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Wrong sized knee used in replacement

By June 7, 2010 - 5:35pm
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I had a knee replacement in Oct 2009. I am not at all comfortable that I got the right knee for me despite my surgeons assurances. I am a small boned woman and the width difference in my good knee in the area of the patela as compared to the replacement is 1 centimeter, that being the replacement is larger. I was measured with that thing that looks like a squiggle worm and xray. When I got to the hospital the day of my surgery there was a delay because there was not a right side knee for me they were all left side. The surgeon assured me the surgery would take place because the found right side knee in a neighboring community. To understand why I didn't question the fit of the knee and proceeding with the surgery you would have to endure the long story of the scheduling of my surgery and the admitting nurses personal problems that day. So really what I want to know is recourse and procedure for what I feel is a knee that does not fit me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Sandee

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for the information to follow up on to get an answer ! My husband had a knee replacement in his right knee. While he was in surgery, the surgeon came out to speak with me and stated that they didn't have the right size knee for him. Needless to say, I freaked out ! They had already cut his leg and were ready to go with the new knee. I asked " What in the world are you going to do ? We are in a rural area and it's not like we can just call another Hospital and ask if the have one that fits ? " I know..let me get back with you in just a bit"..he went back into the surgical suite and returned and told me " Everything is fine. We do have the right size." He has had nothing but trouble with it. He had to go back in to the hospital and have it " broken" while under a spinal tap so he wouldn't feel the pain. Nightmare !!!! He had the other knee replaced and it has been without issue. So, makes me think that I was lied to ? He did everything they told him to... compression motion machine, pt, home exercises, etc. We have always though they just put in the " closest size " that was available. Opinion appreciated.

December 5, 2012 - 3:57am
HERWriter Guide

Hi sandees3-
Thanks for your question. There are several steps you can take. You should be able to get copies of your medical records, including the surgical report, from the hospital where your surgery took place. It may take a while, and there may be a fee. You can also go to the Medical Information Bureau and request your records. http://www.mib.com/html/consumer_guide.html

Another option for you is to see a different orthopedic specialist for an examination and second opinion on whether the knee replacement is the correct size. Be sure that the second specialist is not in the same medical practice with your surgeon. Getting a second opinion likely will not be covered by your insurance company unless you are having pain and/or mobility issues and could mean you would have to cover the costs of this yourself.

You could also seek a consultation with a malpractice attorney who specializes in medical cases to determine whether or not you have any legal recourse.

Does that help? What are your main concerns? Are you having discomfort from this? What do you feel would truly help you?

Take care, Pat

June 7, 2010 - 6:14pm
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