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Author Topic: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?  (Read 24029 times)

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« on: January 22, 2011, 01:34:03 AM »
Hello everyone ..

A week ago today I went in for what was supposed to be a Miniscus repair on my right knee. My MRI indicated I had a "lateral cleavage tear". Upon waking up in the Post-Op room the Surgeon told me he had done a Chondroplasty with Microfracture procedure. I was given Tramadol 50mg for the pain along with an electric ice pack that circulates ice water through a small water cooler and the plastic bladder I wrap around my knee and was told I have a post-op office visit this Tuesday.

In the week since the procedure my knee has stayed a consistent black and blue color and has been swollen up like a balloon. I've been unable to bend the knee more than just a little and my thigh muscle feels like someone used it for a punching bag. Lowering myself into a chair is a slow pain filled procedure. I also have what I would call a "bakers cyst" behind my knee .. is a golfball sized lump that wasn't there before the procedure. I've been dilligent about the cold pack and leg exercises but the swelling hasn't gone down and I've yet to get any range of motion back in my knee.

I guess what I would like to ask is .. when can I expect my knee to deflate and go back to its' normal size? I was expecting to be out of work for a couple weeks but now it looks like it's going to be more like 3 months. I'm a mechanic and am always on my feet. 

 ???

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 12:27:24 AM »
I went for my first post-op visit today and had my stitches removed. My knee is still very swollen and discolored. The doctor told me no weight bearing for at least the next 6 weeks untill I have another office visit scheduled for March 8. I asked about Physical Therapy and he said to continue doing my at-home stretches and strengthening exercises and that he would re-visit the PT options at the next office visit.

Can someone please chime in with an opinion of todays visit? Does no PT sound like a good course of action?

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 12:41:33 AM »
Well .. 16 days since my procedure and my knee is still swollen and discolored but at least I'm begining to get range of motion back. When laying on my back I'm able to draw my leg up a bit but it's still very uncomfortable to do so. I guess it's the swelling thats keeping me from bending my knee up any further than what I can. I'm also getting sharp stabbing pains on the side of my knee. If I were looking down at my knee .. the painful area would be on the left side of the knee which brought me to the orthopedics office to begin with. There's been a couple instances where I've lost my balance and have had to put weight on my right leg with the result being sharp pain as well.

I don't know. I do know that I'm already getting "cabin fever" and I'm only a couple weeks into my recovery. I spent alot of time this summer getting my snowmobiles ready for the winter and now all I can do is look out the window at the trailer they'll be sitting inside of this season. I was hoping I'd be able to get in at least one ride but it looks like this season will be a washout for me.

Offline plasma

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 02:17:52 AM »
I am 18 weeks out from my surgery. By the time I was off crutches most of the major swelling was done (6 weeks)  by the time I was full weight bearing I still had minor swelling.  18 weeks out and my knee is starting to look normal. It is not uncommon from what i have heard to have swelling for up to a year after surgery.  Although it will be far far less than what it is 16 days after your surgery.

Remember patience is key, this takes a long time to recover but you will be far better off afterward.  Do everything the PT gives you, you wont' believe what a difference it makes.

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 01:30:14 AM »
Thanks for your advise plasma! I'm 3 weeks past the surgery and my knee has decreased in size considerably but is still extremely painful if I lean on it just the right way. I do my very best to keep my weight off it but there's instances that just can't be avoided. I hope I feel as good as you do down the road. My concern is that I only have a 12 week window to recover and be back to work or my job will be in jeopardy. I have 12 weeks a year for FMLA .. my next Dr appointment isn't untill March 8 and my leave time will be used up on April 15. Fully recovered or not .. I'll have to do whatever I have to do to get the Dr to sign off on me returning back to work. I'm a trailer mechanic .. I work on the big 53' trailers that are hauled across the country by semi's. It involves constant standing .. climbing in and out of the backs of the trailers .. lots of physical activity. My employer won't allow me back untill I'm 100%.

I was told prior to the operation it would be for a routine miniscus repair and its' turned into a nightmare where I don't even know if I'll be able to return to work at the 12 week point.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 01:32:13 AM by Mr_Nadeau »

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 01:52:36 PM »
Well .. today is the 1 month mark since my procedure. My right knee has deflated tremenousy with only a small amount remaining. Both sides of my knee still have the ability to feel like sharp daggers when I inadvertantly place weight on the knee. Today is Feb 11 and my next Dr visit isn't untill March 8 .. which according to my calculations is 23 days away. All this time I've been told to keep my knee mobilized .. no full weight bearing .. and ice several times a day with my chriopak. I'm still taking 1 asperin and 2 tylenol in the morning an repeating the dosage in the evening.

I don't knoe. Sitting here at my home each day looking at the brand new 2 place enclosed snowbile parked outside my window has got me down. Best snow conditions here in  maine for quite awhile and I can't even partake in the fun. I haven't registered either sled so thats at least $70 I saved,

Cabin fever set in on me within the first week .. I guess I've got at least another 3 weeks of solitary before I can begin to strongly pursuade the Dr to reccomend I return to work 100%.

I don't know ... just don't know anymore      ???

Offline Miss Beams

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 03:27:46 PM »
Hi, i just thought i would reply, i to am now 4weeks post microfracture and whereas you are still housebound it seems with a more conservative rehab, i was tossed out on my own so to speak!  Anyway, as you are the only one posting at the moment, just thought i would let you know you are not alone! :)  I have feel as if I have been to hell and back, apparently my MFX's were small and I also had chrondoplasty, I have been in so much pain (wish i had never had it done).  Told to weight bear straight away and do what pain allows(right).  No OS follow up 100% success as far as he is concerned and no P/T(G.P. has now arranged this). 

Today is really the first day over the last 4weeks I have started to feel slightly better!  I am still on the same levels of medication as am still uncomfortable mobilising, but the burning pain has subsided a little.  I am driving(knee doesnt like it much)now and am planning to return to work next week for my sanity.  i guess i shall never know whether this has been successful(guess if the pain levels remain fairly high that would be a go indicator as to not.  I just wonder if i had been a bit better prepared  for the go it alone whether i would have hedged away from it and coped as the pain and discomfort is no different to pre opp now.

I still feel when i move the pain and stiffness rom not all there?  But i guess that is something i shall have to live with.

I guess i am in a better position being told i can do more or less what i lke, But you are not far off your F/Up, I would just hang in there .  Its just so frustrating and a long haul. :)

 
06/10  L knee trauma(horseriding accident) MCL
10/10 MRI ACL/MCL/G4CM/PF
12.01.2011 scope ACL intact, chronoplasty and 2 x microfractures FMC and trochlear ,MRI over reported(knee not as bad as made out),   time and patience will tell:)

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 03:22:23 PM »
Thanks for your support Miss Beams .. it's much appreciated   :)

I'm a month and a few days into my recovery and my knee is hurting as bad as ever. The majority of the swelling has gone down but there's still a couple area's that are all puffy and mushy feeling. The pain is present wether I'm standing with my crutches or sitting or lying down. A "popping" in my knee when I move my foot has also joined the party. My knee "popped" or "clicked" prior to the procedure but now I can't re-position or move my foot without a "popping" feeling inside my knee. It wasn't this bad before the procedure. I can't even imagine what it would feel like if I were to try to take a couple steps bearing full or even partial weight.

I called my Dr this morning .. he is out all week but I have an appointment tomorrow with his assistant to address my concerns. The nurse that scheduled my appointment said I shouldn't be having bad pain a month after the procedure. I don't know if this is an indication that the procedure din't work or what. I just want to know what I need to start doing so that I'll be able to return to work by the time my FMLA 12 week allotment is used up. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude but I can't help but feeling I'll be one of the people who doesn't get successful results from the procedure.

Offline Miss Beams

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 05:11:43 PM »
i am still having pain and stiffness around my mfx sites.  I do indeed keep thinking has this worked especially as i had no real post operative care, although i am now having PT.  Have you started any P/T yet?  I had prior to my opp bought a static exercise bike and i have found this to be a bit of a life saver with regard to getting my knee moving.  I am still having stiffness and swelling(round the portals) and pain although the mfx sites seem to be now a dull ache.  I am slowly trying to reduce my meds and today i returned to work (shorter days) which has helped my sanity!

Obviously i dont know how big or where your mfx were done, i dont think mine were huge (OS very laid back about my rehab etc) however, i can honestly say it hasnt been a pleasant experience, so i guess they were big enough to cause me pain( i can tolerate pain very well).  I had  my opp on 12 Jan so i am now 5 weeks post opp.

 :)
06/10  L knee trauma(horseriding accident) MCL
10/10 MRI ACL/MCL/G4CM/PF
12.01.2011 scope ACL intact, chronoplasty and 2 x microfractures FMC and trochlear ,MRI over reported(knee not as bad as made out),   time and patience will tell:)

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 08:08:16 PM »
I had my procedure on January 14 . First followup was on January 25 where I was told to continue no weightbearing and to return on March 8. I asked about PT and was told the topic would be revisited on the 8th. So .. I've basically done nothing except stretches and leg lifts since the procedure.

As for how big my mfx was .. I was told that once inside my knee the Dr discovered I basically had no cartalage inside it and that I was pretty much rubbing bone on bone which had been causing my grief. Like I said before .. had I known that MFX would have been an option i wouldn't have had the procedure done. I went into it being told I'd have a month rehab max .. not an indefinate rehab period.

And as for pain meds .. I came out of the hospital with Tramadol which did absolutely nothing for the pain. It did help me sleep at night but that was it. I've basically been miserable ever since the operation and have relied on Tylenol, Advil and Asperin. I actually called the Dr a couple weeks ago almost in tears asking for something stronger and was told to continue the Tylenol/Asperin treatment. I have a pretty high pain threshold and couldn't believe it when he wouldn't prescribe me anything. All in all I'd have to give this a pretty crappy customer satisfaction rating.

Offline Miss Beams

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 08:56:28 PM »
i feel exactly the same as you!  However, yours were obviously a lot worse than mine as i was orignally prescribed co-codamol and treated as a basic arthroscopy by the nurse who discharged me. Saw my G.P. and changed my meds to Diclofenic + Paracetamol which although didnt relieve the pain, made me feel more comfortable than co-codamol.  I have spent the last 4 weeks feeling pretty miserable, i knew there was the possibility of the mfc being mfx but not the trochear.  I quess i am a little better off than you in which i was left to WB as pain allows which was difficult as it was painful all the time (wasnt sure if i was making it worse?).  I think the worst part is the long rehab not knowing if its going to work or not and the frustration of not knowing whether what i am doing is right or wrong?  #unfortunately, whats done is done and i guess we have to have faith that we will come out the other side with it having worked :) like i said in my signature, time will tell :) You have to keep going with what you have been told to do, and wait to see what your OS says.
06/10  L knee trauma(horseriding accident) MCL
10/10 MRI ACL/MCL/G4CM/PF
12.01.2011 scope ACL intact, chronoplasty and 2 x microfractures FMC and trochlear ,MRI over reported(knee not as bad as made out),   time and patience will tell:)

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 11:03:30 PM »
This has definately been a learning experience for me on how to be a patient patient. In my 44 years I've never had to go through anything like this and I guess I just need to learn how to listen to the Dr and trust him.

By the way .. looks like you and I have the whole Microfracture forum to ourselves .. lol

Offline Miss Beams

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2011, 05:59:15 AM »
yes, i have posted neumerous posts with questions and concerns, but nobody has posted any replies :( So its really nice to have somebody else to chat to who has had surgery at a similar time as me and is feeling pretty fed up about the whole thing as me! So will look forward to further chats :)
06/10  L knee trauma(horseriding accident) MCL
10/10 MRI ACL/MCL/G4CM/PF
12.01.2011 scope ACL intact, chronoplasty and 2 x microfractures FMC and trochlear ,MRI over reported(knee not as bad as made out),   time and patience will tell:)

Offline Mr_Nadeau

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 02:00:04 PM »
I'm off to see my Dr in a half hour to talk about my recovery progress. I need to find out if I'm supposed to have this much pain in my knee almost 5 weeks post op and if the "clicking" in my knee is supposed to be this constant.

Yeah .. I've noticed this thread has 250+ views but only one other member has commented besides you. We don't bite guys .. jump in and say Hi  ;D If you're reading this .. chances are you're in the same boat as we are or are heading down the same road.

Offline Miss Beams

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Re: Knee Microfracture - When Does Swelling Go Down?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2011, 02:50:49 PM »
i hope you get on okay, at least you are having some contact with your surgeon.  keep me posted as to how you get on.
06/10  L knee trauma(horseriding accident) MCL
10/10 MRI ACL/MCL/G4CM/PF
12.01.2011 scope ACL intact, chronoplasty and 2 x microfractures FMC and trochlear ,MRI over reported(knee not as bad as made out),   time and patience will tell:)

 















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