The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: Berta on June 10, 2007, 06:23:33 PM

Title: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 10, 2007, 06:23:33 PM
For the last 20 odd years I've been very good at bending my knees not my back, having a chronic disc problem at l4.

Now my left knee is not functioning to well, I'm  currntly waiting for an MRI to see if I have a meniscal tear thats causing both the bakers cyst and the pain and swelling I have, I'm struggling to find the best way to reach into low cupboards, or to pick up things on the floor.

I'm guessing that this is a common enough problem, so can any one share hints and tips to overcome the problems?
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: katmomx2 on June 10, 2007, 06:46:17 PM
Hello rm185western,

Have you tried one of those grabber things ? My freind got 2 of them when she had her hip replaced. Personally I make my kids get stuff out of the lower cabinets, or they have to help me off the floor.

Good luck

Kat in Texas
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 16, 2007, 11:58:34 PM
maybe I'll have a look at the grabber, it's just frustrating that I have my kitchen so poorly organised.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: kiddthekatt on June 17, 2007, 12:25:41 AM
  Listen I got one of those grabbers at Walmart and it works like a charm. I'm only 5 feet tall, so anything in the high cabinets or anything on the floor is outta reach for me. I'm trying to get over a PKR on 3/22/07 and the revision on 3/17/07. I had to have something, because if I get on the floor, I'm there until I get some help getting up or until I can scoot to a chair to pull up. Try one of the grabbers, I really like the one I have.


Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 17, 2007, 10:38:33 AM
the grabbers are great, also if it helps get a little stool and keep it in the kitchen (only works if you can get up from it easily), then you can sit down to reach lower. hope you feel better soon!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 17, 2007, 05:17:27 PM
I hadn't thought of the stool, stroke of genius. I think that there is a low stool down in the basement, left by the previous owner of the house. I'll have to send the husband down to the far reaches to have a look, when he is down there fetching up the laundry for me, there are a couple of benefits to not being able to do stairs so well! I'm sure that will be a great help. I have now got the Doberman trained as a support if I have to get right down to the floor, he is a big lad so is quite good at giving a helping paw if needed, but now the weather is good he is out most of the time.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 18, 2007, 09:08:04 AM
hope that idea works out for you - I discovered the joys of small stools after Id had my surgery (18 years ago) - they work great in the kitchen because you can use the handles on drawers/cupboards to help haul youself up if you get stuck also.
I also find there are benefits to not being able to do certain household jobs - I have convinced my partner that I cannot clean the oven because I cant knee for that long :)
Thats cool about your dog - animals are great at helping out!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 18, 2007, 06:39:04 PM
Like I said, a genius!!!!!!!! I actually managed to convince him on Christmas eve, when my old oven died for good, that a self cleaning oven would be good, and as that was all they had in stock in the store (top of the range job) and if we didn't buy it there would be no Christmas dinner, the oven cleaning thing is sorted.  ;D
My biggest problem so far is finding a way to clean the bath, haven't cracked not kneeling for that one, may have to invest on one of these 'cleaner on a stick' things, I don't think that my main folk are trainable for that, and it narks me as well, cos I can only shower, the whole back/knee combination is ruling out the bath :-[
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 18, 2007, 08:45:57 PM
best bath cleaning tip: get someone else to do it :)
next best bath cleaning tip - very hot water and lemon juice and small amount of bleach, fill bath, leave 20 mins, come back, cloth on a stick, wipe down walls and bottom of bath (with water still in it). The lemon juice will work on the grease and bath 'scum' - should save on scrubbing, and cloth on a stick will stop you having to bend into it!
hope that works!

im the opposite to you - Im too unstable to balance on the slippy shower floor so I only use the bath!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 19, 2007, 01:19:54 AM
Yup, the get someone else to do it would be good, but I'm taking their training slowly, looks like it may be a long road back to normality, so don't want to frighten them yet. Have got them taking laundry up and down to the cellar, and they can actually work the machine as well,  ;D ;D ;D, they also jump out to open the gates around the farm, rather than watching me struggle. What battles are you fighting, you have a lot of good coping stratetegies there, so guess that it's an ongoing thing, I hope it's not related to the surgery way back?
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 19, 2007, 09:19:59 AM
a lot of my coping strategies developed over the years since surgery - I had around 60/70 dislocations in 16 years since surgery and in the past 2 ive had 150 - so ive spent quite a lot of time not being able to use my leg properly - hence the strategic methods round the house!!!
Im currently trying to get strength back into my leg after years of compensation - the OS says he thinks surgery can be avoided if we get the leg strong - although I often find that I get the strength back with physio then I unconsciously compensate in everyday life and lose the gains Ive made...its frustrating. My OS says I need a lifestyle change, back to cycling as a mode of transport instead of driving or swimming every day or so. He says I have a lot of 'neural inhibition' from all the dislocations over the years - my brain just keeps saying 'dont use that leg'.
Ill be well happy to avoid another surgery but I dont know yet if thats a realistic goal...time will tell.......MRI this friday to look at internal damage - dont know if its too bad, lot of crunching, but its been like that years and no pain....only pain is dislocations!!
when is your MRI?

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 19, 2007, 09:05:47 PM
Now thats a horror story. I can understand that neural inhibition thing, the Chiropractor said much the same about my back, it was so well trained, that the least little thing would put it into a violent spasm as the muscles ganged up to prevent damage, trouble is every time they did it I was in so much pain I was unable to move. I suppose from the bodies point of view it makes sense, but I'm glad that we have, touch wood, got that one cracked.

Good luck on Friday, I hope that you can avoid another surgery with a few lifestyle changes, but that is sometimes easier said than done. I'm glad I don't have that whole crunching thing, mine is just painful and swollen. I stil have no idea when my MRI is, it's so frustrating. I wish they would let you know that they have your details anyway, and that they will send an appointment sometime. I've been chatting on a local forum and it seems to be a year or so before you get an MRI!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? Not sure if I can wait that long. There is no option of having a private scan done here, and even if I go out of province it won't work, because the OS is not allowed to accept out of province diagnostics :o :o
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 20, 2007, 08:52:45 AM
i think my knee history sounds worse than it actually was for me - of the 60/70 dislocations I had in the 16 years after surgery only around 10 of them actually hurt - the rest of the time Id just go 'ooops, knee out again, hang on there', Id relocate it and just carry on like nothing happened - sounds bizarre, but I was just so used to it that I didnt take much notice!!

The last 2 years have been hard though, a lot of secondary problems have come into play - weak and sore hips, no balance, constant instability. But with a bit of luck this ew physio will help. That neural inhibition thing is such a pain!!! I left physio on Monday and I quite literally felt like my leg was 'alive' - most of the time I feel like Im dragging it round after me - i assume it was because they gave me such a long work out and did ultra sound, tens etc... got the blood flowing to the relevant parts, woke the muscles up!! I just wish it felt alive every day!!!

Thats not nice about your back - has that been sorted out now - or do you still have back problems? Did you manage to break the neural inhibition? Im interested to know if it is something that can be corrected. I keep wondering if my brain will ALWAYS try not to use that leg...

That sounds like a long time to wait to get an MRI!!! Can the OS insist on you getting one earlier than that? When is your next OS appointment? Could you get him to refer you to someone out of province so that you could get a private scan done and interpeted elsewhere?
Im having mine done privately - it means Ive to pay quite a bit for it but my health insurance wont cover anything to do with my knee for another couple of years - 'pre-existing problem' :(
My physio said to bring the MRI results to her so she can have a look at them, I wont see OS again til 9th August - so Ill get a results preview off the physio. Ill post results on this site too for a translation. I think the OS only ordered it to cover himself, he really seemed definite all my problems were from muscle wastage.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 21, 2007, 10:32:15 PM
Hi there, yes, stopping and having to pop your knee back does sound bizarre, but as you say you kind of get used to things. I bet that the whole instability thing as the worse, I hope that they can get that one sorted for you, that just makes you worry the whole time in case you are going to tumble, I bet.
The back thing, touch a whole forest, was eventually cleared up. After years of 'care' from the NHS, here are your painkillers, go and rest, here are your stronger painkillers go and rest more, I gave up and managed the back with the chiropractor and exersise. I then went to work for a company where I had private health care as part of the package. I had a bad episode with my back, was off for three weeks, went back to work and managed to put it out worse after being in the office for an hour! :o :o Had another month of, and suddenly the insurance company covered it for me. Saw a specialist, had an MRI, found potruding discs, had 2 lots of injections, and some physio, within 6 months was just about painfree. Now it tries to 'sieze' every now and then, but if I get to the relaxation exersises straight away, so far I can stop it actually locking the whole thing, so far score 6 to 0 in my favour ;D ;D ;D.

I'm still working out how the system works here in Canada, this is my first real involvement, I haven't seen an OS yet, only my family Doc, and the physio (who seems to be the most knowledgeable about knees) I have now been in contact with our local Quality of Care Coordinator who is currnely investigating whats happening for me, and she has access to all waiting lists, so may have to take the 4 hour journey to our next nearest city, or possibly go out of Province. I'll let you know how this one goes.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 22, 2007, 10:21:39 AM
Yes - I do feel like Im going to tumble a lot - i get nervous in crowds too.
It certainly sounds like youve gotten the back situation sorted - but you really went through the mill to get there!!! Thats terrible about the NHS - I used to find the same on the public health system here, they would send me to physio and Id be discharged without getting back to full function. The surgeon said to me that he thinks Ive never been brought back to full function since surgery 18 years ago - and up until 2 years ago I was always in the public system. They just dont have the resources and there is no continuity. I used to have to go for follow up appointments every 6 months or so about my knee and each time it was a different OS assistant, so itd be me telling the same story over and over......just a waste of time. I stopped going to the appointments back in the late 90s - because I felt it was a time wasting exercise.

Yes - Ill be interested to hear how that works out for you - there must be a way of getting an MRI without having to wait for a year - surely more damage could be done in a year while you wait??? The physios are very knowledgeable arent they? Ive found some of them to be as good as OS's - mind you they have much better people skills generally speaking. My OS has very bad people skills :) I try not to take it personally!!!
Has your family doc referred you to an OS or do they want an MRI done first? If you saw an OS he could probably push for a faster MRI?

MRI today for me - I dont know if Ill get the results or will the be sent straight to the OS. Ive to get skyline view x-rays also. I hope they do give me the MRI results directly - I want to post them here for an english translation!!

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 22, 2007, 10:33:49 PM
How did the MRI go, did they give you the results? Sorry I but won't be any help in translation, I'm still learning this new language, the language of the knee, but I will read other peoples interpretation with interest. I agree with you that the physios have a lot better range of people skills, and I think mine is far more clued up than the doctor when it comes to joints. My mum suffers from pheripheral neuropathy, which has killed the nerves in her feet, so she can't balance properly, so I have some understanding of how that feels, I really feel for you there.

It's been a good news bad news day, bad news I am not on the list for an MRI, despite the doc saying I was, have to go to the OS first. Made some more phone calls and found surprise surprise I'm not on the list for the OS that I was originally referred to, I'm told that he doesn't deal with injuries like mine ??? I'm going to have to follow that one up, he is an OS who specialises in knees, but not mine????????????

Any way manage to track down the guy that I'm now listed for, he's based at the University, not the hospital, not sure what to make of that either ??? So now have confirmed OS date 26th September, which seems ages away, but have put my name on the cancelation list. I have to go and get new xrays done before I see him, which is a joke as the last ones were clear, but now I'm really tempted to contact him and see if he will accept a private MRI, for $750 I can have my knee scanned in the next province, that would maybe mean a diagnoses in September, if not it will mean another wait I suppose.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on June 22, 2007, 10:42:13 PM
they didnt give me the results - just the films - but sure i might as well be looking at spagetti :) would you believe i fell asleep in the machine!! i posted an x-ray on another post though - my kneecap looks so squashed!! dont know what that means.

yeah loss of balance is not good - i think i seize up a little if people are hurrying alongside me or im in a crowd too - and then when im tense my leg just wont move for me!! my physio says these are all compensatory actions - so hopefully they can be fixed.

oh - that is bad news and good news for you - i dfefinitely think its good news that youre listed with a university guy - he would only be a university guy if he was good enough to be able to teach and pass on skills - so thats a good thing!!

26th september DOES seem ages away - but at least its a definite date. and if you are lucky you'll get a cancellation.
Absolutely contact him and see will he accept a private MRI - his secretary should be able to tell you that. and if you cant get any joy by phone write to him. i definitely think you should do that - nothing ventured nothing gained and all that!!
check that he needs an MRI - they never MRId me before my surgery alt hose years ago - didnt need to - it was obvious to them what was wrong, so dont waste the money if he doesnt need you to have one.
i will send 'cancellation' vibes to you!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on June 29, 2007, 05:12:13 PM
How are things going, have you found out what your films mean yet? I just got through written confirmation of my appointment, and it looks like more good news, the guy I have been sent to is based in the sports medicine department at the university, which I think, from reading the other posts here, is the best place to be, so that sounds like a lucky break, and it's only a bit scary that his specialities are listed as 'lower limb reconstruction and trauma' ???
I treated myself with a visit to a massage therapist yesterday, and that was a brilliant way to spend an hour, she was worried to do to much to the leg without a firm diagnosis, but what she did do has made it feel better. I was shocked at how many knots and tensions she found, I knew about the left leg and my lower back, but hadn't realised that my upper back, shoulders and neck were so tense, in fact the only bit of me that seemed to be clear of hot spots was my right leg, but I really feel better for it today.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 08, 2007, 09:01:14 PM
im doing good. was away for a week in Sicily, did nothing much but lie on the beach and eat great food :)
actually i did my physio every day and i swam and climbed round rock pools and uneven surfaces and my knee was GREAT!! i was actually shocked at how well it seemed to handle new territory.
then i came home and went to bed, got hot during the night, kicked about a bit and dislocated it again in my sleep!!! arrrggghh!!! think i tangled it up in the covers and twisted it somehow. but its not too bad today - little bit unstable as always after dislocation, but still did all my physio - not hurting too much now.
am seeing my physio tomorrow after work so she will do the ultra sound and tens stuff and hopefully take away inflammation. am not too freaked out - am only 4 weeks into new physio - still have a while to go - quads not near top strength yet!!! hopefully physio will also have mri results for me.

thats GREAT news about your appointment - thats not scary about his specialities - its excellent - if he is good enough to be a reconstructor then he will surely be able to help you out!!!
when is your appointment?

thats lovely about your massage - so glad it helped you out!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 09, 2007, 05:44:18 AM
Right, lets try this again I had a reply all  typed up once, was just typing the last couple of words, when the dam computer ate it :'( :'( :'(


Good to hear from you, glad that no posts = being on vacation, mmmmmmmm laying on a beach and great food, I think I could deal with that. I think that sun bathing and swimming is an excellent holiday for a poor knee. I'm glad it stood up to walking on the beach and rock pools as well.

Beds are dangerous places, I once managed to put my back out turning over in the night, severe pain is a very effective alarm clock, it jusy goes to show that you can't leave your body to itself ;D

Things have been up and down, and the biggest down was going up some stairs. I got fed up with the old 'mummy walk' you know lead with the good leg, catch up with the bad, then lead with the good again. Well for some reason I thought that it would be a good idea to take the stairs like 'normal folk' well 3 stairs worked well and the 4th one didn't, so it was back to RICE for a couple of days until it all settled down again.

I don't get to see the OS until September, so figure I best spend the time sensibly by trying to lose a few pounds, and get my leg muscles as fit as possible. To help yhis I bought myself a recumbent bike, which arrived on Friday, at the moment I'm doing a couple of 10 minute sessions a day, and hope to build it up from here. The muscles are certainly feeling it, which is great, but the knee has swollen a bit, and have increased pain today. I'm off to physio tomorrow so I'll get it all checked out then, I need to find a way of keeping going, I'm sure that it will help in the long run.

Good luck with your physio tomorrow, I hope that she gets all settled down for you, and you get the inflamation under control.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 09, 2007, 09:23:15 AM
hi there!

dont you just hate it when the computer eats the words!!! darn computers!

beds ARE dangerous places!! ive had a number of dislocations while asleep - its not a nice alarm wake up :)

sorry to hear about your stairs experience, i also do the mummy walk - or else i kind of 'fall' down the stairs and just keep catching myself on my good leg - cant seem to get the bad one to take the strain of steps at all - even with the new physio one of the exercises is step downs and its the only one i feel im showing hardly any improvement in.

that is a GREAT idea about the bike. a couple of 10 minute sessions a day is loads to start with. bikes are excellent for non impact exercise. do check with physio about swelling - you may need to adjust saddle height so you are not going to full extension when you pedal - or else that you are - whichever way will suit you best. i always find the exercise bike slightly boring, so i set my last one up in front of the tv and would pedal my way through Friends or something similiar. much easier to pass the time on it!!

I got my real bike fixed but still havent had a chance to try it out - what with being away and all - im hoping to take it for a test run this week sometime - ill probably pedal 10 feet and decide its too hard :)

knee feels pretty much ok today - still a bit achey so hopefully physio will help that out later on, but didnt seem to lose my stability to the same extent.
always makes me wonder if its my brain telling me its unstable or is it really unstable after a dislocation??? can never seem to figure out which it is....

september sounds like its miles away but itll pass quickly. youre doing the right thing to keep exercising between now and then. just be careful not to overdo it - but your physio will be able to dvise you on that.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 09, 2007, 09:22:29 PM
Well physio not happy today :(, leg is more swollen than usual, and have lost some flexion, we've decided that some of it may be due to the stairs, and some due to the bike, have been told to RICE today, then start again tomorrow with one session on the bike a day, for a while. Also have the seat a little to far back, so am forcing the extension to much, that's always my most painful exersise. So need to shorten the distance a little and go for a little more flexion and less extension, then once I'm back to longer sessions like that then can try extending again.

I have also bought a cryo cuff, because it was really cheap, so have been advised to spend the evenings with that on and my leg elevated to see of we can control the swelling a bit more. So hopefully that will turn up in a few days and I can try that one. We are off travelling for a few days next week, and I'm hoping the cuff will turn up before we go, being in the car for to long is one of those things that causes problems.

I know what you mean about trying to work out if your really unsteady, or if your brain thinks you are, it's kind if the same thing as the physio telling me too listen to my body when I excersise, I'm never sure if it's body pr brain that's in charge.

Glad the knee is improving, hope that the physio helps it along further and that they have your MRI results for you. I think I'll take your advice and get the bike moved so I can see the TV, not so bad at the moment, I tend to read as I ride, but for longer sessions it would be good to watch something to pass the time. This bike is very quiet as well, so hopefully wont annoy the family to much ;D
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 10, 2007, 09:13:50 AM
yeah maybe you took on a lot all together with the 2 sessions a day on the bike, best to start small and build up. I find doing the hot/cold thing helps with sswelling - ice for 10 minutes, then hot towel for 10 minutes, then ice again etc.... its gets the circulation going and helps take down inflammation. Good that the physio was able to advise you with the position of the seat of the bike relative to the pedals - thats an important one to get right. I also spoke to my physio about the bike - she said Ive to try and get as much extension as is comfortable cos Ive a lot of grinding and the less extension I have the more Ill grind. Still havent managed to try it out yet :)

Let me know how you find the cryo cuff - I keep hearing about them - Ive never used one, Ill be interested to hear how you find it. I hear you about the car  - I find it difficult to sit in the same position for a long time also - I stiffen up.

The physio didnt have my MRI results - Ive to wait to see OS to get them. So thatll be august 9th. not too long to wait. The want to do the isokinetic tests on me in physio again next week - she thinks im improving a lot (more than she expected) so she wants to test again to get a gauge of how much strength ive actually recovered in 5 weeks. It was kinda weird yesterday in physio cos id been away so id missed a week there. and everything she was asking me to do seemed so easy compared to 2 weeks ago!! she put me on the usual torture machine for leg extensions and i actually said to her 'have you made this easier' - she just laughed and said no that my leg was making it easier :) so that was a good sign. she was disappointed id had a dislocation but just said that there are going to be mishaps and we just have to get on with it.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 11, 2007, 07:23:05 PM
I'm glad physio went well, congratulations on yor improvement, I'm realising more than ever that improvements have to be won, they don't usally just turn up, but maybe a vacation is a good recovery thing ;D ;D I'll see if I can get improvements while I'm away then ask for a script for regular ones after that.

Yikes August 9th seemed like ages, but actually it isn't is it, what is happening to the year, it feels that summer hasn't actually arrived properly yet, we have had a few days at nearly 100 degrees, but on Monday evening we lit the wood stove becase it was cold wet and miserable.

I'm lucky I only have a couple of 'clicks' in the knee, I'm glad I don't get any of the grinding, cruching or squelghng that peoiple describe here, that just horrible. I hate it when I lie flat on my front and relax my back, it snaps back into place, it doesn't hurt, but it's just the noise of whatever goes POP, that sets my teeth on edge. It's difficult to get enough relaxation to let it happen, when you know it's going to, if you see what I mean.

Stay safe, try not to do anything mad, like turning over in bed!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 12, 2007, 09:25:26 AM
hehehehehehehe - i laughed out loud at my desk at that - youre dead right - stop the madness, we all must sleep flat on our backs and not move all night!!!!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 12, 2007, 05:36:13 PM
my morning starts with wake up and put my knee cap back in place.  This is so I can get out of bed.  Every day for the last 9 years I have started teh day by relocating my knee cap. 

To clean my bath, I sit in a chair and us one of the cleaners on a stick thing.  To much pain to do it anyother way.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 12, 2007, 06:32:32 PM
oh my god - ex gymnast - how do you cope with that!! isnt there anything can be done? you must suffer a lot of pain!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 12, 2007, 07:08:43 PM
Hi Becky, what a great way to start the day :o I suppose having got that bit over you must be nearly ready to think well that's the worst over, the day can only get better. It's suprising how much you can get done round the house sitting down when you have to.

I'm feeling good today, I managed to get all my down stairs windows cleaned inside and out yesterday, I started  in the morning and didn't actually finish until supper time, cos I had to keep having a rest, but at least now I can see the outside world clearly ;D

Tanyatap, I think my hubby would finally leave home if I took to sleeping on my back, I have to admit I snore :-[ But I have to say I think I'm sleeping better now that I'm spending some time on the bike, he hasn't said if I keep him awake!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 12, 2007, 07:09:49 PM
The pain only hits if I try to stand up without putting my knee cap back in place.  The back off both knee caps are rotting away.  

I spend most all of my time in pain.  Nothing will help without a tkr and that is still 10 yrs down the road.  I only turned 30 last month.  I cant have a pkr because of the acl replacements.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 13, 2007, 09:18:46 AM
well done you on getting the windows done!! its amazing the difference clean windows makes on a bright view of the world!!
thats great that the bike is helping you sleep better! a bit of exercise is great for that!!
im sleeping better the past couple of weeks now too - when i first started the new physio i was very achey at night and couldnt get comfortable at all. but now im settled into it and have tweaked the areas that bothered me, so now i just have a moderately tired leg at night - but no aches thank god!

ex-gymnast - thats awful for you - do you manage to get around ok? do you have to do a lot of physio to keep the muscles strong?
do your kneecaps pop out during everyday life as well? i do wish theyd improve the materials for joint replacements so that they wouldnt have to keep putting them off until people are older!!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 13, 2007, 02:51:36 PM
I can be sitting or standing perfectly still and my kneecap go out. (Never know which one it will be either.) 

I have 2 sets of exercises that I do.  It depends on which one my knee can handle.  On a good day I walk a mile and do strenght work.  On a bad day I do non-weight bearing exercises.  My theorpist sees me once every 3 to 6 months for an eval. 

My life is complicated by the fact that I am an asthmaic and cannot take most anti-inflamitories.  I never go anywhere without some instance Ice Packes, my crutches, and an imbolizer.

O by the way when I put my kneecap back in place I just means that it is only sublexing not dislocated.  I have a permentant sublexing of both kneecaps.  I guess that's what 20 years in gymnastics will do to a body.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 14, 2007, 02:30:59 AM
Hi Tanya, I was suprised how much difference doing the windows made, felt good and looked good. Triouble was it showed how much the grass had grown, so this afternoon I  took our brand new lawn tractor out and attacked the place in style, so now the view is good as well ;D At the moment it feels like it will be an evening with the ice pack again, but I think I've earned a vodka with ice as well!

ex-gymnast, it sounds that looking after your knees is worse than looking after a baby, every time tyou travel you have to pack especially for them. We are off for a couple of days next week, and my packing list has more on it than it used to, with cane, pain pills, extra cushion for the car, ice packs etc etc.

It must be a real nuisance not being able to take anti inflamitories, they certainly help me.  That sounds such a long time to live with all your problems, I 'm not sure I could cope with knowing that a fix is 10 years away!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 14, 2007, 08:06:24 PM
rm185western - have plenty of ice in that vodka - you can rest it on your knee and pretend its medicinal :)
hope youre off somewhere nice for a couple of days - be nice to relax.

ex-gymnast - im so sorry you have such bad knees!!! can you run or anything or are you stuck at the slow walk like me?

i had a fun day, knee was alright, but my glutes are killing me!!! physio has me doing 1 legged squats now, only 5 at a time, but they are hurting my glutes soooo much - clearly that area is weakened from years of compensation too....
so i decided to give my evening physio a miss and try out my bike, havent sat on it since 2000.
got my boyfriend to come out the back of our apartment with me - we have kind of a communal garden with a path that runs the length of 5 or 6 apartment blocks. sat up on the bike, was very nervous, thought id wobble all over the place. i could see he was ready to jump to action if anything bad happened.
took a deep breath.......took off.....and i was flying!!! no hesitation at all, just started pedalling away, no wobbles, left him for dust - actually he was laughing his head off cos he had expected me to have a few tries before i was able to get it right.
so i can confirm its true what they say - you never forget how to ride a bike :)

i just done a couple of laps and then stopped - my legs were tired after only that much, but it didnt really hurt my bad knee at all!!!
so im gonna start using my bike a few evenings a week now - we have a park quite near that i can do laps of.
im really pleased about it - i was afraid itd hurt, or id feel unstable, or i just wouldnt be able for it. itll take time to get up to speed and full confidence on roads and stuff, but thats ok!!

AND - it felt great to be moving under my own power at faster than a slow walk!!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 15, 2007, 12:35:21 AM
I can run for about 15 minutes then I am done for the day.  If I wait and run just last thing of the day I can do a little.  I can walk fairly fast though.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 15, 2007, 09:13:05 PM
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR I can't believe it, just got to the end of a post and lost it, this computer has to go, it's done this a few times now, which is annoying, but it's also screwed up my farm accounts program, and if I have to redo all of pur accounts since January I'll be fit to tie >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

Any way.........Tanya, WOW thats fantastic, well done, I bet it felt really great to moving at a pace again, I can't belive that you were able to just get on and go like that, as you say 'just like riding a bike' I have visions of your boyfriend just hovering alongside like a worried parent who has just taken the stabilizers of the kids bike. I hope that the knee didn't save it up and compalin later on. Just remember not to out the bad one down to rest on.

ex-gymnast, 15 minutes running with the problems that you have sounds like an achievement to me, I suppose put into context of what you could do before it must be frustrating.

The only time I've tried to run recently I fell flat on my face. I had been warned both by the doc and the physio that helping with the cows would not be a good idea, but an extra pair of hands is always good. I was just looking after one side of the chute, when I saw a cow was trying to back out, I went to run along and slam the gate behind her, and ended up chewing grass ;D

Well we are off to Waterton Peace park in the Rockies tomorrow, it would be one long days drive, but I've convinced Jim that  a 2 day drive would be better, I can't sit in the car for long, so we'll need to stop so I can hobble around for a while. I'm really hoping that the cryo cuff I ordered will be here in the morning post before we go, I'm sure it would be good on the journey. A neighbour dropped in and when she heard where we were off to said, that's great, it's beautiful there, and there is really good hikking. I did point out that maybe a boat trip round the lake may be more my style at the moment, but we'll see how it goes.

Have some good knee days, and take care on that bike.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 16, 2007, 11:03:19 AM
i just hate it when the computer winks out like that!!! grrrrr!!

thats exactly what it was like - my boyfriend standing there, waiting to jog alongside me - then i was gone.....whoooosh!
very funny!! no i wasnt sore later on, so im going to have a few laps round the block of an evening from now on!

ex-gymnast - i cant run at all at all - i dislocate within seconds. no stability for running. 15 minutes is pretty good sounding to me!
rm185western - thatd be me - flat on my face!!

oh your trip to the rockies sounds lovely - make sure you have plenty of leg stretch stops on the way!!
yeah do the relaxing stuff - boat trips, sitting round enjoying nature - it sounds like you will have a lovely time!!

have a great trip - looking forward to hearing from you on your return!

ive my next round of isokinetic testing this evening in physio - im praying my deficit has improved from 44% - will let you know!!

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 16, 2007, 08:29:45 PM
my runs are done with braces made by my PT.  He put both knee caps in place and then made molds of my knees.  He then used some kind of plaster and plastic to fit  my knee.  I place my knee cap in the correct place and strap on my brace.  If I don't do this then I will end up face down in a matter of sec. 

before my knee problems I ran upto 10 miles a day.  Was talking of doing my first marathon.  Now I dream of doing the Race For The Cure (5k in under 27 mins).  If I can extend my run time in my brace it just might happen in '08.  I don't see it happening this year.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 17, 2007, 11:04:45 AM
hi ex-gymnast,
that sounds like an extremely sophisticated technique to allow you to run - amazing - im very impressed!!
where in the world are you - I like the sound of that brace!

keep positive - 08 is another year, you have plenty of time between now and then to get better and better!!!

i had good news in physio yesterday - they strapped me in the machine for the isokinetic testing again and my bad leg had improved in pure strength by 103%!!!! so it had more than doubled in strength (in 5 weeks)!! i was very happy about that. It does feel a lot better in everyday life, although Im still not able to move suddenly or at a great speed. But just strolling around the office or shopping it definitely feels a lot better.
They are testing me again in 2 weeks time and then sending results to my OS for my appointment with him on August 9th.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 18, 2007, 04:57:53 AM
Arkansas, USA-  my PT worked hard to find a way for me to be able to do what I want.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 25, 2007, 08:37:15 PM
Hi folks,
Tanya, sounds like things are coming along in leaps and bounds, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it keeps coming, How's the cycling coming along?

ex-gynnast, that sounds like a nifty brace, and it's good to have a long term target to aim at, as well as short term ones.

We had a great break, the mountains were beautiful, and I git to see a grizzly bear and her two cubs, at about 60 yards away, close enough in the wild, I kept measurung the distance tio the car and wondering if I coiuld make it if we had to leg it :) We were standing on a bank above the car, so I figured that I could roll down if needed.

The knee didn't mind the travelling to much, but got fed up with the walking, the back kicked in and complaind about to much car travel. We were getting to motels in the evening, and Jim, bless him, would make me lay on the bed while he went to get ice for me. I would end up laying there with a pack on my knee and one on the back while he dealt with all the luggage. I was aggresive with the ice and the apin killers and everything did settle down. When I got back the cryo cuff I had ordered had arrived, and it's FANTASTIC :) I really wishh that it had turned up before I left, I'm not leaving home for a trip without it until I'm fixed.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on July 26, 2007, 12:51:35 AM
All running is sidelined.  I was doing my normal run last Wednesday.  I felt a small amount of discomfort, not pain.  Two hours later I couldn't stand up.  A week later now and I am still doing ice/brace/meds.  I see the doctor and pt next week.  Wish me luck
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 26, 2007, 09:34:19 AM
ex-gymnast - good luck. you poor thing, you must have inadvertently caused something to flare up. Youre doc and PT will be able to give you more info. Let us know how you are doing.

rm185western - WOW!!! a grizzly bear and cubs!!! sounds amazing!! im so glad you had a nice break - despite the knee and back icing - but at least you were able to settle the aches and pains that way. Most importantly it sounds like you got some nice R&R. your hubby sounds like a top guy - send him over to me to mind me for a bit :)
ohhh - do tell more about the cryo cuff - sounds good!! I must google it - i never even heard of one before this site - dont even know whatit looks like!

im doing ok - got a good bit of crunching and grinding but it doesnt 'hurt' i just feel and hear it - its like grinding your teeth together - my brain tells me it must be bone on bone but cos its not hurting i dont take too much notice. it diminishes as i improve with each exercise though - i used to have it a LOT on the squats, now I dont feel it at all on them - but I feel it on leg extensions....
my leg feels MUCH stronger. when i wake up in the morning it almost feels like ive a normal knee. then its straight into my morning physio and it gets a little tired, midday physio, a little more tired, and then by the time ive done evening physio and 2 sessions of e-stim - my leg feels old and really tired again :)
but ive had good progress on 'feeling' unstable - i still dont feel like ive got a bionic leg :) - but in everyday life ive much more freedom of movement - and last weekend we did the shopping and wandered slowly round shopping centre for 2 hours - usually id be really unstable by the end of that - but this time i was just stiff and sore - thats an improvement in my book!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 29, 2007, 10:35:35 PM
ex-gymnast, real sorry to hear that you are sidelined, it must be very frustrating for you, good luck for your appointments, I hope that you only have a minor glitch there.

Tanya, sounds like you are really going for it there, at least you acn start the day feeling good, I'm sure that stamina will come as you work at it.
Check out this link for cryo cuff info:

I'm certainly hooked on mine, bought lightly used off of Ebay!

It's hot, very hot here again today, so not to upset that after a couple of quite hectic days, I have a bad knee day today, so am opting for a relaxing day. Don't tell the boys though, but when there back was turned I did pop out and play with one of the horses for a little while ;D
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on July 30, 2007, 09:10:43 AM
my lips are sealed - i will tell the boys nothing!!!

thanks for the cryo cuff link - it looks like an excellent device, i may browse ebay myself for one! Im glad to hear its helping you out.
yeah you do get the odd bad day when youve been hectic - best just to take things easy when that happens.

Im getting on good with the bike, havent had many opportunities to use it, between bad rain, me being too busy to get a chance to go out on it, but when i do get a chance its good!! it hurts me a little going uphill, but not such bad hurt that you wouldnt do it - more just uncomfortable.
Im back at the physios this evening for my third isokinetic test - had one 2 weeks ago - so be interesting to see what gains ive made in only 2 weeks - if any :) I hope they give me a copy of the printout this time - their photocopier wasnt working last time.

you know where im really noticing a big difference in how my leg feels? in that dangerous place called bed! ive been noticing that ive been moving around much more freely in bed, not waking up to turn over, and stretching more, before i used stretch everywhere but my bad leg - just cos it hurt all the time, now i can stretch it out and its ok!!

back to OS thursday week - 9th of august - my prediction is that he will say 'more physio - see you in 3 months' - im hoping so anyway, id like to avoid surgery if at all possible, although he will have my MRI results so hopefully that doesnt show up anything too serious.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on July 31, 2007, 06:23:55 PM
Tanya, so glad to hear that you are at last able to stretch in out and turn over in bed, I believe that will help you heal faster and feel better, it's so draining if you get woken up every time you shift wrongly, even if it settles and you can go back to sleep right away it still takes a chunk out of your sleep time. I'm jealous of that stretch.......husband asks in the morning, 'how's the knee today?' Having just woken up you say 'not to bad', then you stretch and go 'OUCH, well maybe the same as yesterday', by the time I've got up and made my way to the bathroom I can feel it.

How did the test go, any gains?

I've been struggling for a couple of days, so I'm off to the Doc this afternoon, I don't hold out any great hope, but maybe this will get me bumped up the list some. The thing I'm most scared of just now is that the back has been firing off some warning shots recently, it has been really good for nearly 3 years, but I think the lack of exersise and the uneven gait is starting to tell. Wish me luck, I'll let you know how it goes.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 01, 2007, 12:18:02 PM
Hi Denny,
youre absolutely right - the back is probably feeling the strain, best thing to see the doc - itd be great if he bumped you up the list. the back might settle again when the knee is fixed up.
i totally sympathise with your back problmes - i had a bizarre injury yesterday, was just out of bed, was arranging myself against my gym ball for the squats, holding weights, leaning slightly back, and i sneezed. my whole back went into a huge spasm!! its been killing me since. it settled ok in thedaytime yesterday but all night it was locking up and spasming. i know its only a pulled muscle. i spoke to my physio on the phone, she said to go to the gp and get anti inflammatories - so im on my way there shortly. other than that ive to rest, heat it and just try and take it easy. i called in sick to work today - might take the rest of the week off. sore back sucks!! i never had back problems before - it hurts a LOT!!

other than my bizarre sneezing injury (which i gotta admit is a funny prospect even though its sore!!) - my knee is doing great!!!
got loads of gains on the tests!
there are 3 tests, slow, faster, fastest, and each one measures extension and flexion. so 6 flavours of results.
first time out i had a 44% deficit on my right leg compared to left on slowest extension, getting increasingly worse with higher speed, and all flexions were weaker too.
this time ive an 18% deficit on slowest - again getting worse with each one, but the overall trend on improvement is the same, and guess what? my flexion is stronger than my good leg on ALL tests!!
so im real pleased about that. physio said go away and continue exercises til i see OS (next week) and depending on what he says to go back to them in a couple of weeks time to continue rehab.
ive no doubt he is gonna say 'go back to physio'!!

i know what you mean about stretching in bed - its just not easy is it?? i think they should design some sort of stand up sleep pods for us two - so that our weight is supported buyt we dont do ourselves any injuries in!!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 01, 2007, 04:59:24 PM
Tanya, I so feel for you with that spasm, it may only be a pulled muscle but that flaming well hurts, it's just that spasm I get as a warning shot that things are not well with my back, everything just locks up, having dealt with for so long I can deal with the 'quick hits' with rest, exersise, ice heat etc etc, but I'm always scared when they start, it's like warning rumbles from a volcano, you know that an eruption is possible at any time, and if it blows big time, it will be like it for weeks until I can get it under control again. I once managed to put my back out cleaning my teeth, so as we keep careful out there.

I went back to the doc yesterday, very frustrating, explained all the new symptoms with my leg and knee, and he just sat there and made notes, when I said I was worrioed because it's affecting my back, he cheered up and sent me next door to the hospital for an x-ray. The radioligist and I agree that there is nothing showing at the usual suspects, L4 and L5, although he thinks that there is some narrowing at T12, which is further up the spine, and not one we have had to worry about before. Antway, will wait for the experts to read them before getting to concerned, I was trying to tell him that my only real worry is that the uneven gait and restricted exersise will cause a problem ongoing, not that there is any major issue right now.

Anyway, have decided that enough is enough, did some research andf have found a highly rated doc in the next big (ger) town along, so phoned to get an appointment to see him, he is on holiday so can't go until next Tuesday. I'm hoping that this guy will actually lay hands on the leg, will poke it and prod it and move it, and will give me an opinion on whats going on, the current one has only actually touched it once! Yesterday just did my head in as I wa strying to find out what the various lumps and swellings are, he pointed out the Bakers Cyst, above the knee, bit admitted he has no idea what the lumo below the knee is, so fingers crossed that we can move on next week.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 02, 2007, 06:44:52 PM
my back is much much better today, just sore like its bruised, the spasms have stopped - its still pretty swollen though, but vastly improved.
im gonna start back at my knee exercises tomorrow if the back is better again.

wow - now ive to be careful sleeping, sneezing and brushing my teeth too!!!! its a dangerous world!!

hmmmm, your doc doesnt sound like he is doing a whole lot ofr you - i suppose at least he sent you for the back x-rays. definitely let the experts do the reading, i usually think my x-rays tell terrible stories then the experts seem unconcerned!!

im delighted you are going to see a new doc. you need to see someone who is gonna take more of an interest in your leg!!! next tuesday will come round in no time. next week must be the week for seeing the experts, im seeing my OS next thursday too :)

hope all is well besides the usual aches and pains!! im a little bored off work but catching up on my movie watching!!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 03, 2007, 06:33:14 AM
You need to be careful of sitting to, the worst time I had with my back started with haing a dose of the flu, and lying ariund in bed to long made the back weak, so it went when I got up and started getting around again, I was off of work for a month. The firts day back, I had only been in the office for like 30 mins, when I went to sit back in my chair and put the darn thing out again, and was off another 6 weeks or so, so watch how you sit as well!!!!!!!!!

Glad to hear that things are improving with your back, just bring everything back up gently. Mine was bad today, I was catually glad when husbamd pointed out that I'm really grouchy as well, and tenderly asked if it was the time off the month..........................he's right, so mood and back should improve in a day or two.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 03, 2007, 12:22:20 PM
hey denny,
do you have physio exercises for you back? how does one make ones back stronger??

time of the month i have been known to get small spasms in my lower back - its the womb expanding isnt it?
im gonna turn my mattress this weekend too - i used to get a sore back from my last mattress, so i got a different one and there was much improvement, but since my boyfriend moved in i think the new one has started to sag a little in the middle with the weight of two people on it.
we are planning on getting an orthopediac mattress cos he sometimes suffers with upper back pain sometimes (although his is some kind of ligament issue from over doing it in the gym that seems to trigger when he is stressed and tense).

do you find a hard mattress best? im interested to know whats the best kind to go for from someone who had suffered with back pain.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 03, 2007, 05:33:23 PM
The physio for the back is mainly trying to get stretch in the lower back muscles, so the main one is bringing knees to chest, either when sitting or lying down, that gives me a couple of issues, getting that much bend in the knee, but fortunatley it's the right side that usually locks, and thats the good knee, so that side is easier. The other problem is getting fat thighs to get past fat tummy!!!!!!!!!!!!! The others are doing lunges, once again not to much problem putting the right knee in front and bending, with the left one straight behind, but the other side is more difficult. When things are good then have to do standing straight, putting hand flat on your side then sliding down as far as is comfortable. As it's all about getting stretch then it's all pretty slow and just concentrating on getting the right muscles moving. The most useful thing ongoing for me though, my chiroptactor in the UK was great at getting me standing properly, with my pelvis tipped the right way, I'm bad at sticking my butt out and increasing the pressure in my back, so he showed me how to get it set in the right place, so have to keep reminding myself to tuck my tail under and walk tall, but relaxed.

At the wrong tiome of the month, there are all sorts of things going on, you have increased pressure in the pelvic area, and I have a lot of water retention, so everything is that much tighter, but at least it only lasts a couple of days, and then gets back to normal.

We used to have a hard mattress, but found it didn't really help, we eventually chose a firm one, and went for a good quality pocket sprung one, that seems to provide the support that I need in all the right places. I love the mattress we have now, but it is getting old and we will have to look to replace it, when we can afford it. I'm interested in those memory foam ones, they look like they will provide good support, but I've tried a couple in the shops and they feel really strange. When we do have to go shopping, I'll go to a place that gives you a 30 day exchange option that way you get a chance to settle in with it and really make sure that it is comfortable, after all if you count up how much time you spend using a mattress, it pays to splash out on quality, but it has to be right for you ;D The really funny thing though, years ago when my back was treally bad, we were travelling round the UK, and put up at a really quaint Bed and Breakfast. When we got up to the room there was a really old, lumpy looking, soft mattress, with a big dip in the middle. I went to sleep convinced that I wouldn't be able to walk in the morning, in fact I had a fantastic nights sleep, and felt great in the morning, I think that was the only day that I managed to dress myself completely on that trip (at the time husband had to help with getting socks and knickers on, that man has had to put up with a lot ;D)
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on August 04, 2007, 04:30:39 AM
Okay saw the doc.  I got a pain shot and will get a series of shots (1 a month for 3 months).  Down to swimming for exercise.  Hope to be runing in 3 weeks.

He said it was a flare up in the knee.  He is having the same problem.  (Even had his running shoes on at work- never seen him do that before)

Hope you all are well.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 06, 2007, 01:52:27 AM
Hi ex-gymnast, hope the pain shot is kicking in and working for you. Do you have a pool, or do you have to travel to get swim time? I tried to convince the old man that we needed a pool for me to exersise in, but he can't see it, something about money!!!!!!!!!! Here's hoping that you are back to running soon, but make sure you#re ready before you start again.
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: ex-gymnast on August 07, 2007, 02:09:39 AM
I drive about a block from work.  Pain shot is doing great.  I am back to a normal walk
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 07, 2007, 09:50:57 AM
rm185western - thank you so much for the bed advice, im with you there on being willing to spend a lot on a bed - i mean i spend loads of time in my bed - nah just sleeping mostly :) - so itd be well worth it!! im going to look into the memory foam stuff too - it does look good!!
ive been doing a bit of stretching before doing my 'normal' physio - my back feels fine again, but i keep thinking ive got a twinge!!!

i started cyclying my bike in earnest over the weekend, previously id just been sort of tentatively cyclying round my apartment block for a few laps. well now im doing a circuit that takes around 15 minutes or so, out on the road, up and down hilly bits. everywhere from my waist down is VERY sore :) but its muscular soreness. so im gonna keep up that circuit for a week or so then expand it out, we've got plenty of cycle paths around, so i should be able to just keep lengthening it.... its not hurting my knee itself at all now!! im very pleased with it - even though im stiff as a board and so sore after :) but that should stop soon, its always like that when you start back into cardio.....

ex-gymnast, glad you are getting the pain shots, hope they work for you, at least you can still swim, running is so hard on the knees, fair play to you for being able to run at all!!!

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 08, 2007, 06:44:42 AM
Tanya, sounds like the bike is working out well, it feels good to have that muscle tiredness sort of pain, rather than injury pain doesn't it. Keep up the good work and building on it slowly, keep up the stretching as well, it all helps.

My news, long, and cut and pasted from another lazy to type it out again ;D

Well I've got good news and bad news, a whole new range of emotions.................The new Doc was a breath of fresh air, thank goodness. The first good news, NO ARTHRITIS Yippee, but I never believed there was any anyway. Todays diagnoses, a small tear in the medial meniscus, which confirms the PT' view. The swelling around and below my knee, probably due to fluid leaking from the cyst. More good news, the swelling was actually down today, we think that the current balance of walking and resting and use of the cryo cuff is helping. More good news, we went through the same range (and some that are new)of flexion and twisting tests as the physio did months ago, and today I was going ouch, back in April I was going OOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHH  so it looks like things may be improving.

The bad news side, he thinks that as the original injury was over 9 months ago, it's not actually going to repair itself, so surgery waits in the future. The real bad news, if the OS decides that surgery is needed, the wait could be 2 years, his best advice, if I can afford it, which I can't at the moment, then I should pop down to the states for surgery. He also feels that some of the symptoms in my leg are generated from my back, so will have to follow up tomorrow and see if there is anything on the x-rays we did last week, I'll be suprised if there is anything, I've never had a 'bad' x-ray of my back, only seen problems on the MRI.

Apart from that, the regime I have put myself on, seems to be doing all the right things, the only thing that has been added, is to get myself a knee brace to support the knee during the busy harvest time. Any one got any first hand info on braces?
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 08, 2007, 09:07:22 AM
wow - thats all great news!!! you must be delighted!!! even the bit about surgery is good - cos at least there is something they can fix!!
why is the wait for surgery so long? if you go to the states for surgery do you have to pay for the whole thing? you should investigate and see is there any other way of getting the surgery done either faster, or less expensive - i know there is a scheme in ireland that if you are more than a certain length of time on a waiting list you can apply for surgery outside of ireland - its quite a specific program, but there may be something like that where you are - or some way of speeding up the process.
sounds like youre doing all the right things, i totally understand what you mean with the Ouch as opposed to the OOOOUUUUCCCCHHHH!!! its fantastic to see progress like that.
im not terribly familiar with knee braces, but im sure someone here will know whats good - start a new topic to attract peoples attention to it.
cryo cuff sounds like its working out good for you too - fantastic!!
so all in all you had a very successful doctor visit - and he at least was 'hands on'!! pity about the surgery, but you will find a way around that, did you ask him what the outcome of not having surgery would be?
ive my OS visit tomorrow. should be fine - the only thing im worried about is the results of my MRI - i can feel so much crunching - im a bit concerned about what will show up. but other than that ive absolutely no doubt he will send me back off to physio to get the strength up more - til those tests show equality between the two legs.
the biking is certainly working on the quads - but i feel it more on my good leg :) probably cos the quad on the bad side is so used to being worked each day - it doesnt get as sore.
its only day 5 of my biking regime and already im feeling i should go further cos its just not hurting enough!!! when i came back in last night after my little circuit my boyfriend asked how i got on and my response was 'it doesnt hurt enough' - he was laughing at me - but i meant the good pain of tired muscles!! so perhaps ill stick to my circuit for the next few days and at the weekend double it......more pain more pain!!!!
let us know how your follow up doctor visit goes.

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 17, 2007, 06:31:56 AM
Hi there, how did you get on with your OS visit, what was on the MRI, are you back off to pysio? I hope you haven't sneezed or anything recently ;D

I'm really pleased with what the new doc said, I'm going to carry on with everything that I have been doing and maybe I won't need surgery, I don't have my hopes up to far, but can only work and hope ;D If surgery is needed I will have 2 choices, have it done under the Canadian system and pay nothing, or choose to travel to the US and pay the whole cost. The wait is due to not enough OS's and to many patients. I think that I can apply to move elsewhere in Canada if there is a shorter list. I'm just going to wait until I see him and worry about it then.

Apart from that, had a mild accident last week when large Doberman and bad knee came together, had to rest up and ice a lot for a couple of days, but back to normal now. We started combining yesterday, so I spent 5 hours driving and that wasn't to bad, the main problem is getting up and down the steps. Today is worse, 3 hours of combine driving, sandwiched between 2 x 100 mile round trips to get parts, it's been a long day.

Anywy, hope all is well with you, let me know how you are doing

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 17, 2007, 09:27:46 AM
Hi Denny,
Im absolutely delighted for you that there is a chance you can avoid surgery. Keep up the work and see how it goes. I always think about rehab that even if you DO need the surgery at least the muscles will be strong if you keep working anyway - which helps recovery. But if theres a chance of no surgery - fantastic!!
You probably can apply elsewhere in Canada if the wait is too long - but like you say - investigate that if needs be - until then keep up all your hard work!

Theres always going to be mild accidents - I had a little one too - foot slipped on wet pedal of my bike and landed hard on bad leg. hurt a lot for a second or two but i didnt dislocate which was a miracle!!!

youve to be careful you dont overwork yourself either - and plenty of rest in between combining!!! rest is just as important as exercise!

have been supressing the sneezes - you cant be too careful!!! only sneeze when in a comfortable position!!! hahaha :)

OS visit was excellent. he went into full educational mode with diagrams, charts, drawing things.
Basically he thinks that surgery was a success all those years ago but that subsequent re-injury probably tore out original repair work and that as muscle dysfunction had been introduced as a result of both surgery and subsequent re-injury that its likely my VMO has been quietly wasting away for a long time. I used to have a job on my feet and then I used to cycle to work - he says that these things would have kept VMO from wasting away completely but then when i started driving and had a desk job that any injury since resulted in my 'guarding' VMO and it disappeared with time.
He said he was afraid the muscle was paralysed but that after my 8 weeks new physio he is happy he can feel a contraction in it if i squeeze really hard. He says nerve fibres die off in atrophied muscle and physio/e-stim should induce new nerve fibre growth and that some day a miracle will happen where the amount of nerve fibres reach critical mass and the muscle suddenly starts firing on its own again (as opposed to me having to think to contract it). He said that when that day comes its literally like a miracle, go to bed one night with a muscle thats sleeping, wake up next day with a working muscle. When that joyous days comes I should feel marked difference in instability - and that physio should run much more smoothly.
He thinks I have perhaps 6 months more very hard work on rehab and then another 6 months after that. At some point the miracle should happen :)
So Im back to physio for now - they told me to just keep with the exercises for 3/4 weeks so next appointment at the end of august. Ive to continue getting tested on isokinetic machine and the goal is to have bad leg 5% stronger than good leg on all exercises, plus a visible automatically contracting VMO and if i reach a point where i can stand on the pedals while I cycle uphill then im rehabilitated :)
He does think that I will continue to have dislocations if I stress the joint a lot - unfortunately the joint is just anatomically designed such that its possible to dislocate it - but reckons I should stop having them in every day life. Im never to run hard on it or do any exercies that pounds on the joint cos there is mild degeneration on the back of the kneecap.

The cyclying has been going great, Ive been able to go further and further. I do find it makes my knee ache in the evening afterwards, but that if I cycle for 3 days in a row, 1st day, bit sore, 2nd day, more sore, 3rd day, quite sore. If i take the 4th day off and rest from the bike, the 5th day it feels fine again. So im just taking rest days in between cyclying days and it seems to be fine, Mind you when i started it was much more sore for a shorter distance than it is now for a much longer distance so thats good!!!

So all in all its going well. plenty of hard work ahead but at least the physio is causing changes!
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 22, 2007, 11:19:34 PM
Hi Tanya, sounds like you had a good and informative visit there, lots of info which is great. I'm not sure how I would feel waiting for a miracle, going to bed with an asleep muscle, and waking up with it working, it's like waiting for Christmas, but without an advent calander to help you count down :) It must be a good sign as well if you can slip off of a bike pedal like that and not dislocate, keep up with that cycling, sounds like you are well in tune with things, with your work 4 and rest a day regime, it's always good to feel that you have it under your control. Keep being nice to the back as well.

I now have to admit that my Doc may know more than I give him credit for, I have had a few siezures in my back over the last couple of weeks, but luckily they have let go pretty quick. I am having far more pins and needles in my leg though, which isn't so good, from just a little patch on the front, I'm now getting the whole lower leg going, so it feels like a nerve is being pinched again. I phoned several times to get the results of my back x-ray, but they never had it, so have kind of given up, I'm figuring they would have called me if there was anything interesting to be seen. A freind gave me the number for a holistic practice in a nearby town, she does accuncture and massage among other things, so may just give her a call and try that, you can't beat a nice massage, even if it doesn't cure anything.

Keep up the hard work, and wait for that miracle ;D

Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: tanyap on August 23, 2007, 09:46:43 AM
Hi Denny,
Yeah - they definitely would have contacted you if there was anything to say about your back x-ray. That does sound like nerve pinching in your leg alright - sometimes these things work their own way out with time - i dont like that pins and needles sensation either!!
Thats a great idea about the massage, it could well help - if nothing else as you say - it feels good!!! which in itself promotes the release of happy chemicals in the body so thats gonna be good anyway!! - ive been considering acupuncture on my sleeping muscle to see can we encourage the miracle to happen! I might look into it - theres a place near me that I could explain and ask would it be helpful. Youve been doing a lot recently with the combining etc... so im not surprised your back has been complaining. My own back is fine again - i felt 'tight' across the torn muscle area for a couple of weeks after but then that faded away too. gotta keep the sneezing to a minimum!!!

Ive started to feel a whole lot more stable - i notice it in small ways, turning over in bed, shifting the weight from leg to leg when im just standing around, cyclying, stretching is a big one - i used to stretch and just leave the bad side limp - now i can stretch again!! but walking is still very difficult - not so unstable anymore, more awkward, stiff, painful. i think im starting to experience some secondary problems from not walking properly for so long, as my quads get stronger and my body unsconsciously starts to move properly im getting other cramps and aches and pains - in my calves, the back of my knee, my buttock......
sometimes i get a little down about it - theres a sense of frustration in waiting for the miracle to happen and also so much sweating over the physio for what feels like little return...... then i remember how dangerous bed felt 3 months ago and realise i have come a long way - but theres still a long way to go!!!

i remain patiently awaiting my miracle - wheres that advent calendar????
Title: Re: Tips for reaching the floor!!
Post by: Berta on August 27, 2007, 05:58:36 AM
It's funny how much you can enjoy a good stretch, when it's been a problem for a while. I think it's the only good thing about having any kind of injury, as you recover you appreciate those little things in life that you used to take for granted. ;D

You are bound to feel some odd aches and pains as you retrain those walking muscles, but you know if you keep at it everything will come back into line. You are so right there, it's important to look back and celebrate the progress that you have made,rather than always tiknking about how far you have to go. I think it's well worth giving acupuncture a go, sounds like a good way of kick starting things. I'm so pleased to hear that things keep improving for you, success stories are a nice change here, so keep moving in the right direction, to cheer us all up.

Things aren't to bad here the body is holding up OK during this busy season. The knee is suprisingly good, I really think that it has been better since the new doc I saw twisted and turned it, or maybe the dog actually did some good when he ran into it. Some days it's good enough that I really believe that no surgery will be needed, then you make a wrong move and you think again. The back is in it's 'volcano' stage, lots of small eruptions, could be building up for the big one, but hopefully will just settle down and go to sleep. Just to be careful I'm making sure that I'm in the right position before any sneeze, and am standing upright to brush my teeth, no bending over the sink ;D  I eventually bought myself one of those long reach grabber things, I had it in the cupboard for a while, as I knew the family would laugh, but eventually gave in and had to use it,................why didn't I have one years ago, it's a revelation, takes a couple of seconds to go round and pick everything up, no struggling.

Keep up the good work, I'll keep sending you 'miracle' vibes.