ShipMaven's tests


Forever Remembered
As many of you know, I had both knees replaced - left knee in June 2006, right knee in January 2007. Post-op for the left knee was fairly routine - as far as knee replacements go. Unfortunately, not so for the right knee. I had a number of set-backs in the hospital - was there 9 nights instead of the usual 3, and it took 10-1/2 weeks to be able to drive after the right knee was done instead of the 7-1/2 weeks it took for the left knee. It had nothing to do with the fact that you work the accellerator and brake pedals with the right knee.

About 5-6 weeks post-op right knee, I began commenting to the doctors and physical therapists that the right knee hurt - didn't feel the same post-op as the left knee. That fell on deaf ears until August 10, 2007 - almost 5 months later when I was sent for an x-ray and learned I had a fractured patella and avascular necrosis (dead bone!). I was LIVID, and you could see the smoke coming from my nostrils. We all agreed - surgeon, my primary physician and I - to go the conservative approach and see if it would heal itself. I really didn't want more surgery. I had a variety of braces, one of which I named "Lazarus" after the biblical man raised from the dead. I sarcastically wondered how "dead bone" is brought back to life.:cool:

The knee has not improved, and many of my cruising friends have seen that I don't walk very well and getting up from certain chairs is very difficult. I have other issues with my legs as well. I normally pay no attention to a ship's motion, but it now bothers my knee.

I finally made it known WITH A ROAR that my patience ended, and I wanted some answers pronto.

So I'm now undergoing a series of tests (today and tomorrow) to determine if there's an infection in the knee, or if there's an infection somewhere - just where. Blood was drawn this morning, and sent to a special lab to separate out the white blood cells and inject them with radioactive markers. Then, I had to return and my radioactive white blood cells were re-injected into me. No, I won't glow in the dark. ;) Tomorrow I go back for a series of scans to trace what's what and see if there's an infection in my knee.

Friday, I go to a pain management specialist to see what's going on with my cervical and lower lumbar spine. Somehow, I suspect an MRI in my future.

I want to know what's going on with my knee and what's going on with my legs.

I won't have any immediate answers, but I thank all of you for your concern.
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Well-Known Member
Oh, Mary Ann, I truly hope that all of these tests will provide answers once and for all. I know how this has troubled you since the surgery. Hopefully, they can find what the problem is and fix it once and for all and make that awful pain go away. Thank you for keeping us updated. I am keeping you in my prayers.


If you take me serious, it's your problem
Mary Ann i wish the best for you and hope the tests will provide the necessary info for the Dr.'s to make the decisions they should have known before you have reached this point.

possible treatments for avascular necrosis:

Electrical stimulation
Electrical currents may encourage your body to grow new bone to replace the area damaged by avascular necrosis. Electrical stimulation can be used during surgery and applied directly to the damaged area. Or it can be administered through electrodes attached to your skin.

Surgical procedures for people with avascular necrosis include:

Core decompression. In this operation, your surgeon removes part of the inner layer of your bone. This relieves pressure within your bone, reducing your pain. The extra space allows your bone to form new blood vessels and stimulate the production of new bone. Core decompression works best in people with early-stage avascular necrosis.

Bone reshaping (osteotomy). This procedure reshapes the bone to reduce the amount of stress placed on the area affected by avascular necrosis. Osteotomy is usually used in people with advanced avascular necrosis. Recovery may take up to a year.

Bone transplant (graft). During this procedure, your surgeon takes healthy bone from another part of your body and implants it into the area affected by avascular necrosis. Sometimes this is done in conjunction with a core decompression. Recovery may take six to 12 months. More studies are needed to establish the effectives of this treatment for avascular necrosis.

Joint replacement. If your diseased bone has already collapsed or other treatment options aren't helping, you may need joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty). Joint replacement surgery replaces your joint with an artificial one. It requires months of recovery, including time spent learning to use your new joint.

Because avascular necrosis is a progressive disease, your doctor may start with conservative treatments. As those measures, such as rest, become less effective, you may move to more aggressive treatments, such as surgery.

Never fear... they might be able to re-grow new bone...

Anyways, My prayers are with you, as are wishes of a expedient solution and recovery.


Awaiting results of mental evaluation

Mama Duck, for what it's worth ... My take is that the spinal problems are either caused by, or severely agravated by the knee situation. Because that ain't wurkin' right, you're compenating and stressing your spine ....

Get that knee fixed and the other problems will resolve also...


Trivia Specialist
Hugs Mary Ann! I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this!! I won't get started on how I feel about this...I'll just send more useless (((( ))))) and loads of hopefully useful prayers!


Well-Known Member
Sorry you're having so many problems. Five months of pain! I thought it was bad that we complained for 2 1/2 months about Mike's back pain before anybody took it seriously. I certainly hope you're better at getting answers than we have been. Good luck with all of your tests.


Forever Remembered
Thank you so much for all your kind remarks. I DO count my blessings, but this has now been going on for almost three years. (Kathy - 5 months was the interval that it took for a first x-ray)....

Not sure where all these tests will lead. MrD - any sort of electrical application and me don't mix! Can you spell CHICKEN!!
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Well-Known Member
Mary Ann, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this pain. Prayers that the doctors come up with some solutions real quick!

I am inclined to agree with Calgon, and hoping all the other back pain goes away once the knee is well again.

((((Mary Ann))))


Well-Known Member
Shipmaven - For crying out loud!! That knee, and you, have had it, and I hope they get it resolved for you sooner than later now. :)

I agree with Calgon that the pain in your lower spine is due to your knee. But a doctor I ain't. LOL

Take care and good luck with the tests today. (((HUGS)))


Forever Remembered
Again, thank you and HUGS for all your kind comments and concerns.

I've had cervical and lower lumbar spinal stenosis LONG before the knee issues. They might certainly be intermingled by now, but I had a number of spinal epidurals (spaced out at medically acceptable intervals) for years before the knee/leg issues arose.

connie seabee

Well-Known Member
Community Sponsor
Maryann, I hope that you will get the answers you're looking for. I agree, this has been a ongoing problem far to long. Prayers that the doctors find the problem and can correct it.


If you take me serious, it's your problem
Thank you so much for all your kind remarks. I DO count my blessings, but this has now been going on for almost three years. (Kathy - 5 months was the interval that it took for a first x-ray)....

Not sure where all these tests will lead. MrD - any sort of electrical application and me don't mix! Can you spell CHICKEN!!
LOL... that's a shocking revelation .....


Senior Flea Coller Tester
Mama D, you are pretty much describing exactly what my sister went through several years ago. I'll ask her again how her dead bone healed up. In the meantime, I hope you find the answers to your questions.


Forever Remembered
Again, thank you!

Today was Day 2 (of 2) of the nuclear tests. My white blood cells were duly marked yesterday, and today I started out with an injection of who-knows-what that sought out my bone marrow. After a suitable amount of time, I was brought back to the nuclear scanner (certainly friendlier than an MRI!!!), positioned on the table that felt like a concrete slab to my back, little pillow under my knees, feet tied together so I couldn't move. And then I was scanned - S-L-O-W-L-Y - from my waist down to my feet. Then, two more scans were taken of the sides of my knees. Thank goodness, the machine moved for that, not me.

Although the scans were nothing more than tedious, my back certainly was whining.

Hopefully, I'll have some answers before I go to the new pain management specialist Friday morning.

Glo - hey, maybe Lazarus rising from the dead does exist in bones! :D

Thank you all again for the hugs, prayers, good wishes!


Well-Known Member
Welcome to the Orthopedic whirlwind, Mama D! I can't think of anything worse, and I hate SOOOO much that you're having to deal with it. It's a nightmare, pure and simple. Leon does really well with the epidural steroid injections - me, not so much. I have a feeling that I'll be spending lots more money in that particular medical practice before long. I'm surprised you didn't put your foot down before now, and I hope you don't stop until you have results. Please let us know when you get more information. We LOVE you!

J.E. M.

Well-Known Member
Prayers and Hugs to you Mary Ann. Wish we lived closer to help in any way possible. Thanks for keeping us informed. God Bless, Claire