than a TKR and end up doing way more. I am SO GLAD that my OS on first visit said it is silly to do these bandaid fixes,lets just fix it all the way the first time. Does anyone else see this happening? I'd rather have one big surgery than eighteen little ones then need a TKR anyway! :o
TKR Left  10.26.06   WOW awesome - I can jazzercise again!
Right rescheduled for 04.12.07

For everything there is a season.... (this year has been my "knee" season)

Offline Jaci

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2006, 06:59:41 PM »
Hello, Cristi,

I also think it's time for another opinion preferrably with an OS who specializes in knees.

Just curious, can you fully bend and straighten your knee? Are you having any other symptoms beside the pain, such as swelling or inflammtion?



Jaci
10/03 Twist injury
12/03 Menisectomy- tears ACL, MCL, & LCL missed by OS
Arthrofibrosis ROM 38-68
3/04- 4/08 Multiple scar tissue procedures:
6 scopes w/LOA, AIR, LR, chondroplasty, synovectomy, bone spur & plica removal
3 insufflations, many injections
Chronic AF, patella infera, IPCS

Offline stgiles16

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2006, 08:21:15 PM »
lily, most surgeons want to avoid a TKR unitl the patient is 'older' because of the low times of revision. Most of my surgeries have been temporary fixes because I am too young for a TKR. I just turned 43. I would rather have a few smaller surgeries than have to have revision TKRs over and over and end up in a wheelchair by the time that I am 70. Most surgeons believe in conservative therapies first and TKRs are far from conservative.

Terre, thank you for agreeing with me but I am a girl LOL. read the name at the bottom LOL

missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012

Offline plantgeek58

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2006, 01:51:48 AM »
Oops! Sorry Missy! I'm new here and I guess I have to learn to pay more attention to stuff like that.  :-[
Terre
RK 7/04 part. m. menisc., plica resect., MF
    3/05 part. m. menisc., open OATS
    1/07 part l. menisc., MF, patellar chondroplasty
    9/08 MF
LK 11/04 & 8/06 part m. menisc.
     7/07 LR, patellar tendon debrid., part m. menisc.

Offline luckygrandma

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2006, 02:47:51 AM »
lily, most surgeons want to avoid a TKR unitl the patient is 'older' because of the low times of revision. Most of my surgeries have been temporary fixes because I am too young for a TKR. I just turned 43. I would rather have a few smaller surgeries than have to have revision TKRs over and over and end up in a wheelchair by the time that I am 70. Most surgeons believe in conservative therapies first and TKRs are far from conservative.

Terre, thank you for agreeing with me but I am a girl LOL. read the name at the bottom LOL

missy
Missy, I am 59 and had a Total Hip Replacement at 45. It has been 14 years since my surgery and I've had 14 great years free of hip pain. I would have been in a wheelchair by now if I hadn't had that surgery.  As far as the knee I would rather have a surgery that last 10-15 years then spend my life having another little surgery every year and in my case three in one year. All these little surgeries are hard on the body also. I feel like I've spent most of my life rehabilitating from something. I have had 14 surgeries and about 9 of them have been bone related. I'm still facing three surgeries, a hip revision which is inevitable but I always knew could happen, a tumor removed from hand and back surgery scheduled for January 8, 2007. I'm going to ask if they can do my hand at the same time. This should be a minor surgery and you go through as much getting ready for minor surgery as you do for major.

Offline stgiles16

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2006, 08:05:08 AM »
Becky, I had my first surgery (knee) when I was 37. If I had gotten a TKR at that age, I would be facing a revision in my early 50's then again in mid 70's and probably in a wheelchair after that. I dont NEED a TKR yet, I will eventually but not now. Why rush it? Not everyone has a disasterous scope that leads to a TKR like you did. You cant use your case to generalize for everyone. Yours was a very different circumstance from most people. I am sorry that it happened to you but it is a RARE occurence.
good luck
missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012

Offline emphatic

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2006, 09:45:05 AM »
You know I have been reading so many stories like this, and I might be missing something - but it SEEMS like the problem is that the docs try to get by with "less" surgery than a TKR and end up doing way more. I am SO GLAD that my OS on first visit said it is silly to do these bandaid fixes,lets just fix it all the way the first time. Does anyone else see this happening? I'd rather have one big surgery than eighteen little ones then need a TKR anyway! :o
Amen to that Lilly. That is exactly what they do. I was told it was for insurance reasons. They have to do everything possible to try to fix the problem without extensive surgery, but I'm here to tell you it doesn't work. You would think the insurance companies would see the pattern here, in the end it ends up costing twice as much then if they did it right the first time.Becky


No, this is not exactly what "they" do.

Becky & Lilly,

While a joint replacement might have been appropriate for you, it is not appropriate for everyone. Not everyone who comes to this board in pain following a scope has been failed in some way and is in desperate need of a joint replacement. Thankfully, most doctors treat a joint replacement as the last resort and don't hand them out to everyone. Likewise, not everyone needs more surgery.

BTW -- under your definition, a total joint replacement is also a "bandaid" fix, since it may last only 10-15 years in many people.

I'm really glad you've both found the solution for your medical problems. I also applaud your generosity in wanting to share your experience with people, and your efforts to help people are wonderful. Again, I am voicing my concern that your posts can sometimes take on a "your case is just like mine and this is what you have to do" sort of tone and that may not be so helpful, afterall. Since I doubt very much that this is your intent, I'm pointing it out so you can see how it looks from another perspective.

Meg

Offline emphatic

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2006, 12:13:57 PM »
This may be on the wrong board, but I wasnt sure where else to put this..So heres the thing...I have had 2 knee surgeries in the last 2 years...one in 2004 and one about 4 months ago or so...both arthroscopic knee surgeries...Now the first surgery a fair amount was done the doctor didnt do an MRI he just went in for surgery fixed a couple of tears, removed some band in my knee, and removed cartilage..Says Im good to go...a couple months later I come back in saying my knee hurts he does an MRI saying this time that there is a tear that he forgot..okay...so I wait about 6 months or so before I got to another doctor just to see what this guy says...he looks at the MRI says theres nothing, but that he would operate...so I have my second arthroscopic knee surgery...get out, go in for my visit says he found nothing just a piece of fat that was being pinched between 2 bones, that he removed..says my knee is 100% better..nothing wrong.okay alls well and fine....been about 5 months now and my knee is KILLING me, for one I cant stand on it for long periods of time, I can not bend down on that knee, I can not kneel on that knee not even on a soft spot, if you touch it I'll scream in pain, it is always sore, and always in pain...there are times that it throbs so much it puts me in tears....I dont know what to do, but this is killing me, and my doctor thinks that my knee is immaculate....what do I do?? Do I check with another doctor and see what this one has to say, or do I go back to this guy and say hey it still hurts...I asked him if I could go into physical therapy but he said I didnt need it....I dont know what to do...but I cant take this pain anymore..should they stop doing arthroscopic knee surgery and actually open up my knee this time???

Cristi,

It sounds as though you had a fair amount of work done arthroscopically two years ago, then needed another look inside and a bit of a cleanout 4 months ago.

I would caution that 4 months is not a long time post-op, and you may still have some healing to do -- especially since the knee wasn't too happy going into the surgery. I really think you could benefit a lot from some physical therapy. You've probably lost a lot of strength and flexibility during this long haul and a good therapist could probably help you. In addition, they have at their disposal a number of modalities which can speed healing, calm down inflammation in problem areas, and help with pain control.

Perhaps you can really push for a PT referral?

You might also do well to find another opinion. I believe someone else mentioned seeing a orthopedist specializing in knees, and I would second that. If you need help finding one, you can tell us what area you are in, and someone may be able to give you a name or two.

You also mentioned open vs. arthoscopic surgery. First, there's no real need to talk about more surgery until you can nail down what's going on. Second, a scope is vastly better for visualizing most of the knee than an open approach. An open approach can make visualization of a couple parts of the knee a little easier, but the magnification and clean field possible with a scope aren't possible in an open approach. There is a steep price to pay in possible complications, recovery time and pain for an open procedure. That really needn't even be an option at this stage.

Also... while you're searching out doctors and hopefully starting PT, you don't have to remain in pain. It would be great if you could see a pain management specialist and get your pain under control. There's no need to suffer while you're working everything out.

I do hope you start finding answers soon!

Meg
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 07:16:04 PM by emphatic »

Offline luckygrandma

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2006, 02:33:35 PM »
No one knows for sure how long a TKR will last. 10-15 years is pretty good if it offers pain free relief expecially during the young years. How long it last depends on the persons activity style and how well they take care of their knee. They are improving all the time in techniques and 10-15 year down the road it could be a snap to get a TKR, my doctor told me on my hip that he won't even have to do a THR again, but can just replace the ball.  I'm here to point out that what I wrote in my story above does happen and am trying to make people aware so they can ask questions that I didn't. Like how spread is the arthritis, is the knee cap involved, can the arthritis continue to spread and I need a TKR anyway. I was being wheeled into the operating room when my Doctor changed his mind. If that ever happened in the future I would ask for more time to think about it or tell him to go with his first instinct.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2006, 09:48:38 PM by luckygrandma »

Offline stgiles16

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Re: 2 knee surgeries and still in Pain
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2006, 04:46:34 PM »
Becky, you might want to talk to Teresa S. on this board. She got her TKR and has had nothing but problems since. First she had an infection , and then they took that one out, put another in, now, the poor lady is in constant pain and no one will touch her. She is a nurse and a true inspiration in her fight for better health and helping others. You were lucky that yours worked. There are risks with any procedure, even your beloved TKR. Alot of what emphatic says IS TRUE. TKRs are a last resort for MOST OSs. THere are other options that can help a person be painfree in their younger years without being stuck in a wheelchair in later life due to the rush to get that TKR. I also seriously doubt that a YOUNG person would have much success in pushing for a TKR when their OS can try less drastic measures first. It is not like a restaurant where you just go in and order what you want. An ETHICAL doctor will do what HE thinks is best for the patient, not just what the patient thinks he wants.
I do agree with emphatic, although I know that it is your hope to help others, some of your wording DOES come across as a " your case is just like mine' . We all have different issues and just have to share our experiences and hope that the other people learn from our experience , we cant tell anyone what they should do for sure. You are to be applauded for trying to help others, and I think that you do help others but you have to watch the way you word posts so that you dont come across as trying to tell others what exactly they should do for their own knees.
I dont think emphatic was trying to be mean, just trying to be helpful.
good luck
missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012















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