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Kender

Left knee update.

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Some people on here waned to be updated with the outcome of my surgery. It went well, no complications. The up side is that there was no infection....the downside is they still aren't sure what the problem is. They checked the tibial plate of my knee replacement and it only had very minor loosening. So they pulled the plate off, drilled several small holes in the tibia for the cement, and then reinstalled a new tibial plate. They did say that sometimes the screws may cause pain issues so when they put the new plate in they did not use any screws. The screw thing doesn't sound right to me because they never moved on the xrays and the pain didn't start until several months after they were in. The doc has said to stay off that leg for a few week so I have been in a wheelchair or walker. This is my 4th surgery in 4.5 years along the road to fix my knee using "the next small step" method and it is at the point of exhaustion. I told the Dr. that if I end up back in the same place next year then he will need to cut it off. He took it as a joke and kinda laughed it off saying that they would do a revision at that point. I didn't feel like arguing at that point so I let it drop for now. I really do think that I am through with letting the Dr. "practice" on me.

DJ

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Glad all went well. Hopefully, this will be the end of it. Wishing you well.

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Thanks.

I am up late at night again. I haven't had a normal nights sleep in over a month. If I am in pain just before bed I have to take painkillers otherwise the pain will keep me awake......but then once the painkillers kick in it seems they have stimulants or something because I can't sleep. If I am not in pain at bed time I will inevitably wake up during the night (usually before 1am) in pain and need the meds to stop the pain. Which then causes me to stay awake. The screwy thing is that during the day I can fall asleep regardless of the meds, no stimulating effects. If I didn't shave my head I would be pulling my hair out by now.

DJ

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@Kender, glad you made it through the surgery okay. I can definitely empathize with your situation. It's frustrating to go through a painful surgery (or a series of them) and still not achieve a satisfactory outcome. I hope your knee situation stabilizes so that you don't have to spend the best years of your life on the surgery merry-go-round.

If you decide down the line to have the leg taken off, I think you should consult with some vascular surgeons instead of having an orthopedic surgeon do the work (with the possible exception of one of the Ertl brothers). When I was trying to find a doctor to take my leg off, none of the orthopedic surgeons really wanted to even entertain the idea. All of the vasculars with whom I consulted agreed to take off the leg after reviewing my situation.

Just noticed that you're from Tampa. I'm a lifelong Tampa Bay Bucs fan. My DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket is ordered, and I am counting the days until kickoff. :-)

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@Kender, glad you made it through the surgery okay. I can definitely empathize with your situation. It's frustrating to go through a painful surgery (or a series of them) and still not achieve a satisfactory outcome. I hope your knee situation stabilizes so that you don't have to spend the best years of your life on the surgery merry-go-round.

If you decide down the line to have the leg taken off, I think you should consult with some vascular surgeons instead of having an orthopedic surgeon do the work (with the possible exception of one of the Ertl brothers). When I was trying to find a doctor to take my leg off, none of the orthopedic surgeons really wanted to even entertain the idea. All of the vasculars with whom I consulted agreed to take off the leg after reviewing my situation.

Just noticed that you're from Tampa. I'm a lifelong Tampa Bay Bucs fan. My DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket is ordered, and I am counting the days until kickoff. :-)

Correction: None of the local ortho docs wanted to talk about taking off my leg. Dr. Jan Ertl would have done it, but he was just too far away to be a realistic option for me.

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Thanks.

I am up late at night again. I haven't had a normal nights sleep in over a month. If I am in pain just before bed I have to take painkillers otherwise the pain will keep me awake......but then once the painkillers kick in it seems they have stimulants or something because I can't sleep. If I am not in pain at bed time I will inevitably wake up during the night (usually before 1am) in pain and need the meds to stop the pain. Which then causes me to stay awake. The screwy thing is that during the day I can fall asleep regardless of the meds, no stimulating effects. If I didn't shave my head I would be pulling my hair out by now.

DJ

Wow, that really hit home, it fits my night exactly. I have been on schedule to have injections in the nerve's to stop it, but have a hard time getting it together with the doctor, spoke two days ago to the Rehab Doctor about acupuncture I hope to have it started my the end of the month, I will keep you informed. I've been a RAK amp, for 15 months now.

Jim

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Thanks for the support everyone. It really helps to know that I am not nuts for preferring amputation above a decade of surgeries, pain, and stress. Those of you that have done the surgery merry-go-round and finally had an amp, Thank you. It sucks that you did not have the help ahead of time to be able to choose to avoid the long string of surgeries....but your pain and struggle has helped me to avoid the troubles that you went through so it did at least serve some purpose. To those that had a trauma induced amputation, thanks for helping to show me that there is life after limb loss. Right now I am fighting post op pain and trying to walk again. I can hobble around but not for long, my knee doesn't have the stamina that it did pre-op. If I am on it too much during the day the next day I can feel the swelling and stiffness. I don't expect a fast recovery since I have to do the physical rehab on my own. It's 2.5 weeks post-op but the Docs request for rehab from over a month ago still has not been approved. I will continue to update when things come up or when I am bored out of my mind in the middle of the night with percocet-insomnia.

Thanks

DJ

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Thanks for the support everyone. It really helps to know that I am not nuts for preferring amputation above a decade of surgeries, pain, and stress. Those of you that have done the surgery merry-go-round and finally had an amp, Thank you. It sucks that you did not have the help ahead of time to be able to choose to avoid the long string of surgeries....but your pain and struggle has helped me to avoid the troubles that you went through so it did at least serve some purpose. To those that had a trauma induced amputation, thanks for helping to show me that there is life after limb loss. Right now I am fighting post op pain and trying to walk again. I can hobble around but not for long, my knee doesn't have the stamina that it did pre-op. If I am on it too much during the day the next day I can feel the swelling and stiffness. I don't expect a fast recovery since I have to do the physical rehab on my own. It's 2.5 weeks post-op but the Docs request for rehab from over a month ago still has not been approved. I will continue to update when things come up or when I am bored out of my mind in the middle of the night with percocet-insomnia.

Thanks

DJ

And just to put your mind at a little more ease, the amp was by far the easiest surgery that I've ever had in my life. You would think that it would be an agonizing ordeal to have all of that tissue and bone sliced. But it really wasn't. I was laughing and joking with the nurses in the recovery room and feeling no pain. I'm dealing with some nerve pain right now (a week post-op), but it's fairly tolerable and will fade with time (Lyrica really, really helps). Sounds like you've had some horrific surgeries on your leg. Don't fear the amp, if you ever have to have it. I had my leg taken off a week ago today. From the time I woke up in recovery, I've felt like I finally have my life back.

I'm window shopping for prosthetics right now. It'll be about 4-6 weeks before I start serious rehab for my leg. I know the C-Leg looks like the gold standard for legs, but I have to say I'm leaning towards choosing the Plie 2. That leg looks amazing.

Take care, and stay positive!

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Thanks for the support everyone. It really helps to know that I am not nuts for preferring amputation above a decade of surgeries, pain, and stress. Those of you that have done the surgery merry-go-round and finally had an amp, Thank you. It sucks that you did not have the help ahead of time to be able to choose to avoid the long string of surgeries....but your pain and struggle has helped me to avoid the troubles that you went through so it did at least serve some purpose. To those that had a trauma induced amputation, thanks for helping to show me that there is life after limb loss. Right now I am fighting post op pain and trying to walk again. I can hobble around but not for long, my knee doesn't have the stamina that it did pre-op. If I am on it too much during the day the next day I can feel the swelling and stiffness. I don't expect a fast recovery since I have to do the physical rehab on my own. It's 2.5 weeks post-op but the Docs request for rehab from over a month ago still has not been approved. I will continue to update when things come up or when I am bored out of my mind in the middle of the night with percocet-insomnia.

Thanks

DJ

And just to put your mind at a little more ease, the amp was by far the easiest surgery that I've ever had in my life. You would think that it would be an agonizing ordeal to have all of that tissue and bone sliced. But it really wasn't. I was laughing and joking with the nurses in the recovery room and feeling no pain. I'm dealing with some nerve pain right now (a week post-op), but it's fairly tolerable and will fade with time (Lyrica really, really helps). Sounds like you've had some horrific surgeries on your leg. Don't fear the amp, if you ever have to have it. I had my leg taken off a week ago today. From the time I woke up in recovery, I've felt like I finally have my life back.

I'm window shopping for prosthetics right now. It'll be about 4-6 weeks before I start serious rehab for my leg. I know the C-Leg looks like the gold standard for legs, but I have to say I'm leaning towards choosing the Plie 2. That leg looks amazing.

Take care, and stay positive!

I already did my window shopping when I was sure infection was the issue and the Plie 2 is the leg I had on the top of my list. The water resistance and battery sold it for me. I couldn't believe it was the only leg that had an external battery and a simple camera battery at that. I'm not worried about the surgery itself, given that it will remove the part that is defective.....and I might actually have a disarticulation instead of cutting bone. It should actually be easier than what you had. All of my surgeries have been about opening the kne, moving things around, stretching things out, grinding on bone, etc. The amp surgery seems to remove all the parts that get screwed with. Assuming that I have to go through with the surgery I am at ease with it.. My thought though is that you either hear stories of people that had an ideal outcome-I.E. successful surgery with rehab within expected norms. OR total FUBARs- I.E. surgery fails, blood clots, necrosis, amputation, death, surgical merry-go-round. You don't ever hear of a story where the first surgery (or 2) failed but the 3rd surgery got it right and there was never a significant problem again. Maybe it's my cynical side but I fully expect this surgery to be a failure as well. Went and saw the DR today for a standard checkup and got my staples out, I thought I would finally be able to get back in the water (Florida beaches and pools) but NO. They replaced the staples with steri-strips. This is the second summer in a row that I have had to limit my time in the water, just another frustration in the grand scheme of things. My fear about all of this is with the fight with the Dr., should this attempt fail, and convincing him that this is best. As far as he sees it this is only the second surgery and its been just 18 months. I think he forgets that I have had surgeries before and the original injury was 4.5 years ago. Oh and I still have not been able to start rehab since it hasn't been approved yet.

DJ

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Captains Starlog 62710WTF

Over a month since surgery and still no indication of rehab therapy approval in sight. I am still severely limited in how much time I can spend on my feet and the more rigorous the activity the shorter the time. Anything equal to shopping at the grocery store, or more, requires me to use a wheelchair. If I don't use the wheels my knee will exhaust it's strength and I will feel the pain as soon as the meds wear off. I still have not slept like a normal person, I am up all night with naps during the day OR toss and turn all night with barely any dreams. I got some meds to help me sleep, from the DR., but they make me feel sick until I can get to sleep and then I wake up wobbly drunk. Up until a few days ago I was still on 2 percocets every 4-8 hours. Last monday the percs started to make me really loopy, groggy, and all over blah. I figured maybe this was an indication that I needed to step down on the meds since the pain was maybe light enough that not all the chemicals in the pills were needed and where causing other issues. Last thursday I stepped back to 1 perc every 4-6 hours. My head cleared up, no drunken high feeling, and I had just a slight increase in pain. I expected the increase in pain since I was stepping back on the pain killers but I was willing to put up with pain at a 2 or 3 if it meant I wouldn't be drunk and maybe I could start doing stuff around the house. After the first couple days the pain increased, I have spent this weekend feeling like I did before the surgery. The percocet takes an hour to kick in, lasts for an hour, then is gone. Other than that hour that it works I am in constant pain at a 3 or 4 with pulsing up to 5 & 6 and the occasional stabbing jolt into the 7 or 8 range. I don't want to go back to 2 pills at a time but this pain is making me miserable.

I am now starting to wonder if there is another problem or if the original issue didn't get fixed. My surgery was May 24th, I can't walk even small distances, my pain level is higher than even the average post op pains. I have an appt for my DR on July 14th but I think I am going to try and see him before then because this $h1t SUCKS. I know it's normally a figure of speech but seriously.... I would give my left leg to make this pain go away. LOL

Later

DJ

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It just gets better and better. I was looking over my knee and saw a small whitehead right at the base of a hair. I figure it may be the star to an ingrown or infected hair.....something simple no big deal and since the hair had just been under a steri strip it would make sense that a hair got jammed up. I applied a little pressure and all of a sudden I get a lot more fluid than I should have and it wasn't simple pimple stuff it was MRSA goop. A little more pressure and clear fluid started coming up from a few different hair pores. I called the DR and got an appt for tomorrow. I now have an infection to complicated things even more. The question I want answered is whether the infection is a simple skin deep infection near the scar or if it goes deeper into the joint.

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