Femur NonUnion After 18mo.

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My 62 yr old obese mother had double knee replacements in 10/97. In 12/00 she tripped at work where her femur jammed her knee prosthesis and shattered. Various rods/screws were inserted, immense pain followed and she has been in a wheelchair since. A 2nd surgeon removed one screw which helped the pain somewhat - the bone has not regenerated even with PT and bone stimulator. She is scheduled to have the knee re-done and remove the femur entirely replaced with a single rod. Any insights into recovery, prognosis, other issues to be aware of? Is this her last resort before amputation?

-- Tramir (Tracy_Burgess@dpsu.com), June 06, 2002


Your mother's case sounds quite complicated, and specific answers to your questions cannot be given. However, generally reconstructive surgery can be done to repair damage to bones after joint replacement. This may involve the use of special implants for joint replacement and bone grafting using bone from a bone bank. Removal of the entire femur is not usually done, but a long- stemmed "reconstructive prosthesis" may be used. Be sure to discuss with your physician the proposed surgery and questions regarding prognosis.

-- Errol L Bennett, MD (ebennet6@jhmi.edu), June 09, 2002.

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