Thanks so much! It helps to hear that this is not my fault or my doing. Even though I know this on some level, the stories I hear in my doctor's office and even my neighborhood, about successful surgeries, makes me feel to blame, alone and a failure somehow. Sadly, I did not help myself at all when I saw the ortho doc on Friday. I heard once again how my x-rays show that everything is normal with the hardware and that 'nothing is wrong'. The doc added that though this not what he would want, I am welcome to get a second opinion. This feels like a threat and sets my co-dependent self into high gear, assuring the doc that I understand and am just frustrated with the constant pain. He did say that my tkr would never take the place of a normal knee and I would always have some dysfunction (he didn't say pain). At the end of this five minute visit I did repeat, "So there's absolutely nothing that can be done?" and the doctor answered in the affirmative, adding that he could open the knee and go in, replace parts as/if needed, clean things up...but this is major surgery. I agreed that I did not want major surgery. So I nothing gained.
I am going to try the anti-inflammatories as you suggested. The doctor suggested I get a neophrene brace and use that for 30 days and then he suggested I wrap the knee during the day with an ace bandage for the same amount of time, so Ill try the ace bandage first because I have it and then I'll try the other. Hopefully this will help. I have a very physical job where I do lots of lifting, walk a mile some days and so forth, but I am also going to start a Zumba class for people with knee and back problems..I kid you not. It sounds fun and that's the best way for me to exercise..when I'm having fun.
Thanks again for the advice and for the great, supportive comments. I will advocate for myself more agressively in the future and if the pain is still this bad at year's end (I work in the schools), I will be having that 'major' surgery this summer. Maybe going in and actually looking at this knee/leg will provide answers and solutations.
I've never mentioned the swelling because I didn't really think it WAS possible with the TKR. Much of this is my bad because I jumped into the operation without doing much research at all. I thought with the replacement joint, that it wasn't really swelling since I do not have a 'real' patella. I have not advocated well for myself, felt immense relief and happiness a year ago when told that it was entirely possible I was still healing and that the pain would resolve when that stopped. I have been told by my GP (who does not know!) that the parts are unbreakable and not maeable and even the surgeon, by feel and x-rays has said that everything is in its place. I definitely have lots of ideas for questions to ask.
As sick as this sounds, I must add that prior to finding the forums online, I had only heard from people whose TKR (bilateral mostly) operations were a resounding success and I felt like my ongoing lack of success made me the buzz kill of the group..also sort of felt that it was somehow my fault or just my problem and so it helps, but is sad, to know that I am not alone and that the TKR is not for everyone the panacea of knee health and pain resolution that it seems. Thank you for your response.
If you don't have infection and the hardware is in its correct place after all this time your still having pain I would get a second opinion somewhere. The whole point of the TKR was to get you out of pain and back to your daily living. I would be concerned as to why you are still having trouble still. What do they say the swelling is from? Have you tried a course of antiinflammatories? I hope they can give you better answers when you go back.