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Clay Mosby

Artificial knee question

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Somewhere around 15 years ago I had my right knee replaced. Had the left one replaced a few years later but that's a different story. I never had any issues with it once I got through the first 3-4 weeks of the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced.

Then 3 days ago I got up and my right knee was a little sore. This got worse during the day and into the night until around 3am I gave up and had the wife call 911.  The pain was so severe I couldn't even roll over in bed, it felt like my entire leg was on fire even at rest. There was no way I was going to be able to get into our truck to go to the ER, I needed an ambulance.

 

At the ER they did the usual, x-ray, ultrasound, blood tests, determined there was no infection or clots. Only thing they found was that the arthritis that caused the replacement in the first place was worse.  Their diagnosis: They had no idea, except maybe the original replacement had failed in someway, here's a referral to Orthopedics, have a nice day.  But first I had to prove I could walk before they would let me go. I finally convinced them to give me a Norco, and that knocked just enough off the pain that I could get up and walk a few steps with a walker. With some more negotiation they gave me a few to take home.

The rest of the day the pain stayed in the 6-7 out of 10 on the pain scale spiking to 8-10 if I moved. Took another norco that night and was able to sleep.

The next morning the pain was less than half of the day before, and this morning 48 hours after being in the ER the pain is almost gone. The knee is a little sore with a spike if I move it wrong, just have sore muscles from tensing them against the pain.

 

Has anyone else with an older fake knee run into this?  If the knee has failed and needs to be replaced, so be it, I know I'd rather go through the healing process again and have it fixed than get repeated ambushes like this. 

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Wow! Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I have the Mako Insert artificial half knee. It’s 9 years old now. I have no experience with what you went through but it sounds almost like you have an infection. When I got my knee done my doctor told me that if I had any dental work done to get antibiotics to ward off infection as the infection may also attack my knee insert. Sounds weird but that is what he said.
Recently I had an abscessed tooth and oddly enough I had knee pain. The first in years. I went to the dentist and he gave me Ampicillin and scheduled me for removal of the tooth and implant surgery. Since taking the ampicillin my knee pain has also diminished. 

I highly recommend you see a specialist but also it might be a good idea to have your doctor give you a blood test to see if you have an elevated white blood cell count. This might indicate if you have an infection. 
 

I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. I just have extensive medical experience through trauma, accidents and surgeries. ;)

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Infection was one of the things they checked for while I was in the ER. Apparently they found nothing as the only thing I was given was tylenol and a norco.  What was weird is the fact that it went from a little sore to HOLY S**T THAT HURTS!!! back to a little sore in less than 72 hours. In fact the worst right now is sore muscles that were clenched against the pain.

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Got one knee replaced in 2003 and the other in 2005. Haven't had a problem with either. So far! Sorry about the problem you are having. Prayers up to get it fixed.

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I am sorry about your pain, knee replacement react in very differently, are you diabetic. 

Have you had any MR or CT on ER, they might gave you some antibiotic that helped you.

 

CZhen

FL.

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I worked at an Orthopedic Device manufacture for 20+ years. If your knee implant is 15 years old get yourself to your ortho surgeon right away! The UHMPE bearing in a knee joint is only expected to hold up for around 7 years depending on activity level. You need x-rayed to check the spacing between the femoral component and the tibial tray. Also the surgeon can check for possible loosening of either the femoral component or the tray (VERY painful if it happens). This is not OR level stuff, see your orthopod. I'm a diabetic also and have two total hips any hip related pain I'm headed right past the OR on the way to an Orthopedic specialist.. 

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Thanks for the good information.  While I have no knee problems, my aged mother-in-law does have an artificial knee.  She’s 90 now and had the knee replaced some 40-odd years ago.

 

Theres good information here.  I’ll get my wife to make an orthopedic appointment for her mom and have that knee checked out.

Thanks again,

Cat Brules

 

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Cat Brules, 40 years ago! That's fantastic life from an early design knee implant! It's great to hear mom-in-law is still going on that knee at 90. Give her my regards!

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Thanks for all the info guys. I have a call into my Primary Physician about the Ortho referral. Believe me I don't want to go through that again any time soon!

 

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Hope it goes well! Be sure to let us know the outcome.

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I got my knee replaced in 2002, almost 18 years ago. I had it checked by the Ortho Dr who replaced it 2 years ago and there were no changes in the xray from the one taken right after the joint was replaced. It has been a Godsend. I have also had a total ankle replacement on the ankle in the same leg 5 years ago, it is doing great also.

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Shortcake had a knee replaced this year. She hates it. She is not a patient "patient".

 

This is not the person to talk to if you are looking for someone to sing the praises of this operation. She is 160 days post op, and gets pain on the inside of the knee. The knee is also warm to the touch. Ortho doc says she is doing fine.:unsure:

 

One think she hates (among many others) is her range of motion is really decreased. She wants to be able to bring her knee back to touch her butt, but it won't go that far. Is that the limit of the artificial joint or should she keep stretching for greater range?

 

Thanks.

 

Dom

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Without knowing what style implant she has my answer is her expectation is not unreasonable, BUT it will take work and regular, daily exercise and of course age factors in. At 160 days post op she should have been through rehab by now, did they give her exercises to keep doing and is she doing them? They are critical to getting ROM back AND keeping it. Is there any swelling with the knee feeling warm? And I'm assuming you meant her foot back to touch. Getting that knee there would be a bit much.

Edited by Doc X

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Long done with rehab. Does her exercises twice a day. Very little swelling.

Yes, she wants to bring her foot back (senior moment).

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