The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Articular cartilage repair => CARTILAGE REPAIR - Osteochondral autografts and allografts (eg OATS & mosaicplasty) => Topic started by: lostandhopeles on August 06, 2009, 01:13:30 AM

Title: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on August 06, 2009, 01:13:30 AM
 Prior to my injury in oct of 2007 I have had no knee problems. I saw a few Dr. immedately following injury. I was told that my knee was shot by the company nurse after looking at a fuzzy xray. She then told me to learn to live with it.The pain never improved but  got worse. I pushed on and was sent to an OS. He shot it with cortazone and said it will be fine. After seeing a second OS I was told that a scope was needed. The scope showed a piece of cartilige had broken off. After 18 months of playing the game I had an oats procedure on May 15, 2009  Since release from hospital I had a CPM for 6 weeks. (12 hrs a day) I have gone to P/T 3 days a week since leaving hospital. (3 days)I have since been non weight bearing NWB. That adds up to 11 weeks and 5 days. At my last OS appt I was told that we need to give it 3 months NWB. My next appt is in 6 days. My pain is minimal my range of motion is near pre op numbers. I take no pain pills and have not for a month. In the mornings my knee is warm. After getting started and up the heat is gone. I was told prior to surgery recovery was long and hard. NWB was 6 weeks. Can anyone tell me if this is typical and what else I should expect. Thanks
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: juieb on August 08, 2009, 02:31:10 AM
Hi, lost and hopeless.  Keep your chin up.  Remember that this only a small part of the timelines in our lives.  I had OATS on May 5, 2009.  I was NWB for six weeks and then weight bearing as tolerated. I only stayed on the crutches part time for a couple days and have been off of them completely since that time.  I have been in p/t twice a week and I still have some ROM to get back, partially because I was in a knee brace for almost a year prior to surgery.   I don't understand why they still have you NWB.  Have they done any x-rays since surgery?  Maybe something doesn't look right to your OS.  Make sure that you ask and voice your concerns.  Hopefully, you will be released at your next appointment.  Where are you?  I am in Ohio and my surgery was done on an outpatient basis.  Please let me know how your next appointment goes. I hope this helps a little.
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on August 10, 2009, 12:14:19 AM
I am in the chicago area, No they have not taken any xrays yet. That helps me think the O/S is just being cautious. Did they open your knee it seems like outpatient would be extrem. I have a 9 inch incesion that thd 21 staples. (I have pics) My range of motion is great at 133 and almost streightens out. I have been told it may take some weight to get that back. My next visit is Tuesday, I am keeping my fingers crossed and preying. Lets keep each informed as the time line looks pretty close. Todd
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: Shelbylw on August 22, 2009, 03:20:59 AM
I spent 6 weeks NWB after my surgery, and the surgeon told me that he usually decides WBing on a persons severity of injury, weight, and fitness level... My graft was not that big, however, I am overweight and not as fit as he would like. He told me that if I were a healthy weight it would have only been 3 weeks (not enough if you ask me); I guess thats what I get for having kids ;) He did tell me that if the graft were bigger, it would also equal more time. So I spent a total of 6 weeks NWB, 3 weeks PWB and then 4 weeks with a cane. I was in PT the whole time and then some. Cartilage heals VERY slowly so hang in there and let it take its sweet time.  NWB sucks but it really is giving your knee a fighting chance!!

 My OATS still failed and now I see the surgeon again next month and may be starting all over again. Listen to your doctor you may be able to avoid what I am going through.  I only HOPE to be NWB for that long after my next on if thats what they do next.  Maybe I can avoid it failing again...


PS. I've lost 40 lbs since my last surgery
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on August 22, 2009, 10:43:59 PM
Shelbylw, Thank you

 How long did your oats last. I would think the longer it lasts the better chance of it lasting. my OS said that if this works and he was confident it would it should last a life time. This was prior to surgery. when I saw him at 12 weeks xrays were taken. the plugs were not noticable, The donor location was obvious. I also  am not  in the best shape and lots over weight. i have lost 15 lbs since surgery which is good when you consider I cant do anything but hop around.  He also told me that there were two plugs not one as was known of prior to surgery. He also put me weight bearing as tollerated for 6 weeks with crutches. Also doing P/T for the 6 weeks  3x week to streghten leg. I am doing good walking on it now. I am using a walker instead of crutches the walker seems more stable and keeps me from going to fast. My next question is the hard one. How much will this effect my job. I drive semi and am climbing in and out all day and working the clutch 8 to 10 hours a day. When I asked him about returning to driving he said it would be 6 months before He would even consider me driving semi again. I am not holding my breath but  hopeful. i have spent over 20 years driving. Not sure this old dog ready to learn a new trick. And 21 years till I hit retirement age.  I look forward to hearing back from you. Todd
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: juieb on August 24, 2009, 01:12:39 AM
Hi, lost and hopeless. My surgery was open knee as I have a scar about three inches long. I was told that I could drive as soon as I felt comfortable getting in and out of the car.  This was probably because my left knee was operated on and I drive an automatic.  My knee still gets stiff sometimes and I am 3 1/2 months out from surgery.  I think that Shelbylw is right in saying that this time sucks, but we have to do what needs to be done in order to make it all good for the long run.  Congrats on the weight loss! That will also help your knees greatly.   
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on August 25, 2009, 06:30:56 PM
thanks for the reply,
  I was told by the Dr. that I could drive after 2 weeks, mine,also left knee and my car is auto. The O/S also added the words if you can get into and out of the car without putting weight on the leg. I decided to wait. My concern with diving while NWB was needing to use left foot on the brake in traffic.
  My scar is 8 inches long. I was told that the lower part of the leg needed to be moved out of the way to get to the injury site.
 The past week has been much better as i am now getting out on my own.  My therapist told me yesterday that I can start using crrutches at home to get use to them.
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: Shelbylw on September 10, 2009, 05:37:07 AM
Sorry its taken so long to get back to you. I have been away from the site for awhile. I actually had to go back to that horrible thing called work... yuck... Anyway, my OATS lasted only 6 months.  At my 8 week check up it was undetectable and then at my 6 month xray there it was in all its glory, painful as ever.  My OS kept trying to tell me that it was donor site pain and I kept telling him that it was different, I know my body better than that.  Anyway, I see the new OS on September 22, finally.  I have been waiting since February for this appointment.  I would really wait the full 6 months to drive a rig again, the clutch on that would kill your knee, not to mention the constant twisting motion of the back and forth between the brake and gas pedals. If the company you work for has an auto tranny rig, then I don't see why you would have to be off any longer than 6 months but I would definitely wait the 6 months. After its healed, life should go back to normal, back to driving, back to life, just give it some time. You probably will never run a marathon or be the worlds longest jump rope champion but driving truck should be in the future.Good luck and I will keep you posted with what my OS decides he is gonna do with my knee if anything.  I hope he can fix it.  Take care.

Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on September 12, 2009, 12:39:23 AM
Thank you for the reply. At what point did you think it failed? Was the pain constant. I have good and bad times. At times it has no pain. there is no telling when pain may appear. I can be walking with crutch and doing fine then all of a sudden it will hurt for no reason.  At times it feels normal. This morning it felt a bit weird I had therpy at 9am following therpy it felt pretty good and stayed that way all day.. My boss thinks i am ready to return to light duty. Company policy is any restriction and you can only be on light duty. Even prior to surgery we had an automatic truck in the yard but I was not able to drive. the truck sat in the yard with no other driver willing to drive it. I am days short of 4 months, keeping my fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: Shelbylw on September 13, 2009, 01:12:13 AM
Well, lets see... the pain started to get worse, then it started to swell up again.. then I would be walking across the room and my knee would lock and I would be on the floor in agony.  Basically back to square one! I went to the OS and he told me it was probably donor site pain even when I showed him that the pain was in a different spot from the donor site!? I made another appointment with my family Dr. and he sent me for xrays, thats when we saw the graft for the first time, at 6 months post op.  I am now 15 months post op and just now able to see a different OS (on the 22nd!! can't hardly wait ;D) and hopefully he will be able to do something with my knee to fix it again... I had an MRI in July (13 months post op) and it showed exactly what I had feared, cystic boney changes to the femoral medial condyle, with the overlying cartilage thin and irregular ~ translated failed OATS... I now have osteonecrosis to deal with too.  I guess I will have to wait and see what the OS has to say about that.

So to answer your question, locking knee, pain, swelling, more pain, more swelling and lots of regression.  I walk with a cane now, all the time.  I didn't after my surgery at least not after my Physical therapy was done. I was walking independantly within 3 months of my surgery.

The pain was fairly constant and then got intense to the point of locking and swollen to the point of not wanting to bend just like it did when I first injured it.  Its not like that now, its like I had re-injured it all over again now it just gets intense if I trip or kick something by accident. I can walk fairly well now with the cane and it only swells alot if I do to much.  I have a driving job to stay off my leg but I find that by the end to the day that even bothers it too. I still say wait till 6 months, but what does your OS say? Have you had an MRI?

Title: Re: Recover time for oats
Post by: lostandhopeles on October 21, 2009, 09:57:20 PM
Sorry for the delay in getting back here. It has now been 5 months since the oats procedure. I  saw the O/S on Monday.every thing is looking good to him. The pain seems to be getting better. mabey I M just getting use to it. I am still going to therpy 3 days a week. I dont see much improvement with that but there is improvement. I was allowed to return to work light duty and told to do without the crutches if i feel up to it. My next appointment is 5 weeks. I was told that he will order another MRI then and see how things are going inside. Walking seems ok, after I sit for a while it hurts my feet to walk but that goes away after i walk a little. Still up in the air as to how well this has helped. Todd