Question: I had a total knee replacement on the right knee on 17 January 2006, fractured a tibia in July of 2006. I was immobilized in a brace for two weeks, then a full cast for full weeks. The pain and swelling is daily, and my quality of life is affected. Are these kinds of complications common for total knee replacements? Should I expect the pain and problems to continue?
Answer: Tibia fracture following knee replacement is distinctly unusual, and not usually regarded as a complication of arthroplasty. Speak with your physician about coexisting osteoporosis as it is unlikely to experience lower extremity fracture with weight-bearing in the postoperative setting. Another suggestion as something to discuss with your physician is pathologic fracture in the setting of malignancy. Although quite unlikely, when one has coexisting cancer of bone (primary or spread from another source); fracture with minimal exertion is not uncommon. Please be sure to speak with your physician about both osteoporosis and pathologic fracture following knee replacement as I am not aware of your particular case and do not practice medicine on this site. Both are amenable to treatment, especially the pain and swelling you're experiencing on a daily basis which usually are not complications seen in of following knee joint replacement.