Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
6,792 members3,213 posts

Total knee replacement

I had surgert on Nov.21st and it's been a month since surgery. I go to physical therapy three times a week. I get a great workout for my knee for one hour straight. I also do exercises at home, and now I am starting to really get into my home for Christmas, and been doing holiday baking, my endurance has improved too. My question is this: my therapist told me today I am doing well in all areas, but one things they are worried about is my knee is not going down, and is not straight?? I asked her how to get it straight, and she told me to do the exercise where I lay on my stomach and let my leg hang for 15 minutes, it's a very hard exercise since surgery for me. I have Scleroderma, CREST syndrome, Sjogren's Syndrome, mild Pulmonary hypertension, Osteo arthrits, and I am a Type II diabetic. I also have neuropathy in my feet and hands. I have had two amputations this year on both small fingers to the first joint, due to gangerene from severe raynauds, and very poor circulation, I injured my fourth finger on my right hand and had surgery on the severed nerve, but it was unsuccessful, I broke my left leg in February, the amputations were in March, April I became very ill with diabetes and almost died, with my blood glucose rising to almost 700 they told me it was due to surgery of my fingers, my body was out of whack, when the boot cast came off, my right knee started to hurt like hell, I couldn't believe the pain so I went back to the orthopedic surgeon and he told me there was no fluid between the knee cap and knee bone, and the pain would only intensify. I had friends that told me they cut the leg in half, don't do the surgery I had two doctor's well known in the scleroderma world, and my pain management doctor told me I would die. So I was hesitant, all this time in extreme pain I didn't go anywhere, or do anything with friends. So I went back in October and asked the surgeon to please do the surgery. November 21st was the quickest date. Now, with my knee not being straight by now, I am worried is this something to be worried about. I give it my all in therapy, and sweat from working hard. Do all think this will become a slower process because of the scleroderma and diabetes? Oh after the incident in april I decided to live, I have loss 82 pounds this year, and really eat right.I have gone through so much, but some people even go through alot more than me. If you all could share some great insight it would be wonderful also Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish nothing but happiness and a healthy New Year! Thank you Susie

5 Replies

Dear Suzie,

You have gone through such a lot it makes my mind boggle. Does your orthopaedic surgeon know anything about your condition or is in communication with your rheumatologist? You are left hanging in the air. Consult your rheumatologist. Your question is too special for me to respond intelligently.

You are a very brave woman with a lot of guts. I wish you all the best not just at Christmas and the New Year but always.


Thank you for your reply and I appreciate anything you can offer! My auto immune illnesses caused me to on disability three years ago, I would be still working if this hadn't hit me so hard. I loved working. Happy New Year to you too it will be a great 2012!


I have similar autoimmune issues and have had quite a few orthopedic surgeries- 2 hip surgeries, foot surgery... I always seem to heal slower but do well. I have heard of people difficulty straightening their knee after a replacement without autoimmune diseases. I think it would be best as Susie said to contact your surgeon. Now is the time to work on it.


Thank you for your response, yes I have had several orthopedic sr surgeries, too, the total knee replacement surgery is by far the most painful so far. Thank you for the advice! Hsppy New Year!


Wish you a New Year in better health and laughing.


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