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Author Topic: Surgical complication - anyone with experience regarding surgical drain problems  (Read 2436 times)

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Offline nikanjoe

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Little history on the knee in question.  1994 - hyperextension playing soccer - Partial PCL and MCL tears no surgery  2004 - bucket handle tear posterior horn of medial meniscus.  Surgical repair attempted and Baker's cyst drained.  2006 - repair failed partial surgical meniscectomy  2013 - gradual worsening of knee pain, stiffness and feeling of instability.  Oct. 25 scope to remove multiple loose bodies, clean up ragged edges of meniscus.  early arthritic changes adjacent to original tear noted.  I have some instablity because of apparent laxity in my PCL due to 1994 injury, but it has never been serious enough to warrant PCL reconstruction.

9 days post Oct. 25 surgery, one of the ports on front of knee opened up and anytime I flexed my quad, thick mostly yellowish but with some pink (blood) in it discharge would come out of the port. teaspoons worth.  There was no visible swelling, detectable smell, fever or significant or unusual post-surgical pain, the port appeared to not be healing compared to the other one, but it didn't look blatantly infected. When I would bend the joint there was the quite disturbing sound of a good bit of air in my knee.  My surgeon examined me, did an xray to confirm there was air in the knee and promptly admitted me to the hospital on the fears that I had an infection in the joint and performed an exploratory scope with irrigation and debridement of inflamed tissue (Nov. 4).  The surgeon said my knee was filled with very thick yellowish goo from an apparent  baker's cyst that ejected its contents into my knee compartment and that he didn't think I had an infection,  I spent three solid days in the hospital on IV antibiotics and returned for two additional days of outpatient IV antibiotics until cultures confirmed there was no infection.  A Jackson Pratt surgical drain was inserted and remained in place until discharge - 3 days. 

I have almost complete range of motion, but am experiencing constant pain and discomfort in the knee.  It feels like there is something in there - like the drain is still in there - imagine if someone stuck a rubber wedge or a pencil in your knee and every time you straightened your leg you could feel it in the front, but behind what is I guess the patellar tendon.  I also have pain at what I think is the anterior joint line  but off to the medial side (about 3/4 to 1 inch) of the port that drained my baker's cyst contents.

I brought this concern up to my surgeon yesterday and he made kind of a funny face and said hmm when I started talking about the joint line pain, but he didn't really seem to be concerned about the fact that it feels like something is in the front of my knee.  It is near impossible to take a normal step because it is so uncomfortable when bearing weight to have that knee in the 0 to 10 degree range. 

I am concerned about the possibility of scar tissue along the path he drain tube took through my knee, but he just says that it will pass with time.  He said to get on my bike at least 4 days a week, take my pain meds and he will see me in two weeks. 

I can't find a whole lot of information about surgical drain complications in orthopedic procedures and was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with this type of situation and symptoms?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 04:32:48 PM by nikanjoe »