The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Articular cartilage repair => CARTILAGE REPAIR - ACI & MACI (autologous/matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation) => Topic started by: victoria628 on October 16, 2006, 04:33:38 PM

Title: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: victoria628 on October 16, 2006, 04:33:38 PM
So I'm freaking out now b/c I'm having ACI surgery in 2 weeks with Dr. Minas in Boston at the Brigham.  At the same time he is also fixing my ACL which has disappeared somehow.
I need some last minute advice, please!!  I have read some bad stories on here and I'm nervous.  I have had nightmares about it!

I am a 25 y/o female.  My original injury was a torn PCL, ACL, and MCL about 3 1/2 years ago.  The PCL and MCL have healed.  The ACL is gone and I have cartilage damage.  Dr. Minas was recommended to me by a family friend.

How did you feel after the surgery?  I tend to get pretty nauseous from anesthesia.
Any advice for keeping weight off post op?  I am normally pretty active (as active as I can with a damaged knee - gym rat!)  I know it is worse for your knee to be overweight even by a little bit!
When did you start driving afterwards?  I will be staying with my parents until I can drive.
When were you able to go back to doing activities (ie, regular gym stuff)
How long were you out of work?
Has anyone had surgery particulary with Dr. Minas?
Anything else?

I have looked through a ton of posts and now I'm nervous.  Thank you for your time!!
Title: Re: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: Nick_Knack on October 16, 2006, 07:48:54 PM
Minas is one of the best ACI surgeons in the U.S. and he is an excellent overall surgeon.  I went to him for a consult. So, realize you are in the best hands.  That is 90% of the battle- i.e. finding a great surgeon.

2) regarding anaesthesia: speak to your anaesthesia doctor.  Let them know about your prior nausea.  They give anti emetics during surgery so you should be o.k.  Again, a lot has to do w/ the anaesthesiologist.  I would bet that Minas uses gas docs he trusts.

3) I have had ACI and ACL at different times.  The most important part for each of these surgeries is post op mobilisation.  You want your leg in that CPM machine as much as possible and you want to be on your back so that the swelling goes down.  You leg will no doubt atrophy, but it will come back.

4) I drove again at week 6, but this can vary w/ surgeon.

5) Depending on were your damage is and if he is also doing an osteotomy will determine how soon before you can walk.  In my case, 6 weeks.  This is to protect the ACI not the ACL.  FOr ACL surgery, you are generally full wt bearing when you can.

6) I started PT at week 6 for ACI, for ACL week 2-3.

7) Great PT once you start is the stair master and ellipitical.  THey are both non impact and you can get cardio.


Best of Luck,


Title: Re: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: bioprof on October 17, 2006, 01:24:17 AM

I understand how you feel.  I've had previous arthroscopy and surgery on my shoulder, but ACI is such a big emotional and physical commitment.  As my surgery date neared (8/21/06), I too started "freaking out" and had many of the same concerns and questions as you.  This forum is a great resource, but I do believe that it may be a bit top-heavy with negative experiences.  Again that isn't to say that there aren't posiitive experiences reported here, but rather the ratio of positive vs negative may be a bit skewed.  As someone else suggested, folks that have uneventful and successful surgeries are less likely to seek information from forums such as this.   In my case, I was concerned with my PT and OS's lack of communication, so I went to the web to find answers.  I luckily found this forum.

I had two defects; med. femoral condyle (medium) trochlea (large).  I was nauseous and vomited after surgery.  The post-op meds helped greatly with this.

Download and print the rehab protocols from the Carticel website and read them cover to cover, and then read them again until you very familiar with them.  Bring them with you when you visit your OS and ask as many questions as you'd like until your satisfied with the answers.  Because I had two defects repaired, my rehab was slower and more conservative.  I'm only 50% WB after 8 weeks.

I drove and returned to work 2 weeks post op, but as I have written in my thread, I think this was premature - though my surgeon didn't really object to it.

Try to relax and convince yourself that this investment is well worth it in the long run.  You're very young and active and ACI will help you stay that way for a long time.

Good luck,

Title: Re: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: victoria628 on October 17, 2006, 01:35:14 PM
Thank you for the responses!!! I appreciate it.  Yes, Mike, you are right that these forums like these tend to have more negative information.  I think people with very positive experiences are probably not on the internet seeking out info =D
I have visions of running and being active just like I was pre-accident so I'm really hoping it helps.

Thanks for the encouraging info about Dr. Minas!  I guess I lucked out!  Nick, did you come from out of state to consult with him or are you in the Boston area?  I am curious b/c I was wondering if you were able to find a good PT - I live in the Boston area.  Yeah, the nurse that schedules all of the OR nurses for the hospital is a family friend and she said she will schedule the best 'gas docs' for me =D

I hope to drive asap but it is my right leg.  Also, I live on a 3rd floor walkup apartment!

I will def. print out the Carticel website info.

Dr. Minas looks a little bit like Patrick Dempsey to me so after I watched Grey's Anatomy I had a terrible nightmare about my surgery and Dr. Minas was Patrick Dempsey's character and he was distracted with all of this drama at the hospital and forgot about me on the OR table... no more tv for me!!
Title: Re: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: Nick_Knack on October 17, 2006, 03:16:00 PM
1) I came out of state for a consult and finally went w/ someone in NJ who Minas spoke highly of.

2) Ask Minas or Tim Bryant, Minas' nurse, for recommendations on PT in the Boston area.

3) Your nightmares could be worse; you could be seeing Hugh Laurie from House....
Title: Re: ACI AND ACL Surgery in Boston 2 weeks
Post by: victoria628 on October 19, 2006, 12:47:27 PM
3) Your nightmares could be worse; you could be seeing Hugh Laurie from House....

hehehe... I didn't think about it that way.  I won't watch any episodes of House then!