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Author Topic: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?  (Read 4679 times)

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Offline acl_adam

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Hi everyone,

Two months ago I had an acl reconstruction along with a meniscus repair. Ever since the operation Iíve had a locking or catching sensation inside the knee. I would get a sharp pain in the front half of the knee after which itís very hard to bend the knee further. Itís completely irregular and I have no control over when it happens. However, Iíve gotten really good at predicting when itís going to happen and trying to avoid it, for example by lowering myself carefully when Iím about to sit. If I move it quickly and donít catch it in time I can feel a pop and eventually the knee will fall in the right Ďtrackí.

Itís really annoying not being in control of whatís going on inside the knee and not being able to trust it. The physiotherapy and muscle strengthening had helped but it hasn't made the problem go away. Itís definitely something mechanical inside the knee. The MRI doesnít show anything and apparently both the acl graft and the meniscal repair are intact.

To be honest I have lost a bit of trust in my consultant. Perhaps it's not rational but the problem is definitely as a result of the operation. Iím starting to wonder if he went in too gung ho. He has suggested the problem may be scar tissue. I donít really understand this concept. Scar tissue where? Around the meniscus repair?

The next step would be to send a camera in to see whatís going on. The question is when? The knee is still swollen below the patella so going in now might risk the healing process. On the other hand leaving it for a few months down the track might cause further damage and arthritis. I donít really see a good option at the moment.

Has anyone had a similar experience or can offer any advice?

Offline kimfit

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Re: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 08:01:10 PM »
Hi,
Not necessarily.
I know how hard it is to go through these post op changes with no reply so I'll give it a go.  1 day after post ACL (hamstring graft) surgery and for at least 1 year I had a very odd popping where the outside of the calf meets the knee joint. Very alarming since I never felt that prior to surgery.  No pain with it but limited ROM (range of motion). I was told by my chiropractor/athletic trainer that it was likely the popliteus tendon.  Why? Who knows.  Just remember our anatomy has been through MAJOR trauma and is trying to fix itself.  He did Graston, it felt better, but came back a few weeks later.  This was my right knee and until about 6 months after surgery I couldn't drive for more than about 2 hours or I'd have to get out of the car on arrival, straighten my leg (pain and cracking from that spot) and then it would feel better.  I had another crack on terminal knee extension ALL THE TIME.  That hurt. 
Happy to tell you that it took at least a year and it stopped.  Strength training helped.  So did frequent self myofascial release. 
Although I didn't have meniscus surgery, I tore the MPFL and meniscus capsule.
Best to you.  Soon you will be through the fear of more surgery.  Just keep on with PT and working on yourself.

Offline acl_adam

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Re: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 09:51:28 PM »
Hi kimfit,
Thank you for the encouragement. Glad to hear you got through your post-surgery grief, even though it took a whole year!

My physio is trying to convince me to wait, keep working on the PT because he believes the problem will go away with more training. However, I feel like this locking problem is the main thing holding me back from rehabilitating further. My surgeon on the other hand wants to send a camera in to see what's going on. I guess each is trying to help in his own way.

I'm happy to be patient and put up with it and see what happens. The only thing that worries me is that the additional rubbing/popping that's going on inside the knee because it locks will cause further damage in the long term!

Offline troymcfont

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Re: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 08:48:29 AM »
Hi,

I am having the same locking issues after the same surgery (ACL reconstruction + meniscus repair). I can feel it even walking and it's very unpleasant. How did it go for you? What was the problem? Is it fixed now?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 09:41:20 AM by troymcfont »

Offline Gloompreach

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Re: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 07:33:36 PM »
Did this ever resolve for you guys?

I am 8 weeks post ACL and Lateral Meniscus Repair OP and having the locking issue going from extension to bending while walking (weight bearing).

Really hoping this issue goes away by itself.

Offline BornToRun

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Re: Knee locking/catching after acl recon. Is another op necessary?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 04:26:48 PM »
Hi all, is it possible that the knee is maltracking due to muscle atrophy and resulting imbalance - which means that the knee cap is essentially being pulled in the wrong direction? If so, that should go away as the right muscles build up (e.g. the VMO)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 04:38:36 PM by BornToRun »
6 Mar 2018 - skiing fall, ACL rupture, MCL and LCL sprain, lateral meniscus tear and bone bruising
13 Apr 2018 - ACL reconstruction with hamstring autograft, small meniscus repair















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