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Author Topic: Problems with knee replacement after 2 years info required  (Read 1380 times)

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Offline bfly

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Problems with knee replacement after 2 years info required
« on: August 21, 2007, 04:22:36 PM »
My 82 year old mum (who is very fit and 'usually'  VERY active for her age) had a knee replacment on the NHS in 2003 in France.  Everything was fine for 2 1/2 years and she was walking daily and back to normal activity, including driving.  Suddenly she began to experience bouts of stiffening and pain in her knee.  These were 'episodes' that lasted 1 - 4 days at a time and completely prevented her from walking.  She was in great pain each time and it took her several weeks to recover from each episode.  She has seen a consultant/surgeon in this country and been given xrays.  No definate cause has been identified but it is generally thought that something has gone wrong with the actual new joint - We conclude from the information provided that they think that it is a manufacturers fault!  The contract between UK and France has long since finished and without going into the politics of the situation, it has been agreed that a further replacement of the knee would be paid for by the NHS.  However, the risks of further surgery are very great i.e. the anesthetic, long operation time, UK use different joints to the one used in france, hospital infection, bone may break during surgery etc - so, until now, despite continous pain and increasing 'episodes' mum has opted not to have further surgery.  She is a real trooper and has struggled on despite her pain and is determined not to give in.
However, in recent weeks the pain has increased and the episodes of stiffening and immobility are causing her great distress.  She feels that she has a 'trapped nerve' and her foot often goes blue.  She is now considering surgery but before she contacts her surgeon I have persuaded her to seek a second opinion privately, because I feel concerned that  'a total replacement' is the only option that she has been offerred so far by her present NHS surgeon.
I want to get as much information and advice so that I can support my mum with asking the consultant/surgeon, on 3rd Sept,  the right questions.  Having more surgery is a major decision and until now I feel that we have not explored or been helped to explore all the options.
It could be that the end result is that there remains only one choice -  to have a complete new replacement, but if there is any other option open to her, - that anyone can suggest - or someone has experienced the same problem we would love to hear from you.
Thank you

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: Problems with knee replacement after 2 years info required
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2007, 04:51:03 PM »
Hi !

and welcome to the board!  what a shame that your mum finds herself in this situation.

It suprises me that it could be a manufacturers fault if it was good for so long - I would have thought that it would have been wrong from the start unless it is a plastic component that has gone wrong.

I think just for peace of mind it would be good to get a second opinion.

I don't think a surgeon would replace anything that did not need doing either!

Has the OS mentioned that it might be a case of needing physio - it is quite possible that as your mother is getting older and just naturally not as active as she used to be and also just not having kept up with strengthening exerises that the joint is not stable and therefore causing pain for that reason?

Hope everything goes okay - Please keep us updated with progress.

anja
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006 http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=28257.0  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)

Offline bfly

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Re: Problems with knee replacement after 2 years info required
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 05:17:32 PM »
Thanks for the reply and yes the physio is a consideration.  However,  Mum had fantastic physio after her op in france - patients get far more than they do in the UK and she was walking and exercising a lot during the first 2 years post op - you see age has never stopped my mum - to help paint a picture for those reading this..... she undertook a walking marathon in 2000! not long before it was clear that she would need a knee replacement.
Unfortunately the current surgeon is generally not happy with fact that people were given the chance to go to France for surgery and quote "I am not happy having to rectify someone else's handywork". Although this is in some way understandable I am concerned that his opinion (which I feel he should keep to himself anyway) may stem from personal prejudices as he has repeatedly told my mum how annoyed he is with the number of  people he has come across who have had problems following french surgery.  This is not to say that he is an excellent surgeon, with a good reputation, but when it comes to giving the patient and relatives 'confidence' he falls way short.
Thanks again

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: Problems with knee replacement after 2 years info required
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 05:43:38 PM »
May be you should start another thread entitled - Anyone had NHS TKR in France? - and see if anyone comes up here with problems - I have been here for over a year and not come across any problematic French TKR's - maybe the OS is just not happy doing  a revision as it could be beyond his experience and he should therefore refer you Mother to someone who can!
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006 http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=28257.0  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)