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Ask Dr.Sawhney Your Own Question
Dr.Sawhney, Orthopedic Surgeon
Category: Orthopedics
Satisfied Customers: 7180
Experience:  More than a decade of post qualification experience
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I am writing you about my wife Lori and her knees. She has

Customer Question

Hello again, this is Dale. I am writing you about my wife Lori and her knees. She has terrible problems with them consisting of consistent and throbbing pain in the right knee, swelling of both knees, neither knee has the appearance of a knee. They are so painful that she is a fall risk and has fallen many times, injuring herself in other areas not part of the injured area. Although she also has suffered since 1992 from a back injury from moving a heavy de-humidifier. This resulted in back surgery on the spine where a vertical tear was repaired. She continues to suffer from this, with constant back pain, her back gets so "hard" that you can literally do pushups with your knuckles on her back and she will not feel it. Nobody has been able to treat this other than give her muscle relaxers, pain killers, and emotional support. And of course back rubs which are not as effective as they used to be. The main question here is about the knees.
She saw an orthopedic surgeon on 11/19/15. The diagnosis was severe osteoarthritis, and the condition of her knee was "bad." He gave her a shot of cortisone and probably other things and told her that it would not really take effect for 2-3 weeks. Well, it is now a month and she is worse off than she was before she went to see him. He set her up for physical therapy also, but she couldn't go because it was so difficult to walk, and they set her up for a follow-up appt of 2/25/16.
Please don't think me contacting you is usurping this doctor's authority, mindset, or methods. We just would like to get some idea of what the sequence of events would be, and he is very difficult to see. We are attempting to get back to his office to have Lori seen again, but in the interim that is why you are so useful. Thank you.
I have attached a photo of Lori's knees taken 11-24-15 that I hope helps. In your opinion, if you gave a cortisone shot and it didn't work, would you do surgery next? If so, what kind? Would it be as extreme as knee replacement? What are the recovery periods?
This is kind of a rambling first question, but with the pictures maybe you can help us.
Thank you, Dale & Lori
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Orthopedics
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Dear Dale

I am an Orthopaedic surgeon and I would be happy to help you today.

I am going to your question and I will answer you shortly.


Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for waiting.

I have read your question thoroughly and seen the photograph.

In severe arthritis beneficial effect of steroid injection maybe short lived if any.

In that case surgery is a viable and recommended option. For severe arthritis involving more than one compartment total knee replacement is recommended.

Total knee replacement is a successful surgery with good results in most patients. In fact studies have shown that quality of life improvement with total knee replacement is greater than that seen after coronary bypass heart surgery.

Most patients are able to walk with support next day of surgery and are able to walk without support within 4 to 6 weeks of surgery.

Feel free to ask any follow-up questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long does the surgery take and how long is the hospital stay? What is the immediate recovery situation? And I assume there is intensive physical therapy?
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay in reply.

I got engaged in an emergency and was unable to reply.

Surgery for both knees would take anywhere between 2 to 3 hours.

Usual hospital stay is between 3 to 5 days.

Patient is able to walk with support next day of surgery and physical therapy is needed to get best results.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. You have been very helpful. We probably will think of lots of questions but not at the moment. We will certainly request you again.
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Thanks and best of luck.

You are most welcome to ask further questions.

Please start your question with "For Dr Sawhney only".

If you are done for now please rate my answer positively.