My Artificial Knee Still Buckles One Year After Surgery. Can Anyone Tell Me Why?


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Neal Widdows answered
There are many factors to bear in mind here and the best idea is to ask your doctor or specialist who conducted the surgery why your knee is buckling.  However, here are the main causes for these problems post-op. Compared to other operations, the risk of infection with a joint replacement is much higher, although it is still very low when you consider the success rate. Did you contract an infection while you were recovering that meant you were unable to receive the physiotherapy treatment you need that is so vital in regaining movement? Sometimes lots of antibiotics are necessary to clear up the infection and without the physio, there can be trouble even bending the knee, let alone weight-bearing. If you did not contract an infection, consider whether you received the appropriate aftercare and physiotherapy for an adequate period of time.
The buckling may be caused by an existing condition that affects flexibility and mobility such as rheumatoid arthritis, or being overweight. Also consider whether you had this problem before the operation. If you struggled for many years with your knee and it did not bend properly before, you are unlikely to regain bending motion afterwards. After surgery, it may not be the knee at all that is the problem, especially if you’ve been walking differently to compensate for the knee trouble and pain before you had the surgery.
If you feel this is a ‘new’ problem then you need to speak to someone about whether your prosthetic has taken properly and is healing in the correct way. Very rarely, the prosthetic can become loosened from the bone which will cause buckling, yet this often occurs over a period of time rather than in the immediate aftermath. Finally, there are in rare instances, patellar complications where the knee cap does not track properly causing it to "jump" as the knee bends or the plastic part on the patella can wear through. This will require further surgery to correct.

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