Doc Talk | Post knee and hip replacement pain


Knee and hip replacements are common enough surgeries, but it's also fairly common to have continued pain after a knee replacement.

Doctors say if you still have pain or trouble walking a year after a knee replacement, it's time to call your surgeon again or get a second opinion. The key is finding someone who knows how to look for the right problem.

Your knees are one of the most common places to get aches and pains

"When the cartilage is completely missing, the bones are grinding on each other and that really hurts."

That's the kind of problem and pain that would lead to a knee replacement. Doctors replace missing cartilage with metal. Unfortunately knee replacements are not always a perfect fix.

"Infection, instability, scar tissue problems are all things that are easy to overlook," said Geisinger Holy Spirit orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Maish.

In fact, Dr. Maish says 15% of people with knee replacements are unsatisfied with the results due to continued pain or lack of movement.

"If it’s unstable, it can wiggle like that."

"And that would be something that would cause some pain," a CBS 21 reporter answered.

"Yeah," said Dr. Maish.

One of Dr. Maish's plastic models shows what life is like for someone who might still have pain even after a replacement.

"The X-ray can look perfectly fine and you need to have the patient perfectly relaxed when you examine them or you can miss instability," said Dr. Maish.

If doctors find you have an infection after your replacement, that could be bad news.

"For patients who have an infection after a knee replacement, you really don’t have an option about whether or not you need to pursue surgery," said Dr. Maish.

There are a number of reasons that could cause an infection after a knee replacement, but Dr. Maish says the longer you wait to get it checked, the worse the infection may be.

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