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Avatar universal

Knee pain, swelling after surgery

Almost four months after surgery, I am still experiencing massive swelling and excruiating pain with inflammation. I was having a great recovery for the first ten days, then BAM!  My leg, knee and ankle swelled to gigantic proportions.   My doctor has said only that I have arthritis in my knee and I have to be patient.  On at least three occasions, I have been in tears in his office and asking what to do about it.  He still tells me be patient.  This is surely not normal.  I went to another doctor last week who sent in his PA to tell me that they "don't like to tread on another doctor's territory" and won't see me again, but the PA prescribed Prednisone 6 day dosage that seemed to give me some comfort while I was taking it.  The day after I completed the dosage, the pain and swelling was back in full force.  No one will see me without a referral because this certain doctor operated on me.  What am I to do?  I am so frustrated after four months of extreme pain, all I do is cry.  I've turned into a big crybaby and that is not me!  Help, somebody!  
72 Responses
Avatar universal
I live in Michigan...I was on 150 mcr of duragesic patches plus vicodine for for years for extream pain. After 8 years and 15 Dr's later. I have had Knee surgery on both knees  2 on the left knee and 3 on the right knee. With sort term pain relieve. Then I found This Dr which is the best I have ever been to. He treats you as if your his only patient. I had surgery on both knees with great results. If you would like his info please email me at ***@**** maybe he can help you as well.
Avatar universal
I am also in excrutiating pain after my knee arthroscopic surgery done in August 2010.  Yesterday (1/13/11), I went for a doctor's visit with my primary physician who noticed my limp and asked how I was doing post-surgery.  Although I was there for other reasons she noticed my entire leg was swollen and sent me to the hospital for an urgent sonogram to rule out a blood clot.  In any case, the doctor who performed the surgery continues to tell me that I need to be patient, that I am a "slow" healer, that my back hurts and my calf is swollen and stiff because I am walking "funny".  I am a single mom of 3 and need too work. However, the pain is so intense I can barely get up in the morning.  My kids miss their mom and so do I.  I can frankly say that I am significantly worse than before the surgery.  If you have some answers please help!
Avatar universal
I have had three knee surgerys in the last nine months and still can't function normally. all of the pain and swelling that everyone has describe is my situation to a T. My hands are tied because mines a workmans comp case and of course all their concerned about is getting me back to work and all i want is to be able to walk and be out of pain and take care of my daughter. I can only bend to a painful 90 degree and this is after three surgeries. I just had my third one on jan.11th 2011, however they made it sound like this one was gonna be the one to make it all better. the stiffness and swelling makes my knee fell so fake. I can't sleep i'm never out of pain. does anyone have any sugestions on the swelling like something i can take or drink for swelling to be reduced?
Avatar universal
I have been suffering with a swollen knee for three months after arthroscopic knee surgery a year prior. Even with an NSAID in me (Mobic) the pain was terrible, radiating into my hip and all the way down into my ankle too. My wife called a local chiropractor and he recomended that I put Castor oil on the knee, then wrap it with an old flannel cloth, then an ace bandage (taught) over the flannel. Well, I tell you, it was like a miracle happened. I had a lot relief overnight and 2 days later the knee was down to it's normal size and 90% of the pain was gone. Since then, I've kept an ACE brace on the knee during the day while I'm at work and I'm still on the Mobic and I'm still doing so much better. Note: Just a few days ago I was feeling so well that I tried going off the Mobic. 2 1/2 days into this the knee swelling started to come back...so I quickly got back on the Mobic and did the Castor oil wrap again. Works great again! Be sure to freshen up the Castor oil on the knee occasionally, more frequent early on in the treatment while always using the same flannel cloth. My wife just used a piece of her old flannel knightgown. My new Ortho. Specialist believes I have a mechanical problem with my knee joint and is planning on fixing it through arthroscopy. I hope the Castor oil, flannel and ace bandage help you all. God bless...Bob  
Avatar universal
I have been having a very similar issue with my knee as  Nannie39.  I injured my knee two years ago, which I never had resolved due to communication issues with the hospital, so I dealt with it and the pain eventually went away.  This past October, the knee that I had injured began to swell up and cause a great amount of pain whenever I rode my bike or walked too much, so I went into the Orthopedic surgeon.  He looked at the MRI's from when I originally injured my knee, and said that I had multiple hairline fractures in the knee cap and a very strained MCL.  I had another MRI, and although those had luckily healed, it looked like I now had a torn meniscus and still a strained MCL.  This was in OR where I go to school, and when I went home to CA for break I had surgery in December '10.  Turns out the meniscus was fine, but the MCL needed a little more repair, and my Plica tissue along with a lot of other scar tissue was removed.  Recovery was fine, and by the time I got back up to school I was able to walk around pretty well.  Late January however the incisions got infected, and I was treated for celluitis due to a stitch abscess.  It took two rounds of different antibiotics to fix it, and I had a heck of a time getting the surgeon up here who told me I needed surgery in the first place to see me again since he did not do the surgery himself.  Now it is almost March, and I still cannot bend my knee all of the way.  It gets incredibly stiff, especially after sitting for a while and when I first wake up in the morning it takes me a minute to be able to bend it at all.  I still have a lot of pain in it, almost more before the surgery (at least more consistent, sharp pain), and it swells up with too much activity. The incision sites are also pretty tender still, although closed up.  I am too scared to continue too harshly with my exercises because of the pain and the swelling. Does this sound like something that will eventually go away as my knee gets stronger, or something the doctor should look at again? I'm getting sick of constant pain, I thought my knee problems would be over by now!

Avatar universal
It appears I am not the only one experiencing pain in the knee. I had surgery on my right knee on March 19th (Athroscopic surgery). In addition, the OS found my knee bone extremely deteriorating from arthritis and had to cut down the bone. I was told I would be up and about in in 48-72 hours. I was suffering so bad from pain, I was unable to return to work for 2 weeks and when I did, i still wasn't doing very good. I returned to the OS again and he did a third aspiration and took out two vials of fluid. I was given a shot of cortizone and a prescrpition for Vicadin which I told him do not work. I felt good for 4 days and then BAM it started again. Now the pain is worse than every before-worse than before the surgery. I returned to the OS the other day and he did a fourth aspiration and promised me this would help. He said some people take longer than others to heal. It is now over 2  1/2 months. I am unable to function. I cannot work, I can not walk at all, i can't get around the house because I have stairs and I can't climb. The OS gave me a leg brace to wear but that is not helping. I do not know what else to do. All I do is cry at night the pain is so bad. I wake up numerous times during the night becuase it hurts everytime I move. I am going for a second opinion next Monday but I did not tell the doctor I was coming in for a second opinion. I will tell him when i get there. What is he going to do, throw me out? Something has to be done. I can't go on living like this.  Any suggestions.

Avatar universal
I am interested in hearing the results of your holistic approach as I am considering that as well.
Avatar universal
I am just searching how many people actually have this problem  as friend of mine does.  I am an old fashion girl  and I believe in old cures.  My dad saved his eye by not listenning to doctors (who where gonne remove it)  and used garlic juice to kill the bacteria which was eating his eye.........and he did it.
I would recommend mix apple cider vinegar with good honey (half and half)  and have a spoon 3 of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day.  Also do a apple cider vinegar wrap 3 times a day :  boil water,  let it cool, mix in apple cider vinegar, put in cloth, sqeeze it out, wrap it on  your knee  then wrap plastic around it  and then towel.......  for about 20 minutes 3 times a day.
Also I read on Czech side that Silybum marianum- Milk thistle works:  mas the seat,  use 1 spoon to 150ml of water cook for 10 - 15 min. Let it cool. Put paste on cloth and wrap on the knee and then wrap with bandage,  not too tight.  Leave overnight  and by morning swellling should be gone.  
Let me know if you try it !
Avatar universal
Funny, I had meniscus surgery 3mos. ago. All seemed fine except for slight pain when it would rain. I woke up this morning and my knee, calf and ankle are so swollen they're almost unrecognizable. I'm gonna make an appt. with the Ortho ASAP. Why this is happening 3mos later is beyond me. Although, I am in the middle of Hurricane Irene. I'm really wondering if that's causing this?
Avatar universal
I am only 20 and since the age of 12 was suffering very bad with my right knee. i was in and out of the dotors and they said there was never anything the matter with it. i went back a few years ago and they said it was oss good shlatters diesea, which is apprently more common in boys from age 12. they told me i has to get physico done and it should sort it. i was never booked for an appointment for it so i decided to keep going back ( as you do when your in alot of bloody pain) i was reffered to a spealist called hinerkt, which told me i had torn my Meniscus cartiladge, and that he would not know the extent of the damage and whether he could fix it with out going in. so i signed the paperwork had the op and was told i was not alowed to walk on my leg for 6 weeks and had to wear a knee brace and was only allowed to do 90 degrees..... I am very nearly 6 weeks in after having my op now, and should hopefully be having the brace taken off and should be allowed to start trying to walk on my right knee with my crutches.. the only problem is when i lift my knee to starighten it, it makes a loud cracking noise and then the pain increase rapidy, ive been quiet lucky as its very rare i get pain from it but when i do my exercises i go from perfectly comfotable to in the worst pain possible.. i am very concerned as my knee is still very swollen and no matter what exercises i do to gain my muscles back in my leg it just dont want to gain any muscle and loose any of the swelling..... my knee is about 3 times the size of the other one after 6 weeks and i was told 7 to 15 days the swelling should have completely gone.. but what ever i do its not seeming to work..... im so confussed and i have a part time job which i am very very worried i will end up loosing :( please can anyone give me any answers :(
Avatar universal
I've been reading all these stories about severe problems after knee arthroscopic surgery and am amazed at how many folks are terrified of total knee replacement surgery.  I'm a poster girl for that surgery and had wonderful results.  I had a total knee replacement in December (8 months ago) and yes, the first two weeks were not fun, but with good physical therapy I was back on the golf course, walking more blocks than I could walk in years.....after only seven weeks.  First, go to an orthopedic surgeon who's highly recommended by many acquaintances, who specializes in "knee replacement" surgery, & works with a hospital that has a whole staff of specialists in this field.  I went to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, where they have their own surgery wing, with well over a dozen specialists.  I had a great physical therapist who worked with me aggressively for a month, then I did specialized therapy on my own for about 3 months. I still do some knee-specific exercises, and I have absolutely no pain in my knee, and it's been that way for months.  I'm a 67-yr old woman, very active & athletic and have worked out all my life, so physical therapy was nothing new to me.  If one has never worked out much or isn't used to exercise, I'd expect their recovery would be much slower.  But physical therapy is a "mind set" and if you're determined to get painfree and back to being active you can do it!  My only regret is that I didn't have the surgery a few years sooner.  It was a God-send for me.  I just got tired of limping around, being in pain, not able to walk the golf course, my dog, and snow skiing was "iffy".  Those are all the things I love to do and am doing them again with no pain.  So, with a great doctor, good attitude & hard work, knee replacement is nothing to be afraid of.  
Avatar universal
Your comments are an insipration and give hope to all of us who have knee problems.  I am 52 and a keen golfer and have had multiple surgeries on my right knee.  It is good to hear that one can continue to play golf and walk after knee replacement surgery.  Out of interest do you walk the golf course without a buggie - how far can you walk?
Avatar universal
I just had my surgery 4wks ago but am on here because I feel exactly the same! I went back to work 6 days after surgery which may sound nuts but this hotel allows me to sit when possible. I have experienced the tingling numbness in my toes and when I rb my swollen knee it feels like a wave going back and forth on my knee cap. The fluid on my knee and ankle are driving me nuts and having to compensate w/ my other leg is causing pain in that knee and hip. I am wishing I never had surgery and can't deal w/ this much longer. I have a 6yr old so when I get home from work I am in so much pain that I can't do anything to entertain my daughter and enjoy my life and being a parent.
1817452 tn?1316983099
I or should I say we would love to know the name of the OS that treated you like a human being. my name is the same as my yaho account let me know or post it here. thank you very much
1822133 tn?1317294502
Almost six months after arosthroscopy surgery, I am still experiencing swelling and excruciating pain with inflammation. I was having a great recovery for the first one month, then BAM!  My leg, knee and ankle started hurting.

Prior to the surgery, I was told that I have an Ligaments tear in my right knee which can be taken care through arosthroscopy surgery only. Doctor told me the arosthroscopy was a simple procedure that I would recover from quickly. After surgery, the surgeon told me that everything went well but he never told me whether he repaired the ligament tear or whether he removed it.

I can frankly say that I am significantly worse than before the surgery.  If you have some answers please help!

I’m 36 years old 5 feet 11 inch with a good weight i.e. 77 Kg.
Avatar universal
Yikes!  This blog is discouraging and helpful.  I just had surgery for my ACL and Meniscus 5 days ago.  I think what I learned from all the bloggers is that if you went through with the surgery then listen to your doctor and do all the P.T.  and elevate your leg as much as possible.  Don't even think about going back to work for at least 6 weeks.  And my doc said I couldn't play tennis again for 9 months.  Right now my knee is swollen like a tomato.  Today I get the rest of my staples out and post op instructions.  I might try some of the homeopathic methods for swelling described in this blog.  But I'm hoping patience is the key to a full recovery.//*-*\\
Avatar universal
I had artroscopic surgery done on my left knee.Now its worser.The doc said that he did a lil smoothing out.But my knee hurts all the time.Its swolling and painful when i walk.I had the surgery done in April of this year.I fell after surgery and the doctor says not to worry:(
Avatar universal
I had arthroscopic knee surgery on July 29th, 2011.  It is now November 7th.  Seems that the pain and swelling is getting worse with time instead of better.  I should have left it the way it was and not had the surgery.  I had tear in the cartilage where the femur bone connects in the knee that was flapping off and getting stuck in the join causing pain.  It was removed and smoothed out and I though it will feel better, now it's worse.  I'm going to a new doctor tomorrow for a second opinion and see what he has to say.  My surgeon wants to start Supartz injections toward the end of the month.  I want to know what is wrong inside first and what is causing so much pain and worse pain then before the surgery???  Very frustrating!  I've been doing PT for almost three months religiously.  I'm running out of patience.  Does it really have to get worse before it gets better?
1890724 tn?1321096836
I had the Meniscus repaired 3 years ago, both knees. I had been suffering for 4 years, from inflammation and trauma, it is a long complicated story, but most of my problem was due to having eaten mussels, after which my body had a very violent reaction, and the inflammation went to the knees and would not go away.
It took me years to get answers. When the knees were almost back to normal 3 years ago, I had the surgery; back to square one. It has taken acupuncture, and a series of homeopathic remedies,a change in diet, and taking MSM+ Glucosamine to get the inflammation to come down to a manageable level.
I would suggest to all who write in here to first, take all foods out of your diet that can cause inflammation: alcohol of any kind and wheat products, - I am sensitive to these and coffee as well. Try eating vegetables, no sugar, white meat and fish for at least a couple of weeks. I eat oatmeal and whole grains in place of wheat products and tons of vegetables when I do my yearly 6 weeks "body clean up' and this helps a lot. I also use a fair amount of garlic and red pepper as blood cleansers. I have had good results with "eating clay" which absorbs toxins (geophagy) see Eating Dirt: It Might Be Good for You - ABC News LINK
As clay causes constipation follow this guidline: mix a level teaspoon with water, in a glass using only a wooden spoon or chopstick (metal reacts with the clay) stir vigorously; leave over night. Stir in the morning, wait 2 minutes, drink only the water. Do this for 7 days increasing the amount of clay that you take in each day. If you have problems with constipation, just drink the liquid. You can also combat the constipation with "dieters tea" pleasant and good for you as well. I strongly believe that you have to clean out your system (gently) to aid in getting over the inflammation. I also ingest for periods of time, Diatomaceous Earth, which provides a source of minerals and is cleansing. The jury may be out on this, but 100's of people over centuries, have used it with good results.
There is a lot of information on the web, try starting with

Apply natural external remedies as suggested in entries above. Many substances are anti inflammatiory, external use of clay is one of them. Use ice. Be patient and persevere. You might also try a course of antibiotics in case the inflammation is caused by bacteria. I also did this,  by accident as I had to take antibiotics for something else.  It is a complex matter with a complex remedy, I don't believe that any one thing will "cure" this condition, and you have to persevere, attacking the inflammation on all levels, and a strong anti inflammatory for a period of time might also be the answer. I used all of the above, and now find that with consistent use of MSM+Glucosamine (I get it cheap at Costco) I am "managing" the situation and am back to walking normally and some very limited jogging to build my very weak muscles back up.  No one doctor gave me a pat answer, they just helped me along the way. Orthopedic doctors don't have a clue about inflammation, if any thing, go to an internist who deals with infections, the cause may be an infection deep inside. I have used so called "alternative medicine for 35 years with very good results, as I live most of the time in Europe where we have very serious and good homeopaths and acupuncture. I wish you all luck, and the strength to persevere and don't believe what any one doctor tells you is sacrosanct! If you want to be healthy, you have to be your own doctor, no one knows your body like you do.
Avatar universal
wow I'm a 50 yr old male -  6'4" 230 lbs...  very active & in shape... had a bad knee/ torn meniscus from years of basketball & softball abuse....  went through the entire routine the rest of you did.... dr appt, x-ray, MRI etc....   the hot-shot dr in the area told me after 6-8 weeks i would be back on the ball court with all the young dudes just like the old days......    been 12 weeks now and I'm singin the same song as the rest of you.....   I am a stud in the rehab clinic as far as bicycle, stair master, hamstring curls, leg press etc...   but after 2 hrs of raking leaves I can barely walk.  I have a desk job and after 2 hrs of sitting in typical posture my knee totally freezes and I limp like the day after surgery.... had to quit taking motrin 800 because it tore up my stomach, knee swelling won't go away... totally frustrated!!!  Dr gave me a shot of cortisone/lubricant/some **** - no help....   I do know that I have an area of bare bone under my knee cap but the bottom line is this: I am worse now than before surgery.... my dr has an excellent reputation (top dog in town - period) but I feel like i am a victim of the system....   he did whatever the insurance company allowed him to do to perform the surgery and pocket a few $$$grand....and now i am flirting with knee replacement surgery that will allow him to pocket however many more $$$$ thousands.  I feel like a victim.... I am starting to think my dr knew my knee was fubar but worked the system (more to his benefit than mine....) after reading these threads i'm neck deep in conspiracy theory... thank you everyone for your honesty.....
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