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Jane asked...

I had a complex appendectomy about 6-weeks ago..

I had a complex appendectomy about 6-weeks ago, where the appendix had ruptured. I had to have open surgery, leaving me with a 6 inch scar that's healing well on the surface, but can still be quite painful and achey. Now I am getting frequent pain in my right hip and knee. I also have pain in other joints, elbows, fingers, which I didn't have before. Is this related to the appendectomy or associated infection?

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us here at Ask The Expert.

 I’m sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing. While it is uncommon for pain from abdominal surgery such as you have had to cause hip and knee pain there may be some referred pain, this is where pain is experienced away from an area that is inflamed or swollen, that is possibly contributing.

 Referred pain from the appendix region usually is experienced in the diaphragm, mid- section of the body, and upper abdominal areas, however, if some nerves in the groin area have become affected due to the surgery there is a slight possibility that this might be contributing to the hip and knee discomfort you feel.  

Because you are also experiencing pain in other joints alongside the hip and knee pain in this instance it is possibly more suggestive of a generalised inflammatory reaction within the body, this can occur sometimes after complex surgery.

 You do not mention if you are taking any medications, and if that is the case there is also the possibility the joint pains you are experiencing could be related side effects of one of them. Under the circumstances I feel it would be sensible to speak to your specialist about these joint pains, he will be able to examine you and perform blood tests for example both  to help determine the cause and to give any treatment that may be required.  


Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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