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Soft tissue knee pain after replacement
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Soft tissue knee pain after replacement

I was a swimmer.  I had a knee replacement in March 2006.  The actually knee feels great, but I have a lot of pain in the soft tissue.  My knee is swollen all the time.  I can no longer swim because I can't kick in the water.  If I swim on my back, I am fine, but I like to snorkel and can no longer participate because of the pain.  Also, I have less than a 90 degree bend.  If I go to the theather, my knee hurts so much because I can't bend it enough for the seats.  My surgeon  says that everything is fine, but my knee still hurts so much.  Who should I see?   Thanks
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372680_tn?1228165210
Bev,

I don't know what kind of knee replacement you had, but they have new technology to where you would be back to normal, or even better, in three weeks-or-so -- but that varies with the kind of replacement and doctor-to-doctor, similar to how scars will vary.

Knee stiffness and trouble bending or straightening comes with the territory of having knee-troubles; after surgeries (not replacements, mind you) I would be stiff while sitting or standing for short periods of time in the same position for a long time after the surgery.  Once the scarring around the replacement has stretched out enough, it should start to get easier and more comfortable.

Knee swelling is kind of normal because that helps to cushion, but if you're having trouble -swimming- then I would consider seeking a second opinion.  Swimming is typically used as therapy, and if you're this far out of the replacement and still having this much trouble, then I wouldn't say everything is "fine".  

I don't think it's cause for -concern-, necessarily, but it sounds like you're not returning back to the lifestyle you had either before the replacement or that you want.

I guess it all depends on how comfortable you are with your doctor.  Has your surgeon given you a time-line how he/she thinks you should be progressing?  Are you full weight bearing and allowed to return to normal activity?

Keep cheerful and elevate that leg when you can, but remember to bend it so it doesn't get too stiff.  It does get better.  :D
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a total knee replacement done May 2007.  I have limited flexion in my knee, swelling & pain.  I had a massive amount of painful scar tissue that formed.  My surgeon first performed a manipulation under anesthesia where he attempted to force the knee into flexion and break up the scar tissue.  That did nothing so he went in arthorscopically and released the scar tissue.  I am recovering from that and am hopeful this will take care of things.  If you are having pain and swelling this is not normal and it is your body's way of saying "Something is wrong".  I would suggest you re-visit your orthopedic surgeon with your complaints and seek his medical advice.  Pan and swelling are a cause for concern.  Painful stiff total knee replacements can be debilitating so don't just overlook it.
Good luck and please post your outcome.
Shelly3582
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Bevster,
How are you feeling?
You are still having pain and swelling, which suggest there is some inflammatory process going on.
Are you on pain medicines? What are they?
Are they helping you?
Have you seen a physiotherapist? If yes, what he has to say about this?
I feel you should be seeing your surgeon and get an imaging study done.
If you don’t find your answers after imaging too, then invasive follow up with arthroscopy needs to be planned.
Keep me informed.
Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
I made an appointment to have my knee checked out.  I have less then 90 degree movement and I am in constant pain.   My primary Dr.  just did a reflex check on the knee and there is no movement.  I don't take any meds because I recently had gastric bypass surgery and can not take any meds with an asprin base.   My leg does not straighten at all and my gait now is being thrown off because I tilt to the side as I walk.
I really hope that I can get this taken care of.   Thanks for your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Bevster,
How are you feeling now?
I assume that by saying that your doctor after doing a reflex check found out that there is no movement of knee suggests that you have lost your knee reflex.
Does that mean that you have neuropathy too or is it that due to painful movement you are not able to move your leg during reflex testing?
I think you should go ahead with arthroscopy to find out if any scar tissue exists.
What about imaging study?
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Bye.
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