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Author Topic: Worth getting an arthroscopy?  (Read 332 times)

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Offline LindseyN

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Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:44:40 pm »
Hi everyone,

I've posted here before, but I dislocated my kneecap and sprained my ankle 12 1/2 weeks ago when I fell on the tube. I've been unable to walk without a limp since then and am mainly still using crutches. I can't properly bend or completely straighten my knee. I've had physio, which started off slowly and every 2 weeks, but they increased it to every week (except last week) in the last month. The MRI I had in December showed 'no physical reason' they could see for why I had such limited range of motion, but they said the images were blurry.

I saw the ortho today, and he said we could either continue to try with therapy where I'm not making a lot of progress and progress is slow or do an arthroscopy. I'm desperate to walk again, and I don't mind the surgery itself, but the timing is really bad. I'm not sure yet when it'll be, but I'm a postgrad student currently on placement (which requires me to visit homes of clients) and have dissertation due in May. The nurse said she thought he put that it was urgent for some reason, possibly because it's already been so long since the injury. I don't mind the surgery itself, but I don't want to take two weeks off my placement and go through this surgery if they don't even end up finding anything. He said that there could be some scar tissue blocking it, but wouldn't that show on the MRI, even if it was a bit blurry? After so much time and so little progress, I feel like I'm out of options.

Any thoughts? I'd appreciate any advice, especially if anyone's had an arthroscopy before.

Offline Vickster

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 06:59:06 pm »
Iíve had 3 scopes. Expect 3 months to fully recover, not two weeks. Right or left knee? Manual or automatic car? Still very traumatic to the joint even if not much is done

Not much help but something to consider
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
More tears and wear, scope planned in Jan 2019 to tidy up

Offline LindseyN

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 11:40:35 pm »
It's my right knee. They just said I would have to take 2 weeks off placement, not that I would be fully recovered by then. I don't drive, so that's not an issue. How long were you on crutches?

Offline Vickster

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 08:20:22 am »
About 4 weeks on and off after the first. 3 weeks signed off driving and my office job. Surgeon wanted me to rest it properly as it had been locked for 5 months.

Second one was just before Xmas, couple of weeks off. Not much done. Crutches maybe a week on and off. Wasnít told to use that time unless out and about and needed.

Third, right knee. Week off work, then a couple working from home. Then commute to office job couple of days a week. Similar crutches to #2, ie only as needed occasionally

TED stockings for a couple of weeks as prescribed

Few Physio sessions after each. Often donít get any in UK but I used private health care

Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
More tears and wear, scope planned in Jan 2019 to tidy up

Offline Clarkey

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 07:00:34 pm »
Two weeks post-op is still very early for any type of knee surgery. Surgery should always be the last option to go for. Most OS's try the conservative methods of treatment before considering doing any surgery without seeing any significant changes will leave the knee as it is for the time being trying none invasive methods of treatment options. If it does turn out to be scar tissue surgery is likely to increase rather than decrease. Being put under is a big shock for the body going through an artificial coma with a general anaesthetic is always a risk during surgery, with DVT a higher risk factor post op.

Met someone today I got to know at a disability coffee morning who had knee pain and discomfort and had success without surgery. He was not able to play football for nearly a year due to severe knee pain and saw an OS saying he needs to rest his ligaments wearing a brace doing gradual physiotherapy exercises to strengthen his muscles. The knee brace was worn for 6 months gradually reducing the usage from 24/7 to taking it off during the night while in bed and walking without the brace under the guidance of his OS and PT. Not sure exactly the time scale? Do know he said 6 months in total wearing a brace but doubt he wore it 24/7 for 6 whole months.

Good luck with whatever you decide, pre-warning you that surgery is not a walk in the park it is a walk in the Amazon Jungle - Risky!

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RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline LindseyN

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 10:33:48 pm »
I appreciate the information. This is really making me question it more. I think my knee is locked, and we've tried physio for the last 2 months without really significant changes. It's also still slightly larger than my left knee, though that could be partly because of the angle it's usually stuck in. I do the exercises every day, usually several times a day. I can walk better, but it's still with a massive limp, especially without crutches, and I still can't completely straighten it or bend it. There's usually not that much pain, although that varies. After 3 months of this, I'm just at a loss. They did say that if I do improve before the surgery (no idea how long that'll be with NHS), they will obviously cancel the surgery, so fingers crossed something changes somehow.

Has anyone has a sports massage? I'm wondering if that could possibly help. I meant to ask my ortho yesterday but forgot.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 10:38:09 pm by LindseyN »

Offline Vickster

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 10:46:08 pm »
I have sports massage from time to time. I have some very tight muscles and I do find it helps. If you have a locked joint, they may be unwilling to massage. Your Physio should be doing deep tissue massage, therapeutic ultrasound etc? Is it NHS Physio? Maybe find a private knee specialist sports Physio? Cost not dissimilar to sports massage

Iíd guess 3-6 months wait for arthroscopy on the NHS, varies as to where you are. London somewhere? Waits are long here in SW London for elective surgery for example. The surgeon should know approximately. Iíd get on the list and see how you get on. Iím sure you can request a date for June if you canít do sooner

Good luck
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
More tears and wear, scope planned in Jan 2019 to tidy up

Offline LindseyN

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 11:02:35 pm »
Do I still need a referral for a private knee specialist sports physio? You'll have to forgive me; I'm an American living here as a student, so I'm not sure how it all works! I have been working with an NHS physio, which is probably why physio didn't start until a month after the injury and was only every 2-3 weeks to start with until my ortho said at the last appointment that he wanted it increased to avoid surgery. I had it weekly for about 3 weeks then, but my physio is on leave now and couldn't get me back in until the end of the month. I need to try to see if someone else can get me in. My physio has mostly had me doing exercises. She hasn't really done any deep tissue massage exactly, more like trying to stretch and straighten it. She had me pull a band from my foot, for example, when she was pushing down on my knee with all her might to get it to straighten. (No luck.) She's also had me lying on my stomach and trying to bend or straighten it. I made a little (emphasis on little) progress during the physio sessions, but nothing seems to stick. It just stiffens again after a short time. I can do squats holding onto a counter, but nothing seems to help me bend it if I'm sitting on a bed or examination table and trying to bend it. I can bend more if I'm sitting in a chair...

I'm in Yorkshire. They didn't give me any estimates, but they put me on the list, and the nurse said it looked like the doctor had put it as urgent, but I don't know if that's right or what that means for timescale. She did say that if there was a cancellation or something, they may be able to get me in on short notice.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before or if it makes any difference, but I'm 33. I'm not athletic at all and did have some issues with my knee before it (twisted it years ago but never had it looked at because it wasn't serious), but I'm not overweight or anything and am pretty healthy overall. Would that make any difference?

Offline Vickster

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Re: Worth getting an arthroscopy?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 11:09:38 pm »
You shouldnít need a referral but it would be sensible to get a copy of letters from surgeon to GP, MRI report etc

Age etc should have an impact on what in particular?
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
More tears and wear, scope planned in Jan 2019 to tidy up















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