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Author Topic: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery  (Read 25247 times)

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Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #75 on: February 25, 2013, 04:33:47 AM »
Post Op - 6 Months

It has been six months since the reconstructive cartilage implant surgery and 8.5 months since the arthroscopic prep surgery for the cartilage implant. I am now doing off site rehab once every two weeks. I was cleared about a month ago to do some light leg strengthening on machines. I am going to the gym once a week to do these exercises because my knee is still swelling afterwards. I am doing leg press, abduction, adduction, leg curls, and abdominal work. All machine work is at 15 lbs of resistance. I am doing the bike 15-30 minutes a day as well as 5-7 minutes walking backwards on the treadmill at a slow speed. I was cleared to try the elliptical machine, but havenít done so yet. In addition, I do my regular stretches, stair steps, no-weight squats, and single-leg balancing. It takes 75-90 minutes to complete the session depending on my time on the bike. I am trying to do more rest in-between my sessions.

My rehab doctor continues to stress taking things slow.

I canít really do much more. There is intermittent swelling, to the point I am still icing almost every day, and some days it looks pretty gnarly. The pain is there. There are good days and bad days. One day last weekend was so painful, I slept on and off all day to try to avoid the pain. I am primarily taking IB800 to help with the pain, but it doesnít help much. I have some stronger pills left, but not many. I did not expect the swelling and the pain to last so long. The pain is strange. It is a needling like pain that is very sharp. It is not dull. My kneecap still feels loose and audibly cracks and pops quite often. For this reason, I still have the Lueko tape on my knee at almost all times. I also wear the compression sleeve, which I believe I have been wearing for the last five plus years. I still cannot kneel without a pillow or blankets under my knee and if I try to squat I have a lot of pain trying to get up and for a period of time after.

My rehab doctor is happy with the way the knee looks, though. It is very strong and he feels it getting stronger, but stresses patience.

My surgeon expects the cells to be more solidified and expanded around 12 months.

My next appointment with my surgeon is at 8 months.

Offline Mistyd

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #76 on: February 25, 2013, 04:30:27 PM »
Hi Joey, I am sorry you still have pain - this is a really tough surgery!  From what I've read from others, the clicking, catching etc could be scare tissue and might be normal up to 8-10 months.  But, I  haven't had my ACI surgery yet (it comes in March) so I am just regurgitating (nicely ;)) what I have read. I do hope that is case though, as then you can continue moving forward and not feel stuck in the rehab doledrums.

I enjoyed reading your post op diary and wish you continued success, many happy knee days, and perfect recovery!


God Bless,

Misty
Living for the Audience of ONE: Jesus Christ

'95 -knee injury
5-'04 -knee scope cleaned up grade III tears
12-'12-knee scope cleaned up tears
2-'13-harvested cartilage for upcoming ACI
...awaiting ACI

Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2013, 05:35:59 AM »
Misty

Thank you for the response. The popping and cracking is in different areas and at different depths of the knee. I took a decent spill in November that helped dislodge scar tissue. Although the pain and swelling was very noticeable, my OS thought it could be good in the long-run. It isn't too painful, but with all the work and rehab I do, I was hoping the cracking would diminish.

All good, though.

Joseph

Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #78 on: March 30, 2013, 03:19:28 AM »
Post Op - 7 Months

Not too much has changed over the past month, but there has been progress. I am doing off-site rehab once every two weeks. I am doing some light leg strengthening on machines. I am going to the gym about once a week to do these exercises because my knee is still swelling afterwards. I am doing leg press, abduction, adduction, leg curls, and abdominal work. All machine work is at 15-25 lbs of resistance. I am doing the bike 20-45 minutes a day as well as 5-7 minutes walking backwards on the treadmill at a slow speed. In addition, I do my regular stretches, stair steps, no-weight squats, and single-leg balancing.

Three weeks ago I went to a gym and shot flat-footed set-shots for about 30 minutes. It was good to be back on a court. Hopefully I can play basketball this fall.

Recently, I was cleared to start agility drills. I was pretty excited. They are primarily accomplished utilizing an agility ladder. My rehab doctor thinks I can try jumping rope within the next month.

There is intermittent swelling, to the point I am still icing every couple of days. The pain is there, but not extreme. At my appointment today, my rehab doctor noticed irritation around the patellofemoral area and some moderate swelling. We skipped rehab and decided on rest and ice. I still have the Leuko tape on my knee at almost all times. I also wear the compression sleeve.

My rehab doctor is happy with the way the knee looks, and happier with the strength and muscle build-up. Things are progressing slow, but very well.

My next appointment with my surgeon is at 8 months.

Offline sune

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2013, 08:29:55 AM »
Dear Joey.

Thanks so much for your diary. I went through a similar surgery about five months ago, and I also keep a diary which is located in the less than 50 posts section.

It's really a tough battle, isn't it? Three weeks ago, I had my major setback. What caused it, I'm pretty sure, is that I was instructed by my physiotherapist to try and use both legs equally when getting up and sitting down on chairs. That was at four months post surgery. So I did that for one full dayÖ It felt quite all right while doing it (although I have tried a few times the week before, and then it hurt). But the next day my knee was quite sore. I took a week's break from my rehab, but I haven't been able to get back into my old shape. I'm almost down to nothing with the exercises, because everything causes delayed pain (but no additional swelling). I'm having an MRI exam in two weeks time, and I am very anxious about whether I have damaged the grafts. It's really depressing.

In hindsight, it just seems so stupid that I did what my physiotherapist suggested, when just the week before I felt some pain doing exactly that (which I had told her by the way). But when I look at other people's exercises, it doesn't seem like the load would be completely outrageous compared to what other exercises can cause. I also see you doing one leg squats quite early on.

It's interesting that your surgeon doesn't want to do an MRI perhaps not even after 12 months, whereas mine is doing it after six months. There are really a lot of differences following this surgery

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your continued rehabilitation.
Sune
1999: Chondral lesion on medial patellar facet. Synovium changes, grade II degeneration of neighbouring cartilage. Debridement (shaving) and lavage.
2009: 2nd arthroscopy,† debridement (shaving) and lavage.
2010: steroid injections
2012: MACI (2 patella, 1 trochlea)+Fulkerson+Lateral release

Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2013, 10:35:21 PM »
Post Op - 8 Months

Well, it has been a long road with this knee. I have had six surgeries, including three reconstructive, over a 17-year period on my left knee. I am starting to feel strong again. I saw both my surgeon and PT doctor last week.

My surgeon said it looked pretty good. He said the knee still wobbled and he could feel some weakness in the leg. I told him I was feeling a lot of cracking and popping, especially when my leg is bent or straight for a period of time and then it cracks when I try to move it. He said not to worry, and it is likely scar tissue. The popping and cracking doesnít result in much swelling or pain. My surgeon said 12-18 months is still the timeframe for recovery. In Europe, with these surgeries, the rule of thumb is 18 months to fully recover. He believes I should be able to run and jump during normal activity at 12 months or so. He recommended I continue to take it slow and try pushing some activities to see how the knee reacts. The cartilage is supposedly stable and hardened at this point, but still has room to grow. This is based on his research and going back in on patients who had the surgery. Again, he doesnít see the benefit of doing an MRI at this point. I told my surgeon that my knee cap is still numb and I cannot kneel on it yet. He said I may never get the feeling fully back in my knee cap, but I should be able to kneel on it at some point in the next six months. My next appointment, which could be my last regarding this surgery, will be around 12 months.

I am still doing off-site rehab once every two weeks. I will transition to once a month after my next appointment. I ride an exercise bike about 5 days a week and do full rehab sessions twice a week. I am doing some light leg strengthening on machines (40-70 lbs). I am doing leg press, abduction, adduction, leg curls, and abdominal work. I am doing the bike 20-45 minutes a day. Yesterday I was able to do almost 8 miles in 25 minutes on the bike. Swelling was more extensive though, so I probably need to take the resistance down a notch. In addition, I do my regular stretches, stair steps, no-weight squats, single-leg balancing, and floor ladder exercises. I have been cleared to do 10 second intervals with a jump rope. My PT doctor said I may want to request an ultrasound at 12 months.

At 6.5 months post-op I shot baskets at a gym with no jumping. Today, I played four games of 21 with two friends. I was able to win two of the games with good outside shooting despite not running and limited jumping. I hope to play again at 9.5 or 10 months post-surgery.

There is intermittent swelling, to the point I am still icing every couple of days. The pain is there, but not extreme. I still have the Leuko tape on my knee, but not all the time. I also wear the compression sleeve. Getting up stairs and walking long distances is still a challenge.

My rehab doctor is happy with the way the knee looks, and happier with the strength and muscle build-up. Things are progressing slow, but very well.

Offline ozzie

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #81 on: August 15, 2013, 03:07:42 AM »
Hi ,  I just read your "diary" and was wondering how you are doing since you have not posted for a few months. I hope things are continuing to go well.  I had an ACI surgery (and osteotomy) 7 weeks ago, so it is helpful to hear about the long term experience few of others with similar surgeries. I was surprised that you were allowed to jump rope at 6 months-I thought we cartilage transplant people had to wait longer!  It's like a dream for me to imagine jumping. 
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #82 on: September 10, 2013, 05:45:44 PM »
Post Op - 12 Months

It has been awhile since I posted. I wanted to keep posting everyone month but was in a lull with recovery. I had my one-year appointment last week. There is still concern about the knee because it is catching and popping. The popping occurs many times a day and is very audible. The popping isn't very painful, but there is discomfort.

The leg is stronger than a few months ago. I still have swelling intermittently and take Tramadol when needed. I have been playing some basketball - only shooting around - every other weekend. The knee felt good while playing. I also starting to cut my lawn again with a push-mower. It is about an acre. The knee swells, but the pain isn't too bad. The stationary bike is still my best friend.

I am not icing very often, but probably should be. I do not tape my knee. It has probably been a couple of months since I taped the knee. I do still wear the compression sleeve almost every day. Squatting, walking up stairs, and extensive walking bother the knee still. The knee and leg are still somewhat numb. The surgeon stated again this past week that the feeling may never come back near the incision. I am not doing off-site physical therapy. All of my PT is at home.

So, due to the locking and popping my surgeon has concerns. It could be a few of different things: 1) the surgery didn't work; 2) a piece of cartilage may be getting caught in my knee; 3) the surgery was only partially successful with the cartilage covering a limited area of the defect; or 4) the surgery worked and the knee is still tender and working through the 12-18 month recovery. My surgeon recently took over a patient who is 25 and had a similar surgery. He was experiencing something similar to what I am going through. My surgeon went in arthroscopically and saw that the cartilage only grew over part of the defect so the knee was still catching. He cleaned-up the knee and is evaluating.

I had an MRI today and will have a consultation with my surgeon on Friday to learn more about what is going on.

Offline Joeybiscuits

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #83 on: August 10, 2015, 05:48:04 PM »
All

It is has been a while. I started on this side following left knee cartilage implant surgery in 2012. I re-tore my right knee meniscus in November 2014 and was having pain in my left knee. I had double-knee surgery June 30.

Right knee (2nd surgery): they repaired my torn meniscus and cleaned around a defect area. They were contemplating a microfracture surgery to the defect area but that would have been 6 weeks on crutches and 6-9 month recovery. We decided pre-surgery, since the pain/discomfort from the defect is minimal, to avoid microfracture.

Left knee (7th surgery): They completed a debridement, subchondroplasty, and glorified clean-out of the knee. From all of the past surgeries on this knee there was a lot of scar tissue. Also, the juvenile cadaver cartilage implants from three years ago were over-grown. The two combined were getting in the way of me bending my knee. Thus, the knee would catch, lock, and pop. They did find another defect/pothole that may need a cartilage implant in the future, but nothing to worry about now. The knee also had synovitis, so some of the tissue was removed.

I was on crutches for about 3 weeks and am now going through physical therapy. I am looking at a 4-6 month recovery.

Has anyone else experienced overgrown De Novo/cartilage cells and/or issues with synovitis?


Offline neptronix

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Re: Return of the Gimp - Cartilage Implant Surgery
« Reply #84 on: March 23, 2018, 08:01:50 PM »
Damn! overgrowth?! never heard of that!

How are you doing these days, Joey?















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