Collateral Ligaments and other non-cruciate tendons & ligaments around the knee :
two years of wobbly knee - ANY suggestions??!! - - Posted by Elly (Elly), 26 August 2004
So glad I found you - your help PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
Well I'm sitting here yet again doing the ice and elevation thing and feeling increasingly disheartened.
Over two years ago I damaged my knee but got by without a trip to casualty by borrowing crutches and a home bandaging job (foolish I know but I thought i would heal). The essence of the situation was that initially every time i put weight on it my knee collapsed sideways (medially).
I've always been quite double-jointed with both knees obviously hyper-extending and i'm a slightly knock-kneed, pidgeon toed kind of girl (attractive i know...!)
Since the injury, I regularly re-twisted the joint, and saught advice from GP's on many occasions, most of whom sent me away with a bumper pack of ibuprofen! I eventually managed to get a physio refereal this summer and have been trying to stabilise my joint and improve my balance and the proprioception (feedback) through the joint.
The general jist of things is that together with a kind of congenital joint laxity, I have increased instability in the cruciate ligaments and both lateral ligaments, but I have never seen an orthopaedic consultant or had any kind of scan. It has also been really painful after kind of twisting and crunching without giving way which i am told could be the cartilage or joint lining getting pinched.
Walking is fine, but I play Capoeira (brazillian artform - type it in your search engine!) which is quite a twist, impact kind of thing which I DO NOT want to give up!!!
I frequently twist or sprain my knee even wearing an elastic support underneath a neoprene strappy one, and my physio has ordered me a new brace with bits of bendy metal in it (not a hinge joint though.)
So, after this small essay (sorry but I have no definate diagnosis!) my question is, am I likely to achieve a stable knee by managing the situation with long-term physio and knee braces, or should I consult an orthopaedic surgeon/consultant/someone??
Is there any procedure to tighten loose ligaments? Do you reckon there's a chance I could have a tear?
Really, I'm open to any suggestions - I'm dubious about surgery because of scar tissue and just making my situation worse.
If you read this far then thanks for your time, I REALLY appreciate it!
Grumpy and disheartened,
Ps - my Capoeira teacher has a terribly wobbly knee which is held together my his amazing muscles - there's a lot of hope for the physio!
Posted by Philip (Philip), 27 August 2004
sorry to hear of that - I would definitely go with some good and adviced physio regime. One friend of mine doesn't have an ACL but he can do basically any kind of sport due to the strength in his muscles. In my physio-class at the moment there is one with a partially torn ACL - he has been doing the excercises for two months and he said that his knee hasn't been that stable for ages.
Try to get regular physio and do the excercises that enhance stability. I think if you can do without brace then you should try to (at least my OS told me that I should aim for that) and all that twisting in your knee can't be goo long-term.
Sorry guess that won't help much...just what I thought when reading through your stuff....
hope your getting better soon - keep us updated.
Posted by Elly (Elly), 27 August 2004
Hi Phillip, thanks for replying.
I totally agree with what you have said but it's just I'm getting a bit desperate! I really don't want to go under the knife.
I definately can't manage without a brace when I'm doing sport but I don't wear one any other time.
I'm hoping the new one will compensate the instability when I'm training, but I haven't got it yet!
Thanks for the advice - if your friend can do sport with no ACL at all then that's encouraging!!
Posted by ATsoccergirl (ATsoccergirl), 27 August 2004
Try asking your physical therapist about the hamstring reflex control program, it is designed to retrain the muscles around the knee to compensate for ligamentous instability. I would also suggest that you consult with an orthopedic surgeon to rule out any other ligament damage or more likely mensical damage. With extended MCL instability, there is a higher chance of developing a medial mensical tear since the two are connected.
Posted by KJ (KJ), 27 August 2004
If you don't want surgery there is little point in seeing an orthopaedic surgeon as surgery is what they do. Certainly however bad your knee instability is, building up both sets of muscles around the knee is going to help.
however having done that if you still have instablity you may want to consider other options. As time is not an issue for you as you don't want to leap for surgery - you could ask your GP for an orthopaedic referral and also possibly for an MRI scan.
I don't know about all parts of the country but certainly in my area GPs can request MRIs. If this showed significant ligament disruption you might then consider opting for a discussion about surgery.
I know what it is like to have a wobbly knee (in my case a VERY wobbly knee) After comprehensive ligament reconstructions a year ago I now have a wonderfully stable knee and it makes a huge difference. Mind you I still can't run yet and I'm not up to sports - o it all depends where you are coming from.
Posted by Elly (Elly), 28 August 2004
Hamstring reflex control...does that involve retraining the muscles to react more quickly? If so I've been doing that.
I'm gonna see how things go - my priority is to be able to continue playing capoeira but at the moment I'm struggling with that because every couple of weeks my knee has been getting injured.
I'll think about asking for a consultation etc - it sounds like a good idea. After all, I wouldn't have to say yes to surgery immediately if they said it was an option.
Thanks for all your help! Really appreciate it!
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010