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Author Topic: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months  (Read 1691 times)

Offline eastsidegirl

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Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« on: November 09, 2003, 02:20:51 PM »
Hi:  Hope everyone is having a good day so far.  I need some advice.  How long does knee stiffness last (with spongy feeling also when bending the knee) after surgery.  I am over 3 months post op and I am still having this problem.  Does it ever go away?  What can I do to hurry it along.  I go to PT and ice it every day.  I am getting sort of bored with PT since I have not seen any improvement for over 6 weeks.  Any thoughts on this is appreciated as always.

Thanks.
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

Offline Nettan

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2003, 08:12:31 PM »
Hey !

What does the pt say about your progress or are you doing pt on your own ? I would ask pt first. Then after getting pt's opinion I would consider if it's needed to visit a surgeon again(the one which provided your surgery). And you hang in there !! I know it's though when having pt and no progress forward. I have had pt now for a year, can only walk about 3 steps with a brace and a high rollator which I can hang on.But I'm up again !!  I'm going 3 times a week and I've been laying in hospital for intensive pt 9 weeks this year. When you are in hospital you have pt about 5 hours a day.
Wish you the best !!

hugs nettan

::)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline eastsidegirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2003, 03:06:14 AM »
Hi Nettan:  The PT thinks I am doing okay.  She said sometimes the stiffness is caused by swelling and/or scar tissue and takes a long time to go away. I personally think maybe she just wants me to come back for the money the insurer is paying.  She has me doing basically the same exercises for the past 3 months.  Just recently I started on the elliptical machine.  Thanks for responding.  

xxoo

Sheila
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

Offline Janet

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2003, 04:31:33 AM »
It is really hard to keep going with PT when you don't see much progress and it gets boring. I know what you mean! I am almost five months post-op from my last surgery, and have only seen real improvement in the last couple of weeks. As long as you have swelling, you will have stiffness. It is just important to try to keep your knee moving during the day. You don't have to do strenuous stretching all day long, just try to do passive stretching as you can. It really does help the stiffness. What is your ROM?

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline eastsidegirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2003, 04:37:48 PM »
Dear Janet: Thanks as always for your help. I think my ROM is about 125-130 -- I don't think it can go much further.  The stiffness has not abated since the procedures I had no matter what I do.  Is it possible that there is still swelling as it is almost 3/12 months post op and/or could it be scar tissue?  as there is still that spongy rubbery feeling that started 3 weeks post op......! What exactly can be causing all this swelling so far after the surgery?? Is there anything you can suggest I do to alleviate this problem.  I have been doing what the PT says but it doesn't seem to help.  Can it be making it worse???!!! Like I  have said before my knee was better before I had the procedures.

I hope you are feeling better also.  

Sheila
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

Offline vetmedgirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 02:37:43 AM »
Hi Sheila,

I too have not seen much improvement, I have full ROM in both knees and great strength in my right leg but left is being a turd.  I also started the elliptical.  How do you like it?  It's not going so well for me.  The longest I've been able to do it is about five minutes before my left patella subluxates.   >:(  I feel like I'm in a Catch 22.  My  doc says my patella subluxates because my VMO isn't quite working correctly yet and to do more strengthing exercises (which I do 2-3X a day).  But when I do my strengthening stuff like leg press, partial squats, etc.. etc...  my patella subluxates and I have to quit.  I'm also getting frustrated.  I am now almost 13 weeks post op from a "clean up job" and still can not jog without pretty bad pain and subluxating knee cap.  I was jogging at 10 weeks after my ACL recon and meniscal repair, and since I had my meniscus repaired that meant absolutely no weight bearing for 2 weeks.  I see the Doc again Dec 3 hopefully it will have improved by then which will be 16 weeks post op.  After my ACL, I was released to play sports again at 16 weeks which I played soccer for my high school team.  I still have stiffness in the morning and when I sit for any amount of time, and my knees are still a little puffy but I wouldn't call them swollen.  Anyways I don't know what to tell ya but to keep on with PT and hope it gets better soon.

Angie
Rt Knee Torn ACL, medial meniscus, MCL in -Dec 97
ACL Reconstruction, medial meniscus repair-Jan 98
Partial Lateral meniscectomy, Patellar and femoral chondroplasty in both knees - August 03

Offline eastsidegirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2003, 06:15:36 PM »
Dear Angie:  I sort of like the Ellipitcal Machine.  I am doing about 7 minutes on it but I think I can probably do more if I did it at the beginning of my session.  My knee doesn't hurt when I do it which I guess is good.  My main problem seems to be the stiffness and rubbery feeling which in my opinion has remained constant throughout my post op phase.  Sometimes it also feels like a snap/click also when I bend my knee back.  Do you experience anything like this.  

Anyhow, thanks so much for your response and I hope you are feeling better.

Sheila

P.S.  Subluxes means it drifts to the side - right??
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

Offline vetmedgirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2003, 04:09:27 PM »
Hi Sheila,

I don't have the rubbery feeling, but I think I know what you are talking about, my left one used to feel like that every now and then before surgery.  I still have stiffness and my knees do sometimes click and pop, especially my right.  I can put my hand on the outside of my left knee cap and feel crunchy crepitus stuff when I do partial squats, leg press, and when I am just sitting and do a leg extension without weight.  My right has actually been acting up lately but not too bad.  Some times when walking I'll get a very sharp pain like something is catching and it will hurt really bad but then go away almost before I can react.  It's not in the knee cap but just medial to knee cap along the joint line.  It did this before surgery (which my PT thought I had a medial meniscus tear, but OS didn't find one) and now its doing it again its driving me nuts, I don't know what the deal is.  Oh, and subluxate does mean that the knee cap drifts to the outside.  Everytime it does it I can see my knee cap almost dislocate but pop right back over with a very audible clunky poppy sound and very sharp pain.  I'm glad the eliptical is going good for you, I know it would be a great exercise if I could just do it longer than five minutes.  Good luck with your knee and hope to hear it's doing better soon.

Angie
Rt Knee Torn ACL, medial meniscus, MCL in -Dec 97
ACL Reconstruction, medial meniscus repair-Jan 98
Partial Lateral meniscectomy, Patellar and femoral chondroplasty in both knees - August 03

Offline eastsidegirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2003, 08:13:16 PM »
Dear Angie:  Thanks for your reply and I hope you are also feeling better soon.  The funny part of my situation (yeah ha ha) is that I never had the problems I am having now pre-surgery.  Go figure.

Sheila
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

Offline Amanda

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2003, 12:38:06 AM »
Dear Shiela

I am in the same boat as you.  I went in to have a lateral meniscal tear and cyst removed 4 months ago, and came out with more problems then when I went in. Plus they didn't even remove the cyst which was what I really wanted gone.

Before all I had was a throbbing feeling over the cyst and a sore calf muscle whenever I excercised or stood for long periods.  Now when I excercise I have an even sorer calf muscle, a very sore foot (all over), soreness behind my knee and a generally tender, rubbery, fat sensation within my knee. And I have all sorts of little clicks and strange sensations now that I never had.  I have the same thing as you when I put my hand on my knee and do leg extensions too...

All I wish for is that I could turn back time and chosen not to have the operation!  I had lived with it for maybe 6 years without major problems - so I probably could have just lived with it for longer.

I am seeing a proper specialist surgeon (not student Dr)on Monday (been waiting months), so hopefully I will get some real answers.  Will let you know.

Shiela I really hope that your knee gets better.  I hope it helps somewhat to know others have the same probs.

Amanda

R Lateral horizontal cleavage tear and cyst 1997
Partial meniscectomy 18/07/03
Cyst resolved after 3 months
Re-tear 7/8/2004
2nd partial meniscectomy 12/11/04
Hardened meniscus with 40% left

Offline Janet

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2003, 03:43:42 AM »
Sheila:

Do they expect you to get better ROM than 125-130? I've only been able to get to about 120, and everyone seems happy with that. I get frustrated because I get can get 120 fairly easily lying on my back, but only about 100 lying on my stomach, and  even less (about 80) when standing. I do a good stretching session each morning and evening just to keep it at this level. I also have a problem with patella tendonitis. Nothing seems to make any change in my ROM. Funny thing is that even when I had all the scar tissue around the patella tendon, my ROM was the same as it is now.

Is there something specific you want to do that your ROM won't allow? I certainly don't know what your situation is, but sometimes we just have to accept that we can still do what we want to do without having "full" ROM. I broke my wrist 10 years ago. It was a serious break, and the OS told me I had excellent results. But my ROM is limited in certain positions. For the first few years, it really bugged me and I was frustrated as heck. But as time has gone by, I don't notice it much anymore. I can even still play the piano (although I have to hold my arm at a different angle). You adapt.

My PT kept telling me that we were doing all the right things and it would just take time. It was hard to believe, but I am coming over to his side. We are still doing all the same exercises as we were months ago, but they finally seem to be working. I'll take any small improvement I can get! Keep up the good work and I hope you start feeling better soon!

By the way, what does your OS say about this?

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline eastsidegirl

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Re: Knee Stiffness-Post Op - 3 months
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2003, 01:29:16 PM »
Dear Amanda & Janet:  Thanks for your response.  It does help to realize that others have similar problems like yours especially since people who I know who have had surgery have not experienced my problems still after so long.

Amanda:  I am with you 100 percent.  I wish I had gone with my instinct and never had it done. The OS said I had a right medical tear (according to MRI) and said if I didn't get it fixed it would get worse--mind you compared to what I experience now it was a piece of cake.  When he actually went in it was a different ball game as they say.  I obtained a copy of my OR report and well you can read below what I had done --it was not even a tear in the medical side but other stuff.  The tear was in the lateral side (which I never even knew about since I had no symptoms whatsoever--that is until now). >:
The rubbery spongy feeling I have now sounds similar to what you experience also.  My pt said it might be scar tissue and will go away with excercise (I haven't seen an improvement .  Anyhow I hope you will feel better soon and please stay in touch to let me know how you are coming along.

Janet:  Re: ROM -  I don't think my knee will go any further than 130 -- I'm not even sure it ever did.  The PT measured my left leg's ROM and it was about that. ???  So I doubt I can get much more.  This would be okay with me if I felt okay and had no problems.  Last time I saw my OS (who is not the greatest communicator)  he said my quads were weak and that was what was causing my problems.  Yeah sure.  I ams sure my quads were probably weaker prior to the surgery and I never had these problems then.  It seems the surgery gave me these problems.  Is this possible and is it normal.  Re: Your patella tendonitis--I think I might have some of that as my patella always feels sore!!??

Thanks to you both again.

Sheila

Glad to hear that made i Glad to heai;d is fine with me t ';
Complex Lateral Meniscus Tear, Large Media Plica and Medial Degeneration at the undersurface of the Patella debrided, softening  of the femoral condyle with Grade II degeneration ... debrided

 















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