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Offline ndchick

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acl recon suture reaction
« on: February 15, 2004, 03:38:49 AM »
Hi I am new to the board here but I am not sure of a few things with my knee.  I do hope someone can help me! :D

Okay, I had an acl reconstructed with my own graft 4 weeks ago.  The dr. told me that the hardest thing to get back was the extension of my leg.  I did not lose it.  He did not send me home with a brace or even require that I get one at all.  He feels that his patients do better without braces.  I do not feel stable AT ALL.  It is very icy out and that is how I ruined my original one.  Anyway, I have had more trouble getting my bend but that is back totally.  It gets sore and stiff but no meds.  but I do have a popping  or clicking when I walk is this normal?  

Also, I have yellow and at times green stuff  coming out of my incision for the past 2 weeks.  I called him on the first week and he told his nurse that it looked fine the week before and not to worry about it.  Well, when I  called again the nurse said to come in.  They took a swab of it and it came back as a staph infection.  He said that he thought that it was a superficial one when he saw me yesterday but to stay on the antibiotics for another 7 days.  He thinks that I am allergic to the sutures used.  He said that if it gets worse by next week then we would talk about going in an washing it out and putting in something different.  I finally feel better and not as pukie as I had felt since surgery.  There is still stuff coming out of the incision with holes in it.  It just looks strange but it is not as red as it was but I am wondering is if there could be something lower in the leg that the antibiotics is just maintaining it.  Shouldn't the yellow be gone?  Has anyone heard of this?

I have a VERY young doctor.


Offline lizl

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Re: acl recon suture reaction
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 04:48:13 AM »
I know most doctors do not like to second-guess each other, but you might go to your general practioner just to see what he/she thinks about the secretions. I'd be concerned, too. Staph is just so dangerous.

2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Heather M.

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Re: acl recon suture reaction
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2004, 06:10:10 AM »
Okay, I can only say what I would do (and have done) in the situation you describe....If I had green goo coming out of my leg and my doctor wasn't concerned, and if I felt generally ill/feverish/flu-like, I would get myself to the ER of the best hospital in the city and demand to see their infectious disease specialist.  

Staph is nothing to mess around with!  It may be that you simply need a different antibiotic.  I have had two infections post op...on antibiotics each are right, the medication can create a kind of Mexican standoff with the bacteria.  Then, the day you stop taking the antibiotic, the infection can come back with a vengeance.  With one of my infections, I had an emergency washout of my knee, and I felt truly terrible by the time I got to that point:  feverish, nauseous, hot knee, draining incisions, ache all over.  It was terrible.  With the other infection, I was switched to a different medication (much stronger antibiotic than Cipro, which is what I was initially prescribed) and my infection cleared up within three days.

I was also allergic to/not able to tolerate the internal stitches that were used...but I didn't get an infection, my body just 'spit' them out--the individual stitches started pushing through my skin about 2 weeks post op, gone by 6.

You may also want to talk to Heather K. on this board (message her if you can) and ask what her experience was--she had a big open surgery and her body rejected the sutures and internal fixation stuff.  The incisions failed to close and she had a lot of trouble.  Happily, the doctor did get a handle on the situation, but I believe she ended up seeing a specialist.  She didn't wait that long to do so, if I recall.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you seem to be very uncomfortable with the care you are receiving.  Your inner voice seems to be coming through loud and clear that you don't trust your doctor.  If I were you, I'd do some soul searching and see what you feel would be are the one who knows your body and your symptoms.  Everyone's body reacts differently, but it's been my experience that when you have an infection there is generally no doubt.  I felt like I had a combination of terrible flu and an infected tooth located right at my knee.

I hope you stay on top of this situation, keep taking your temperature (but realize that any painkillers or anti-inflams will lower it) and just be aware of how you are feeling.  Bug your doctor daily.  Be aware of anything coming out of your knee--in general, an incision will not close if there is infection inside the knee joint.

Take care and please let us know how you are doing tomorrow.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2004, 06:18:42 AM by hmaxwell »
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja

Offline ndchick

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Re: acl recon suture reaction
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2004, 05:46:21 PM »
Hi again and thanks for the replies!

The only pain killer I am taking is Tylenol 8 hr. (everything seems to upset my stomach)  I have had alot of infections with surgery and one dr. let me go a whole summer with a fever and not knowing what was wrong with me after I had had surgery.  I ended up with a emergency surgery then with many more to follow.  (with a different doctor ;D)  I have tried to explain that to him and he just blows it off.  Most dr. I think would try to at least try to act interested in it and look at the chart but not this one.  I really got frustrated with him and asked how old he was.  He is 32!!  I am 33.  He acted also like I was really old when I went in there cos I looked like crap and was in alot of pain.
He kept saying when people get to be middle aged then don't always need to have this surgery.  After that day he kept saying "yes someone as young as you should have the surgery".  I talked to him 3 times in one day and now he doesn't call it is his nurse.  

I also asked him how long he has been a doctor and he told me "I have been a 'doctor' for 6 years but on my own since July but I have done a ton of these surgeries"

He is a very nice guy and I sort of feel sorry for him cos he is so young.  I know he is able to do the job but I am not sure if I have any more time to let him practice on him.  

Is it normal to have so much rom so soon after surgery?  Everyone on here seem to have some trouble with that and really has to work at it.  I have not.  I am also wondering if that is why it feels so unstable.  The doctor said that I could go back to work at anytime and my pt did not agree.  She said that where I work it would put me back 1-2 months and that I should wait.  
I walk on cement 12 hour days and alot fast step up and down and twisting.  I would be on light duty at first but if they need me some place else you have to go even if you have a dr. note  cos at 1am who is going to come by and check.   ::)  Dr. also told me when I was asking about it feeling so loose... "some people have to have this done a year later"  HELLO???  :o  what is that!!

Anyway I shut up and thanks for info and I will try to message heather K.  

Should my knee be crunching or popping like it is?  He said that I have no fluid under it.  Or is it a muscle thing?

 He did tell not to mess around with this cos I could lose my graft.  Then I freaked on him and told him that I called the week before and he looked like a little boy that had been caught with his pants down.  strange.

I will let you know what happens but stuff is still coming out going on 10th day of antibiotics.
Thanks again!

Offline Beauzer

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Re: acl recon suture reaction
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2004, 07:57:04 PM »
Eew! :P

Yellow stuff in general isn't good and may be a sign of infection.

I had a similar reaction to my sutures in the past, though.  In addition to each piece of suture getting "spit out" like Heather, mine also developed little abscesses (pus pockets) each time.  The difference was, they didn't grow out any bugs! (They weren't actually infected, just caused by really bad allergic reaction), but you can't be too sure, especially with staph.  Eventually (when every single piece of suture was finally gone) my problem went away, but by then, the entire wound was open and eventually healed in with a big ugle scar.

If things aren't getting better quickly, let your OS know.  If the nurse blows you off, keep calling!  Docs have to rely a lot on their support staff and if those people aren't making appropriate decisions and passing messages along in a proper fashion, your OS needs to know about it.

Age doesn't have a heck of a lot to do with whether your OS is a good one or not.  The important thing is you have to find an OS you are comfortable with.  Trust your gut.  

Popping and crunching?  Sometimes that's a scar tissue thing.  You move and it breaks up the scar trying to form.  Does it hurt?

Good luck
Danielle ;D
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05