Knee worries

My knees have been terrible for a long time, and although I only have two of them, I’ve had five knee surgeries from arthroscopy for meniscus tears to bilateral total knee replacements seven years ago. Unfortunately for me and the knees, I’ve gained weight since then, a lot of it, and my right knee is again a worry.

It was doing okay with walking with only a little pain around the edges, and since I have arthritis everywhere, I sort of expect it all to hurt sometimes. But then I saw the pain doctor about my back a few months ago. I have acute spinal stenosis because of arthritis, causing neuropathy in my right foot and sciatica on the right side. The doctor had me twist and move, and put one leg on the other knee while he pushed down, to see which movements caused more or less pain.

Putting my right ankle on the left knee while he pushed down on the right knee made the back hurt, alright, but I think it also did something else. WHAT else, I’m not sure. The next day I noticed that the knee felt like it was buckling when I’d stand up, and it got worse. I went to my regular doctor, working her in around the sinus surgeon and the pain guy because why have one doctor if you can have several. She thought I had sprained it and that it would heal in about 4 weeks. They did an x-ray and didn’t see anything wrong.

But it still hurts and I’m limping. Actually, it’s more lurching because the back still hurts because the neurotomy (nerve burn) hasn’t killed off the nerves yet. Anyway, I’m offsides. It hurts to sleep because I touch the knee to the bed and wake myself up when I move. It’s wicked sore all around the kneecap. And now I’m scheduled to see an orthopedist next week for an evaluation.

Deep in my heart I am afraid that my knee replacement needs revision, that the weight I gained damaged it enough that that one push by the doctor triggered something. Maybe it’s loose. Maybe it’s something else. But whatever it is, I’m afraid that it’s my fault for not taking better care of my body for all these years.

I had lapband surgery and lost 145 lbs to get myself to a weight where a knee surgery would be easier to do and to recover from. And then I gained a whole bunch of it back. I knew it was not good but I couldn’t stop myself. Or wouldn’t. There was lots of stress in there, but the one thing I can control is what I put in my mouth. So it’s past time that I actually honor that knowledge.

I’m proud of myself for having lost 55 lbs but wish I didn’t need to have lost them in the first place. I need to get over that, and get over the guilt and fear so I can deal with whatever I learn next week. I suspect an MRI will be in my future. I hope the nerves in the back die soon so sitting in the car on the way into town doesn’t hurt so damned much.

And if I need another surgery, I can figure it out. It’s what I do.