Total Knee Replacement- Take 2!!!

Published November 14, 2016 by Tracey

Well, at 48 years old I have undergone my second knee replacement.

A little background if you haven’t read my previous knee replacement posts.  Two years ago, I had partial but 6 months later… I slipped on some darn Omaha ice covered pavement and ended up with a tibial stress fracture.  The stress fracture led to loosening and my first total knee.  The total knee was done November 30 2015.

That surgery went fine.  My therapy was completed with great success and I was happy with it.  Jump forward about 6 months.  Something just didn’t feel quite right.  I noticed I couldn’t get complete extension and my flexion was declining.  X-Rays in late April- early May looked good, but I was advised to get those repeated in August along with a bone scan.

We moved out of state which required me to look up a new orthopedic surgeon.  By the time August came around I knew it was bad and something wasn’t right.  My knee was unstable and sometimes the slightest movement would cause it to lock and send a stabbing pain through me. It was no surprise when X-Rays showed a possible loosening on the tibial portion.  A bone scan was ordered and again showed activity around the replacement indicating loosening.  I was not thrilled ruling out an infection.  Yeah- not a simple blood test.  Can we say knee aspiration from HELL!!!!!  Of course, this happened on the day my husband didn’t come with me.  Thankfully, no infection.

November 1, 2016 (yes not quite a year after the first one) I had the total knee revision.  Actual surgery time took approximately 2 1/2 hours.  My surgeon took out both pieces, tibial and femoral) and replaced with all new.   He also mentioned he tightened up some ligaments and moved things around.  In this post I want to share the differences from my first total knee to the revision.  It is interesting how different surgeons perform the same surgery.


My first replacement I didn’t have a drain, but I work up with a drain.  Kind of freaked me out since I wasn’t expecting it.  I have to say though I think it helped with the swelling and bruising. The bruising and swelling this time around is minimal compared to what I had the last time.  Now, I was NOT a fan of drain coming out.

Another big difference is I had staples the first time around and this time none!!!   Yes, I was more than excited.  I am told that he used Dermabond which is a type of superglue tape.  So no staples or stitches to come out.  I am curious to find out if the Dermabond just dissolves over time or what.  Post op is this week so I guess I will find out.  Hope it isn’t like a band-aid when you rip it off.  The dried blood under it will not feel good coming up.

My husband thinks I am doing better this time but I can’t remember.  I just want to get up and throw the crutches to the ground.  Therapy seems slow to me but the therapist says I am doing great and ahead of schedule.  I do like having a CPM at home. This was a difference too.  The last 2 surgeries I only had the CPM while in the hospital.  When I am not doing anything I use the CPM or I am icing.

Today was a bad day I have to admit but I think it was my own fault.  I hate taken pain meds and tried to go longer without.  In addition, after I showered I forgot to put my compression hose back on.  Result-  more swelling and pain.  So I took it easy, took a pain pill, and “iced iced baby”….




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