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View Full Version : Can knee problems effect the fusion?



HappyDeanna
05-20-2010, 02:28 PM
I'm almost 11 months post-op & I'm having more & more trouble with my knees. My right knee pops almost with every step & has started locking or going out of place occasionally. I find myself limping at times due to this. I called my Scoli-surgeon's office for a referral to a knee guy. The
PA told me to not ignore this problem as it could effect my back. Has anyone else heard of this? I'm doing so well, I don't want to create problems for myself.
Happy Deanna

Back-out
05-20-2010, 08:46 PM
...even though you didn't realize you gave me input. :)

Refer to my thread here:
http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10508

I have thought through this possibility (and discussed it with surgical teams, though from a "What if" POV).

In helping me make a decision about my "order of operations", they stressed how important it is to do lots of walking for rehab. They asked about how much the knee pain was disabling me compared to the back pain (a no brainer! My right knee is a nuisance; my spine is a major disability).

OTOH they stressed the help knee braces could afford me, in getting to the point where I could address the knee joint replacement if I didn't have it before the spinal fusion.

So -- all I can tell you is knee braces! There are very strong ones out there.
Also, it can only help to do lots of quad strengthening as long as exercises for it aren't contraindicated for your spine's health. They too will help stabilize your knees.

Good luck, and thanks for helping tilt the scales for me. Your experience is one of the things I'm afraid of happening to me. OTOH you're almost a year out and it probably wouldn't be too long before you could attend to knee surgery if that's next in line. Ask! :)

Back-out
05-20-2010, 08:49 PM
May I ask how much if at all, you used your knees for lifting and in functioning in other ways after your spinal surgery?

Thanks!

HappyDeanna
05-21-2010, 12:17 PM
Hi Backout!
I've always used my knees "normally". I think my increased problem with the right knee has to do with finally having correct allignment with my spine for body positiioning & my center of gravity has shifted. I had a right rotation of my spine....all of my knee problems were on the lateral side of my right knee. I had a meniscus repair in 08 & it took care of the problem. I have almost bone on bone on the lateral side of the right knee which hasn't really bothered me. I'm not sure if that has become more pronounced over the entire knee joint, or if I have a "floater" & just need another meniscus procedure? I see the MD next week & I'll find out what's going on. I hurt the left knee post spine surgery. I went down into a squat, not thinking, & I couldn't get out of the position right away. Ever since I have pain in the medial aspect of my left knee.......possibly meniscus??
Hope that answers your question.
HappyDeanna

Back-out
05-21-2010, 10:14 PM
Wow! That was an eye-opener. Now I feel the scales tilting the other way again.

The greatest reservation I have about having knee joint replacement before the spinal surgery (otherwise, it seems like the best idea), is what if "uncoiling" my twisted spine, did something to my new knee joint. I can't see how a surgeon could make my spine right without changing the way my knees relate to the ground and each other. If only by altering the relative leg length, if not actually - then, effectively, if you know what I mean

My right knee has suffered several meniscal tears and worse injuries and is now, as you said of yours, almost bone on bone. It's very unstable. (Only it's the inner knee rather than the outer). Left knee is also arthritic, though not as bad. At least, not until now. (Recently, it's been suddenly getting clickety-clackety too. Maybe more so). I notice this most on the treadmill I've been using for the first time in many years. Virtually, all the walking I do.

If it's like this now, what will they be like AFTER the spinal surgery when I'm supposed to do so much walking? And when (at least to start), my quad strength will disappear because I have to discontinue the exercises that have been keeping it up? :confused:

I'm really confused now. Two knees, one spine, three problems!

All influence each other. Adjusting any one will affect the other two.
I wish I were a jigsaw puzzle with only one person putting me together - and all at the same time.

This is a pretty complex problem in body mechanics. I wonder who to ask about this - my decision that is (to the extent it IS my decision). Maybe an expert physiatrist. It seems all orthopods are either surgeons or physiatrists and surgeons tend to think in terms of their own specialties. Crum, and I had just made up my mind.

But your second input was as or more helpful than your first. I just don't know what to do! :confused: Evelyn, if you'd had your right knee joint actually replaced before your spinal surgery (let's say it had been just THAT much worse), what do you think you'd be experiencing now? Use your imagination. Figure you'd completely rehabbed your knee before going into the back surgery, so that wasn't a factor.

(Hoping you know a little about knee joint replacement)
What I'm trying to figure out, is if your right knee joint would still be "in alignment" after your spine was straightened. Your curve doesn't matter in the equation.

I assume you wouldn't be having your present problem with it, but I wonder if you'd be having another. :confused: Don't forget you'd have been able to at least half squat with it, too.

Thanks for your help! I need to make this decision soon...Talking to at least two knee surgeons in the next few weeks. The spinal surgeons don't seem to have many thoughts about it, as long as I'm well enough for their foray into my body (for which three months should be adequate)!

They only seem to care about my spine. The knee surgeons OTOH only seem to care about my knee! I wish someone cared about the whole ME, who needs everything to work right together ( and also - if you glanced at my thread - for my finances and social support to work out too).

It's all tied together. But nowadays, that's not the way it works in the age of specialization in medicine. If it were a person's mind, we'd call it "compartmentalized thinking" - not optimal for creative solutions.

I hope my suggestion was slightly helpful for you too. Somehow this has gotten all reversed. :rolleyes: Thanks very much if you've read this far and tried my requested mental exercise to try to help me reach a decision. :)