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Author Topic: Will my knee unlock?  (Read 9816 times)

Offline franchie

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Will my knee unlock?
« on: March 21, 2005, 02:13:51 PM »
Hello,

Does any one know how/if I can unlock my knee joint?

I have a suspected torn meniscus, which I did in Dec.  My knee settled really well until I slipped over on holiday in Feb.  Since then it just feels like one thing after another.  My main problem at the moment is last week I stood up and my knee gave way, I managed to get my balance but since then I have not been able to straighten my knee.  It gets stuck at about 135 degrees with an acute pain in the centre of the joint.  I am using crutches and have a physio appointment for next week.

Will the physio be able to unlock my knee joint? or might it stay like this now until I have surgery (which could be as long away as July).

Any help much appreciated.
Fran
:-D 

Offline smiley196

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 08:43:46 PM »
Fran-
My knee also locks alot, and this is usually because of a torn meniscus. Sometimes it is possible to unlock your own knee by having a warm bath an massaging it or gently pulling on the lower leg. Other times though, you are looking at have a scope to get it unlocked if it does not on its self. Hope it does unlock though!
Krista
*16 years old*
Left Knee:
Torn:PCL, ACL, MCL
SEVERAL dislocations
Grade 3 Chondromalacia
Medial & Lateral Meniscus tears
Plica Syndrome
Sept 14th 2005-(LK)ACL recon, TTT, menisectomy,plica removal

May 26th/06-Torn ACL(RK)

June 14th/06-(LK)ACL graft recon, screw removal, menisectomy

Offline franchie

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2005, 08:37:03 AM »
Thanks Krista for the advise.  Will give it a try tonight.
Cheers
Fran

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 09:03:13 AM »
HI Fran

You don't say where your from?? but....if you have a locked knee then I really must Urge you to get treatment ASAP.... I had a locked knee (40 degrees from straight) and I had to wait 4 weeks for emergency surgery to repair my badly torn meniscus....this length of time with a locked leg left me with a very HARD recovery as 4-6 weeks + is about the time that flexion contractures start to develop...and they arent nice   :o

If you are UK based then you ought to be treated or have been offered to be treated within this timescale (max 2 months)....as more time than this with a locked leg is bordering on medical negligence....
If you are US based or somewhere else I cannot advise as I don't know the health system very well Im afraid!

Also....I am trying to understand your level of injury...is your leg locked at 135 degrees of flexion ????? eg/ nearly bent fully ? or what??

As for physio...there is really nothing they can do if your leg is locked in the angle you have described...as it sounds like you have a displaced bucket handle tear to one of your meniscus....
you may be able to unlock it yourself but I tried for a week or so and then gave up.... if the displaced piece of meniscus is big which it is very likely to be by th enature of the injury then it is effectively a wooden wedge in the joint  :o

Anyway...like I say....DO NOT let some physio try and butcher your leg straight (I found it veeery painful trying to straighten my leg!) if it will not straighten in the first instance....as it is locked for a reason...and thats because your mensicus has most likely torn badly and become trapped in the joint.... trying to force it or twist it straight by ANYONE other than a qualified surgeon is asking for trouble and may only cause further damage....

My advice would really be to push for PROMPT medical treatment  (no matter where you are)... or have someone you know well who is really assertive do the pushy bit if you are not confident as a knee that is locked in this manner really is a matter of priority even to very pushed healthcare systems......

Hope this helps a bit
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 09:06:38 AM by AndrewC »
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

Offline franchie

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 12:01:24 PM »
Hi Andrew

Thanks very much for you info.  Yeah I got my angles all muddled.  If a straight leg is 180 degrees, then I can only strengthen mine to 135.  Or in other words I'm 45 degrees off of being able to strengthen my leg. Oh does that make sense???

I do live in the UK.  When the surgeon first put me on the waiting list for surgery in Jan I left it 8weeks before I called his secretary to ask how much longer I would have to wait.  She told me that she would be sending appointments out in JULY!! By this point I had slipped over on holiday and my knee was now painful and easily aggravated.   I looked at private health care but it is just so expensive.

I have been back to the hospital twice since then and last week when my knee locked I made an appointment with my GP.  He took a glace at my knee and said he would write to the surgeon and see if he could speed things along.  In the mean time I made an appointment to see the physio, in the hope that she might be able to make it more comfortable while I wait to hear back from the hospital.  I really don't know what else to do.

Thanks again for your advise.
Fran


   

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2005, 10:14:15 PM »
HI Fran

This is what I would do if I were in your position currently......
ok...from being a"non major" problem when your knee was presumably just painful....you have effectively moved up several degrees into a a "priority treatment" position... (and I know the NHS well as I work within it!)...just to clarify the terminology!! Extension = Straightening ability
Flexion = Bending ability

o degrees extension means your leg is perfectly straight...45 degrees from extension means your knee is bent at 45 degrees from straight (like yours!)....90 degrees flexion means your thigh and lower leg are at right angles...and say 140 degrees flexion would be when your knee is bent double to touch the backside!

PHEW...

OK...so your plan of action really ought to be....to go to your local A & E department initially (forget that you have surgery scheduled for June or whenever..) and go through the rigmarole of being probably fobbed off by a triage nurse saying "youve sprained a ligament!" or something similiar. Explain that you know that is not the case and you have been advised (dont say by whom) to seek immediate help due to the probability you have a serious displaced meniscal tear......
DO NOT accept anything less than an appointment at the outptients "fracture clinic" in the hospital...which are usually run twice a week in most average hospitals...this is where you will be able to see a specilist KNEE surgeon (and ensure that is who you are having an appointment made with...NOT a general orthopaedic surgeon)

OK...with any luck you will get an appointment with a knee surgeon at the fracture clinic. If you did then in all probability he/she will see that your injury is classed as "serious" (explain the history of the injury of course) and schedule you an appointment for surgery far sooner than you have it at present.....like within 2 or 3 weeks MAX. They may even arrange for you to have an MRI scan very fast in order to confirm the problem. In my case....(and the fact I was at the time a final year medical student made no difference as I was at a totally unknown hospital where I knew no-one of consequence.....I was in a very similiar state to you..and had been injured for 2 weeks prior to going to the fracture clinic. The knee surgeon was pretty good and got me an MRI within 4 days !!! and had me in surgery about 2 weeks later.
Something I was very grateful for as I seriously believe the time having my leg locked cost me more than the meniscus tear/repair did  ;)

By the way...can you limp at all at the minute?? as I couldnt even touch my foot down really...it was agony!!
Also, how are you sleeping? are you propping a pillow under your leg? I was fine for about 3 weeks doing this while I was waiting but my knee became sooo stiff during the 4th week.. :o

Either way...good luck and keep us posted with how your doing
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

Offline franchie

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2005, 02:00:33 PM »
Hi Andrew

As soon as I read your mail I phoned the fracture clinic at my local hospital.  Explain the problem and that I would like to see the surgeon I had seen before (checked his credentials on the net and he specialises in knees).  The lady said ok and gave me an appointment for next Wednesday!  :) 
Thanks allot for pointing me in the right direction, hopefully the ball will start rolling now.  It doesn't sound right but I can't wait to have surgery, so I can actually start healing.

Yeah I can hobble a bit but no great distant, my knee quickly becomes painful after less than 5mins.  I am able to sleep ok, I take two Co Dyramol before bed and sleeping on my side with a pillow between my knees seems to work well.               

Thanks again will keep you posted.

Fran
   

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2005, 01:16:47 AM »
Fran

Good News!!
Trust me...you will be glad you didnt have to wait months rather than weeks....in a big way!
and...I too was desperate for surgery!! I couldnt stand being in the situation I was....human nature I guess :)

Anyway....keep us posted

All the best

Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

Offline samchany

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2005, 03:54:43 AM »
Hi Fran,

I got the experience that i hurt my knee and locked at about 20 -30 degree (strenghten), after 1 month, i visit the Dr and he said my mensicus is damaged and some fragment of mensicus in the joint make me cannot strenghten my knee to 0 degree! Finally, i need to do the operation to repair and remove the fragment of mensicus, now i can strenghten my knee to normal!

I just want to let you know there is other reason why the knee is locked! But don't worry, after you appointment with our Dr, u will know what happen! And everything can be healed! : )

Sam

Offline franchie

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2005, 04:26:53 PM »
Hi
Just had a phone call from the Hospital.  They have received the letter from my GP and have booked me in to have surgery on the 11 April !!!  :D

So so so please  :)  Will let you know how it goes.

Fran

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2005, 08:23:50 PM »
Fran

They booked you in for surgery without a consultant appointment first?? Thats almost unheard of?! or have they basically just brought your planned surgery forward a lot?

Anyway, you would do well to still go to the fracture clinic appointment so you can actually see the consultant and confirm the surgery date so there is none of the cancellations lark the NHS is known for!

Good Luck  ;)
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

Offline franchie

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Re: Will my knee unlock?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2005, 12:31:02 PM »
Hi There,

They have pulled my appointment for surgery forward from July.  I saw the surgeon back in January, that was when he frist put me on the waiting list.  Yeah will keep the appointment at the frature clinic.  Hopully all will go smoothly with no cancellations.

All the best

Fran

 















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