The patello-femoral joint :
Pain after microfracture, desperate - - Posted by Alyce (Alyce), 13 February 2004
I really need some encouragement here, as I have been dealing with this knee for over 3 years now, and my spirit is broken.
I had anterior knee pain. The first Orthopod was going to just clean out the loose parts. Ended up doing a LR without my consent. Spent a year in rehab, which did nothing. That was 6//2002. After dragging leg around for a year, and after extensive research, made the decision to travel to MN, and have surgery by the best Orthopod for female athletes. In 6/2003, she reversed LR, but found a lesion underneath my patella that was 15mm by 5mm by9mm, or roughly 1/2 inch. It was bone on bone. She performed microfracture. After 2 week stay in MN, flew home 3000 miles. Was in CPM 5 weeks, immobilizer & crutches 3 months. Have been doing PT for 3 years.
I still have tremendous pain in lower lateral area, where fat pad was removed. Mobility is excellent. Still can't go up 1 stair, but can go down with some control. Can ride the bike for 35 minutes without resistance. Unable to return to work as a floral designer.
She wants to do a partial knee replacement!!! I refuse to have another surgery. I think I need to wait a year to allow healing. How long does it take for a microfracture to heal? She has not examined me since October.
Any thoughts that would help me get back on track I'm crying myself to sleep every night.
Posted by Linds (Linds), 13 February 2004
HI Alyce, wow this must be very frusterating for you, I can relate. I think you are probably wise to give your knee time for healing. Sometimes surgery after surgery after surgery just causes more problems than it solves, as an already irritated knee get's irritated again. I am sorry that they have not yet been able to help you get some pain relief . I wish I has some advice for you, but unfortunately I am not in the same position as you, nor do I have the same problems. I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this... you will find a way to solve this...sometimes it just takes time.
HUGS and hope
Posted by Riosilia (Riosilia), 15 February 2004
If you don't mind me asking, who is your doctor? If you don't feel comfortable post it up, you can email me (Riosilia@hotmail.com). I'm just wondering because I live in MN.
I tend to agree Linds in that sometimes it's better to give it some time. My doctor told me that microfracture usally takes 6-12 months for complete recovery. I know it's hard because in the mean time you have to deal with all the pain. At least for me, being in pain for a long period actually helped me realize that I did need surgery and I knew at that point that I wasn't rushing into anything, I really thought about things since I had so much time.
In the mean time, are you still doing any PT? I can't guarantee PT will help you with pain, but it will probably help with muscle control so that you can go down the stairs. I also had surgery in June (but I had something else) and I'm still doing therapy.
Hang in there! It's not easy but try to remember that like Linds mentioned, you are not alone!
Posted by Tery (2soreknees), 16 February 2004
I have had microfractures performed in my right knee. I went in for a meniscus tear but the damage was so extensive he ended up doing the microfractures. this was in Feb. 02. The pain was intense, thank god for oxycodone and percocet and ICE! I truly believe that I survived because of my excellent PT. I took about 6 months before I was pain free...well until now but that is a whole new problem. I wouldn't jump into more surgery yet, you have not had time to heal, and how much can your body (and mind) take. Talk to your Dr. about some AMBIEN for sleep and maybe a different pain releiver. You can't heal if you can't sleep. I hope you are going to PT. I wish I could help more. Knees are really hell aren't they!
Posted by Alyce (Alyce), 17 February 2004
Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. I feel as though I live, breathe, sleep this knee. It has been hard on all my relationships. Especailly my child. Everyone else expects me to be the "happy little cripple."
I don't take painkillers. I am not trying to tough it out or anything ridiculous. I have suffered from severe depression most of my life, and find that any pain killer, makes me more depressed, and interferes with the absorption of my antidepressant. I also have been unable to take any NSAIDS, including all the over the counters.
So I rely on Xtra Strength Tylenol. One dose in theA.M., and lots of icing. I was only on pain meds for 10 days after the microfracture and reverse LR. I went through narcotics withdrawal stopping those. Lots more fun.
I see a psychopharmacologist, and I don't take an aspirin without talking to her first.
I'm stubborn as a mule, and know that I will get better, and the pain will decrease over time. Yes, I am still in PT with someone I think is too hard, coach mentality. Ignores my pain. I've improved, so I stay.
Again, many thanks for sharing. It truly made me feel better.
Posted by hmaxwell (Heather M.), 17 February 2004
You shouldn't ignore the link that also exists between severe pain and depression. Pain depletes serotonin, this is a medically proven fact, and it has a significant impact on your mental health. I found the constant pain was really dragging me down and keeping me from doing any normal activities. I was becoming a hermit. While it is true that painkillers do have depressant properties, I found I did better on them than not. I can't imagine going through what you are with only tylenol--I'm so sorry!! You must really be in a lot of pain....
What I'm saying is the pain you are experiencing is not unexpected in the slightest, and most people would still be on painkillers. I'm really sorry that you can't do the standard things to relieve pain, especially on the days after PT. Have you thought about alternatives, like TENS units, pain pump at the knee, synthetic painkillers (like ultracet/ultram--don't know the depression implications, but they are non-narcotic), and so forth? I really hope you find something to get you relief soon. There's nothing worse than that deep bone pain after surgery.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010