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Knee replacement......frustration!


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Due to go into Hospital next Sunday prior to a knee replacement on Monday, so far so good, very impressed with the fact that it took two weeks from seeing surgeon to the actual op itself. However before that I had to make appointments to see a) Anaesthetist b) Cardiologist c) Dentist!! as well as taking urine sample to the local laboratory and having to take iron tablets twice a day which have had a very bad affect on my insides!! plus having to buy my own crutches and leg splint.

When I visited the dentist she informed me that there was a slight problem with the roots of two teeth but as I was having a knee op and not a heart op it wouldn't be a problem. This morning I had a call from the surgeon who stated that he had spoken with the dentist and he wasn't happy and that he wouldn't do the op unless I had two teeth extracted and that the op would be put back for a week!

 I have had no problems whatsoever with these teeth and really would like to keep them as it would leave a big gap on one side of mouth. I really can't see why the state of your mouth should be that different in France as opposed to UK. I have had quite a bit of surgery done over the years in the UK but never ever have I been asked for my teeth to be checked.

Is this really a case of being professionally over cautious or more business for the dentist!

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As I understand it, there is a causal link between tooth hygiene and heat surgery because if bacteria migrated from the mouth and infected the heart it is both very dangerous and hard to treat.  I never heard about this for other types or surgery.  From what your dentist said, that seems quite pragmatic but I suppose your surgeon is thinking about having his backside sued in the unlikely event it went wrong.

I'll be interested to learn how you get on if you are kind enough to report your progress as my wife has just had a 'smooth down and flush out' on her knee and while this has been successful up to a point, she has been told her knee is shot full of holes and will need replacing in a year or so. Talking of 'shot' the two keyhole scars she has looks like she has been subject to an IRA punishment shooting [:'(]

Edit: Just a thought but would a little root canal work on the 2 teeth be sufficient instead of extraction?

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Hi Ceejay

I was also very surprised when an acquaintance of mine living in Africa was refused a hip replacement unless she got her teeth checked. She had no problems with them but hadn't been to a dentist for years as she was terrified of the dentist.

In her 80's, she had to have some overdue dentistry before they would do the hip replacement. I mentioned this to my dentist in the Uk and he said that it is an easy way for bacteria to get into the bloodstream from a bad tooth so they are sometimes wary.

Good luck with the op.



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I think that this is specific to orthopaedic surgery. This page makes a link between artificial joints  dental problems and antibiotics.

It is not something required for other types of surgery, although the visit to the cardiologist, and  a lung x ray and blood test are something the anaesthetist asks for.

I also had to see a physio to do breathing exercises.

My best wishes too.

The crutch etc ( and a wheelchair is you need one temporarily) plus the physiotherapy after should be reimbursed.

Unless you are very sure of the support you will get at home you might want to ask about spending some time in a maison de repos or convalescent home until you are on your feet. I found it invaluable, but then I am single.

Your surgeon would have to sign for that, but the aide sociale at the Hospital is the first person to ask.

If you do go down that route I have spent time in two in the same region as you, so pm me if you want any more info

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 I've just had a leaky old root filling replaced (this morning) and one of the reasons given to me was that it was bad for the heart to have tooth infections......

It was quite a process with the dentist looking through magnifying glasses and the tooth concerned poking through a green plastic cover, but it was so painless I nearly went to sleep !

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Well, we live and learn as they say. Very grateful for all the comments, I would never have believed the connection between dodgy teeth and in particular prosthetics! I just want to get it done now so will turn up at the dentist on Monday and open wide.

Norman, thanks for that information and yes you are right (as ever), I have already been booked into a re-education centre for 2 weeks full time at Le Vigan.

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Just an update on this sorry saga for those interested........I promise I shall not turn this into a long running saga!!!!

Went to the dentist this morning and opened wide, dentist proceeded to extract the two teeth, however the second proved a tad difficult, so much so that the lady dentist was perspiring rather heavily and kept muttering ooh la la. Meanwhile I was feeling the effects of this wrestling act and wondering what the problem was. After 3/4 hour of fighting to get the tooth out she decided that perhaps an x-ray would not go amiss to find out what the problem was. Hey-ho trust me to have a twisted root that can only be extracted by surgery with a general anaesthetic!!!  So now once again my knee operation has to be postponed and a date set for me to go to hospital to sort out  the tooth problem, meanwhile I have a massive hole in my gum with bits sticking out!!!!!  Rather funny actually. Why can't they do the gum and knee at the same time??????

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Lady dentist you said CeeJay. Well I had a lady dentist and a skinny young male dentist try to get one of my teeth out and could not. No xray suggested. I then went to the dentist recommended by friends, a chinese man, built like a brick out house. He put the pliers on the tooth and with a slow firm action pulled it out. He was the same with other teeth he took out, for me and all my family. He was a fine dental surgeon too.

Good luck for getting your knee done when ever they get around to it.

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  • 1 month later...
Sorry to bump this up again, but by the amount of PM's it may be of interest to fellow suffers

Had the knee op, no problem, but unfortunately another complication hit the surface, apparently the anaesthetic used sometimes interferes with the pee-pee system!! I was one of those!

Instead of being discharged  within 8days I had to remain and have another operation on the prostate, which took another week to sort itself out but not completely, on the day of discharge I developed a fever and had to stay in for a further 3 days!!!

They eventually kicked me out the Friday before Xmas, complete with tube in mans parts and a plastic bag to all intents and purposes like an astronauts life support system.

I then went to the re-education centre, renamed StalagLuft 17 where I was held until I asked for leave of absence for Xmas and Boxing Day.

The request for Boxing Day almost caused a meltdown of the system as they, of course, don't have such a thing. I stood my ground, albeit on one leg, and was eventually granted leave after much muttering.

The life support system was discarded eventually, thank goodness. I have to say that prancing around doing exercises with shorts on and plastic tubes and a plastic bag strapped to my leg did cause some concern amongst the elderly ladies within the group, but was probably put down to English eccentricity!!

I went over the wire last week and blessed my wonderful soft bed but still miss all the friendly nurses running around after me, can't understand my wife's reluctance to try on a nurses uniform!!!!

Joking apart, knee is fine, must keep up the exercises and I look back to a very interesting experience.

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Glad to hear that you're free at last Cee-Jay [:)]

Strange the way these things are interconnected - I had a hip replacement in Aug. 2006, and 6 weeks later had a heart attack (not too serious.) I always thought there might be a connection, my Doc. said no.

Then this year I read of some research which said that people who had a hip replacement were more likely to have a heart attack within 2 months of the op. than at a later date. No reason given

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Glad that you are on the mend Ceejay, you've been in the wars.

A friend had his second knee replacement just before xmas and he has taken some time to recover. His first knee op went much better, he was feeling normal very quickly.

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Good to know that all went well (at least with the knee)

It's always good to hear of people's experiences as it allays fears of the unknown.

In my wife's case, she has had the 'Dremel and Karcher' treatment on her knee but it has not been successful, her knee is shot to pieces and then to complicate things, some Numpty drove into the side of my car at speed right on the passenger side and yep, you guessed it, the door was crushed in and it hit her knee - back to square one!

I wish you all the best with your continued recovery [:)]

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