Patient Comments: Total Knee Replacement - Recovery

Please share your experience with recovery following a total knee replacement surgery.

Comment from: leep, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I am 41 years old and had my left knee replaced 2 months ago. After 3 years of injections in the knee, and pain and no cartilage left, I decided to take the doctor's advice and have the surgery. Well, at 2 months out, I feel it is horrible. I live in severe pain day and night. Medicines take the edge off very little. I try to tell my doctor but he, I guess, thinks it's all in my head. I am still using a cane and when I try to walk without it, it is horrible. This is mentally starting to affect me due to the pain and not functioning the way I should be. I"m supposed to go back to work soon and I can"t go 20 minutes up without having to prop my leg from the pain.

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Comment from: Steph-STAPH, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I had my total knee replacement on my left leg done in January 2009. The surgery did not go well. I had a prior injury to the tibia and consulted with the surgeons beforehand and they assured me that would not be a problem. Well, when they went to drill the bone to set the joint, they drilled through the bone instead of making the hollow. The bone split. They used cadaver bone and glue to patch the hole and waited two hours for it to set before drilling the hollow a second time. This time they inserted the knee, a slightly larger one than I would have needed before the drilling incident. After surgery I was off my feet, no weight bearing for 6 weeks. I had a spot in the stitching that did not close well and soon became a little deeper than a half inch that was oozy. Doctor had me use gauze and sterile water, packing and pulling until it healed. No antibiotics during this process. Finally, therapy seemed to go okay, but I continued to have pain in the knee and down in the leg. I had to use a cane, very painful. Now 2014, 6 weeks ago it finally gave, pain was unbearable. At the emergency room they drained the fluid from the knee and got 2 1/2 cups of fluid. Culture proved to be a staph infection. I was rushed to surgery and they found the worst infection my surgeon had seen. He has removed the knee at this point and for the last 6 weeks I have been on a PICC line IV antibiotics around the clock. I'll find out on Tuesday if we can discontinue the antibiotics or go another 3 to 6 weeks, then schedule knee replacement for May or June. In addition when he opened the leg, the tibia had broken away from the knee, explaining why I was falling so often. He also found that in an effort to get the patella to lay down, they had cut the edges and it had floated off the cap down into the leg. This was/is a nightmare. Now I think I should consult a lawyer, but don"t know if I really should pursue.

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Comment from: Rnewknee, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 28

I had total knee replacement on 2/25/14. I spent 4 days in hospital. Now 4 weeks and one day later, I can walk without a cane, go up and down stairs the regular way; there's hardly any swelling, but sleeping is tough; I had some issues figuring out pain management. Motion is at 120 and it"s because you have to listen to and follow doctor's instructions. I still have work to do but looking forward to playing golf in a month or two. I just finished my home therapy and have not started out patient yet. I still have some pain especially when I turn my knee in bed at night. I am taking tramadol and Tylenol; I'm still waiting to say it's the best thing I ever did, but I think I will.

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Comment from: ChrisW, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I had a total left knee replacement in July 2011. I had allergy to morphine and blood thinner, requiring blood transfusion. It was 5 days before I was well enough to start bending and I would estimate 12 months before I was back to normal and could say I was glad I had it done. Now however I am experiencing numbness off and on when on my leg too long, between my knee and hip. I am not sure what is causing this but a bit scary none the less.

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Comment from: Dennis, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 19

I had a right total knee replacement (TKR) back on 7-27-12, 4 days later I had blood clots and a hematoma. I went back in the hospital for 12 days, came out and started therapy 3 times a week for 2-1/2 hours. About 4 months later I went back in the hospital for a manipulation. I went back to therapy for about 9 more months, this whole time I was taking pain pills and anti-inflammatory pills. I have since had every type of x-ray, blood work, CAT scans, MRIs and even a full body scan to find out what's wrong. Nothing shows up, I am having severe tightness and pain all around my knee and down the back of my leg. My knee is still very swollen, and full of fluid, and very warm to the touch. Once I stop and relax (which is seldom) is when the pain is the worst.

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