3 knee replacements in right knee and still in pain

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My mother had a partial knee replacement in her right knee 7 years ago at age 71. At first everything went really well. After 3 months, things started to go wrong. It swelled up like a grapefruit and she was in constant pain and unable to bend it much. After taking exrays, her surgeon said that she then needed to have a full knee replacement. She had the full knee replacement, but that only made things worse. Her knee would not bend much and stayed very swollen. 6 months later, her surgeon did a knee adjustment in the hospital (he broke up scar tissue manually under anesthesia). Afterwards, she had physical therapy for awhile. The adjustment helped for a little while, but then her knee tightened up again and the pain continued. My mother use to be a very active person. This has drastically changed her life style so that she doesn't ever want to go out because it hurts too much to walk. After countless visits to her surgeon, he finally told her to learn to live with it and get on with her life! Unwilling to give up, we sought the opinion of eight orthopedic surgeons who were knee specialists. During this time, we found out that her knee cap had slipped down out of normal placement. No one could give her an an answer on why she has so much pain in her knee. All kinds of test were run with no conclusive results. They all said that her replacement parts were fine. We finally found a surgeon who did revisions and he agreed to try and help her. Two years ago, she had a knee revision. This time the surgeon replaced only the top portion of the original knee replacement and removed some ligament behind her knee. He left the knee cap alone saying that it couldn't be fixed. My mother had the usual physical therapy and did all her exercises at home. Unfortunately, she says that she feels worse than she did before the revision. Her knee stays swollen and warm to the touch (the surgeon says there is no infection, but he hasn't tested the fluid on the knee.The surgeon says nothing is wrong with the revision and that he can't figure out why she is in pain. My mother has less than a 90 degree bend, but can completely straighten her leg. It aches even when she is sitting or lying down. On her last visit to the surgeon, my mother pleaded with him to offer her some options for getting out of pain. She refuses to use the hydrocodon and other narcotic pain killers he is always trying to get her to use. She is willing to do physical therapy or whatever it will take to get out of pain. His advice to her was "Buck up"! He said that there was nothing he could do for her and that she would have to just live with it! Well...this isn't an acceptable answer to my mother. But at this point, we don't know who to turn to or what to do or ask for. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you, Deborah Dundas

-- Deborah Dundas (Winston1990@hotmail.com), May 20, 2004


Hey deborah, i understand how painful it would be to go for so many surgeries and i can understand how painful it feels when doctors are left with no other choice.

one thing i can tell you (though i'm not a professional), is that try to go for some alternative therapies like reiki, acupuncture, ayurveda etc. its true that you need to travel a lot but remember, health is wealth.

anyway, all the best and take care. ravi. if you have any answers for my query (the next one to your posted message), please do let me know.

bye, ravi

-- ravi (kvss_ravi@rediffmail.com), May 20, 2004.

I understand what you are going through. I am having the same problem. I am having a difficult time finding a ortho that will do revisions. They had me on oyxcontin which was not effective for pain but had me feeling not depressed. I got off of it wi th the help of an addictionst and now the pain has returned. Good luck.

-- bea guerra (beatym12@yahoo.com), June 25, 2004.

make sure that the doctors that you have been using are good at what they do.

I would recommend going to a bigger city that has a physician that does multiple "revisions" a year. This is not an easy operation. Most doctors do not like doing them.

-- c. ryan (cryan@siphonmedia.com), October 26, 2004.

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