The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: primetime on February 21, 2006, 07:37:20 PM

Title: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: primetime on February 21, 2006, 07:37:20 PM
Hi everyone,
I've had recurring problem with my right knee since I was about 12 yrs old. At first, docs attributed it to growing pains and wrote it off. I dealt with pain and swelling throghout my teen years and finally had surgery in 1999 to smooth the articular cartilage and fix an alignment problem. After about a month or so of rehab I was back to almost 100% and most of my normal activities. About 3 years ago, I started having similar problems with the same knee, except now, in addition to the pain and swelling, I had grinding, popping and occasional locking of the knee joint. A couple of cortisone shots, on and off PT, even a few trips to the chiropracter, and I fould myself at yet another OS describing my symptoms and he told me that it could be plica syndrome, a term I had not hear until yesterday. He gave me a cortisone shot "with the hopes of keeping out of the operating room." Needless to say I'm less than optimistic because this is my fifth cortisone shot and I've already done several rounds of strengthening excerises with littlle relief.  I'm only 28 yrs old and I've had to significantly scale back my activity and I hate it. I was wondering if anyone on the board has had similar experiences or the plica removal surgery. Thanks for any input. :)
Title: Re: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: stgiles16 on February 21, 2006, 08:26:01 PM
A good resource to find out about plica syndrome is Click on education and then click on what is a plica. I have had both a lateral and medial plicas removed but they were done along with other surgeries so I cant help you with how the recovery is.
good luck
Title: Re: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: amandalee on February 22, 2006, 04:48:46 AM
Personally i dont know much about plica removal, but it sounds like your OS isnt very sure of whats wrong and is just trying to get you out and on your way (hence a 5th cortizone) . I would recommend a second opinion before you move on with any surgery!

good luck! let me know if you have anymore questions that i might be able to answer!

Title: Re: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: primetime on March 02, 2006, 07:35:13 PM
Thanks for the replies and the referal to I had no relief from the cortisone shot and I'm waiting to hear back from my OS on when my MRI will be. He tried the cortisone shot because he thought it my be a problem with the medial plica but he did say that if I was still having pain, clicking, catching and instability after the cortisone, that it may be a meniscus tear. I'm hoping for the best but there is definitely something wrong that needs to be fixed. Again, thanks.

Title: Re: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: blackbeltgirl on March 02, 2006, 09:02:14 PM
If you had a problem with articular cartilage in your teens, odds are that's still the problem.  Or at least part of the problem.  (OK - I'm not a doctor and shouldn't be giving advice.  I'm just applying common sense.)  Traditional mris do a poor job of showing articular cartilage - over 50% of articular cartilage lesions are missed using this technology.  Unfortunately, there aren't any great imaging options for articular cartilage.  DId this OS take x-rays?  Weight bearing?  sunrise view? etc.  There is also a fye injection that is sometimes used with mri, that improves the imaging of articular cartilage.  I would ask about all of these things.

But basically, they smoothed the cartilage years ago, and re-aligned the knee.  There is a reasonable chance that your original lesion has continued to deteriorate, and may require additional treatment.  Depending on the location, size, etc. you may want to research the surgical options to repair/replace/regenerate articulat cartilage.  They are microfracture, OATS, and ACI.

Good luck-
Title: Re: new to board...longtime knee problems
Post by: primetime on March 15, 2006, 05:33:57 PM
My MRI came back negative, no apparent structural damage to ligaments or menesci. On one hand, I'm relieved that nothing is damaged but on the other hand, I'm no closer to a resolution. I have been doing stretching and strengthening excercises and continuing the RICE regimen to control the pain and discomfort but that's basically all I do. My activity level has been reduced to virtually zero and it's become increasingly frustrating to not know what's wrong.

My OS's original diagnosis was plica syndrome, after doing some research on the topic, I found that not only does it mimic the symptoms of other knee problems, most often meniscal tears, it is often a condition that is overlooked and misdiagnosed, and also will not be apparent on MRI. My OS is on vacation for the week and he wants to see me upon his return, frankly I'm running out of patience and tired of hurting.