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    What causes shortness of breath post a knee surgery?

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Posted on Wed, 5 Jul 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: my husband had knee surgery 6 weeks ago. I thought he seemed short of breath upon exertion. he said it was normal because everything is more taxing after surgery. he now tells me he has been having minor chest pain for a few days but more painful early this morning, especially if he coughs.
can a PE be a possibility this long after surgery?
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would recommend as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

Regarding your concern, I would explain that a pulmonary embolism can not be excluded even after such a long time after surgery.

But, there are also other possible causes (like: a respiratory tract infection, heart failure, musculo-skeletal pain, etc.) which may mimic this clinical scenario.

For this reason, I would recommend consulting with his attending physician for a careful physical exam and some tests:

- a resting ECG and a cardiac ultrasound to examine his heart function and structure
- a chest X ray study and pulmonary function tests
- complete blood count for anemia or infection
- PCR, ESR for inflammation
- D-Dimmer levels for pulmonary embolism

Further tests may be needed based on the above test results (an exercise cardiac stress test or a pulmonary angio CT scan).

You should discuss with his doctor on the above issues.

Hope to have been helpful!

Kind regards!

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 7401 Questions

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