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Author Topic: Knee Surgeries from 6 years back  (Read 665 times)

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Offline kneesmessedup

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Knee Surgeries from 6 years back
« on: November 06, 2008, 12:36:18 PM »
Iíll put my knees into context before I ask my questions.† I had knee surgery on both knees about 6 years ago and it was because of a traumatic car accident.† Back then I was traumatized so the specifics of the surgeries are vague.† Iíve avoided (or at least tried to) doctors and hospitals since and† I still donít know all the details.† With that said, my right knee has a plate.† It is in place due to a fractured tibia and there are a couple huge screws in there.† I think I had soft tissue repair done as well.† I had some muscle repair around the knee too (I think it was my gastrocnemius muscle).†

In the hospital, I lost some of my right quad muscle and havenít regained it back yet.† My range of motion on the right leaves much to be desired and if I walk fast my right leg muscles below my knee hurts.† Physical activity usually ends up with pain the same day or the next, yet it is endurable.† I would like to become more active and do sports.† In addition, I have noticed a difference in my body.† My hips look different.† When I point it out to others they canít tell, but I am sure I am not using both legs symmetrically because the right knee feels heavier and rigid.†

A surgeon recently said the constant pain was due to the pins extending out and hurting me.† Apparently the method or hardware used in my time is too thick and newer models fit bones better.† He said the plate could be removed, though he didnít seem to think it was a crucial procedure.† The overall circumstances for my previous knee surgeries, hospitalization and recovery were so bad that I fear having surgery again.† At the same time I have been told if I want to remove it, I should remove it before 30 (I am now 29).† The procedure is outpatient and they might go in and repair ligaments and other things if need be (Iím sure there is a lot going on in there).†

My questions are:†
Is it too late to remove the plate?† If I do, will enough new bone fill in the gaps?
Based on the trauma my knees have endured, is it best just to leave it the way it is and live with it?
Realistically how long does recovery take?† (Doctors usually donít know how long it takes to really get back to the old swing of things, if you have similar experiences please share)
Should I go back to the original surgeon that operated on me, or attempt to find a famous specialist?
If a doctor says Ďyouíre going to have arthritis,í is there anyway of delaying it and if I remove the hardware will that decrease or increase my chances of painful arthritis?

Thanks in advance for your responses. ;)

gigi67

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Re: Knee Surgeries from 6 years back
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2008, 04:32:40 PM »
A surgeon recently said the constant pain was due to the pins extending out and hurting me.  _
 my hardware ( pins) backed out and you could feel them pushing udner the skin..also I could feel them inside of my leg pushing against me so in my case the hardware was a problem. I had it removed 8 months after my knee repair...I never regretted it it felt soo much better, increased my ROM and at the time I wa sin varius types of pain for various reasons and so it elliminated ONE of those types of pain and that helped me alot...my hipe look different in that one  now is higher than the other...because due to all of the imobilization in the beginning the arch in my foot fell and of course they say when you break a leg bone it shrinks...so anyway there is now a visible difference in the height of my hips... but most cant see it with my clothes on..just the limp that goes with it. theres are specialists who deal with muscle imbalances that help...I currently dont have insurance so i havent gone to one but I may once I get insurance again.

Is it too late to remove the plate?  If I do, will enough new bone fill in the gaps? ..what did your OS say about this?
most of them have been in the business a long time and have the knowledge to back up their opinion on such matters.

Based on the trauma my knees have endured, is it best just to leave it the way it is and live with it? - If the hardware is causing pain and ROM problems it should give you some relief in that regards mnay others have said their hardware removal was the best decision they made. you will go through a take it easy period...mine was 5 weeks no weight bearing to give the bone time to strengthen on its own BUT I also have thin bones and that as a concern.
Realistically how long does recovery take?  (Doctors usually donít know how long it takes to really get back to the old swing of things, if you have similar experiences please share) Unfortunately every case is very individual..as I said my own case was 5 weeks

Should I go back to the original surgeon that operated on me, or attempt to find a famous specialist?--- I asked myself the same question: I only went to one post op apt and didnt go back because I had an outstanding balance n didnt want it to get bigger than I could be BUT when i get insurance again I am going for another check up because I know theres some things going on in there that I would feel better knowing for sure so I want another MRI. I thought about going to a brand new OS but the truth is that my former OS did a good job, he had good follow up, and he knows what he did inside of my knee... another surgeon OS wont know my history, or what the other OS did... I decided I feel better going to the guy who pieced me back together...if I would have some legitimate complaint or he did a horrible job I probably would seek another OS but since he did fine I will go back...he knows me and my case and his own work.

If a doctor says Ďyouíre going to have arthritis,í is there anyway of delaying it and if I remove the hardware will that decrease or increase my chances of painful arthritis? ....- I dont think theres much can be done about arthritis setting in...staying as limber as possible is important...water/pool therapy l helps soooo much for weight bearing joint arthritis..I have found I do best warming up those stiff joints with a heat wrap for 10 minutes, stretching, ROM exercises, other exercises for strength training then if I need to ice for 20 minutes..also after taking hot showers I stretch and message all around my knee. There are certain enzymes like bromelain that help with inflammation also of course ibuprofen or other NSAIDS...Im an ibuprofen freak! and on cold days when Im really stiff...I go lay in a tanning bed for ten minutes...it feels great, warms up my stiff painful joints and releases happy chemicals in the brain which helps with pain too! theres a line of natural jpint pain remedies that help rebuild the cartilage and cushioning fluids in the knees and other joints like  ask your OS about those. sometimes its just a matter of learning what helps you in yor case..try the weater therapy its great!!!! that and tanning bed therapy make the biggest difference for me  personally on my really bad days.
hope this helps some















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