I had torn meniscus knee surgery. Three months later, because the knee would not heal, I had a total knee replacement. One year later, still in pain and not healed, after testings, I found out my implant was loose. My cousin recommended a reconstruction specialist Doctor at the Cleveland Clinic and I had the corrective surgery within the month. The first three months I made great progress with managing the pain and healing. Then once again, I am back in pain and have the inflammation, swelling and instability all over again. It will be almost a year from this surgery and having all the symptoms I had with the initial surgery the year prior.
Between all these surgeries, I was told that it takes time to heal, which I am so tired of hearing! I finally pushed the Doctor to do a blood test to see if I was allergic to the metals, glue or cement in my implant. Well, I am allergic to the nickel located in the top part of the implant.
I currently have a Zimmer knee. Zimmer does not make the top part of the knee without nickel so I must have the implant removed. I am told, while removing the implant, I could have my leg bone broken, more nerve damage, infection, and possibly be worse than I am now. Knowing the nickel causes loosing, pain, inflammation and instability, I feel that I have no choice but to remove it and replace it with another implant.
I am told the only company that makes an implant without nickel is Smith&Nephew. I went on the company website to see what Doctors work with this implant. My dilemma is out of the 10 Doctors offices I called, 60% of the Doctors I contacted will do a knee replacement but won't do a revision from another Doctor. I was told to contact a teaching hospital. Again, I must have contacted at least 15 Doctors and there are only a few that will do the surgery.
Since I live in Stuart, FL, I have researched Doctors in South Florida. I have an appointment with 3 Doctors. Doctor, Fernando Vilella Hernandez, at the University of Miami Hospital, who I am told, is the only Doctor in this Hospital that does reconstruction knee replacement surgery. Doctor Arturo Corces, Miami Institute for Orthopaedics, who works with Mauricio F. Herrera, and Dr. Vincent Fowble at the Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute.
I am waiting to hear back from Doctor Steven F. Harwin at the Bellevue Hospital Center in NYC. and Doctor Clarence L. Shields Jr, Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, Los Angeles.
I have to take into consideration that I have one more chance to have this surgery done correctly. I don't really want to fly to another state. I have to think of after care as well. I will have to go to a Rehab facility after the 3 days at the hospital, and continuing physical therapy for at least 8 weeks. Where will I stay and will I be able to handle the return flight by myself? Once I am home, what Doctor do I go to for follow up? I can't imagine flying back and forth each time I need to see the Doctor. What would you do?
My questions: Has anyone who had a knee replacement been tested for allergies prior to surgery? Or did the Doctor prior to surgery mention this testing? If you had to do this what Doctor would you go to?
I appreciate your help. Thank you.