Three week mark

tkrimage of total knee replacement


I hit the three week mark from Surgery 2 days ago.  I had a setback over the weekend and wasn’t sure if I wanted to post about it, but decided I would.  Maybe someone else has had a similar issue.

I had the staples removed last Thursday and felt great.  My doctor was impressed with the range of motion and how good the scar looked.  He said I was healing really well and to keep it up – keep moving and walking.  Which I tried to do, but Saturday morning I was a bit lethargic and just didn’t feel right.  I told Mr. Phat that I was going to spend the afternoon on the couch while he spent a couple hours working.  Shortly after he left, the knee stiffened up and the pain started.  And kept coming, and coming.  Very strong pain.  Mr. got home about 90 minutes later and we decided that he would drive me to my surgical hospital.  Unfortunately I couldn’t move at all, the pain was excrutiating.  Instead we called the local town ambulance and they arrived quickly.  They loaded me, screaming in agony into the back of the truck and then before we even left they put in a IV and gave me some pain meds.  They couldn’t take me to the surgical hospital because it’s over state lines, so they took me to the local ER where I got very good care, but they wouldn’t do much beyond Xray and blood tests because they wouldn’t interfere with another doctor’s surgical sight.  The doctor in that ER suggested that it might be infected, in which case the new replacement joint would have to come out immediately.   They conferred with my doctor over the phone on Saturday evening, medicated me again, put me in Mr.’s car and we drove the hour to the other hospital.

Naturally I focused on infection because I had started back on the RA meds that week – one injection of methotrexate and 2 Xeljanz XR pills.  Could that little bit have brought on an infection?  I had taken my temp each day and never had a temperature, so I tried to think positive.  The thought of a third knee replacement surgery in 15 weeks was more than I could handle.

My surgeon saw us by 9:30pm, aspirated some of the fluid, discovered it was mostly blood and said it was most likely a hemarthrosis, which is bleeding into joint spaces.  My surgeon had requested that I take 2 baby aspirin daily from the day of surgery until the day the staples came out.  I’ve taken 1 aspirin for many years on advice of my Primary doctor, but 2 proved to be too much and it thinned my blood too much, causing the bleeding into the joint.

I spent the night in the hospital for observation while waiting for the test results on the aspirated fluids, to be sure there was no infection present.  Thankfully, tests showed no infection.  No surgery necessary, just some ice and rest.

I’ve been home since Sunday afternoon, back on my perch in the living room on the sofa.  I’m tired of being here, but thankful that this will resolve on it’s own with time, rest, and ice.


6 thoughts on “Three week mark

  1. I am sorry you had the setback. I wonder about the baby aspirin. in the US they hold us off any blood thinner for 10 days before and usually 7 days after joint surgery. I knew the risks of presurgical bleeding, now I know the risks fo post-surgical bleeding. Thanks for the education.

    • Rick, I’m in the US actually. My doctor asked me to take 2 baby aspirin with both surgeries to avoid blood clots. I stopped my RA meds except the celebrex. He was good with the celebrex as an anti inflammatory. We reviewed this with each surgery. He said they can’t test but sometimes the blood gets thinned too much. Which is what happened.

      I feel a tad bit better today. Onward and upward

  2. OMG! I am so sorry this happened, but I am thrilled that it wasn’t infection. I didn’t take aspirin, but I was prescribed post operative blood thinners for both my hip and knee replacements to prevent blood clots during the time I was mainly on bed rest. So while aspirin, blood thinners, etc. are usually held for other types of surgery, they’re pretty standard for knee and hip replacements. Fortunately, stopping the aspirin and eating lots of leafy greens (vitamin K) solves the issue. I know you’ll be back on the mend again soon. Sending hugs.

    • Thanks for your comment because I’ve had people say to me “I didn’t have to take aspirin.” Which is something I thought was pretty standard. Leafy green veggies – ok, I’m on it. I could use more green veggies. When I’m rehabbing the only thing I want to eat is cereal.
      I feel a tad bit better today, thankfully

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