KNEEtalk

DIARIES => Post op diaries (>300 posts) => Topic started by: naturegirl on May 02, 2010, 03:04:47 AM

Title: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 02, 2010, 03:04:47 AM
Hello all!

I've made it through the surgery and am finally alert enough to post!† :)

I had surgery on 4/30 to repair my MPFL ligament and do a Fulkerson Osteotomy.† I had to be at the hospital by 6am, which meant I woke up at 3 and had to leave the house by 4pm!† That was an adventure-I sure missed coffee that morning!

The doctors put in a nerve block before surgery, and actually finding the nerve for my quads was extremely painful.† I started crying because the nerve stimulation was sooo painful.† But they gave me something, I think a relaxing drug, and soon after that I found myself awaking in recovery!† Or so it seemed!† I was in quite a bit of pain when I awoke, on the underside of my leg where the block did not cover.† But the doctors quickly gave me more medicine, and it was much more manageable.† I was then taken to my room because I was staying the hospital that night.† Overall the pain was minimal.† I didn't often have to hit the button for morphine, which allowed me to be a bit more awake!† However, the block started the wear off that night, and they gave me a percocet around 5pm.

Things went downhill from there. I had a very bad reaction to percocet-I was extremely dizzy and couldn't focus my eyes.† I vomited a few times and came close to passing out.† And I had to endure these symptoms for 4-6 hours while it wore off.† Although I had ordered some nice soup for dinner, I never got around to eating it.

After that they ordered a new medicine, hydrocodone, which is a mix of vicoden and tylenol from what I understand.† I can only take 8 a day because of the amount of tylenol in it, but they've been working ok.† Overnight I had a grumpy male nurse, who apparenly couldn't hear well and wore hearing aids.† He didn't seem to be understanding a lot of what I said, and my Mom and I were ticked off because it felt like he was ignoring us!† It ended up that he just couldn't hear what I was saying.† I had really bad itching that first night, probably from the morphine, which they switched to another painkiller which still made me itch.† Eventually the nurse gave me Benadryl, which helped a lot!

I awoke the next morning in minimal pain again.† I hadn't had any drugs for 3 hours or so and was doing great.† Since I was having an allergic reaction to something that was making me scratch at the femoral catheter, they removed it early on.† I've had allergic reactions to the adhesives before, so that might have been it.† I was jut glad to have it out!† The pain began increasing then, but still it was ok.† I was able to get up and move to the bathroom, using my crutches, which was a relief.† I wanted to gain back some independence!

I will write more in a while or tomorrow about PT and getting home.† I hope all this was sensible!† I get very loopy with the hydrocodone.† I actually asked my Mom, while coming out of a drugged sleep, "How do they screw the weather balloons into the clouds."† I asked her many other odd things too...which I'm sure I'll hear about someday in the future!!


-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 02, 2010, 06:20:21 AM
Jen - glad to hear your surgery went well, though sorry you had a bad reaction to the medications.  I was given Dilaudid 4 mg for the first week, which had me so high into orbit I don't remember very large chunks of time LOL... but it was great for pain control :) 

Sorry the femoral block was painful.  I don't remember getting mine at all.  I think they gave me something like Versed before doing the block, which didn't knock me out but I sure don't remember any of it.  I only vaguely recall a little bit of twitching in my thigh muscles, but nothing else until I woke up in recovery. 

As I just said to Lindsey... take it really easy the first week or two, and definitely keep up on your pain meds, even through the night.  It's very worth it to wake up and take them through the night so that you don't wake up in the morning in more pain.  Keep us posted on how you're doing, and be good to yourself!!!!

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 02, 2010, 01:49:09 PM
Day 2

After waking up with minimal pain in the hospital, getting some meds for the itching all over, and having the femoral nerve block removed, I started to feel a bit worse. I had been in a Continuous Passive Movement (CPM) machine all night, and the night before I had reached 90 degrees of motion while on the machine.  I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to going home. My doctor visited and said some stuff, which I was too loopy to remember (Mom does).  Then came the physical therapist.

The PT was very nice, but made me do a lot of painful things.  The first exercise was simply raising and lowering my foot, which I had been doing for a while because it felt good.  Then he had me do quad sets, those mad me cry they hurt so bad.  I also did SLRs with help.  I have to have my Mom help me lift the leg completely, so the SLR exercise seems silly.  But as long as hit helps me recover! They were pretty painful too.  My PT also had me crutch down the hallway to a PT room so I could try some stairs.  It was hard but I got really good at using the crutches quickly.

After PT was over, I was in a lot of pain.  And the nurse didn't want to give me more hydrocodone because I had had 2 already in the day, and can't exceed 8. However, it was about noon, and I needed something.  After kinda arguing with her, she did give me another, which eventually helped me to feel better. After a nice nap I headed home.  The car ride was 2 hours long, and I slept for nearly all of it.  That was nice!  Getting home and up stairs to the bedroom and bathroom was hard, but I managed.

I've been trying to keep on top of the pain pills, because everything does just get worse if you don't.  Other than that just sleeping and trying to eat and be hungry has been my goals!   ;D Pretty easy overall, although the pain can creep up on you if you don't keep track of meds.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 02, 2010, 04:43:09 PM
JEN!!! so glad to hear that you made it through okay! I had to laugh at the itching part of your post! I was doing the same exact thing! I thought the first day I was going to itch my face off! My mom said that is a normal reaction to these pain killers and eventually the itching will stop...which it has for me! But the first two days I was itching ALL OVER! it was crazy! I'm with ya...on keeping up with the pain medications! This morning was rough, because I didn't wake up to take my meds... and I was in A LOT of pain this morning.

I also started a diary! So this should be interesting following each other through this! :) I also haven't been too hungry, but trying to eat a lot of calcium enriched foods, and protein to heal :)

Happy Healing! :)

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 02, 2010, 05:56:01 PM
Jen - glad to hear your surgery went well, though sorry you had a bad reaction to the medications.† I was given Dilaudid 4 mg for the first week, which had me so high into orbit I don't remember very large chunks of time LOL... but it was great for pain control :)†

As I just said to Lindsey... take it really easy the first week or two, and definitely keep up on your pain meds, even through the night.† It's very worth it to wake up and take them through the night so that you don't wake up in the morning in more pain.† Keep us posted on how you're doing, and be good to yourself!!!!

Andi

I had to convince my Mom that taking the drugs on time, even if I wasn't awake or in too much pain, was important.  She finally agreed today and keeping on schedule has been better.  I think after seeing how much pain the PT exercises were she realized I needed the meds.  I know she was afraid that I wouldn't be coherent enough to remember when I could take them or how many to take, but I proved to her that I won't take them early, etc. 

And you aren't kidding about Diladid!  They put me on that through the IV at the hospital after I was itching so bad from the morphine.  It really put me to sleep!  For hours at a time!  It was nice to sleep for long periods of time though.  The hydrocodone they sent me home with also knocks me out.  I slept from about 10:30pm to 3:30am dead like a rock last night.  So nice!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 02, 2010, 05:59:08 PM
JEN!!! so glad to hear that you made it through okay! I had to laugh at the itching part of your post! I was doing the same exact thing! I thought the first day I was going to itch my face off! My mom said that is a normal reaction to these pain killers and eventually the itching will stop...which it has for me! But the first two days I was itching ALL OVER! it was crazy! I'm with ya...on keeping up with the pain medications! This morning was rough, because I didn't wake up to take my meds... and I was in A LOT of pain this morning.

I also started a diary! So this should be interesting following each other through this! :) I also haven't been too hungry, but trying to eat a lot of calcium enriched foods, and protein to heal :)

Happy Healing! :)



Man all I can remember that first night was the itching!  Horrible!  I had the choice of being in pain or itchy.  So glad that's over with!

Mom's making me mac 'n cheese for lunch.  Not so healthy but it sounds good!  That's a plus.  Glad to be getting my appetite back!

Good luck with everything!  Sounds like your recovery is going great!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on May 02, 2010, 10:44:13 PM
Hi

It is really important to stay on top of the pain.  Get on a schedule.  If you take it when you feel it, it can sometimes be too late and then you are playing a catch up game.  I learned the hard way after my MPFL reconstruction on March 31st.  I let the pain get out of control and I paid for it.  I literally paged the surgeon and begged him for another femoral nerve block.  He didn't go for it and told me to increase my Dilaudid.  I ended up taking about 12 mg in a 9 hour period, per dr's order.  The next day, they checked on me and I was actually lectured by my OS assistant to write down what meds I take and when.  Once I did that, it was easier to deal with the pain.   I took Dilaudid after this surgery and it worked great as long as I took it with Benedryl.  I was told that pain meds do cause the itching, so I just loaded up with Benedryl and never had a problem.  I did always get tired and take a long nap after I took it but at least I wasn't in pain.

Take the recovery slow and do not go too fast.  Your body needs time to heal.

Take care
Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 03, 2010, 01:31:33 PM
Jen, glad to catch up on your diary and see you are doing pretty good. Just keep resting/relaxing for these days and you will see marked improvement in your strength and pain levels.

Sound like things are going well for you so far so just keep up the good work and stay in front of that pain!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 03, 2010, 03:59:15 PM
Jen, glad to catch up on your diary and see you are doing pretty good. Just keep resting/relaxing for these days and you will see marked improvement in your strength and pain levels.

It's gotten so much better since I've been on a pain med schedule and spent most of the part 18 hrs or so sleeping.  I feel a bit lazy, but I have so much more strength today!  Yesterday I was wondering why in the world I had done the surgery, and today I'm looking forward to a normal life again! 

Thanks for the support and advice-everyone!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 03, 2010, 04:08:45 PM
Day 3

After my first night at home, I had hoped things were going to get better.  Well, Mom and I made a mistake in how we were elevating my knee, which caused significant pain and movement issues.  We had stuck 2-3 pillows directly under the knee so that it was bent, not realizing it needed to be straight in order to maintain extension.  Once we realized this, we spent the rest of the day trying to keep it extended.  Man, it hurt!  But I kept right on schedule with the pain meds, which helped.  I also took the max dosage most of the time because the pain was high and my knee was swollen.  So I don't remember much of the 3rd day!  :D 

When I attempted to do PT, which is 4 exercises 3 times a day, I had less mobility than the previous day.  This scared me and Mom quite a bit, but everything's working out now.  Pushing through the pain to do the exercises was hard, but I'm glad I did. I gained back the mobility and now my pain is significantly lower.   ;D Yay!

All the advice about keeping up with the meds is dead on.  I wish I had done this the first few days!  My biggest problem now is feeling hungry then actually wanting to eat more than a few bites.  I've lost my hunger!  Has anyone seen it?   :)  I almost have to force myself to eat, and I've been feeling weak and a bit lightheaded, so getting food down is really important at this point. 

Thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement!  Now that my mind is a bit more clear today, it's keeping my spirits up!   :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 03, 2010, 04:30:11 PM
OoO good ole elevation with nothing but air under the knee. I know it well. My doctor is one that was insistent on that, and yes it is annoying and uncomfortable, but worth it in my opinion.

I only did it religiously for about 10 days or so and then I got my doctor to say it was fine to change it up. I never lost extension, so in that respect it was worth it to me. I just moved around a lot, like every hour or so, which was fine because I was usually dying to move and bend anyway. Sitting in one static position for a long time has never been my thing.

Glad to hear you regained the mobility/range of motion you had lost. That's the key, just keep pressing on and pressing through. Things will calm down in the next few days :-)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on May 03, 2010, 05:15:54 PM
Hi Jen,

It does get better.  Exercises are going to hurt for a while.  I would take pain meds, wait until they kick in and then do it.  It may be more tolerable.  Either way, it will hurt but maybe less.  I still do that now occasionally because I still get alot of pain a month out when I do PT exercises.  Sometimes, I will take pain meds before PT to help deal with it.  The most important thing is to stay on schedule with the pain meds.  It sounds like you are now doing that.  Sleeping and trying to keep your leg straight is a balancing act.  I put two pillows on top of each other, another pillow halfway off the above pillows.  It seemed to work well.  I had to keep my leg straight w/brace on for the first 2 weeks.  If the bed is not cutting it, I would move to a couch/sofa and sleep there.  I got more hours of sleep in on the couch versus my own bed since surgery.  Even a month out, I still sleep on the couch when the pain is bad.  It prevents me rolling around.

When I had my MPFL on March 30th, I did not want to eat afterwards at all.  I would get hungry, fix it and then only take a bite or two.  I ended up eating more chicken-n-bisket crackers and sprite the first two weeks.  Sometimes, my friends/neighbors would pick up stuff and bring it over.  I was recovering alone.  With the amount of pain meds you are taking, you need to eat alot of fruit and foods high in fiber.  Try eating small meals several times a day.  You need to keep up your energy to help you heal.  Those pain meds will do a number on your digestive system and that can affect your appetite. 

Mobility is going to come and go the first couple weeks.  Some days will be better than others.  Just work through it.  The one thing that you mentioned is that your knee is swollen.  Are you icing it at all?  The swelling can and usually will make the pain worse.  I had the Cyro Cuff on my knee 24 hrs a day for the first 5-6 days and was surprised at how well it did to control the swelling.  Make sure you are icing it.

Take care, glad you hear you made it through the worst.  It should only get better from now on.  Just relax and let it heal.

Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 04, 2010, 03:00:57 AM
Yep... I remember needing to eat so the pain meds wouldn't make my tummy feel gross, but having absolutely no desire to eat anything at all.  For the first 2-3 weeks or so, I had to force myself to eat.

You'll have good days and bad days, but just keep elevating and icing and doing those exercises.  As for sleeping, I usually sleep in a recliner any way (nasty sinus problems), and it's been fairly comfortable with my leg propped up that way versus being in a bed.  Not sure what it is, but the recliner is fairly comfy with the leg elevated.

It keeps getting a bit better every day, so hang in there!!!

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: missfefela on May 04, 2010, 01:09:48 PM
hi am your doing ok and have come out  the other side :)
Keep going I look forward to reading about you getting better and seeing what ive got to look forward to.
Kisses
xx
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 04, 2010, 03:49:59 PM
Hello Jen!

Glad to hear you're doing well! The pain meds are terrible for the digestive system! I've been trying to pump up the fiber!!! To keep things regular ;) Are you back to school yet? I have A LOT of bruising starting behind my knee and wrapping around the outside ( where the LR was done) do you have any bruising? It's very very sore! I have terrible pain in the morning...when I get out of bed. Are you experiencing that?

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 04, 2010, 05:59:51 PM
Day 4-5

I have definitely turned a corner!  The past couple of days have been much, much better.  Still keeping on a med schedule, but I'm needing a little less and will start with half doses of hydrocodone very soon.  I started yesterday (day 4) off with a shower, which was amazing.  It was quick and hard to do without a shower chair, but I felt sooooo much better afterwards.  I was super tired at the end of it, but it was worth it.  Clean Jen=Happy Jen!  :) 

I've also been much more hungry, even though I can still only eat small amounts at a time.  Actually wanting food has been nice, and keeping "regular" my digestive system has helped too.   ;)

In the afternoon I got up and hobbled downstairs.  I was terrified!  We have a full flight of stairs with a not-so-good railing, and I was terrified of going down.  I made it down just fine, although I was exhausted.  But being able to sit in the recliner was amazing!  I felt so much better sitting up, and I was able to visit a little with my doggies.  Our calm miniature Schnauzer Princess even laid with me in bed for a while.  Our other dog, a miniature Pincher, is a little too crazy for doggie therapy!  But man I missed them!

I finally got back to school yesterday as well!  The 45 car ride was just fine, stretched out in the backseat.  Walking in the dorm, waiting for the elevator, then walking down the hall wore me out, but I felt so much better gaining back my independence.  It's been a little hard without Mom doing everything for me, but I feel better just having to do things on my own, especially since the pain is a lot better.

Today (Day 5) I've just been working on getting back into my groove, although I'm not going back to classes yet.   :) I have nice profs who are more concerned about my healing that about sitting through endless student presentations.  That's nice!  I'm now waiting for a friend to get out of class so she can get my mail and maybe some food.  I know I have a care package waiting from my sister! 

Overall, it's been a good few days, and everything has been easier and much less painful.  I'm doing really good with my PT exercises too!  Yay!

Hope everyone's doing well!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 04, 2010, 06:05:59 PM
I have A LOT of bruising starting behind my knee and wrapping around the outside ( where the LR was done) do you have any bruising? It's very very sore! I have terrible pain in the morning...when I get out of bed. Are you experiencing that?

I have major bruising underneath my knee wrapping from the right to the left, and I guess down the back of my leg, although I can't see that!  But my feet and ankles aren't swollen at all.  I finally have a knee-shaped knee, not just a blob, since the swelling is going down. 

The only sore part is the right side (of my left leg) where the bruising is the worst.  It's where the round part of the brace hinge is, so it might be cause a little bit by that.  Who knows?  It's going down well though!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 06, 2010, 01:01:52 AM
Day 6

Today was a pretty good day.  I've been able to take the minimum amount of pain meds, which is nice because I am less drowsy and I can focus more easily.  I'll be glad to be rid of the pills for good eventually!  I have 2 presentations tomorrow, and I'm hoping I can gather my thoughts long enough to give them!   ;)

When I was doing my PT exercises this morning, I had some pain at the site of the Fulkerson.  My OS said to call him if this happened, so I did.  After playing phone tag for awhile, I was told to back off a bit on one of my exercises.  Sad!  I was getting good at bending my knee independently, about 45 degrees or so, but now I'm not to do that.  As soon as the pain goes away I hope I can get that mobility back again!

Other than that obstacle, it's been a nice day.  I hate crutches though!  My arms ache from the added strain on them, and I'm frustrated!  Only 5 more weeks of it...I guess.   :(  I really hope I am cleared to do weight bearing soon!!!!

Hope all is well with everyone else!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 06, 2010, 01:17:52 AM
Jen it sounds like things are going good considering the surgery!  Good Luck with your presentations tomorrow!  How is it being back to school with less help compared to being at home?  What is your brace like? Your doctor made you non weight bearing so no toe touching?

I did a bunch of planting today and tomorrow have to finish plus pack a suitcase to stay at my aunts house for a week.  My operation is Friday morning and I am nervous but so ready to be on the road to hopefully fixing my knee once and for all!!  I hope things continue to progress for you and you find it easier and painless each day forward!!

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 06, 2010, 04:34:16 AM
Hi Camster!

Your surgery is coming quickly!!  Good luck!

Being back at school is nice-it is forcing me to do things instead of asking my Mom or Dad.  However, when I am tired or sore (my arms are killing me from the crutches...I do not have strong arms!) it would be nice just to ask someone, so I do!  I have several amazing people who grab stuff around the room, keep me company, get my food, etc.  The support system here at school is great.  I keep my dorm room open nearly all the time, unless I am sleeping, and I feel much happier being able to see my friends, especially since the school year is almost over.  And having a handicap accessible shower and bathroom just a little way down the hall really, really helps.  My bathroom at home was soooo hard to handle because it's skinny!

My brace is one that locks in extension when I walk, and it's always locked so I can't move my knee past 90 degrees (not like I can do that yet...) when I am resting or doing exercises.  It goes from mid thigh to mid calf, and I suspect it's like most people have after knee surgery.  The pads make it pretty comfy!  Yay! ;)  It's been exciting that I keep getting to make it smaller and smaller each day as the swelling goes down.

And I can do toe touching, but no more than that.  I hope I can start doing more soon.  However, it seems there was a little nerve damage from my femoral block, so I'm still a little numb in spots, so being weight bearing is probably a bad idea anyways.  I go up next Wed to see my OS so I can beg him to let me do more then! 

Again, good luck with your surgery!  Hope for the best and just listen to EVERYTHING they say...well, have someone else listen for you.  You probably won't really remember the first few days much!  I don't! :D 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 07, 2010, 03:20:30 AM
Camster!!!! Good luck!!! keep us posted! we'll be thinking of you!

Jen--- you're coming along! :) it's different how our OS's have a different approach on things! Hows your pain factor? Sounds like it's pretty mild if you're not needed so much pain meds! mine comes and goes in waves... sometimes I feel okay...other times it really hurts!

I'm actually realllllly tired and need to get some rest! But I will check in with you tomorrow!


Good luck on your presentations!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 07, 2010, 11:30:13 AM
Thanks!  I am up and getting ready to leave..  ???  I will be staying overnight according to the doctor so I will try and post sometime tomorrow Saturday once I get home.. I hope you both are doing good!! 

naturegirl - How did your presentations go?  Hope they went well and you are continuing to recover well!!

Thanks leftkneepain!! Take care and I will see ya on the other side!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 07, 2010, 01:43:42 PM
Camster, good luck today. You will do great! See you on the other side. Looking forward to reading your success story :-)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Lottiefox on May 07, 2010, 06:19:25 PM
Good luck Camster - here's to a bunch of happy knees!  ;D

Lottie x
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 07, 2010, 07:22:51 PM
Hello all!

Day 7-8
The past day and 1/2 has been pretty good.  Yesterday I had to get up and go to 2 classes, one of which was 3 hrs long-ugh! Luckily  Campus Security picked me up in the golf cart and ferried me to my classes.  I did crutch along to one of them, and that wore me out!  It was only about a block or 2 of walking, but considering my pathetic arm strength it was a workout!  I was able to keep my leg elevated during classes, so it worked out pretty well. And my profs let me sit during my presentations.  :D Yay!

The presentations went well.  I had some problems staying on topic and focusing, due to the meds, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  I did them without notes, only using prompts on my powerpoint, so my mind was with me for the most part!   ;) 

After my classes I realized I probably overdid it a bit.  I was super tired and the right side of my knee (the inside of the knee) just hurt...kind of a twinging pain.  I still have it today and it doesn't seem to go away much with the meds, but moving my ankle up and down is helping.  It's not too painful overall.

I actually have unbruised skin near my knee!  :o  I was looking at it this morning, and I thought "Hmm...that white patch looks odd.  I wonder what's up!"  Then I realized that was my natural color!  Swelling's a little worse today, but I'm guessing that's from the added strain of getting out and going to classes.  I'm icing a lot and keeping it up, which is helping.

I had my presentation for Spanish today (talking about the Mexican drug war while slightly loopy on my meds ;))  I only had 1 point taken off, and it was for comprehension/clarity.   :) Go figure!

Hope all is well with you Camster!  Looking forward to hearing about your experience!

Lindsey-hope all is good!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 08, 2010, 09:50:52 PM
It's amazing how something as simple as walking a block, or just walking around your house, can completely exhaust you.  For the first two weeks or so after my TTT/LR I was exhausted from even loading the dishwasher, etc.  I felt horrible for not being able to do anything without breaking into a sweat and needing to sit down.  But it gradually comes back, the endurance gets a bit better day by day :)

Today I spent nearly 3 hours walking around the Farmer's Market and taking kids to the mall to find a dress for a school dance.  I used a cane, more to keep people away from me than anything.  Yes, I'm tired and the swelling upped a bit after being on my feet that long, but just two weeks ago I would not have even lasted an hour, and today I did 3, which felt really good!!!

Just listen to your body,  it'll tell you when it needs to rest.  It's so easy to overdo it, and we all do, but know that it'll get a bit better day by day :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 08, 2010, 10:49:36 PM
Hi Andi!

Sounds like you had a great day!  Farmer's Market...yum!  I am looking forward to the Farmer's Markets this summer.  Unfortunately, around here they're pretty small (small towns and such) but there's always some great food to have!

Part of my problems is a lack of arm strength, which is killing me on the crutches.  I really, really wish I could be rid of them, but Doc says no for now.   :(  At least I'm building up some great arm strength!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 09, 2010, 03:43:32 AM
Day 9

Today was a busy day for sure!

There was a huge festival going on in town today, the last of 3 days, and I really, really wanted to go.  So I arranged to get a wheelchair from Campus Security to use for the day, as there was no way I was going out in the massive crowds, on the brick streets, with my crutches.  It was great to get out and see the town and all the tourists!  It was super, super cold though, and a little rainy, so I didn't stay out for too long.  Considering it should be in the 70s, and it was only in the 40s, it was not a great day to be outside.  I bundled up though and it was ok.  I was amazed by how rude some people are to someone who is in a wheelchair!  I got cut off and driven off the sidewalk several times.   :(  But my friends and I still had a great time, and the food was amazing!  I finally ate like a normal person...mostly.  I did scarf down the Poffertjes, which is a type of Dutch dessert.  Yummy!

After I got back to the dorm, I was freezing cold and in a little pain.  So I took my meds then fell asleep in my chair with my dorm room door open for about 1 1/2 hours.   ;D  It was really nice to nap!  After my nap I used the CryoCuff to ice a bit so I wouldn't get swollen from the extra activity.  I also did a set of PT exercises, which felt good. 

I've managed to be a bit more motivated after my nap, with finishing a Spanish novel, doing dishes, and cleaning up a bit.  I'm finally feeling able to get up and move for long periods of time!  I also worked on bending my knee and got it to about 60 degrees without much pain.  The swelling, which has gone down considerably, is still preventing me from doing more.  However, I'm happy with the movement I have.  My back is aching and my hip is too, and I wish I could move around and do normal stretches...but I can't, yet.  It'll be nice when I can though!  I am going to do another set of PT exercises, which will hopeful help with the lower body stiffness. 

Hope everyone else had a good day!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 10, 2010, 12:10:53 AM
Ah so you have experienced the mysterious race that you seem to be entered into once you are seated in a wheelchair! There was a discussion on my diary about this very thing (and i'm sure many others). I had a nice experience in the airport with the wheelchair race I didn't know I was in along with the wheelchair rudeness. It's amazing how rude some people are when it comes to someone on crutches or in a wheelchair.

Nonetheless, glad you were able to enjoy the festival.

I went to a festival yesterday too. It was my first real test of my leg with walking a lot, and by a lot i mean about 2.5 miles, so not really that much, but still. It was up and downhill but all paved. My thigh was killing me when I was done but my knee never hurt once and my kneecap felt as stable as can be.

Glad things are going well for you back at school. You are doing great, keep it up!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 10, 2010, 04:58:25 AM
Day 10

Today was another good but busy day.  Mom came to school to visit and help pack a bit, since I move out at the end of this week!  We had a nice afternoon chatting and enjoyed a nice dinner out.  It was a little awkward sitting in the booth, but I made it work.  I was also able to sit in the front seat of the car!!!  ;D  It hurt a little bit bending it enough to get it in, but overall it was nice to be up front.  I'm glad the car ride was only about 5 mins though. 

I am soooo close to doing an SLR!  I am frustrated because I can tell how close I am, but I just can't quite do it.  Part of my PT exercises is to do 15 SLRs three times a day, but I've had to do them assisted.  However, my friend said she was hardly lifting at all today.  When I try to do it by myself I can get nearly my whole leg up, but my heel seems to be glued down!  I'm doing quad sets like crazy in hopes of doing an SLR within the next few days.  We'll see!  It's exciting that I'm finally getting my strength back, and it's much easier to move around.

I've cut down on the pain meds considerably.  So far today I've only had 1 1/2 hydrocodone (for pain) and 2 hydroxyzine (for muscle spasms).  And it's nearly 11pm and I am headed to bed!  It's been really great not being under the fogginess that the pain pills cause in my head.  I have my thoughts back!!!

crankerchick-sounds like you had a great day too!  That's awesome that the knee didn't hurt at all!  I can't wait to be up and walking like a normal person again.  Congrats on all the walking up and down hills!

Off to bed now!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 10, 2010, 12:43:25 PM
One thing you can try with the SLR is to have your assistant lift your leg only for the first 2 or 3 and then try yourself on the next one. Also, having them just start it, like, lifting the heel off the bed and then you raising it the rest of way is a good starter. If you are alone you can use a strap or belt or even your other leg to help you get it started. Once it's started, you can finish on it your own and before you know it, you will be able to do it on your own completely.

Sometimes the muscle just needs to be reminded how to work right. Even once I could do the SLR, I would find sometimes I would try and the first one I couldn't do, but just a little help on the first one and then I was back doing them again.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 10, 2010, 02:33:44 PM
Hey crankerchick!

Thanks for the advice!  When my friend has been helping, I can tell that she does most of the initial lifting, but then I can tell my leg takes over.  It's just the first inch or two of lifting that I can't quite do.  It is nice to have my whole leg tired after the exercise though, because it means my muscles are working! 

Yesterday while doing that exercise, my friend didn't quite lift as soon as I expected, and my leg jumped up and bit then fell down.  So I know I can do it, but I agree that my muscles just don't remember how.  I keep doing them on my right (good) leg, then trying with my left.   :)  That muscle memory just needs a little reminder.  I will try to do it with a belt or something like you mentioned, though.

Hope you have a great day!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 10, 2010, 04:24:48 PM
Jen- You mentioned that you hadn't been sitting in the front seat...I'm shortish- 5'4"-5'5" and I've been sitting in the front of our SUV since the accident happened...once I'm in it's okay there's room but getting in is hell. What kind of car do you sit in that you sit across the back seat??? I'm wondering if I should try that. I find it really painful to move my leg from side to side right now- it makes my knee feel like it's slipping towards the outside. Not sure if it's muscle weakness or the swelling or what but ouch. I was definitely expecting more stability post surgery.

I'm inspired by your story. My original dr wanted to do a Fulkerson but had much more conservative post-op approach to PT (he "didn't know" if he was going to send me to PT at all...seriously?) so I did a bit of research on it and I can't imagine getting around so much so soon after esp having done both!! I'm trying to cut back from 2 percs every 4 hours to 1 and am dying so I can't imagine how you're doing it on just hydrocodone (which I was on before surgery from my initial injury so know it's not that strong). Good luck keeping up with everything! It souns like you have a great outlook and you're doing amazing =)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 10, 2010, 05:10:23 PM
Hi Cupcake1007!

I saw your post-oop diary and I remember the problems you've been having.  First of all, I wasn't able to have percocet.  They gave it to me at the hospital and I had a bad reaction to it.  I was soooo dizzy and my eyes were essentially spinning in 2 different directions and I couldn't focus.  I nearly passed out, but I called the nurse in and she lowered by head down below my feet, just in time.  It was scary!  I also ended up throwing up twice, so I didn't have the option of using the percocet.  So from Day 1 I've only had the option of hydrocodone.  The first few days were pretty painful, but at about Day 4 it started getting better.  I also think having the PT exercises help, although they do hurt sometimes,  it's nice to be moving.

As for the car-I'm about 5'3", and I definitely agree that getting in is hell.  With the Fulkerson I've been conservative about bending too much, as my OS recommended.  I had pain at the Fulkerson site with bending it a few days ago, and he told me to lighten up on that exercise, so I have.  And just bending to get in the car door was hard.  I can't believe you've been getting in an SUV!  I've been in the backseat of plain old cars, which are low enough to the ground that I can slide in easily.  The one time I had to get into an SUV was hard, but as I slid in the backseat I kind of laid my foot on the inside of the door handle so I could slide and keep my knee straight.  A little tricky, but easier than the front seat!  ;)  Keeping the leg extended is helping a lot with keeping the pain away.

Good luck with the pain, and feel free to ask me any questions.  At some point you'll turn a corner and feel a lot better quickly.  Getting to that point is hard though! By the way, your original OS sounds...not so great.  No PT?  Hmm....I don't think that would be a good idea.  And recommending that surgery without and MRI and X-rays (if I am remembering correctly)?  Scary!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 10, 2010, 05:12:24 PM
Jen - That first SLR is the hardest thing... but once you get it, it's amazing how the muscles will start waking up and realizing what they're supposed to do. †With my first one after surgery, at 13 days (I think), I did ONE in PT and my entire body was shaking. †I was exhausted for the rest of the day LOL, but it felt so good to finally be able to do one. †Keep up with the quad sets and you'll get there before you know it :)

As for sitting in the front seat of a car, isn't that fun?? †I hated being in the back seat, especially with my 15-year old girls driving me around to the store and PT and not being in the front with them. †They're both excellent driver's though, so I'm very fortunate they had their permits and could take me where I needed to go.

As for the mental fog with the pain meds, yes, it's wonderful once that all clears away and you can actually complete a thought without your mind wandering around a bunch. †It took me several days after stopping the meds to be totally clear again, but it was sure a nice feeling when it did :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 10, 2010, 05:24:00 PM
I'm 6'2" and always sat in the front seat. What wasn't fun was the shape of the dash in some of the vehicles in addition to the leg room variations in some of the cars. In TX I rented a sonata which has decent leg room and the dash is designed decent enough and wasn't all up on my shin. When I left the hospital, the nurses and aids (and me LOL) were surprised how I just basically got right in the car with no issue.

In Atlanta with my in-laws, same with my father-in-law's honda accord. But my mother-in-law's lexus truck, OMG, I hated getting in that thing. The height obviously wasn't an issue for me, but just the leg room is less and the dash/glove box is poorly designed and felt like it was like only less than an inch away from my shin. My mother-in-law is kind of a scary inattentive driver and all I kept thinking about was her crashing and my poor leg going into the dash. ::cringe::

I did find it easier to get in the car taking off my shoe first, but for the most part could get in fine, I just had to bend my knee myself because after a certain point I couldn't actively bend it any further to get in.

What was the worst for me were those first few weeks where turns felt like they were twisting my leg and would hurt. Again with my mother-in-law taking sharp turns rather quickly I wanted to just ring her neck sometimes. I just always braced with my hand and eventually i had the leg strength to brace without holding my leg.

Now the seatbelt on my thigh where the femoral incision is. U-G-H! That sucked no matter what car i was in.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 10, 2010, 05:48:31 PM
Hi Andi and Crankerchick!

Front seats are definitely much nicer than the back.  :) Luckily, my Mom is a great driver and I had no fear of smashing into the dash.  Turns are still a bit scary though.  I also help my brace just to avoid jarring and twisting.  Better safe than sorry, I suppose!

Andi-having the mental fog gone is amazing!  I'm still on the meds a bit, but it's gotten so much better.  That's a good thing too-I have 5 papers due before the end of the semester on Friday.  :o  Luckily 4 over them are over half done or only revisions are needed.  I have no real final tests this week, so I have no classes, etc to go to.  Lots of time to rest, write, and work on recovering!  I also have my 1st Post-Op appointment on Thursday.  I hope he says I can start doing weight bearing.  I really want to be able to do an SLR just so I can prove my quads are getting stronger.  ;D

Off to write more!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 10, 2010, 06:05:38 PM
I guess I should clarify. I'm in a knee immobilizer and not allowed to bend my knee at all right now...which I know is unusual but I think my case was pretty bad as far as looseness goes or something? Like I posted in my diary- I went to 3 doctors. The first guy (yep he said no PT and no MRI- only an xray done at the ER which my OS had redone in his office because he didn't think they were clear enough) didn't want me to bend my leg at all. I dislocated my knee mid-march and didn't get in to my second opinion until April 1. He wouldn't give me a second opinion until I got an MRI...he had me start bending it but when he got the written report of the MRI it said I tore a bunch of things (which I didn't) so he told me not to bend it if it hurt. So, I got it to about 90 degrees. Then I saw the third guy and he didn't say anything and I guess I forgot to ask. He had me bend it right before surgery and said we would get aggressive about it when I came in for my post op. I had my surgery done at Georgetown in Washington, DC...which is a pretty good hospital and both my referring surgeon and my OS surgeon seem to be pretty well known etc but I don't feel like they sent me home with as much info about everything as they could have. I mean I was basically sent home and told to do my quad exercises and get up as much as possible and take lots of pain meds (ah I'm almost out and I don't think I'll be able to get another script until Friday oops lol)...I called them about 20 times last week to ask about things =) Anyway, my point about the straight leg was that I'm keeping it completely straight to get into the front seat. I have plenty of leg room and my dh stabalizes my leg with pillows which helps (we've been perfecting comfortable car riding since my initial injury)...and I was doing okay getting in until we came home on Friday...it was my one and only car ride since surgery without the nerve block and OMG it hurt getting in and out. I may try the back seat...the only problem with that is we have a 21 month old so if she's with us I'm not sure there would be enough room...How do you sit though? Just across the back seat with your leg up? Ugh, I'm not looking forward to getting in the car again on Friday...on the bright side- the swelling is going down a lot! How's your swelling now? I think I may be turning the corner. I got through the first 4 hours with just one perc and was in a lot of pain about 2-3 hours in but then it started going away. I took another one at the four hour mark and feel fine so maybe part of it is the process of weaning off it.

And cranker- what femoral incision?? You mean from the block? I didnt have an incision...don't think I even have a mark from the needle. Ah I was all doped up during that and it's one of the last things I remember- thinking yay they're getting my leg to jump a lot hopefully that means it's working lol.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 10, 2010, 06:17:27 PM
cupcake, you are in the DMV area? So cool, so am I! I'm just south of Baltimore in Howard county!

I had a TTT along with femoral and tibial osteotomy. So i had my femur derotated (unspun?!?!) and my tibia derotated along with the TTT to bring the patella down. That is why I have the femoral incision. One of these days I'll put a picture up, LOL.

If I were to sit on the backseat, I would sit with the surgery leg against the seat rather than the other way, less the surgical leg fall off the seat on a stop, ouch! I sat like that a few times after my other surgery. I used pillows to elevate.

If the car ride is that awful, perhaps drugging up before hand? And also, ice for the car! Let the numbing powers of ice work in your favor!

6 days after my surgery was the day I left TX and I had PT and a visit with the doctor that day then a 1 hour ride south in the car to the airport. We filled up my cryocuff and used it in the car even though I couldn't plug it in for compression, just having it fill up with icy cold goodness helped for the ride. My mom was worried about the bike ride and exercises from PT causing more swelling and pain. I just wanted the numbness from the ice!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 10, 2010, 06:41:07 PM
Hey all!

I'll be studying in DC next semester...so excited!!!  :D Anyways...

Cupcake-Sorry that you weren't given much information about what to do Post-Op.  I had pretty good instructions and still had to make a few calls!  And I hope you can get more meds before then! I am impressed that you can get in the car without bending though.  I sit with my leg stretched out across the backseat, which probably won't work with your child.   :-\  And like Crankerchick mentioned, I sit with my bad left against the seat so it doesn't slide off.  Pillows are good for elevation for long rides too.

Crankerchick-I almost had to have the femoral derotational surgery.  The OS discussed that and the Fulkerson, but decided that the Fulkerson should be enough to fix the problem.  I should put pics up too...if I figure out how.  I've been taking lots of pictures just to compare the swelling and bruising.  It'll be interesting when the steri-strips can come off and I can really see the nice, 10 inch incision.  I didn't quite expect the incision to be that long...oh well!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 10, 2010, 11:41:33 PM
Yep, I'm about 1 1/2 hours from DC (no traffic) in VA. I grew up in Alexandria though. Where are you studying Jen?

It's frustrating because I'm not sure like where I should be...I still can only do the quad sets - no SLRs though I'm going to have my dh help me a little later. I have a feeling it's going to be really painful though- yuck. What I'm really unsure about is how often I should be getting up. I get up about every 2 hours to go to the bathroom and walk around a little. I just ate dinner at the table (we have a pub table so I'm practically standing) for the first time since surgery. But, I have a feeling I'm not up and about enough. I am putting some weight but not full weight on my leg yet. I am cleared for full weight but my leg is still pretty wobbly. Thanks for the info about the car- I think I'm going to try that on my post op visit- which is 1 1/2- 2 hours away.

Wow a 10 inch incision sounds pretty long. Mine is only about 2 or 3 where they did the MPFL and then a couple where they put the arthroscope in/did the LR. It seems like most people get the MPFL with a TTT (which is the same as a Fulkerson right?)...my drs said I didn't need it because I wasn't misalligned very much. Supposedly the MPFL should be quicker recovery time...I think mines a little worse because I was already swollen etc from the initial injury and didn't have ROM beforehand...sigh. I'm looking forward to and scared to bend my knee. ugh.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 11, 2010, 12:31:41 AM
I'm not really familiar with East Coast/DC area, and all I know is that I'll be in the Capitol area interning somewhere.  I'll find out the specs over the summer.  I'm super excited buy super nervous at the same time.  I'm really looking forward to living in a big city again.  I studied abroad in Mexico for a semester in a city of about 1 million, then moved back to my college town of 10,000.  It's been hard and I really miss the action in a large city.  Thus, I can't wait to go to DC.  I also can't wait to have the option of public transportation again-I hate driving!! 

Anyways, I also don't get up and move a whole lot.  Part of that is because my arms have been so sore from the crutches.  I have pathetic arm strength, so using the crutches has been hard.  I intended to get out today, but it's cold, windy, and rainy.  I'm hoping there's no tornado warnings tonight.  Ugh!  At least when I go to the bathroom I have to go down the hall of my dorm, and I'm a Resident Advisor so I've had to help a bit with getting stuff from the RA closet, which is down 2 stories.  Yay for the elevator!  I may force myself to go down to the computer lab or vending machines, just to get some movement in today.  I think tomorrow I'll get out and get my own food from the dining hall about 1 block away.  We'll see!

As far I as can tell, with a bit of research, the Fulkerson is a type of TTT (correct me if I'm wrong people!).  I'm guessing the incision length is normal, although it seems that on my short legs it's very large! :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 03:12:20 AM
A TTT is a tibial tubercle transfer. Jen, you are correct. The Fulkerson procedure is a type of TTT. There are multiple ways to transfer the tibial tubercle. The fulkerson procedure moves it anterior (out of the knee) and medial (toward the inside of the knee).

My TTT was not a Fulkerson. My TT was just advanced distally (toward the bottom), ie it was moved down on my shin, to correct a high riding patella. CT scan revealed it did not need to move medially at all.

I don't know if there is some amount a person should get up and move around or not. I wouldn't worry too much about it cupcake. Everyone heals differently and different doctors have different protocols too, so it is kind of hard to compare yourself to others, even for a surgery like this that is common for people to have.

After my surgery i was up moving around pretty much every hour. My doctor has his patients do a knee-to-chest stretch every hour they are awake, so every hour I was doing that stretch. I pretty much could not wait for that hour to come because I was so ready to move and bend and get up and around. In that first week, I didn't sleep but 1-2 hours at a time. Shoot, in those first days I didn't even sleep a whole hour. Hindsight I should have taken the ambien prescribed to me. Anyway, so yeah I got up often and went to the bathroom, stretched, and just sat on the edge of the bed, etc. That whole elevating with nothing but air under the knee really made it so i didn't want to stay in one place for too long anyway. After about 10 days it started getting a little easier to sit for longer periods. At some point I made it to probably 2 hours at a time and then I would have to get up and crutch around the house, do some exercises, etc.

I mean, I wouldn't advocate just laying around all the time, but don't overdo it either. Challenge yourself to do as much as you are allowed to do, but take time to rest too. Find your balance.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 11, 2010, 05:11:22 AM
Day 11
Today has been a very uneventful day.  It was campus wide study day, as finals start on Tuesday.  So I pretty much just stayed in my room and relaxed and wrote a paper.  It was windy and rainy outside so I didn't really want to wander out on crutches, with no umbrella and at the mercy of the strong winds.  It was nice to relax after a long weekend though!

This evening I wandered down to the lounge for a hall wide event.  I ended up standing up for about 20-30 minutes without feeling sore or tired-yay!  My energy level is a lot higher and I'm getting stronger in my arms.  About time!  I hope to head over to the student union tomorrow to check mail/get food/get out of my room.   :) I just hope it's not raining!  Right now it is thunderstorming, and I really hope it's not a severe storm!

Crankerchick-
Sounds like you had a rough time sleeping after your surgery!  I've been lucky in the sleep department and the last several nights I've been out like a rock, other than having to stay up late for Resident Advisor reasons and also being woken up by the fire alarm in the dorm across the street.  Oh campus life...always something interesting going on!

Anyways, elevating with nothing under the knee is a pain!  My knee gets sore at night and aches quite a bit in the morning, and just getting up and about really does help. 
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 03:06:08 PM
Congrats on being able to stand up without soreness or pain or fatigue. You are rolling along now.

I am very envious of yours and Andi's sleeping abilities. For me, sleeping, in a word, sucked, and honestly still kind of does. But I guess I'm getting enough rest because I'm not really all that tired in the daytime, otherwise I'd be going crazy.

When I was where you are, I used the cryocuff through the night. That helped with the aching. First thing in the am I got up and got myself presentable and went to the exercise bike. That kicked me off and got me feeling good for the day. It definitely helps to just get moving.

And yes, air under the knee is really a pain but it works. Glad I listened to the doc.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 11, 2010, 03:24:20 PM
Sounds like you're doing great! DC is fun. Everytime I go down there I kinda regret not taking more advantage of having grown up 15 minutes away. I hate the metro though...it's just kinda icky and the one time I went on it alone when I was a teen some random guy followed me to my car- creepy. For some reason, I think the metro in NYC is probably nicer.

I don't sleep great either- partly because I get muscle spasms that are okay when I'm awake and can kind of compensate but when I'm asleep it jars my whole leg and HURTS! How do you manage air only under the knee? I'm close but I wear my brace all the time right now (when my leg is elevated I unstrap it...I'm scared to take it off all together because of my history. I do have a pillow under my whole leg and then one just under my ankle so that it is elevated slightly higher.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 03:36:12 PM
I didn't have a brace or anything, so air under the knee was easy. Just a mound of pillows under the calf and ankle, nothing under the knee. It suuuuucccckkkkssssss!!!!

I love DC and don't mind the subway at all. Used to ride it all the time in college.

I had "zingers" as someone on here termed them. These weird sensations where my leg would twitch and my whole body almost would jerk. I don't recall having them when I was asleep, but I would have them 2-3 times a day. Yep, pain would be accurate. Not the zinger itself (it was a just a twitch in my leg) but the accompany jerking of my body--and thereby the leg--was just crap, LOL. Supposedly it's the nerves going back together though, so it's a good thing. I still have them every once in a while now, of course the jerking doesn't hurt anymore though.

If you are allowed to take the brace off, I would suggest you start trying to. Take it slowly, maybe off just for a few minutes at a time. This is a mental thing. There's no place for fear in this recovery. My knee was subluxing many times a day prior to my surgery. Still had to get over the fear and take steps. Can't be afraid forever.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 03:43:43 PM
i know, easier said than done !!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 11, 2010, 03:57:36 PM
I am very thankful for my ability to sleep.  I think the hydrocodone helps though...I take it and fall asleep soon after.  I'm also able to enjoy long naps during the day.  Not good for writing papers, but overall the rest is nice.  I expected sleep to be impossible, since I never, ever sleep on my back, but it hasn't been a problem.  I definitely count that as a blessing!

I've not slept with the CryoCuff.  I think I have a different version that most of you guys.  Mine is a CryoCuff cooler that I fill with water and ice, then there a tube that connects to a brace-like water pack.  I just put the brace on, fill it up, and keep it on for 20 mins. I'm only supposed to use it 3 times a day, but I use it a bit more than that if I feel like I need it.  ;)  Nothing plugs in or compresses.  I know they talked about a different one in the hospital, but I know I could only rent it for 10 days, it wasn't covered by insurance (I think), and I'm pretty sure they didn't have the other one available.  It was the day after surgery and I hadn't had any icing yet, and I really wanted it so we settled for the CryoCuff cooler.  It works well though, although sleeping in it isn't possible.  I'm required to wear my brace to bed.

Cupcake: Try really hard to get the pillows out from under the knee.  I accidentally elevated it like that the first couple of days, not knowing that I wasn't supposed to, and it was really painful getting into extension and I think it made the bruising worse.  It still hurt to have only air (while wearing the brace) beneath the knee, it felt a lot better getting into extension and some of the numbness started going away. I am not allowed to take the brace off except for showering and icing, or even leave it unstrapped.  Grr!   

Crankerchick-I know what you are talking about with the zingers.  I have just one every night as I go to sleep.  Kinda like when you "fall asleep" and feel like you're falling, but it starts with my bad leg and then my whole body jerks badly.  Made me nervous the first few times because I was worried my leg would fall off the pillow pile. :) Now I am used to it, and it doesn't really hurt. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 04:10:17 PM
Drugs never made me sleepy. Just constipated. I ceased and desisted with them after 4 days LOL.

I am not a back sleeper at all either. Once I got settled in Atlanta, my mother-in-law picked up a wedge pillow at my request and I slept better after that.

Thats different, my doctor had me in the cryocuff pretty much nonstop and even says to keep using it now. I do have the autochill on my cuff so it does have the compression. But again no brace or anything like that for me so i could use it all night. I usually went to sleep with it on around midnight, took it off the first time i woke up around 2 am and recycle the water and stretch and stuff, then go back to sleep and take it off for good around 5 am when i woke up again. Stretch and watch infomercials and then get up around 9 for a date with the stationary bike.

If i had the ziners in my sleep it would likely creep me out. I always had them while I was awake. i could feel it coming and then grrr it would hurt when I jerked but it was like I couldn't stop the jerk even though I could feel it coming, LOL.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 11, 2010, 04:44:30 PM
Hi crankerchick!

When did you start using the bike?  Were you able to ride it regularly/do full rotations on it?  I'm not to that point yet, and I don't want to try the bike until my OS or PT approves it.  It does sound like it would be nice to get that movement though!

Infomercials...ugh!  I turn on the news as I am waking...slowly but surely my mind begins to work and I start to pay attention after a while.  It takes me a bit to get motivated to get out of bed, which really isn't that unusual! 

As for the CryoCuff, I'm glad I get to keep this one, even it it's not as fancy as the other option.  Only using one for 10 days sounds crazy!  I didn't really understand that, but there might have been the opportunity to keep it longer if I needed it. At any rate, I'm glad to have my own!  It makes my knee happy! :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 11, 2010, 05:13:36 PM
I started on the bike 6 days post-op. Then I was to ride every day for one hour. I started off by dividing it in sessions and then progressed to the full hour at a time. When I first got on I was quite nervous but I had no intention of rocking, LOL. I went all the way around with gritted teeth. After a few of those then I just said screw it and pedaled. I think I went about 20 minutes total.

I would not ride the bike until your OS says its ok. One of the reasons I picked my guy is because he advocates early motion and usage of the limb.

Even though I was pwb for 6 weeks (cause of the broken bones), i was still bending and cycling and otherwise exercising as early as in the recovery room right after surgery. I don't know if it put me ahead at all, there aren't that many people on here that have had the derotation osteotomy, and no one that i have seen that had both the femur and tibia derotation along with the TTT all at once like I did.

I know I never lost my extension and had 120 degrees ROM leaving the hospital and have never lost that. My strength at this point is still struggling and I'm still working on that last bit of ROM to get to 135 (roughly heel-to-butt) but my recovery has otherwise been uneventful. I am in contact somewhat with someone else who had the same surgery as me and we are about the same, just trying to grind through the hip weakness and irritation. He's about 3 months in front of me as far as when we had the surgery. This one is a tough one, but still one I don't regret. I am able to do a lot of things now, just not able to run or bowl just yet.

I think if I had ditched my PT and found a trainer sooner, i would be farther along. My rehab stalled a bit. I will always kick myself for that one.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 11, 2010, 05:35:59 PM
Man you are mobile!   :)

It's pretty awesome that you've been able to do so much so quickly!  I was 90 degrees bending out of the hospital, and am NOT allowed to go beyond that yet.  However, I've not reached that since I was on the CPM machine.  I think it's mainly fear of damaging something or splitting open the incision (sounds crazy, yes, but there's no stitches). I supposed I should just push through the tightness and go for the full 90.  It's not super painful to bend, just tight.  I think it's that mental fear you were talking about.  I just need to suck it up and get it bent!   :-\  That'll be my assignment for the day...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 12, 2010, 12:57:48 AM
Oh man zingers- that's exactly what I meant. I get them all the time though- like 10-20 times a day I'd say including sleep. They happen any time from when I'm nodding off to when I'm walking- that's fun. But I have muscle spasms in the other leg too which I have yet to figure out what those are- different than the zinger things though. I sleep with my brace open with my cryocuff on (it has a cooler with a tube and a big water balloon type thing that lays around the front of my knee...I think I'll start using it less though soon. I think it's contributing to my numbness. I'm getting dh to get another pillow for under my ankle to try to get air. I think I'm going to stop using the recliner tomorrow and use an ottoman with my chair instead. although that will be harder to keep my leg elevated so high. Sigh. This recovery stuff is hard!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 12, 2010, 02:18:20 AM
Recovery is hard!  Finding that balance between comfort and elevation/following directions is hard too. 

Do you have any meds for anti-spasm?  I was prescribed hydroxyzine for muscle spasms, and it helps a lot.  When I started to feel my muscles moving around I know it's been about 6 hours since the last one.  I haven't been able to cut down much on that prescription.  I am prone to muscle spasms though, and that scared me before surgery.  I usually have horrible muscle cramps at night while I'm sleeping, and I end up waking up, literally writhing in pain.  It's not fun.  It's suspected that I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) since my Mom does and I present many of the symptoms.  But we were told NOT to have me tested by her doctor.  There's no treatment...so yeah.  Anyways, I was really afraid that the leg cramps would happen in my bad leg after surgery, but it hasn't.  I have no clue what I would do if it did though.  I thank the hydroxyzine because I think it's preventing the leg cramps.

Anywho...I hope you get things sorted out with the recliner and elevation.  Good luck!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 12, 2010, 04:22:54 AM
Day 12

Whooo today has been a BUSY day!  I decided since it wasn't super cold and rainy and windy today, I HAD to get outside and walk around.  Man it felt good!  For lunch I walked a bit across campus to the student union and had lunch with a friend.  I took books with me and sold them back to the bookstore.  It's always nice to sell back books, especially for the class I disliked!  :)

After that I went back to my room and finished a paper.  It ended up being 3 pages longer than needed! 

For dinner I crutched back to the student union to eat again.  While there my friend mentioned the "Pet therapy" that was going on in another dorm.  When I found out they had little doggies, I was all for going!  So I crutched over to the dorm across the street and spent probably 1/2 and hour or so petting and hold puppies, part of it standing and part sitting.  I also got to hold a hedgehog.  Those are funny animals.  My leg started aching after a bit as I couldn't have it elevated while hanging with the doggies.  So I went back to the dorm and made myself walk down one flight of stairs.  I want to practice stairs a bit more before I have to go home and deal with stairs all the time. 

About an hour later I rode the elevator downstairs and crutched to the lounge for a snack break hosted by the Hall Council.  Again I stood for about 20 minutes, but didn't hang around much because my knee was starting to hurt.  I had a slight mishap today when I lost my balance on the crutches and nearly fell backwards.  I put more weight on my leg than intended, but I had my brace locked so it is all good.  Now I am sitting with the CryoCuff on thinking about heading to bed.   ;D  I am TIRED!

Tomorrow I have to crutch clear across campus-ugh!  I can do it though, I'm sure.  I just may be even more tired tomorrow night.  My poor arms are a little achy, but a good night's sleep will fix that.

Adios for tonight!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 12, 2010, 04:35:29 AM
wow!!! i feel so out of the loop! Sorry I haven't been in to post for a few days!  my mom left today and we've been on the go for the past few days! I have been getting out, shopping, going to diner, etc. I feel really good-and my knee is getting better and better every day! Jen glad to see that things are moving right along with you as well!

:)

Lindsey
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 12, 2010, 02:46:03 PM
Picture time!

Here are a few pics of my leg!

Day 3 picture
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/050200_154200.jpg)

Obviously there was a LOT of bruising to the right on my knee.† That was pretty painful!† The incision is covered by Steri-Strips, but it's about 10 inches long.† :(

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/050300_105800.jpg)

Here's one of my sweet little doggie helpers!† She was waiting outside my door forever to see me, so Mom finally got her up on me.† I can't wait to be back home so I can cuddle with the doggies!

Day 13
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/051200_084200.jpg)

Good leg and bad leg!† Obviously the swelling has gone down a LOT, although there is still a little bruising.† I go to the OS tomorrow so I hope the steri-strips can come off.† †:)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 12, 2010, 10:09:30 PM
Jen your incision is definitely a lot bigger than mine! You win ha ha j/k!! Is that dog a mini schnauzer? I have two of them both salt and pepper and girls. Their names are Pepper and Roni so together when you call them it's Pepperoni!! I love my babies!! Yours is cute is it a girl or boy? My aunt has a black one too her name is Savannah..

Where are you attending school? What semester are you in? I hope everything is going well! I had my first PT today, which was mostly assessment and seeing where I'm at as far as measurements go.. I got to 57 degrees with the PT but the doc doesn't want me to go past 60 right now and by myself with a towel I got to 50 so not too bad for the first try.  Then tried to do SLRs but only could do them with help from the PT and a towel. My muscles need to wake up!! But that will take time so I will just be patient and wait to see!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 13, 2010, 12:41:41 AM
Yeah...I was surprised by the size of the incision!† I know that when they did the MPFL reconstruction, they had to do a lot more work than expected because my knee has no groove for the patella to move in.† So they had to make sure the ligament was extra tight so my knee would track properly. Perhaps that equated into having a huge scar.† Or perhaps that was the plan.† †:)† Either way, as long as it's fixed I am ok with the scar.

The little doggie is a miniature schnauzer, as you guessed.† She needs to be groomed, that's why her hair is so long. She's a darling little dog, named Princess.† Not the best name, perhaps, but we adopted her so the name came from her previous owners.† It's so rewarding to adopt a dog.† She was very sick when we adopted her from a friend of my Mom's. Her previous owner was..idiotic...and didn't realize she was very sick.† But we've been blessed with her and she's the perfect therapy dog.† I actually looked into getting her certified as a therapy dog so I could take her to hospitals and nursing homes, but it wasn't an option around her.† So she's my therapy dog!† I love her sooo much!

I go to a small college in Iowa.† I'm a junior, so the end of my college career is coming up quickly. Scary and exciting!† I'll be studying in DC next semester through an internship program with The Washington Center, and I'm super excited!† I'm sooo glad this semester is almost over though.† It's been a rough semester, even without the knee issues.† With having studied abroad last spring and going to DC next fall, I had a lot of hard classes I had to take this semester, including 2 intense research classes and 2 Spanish literature classes.† Ugh!† I am happy though because I turned in my senior research paper today, so I'm done with that and the last HARD class before graduation.† I still some writing to do, but the hard stuff is OVER!† †;D

I still can't do SLRs on my own-bummer!† I'm soooooooo close!† I was happy though because I pushed yesterday and got to about 75 degrees.† I'm allowed to go to 90 but have only been able to get to about 60.† Yesterday I decided just to go for it and push a little more and I got to 75.† †:)† It's not too painful, just hard with the swelling.† I'm hoping to comfortably get to 80-85ish tonight.† We'll see!

Hope it continues to go well with you camster!
-Jen

PS.† I LOVE your dogs' names!† Hehe!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 13, 2010, 04:22:44 AM
Day 13

Well, today was an eventful day.  I am exhausted!!  It rained hard and thunder stormed all morning, so I hunkered down in my room and finished my Senior Seminar research paper  (Woo Hoo!!!).  However, by lunchtime the rain had stopped so I went over and had lunch with a friend.  I had a "final" (since it was a new course, we just did an in-depth course evaluation for the prof in place of an exam) at 3:30, I decided to head straight from lunch to the science building clear across campus.  Ok, to be fair, the main campus is only 2 blocks by 3 blocks, so it wasn't too far.  However, it was much farther than I have yet walked at once, and I didn't have a chance to stop and rest along the way.  By the time I got to the science building, my arms were shaking and hurting and my legs were even tired.  Ugh!!  I made it to the classroom and collapsed into the chair, very tired. 

Unfortunately, I had to walk back across campus after the evaluation was over.  Once again I was exhausted.  Sadly, it started raining lightly when I got close to the dorm.  I had my computer with me, so I tired to hurry.  However, since I was so tired I really didn't hurry much.   ;)  Luckily it didn't rain heavily then and I avoided get very wet. 

After that I just cuddled into my chair and relaxed.  Once dinnertime rolled around, I walked over to the student union again to eat.  Ugh!  I was still exhausted from my trek across campus.  Then someone misheard the names and took my food!  "Jon" ordered a little pepperoni pizza, cheeseburger, and fries.  I ordered a little cheese pizza and some fries (healthy, I know).  How do you not notice the difference?  There are some smart people at this school of mine. 

A wonderful thing happened while I was over at the student union-it started to POUR and thunder!  We waited awhile and then decided just to go out in the rain.  I got pretty wet but made it back safe and sound, although very sore and tired.  My leg was hurting because I hadn't taken pain meds for about 7 hours and did all that walking.  So here I am, huddled in my chair ready to go to bed with two very sore arms and a pretty happy leg.   :)  I'm glad I don't have to trek across campus again!

Tomorrow is my first post-op appointment.  I hope my OS lets me start weight bearing and get rid of the dang crutches.  They rub on my bra strap and are causing a few sore spots.  Any suggestions?  I have them at a good height and it feels right, but they just rub as I move and it hurts! 

Good night all!
Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on May 13, 2010, 04:38:36 AM
Jen,

Your dog is so cute.  We had a minature schnauzer, but he past away around 16 yrs old.  They are very smart dogs and they can sense when you are not feeling well.  They will do whatever they can to cuddle up next to who ever is sick and stay there. 

Please do not be hard on yourself with not being able to do a SLR.  It will come but it takes time.  I would ask your PT (if you are in PT) if they can do E-stim.  That wakes them up.  I am about 6 wks out and I still can't do it but I am very close.  I can contract it finally, but I can't maintain it.  It is like my brain is not connected to my leg.  They changed the setting for e-stim so hopefully in the next week, I can do one without help. 

Take the recovery/rehab slow.  If you push yourself too fast, too soon, you can do more damage and thus maybe spending the fall semester recovering from another surgery.  Hopefully, once classes is done, you can focus on your recovery.  I am a teacher and can't wait for my students last day because that means I get to kick PT into high gear and focus more on my rehab.  Hopefully, you can do the same.  With ROM, someone here told me to let gravity do the work.  I have done this and have gained a couple degrees.  Typically, I will let my knee hang while sitting or I will lay on my back and do wall slides and try to bend my knee more every time.  If it hurts, I straighten the leg, wait a minute, and then bend again.  Also, if I take a hot shower and bend afterwards, I can bend further. 

I was also surprised by your incision.  It is alot larger than mine.  My TTT incision was about 3 inches.  With my recent MPFL, one incision is 3 inches on the knee cap and another incision is 2 inches on the side.  I guess if you connect the TTT and MPFL incision on the knee cap, it could explain why your incision is long since you had the TTT and MPFL.   

Between both procedures, which one do you find is more painful?  I found the MPFL alot more painful than the TTT.  I am curious what you feel is more painful.

Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 13, 2010, 11:45:33 AM
Hello Jennifer!

Aren't Miniature Schnauzers just the perfect little dog?  Princess is such a good cuddler!  I can't wait to get home so I can snuggle up with her in the recliner.  Our miniature pincher is a bit more energetic, but he's also a great lap dog, oddly enough!

I've realized that I'm doing good with the rehab, and I don't push very hard against the pain.  Just a bit.  :)  I've been surprised by how easy the heel slides are and I can get to about 75 degrees with no pain.  That makes me happy!  But the SLRs aren't going so well.  However, I am able to do most of the lifting with my leg, so I am ok with that for now.

What exactly is e-stim?  It doesn't sound like a good option for me, if it involves stimulation of the muscles.  When they did the nerve block at the hospital, they had to stimulate the muscles and it was incredibly painful.  I was crying and really just wanted to curl up in a ball.  With the possibility (high likelihood) of me having Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, my nerves react differently to stimulation.  Same for my Mom. :(

Well, I must go to my first Post-Op appointment!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 13, 2010, 11:46:46 AM
Oh, Jennifer.

PS.  The MPFL site hurts MUCH more than the Fulkerson site.  I was surprised by this!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 13, 2010, 09:25:44 PM
I had my first Post-Op appointment this morning, and it went pretty well.† I was able to bend it easily to 65-70 degrees right in front of the nurse, and she seemed happy with that.† She also wasn't concerned that I couldn't do an SLR.† She said it's normal (which I know, but it was nice to hear from her) and that with therapy I should be alright.† She gave me a new compression sock and told me to keep icing a lot, because the swelling was a bit worse today than it had been.

They took the steri-strips off and snipped the 2 (yes, only 2) stitches from both ends of the incision.† It seems to be healing nicely and having those steri-strips off feels nice!

I asked about starting weight bearing, and they said I can still only do toe-touch weigh bearing for the next 4 weeks.† I wanted to cry!† I hate my crutches so much and they make my arms hurt badly.† Grr!!! I am not a happy camper!† But at least I'm going home and won't have to walk across campus for food and classes and such.† I'll just have to deal with stairs and a tiny bathroom.† Oh well!!†

Here's a picture of my knee without the Steri-strips.† :)† Hello big incision!!† †:D† I shall have to think of an interesting story about what happened.† I am thinking pirates or sharks.† Any suggestions?† †;D

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/051300_080500.jpg)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on May 14, 2010, 04:49:49 AM
Jen,

Glad to hear your appt went well, but I am sorry that you have to deal with crutches for 4 more weeks.  Have you tried taping a towel around the arm portion on the crutch.  That really helped me and my underarms hurt less.  Also, I know this sounds strange but ditch the underwire bra (if you wear one) while on crutches.  That really rubs the skin raw.

E-stim is used a machine that is used to stimulate or wake up the muscles.  They put electrodes on your skin around the knee.  It does take a couple minutes to get used to it.  It forces the muscles to contract. 

I had my post-op appt today and my dr is not happy with me.  He wants me to do a SLR.  Pt is working with me on that.  I can get off the brace in two weeks.  He was glad that I am switching PT.  This surgeon office has a good relationship with my PT clinic.  They joke back and forth. 

Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 14, 2010, 05:24:41 AM
Hi Jennifer!
I did have padding taped to the crutches (cut off parts of some sweatpants I made into sweatshorts for easier wear) and that was helping.  But it still rubs the skin pretty badly.  I adjusted the height of the handholds, and it's a bit harder on my sore arms, but it's not hitting in the same spot.  I'll change it back tomorrow or the next day when the skin heals a bit.   :-\ Not the best solution but it's working.  I shall track down some hand towels when I get home to see if that helps, too. 

Sorry the doc isn't happy!  Hopefully with the better PT you can progress faster.  It's exciting that the brace will be coming off soon!  And it sounds really great that your surgeon and the PT work well together.  It'll only be better and easier for you!

Thanks for the advice, and good luck with the SLR!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 14, 2010, 05:49:59 AM
Wow... it's been forever since I've posted and read what's going on... I was hijacked by a bunch of teenagers to go to concerts on Monday and Tuesday nights, and I've been "recovering" since then LOL!† Exhausting, but excellent concerts and it was SO GOOD to get out of here and feel like I could do something human again :)

It's so interesting to see how we're all recovering differently... I've had good strength right from the start, was doing SLRs by myself by day 13 or 14 and was fully weight bearing without crutches (with the brace on) by about 2.5 - 3 weeks, but my flexion is still horrible.† I can see my muscles building back up daily, which is a great feeling.† I ditched the brace while walking around at home by 4 weeks because I hate it so badly, and as of 5 weeks my OS said I can get rid of it, though he would prefer I wear it when doing something crazy (like going to concerts) for a few more weeks :)

My main problem is ROM... I've always had horribly tight IT bands and now my quad muscle above my patella is in constant spasm and has huge tight knots in it, which is preventing good ROM for me.† I'm verrrrry slowly getting back my flexion, but it's literally just a few degrees at a time.† PT said my quad muscles are over-firing and are constantly tense, so we're working on getting the knots out and trying to relax the quad...

It's great to hear that you're all doing well... there will be good days and bad days, just remember that the better days start creeping up on you and before you know it, you'll realize that you're actually doing really well!!!† What Cranker said about finding your body's balance is really important... you need to push yourself in rehab to get strength and range back, but you also need to listen to your body and know when to stop and rest.†

Since we're sharing battle scars... here's mine :)† I was totally freaked out when I saw that my TTT scar was horizontal, not vertical.† I've never heard of or seen that before, and I still think it looks strange when I look at it, but it's only about 2-1/2 inches long and has healed up beautifully, along with the two port holes for the arthroscopy (and my camera was doing something funky and makes my leg look lopsided, sorry!):
(http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x95/doublemom_94/Kneesurgery.jpg)

Happy kneecaps to all, and keep up the good work everyone!† It's a slow but steady process and it's awesome that we can all go through this together here at KG :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: smillie on May 14, 2010, 02:41:15 PM
Jen, it sounds like you're doing really well! I wondered how you were going to handle going back to school so soon after having the surgery, but you're doing great.  Patience with the crutches.  They certainly are a pain, though.  I hope you're able to find a way to make them more comfy. 

I didn't have the mpfl recon. but did have medial tightening of the VMO and I will agree that out of the TTT, the LR and that--the medial tightening was definitely the most painful part.  It has been a "few" <ahem> years and really, the main pain that I remember is from that vmo work.  I had some pain in the other areas, but it paled in comparison.  And that is probably why a SLR is not happening for you yet.  But it will eventually.  I would think, at this point, that working on your ROM is more important anyway.  I've read in several places that it's not a bad thing to try to get back a lot of ROM before doing major strengthening because they can interfere.  I don't know if that's the gospel truth, but it makes a little sense.  I do know that once I had ROM, strengthening became a lot easier.

Oh, an as for the conversation earlier about getting into the front seat of the car with a locked straight knee brace...we had a 2 door car when I had mine done, so getting in the back wasn't an option.  My best plan was to lean my seat all the way back, then back into the car.  Having the seat laid back allowed me to slide back a little farther to get my leg in past the threshhold.  Then when I was in, I leaned the seat up and sat normally.  My biggest fear was if we had to make a sudden stop, I was afraid my foot might jam into the car floor.  But nothing bad ever happened.  Once I was allowed to unlock the brace, I could just sit on the side of the seat, unlock the brace and pull my leg in.  Same for getting out--turn sideways getting my leg out, then lock the brace and continue on my way.  I think getting the crutches in and out of the car was more of an ordeal than my leg/brace--especially when I started driving alone.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 14, 2010, 02:58:26 PM
Day 14

Yesterday I realized that the previous day I had done a bit too much, and I've been paying for it.  I calculated and I walked close to a mile, and that was too far too soon.  My whole body is achy and tired, and my leg has a near constant dull throb, along with  some spasming at times, but the spasms aren't too bad.  It just feels like there's ant scurrying around inside my leg and occasionally poking my muscles.  Apparently ants can poke!  ;)  The pain hasn't been too bad in my leg though, so I count that as a blessing.  The swelling was up quite a bit, so I blame the aches and pains on that.  And my whole upper body is aching from going too far on the crutches.  The heating pad I have is helping A LOT though!  I'm glad Mom let me take her heating pad to school.  I sit icing my leg and heating my lower back, hip, or shoulders.   It feels soooo good! 

I already mentioned the doctor visit, and I've come to peace with the crutches.  With going home I won't have to do long distances and I have my parents to help me with some tricky tasks, like carrying things.  And I'll have the doggies!  I'm excited to see them!  My sister will be visiting from Texas in a month and she'll bring her cute Chihuahua Cooper.   :)  I'll post pics in a bit when I can find my phone...

I been having some forced exercise the past day and today.  Since I'm a resident advisor and the semester is ending, I have to check people out of their rooms.  That involves going down to their room and looking around and checking cleanliness, etc.  The hallway is fairly long, so every half hour or so yesterday afternoon and early evening I was getting up and walking around.  I bit of a pain in the bum, but it kept me moving and kept my muscles from getting too stiff.  Today won't be as nice because I'm booked solid from about noon to 3:30.  Oh well!  I can take a nap later!

Overall, I've been in more pain, but I can tell it's getting better and now I know to listen to my body and not be so stubborn!  The reason I ended up doing too much was that I am pretty independent and I hate having to rely on others so much.  Going through this surgery has given me an insight into living with a disability.  I'm having issues adjusting to needing help because normally I'm the one helping my Mom, who is disabled (mildly).  It's frustrating, and I'm sure all of you who've had surgery understand this. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 14, 2010, 03:51:37 PM
Hi Andi-
Glad you had a good time at the concerts!

I definitely agree that the variety in recovery and PT protocol and such is amazing!  Although I really want to get rid of the crutches, I realize that for me it's probably a good idea to keep them.  I'm a klutzy person, and fall a lot.  With weakened muscles in my left leg, if I got off the crutches to early I know I could have a bad fall that could damage my knee.  I just want this surgery to be successful, so I am listening and (reluctantly) obeying my OS. I am really happy with my ROM though.  :)

I like your scars!  It kinda looks like a little face.  ;)  And a horizontal scar is very odd.  But it looks great and very well healed!  I'm pleased with how mine is healing as well.  I'm glad I didn't have more than the 2 stitches.  I once fell on a glass figurine (bad idea) and cut my right leg and had stitches.  The scarring is horrible and I have scars from the stitch marks.  Ugh.  The doctor didn't put in enough stitches, I think, so it didn't heal well.

Smillie-

I was very surprised that the MPFL/LPFL site hurt MUCH worse than the Fulkerson site.  I actually felt little to no pain from the Fulkerson, except once during an exercise.  Occasionally I get twitches near that site, but I still hardly have any pain there. 

Good advice about the car.  I may try that.  However, the backseat works well for me.  My Mom tends to stop abruptly, so I am leery of the front seat.  :-\  I am kind of sad though because I drive a stick shift/manual transmission car, and I won't be driving it for a looooong time.  I love my little stick shift, but it's going to be awhile before I can push the clutch in.  :(  I don't like driving much, but I do like my stick shift. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 14, 2010, 04:00:33 PM
I found my phone!  Here are pictures of my 2 doggies and my sister's puppy.   ;D

Jaxson
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/11-26-07_1505.jpg)
Princess
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/06-20-09_1058.jpg)
Cooper
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/031700_090300.jpg)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: fraud_ninja on May 14, 2010, 07:25:46 PM
Its amazing the difference in scars from the same surgeries.  I guess each OS has their own preference for doing things.  So, I'll share mine.

This is after my TTT revision and MPFL reconstruction.  Both my right and left knee look the same.


I cannot get it to attach so well, but here is my ankle after the surgery I had last fall.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3278912&l=c20fa2fe49&id=513106360

AND...because I have to share...these are my dogs.  The tan one is a Cairn Terrier and the white one is a Westie.

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 14, 2010, 07:47:27 PM
You aren't kidding, there is such a huge difference in the incisions!  Thanks for sharing!

And your dogs are so cute!  I love Westies!  Aren't dogs the best buddies ever?!  I used to love cats, but I'm super allergic to them.  A few years ago my parents got Jaxson, and I quickly became a dog person!  Now I can't live without the little cuties.   :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: fraud_ninja on May 14, 2010, 09:04:57 PM
Jen,

I am the biggest dog lover ever.  Like you, I used to be a cat lover, and then I got more into dogs.  I never thought I would like a "smaller" sized dog because we always had big dogs when I was a kid.  But, now that I have my Cairn Terrier and Westie...I love them and I couldn't imagine having a big dog.  Your dogs are cuties too! :)

Brianne
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: smillie on May 15, 2010, 12:11:11 AM
Jen, I have the top 2.5-3 inches and the bottom 2.5-3 inches of your scar, but mine don't connect in the middle.  The part directly on top of my patella wasn't cut.  I also have the arthroscopy portals and holes where the drain was.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 15, 2010, 12:58:09 AM
Brianne-

Small dogs  are the best!  Our 2 dogs act a lot like cats at times because they will spend hours sitting on our laps.  :)  I love it!  And the added benefit of small dogs is that they're less likely to knock you over. 

Smillie-Drain?  What was that for?  I don't have any arthoroscopic portals.  I guess they avoided that by just making the incision larger.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Like I said earlier-as long as it makes my knee better than I'll be ok with it.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 15, 2010, 04:34:08 AM
I know what you mean by rough day.. I just went to a conference at my church and even had my leg propped up, but came home and was hurting so bad. Took my shoe off and my ankle is like a balloon.. I was shocked.. Then my knee was hurting, kind of sharp in certain areas with a lot of throbbing. So I took off my gauze wrapping from PT and it felt a little better to breath but my knee is all swollen back up too.. My ankle is swollen pretty good and stiff but ends before the middle of my foot and it's on both sides.. I am about to take my meds and prop this leg up all night.. I'm icing now with my donjoy iceman but my ankle is stiff.. Has this happened to any of y'all?  I just was shocked cause I had it elevated and everything, but maybe I did too much too soon.. I dont know but will be relaxing tomorrow!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: smillie on May 15, 2010, 04:47:17 AM
On the medial side of my thigh, a little above where the vmo work was done, they had drain tubes to drain the blood (and fluid?) away for a couple of days, I think.  I was in the hospital for about 5 days after mine.  We were having a lot of trouble with medications and my pain getting out of control.  I had major nausea and fever and generally a rough time of it after my surgery so they were keeping an eye on me.  It also allowed for PT several times a day while I was in there, although I wasn't able to do much due to the nausea and poor pain management.  Seriously, I would rather have 10 lb. quadruplets via natural childbirth than my post-op experience after that surgery.  LOL
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 15, 2010, 01:50:06 PM
Day 15

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I had to do about 20 room checkouts, which meant walking various distances down the hallway about 20 times, but it was ok.  They were usually spaced out at least 15 minutes, so I could sit down and get my leg up plenty.  I also had to work some on packing, which is really hard with a bum knee.  I only packed up about 2 suitcases worth.  :(  Mom's coming to help me today before Dad comes to load my stuff up.  I did manage to get almost all the stuff off the walls, which makes a big difference.  I couldn't reach all of it though...

In the evening our Hall Director took the Resident Advisors out to dinner.  We went to Applebees, and asked the staff if we could set a chair next to the booth so I could elevate my leg.  She told us they probably didn't have any extra chairs and that they couldn't set anything in the isle due to safety.  I was kind of ticked!  If my family had been there I can promise you we would have walked out.  But I was nice and managed to prop it up in the booth.  The booths were very long so I could sit with my leg up and someone else could still sit on my side.  I was not very happy though! 

Other than that my day was uneventful.  The pain was pretty good and the swelling is going down-yay! 

Camster-My ankle was a little swollen yesterday-the first time I've noticed that swelling.  It's better today though.  I would bet the stiffness is from the swelling.  Doing some ankle pumps may help. I'm guessing it was from doing too much.  It's amazing how much of a toll simple things take on your body!  In the morning after having my leg elevated all night my leg muscles are pretty stiff and achy.  I'm icing it now before I really start my day.  :)

Smillie-5 days?!  Man, that would be tough.  I can identify a bit with the nausea and difficulties with pain meds.  Percocet took a toll on me and I nearly passed out.  Luckily the hydrocodone worked pretty well.  Although after my first PT session at the hospital I was bawling from the pain and they didn't want to give me another hydrocodone.  I think my Mom was ready to kick the nurse then.  I hope you never have to go through that ordeal again, and that you never have to give birth to 10lbs quadruplets.  :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: smillie on May 15, 2010, 04:29:41 PM
Yes 5 days.  And my sweet best friend showed up on day 3  (yes, awful day 3) to bring me some new magazines and a little care package and........she brought her new boyfriend to meet me!  LOL  So there I was, sick as a dog, in the worst pain of my life, looking like who knows what, meeting my best friend's new boyfriend.  I know I made an impression!  :o   :o   :o
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 15, 2010, 05:31:50 PM
Your story about Applebee's is EXACTLY why we chose to not go there while I was still in the brace locked in extension.  We went to a Mexican restaurant instead (when I simply HAD to get out of the house!) and it had huge booths and huge open aisle-ways, so it was super easy to sit in a booth and prop my leg up on a chair.  Of course, it helps that the owner/manager used to be our next door neighbor as well :) 

As for Applebee's, they should have had to accommodate you according to the ADA laws, it's ridiculous that they couldn't figure out a way for you to be comfortable during your time there.  That alone would make me never go back.  I understand, though, that you couldn't leave because you were there with a group and didn't really have any say in the matter.

Hang in there, after those first two weeks things really seemed to start improving much faster for me and I was able to do more and more each day, you're getting there!!!!! :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 16, 2010, 03:13:06 PM
It amazes me that you're able to do all that stuff!! My surgery is obviously less intensive than yours and I cannot drive in the car without excruciating pain!! I'm thinking of having my parents take the seats out of the van and just sitting on the floor until my quad muscles get a little stronger because most of my problem stems from the fact that the seat is slanted downward which is just awkward to position my leg so it's steadily straight. I'm so glad that you're doing well though- I hope it continues to improve quickly from here on out. I'm about to hit that two week mark and am hoping that's going to be a great turning point. When do you go home? I bet you're ready- do you think it'll be boring leaving dorm life or just a relief to be able to relax?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 16, 2010, 03:36:56 PM
Day 16
Moving Day

Yesterday was moving day for me, and man was that eventful!  I felt bad for my parents because they had to basically do all the work.  I tried to pack some, but with crutches it's really hard!  My Mom came up early to help pack and then my Dad had to move all my stuff by himself.  :(  Poor Dad!

I had a mishap with a telephone wire that nearly ended badly.  I was sure it wasn't wrapped around my good foot, but it was.  I came very close to falling face first, but ended up putting a bit too much weight on my bad leg.  Good thing the brace was locked!

On the ride home I sat in the backseat because it's about an hour drive.  However, I'm trying more and more to ride in the front.  It just depends on the day though.

Once I got home, I finally got to snuggle with my doggies!  Jaxson, the minpin, was a little to excited.  We put a pillow on top of my knee so if he walked on my leg it wouldn't hurt.  It was a good idea!  The only problem I had was the 2 times he jumped off my leg.  He jarred my leg and it hurt a bit.  He was banned from my lap after that!  Princess was a calm, good little dog though!

Andi-I was very ticked with Applebee's and I don't intend to go there again.  It's not like I enjoy being unable to do things normally, and they made me feel like a huge problem.  Grr!  I always prefer to support local businesses, so I rarely ever eat at Applebee's, but now I have another reason to avoid the place.  We did go to a Mexican restaurant last night.  It's new in town and I didn't know what to expect.  But we got a table and I just pulled up another chair and sat, happy and comfortable.  It was nice, and the food was yummy! 

Cupcake-the car thing varies day by day.  Yesterday and the day before sitting in the front seat was very comfortable.  But in my Mom's car it's not quite as comfortable.  It depends on the vehicle, and how bad the swelling is, for me.  And a downward slanted seat does sound painful.  It would put too much weight on my knee to be comfortable.  And leaving the dorms is always a little boring, but it's nice that I can focus on recovery now instead of finals. :)  I start PT tomorrow (at 7:30 in the morning...ugh) and I'm ready.  I know it'll involve some level of pain, but I am ready to really start building muscle and getting better. 

Hope everyone has a great day!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 16, 2010, 03:51:40 PM
I cannot believe the difference in the scars! Mine is also different. I think they are all different. Jen it sound like you're doing pretty well! I'm doing great...just sick and tired of this brace. I can't wait until I no longer have to wear it!!! I'm sure we're all looking forward to that day!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 16, 2010, 07:47:35 PM
No kidding!  I don't mind this brace so much because the one I had when I when to a different OS a few years ago was NOT comfortable and I had to wear it 24/7 except showers for 2 months.  Then I could take it off at night, but still had to wear it whenever I was awake.  Sadly, it didn't help one bit.  When my PT saw it this winter they took one look at it and knew it wouldn't help.  I hated that OS and will NEVER go back to him.  The one I have now is SO much better.  Anyways, compared to that brace the one I have now if pretty comfy.  I do want to be rid of the crutches though. :(  4 weeks!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 16, 2010, 08:56:18 PM
I so wish I'd gotten a hinged brace...my straight brace (it's blue and white and I now have two- one from the ER and one from surgery- both the same) is pretty uncomfortable. It's funny...I think I'd be more comfortable going from this to a hinged brace but instead I'm going from this straight to a sleeve...weird huh? Can't wait to be strong enough to handle one! It's good to know I'm not the only one who finds car rides hell..I can't wait to get back in the front seat...I could sit up there just fine just can't manage to get in yet because of having no quad muscle so it's too hard to maneuvre! Four weeks sucks for being on crutches but at least you can go to PT...when I read about people (and my original surgeon said this too) who don't go to PT for weeks and weeks I don't know how they'd survive. I am good at following directions but not so good on doing it on my own so I'll be happy to get to PT this week too!! Good luck tomorrow- let me know how it goes! Hopefully we'll both be doing unassisted SLRs before we know it =)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 16, 2010, 10:11:20 PM
Apparently I don't have PT until Thursday. :(  Mom made the appointment and that was the earliest they could get me in.  Sigh.  I just want to start therapy, but at least I have 4 exercises to do at home.  I'm pretty good at doing them, although with moving and packing and such, I've not been faithful the last 2 days.  But this morning I woke up and did exercises right off the bat.  It helped with the stiffness, although my ROM was not very high first thing in the morning. :)

It does sound odd to go from a straight brace to a sleeve.  Mine now is locked in extension whenever I am on my feet, but I get to bend it when I sit, although I still keep it propped up in extension most of the time.  It is nice to bend it whenever I am starting to feel achy and stiff.  It's been a lifesaver!

Hope it goes well with PT for both of us this week.  When do you go?
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 16, 2010, 10:45:46 PM
I hope you all do well with PT... it's kind of a pain to go three days a week, but I actually look forward to mine.  It's been pretty uncomfortable for me lately with them trying to massage out the knots and adhesions in my leg, but.. at the same time it's so good for me mentally to be able to see the measurements three days a week and know that I'm progressing and improving bit by bit.  Plus, I'm far too restless of a person to be sitting at home just doing exercises on my own.  I've actually moved through things faster than my OS would have liked, as far as weight bearing, unlocking the brace, then completely ditching the brace, and starting PT sooner than he would have said.  But there is no way that mentally I could just sit there an NOT be doing something.  Luckily, my PT knows how restless I get and they're awesome at making me slow down and get a grip LOL! 

Hang in there, things really do improve daily, and before you know it you'll be off of crutches and out of the brace :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 17, 2010, 03:52:07 AM
Day 17

Several members of my family were out visiting my Grandma today, so my family and I headed out to her apartment.  I finally figured out a way to get into the front seat without any pain.  Previously, I had been sitting down then bending my knee to get into the car.  It was hard with my Mom's car.  I decided today to first stick my bad leg into the car, then sit down, and it worked much better.  I was pretty darn comfortable. 

Each day I can tell my quads are getting much stronger, just in how I move my leg.  It's been a lot easier the past few days to do anything because I can move my leg around easily while sitting and standing and getting into cars/recliners/bed is easier because I can actually hold my leg in midair using my muscles (not my hands) without pain.  Still no SLR, but that's ok.  I'll get there!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 17, 2010, 05:33:49 PM
That sucks that you have to wait until Thursday. I was going to have to wait until Wednesday but the PT is staying after hours to fit me in today! One of the advantages of living in a small town. Though, the disadvantage is the facilities aren't as large etc so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these people do a good job. I used to go to their gym when I lived at home. That's great that you can pick your leg up with your muscle. I am sooo missing that. I was losing that just from my injury before surgery though. I can't wait to be able to get into the car comfortably by myself. Right now I have to have someone pick my leg up while I scoot in. I also have to support my bad leg with my good one to get into my chairs etc. Last night I felt my quad for the first time since surgery though so yay!! I cannot wait to get into PT tonight and start working on everything...good luck on Thursday!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 17, 2010, 07:14:29 PM
Lucky you!  I have to work around my parents work schedule because they have to drive me to PT.  So I didn't have many options about when to go.  Sad!  It's nice that yours could work a bit later.

It sounds like things are getting better for you.  Feeling the quad is a step in the right direction!  And with starting PT I'm sure you'll see some difference.  Let me know how it goes!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 18, 2010, 02:50:30 AM
Jen it sounds like things are going well for you!! How is it being back home?

I just left my aunt's today and came back to my house, so I'm on my own now.. Well I have a roommate but she works so basically during the day I will be home by myself!  I finally took a real shower Saturday night, had to wrap my knee up in plastic wrap so my incision wouldn't get wet.. I am getting my staples out on Wednesday!! Then I won't have to worry about wrapping my knee up! I had another PT appt today and did the same ole stretches of my hamstring, calf and heel slides. Plus I am able to do a SLR without my brace now usually about 10 is enough and I only go up about a foot off the table. My muscle is still weak and definitely shows on the e-stim because it is not showing any signs of contraction.  On the other hand my therapists and I think it's due to the swelling.. My knee has been killing me the past 3 days esp when I go to raise it in the brace like getting into bed or the car.. The pain is sharp and it seems like the incision, but yet it's not close to the incision area. Also, my while foot, including toes are swollen and pitting. You can see my finger prints in the swelling when you push and move them.. My bruising is slowly fading away, although if bumped it still feels sore all over like a bruise but not much showing!

How are your puppies? I love having mine someone to keep me company.. Although both mine miss their cousins, as we just got home from my aunts and they have two dogs so they are already missing their pack team!! Well hope everything is going well! I am finally able to get on the internet again!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 19, 2010, 01:49:48 AM
Day 18/19

The past 2 days have been dreadfully boring and uneventful.  This whole do-nothing-all-day thing sure is frustrating!  Even if I was off the crutches I don't think I could do much.  Very few of my friends are in town for the summer, since it's the summer before senior year and most have full-time jobs at school or internships.  I wish I could go biking or walking with the dogs on the trails, but I can't.  Someday!

I did go to the chiropractor yesterday.  I wasn't sure he would work on me, or could work on me since I can't lay on m stomach.  But he cracked my back (it REALLY needed it), my neck, and even did my elbows and hands, which hurt from the crutches.  It felt so good!  I'm finally back in alignment, which has helped me feel a lot less achy.

My swelling has gone down a lot!  I've been icing like crazy and keeping my leg extra high to try to get it down before I start PT.  Now my knee is distinguishable and I can actually see my kneecap, just a tidbit.  My leg looks so skinny since the swelling has gone down!  Almost all the scabs are off the scar, so it really is just a scar now.  Still red and a little scary looking, but it's doing better than expected.  I shall post a picture later.  Now, here's a question for you all-what's the best way to minimize the scarring?  What's the best treatment that you know of?

Camster-It's nice when you can shower without covering the incision.  I only had to keep it dry til day 3-4, so I didn't have to deal with the plastic wrap, which has been nice.  However, I didn't have staples, only 2 stitches on the top and bottom.  Congrats with the SLR!  I hope your swelling gets better soon.  I've been feeling a lot better since my swelling has been going down.  And the puppies are great! Jaxson is not allowed on me, as he nearly always walking on the bad leg.  But Princess has been a cuddle buddy!  It's so nice to have them around all day when I'm alone at home.  Makes the day more interesting!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 19, 2010, 02:55:20 AM
This might sound silly, but I'm happy to hear your recovery is going uneventful! LOL!

As for the scarring, I was advised to get Maderma for the scarring. I bought it but never used it. I got some vitamin E cream and just used that to massage the scar 2-3 times a day. You want to go against the grain (so across the scar) and push it down as hard as you can tolerate to help break up the scar tissue around the incision and make it good and flat. The cream I selected like I said has vitamin E and I guess aloe and some other junk (it was some organic stuff, i can give you the name if you are interested). It kept the skin moisturized and I think helped minimize my scarring. I did have staples, so i have some areas where you can tell I had staples. But my incision itself is very straight and healed up nicely I think.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 19, 2010, 02:32:33 PM
Hi Crankerchick!

You're right, an uneventful recovery is a good thing!  I've been blessed with little pain and good mobility.  Still being on crutches is annoying, but it's ok.  It's better than risking hurting myself by doing too much too fast, which I would probably do.  The only frustrating thing is the boredom, which is starting to set in hard core.  There's only so much TV watching, reading, and internet surfing that a person can do before they're tired of it.   :-\

I will check out Vitamin E cream and Maderma and decide which one to get soon.  I still have just a bit scabbing left, so right now all I am doing is putting some lotion on the healed parts just to keep it from getting too dry.  It's helping and means my good skin isn't flaking off due to dryness.  Let me know what the name of the stuff you used is.  I always appreciate organic options! :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 19, 2010, 05:25:03 PM
Jen - Your post from day 18/19 could have so easily been written by me at that point in time... exactly!!!  Brings back memories for sure :)

The boredom is not fun, and I'm a naturally restless and impatient and active person, so the constant lounging around is exhausting to me, makes me feel grumpy and useless and even more restless.  Sound familiar? 

As for being out of alignment... I've been so out of whack for the last several weeks from the crutches/brace/learning a normal gait again.  Last weekend my sacroiliac joints went out big time, major pain and I spent three nights tossing and rolling because I simply could NOT get comfy in any position.  My PT, bless her soul, got my SI joints lines back up first thing Monday morning and it was heaven!!!!  Went out again Monday night, but this time I was able to self-correct much easier.  I'm going to have her check again this morning when I go back to PT.  I seriously think that any surgery that involves legs and crutches should automatically include spine/pelvis realignment and stabilization afterward, it just makes sense!

As for scars... I got coconut oil for my daughter to massage my knee with, since that's what my PT uses and I love the stuff.  It's great for massage, but doesn't feel "greasy" like some other oils and lotions.  My scar has turned out beautifully, don't know if that was just the way it healed or if it's the daily rubbing and massaging with coconut oil, but I sure love the stuff.  Smells absolutely delicious, also.

OK, I'm off to PT.  Going to start getting into the pool next week to do some water walking and hopefully start swimming some (very slow) laps.  My ultimate goal will be to get back on the elliptical machine, but I think that's a ways off yet...

Happy knees everyone!
Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on May 19, 2010, 06:34:53 PM
I totally understand your boredom and the lack of wanting to sit around and "take it easy" as everyone says ha ha!! I'm over it already and not being able to drive.. ugghh... It's hard to make pt appts as they want me going 3 times per week, but the times are never working out because others are driving me and I feel like a pest.. I just went to the doc today and got my staples out. That didn't hurt much at all just a little pinching feeling for a few of them and that was it. Well then the doc wanted to send me to the local hospital to get a doppler ultrasound on my whole right leg checking for DVT or a blood clot. My right ankle/ foot has continued to remain swollen and not go down at all, actually a little more than the last time at PT on Monday.. I just got back and am waiting to hear what the results are and possibly what I need to do, which I've been icing it and elevating it alot.. I'm pretty sure it's just swelling from the leg and being dependent from my walking around more than last week kind of thing, but we shall see..
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 19, 2010, 09:17:48 PM
Ugh!  You guys are right about the boredom!  I would have been bored MUCH sooner if I had been at home from the start, but being at school for 2 weeks delayed it a bit.  I'm not used to sitting around watching TV/reading/etc all day every day.  One or two days is one thing, but 3 weeks?   3 more to go until I get my mobility back.  At least I can go to PT tomorrow.  Get some variety in the day.  Is it sad that PT will fulfill my social interaction quota for the week?   :-\

Andi-Going to the chiro was a blessing.  My elbows and hands don't hurt anymore, which makes the crutches much more agreeable.  I will definitely be going back because using crutches really takes a toll on the whole body!  I'm glad your PT helped you get realigned!  Also, thanks for the advice about the scar treatment.  I still have a few days before I can apply anything, since I still have a tidbit of scabbing.  I'm surprised with how well mine is healing because I've had problems with bad scarring in the past, which I want to avoid.  When they took the steri-strips off my incision, I noticed a few nasty white patches near the incision.  It was a few old scars that had bloated a bit with the swelling...but it made me laugh that I couldn't recognize parts of my own body!  :)    Oh, by the way, lucky you to be swimming!  That sounds wonderful!

Camster-I hope all goes well with the DVT/blood clot.  Not a good thing...but lets hope you find out soon!  Waiting is not one of my strong points.  I'm pretty impatient.  That got me in trouble all the time when I was a kid!  :)  Hmm...still does!  Good luck with the swelling!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 19, 2010, 09:53:40 PM
Oh gosh I know what you mean about the boredom. I'm dying. I did the first week at my parents, then the second week at home alone, and now I'm back at my parents because I was so depressed. It also doesn't help that I've got my 21 month old so I have to try to entertain her too- which can get boring even with full use of everything lol I love her but when you're cooped up inside for days at a time...and everything is starting to irritate me. Blah. I'm not the type that needs to be up and about all the time but sitting on my butt for most of the day is taking its toll for sure!! I can't wait to get the strength back in my legs for sure...especially since my doctor told me I'd be walking without crutches in 2 weeks- what a joke lol sigh. Good luck with PT I know what you mean. I probably talk my therapists ear off but it's the only interaction I get in days. I went out with my husband to dinner last night and that did amazing things for my spirits even if it did hurt a bit to sit in those chairs! Oh and I've been doing this since mid March- I took up knitting which helped for a while- haven't been able to concentrate enough the last couple weeks but doing something like that might help!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 20, 2010, 12:13:36 AM
Yes... I live for PT LOL!  I just updated my post-op diary with today's PT progress, and even though I'm sore and stiff and tired, I had a great day today and it was worth every ouchy muscle I'm feeling now.  At first, PT was a great excuse for me to just get out of the house for a while for a change of scenery.  Now (6 weeks post-op) it's amazing how things are changing on a daily basis, and I can't wait for the next PT session to see how things have progressed.  It's kind of like an addiction for me at this point, even though it's not always pleasant and it hurts sometimes, I need to keep seeing that daily progress and getting feedback from my therapist, as much for mental health as for my knee itself :)

Hang in there everyone... you're all doing great and you're at a point where you'll start to see a lot of changes soon now that you're past those first couple of weeks.  If I had know a month ago where I would be today and what I would be able to be doing, I would have absolutely not believed it :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 04:58:44 AM
Hmm...I wish I knew how to knit!  I used to know how to crochet, but haven't done it for years.  It would help pass the time...Thanks for the good luck wishes for PT.  It'll be nice to see how I'm doing and get some new exercises!  I've gotten farther than I have yet with my flexion...about 85 degrees, out of a max of 90.  I'm hoping that will make the therapist happy.  I will be more stiff in the morning, but I'm getting up early so I can do a few sets of exercises and hopefully loosen things up. :)

Andi-Thanks for the encouragement!  I'm ready to be challenged a bit more, so finally getting to PT is a relief!  I may not be saying that tomorrow...after I see how painful it is.  But so long as it helps me get better, then I'm ok with pain for now.  :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 05:10:43 AM
Day 20

Today was another uneventful day! :)  The swelling is finally down enough that I can feel my kneecap.  It's odd to feel it tracking right!  For as long as I can remember, it's moved off quite a bit laterally every time I've bent it.  And now it just goes up and down...strange!  But really exciting!  I can finally start to believe that it'll be ok.  I really can't remember what life was like before I had to pay attention to every single step it took, and be cautious if I was doing anything other than walking slowly on even ground.  It'll be interesting!  :D

Tomorrow is PT day.  I should really go to bed, since tomorrow is almost today.  :)  I've got PT at 7:30am, so it'll be an early day...with my new, post-op lifestyle.  Normally that would be a late start.  Oh how life changes when there is nothing to make you get up early!! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 20, 2010, 04:31:49 PM
Good luck at PT! I hope you make some great progress!! As for the knitting- learn. I JUST started literally and it's so easy once you get the hang of it. I got the two basic stitches down in 2 days and while I'm not great at it...I can do simple things like scarves and pot holders without a problem. I never realized how easy it was. Was wanting to move on to baby hats when I got surgery and haven't been able to concentrate much with all the pain meds...but one day I'll be off them lol. KUP about PT!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 05:21:18 PM
Well I'm back from PT and it went well.  I wasn't in much pain at all, which is good.  My PT is great!  He's pretty funny and upbeat for in the morning.  He also has worked alongside my surgeon (odd since my surgeon works 2 hours away) and has served many of his patients.  This is really comforting because I know the he understands what my doctor wants and has been through this before. :)  We focused on the basic exercises I have been doing since the surgery, just to see how things are going.  He also taught me how to do quad sets better because I've been having problems engaging the quads and not the gluts.  Then we did some e-stim, which actually felt pretty good. :)  We tried so SLRs and I kinda half did one.  I was still having issues not engaging my gluts, so the PT would help me lift my leg, then have me do a quad set, hold it while he took his hand away, then I lowered on my own.  Once he even had me lower then lift again, and I could do it!  :)  Still can't get my leg off the table quite yet, but it was good progress!

He worked a lot on my ankle, as I have very poor flexion in both my ankles.  After all that he iced my leg, which felt really good after the exercises!  I'm looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what I'll be doing then!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 20, 2010, 05:35:36 PM
Jen - a good PT is absolutely priceless!!!  Glad to see that he's focusing not only on your knee, but on the rest of the leg as well, including your ankles.  Same with mine... my gait is off not necessarily from my knee surgery, but because I have lateral arthritis in both feet, so my PT is trying to get me evened out all over, not just the knee :)

As for the SLRs, they *will* happen, just keep trying and before you know it you'll be flying with them :)  I went from my first (very shaky and exhausting) SLR at 2 weeks post-op to walking on a treadmill at a good speed 4 weeks after that, and now I do SLRs by the dozens every day with no problems at all.  Now stairs... that's another monster entirely LOL!!!

Keep up the good work, sounds like your PT is going great.  Keep smiling :) :) :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 07:30:44 PM
Hi Andi!

The PT is being super thorough, which I like.  Apart from focusing on my whole left leg, he also saw some issues with my right leg that he wants to correct...before they become as bad as my left!  I wish the OS I saw 2 years ago had ordered PT, because I might not be sitting here post-op today.  But, to say it nicely, he was an idiot and I will never, ever recommend him, much less go back to him.  My right leg rotates like my left did, so it's something to be concerned about.  But I'm really satisfied with the PT I saw today, which makes me so much less stressed.  And the fact that he (and the other staff members there) talk a lot is good too, since I don't get out much!  ;)

You still make me jealous by the fact that you could be without crutches so soon.  Next week I get to do a bit of weight bearing, but only 25%.   :-\  In 3 weeks I can toss the crutches away!  You can bet as soon as my doctor says I can be rid of them I will start weaning off them. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 20, 2010, 09:11:35 PM
Well... keep in mind that I kinda-sorta did things sooner than my OS said I could.  I like my OS, he did a great job 2 years ago with my scope and I felt very confident (after 3 more opinions, as well), which is why I went back to him for this surgery.  But... I feel like he really dropped the ball with me post-op with this surgery, his new physician assistant is utterly useless, and I just didn't get a whole lot of guidance from him or his office.  So, I did things on my own as I felt comfortable doing, like losing the crutches, driving, t6aking the brace off, starting PT when I wanted, etc.  Part of it is that I'm just not a patient person (at all !) and part of it was that I didn't get any good feedback from my surgeon about what I should be doing when.

So, when I started PT at 2 weeks post-op, I told my therapist about my surgeon's lack of protocol, and since the PT order was written "treat as appropriate", I told PT that I would much rather they give me guidelines on what i could/could not do than calling my OS every day.  I've been to PT at this place on and off for years, and trust them implicitly, so I felt much more confident in their guidance.  Does that make sense? 

Also keep in mind, every surgeon has different ideas and protocols, so you need to do what your surgeon tells you.  Even the exact same surgery can have a different rehab depending on the patient and the history and dozens of other factors. 

Andi

p.s. I still take a cane with me when I'm out in public, makes people give me more space, except the idiot in the store today who tried to run me down in the middle of the aisle :)

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 10:07:22 PM
I remember you talking about that.  I've been lucky and have gotten good directions about what I should and shouldn't be doing from my OS.  And even if the crutches are frustrating, I'll be listening to him.  I do NOT want to risk hurting my knee and having a longer recovery or more surgeries anytime soon.  At the last appointment I asked if it was 100% certain that I had to stay on the crutches til 6 weeks, and they explained their reasoning.  I fully trust my OS as he is pretty well-known and has been doing these types of surgeries for a long time.  And, as an added benefit, I'm getting pretty nice arm muscles.  ;)  Perhaps I should start arm wrestling! 

And my Mom has stolen my Grandma's cane for me to use eventually.  Don't worry!  Grandma can't use the cane anymore, so it's ok.  I'll be using that when I get off the crutches, for the same reason as you.  Some people can be frustrating!  When I went to a festival in the wheelchair, people were just plain rude!  Cutting me off, staring (which was ok and expected...for kids, not adults!), bumping into me, etc.  At least on crutches I just get slightly pitying looks and the "Oh no, what did you do?" questions.  Starting to get a bit annoying, but oh well.  I can gross people out when I tell them, so it serves them right!  Hehe!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 20, 2010, 10:20:38 PM
What I love are the complete strangers who ask. Like, I'll have people walk up to me and ask at church or whatever and I'm thinking their friends of my parents or something...only to find out they're nosy lol I just think it's weird when they have no reason to talk to you and ask...Oh and one time pre-surgery but pretty soon after injury- I was in a lot of pain and wanted to go to church- it's on a hill so my dh parked in handicapped even though we didn't have a pass yet, well this guy reemed us out even though there were like 20 empty spaces and all he was doing was sitting in his car...some people are just miserable...
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2010, 11:56:05 PM
Guess what I just did ALL ON MY OWN!!  An SLR!  Actually, I did 15 of them all in a row!  My leg sure is tired, but it feels good! 

Happy day!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 21, 2010, 12:29:01 AM
Wooooooot!!! 15 SLRs, that's awesome!

So here is how I got some enjoyment out of answering that question "What did you do?" when asked by strangers. I started saying things like "Oh its a war injury" or "Oh this? Its an an injury from playing football." Its fun to make up elaborate stories and even more fun the stuff people (stupidly?) believe. I had a guy in Best Buy thinking I was in college and played football and got an injury. I just happened to be wearing UMD Terps shorts too. It also probably helped that I'm 6'2" and "healthy" but still, college football? C'mon man!

I had another guy believing I was injured in the war. Ok no biggie. Except I said THE VIETNAM WAR. When I couldn't hold my laughter ANY LONGER after telling the story of my demise, I finally told him it was a joke and his response was, I just thought you looked young for your age. FYI: I'm 29!

Have some fun with it!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 21, 2010, 02:59:28 AM
Thanks Crankerchick!  I was sitting in my chair, doing some quad sets, and I finally figured out how to just engage my quads and not my gluts as well.  After doing those, I thought "Hey, I wonder if I can do an SLR."  So I tried sitting in my chair, and I got my foot off my footrest.  It thought it may have been because my leg is elevated, so I moved over to my bed and tried again.  And I could still do it!   :D  I am happy!  I think the e-stim and tips from my PT made all the difference!

And about the scar stories-I've been tricking some people with just little things.  It was hilarious when I was sitting at the chiro with Mom and told the receptionist that Mom had kicked me really hard.  :)  I think she probably wanted to kick me after that!  I am a very mischievous child!

Well, off to bed...got PT at 7 in the morning...coffee anyone?

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 21, 2010, 03:18:00 AM
I'll share a cup of cyber-coffee/tea with you at 6:30-ish tomorrow morning when I drag my rear end out of bed to see my daughter off to school.  She's 15 and totally doesn't need me to get up, and tells me to go back to bed, but I just love that time with her in the morning when nobody else is around.  We always seem to have the best conversations at that time (maybe because my brain is not fully engaged LOL!?!?)

As for the SLRs... YOU GO GIRL!!!  It's amazing to feel your leg "waking up" again, and all the muscles remembering how to talk to each other and how to start working again.  You can literally feel it, if that makes sense.  One thing that I really enjoyed doing once PT said I could was the balance games on my Wii Fit.  No impact at all, no stepping up or down, just two feet planted on the board and balancing things.  It's a very subtle but excellent way to get all the muscles to start working together again :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 21, 2010, 03:12:32 PM
Jen- any tips for disengaging the butt? I just can't seem to be able to do it...it's like automatic? I don't know if it's because I was doing it wrong for so long (thanks a lot to my initial PT ugh at least this one is better than that one!) but it's hard. I can actually do it better if I'm not flexing my foot. I also found that I *think* I'm closer to an SLR than I thought as I think I could do it if I would just figure out HOW. Like it's more about the actual mechanics than the strength. Although, maybe I'm wrong since I sometimes get the feeling that I can do it all....if only my body would cooperate with my brain =)

Andi- when did you get the okay to do the wii fit games? I'd love to be able to practice that even if I had to use my crutches still for some stabilization. I can almost put full weight on my bad leg- it's still just slightly wobbly!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 21, 2010, 07:53:02 PM
Andi-I know exactly what you mean by the muscles "waking up."  I can feel a major difference in the quads now that I'm doing things right, especially after the SLRs.  My brain and my leg are finally communicating! It's nice that my body is all on one page!  Oh, and by the way,I'm betting your daughter enjoys the fact that you up early just to spend some time with her, even if she doesn't tell you.  My Mom and I are pretty much best friends, and when I was younger we did the same thing.  Nowadays I love going somewhere together because of all the talking time we get in the car.  :)

Cupcake-The tips my PT gave me was to flex my foot (helped me a lot) and then act like I am pushing my heel away from my body.  I'm not sure how that helps, but it does.  Also, he told me to poke my gluts whenever they try to engage. :)  So I sat there poking myself in the butt for awhile!  It definitely wasn't automatic though.  I had to consciously think about not engaging my gluts, and I was getting pretty ticked at my rear end for awhile because it wasn't listening to me.  It's hard to figure out how to do all that, but my PT says that if you're engaging the gluts, you won't be able to do an SLR because it works against that movement.  So figuring out how to just use the quads is going to be key...but it is frustrating! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 21, 2010, 08:10:03 PM
Cupcake - I was doing Wii Fit balance games by about 2-3 weeks, I think, with my PT's approval.  At that time I was fully weight bearing, and I would set a chair in front of the Wii Fit board to hold onto, then just work on the balance games.  I haven't done any of the games that require stepping off and on yet, though I think I might try as long as I have a chair to hold onto.  The balance games are excellent for proprioceptive work, getting the muscles to start talking to each other throughout the whole leg, including the foot and hips. It's very subtle, but it works and at least it's a change from the usual PT exercises that can get pretty boring and redundant after a while.   

Jen - Yep, I think I have the best kids in the world :)  My girls are 15 and I hate it when people say "Oh, wow, you have two teenagers to deal with!" like it's something evil.  My kids are so different from each other, but are both amazing people in their own ways.  There is a fine line with parenting at that age between being a parent and being a friend, and I think we've found the perfect balance.  They're finishing 9th grade right now, and I know in 3 years when they're off to college I'm going to go through intense withdrawals, since right now they are so much a part of my life.  I can just hope that we keep our relationship as strong as it is now. 

OK... I'm all wound up from PT and have tons of energy, am wondering whether to go to the gym and do more treadmill or to be a good girl and take it easy... yeah, right... me?  take it easy????  What's that????

LOL... hope you all have a wonderful day :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 22, 2010, 04:21:47 AM
Day 21/22

The last 2 days have been good days.  Got to PT, had some e-stim, engaged my quads well, did SLRs for the first time alone, and generally feeling like I am recovery physically (muscularly :)).  I've had a bit more pain, with the increased motion and more intense exercises.  But I've decided to try to get off the hydrocodone as I haven't been using very much of it recently.  2-3 halves of a pill a day.  I'm still taking the hydroxyzine pretty regularly because it controls the muscles spasms.  I've been having more spasms near the Fulkerson site recently...not so pleasant.  But it goes away fairly quickly and isn't too intense. 

My therapist is pretty awesome!  He told me that I might have some of the internal stitches pop out of the scar area, and today he found a few.  He wanted to pull them out, but they weren't quite ready yet.  It's very odd seeing a string coming out of my leg, with no pain or bloody hole or whatever! It's very small, but I took a picture and sent it to my sis, who was thoroughly grossed out!   ;D  I've gotten some lotion with vitamin E and cocoa butter, which the PT recommended and have started using it.  It smells yummy!  Overall I am pleased with how the scar is healing.  I'll try to post a pic tomorrow.

I've got a busy day tomorrow, and glad for the chance to get out of the house and interact with people!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 23, 2010, 03:11:19 PM
Grr...I just finished typing out this post, and hit the wrong button and deleted it.  Take 2:

Day 23
Today was insanely busy, but I survived.  I spent a lot of time up and out of the house, and my leg was pretty achy the whole day. I attribute this to the fact that I am switching from hydrocodone to tylenol.  It works ok during the day, but at night and in the morning I'm in a decent amount of pain.  Sleeping with my leg elevated and in extension for hours on end makes it hurt.  And the hydrocodone helps me sleep better, so I'll keep taking it at night for now.

In the morning Mom and I went flower and veggie plant hunting to put in the yard and garden.  We went to a greenhouse in a neighboring town, about 30 minutes away.  I rode up front comfortably for the whole time.  It was the longest trip I've taken in the front seat, so I was happy it went well.  I'm finally able to sit with my leg down and bent for long periods of time without pain.  I still sit with it up and extended at home, to help with the swelling, but I can now ride in the car, sit at restaurants, etc like a normal person.  :D

After that I went on a few errands with Mom, including to the grocery store.  I was tired and a bit sore after crutching all around the store, but it was nice to be out of the house and functioning like a normal person.   :)  We also went to a fundraiser at a local restaurant at night, to raise money for the local Bark Park.  Our dogs LOVE going to the bark park, and they want to build an extension.  It was nice to help support the cause, although the bar/grill where it was held was super crowded and hard to get through.  People were nice though and got out of their chairs so I could get past-yay!   :)

I have a question for all of you-How long did you sleep with your leg extended on pillows?  I assume until the swelling was gone, but did you stay sleeping that way afterwards?  Or did you stop beforehand? I just want to start sleeping comfortably...but my leg's still swollen.  Ugh!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 23, 2010, 03:38:08 PM
Pictures!  Here are some photos from this morning.

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/052300_092600.jpg)
Here are both of my legs, so you can see how the swelling is compared to my normal leg.  It's gone down a lot the past week, and I was happy that it wasn't swollen more after my busy day yesterday.

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/052300_092700.jpg)
Here's a close up of the scar area, which is healing very nicely.  I have just a few scabs left, but they're close to coming off. I have at feeling my PT may pick them off tomorrow, as he did with my scabs on Friday.   :)  He likes to pick, so he grabbed some tweezers and picked off a lot of dead skin. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 23, 2010, 05:21:25 PM
Hey Jen! Wow your scars are coming along nicely! Glad you have been to do more and ride longer. Isn't it nice to do more? Even though it results in aching and what not, it's still nice to do more and get around more.

You asked about sleeping with the leg in extension. I don't think the locking in extension aspect of the elevation is for swelling, but rather for keeping your leg from getting stiff and then not being able to go straight. It's pretty tough to get a leg straight once it's stiff (as opposed to regaining flexion, which although hard, comes easier). I kept my leg locked in extension when elevating all the time for about the first 8 days. Then I got permission from my OS to not do it all the time. I usually would go to sleep with it locked and then when i woke up 2-3 hours later I was done with it. I still elevated like that during the day when I was sitting around. The important thing is to just make sure you can get your leg straight. Just like you work on flexion, you want to make sure your extension is good too.

I would ask your doctor for sure if you still need to do the locked in extension when elevating for sure, but it seems to me as long as you can straighten your leg and keep it fully straight, then the need to elevate in extension is less.

That said, my timeframe for doing it is likely different for you, for one because my surgery wasn't in my knee. I had swelling in my knee of course, but I didn't have LR or MPFL reconstruction (or even a scope) so my knee itself saw little trauma. I also could straighten my leg fully immediately post-op so it made more sense that I shouldn't have to keep it locked in extension for a long time as long as I could maintain it. Hope that makes sense.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 23, 2010, 05:31:40 PM
The swelling in your leg looks about the same as mine. It is frustrating isn't it? I don't know about he extension thing. My doctor said I could have bend in it pretty much from the beginning although I keep mine straight. I don't worry so much about having nothing but air under it in general though and my leg is perfectly straight according to my PT and I never really had a problem with it. Boy will I be happy to be able to sleep all snuggled up with my legs to my chest on my side again...though I'm thinking that's pretty far away =)

How does your knee look when bent? I'm kinda concerned that mine is tracking so far towards the inside. In fact, I can see my groove over about 1/2 an inch from where my knee cap is. I'm wondering if it's from swelling or my mpfl recon is just really tight still or what? But it looks sooooo weird and hurts. I'm really hoping it's normal? There was this kid at church today with a hinged brace on...it was obviously from like an acl recon or something- I was so jealous- is that awful? lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 23, 2010, 06:30:46 PM
I probably should have clarified that I don't keep it locked in extension, I just keep it up on pillow(s) and straight.  I've not had a problem getting it straight since the surgery, so I've been lucky.  I can bend and keep it straight.   :)  I will probably just start using one pillow and if it hurts I'll toss it off.  That's what I did last night...not consciously though!  I woke up and wondered what happened to the pillow, then saw it on the floor.  I also had almost no pain this morning, so I won't force myself to sleep with it up from now on.  This morning I also remembered that I attempted to turn on my side to sleep and bent my leg while doing so.  It didn't hurt, but I don't think sleeping on my side is a good idea yet.  So if I start doing that I'll stick a pillow under my leg just to remind me now to toss and turn.   ;)

Thanks for the advice!

Cupcake-I'll take a picture later of it bent.  I'm icing now, so that won't help you to see the knee bent.  It seems to be tracking well, although it feels/looks so odd to see it moving straight and not moving off to the side!  If you're worried, ask you PT or call the OS.  And you can't bend at all in your brace?  Is it permanently locked in extension or does it just not bend at all?  Mine is hinged and unlocks so I can bend while wearing it.  That'll help when I can start walking without crutches.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on May 24, 2010, 02:18:41 AM
I asked my PT...he's pretty clueless so although he thinks it looks weird he didn't really know and just kept telling me to ask my doctor. I don't have a hinged brace. It's just a straight one. My doctor sent me home with a sleve that's just basically nothing but I can't get into that until I get my quad strength back...still having a lot of problems with engaging my butt while trying to do quad sets. Do you still sleep in your brace? I'm so ready to get rid of mine but don't think I can until I get my quads back. I'm starting to get frustrated as it doesn't seem like I'm getting any answers (the staff at the drs office is super rude to me when I express any type of concern- have I mentioned it's in DC?? lol).

Anyway, it sounds like you're doing great! I know the discomfort sucks but it sounds like you're on the right path to be up and about in no time! =)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 24, 2010, 03:19:34 AM
Yeah, I still have to sleep with the brace on.  The only time I am supposed to take it off is when I'm showering, icing, or doing exercises, although I unstrap it a lot when I'm sitting. 

I'm sorry your doctor's office is grumpy.  It seems very odd that you won't have a hinged brace at all, and I'm sure it would frustrate me too!  I hope you get some answers soon!  When is your next doctor's appointment?  You'll have to ask the doctor lots of questions!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 24, 2010, 04:32:28 AM
Is it crazy that I'm not even 7 weeks out from my surgery, and I can't remember things already?  I slept with the brace on for at least 4-5 weeks.  If I didn't have it on and I moved wrong in my sleep, it was instant pain and being awake.  I started unlocking it gradually at about 3 weeks, I think???  My PT told me to call my doc's office and ask if I had permission to start unlocking it, and they said yes, so I unlocked it and gradually increased the flexion on it as my ROM increased in PT over several weeks.  It seems strange to me to go from a completely straight brace into just a sleeve... There were several times where I know my brace saved me from falling, even when I had it unlocked to 70+ degrees.  As much as I hated my brace (it would NOT stay up and constantly fell down, had to readjust the darned thing 20+ times a day), I don't think I would have survived that first month without it, either.

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on May 24, 2010, 07:53:03 AM
Hi

It is weird to hear different surgeons proctols.  I also can't imagine going from a straight leg brace to a sleeve.  After my MPFL, I was in a straight brace for 10 days and then was switched to a hinged brace.  My PT unlocked my brace every couple of days/weeks.  I have been in that brace for the last 7 weeks.  I will be getting out of that brace on Thursday.  There is no way in the world, I would have been able to go without that brace since surgery.  I would have seriously have done more damage or break something.  I lost track how many times, my knee tried to give out, causing me trip.  If I didn't have that brace, I would have easily fallen. 

With sleeping, I am sleeping with the brace on.  I am now getting more sleep with it on versus off.  I move alot in bed and didn't want to take a chance with waking up in more pain.

Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 25, 2010, 03:58:02 AM
I think that even if I could take the brace off at night, I would still keep it on for awhile, for the same reason you two mentioned.  I have been a stomach sleeper for years and a side sleeper before that, so sleeping on my back is not natural.  However, it hasn't been as bad a I thought it would be.  Now that I am feeling better and more mobile, I keep trying to flip on my side to sleep, which isn't really a good idea yet.  The brace has been a good thing though because I can't really sleep comfortably on my side with it on!

Day 25
It was an iffy day today, not the best I've had.  However, it started out great, other than getting up at 5:30 for PT at 7.  I like to do all my exercises before I go to PT because then I'm nice and loose.  Otherwise I'm pretty stiff in the morning.  My therapist introduced a few more exercises this morning: SLRs on my side and stomach.  Man, my leg was sore and tired!  He made me do 3 sets of 10 for each type.  Ugh!  He also changed the e-stim so it's a bit more intense, but it was ok.  I liked the contraction I get from my quads with the e-stim and then with my quad sets and SLRs.  I'm definitely gaining strength, and I can feel it as I move around and such. :) The therapist was pleased with the reduced swelling, which has gone down a lot over the weekend, even with increased activity.  Overall, I was achy after PT, but not in much pain.

My day went downhill with a dentist appointment.  I was having crown prep work done for a root canal I had done in the winter.  So I had to sit in the dentist chair for about 2 hours, and although it was comfortable, my leg was bent a bit so it ached afterwards.  Then I had to sit in a normal chair for about an hour until Mom could pick me up after work.  That, combined with the dentist's chair, started to hurt.  Then we had a few errands to do, with me sitting in the car.  Needless to say, I was in pain both from my leg and from the dental work, and all I could do when I got home was go to my room and ice.  I haven't felt very good since, mainly because keeping my jaw open for 2 hours gave me a bad headache.  So my evening's been miserable, but only partly due to the leg.   :-\  I am looking forward to bed in about 10 minutes. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 26, 2010, 02:20:03 PM
Day 26

Yesterday was a boring, relaxing, nice day.  I'm glad I didn't have to venture outside because it thundered all morning, then eventually started raining.  I didn't want to deal with the humidity, so it was nice to stay at home.  I did practically nothing, and just rested from the day before.

I am having some problems with my SLRs when I lay on my side and do them.  I have a lot of pain along the left side of my left leg.  Is that normal?  I didn't have that problem in PT on Monday, but I though it may be that my muscles are sore.  :)  Strange to think about that! 

Swelling is still down, and it's great that my leg is starting to look more normal.

My Mom made a confession yesterday!  She told me that my OS said that I could put weight on my leg, but they were going to tell me that I couldn't!  He didn't want me to do too much too soon, which was probably a good thing. :-\ Tricky doctor!  So I'm going to experiment a little with putting more weight on it, but still be conservative about it.  :)  And next week I go back to the doctor, and I hope he tells me I can toss the crutches for good!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on May 26, 2010, 02:45:16 PM
Hooray for putting weight on your leg :-)

That is actually good for bone healing in addition to gaining strength, so have fun with it but take it slow. Let pain be your guide to start.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 26, 2010, 08:43:54 PM
Yeah, I'm taking it slowly.  I won't actually start walking on it until my OS says I can.  Basically all I'm doing is shifting my weight to the left leg and seeing how it feels.  So far it hasn't been painful at all. :)  I'm looking forward to the appointment to get the official word to start walking on it.  Just a week left til I go up.  I think it'll be a long week because I just want to WALK!

On another note-I haven't taken ANY pain meds today, not even tylenol.  It's about 3pm, and I feel great.  I have taken 1 hydroxyzine for muscle spasm, but that's all I've taken today.  :)  I'll still take something at night because that's when I'm most uncomfortable, but I'm planning on completely stop using the hydrocodone, preferably from now on.  We'll see how the night tonight goes and how PT on Friday is. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 27, 2010, 07:40:27 PM
Day 27

I made it all day without taking any pain meds, just the pill for the muscle spasms.  If I don't take that, my leg kinda starts jumping...literally.  I get huge spasms (like the zingers I had soon after the surgery) that jar my whole leg.  They don't hurt, but are very uncomfortably and usually accompanied by smaller spasms that are painful.  Anyways, I did take some tylenol at bedtime to help with the pain which was starting to creep up on me after 24 hours of no meds.  I didn't sleep well at all, and may need to get some tylenol PM to help me sleep. I just couldn't get comfortable and kept laying on my side, which probably isn't a good idea.  I did lock my brace in the middle of the night so when I turned on my side my leg would at least be straight.  Does anyone know if sleeping on my side at this point is a bad idea? 

I also had a curious pain with my scar.  A part of my scar started hurting, like a needle was poking it.  Does anyone have experience with this?  I massaged, which both helped and hurt, and used some lotion with Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter.  It's better today, but I did not like it one bit!  It hurt whenever anything touch it, which made the brace just fun to wear.   :-\  I hope it doesn't come back!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 27, 2010, 07:50:33 PM
Duh...I forgot to post a pic!  I took this yesterday.  The swelling is doing great, and I can see/feel the bones in my leg and how the patella is moving.  Very encouraging! It doesn't clunk and thump like it used to.  I know the point of the surgery was to get ride on the tracking problems and the subluxations, but it's still hard to believe that it's fixed!   ;D

(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk29/redjax-1/052600_190100.jpg)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: lindseym27 on May 27, 2010, 08:03:35 PM
JEN!!!! long lost TTT friend! :) I'm dropping in to say hi and check up with you! I was reading your last few posts and it sounds like we're both moving right along!
 
I did want to mention that I also started PT and can do all the straight leg raises with really no problem at all, except the one where you're on your back! If my brace is on...I can do it without a hitch, but as soon as my brace is off...I can't lift it on my own. Tuesday they put the e-stim on my quads and made me lift every time it was fired...I tried to lift, but couldn't do it on my own. I was working every other muscle in my body, but my quads just aren't AWAKE! Right now we're at 60 degrees with the ROM. Next week we'll be at 75..hopefully! I am really nervous cause it feels like any more than 60 my knee is going to snap! the muscles are so tight!

As far as pain meds and sleeping, I only take one pain med at night if itís absolutely necessary-pretty much just advil at this point. I have been sleeping on my back, side and stomach... any way that is comfortable since the surgery. Pretty much after the scar was healed, I started to sleep on my stomach and side.

My OS gave me permission on Tuesday to take the brace off while sleeping and when walking around the house! I was really excited! I have slept the past two nights with it off and it was GREAT! I didn't kick or wake up from any painÖwhich I was scared about doing, but so far so good!

You also mentioned this pain at the scar site, I too have a sharp pain once in a while in one spot on my incision. It feels so weird to touch and most of it is still numb, which feels even more strange. I donít know what the sharp needle pain is, maybe from the screws? I have no idea, but YES I feel it too!!!!

Lindsey
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 27, 2010, 11:03:43 PM
Hi Lindsey!  Nice to hear from you!

The SLRs are a pain, and my PT has me take my brace off as soon as I walk in, so I've had no choice but to do it without the brace. :)  Guess it worked!  He's never had me do them while I'm on the e-stim- I only contract my muscles then.  That could be because I came in on the 2nd day of PT and did a bunch of them.  I'm a stubborn person, so I wanted to prove that I could do it!   ;D

I had that feeling with my ROM.  I've been allowed to go up to 90 since the surgery, and I've had some tightness when trying to go past 75.  But the past couple of days I've been able to get to 90.   :D  I wish I could do a bit more...we'll see what the OS says next week.  The best luck I had getting past the tightness is to massage a lot and then just try a bunch of them, slowly bending farther each time.  And when I thought I couldn't do more, I pushed a wee bit harder.  Hurt a bit, but it felt good too, ya know?  The reduced swelling also has helped a LOT with getting more ROM.  I'm now working on separating the scar tissue through massage, so when I can go past 90 I'll actually be able to.

Congrats with getting the brace off at home!  That's gotta feel nice, especially while sleeping.  I've been taking mine off a lot more when I'm off my feet, but since I'm still NWB I keep it on and locked when I'm on my feet.  But I look forward to a braceless day, and am happy you've gotten yours off, part of the time at least.

I know the scar pain isn't from the screws, as the pain is several inches above the Fulkerson site, at the tip top of my scar.  I haven't had a problem with it, so I wonder if something just poked it and made it hurt yesterday.  Who knows?  I still have a good portion of numb skin to the left of the incision, and shaving it is SUPER strange! 

Hope the healing continues to go well!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 28, 2010, 06:57:20 PM
Hello everyone!

Today I had PT again, and last week the therapist said I could start weight bearing this week, at 25%.  At the end of my sessions today, I asked him about that and what I should be doing to help me get back to normal walking.  He told me I should use a scale to figure out how much I can bear, and then use the scale to learn how to feel what 25% is.  Then start walking on it.   ;D  It made me super happy!  I've been working on trying to walk a bit, and it sure is tricky!  After a month of not putting much weight on the foot, it's a bit tricky doing it again. Good thing I'm doing well with the quad sets and SLRs because now I finally get to use those muscles!! :D

Right when I get adept at using my crutches...  :)  Mom and I were at the store today, and she told me she was going to leave me behind and meet me at the car.  Guess who got to the car first?  Yup, me!  I'm a competitive person, by the way.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on May 29, 2010, 02:41:14 AM
Jen - it's such a good, but strange, feeling to get your feet back under you again :)  Now that you'll be walking more, you will feel all kinds of muscles starting to wake up in your leg that you forgot were there.  Keep up the good work in PT, you're doing great :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 29, 2010, 03:49:06 AM
Andi-It is strange!  But so nice to be using my other leg to walk! I know what you mean by finding forgotten muscles though.  I think I'll be a bit sore tomorrow, after some new stuff in PT and the walking.  Oh well!

Day 29

Well it's 4 weeks post-op, and I'm feeling pretty good.  I've been of the narcotics, except at night because it helps me to stay asleep.  And during the day I only occasionally have to take some tylenol.  It's great to be pretty much off the meds and still not feeling much pain or aching.  I need to get tylenol PM tomorrow so I can be done with the hydrocodone for good! :)

PT today was good.  The doctor introduced another new exercise, where I lay of my stomach and bend my leg upwards.  I didn't like the pressure it put of my kneecap, although the bending wasn't bad at all.  He then had me switch to my back, lay down, and hang my leg bent over the side of the table.  That felt pretty tight and hurt a bit, but not much.  He then bent it some and did some short, quick movements back and forth.  It seemed to help me bend it more.  I'm up to 90 degrees ROM, and that's the limit I have from my OS for now.

The therapist also gave me some bio feedback using a little EMG machine today.  It was a little machine which had a sensor strapped to my quad.  Then he set some ranges on it and I had to stay within a certain range while contracting and doing SLRs.  It beeped it I was in my target range long enough.  The lights on it helped me to see how well I was contracting my quads and when during an exercise I wasn't contracting as well.  It was cool!  I did pretty well with it.

The PT also told me how to start some weight bearing, which was great.  I went home and worked on feeling out 25% of my weight, using the scale.  Then I practiced walking!   :D  I went to the grocery store with Mom just so I could have plenty of walking practice.  It was great and my leg quickly remembered what walking was.  :)  The leg was tired and achy when I got home, but the ice made it feel better.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 31, 2010, 01:49:59 AM
Day 30-31

Since being given the ok to start weight bearing a bit, I've been doing a lot of walking.  It's sooo nice!  I'm pretty sure I've been putting more than 25% of my weight on the leg, but it doesn't hurt.  So I figure something's going right. :)  I've been a bit achy today because I've been out and about, walking and sitting with it bent for long periods of time.  Having it bent while sitting in a normal chair hurts after a while (an hour or so), but not much, just an ache.  I went to a movie today and sat on the aisle so I could stretch out if I wanted, but I didn't really need too.  I feel normal now, even though I am obviously not to my normal activity level.  I guess I just don't feel breakable anymore.  I'm starting to gain confidence in my leg and the surgery's success, and I can see improvements each day that make the surgery worth it.

Painwise I'm doing good.  When sitting with the leg up, I have no pain in my leg.  In my back and hip I do (I need to see the chiro again) but the leg feels great.  Walking isn't painful unless I overdo it, as with sitting with it bent.  And the exercises aren't painful, only a bit achy.  Mainly the SLRs.  But event those are feeling a lot better.  I can tell that my quads are engaging very well, and gaining a lot of strength.   :D  It's amazing what I can do now compared to what I was like a few weeks ago.  I'm off the narcotics completely, which is great for the digestion!  And I'm only taking tylenol at night to help me sleep (general achyness and restlessness is helped with the tylenol PM) and occasionally I take 1 or 2 throughout the day.  And somedays I can go without taking anything.  It's a relief not to be relying on the meds anymore!

Happy Memorial Day to those who are in the US.  And Happy Day to those who aren't. :)  Gotta celebrate everyday, even if it's a Monday! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 02, 2010, 03:20:17 AM
Day 33

I'm sitting here hoping the thunderstorms go away soon and don't produce any tornadoes!  So I thought it would be a good time to update while watching the news. :)

I had PT this morning, and it was a bit painful.  The therapist did a lot of deep massaging...ouchy but felt good afterwards.  I just did some on myself to, with the same ouchy but good results.  :)  Everything is super tight, as I did a lot of movement over the weekend and a lot of WB (still only at 25%).  I'm a bit more swollen, particular in the foot/ankle because I've been up on my feet a LOT.  So the massaging felt great overall.  Then we did the regular e-stim with quad sets, all sorts of SLRs (even while sitting up-a new accomplishment), and bending exercises.  I was approved to go from a limitation of 90 to a limitation of 120 today.  He measured and I got to 101 degrees.  Pretty good for being stuck at 90 up until then (I may have been pushing a tidbit farther than 90:)).

I then asked about using a stationary bike.  I bought a floor bike (set of peddles that can be set on the floor or a table) to use at home, and I was hoping I could start using it.  He cleared me to do it, and told me to start with rocking until I could get around.  So when I got home I got the bike and went to rock, and went all the way around.   ;D  I moved it closer to me and tried again, and got around again.  Basically I got as close as I could and still managed to get around after a little bit of rocking to loosen up.  I was SUPER happy!!  It felt good to be adding this to my exercises.  I am a bit sore and achy, but didn't take anything, not even the spasm pill or tylenol.  I'm feeling pretty good!  :) 

I don't think I'm going to sleep anytime soon, even though I'm super tired.  A HUGE storm system is headed my way, and I won't sleep until I know there won't be any tornadoes or severe storms.  Ugh.   :-[ At least I can sleep in tomorrow!  And nap!  :)

Hope ya'll have happier weather!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 02, 2010, 10:27:43 PM
You are doing so awesome!! I'm so excited for you- you're going to be walking before you know it (and of course I'll probably hate you a little while I'm still hobbling around but hopefully I won't be far behind =) Hope the storming didn't keep you up!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 03, 2010, 01:33:12 AM
Thanks Cupcake!  I suspect I'll be hobbling for awhile, at least.  :)  I just hope the OS lets me start hobbling tomorrow! 

And the dang storms certainly kept me up.  Ugh.  If you've ever lived where there are tornadoes, you'll know how scary storms can be.  And with my leg getting to the basement would be hard (narrow rickety steps).  Luckily there was just horrible wind, torrential rain, and tons of lightening and thunder.  I got to sleep eventually, but it took awhile.  I'll go to sleep early tonight to make up for it.   :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 04, 2010, 03:34:24 AM
Day 35

Today was an AWESOME day!  Had my 6 week (5 week actually) post-op appointment, and I got ALL the answers I wanted.  ;D  The OS called it graduation day and I passed all the tests he had for me.  He took x-rays, and all is healing well.  He then had me do several exercises I haven't been allowed to do (standing on it, one legged squat, stair step, bending stuff, etc) and all was good and not painful.  So he told me I can start putting weight on it as much as feels comfortable.  Walk with the brace unlocked to 70.  When I'm good with stepping up I can toss the crutches.  The brace can go off when I feel comfortable.  I can drive, even my stick shift if I can feel comfortable.  Sleep without the brace.  Use the bike as much as I want.  Basically I am free to do what I feel comfortable doing, so long as it doesn't cause me pain while I'm doing it at the Fulkerson site.

I am beyond excited!

Mom and I stopped at a Starbucks and a store soon after the appointment and walked in with the brace unlocked, barely using the crutches.  It was amazing!!  I am still very wobbly due to not walking on it for so long, but the balance is starting to come back.  I hope to be off the crutches in a few days and done with the brace in a week or so.  I drove my Mom's automatic car home for about an hour today.  Can we talk about freedom or what?  I feel much more independent and in control now. 

I'll be careful to not overdo it and pay attention to what my body is saying.  But it feels great to walk again with the brace unlocked.  I'm using 1 crutch at home now.  My balance is iffy so I stay close to walls, but being free to determine what I can do is great!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on June 04, 2010, 04:03:07 AM
Jen I am so happy and thrilled for you!! Bet you're super happy to have more freedom and be allowed to walk as tolerated!! What did you mean you can ditch the crutches once you can step?? Step as in walking steps or up a step like a stair? If it's a stair that's crazy at 5 weeks!! I go for my next doc appt the 16th and am hoping I'll be given the same good news you received today!! Tomorrow I'm hoping to get my brace unlocked to 90 deg and possibly switch to one crutch or be allowed to go past 90, but we shall see!!

Hope you enjoy your new freedom but make sure not to overdo it or get way ahead of yourself!! Glad to hear all the good news and how you're doing!! Good luck!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 04, 2010, 04:10:18 AM
He said when I can step up a step about 3 inches high.  I can already bend to past 100 degrees, so that's not an issue.  And I tried walking up the stairs at home (normal height) with the crutches and did alright with it.  There's no pain, just weakness.  And to build muscles I am to step up and down a 3 inch step, which I'll make out of textbooks.  :D

Good luck with your appointment!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on June 04, 2010, 04:19:09 AM
So you step up a step with the brace though correct? I know my poor leg is so skinny from weakness and being in the brace..  Either way I'm impressed ha ha!! I'm still doing baby stuff except I've been allowed to calf stretch on the slant board and without the brace calf raises!! Maybe next week move to the bike!! Well have fun but be safe!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 04, 2010, 04:50:37 AM
Yeah, I'll do it with the brace on until I feel stronger.  I've got pretty good quad control, but the muscles are still weak and not used to being used without aids (crutches, brace).  When the OS asked me to step up on a stool today, without brace or crutches, I thought he was crazy!  I could do it well, but the stool was over 6 inches high.  I'll take a while to get used to...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 05, 2010, 04:04:28 AM
Day 36

I'm 5 weeks post-op today, and feeling pretty happy.  I had PT, and we started focusing on some strengthening exercises now that I can WB.  I had the usual e-stim/quad set/SLR, but I also used the exercise bike-10 minutes.  Then my leg was getting tired. :)  I also did a stepping down exercise where I stood on an elevated surface, only about 1 inch high, and I raised and lowered on my bad leg.  Whoo that was HARD!  But it didn't hurt.  The therapist told me that gaining back the strength to lower my body on that leg will be one of the last things to return, but it's good that I can start on it now!  I also did another exercise where the therapist put a resistance band on my leg a little above my knee.  Then he pulled on it and I was to bend and straighten my leg with the resistance.  I should go downstairs and find the paper to find out the names of these exercises, but I am getting ready to go to bed.  And the house is creepy at night when it's all dark and creaky.   ;)

At the end I asked the therapist for an exercise to stretch my poor, stiff calf muscles.  He then showed me how to do it...felt sooooo good.  He just stuck a wedge under my toes and I leaned forward.  He could tell I had been waiting for that!  That made me a happy Jen!

My leg ached and was TIRED after PT, so I went home and rested much of the day.  I ended up having an hour and a half long nap-ahhh so nice.  I even took my brace off for it and finally found a comfy sleeping position.  :) 

Around the house I am trying to only use on crutch.  I am trying to find the balance so I challenge myself but don't push too hard.  I think I am doing Okay with it.  I want to be off the crutches ASAP, but I realize that's not the safest thing to do.  So now I am focusing on developing normal walking patterns by walking with the brace unlocked, then I'll focus on ditching the crutches completely.  I did get my Grandma's old cane (no...I am NOT stealing my Grandma's cane.  Don't worry!!!) to use for stability eventually.  And in crowded places so I don't get bumped or jostled.  That is a fear of mine-being knocked down because someone else is a jerk.  Let's hope that doesn't happen, right?

Does anyone have good tips for getting free from the crutches, or at least feeling totally comfortable using only 1 or a cane?  I think I have a lot of mental fear not legitimate fear, because when I get distracted while walking I do just fine...better sometimes than when I think about how to walk.  I just don't want to fall!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 06, 2010, 08:33:43 PM
Here are a few more things the OS told me on Thursday that I forgot to mention.

First, he tried to dislocate my knee.  I gave him a crazed look, but then he explained that he wouldn't do it if he thought it would dislocate.  He was just checking the strength of the new ligaments. And, of course, nothing bad happened. He tried to wiggle it around, and it moved just like he wanted. :)  He grimaced when he saw how my other knee moved...so I expect I'll be having surgery on it at a later date.  Ugh!

Then he discussed my grove.  During the surgery, they discovered that I have no groove in my knee-BAD!  But the repaired ligaments should keep my kneecap in place.  He told me that I may need surgery in the future to fix that, but it's a much worse surgery, apparently.  So I am determined to stay positive and focus on the present, not what may happen in the future.

Well, learning to walk again has been going well.  I'm doing well with one crutch at home, and only using the crutches for balance and assurance that I won't fall. :)  My leg is tired and achy from the added activity, but the OS said that's ok, so long as it doesn't hurt at the Fulkerson site while I'm doing something.  And I haven't had that pain, so it's all good!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on June 07, 2010, 03:30:08 PM
Jen - It's been a while since I've been here at KG, just catching up on your post.  You're doing great!!!!  Makes me remember finally feeling "free" when I could start losing the crutches and brace, and start driving again :)  I went from 1 crutch to using a cane, though honestly I can't remember if I did that before or after I ditched the brace.  At 2 months exactly, I'm walking all over the place with no crutch or cane or brace, just walking normally for the most part, and it's such a good feeling.  Those first couple of weeks without the brace I had to really concentrate on my gait and moving my leg correctly, but it's like riding a bike, it comes back to you and the muscles in the leg start to remember what they're supposed to be doing.  Walking on a treadmill where I could hold on to the handles for balance and practice a correct gait really helped me wake the leg up.

Keep up the great work... yes your leg will be sore and tired, for sure, but think of that as the muscles waking up after a long sleep and finally being able to get a good workout :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 07, 2010, 09:03:48 PM
Andi-

I LOVE that free feeling!  I feel so in control of my recovery now, but I am being careful not to hurt myself.  Driving is great.  Theoretically I could have driven a bit sooner, but Mom wasn't allowing me since the doctor hadn't given the official "yes."  But since the surgery was on my left leg, I haven't had to take that slow at least!  My stick shift will be another story...

I'm working on the correct gait now.  My PT gave me some pointers, and currently my muscles are so tight that I'm not pushing off from my foot when I walk.  So I need to keep stretching the calves.  It feels sooo good!  It was also nice to ask my PT about the aches and pains I had been feeling since walking.  I wanted to be sure that it was all good pain, and he didn't seem concerned at all.  So I'll use the ice and maybe tylenol and keep walking on.

Hope all is good with you!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 08, 2010, 03:20:54 AM
Day 38

Today was my 2nd to last PT appointment.  Yup, you read correctly!  Thursday will be my last scheduled PT appointment.  Surprised?  Well, I guess I impressed the OS last week because he told me that after this week, I can do an at home protocol.  I will be starting a job from June 13 to July 25 that gives me 3 weekends off.  24/7 other than that.  It's a tutoring job but also working as a dorm advisor for high schoolers.    Simply put, my OS trusts me to do the exercises, seek help if I need it, and listen to my body.  I believe I'm doing a pretty good job of listening to myself.

I am a bit apprehensive about going forward by myself, but I can do more PT if I need it.  If the OS said I needed more, of course I would talk to my employer and make sure I could go.  But we'll try this arrangement. I hope to be walking on my own by the 13th when I head back to college to work, and I think that's a realistic goal.  My PT stole one of my crutches today to see how I was walking, and showed me a few improvements to make to my gait.  Overall, it's going well.  I've had a bit of achyness from walking more, but I checked with the PT and it's all good pain.  Only took 1 tylenol today, and probably won't take anything tonight.

Tomorrow will be a test day.  It's the primary elections for our state's gubernatorial race, senate/house, and other offices.  I've been hired as a poll worker, and I have to be at work at 6 am.  Ugh!  And I will work until at least 9 PM!  It'll be a long day, but most of it will be sitting down.  Funny story though-I am being sent as a peacekeeper to a certain poll.  There are 4 little old ladies who FIGHT (mostly verbally...with possibly some shoving or hitting).  The stories are unclear, so I am the mole.  I am to figure out who is causing the problems.   Should be an interesting...long...day.  But I am looking forward to being useful once again.  ;)

Oops!  I should go to bed!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 09, 2010, 12:45:01 AM
congrats! hope that you have a wonderful day and dont have to break up too many fights. just be careful and have fun now! :D
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 09, 2010, 05:43:58 AM
Day 39

Well, today was a looooooong day.  Arrived at the polls at 6 am and arrived home at 11:30pm.  Lots of crap and meanness from my fellow workers, sigh.  I have some interesting stories though that I may share tomorrow. :) I'm only on here now while icing for the first time today.

As for my knee.  After 17.5 hours of work, mostly sitting down, my knee is swollen, but not too painful.  I've taken 3 doses of tylenol today, the most in a long time.  But all things considered, I feel great.  The pain was minimal and mainly due to sitting without having it elevated.  When it hurt, I either elevated awhile or got up and walked. I was able to do some quad sets, mini SLRs, and some calf exercises while working the election.  :) I am talented.  I wish I could have iced, but I massaged for awhile instead during a dead time. 

I expect to be achy and swollen tomorrow.  For now, I am icing and hopefully falling into an exhausted sleep coma. :)

My mental state is much worse after being harrassed and belittled all day by mean little old ladies who were my fellow election workers.   7:30am and I nearly burst into tears...and that was the start of the day.   :-[

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 09, 2010, 02:18:55 PM
Glad your knee's doing okay but wth is their problem?? Why were they so mean? I don't understand people sometimes. Anyway- I'll be looking for the story later- I just can't imagine what there is to be mean about when working an election poll lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 09, 2010, 03:53:08 PM
Howdy!

Yeah...well working the polls is a bit stressful because everything has tobe done a specific way, and it changes a lot.  But 2 of the ladies were 90 or older, the young one was 77, and I have no clue how old the 4th one was.  The lead lady was easily confused and very forgetful (dementia, maybe?) and got mad when she couldn't figure things out or forgot something.  Then she yelled at us when we tried to help.  Ugh.  But the really mean old lady had no excuse.  She was mean to me from the start when she yelled at me to stop texting, which is actually allowed.  I was texting my Mom, who is one of the people in charge of the poll workers.  Then she got mad and glared everytime I talked to one of "her" voters.  UGrr!  If you're changing their party you have to tell them!  1 lady was super nice, and 1 was ok.  But dealing with the mean one was hard.  She kept saying snide remarks to me and to the voters!  It was frustrating day!

Some of the voters were pretty darn funny though...people didn't seem to get that they were voting in a primary, so they could only vote on a republican ticket OR a democrat ticket.  Then they got mad.  Seriously? They just didn't understand how the elections worked...

Off to a lake today for a picnic with my sister.  I hope to nap on the way there, but I doubt she'll stop talking long enough for me to sleep. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on June 09, 2010, 04:55:59 PM
Jen - glad you survived your day working at the polls :)  I think there are people out there who are absolutely NOT happy unless they are making the people around them miserable.  I think it should be a clinical psychiatric disorder, seriously!!!  Sorry you had to put up with their garbage, but at least it was only one day :)

Good for you for finishing PT... I just got another referral for six weeks more of PT, but it's partly to add my hip bursitis into the routine, and partly to work on getting me to my goal, which is hiking again.  At this point, there is no way I can think of hiking on uneven ground or up/down slopes, so my OS is giving me more PT time to work toward that.  He asked me when I'd feel 100% with my knee again, and I told him when I can hike up to Spray Falls on Mt. Rainier and back without any problems or pain, then I'll consider myself good to go.  Since my OS is an avid sports and outdoor person, he gave me a huge grin and told me that he'd get me to that point for sure, so that made my day :)

What kind of work are you doing this summer with high schoolers?  Both of my kids (just finishing 9th grade) are going to summer camps at colleges and staying in dorms, which they love doing )

Keep up the good work, you're doing great!

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 09, 2010, 07:16:14 PM
Hey Andi!

I was a little worried about being done with PT so quick, but after today's outing I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I decided to take 1 crutch to the lake with me, but I also brought the cane with me just to try it out a bit.  I've barely used the cane, but I'm walking a lot better with it than I did with 1 crutch!  Since I can't lean on the cane, I'm walking upright completely and without an odd gait. :)  I also was a bit worried that my leg wasn't strong enough for just using the cane, but now I feel like I can walk without anything.   :D  I'll work on that around the house later, after a nap.  And I managed to walk up the stairs normally, only using the railing.  Still can't go down normally, have to walk like a 2 year old, but it'll come. It's coming along quickly! 

I hope your hip bursitis clears up/heals.  What exactly is it?  I vaguely remember reading in your diary that you've had it for awhile, right? 

I've never been able to BE an athletic person, but I hope I can do more hiking, jogging, and biking with my "new" knee. :)  It'll at least be nice to walk a few miles without pain!

And my job is a tutor/counselor job.  Essentially I am the resident advisor for a group of high schoolers and a tutor, hopefully in Spanish. I'm really looking forward to the job and I think it'll be a blast!  Just a lot of work/long hours.  Luckily it's not physical work!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 10, 2010, 03:20:17 AM
I drove MY stick shift tonight!  I decided I wanted to see how it would go, and it was fine.  It didn't hurt at all to push in the clutch or drive.  My leg got tired at stoplights, and of course I had to hit everyone. But it was fine and I enjoyed driving it!  My knee was a little achy afterwards, but that could have been from walking through Walmart with just the cane.  I asked my sister to grab 1 crutch to use at Walmart, since it was a lot of walking after driving my clutch for the first time.  She forgot to grab it and I didn't notice.  All was well though, just tired.  After a bit of rest and ice, my knee doesn't hurt at all!

I was a happy camper today! :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 10, 2010, 07:25:51 PM
I drove MY stick shift tonight! I decided I wanted to see how it would go, and it was fine. It didn't hurt at all to push in the clutch or drive. My leg got tired at stoplights, and of course I had to hit everyone. But it was fine and I enjoyed driving it!

love ;D that part of your post!!!  im 17 and drive a stick shift as well, actually both of the cars i drive and the one that i am restoring are all stick shifts, i cant wait until im recovered enough to drive and continue to restore my other car, its a 1971 Opel GT and it is my baby, so not driving has been a huge bummer!!!
glad to hear that you are doing so well and that the ice worked and it was just because you were tired :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 10, 2010, 08:14:58 PM
Yeah, finally being able to drive my OWN car is awesome!  But now I have to decide if I am going to sell it or not.  I don't really want to, but I'll be living in Washington DC in the fall and won't be able to have a car, then I finish my last semester of college in the spring and don't really need a car.  After I graduate I want to live/work in a large city so I don't have to own a car, so now I need to make a decision.  :-\  I don't want to pay insurance on a car I won't use, so now is the time to decide.  Sigh.  I hate making decisions like that!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 11, 2010, 12:45:09 AM
I cannot believe you can drive your stick shift already!! That is so awesome! =) You'll have to let me know when you're in DC and we'll have to meet up and share fun gross knee dislocation stories =)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 11, 2010, 01:50:11 AM
awwww :( im sorry that you are going to have to make that decision, thats a bummer! what kind of car is it? (sorry, im a girl and a car junkie, its an odd combo but i love cars)

glad to hear that you are able to drive your car again :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on June 11, 2010, 02:18:55 AM
haha i'm in the md/dc/va area too. can i compare knee dislocation stories too?? LOL!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 11, 2010, 03:33:34 AM
I can't wait to get to DC.  And sure, we can all compare gross stories! :) 

My car is a 1998 Ford Escort-totally beat up and crappy.  But the engine's great and it runs perfectly, despite its appearance.   ;)  My Grandma wrecked it before I got it, so its a little worse for wear.  Not an impressive piece of machinery.  However, my Dad owns a '67 Riviera.  Pretty neat car!  He shows it in car shows and nearly always brings home some sort of trophy.  Completely random, but a car junkie would probably appreciate that! 

I think I'm probably gonna sell it. :( I hate paying for car insurance, since I've never been in a wreck/pulled over.  So it'll be nice to get rid of that bill!  And my college town is small enough that during my final semester, I can bike or bum rides.  But I'll miss the freedom.   :-\  I wish Iowa had REAL public transit.  Where it exists, it's pretty much a joke.  Small towns...sigh.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 11, 2010, 04:14:57 AM
Day 42

I had my last PT appointment today.  I have a good set of exercises to do at home, and am welcome to cover more if I so wish.  However, since I'll be living outside of town, it'll be somewhat hard to do that.  ;)  They measured my ROM today and I got to 113 by myself with no help from the PT. I suspect I could've done a bit more with a tidbit of help.  But I'm happy with that!  When doing my wall slides last night, I felt a slight burning sensation on top of my knee, then I could bend farther.  I literally felt no tightness on top of my knee.  However, due to the past few busy days, my knee has been a bit more swollen.  So I couldn't bend very much farther due to swelling underneath my knee.  I asked my PT about the burning feeling, and he said it was the fascia breaking down/loosening. Good thing!  :)  A good step towards getting full ROM eventually.  Now just to rest so the swelling calms down again.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 11, 2010, 05:50:31 AM

My car is a 1998 Ford Escort-totally beat up and crappy. But the engine's great and it runs perfectly, despite its appearance. ;) My Grandma wrecked it before I got it, so its a little worse for wear. Not an impressive piece of machinery. However, my Dad owns a '67 Riviera. Pretty neat car! He shows it in car shows and nearly always brings home some sort of trophy. Completely random, but a car junkie would probably appreciate that!


AWESOME CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (your dads)
and haha yeah thats something to appreciate b/c its pretty cool

hey, at least there is some sort of a public transit and things are close enough to bike to : ) you have freedom on a bike : )
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 11, 2010, 08:52:45 PM
Yeah, bikes are nice, so long as the town is pretty flat!  My college town is flat, but my hometown isn't...eh. I can't wait to ride my bike again.  I know I can do full rotations on it, but I don't yet trust me knee for getting on and off it.  For now I am happy with the exercise bike.  :D

So, on another note...ya'll know that whole "doing too much" thing?  Yeah, I think I might be a victim of that!  I've been a bit too mobile in the past few days.  I'm paying for it a bit, but it's not bad.  My knee is just more achy than normal.  The ice and rest is certainly helping, and I think by tomorrow I'll be good again.  There's a BBQ showdown tonight that I want to go to (dozens of competitors-huge deal) but it'll mean lots of walking.  We'll see how I feel tonight.  Yum BBQ!   :D

-Jen

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on June 12, 2010, 02:22:23 AM
Did you go to the BBQ? Hope it was good!!  ;D Congratulations on all your achievements and making it to home therapy!! How is your daily regime treating you? I am astounded by how far you have progressed and how fast that;s amazing and something to look forward too!!  ;)

I got cleared to walk with no crutches and my brace still at 60 degrees. I go to the doctor this week and am hoping he will unlock it to 90 and possibly clear me to drive or at least give me some perspective on when.. I am 5 weeks today and cannot wait to be where you have made it too!! I over did it today while messing around on the beach with no crutches and 100 degree temperatures.. Oh well it was nice to get out and get a little Vitamin D!!

Hope all is treating you well and good luck with your future endeavors with high school students!! Look forward to reading your progress!!  :D
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 12, 2010, 04:02:32 AM
Day 43
Six weeks post-op

Hello everyone!

Today was a pretty good day!  My swelling is going down from overdoing it a bit the past few days, as has the pain.  I'm walking around the house more without any support, other than the brace of course.  And outside the house I'm getting back to just using the cane.  I'm feeling pretty good about everything right now!

I did go to the BBQ showdown.  I visited about 6 vendors before I was full of BBQ samples.  It was super busy and HOT!  I took one crutch and felt great using it, even though it was a lot of walking and standing.

Funny thing about walking around the house without crutches or a cane...I walked down the upstairs hall and started walking down the stairs.  Well, I forgot about the whole brace/surgery/weak leg thing and starting walking down them normally!  :o  My brace is limited at 70, so it caught as I was bending my bad leg at the top of the stairs.  I caught myself and felt pretty stupid, but man that could've ended badly.  I also felt a bit good about it though because I was able to walk down the stair normally without pain or my leg giving out.  :)  I'm pondering setting my brace to 90 and trying it again...but at the bottom of the stairs.  I can walk up them fine, and I'm curious about whether I can walk down a normal size step.  Perhaps I shall try tomorrow. 

Well, I'm off to do my exercises and head to bed.
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 13, 2010, 03:47:02 AM
Day 44

Howdy ya'll!

My swelling is still getting better and the pain while walking is also improving.  Finding that dang balance between doing enough and too much sure is hard to find!  And I have to pay attention to keep the right form while walking, or it all goes downhill.  As I get tired, my gait gets more and more messed up.  Gotta keep strengthening those muscles! 

I have decided to kick the brace because my OS wanted me off it fairly soon.  So I'll focus on walking without it, even if it means using crutches for longer.  I really don't want to be dependent on the brace.  And it's causing more swelling and slides down a lot.  Basically, it seems to be causing more pain than good.  Because of the straps, it makes my knee swell quite a bit if I'm on my feet long, or just sitting with it down. Then the pain gets worse.  Then I don't walk well...and you see how that goes.  :-\  So I'll see how tomorrow goes without the brace.

I have tried going downstairs normally, and it went pretty well.  Better than I expected!  My leg is still too weak to really go down the stairs well, but it's something new to work on.  I can go up them pretty darn well though!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Strawberrry12 on June 13, 2010, 03:56:05 PM
Jen,
I just read basically your entire post op diary! It's really given me a good idea of what I"m in for. I'm glad to hear that you've come such a long way and had so much improvement. Quick question: did you get a second opinion before having the fulkersons done?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 13, 2010, 09:06:15 PM
Howdy Strawberrry!

Wow I'm impressed you read the whole thing! 

Technically this was my 3rd OS, and 2nd opinion.  Here's my OS story:

2 years ago my knee subluxated badly when my little 12 lb. dog ran into my leg.  I couldn't walk well and it HURT worse than any other time, so I decided I needed to see an OS about my knee.  I went to the only OS in my hometown, who turned out to be an idiot.  He put a brace on me that pushed my patella into the right place, and had me wear it for 3 months.  No PT, just some x-rays and the brace.  So I did it, and returned 3 mo. later.  He then offered surgery or another 4 mo. of wearing the brace.  Whatever I wanted.  I decided to leave his office and never return.  He didn't really tell me what my problem was or what surgery he would do.

Fast forward 1.5 years.  I dislocated my patella in December '09 getting into my car.  Once again, I decided to find an OS because I was tired of the pain, instability, etc.  This time I chose a surgeon in my college town, and he ordered 2 mo. PT after taking x-rays and discussing my tracking issues.  When I walked into PT and showed them the brace from my old OS, they took one look at it and said it would do nothing for me.  Unfortunately, neither did PT.  :(  So my 2nd OS referred me to an OS at one of the best hospitals in the state.  He saw me, looked at my knee, ordered x-rays, MRI, and knew I would need surgery.  I didn't have a 2nd opinion after visiting him, because he was very thorough in telling me the problems, the possible surgeries, and the outcome.  Also, we were/are running on a limited time frame, as I need to be pretty well recovered by the end of August so I can move to DC.  However, I felt comfortable with the surgery and after researching to discover more, I really believe it is the right answer to my knee problems.  Thus I didn't feel the need to seek another opinion.  And in my area, finding a better OS would have been hard. 

If you are worried about the procedure, see if you can schedule another appointment with your OS to just talk about it, why it's good for you, the PT protocol, the expected recovery, and any possible negative outcomes.  And if you're uncomfortable at all with the operation, do seek another opinion. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 14, 2010, 01:28:21 PM
Day 45

I made it through my 2nd move since surgery!  I'm back up at college and have started my new job.  The highschoolers come Thursday, so I have a few days to prepare and acclimate to activity again.  My knee is doing well an the pain associated with walking has subsided quite a bit.  But a new problem has arisen.  My knee is super stiff, and any massaging, exercising, or stretching I do doesn't seem to help for more than a few minutes.  The stiffness is directly below the patella, and a little above the patella too.  Possibly in the tendon going from the femur to tibia?  It kind of feels like my knee is spring loaded, and whenever I bend it, my knee wants to jump back into extension.  That's the only way I can explain it.  Any ideas that might help?  Anybody knows why it's so stiff?  I'm wondering if it's from scar tissue breaking up...but I don't know.  It doesn't really hurt, or affect my ROM.  It just makes it a little uncomfortable to walk.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 15, 2010, 05:16:12 AM
WARNING:  Discouraging Post Ahead

Well, I'm really frustrated right now, and just wish I was back to normal, or at least could walk without assistance.  Nothing bad has happened to me, but I'm really tired of hauling the cane or crutch around, and can't seem to wean myself off it!  I feel like I've stalled a bit, even though I'm still progressing each day.  I'm just not progressing as fast as I wish I was.  And it's starting to tick me off!!!  The kids (high schoolers) come in 3 days, and I have no clue how I'm going to keep up with them.  One of my bosses has already mentioned my inability to do things twice, and I've been here for a little more than 24 hours.  Really, do you think I want to have to sit out on a bunch of activities?  Do I really want to be a burden on others who have to help me or cover the work I can't do?  Don't you think I'd like to be out there running, dancing, and just being a normal young person?  Why do you have to keep bringing it up??  Grr!!!! 

I figured I would be off crutches by now, but I realize that wasn't really a realistic expectation.  I'm annoyed because I have to travel 2 hrs away tomorrow with the group to go to a ROPES course, which obviously I can't do.  I get to sit out and watch, then join in on the boring activities.  And I'm willing to bet I won't be able to do all of those either!  I can't walk around town with the rest of the group...I get to drive.  And there's almost no down time, although most of the "up time" is sitting down.  I just will have precious little time to myself for the next 6 weeks, and that's just starting to hit me.  I know I can do the job...I just wish I could do it normally.

Sorry to be a downer tonight, but that's what ya'll are here for.  I'm going to do exercises and go to bed.  Hopefully things will look brighter in the morning.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 15, 2010, 05:52:34 PM
Awww Jen- that sucks..I can't believe anyone would treat you like that. Then again, I kinda get it from my mother sometimes so I understand how much it just makes you want to punch them lol.

How are you doing without your brace? I can't imagine having to trek out 2 hours in the car right now- how comfortable is it for you to ride? I hope you can start weaning off the crutches soon. I met a woman who had a fulkerson done on April 5 (the same day with the same surgeon that I had mine scheduled for originally) and she fell and broke her foot on memorial day and she's still able to walk into the PT place without crutches though I think she uses them when she's out and about. So, assuming everything goes well that's only a few more weeks and you should be at least back to a gimpy normal!! And never feel bad about venting...being disabled sucks big time especially when you're young and there's so much you need to be doing! Good luck and hang in there!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 16, 2010, 04:48:38 AM
Today was actually a good day, despite my frustrations from yesterday.  We did go to the YMCA camp, and there were only 2 activities I couldn't do.  Granted, they were the fun activities...oh well.  I did feel bad though because they would have done the high ropes course if not for me and another girl who had a knee surgery a few months ago.  Some people were upset, and complained throughout the day.  I finally said "Hey sorry it's my fault you couldn't go."  That shut them up.  :) 

I actually ended up walking up and down some small hills, uneven grass, soft leaf covered ground, and muddy terrain today.  With 1 crutch and without the brace.  ;D   I was happy because the pain wasn't bad and I was able to walk around various terrains.  I didn't walk far, but hey, it was nice to feel a bit more normal.  And it was pretty comical when my crutch got stuck in the mud and *squish* I pulled it out, the tip covered in mud.  It's been a rainy week.

In terms of walking without the brace-it's going well. I haven't touched it since Sunday, and don't intend to wear it again!  It's slowed my capability to walk without a crutch or cane, but my knee is getting quite a bit stronger, just by walking without the support of the crutch.  I feel much more in control of my movements now, and am not near as wobbly.  My balance is still horrendous, but that's pretty normal.  Swelling is my main problem now, and some stiffness, probably due to swelling.  I called my OS to inquire about using Ibuprofen.  He told me not to use it, but it's been 6.5 weeks post op and I think it'll help with swelling.  So now I'm awaiting an answer. 

I'm able to walk short distances without any support, but it's slow and kind of funny looking.  My gait is getting better.  I think a lot of my issues are mental...fear...and I'm trying to overcome it.  Slowly....it is working.

I got to swim today!!!  Our group went to a hotel for a trust/sharing exercise thing, and afterwords we got to swim for about 30 mins.  It felt AMAZING!  The pool was pretty warm, and I got to walk around in the water, play some water volleyball (aka hitting a ball around), swim, bounce around a bit, and do stretches.  Ahh....it made me feel very good and happy! 

Oh-the car ride was fine.  But my leg was oh so stiff afterwords.  :(  12 passenger van=little leg room.  But I can comfortably sit for a few hours, I'm just super stiff when I get up.  Heck, I even dozed off in the van.

Ugh...bedtime. 
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: doublemom on June 16, 2010, 05:21:03 AM
Hey there - Just catching up on your post :)  I'm trying to remember how I felt at 6 weeks and when I totally ditched the crutches and cane, and it's pathetic that I can't remember LOL!  I'll have to go back and re-read my post-op diary.  I remember at exactly 5 weeks I went to 2 concerts 2 nights in a row, and wore my brace not really because I needed it, but more to keep people away from me.  At my 5-week post-op check, I told my OS that I refused to wear the stupid brace anymore, whether he wanted me to or not.  It kept falling down unless i had the straps so tight that it increased swelling, so I ditched it sometime around 4-5 weeks. 

One thing that really helped me start to walk well again was getting on the treadmill at PT, so I could go slowly and I had the handles to hold onto for support until I felt like I could pace myself well.  I went from 4 minutes slowly at the PT office, to 10-15 minutes at the gym at a faster pace within a week or so, along with the elliptical and stationary bike.  The only thing about the treadmill is that it really flares up my hip problems, so I'm limiting it.  But... it really did help me to even out my gait and get my surgical leg to remember how to walk properly again :)

Strawberry: Just wanted to also let you know that I have a pretty extensive post-op diary for my TTT/LR that was done just over 2 months ago on April 6th.  And by the time I decided to have my surgery (after several years of being in denial), I had actually seen 5 surgeons for opinions.

Keep up the good work everyone, I know it gets discouraging at times, been there myself multiple times over the past 2 months.  Keep in mind that there will be good days and bad days, and gradually the good days become more and the bad days fewer :)

Andi
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 17, 2010, 06:34:31 AM
It's 12:30am, so this will hopefully be short.  I have much to do as the kids come to campus later today, and then the fun (and crazyness) begins. :)

Today I just used my cane all day long, no brace either, as I don't intend to use it again.  I'm doing good, just tired.  Almost no pain in my leg, just swelling and stiffness, which I think is from the swelling.  My ankle even swelled today, so I really have to focus on elevating my leg as much as possible, which I have kind of been neglecting.  I did do QUITE a bit of walking, just from my dorm to the main building and back numerous times, though various buildings, etc.  Campus living means walking.  All things considered, I supposed I'm doing pretty good. 

My OS's nurse called back and told me not to use ibuprofen, as they couldn't ascertain the amount of bone growth at my last appt.  I am going to call back tomorrow and hopefully actually talked to someone, just to assure that the swelling is ok.  Does anyone know whether I should still be swollen now, almost 7 weeks out?  My next appt isn't until the end of July, and they told me not to take any until then.  Hmph!

I had other things to tell, I believe.  But my brain is a little mushy right now and I must finish up and go to BED!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 17, 2010, 08:57:27 PM
I remember now what I meant to say last night...er...early this morning.  I am able to go DOWN stairs quite well!  I was impressed because my PT told me that would be the last thing to come back.  But I can go downstairs more easily than upstairs, with now pain or instability.  Going upstairs is also coming along well. 

I also am good at walking uphill, on a relatively even surface.  I actually enjoy walking uphill because it stretches my ankles and calves a wee bit.  I can also walk downhill, although that's a bit scarier. 

Walking is going well too.  I had to walk oh perhaps 2 blocks this morning to breakfast and some training sessions, and I wasn't achy, tired, or in pain at all.  I sat with my leg up all morning, and had no stiffness or pain when getting up and walking.  I'm still swollen, but the ice and elevation is helping.  I wish it wasn't so hot and humid, but I'm super happy to have a room with AC.  :)

Well, I am going to nap, then the high schoolers arrive!   :-\ 
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 18, 2010, 12:17:55 PM
I had an interesting "knee noise" last night.  Anyone want to provide some insight?

I was doing my exercises, in particular some quad sets and SLRs.  While doing them, I heard a somewhat loud pop or snap, I guess.  There was NO pain or discomfort, and I can definitively say it came from my knee.  I am wondering if it was scar tissue breaking up.  Does that sound right?  It's not swollen or achy or in any way worse off today, so I am not worried about it.  I was just wondering what someone else thought.

I did have to walk FOREVER yesterday.  I am proud that I can walk pretty far and keep up with people pretty well.  I am still using the cane, for balance and so the high schoolers know to give me space.  I do get many odd looks, but I am wearing shorts so they can see the scar and hopefully deduct why I'm using the cane.  Even with all the walking, I didn't have pain, just some added swelling.  It's back down this morning though.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 19, 2010, 07:18:38 PM
7 weeks Post-Op

Hello everyone!  Yesterday marked the 7 week post-op mark, and I'm doing pretty well.  At least I think so. :) 

I'm still using the cane, but just barely.  Since I'm walking longer distances around campus, my leg gets tired and then I need it for balance.  However, just walking around the dorm and such I'm doing alright without it.  My gait is also looking quite a bit better.  The stiffness in my knee is mostly gone, and the swelling continues to get better.  I'm still icing and elevating often, mainly because walking around so much causes more swelling.  Oh, and I'm totally off the brace.   :D

I measured my ROM this morning at 127, so I'm pretty happy with that as well.  That's up 14 degrees from last week, even with the added swelling. 

I am finally wearing jeans again...ahhh....I love jeans.  When I had the brace, obviously I wasn't wearing them.  But now that it's gone, I am happier...and look nicer.  Adios sweats and gym shorts! 

Well, I must go and prep for the afternoon activities.  I am hoping the weather continues to be beautiful.  We had 2 tornado warnings last night!  Ugh!  130 some kids stuck in a basement area.  Granted, the basement was pretty large, with games, TVs, and computers.  But do you know how much noise those kids made?!  :)  We were stuck for about 45 under a tornado warning in the basement, then oh say 45 mins later we had to head back down.  Ugh.  I hope tonight is not a repeat!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 22, 2010, 05:30:06 AM
I am beyond exhausted and frustrated.  Dealing with the kids 24/7 is taking a toll on me, and walking so much is too.  My ankle is swollen again, but my knee seems to be ok.  Still swollen from surgery- is this normal?  My OS didn't seem concerned about it when I called last week, but it seems odd that the surgery swollenness is still here.  How long until is goes away?  Any ideas?

Still hearing odd clicks and pops throughout the day in my knee.  I'm pretty sure it's scar tissue, since it doesn't hurt or cause problems.  I just hate the noises...sigh.

I had kind of a bad day emotionally...just struggling to be ok with not being normal and doing things normally.  And I don't want to let the kids know I'm upset, so by evening time I've pretty much been battling tears until 11pm when I get "me" time.  It's hard always being surrounded by people, being watching and listened to, and knowing that how I act will make or break the summer for some of these students.  I cannot wait until Friday at 4pm when I am off for the weekend.  I love the job, but it's so hard being "on" all the time.  And add that to my knee problems and it's just hard.  I have to keep reminding myself that I will be normal again...sooner or later.

Off to bed.
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 22, 2010, 06:07:25 AM
im really sorry that you are having a hard time, but i do have an answer for the swelling part of things. i was told to expect swelling for up to 5 months after my surgery, no fun, but its good to know at least.

noises, even without pain are not fun

and just hang in there, you will be normal before you know it, hey you are already getting there, no brace!! :)

hopefully your days will get better soon

good night
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: Jennifer34 on June 22, 2010, 06:21:15 AM
Hi

I am also getting alot of popping lately.  I got a good pop when my PT was bending my knee last week.  When I mentioned it, she didn't say anything.  Then today, I asked her about it and she said that I did probably break up scar tissue.  Afterwards, I had a couple days of increase pain and swelling but once that settled down, I noticed that I could bend easier.  My ROM is going to be checked this week, so I will know for sure.  If my ROM is better on my own, then I know I broke up scar tissue.  If I am at 90, then no.

I am a little over 2 months out from MPFL and still deal with daily swelling.  If I do too much or I am on my feet too long, my knee swells up (like last weekend).  One thing that I learned today is that when I am on my feet too long, I should be in a brace.  I know that you said that you are out of a brace.  You may want to go back into it for a couple hours to get your leg a break. 

Kids are exhausting.  I am a teacher and I have been in heaven since school got out for the summer.  During the school day, while I love teaching, there are days that I am ready to get them back on the bus.  They wear me out.  It doesn't help that you have to deal with recovering from knee surgery.  Is there any way that you can reduce your walking down.  While it may be good, too much of a good thing can make the swelling and pain go through the ceiling.  You may need to slow down some.  How long is this job?  When this job is done, will you have some time to take off somewhere.


Jennifer
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 22, 2010, 01:23:25 PM
Hello Jennifer and Mellophone!

It's good to know that the popping and such is normal.  I figured it was, and one friend here who had ACL surgery in March told me she had that.  She still does at times!  It's comforting to have her here because she really understands whats going on. And so does one of the directors who recently have 2 hips and 2 knee replacements.  But anyways, my ROM is also getting better.  I am about 130, which is amazing.  I do have to work to get it there though. I think the swelling is causing more problems than the scar tissues, as it feels tight behind the knee instead of on top.

The brace actually makes swelling worse.  I have to tighten it so much that it makes the lateral side of my knee swell up like a balloon.  And if it's not that tight then it slips and puts pressure on the top of my kneecap, which hurts.  And it squeaks loudly...funny but annoying after a bit! :) 

I am slowing finding ways to make things easier with this job.  I can only reduce walking so much, but propping my leg up in classes does noticeably help the swelling.  And I have ice packs to take with me so I can ice in class.  I just keep forgetting them. :)  The job is over on July 25th, and I have 3 weekends off between now and then.  After that, I'm off until I move to DC at the end of August.  So I'll have plenty of rest then.  Just have to make it! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 23, 2010, 04:39:30 PM
Day 55?

I survived last night's activity!  We had a cross campus scavenger hunt, with 15 stations sooo not in order!  Ugh!  I probably walked a few MILES in 2 hours.  My whole body hurt, EXCEPT my knee!  That was impressive!  My leg and knee was super tired, but it didn't hurt, which is pretty amazing.  It's achy this morning, but not much.  And I think swelling has actually gone down, even after all that activity. I bought an ACE wrap to put on my knee to help compress it during the day. It feels fine and I wore it last night on the scavenger hunt.  I think it really helped with the swelling.  :)

I got my ROM to 131 this morning!  It wasn't painful either!  I've been working the bending exercises hard the past few days, and I guess it paid off.

Oh, and on another happy note- my scar is looking tons better.  It's softer and more pliable, I guess.  And the redness is becoming whiteness. :)  Makes me happy! 

Today is a good day!  The past week of terrible storms seems to be over, and sunshine is predicted for the next week!  Those of you on the East coast-watch out!  You have some NASTY weather headed your way!  ;)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 23, 2010, 05:19:28 PM
That's so great!! (I got your FB message and will write back in a bit just gotta go do my exercises after this real quick message!!) How do you measure your ROM at home? We don't do it enough at PT and I'm super competitive so I think I would push myself harder if I had a goal of beating my last ROM...but I can't figure out how I'd measure at home and didn't see anything online and my PT was really not that helpful when I asked...
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 23, 2010, 10:15:14 PM
Honestly, I just take a protractor and measure it.  My protractor has a long arm, so I align it with my leg bones.  It's a bit tricky and easy to mess up.  So I always measure several times throughout different exercises to ensure I have a good reading.  My PT used a similar thing to measure it, although it was bigger and made for legs. :)  I had to improvise! 

Having a goal and being able to measure it myself has helped me.  Just gaining a few degrees makes me happy!  And I feel like I accomplished something!  ;D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on June 23, 2010, 10:32:07 PM
You know- I googled protractors last week and all that came up were the semi circle things and that so wouldn't work so I'm sooo confused. What does yours look like? Can you link one? I'm sorry...you wouldn't think I'm the one who's graduated college already- but does the fact that I only took one very low level math class make it any better?? lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 23, 2010, 11:05:32 PM
you could take a normal protractor and place the flat side against the side of your knee when it is fully extended, then bend your knee and make sure that the line on the base of the protractor is still lined up with your femur. be sure to place it on the medial side of your right knee, or the lateral side of your left knee unless you want to have to convert it back to positive degrees for it to be correct. it would be best to get a protractor with an arm, or use a ruler an an arm on the protractor to ensure an acurate result.

hope this helps, and sorry if it is confusing
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 23, 2010, 11:44:43 PM
Like Mellophone said-if you can find one with an arm, you can align one side with your femur and use the arm to lay along your tibia.  Then you have a nice measurement! :)

This would be the type of protractor you want.  Mine isn't quite like this, as it has a longer arm.  But it would work! 
https://shop.aph.org/wcsstore/APHConsumerDirect/images/catalog/products_large/1-04116-00_Protractor.jpg

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 24, 2010, 04:23:18 AM
Howdy ya'll!

So, funny story-

Today I decided to walk to one class without my cane, as I did yesterday.  Since it's only about a block of walking, I figured it would be ok.  Well, I forgot that directly after that class I had a meeting during lunch.  So I had to hurry to the cafeteria and couldn't stop to grab my cane.  Well, the meeting ran long and I had to hurry to my next class and still couldn't grab my cane.  I had 3 classes in a row in the same building, so I didn't want to leave between classes to grab my cane.  Finally, at 4 pm I made it back to my room.  I felt fine and was walking better than ever.  So my cane and I have decided to part!  ;D  I haven't touched it since 10pm today, and feel good.  My poor right (good) leg is super tired, but I think that's from the scavenger hunt yesterday.  It's muscle sore...so it's from yesterday.  Ouch!  I need to stretch it out good and massage it tonight.

My surgery leg feels fine.  The swelling is DOWN from yesterday-amazing!  And my ankle isn't swollen either.  :)  I am happy about that!  My leg is finally feeling more normal.  It's still weak and shakey and achy at times, but it feels much stronger than it was a few days ago.  I feel like I can trust it...finally.  I may have to start calling it my good leg someday!  So strange!  :-\  I've been asking myself a lot the past week or so "If I had to live with my current state for the rest of my life, would I be ok with it?"  Today was the first day I could honestly say yes, I could live like this and be ok with it.  That's a pretty big accomplishment!  Of course I want it to continue to get better, but I have most certainly seen the light at the end of the tunnel!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 24, 2010, 06:27:30 AM
 ;D Jen that is amazing!!!
hope we all can share a "funny story" like that in the near future!
best of wishes, and i hope that you are able to continue to improve on a daily basis

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 24, 2010, 01:28:58 PM
Hello Mellophone!

Thanks!  I guess I just needed that extra "push" to have the courage to say adios to the cane.  It's been hard to totally trust my knee again, but that made me do it!  My ankle is sore today, but I think that might be from the scavenger hunt Tuesday night.  It hurt throughout the day yesterday, even when I was using the cane.  Time to stretch I suppose!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 25, 2010, 12:50:55 PM
I haven't touched my cane since Wednesday morning-Yay!  My knee is doing well and the swelling hasn't gone up since I've been off the cane.  It feels good to look like a normal person again.  Even my gait is pretty normal, until I get tired.  It's a bit scary too because people aren't careful around me anymore.  Consider-130 hungry highschoolers in a cafeteria.  It's a bit scary!  However, most of the students know about my knee, and are somewhat careful around me.  Most of the time... :)

I was getting into bed this morning to ice my knee and I banged my bad knee on the bedframe.  Ouch!  I hit the sensitive part of my scar, but other than that my knee is alright.  :)  I thought it was going to hurt a lot more.  Oh, and it's been at least 8 weeks since I have FALLEN!  Wow!  That's nothing short of a miracle!  I am a total klutz, so I think this is probably a record for me!   ;D

Thank goodness for Friday!  I am super excited to rest my whole body and sleep all weekend.  Lazy days, here I come!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on June 26, 2010, 07:43:28 PM
WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! A RECORD

ouch about the bedframe

glad you were able to ditch the cane and brace!

lol ;D  about the weekend!!!  :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 27, 2010, 04:09:28 AM
8 weeks Post-op

Yesterday marked the 8 week mark, and I'm pretty happy with my knee! :)  I am able to walk pretty darn normally for a ways without problem and without support.  That makes me happy beyond belief!  I am feeling normal again.  Even though my leg gets stiff and achy at times, and I am still limiting somewhat.  I feel confident in my knee. I know I can walk in a store and nobody can tell I've recently had surgery, if I'm wearing jeans.  That's a great feeling!  I look back at just 2 weeks ago and am amazed by the progress. 

My main enemy currently is swelling, but I am slowly beating it into submission!  When I woke up this morning it was tantilizingly close to normal.  Then I shopped for 5 hours.  So that's not the case anymore, but I think it's getting better slowly, and will continue to get better.

Oh! I slept on my tummy last night.  Well, actually I woke up and was on my tummy.  It felt good and I think sleeping with it straight helped the swelling, as I usually sleep with it bent, up on a pillow on my side.  I shall sleep however I choose tonight, knowing I won't hurt when I wake up. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on June 28, 2010, 12:59:14 AM
Hey Jen,

I just got on here and started reading your post-op diary! I had a Fulkerson May 19th, so you are about 3 weeks ahead of me in recovery! It is so inspiring to see where you are at 8 weeks!! Hopefully my recovery is that quick!  :)

Katie
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 28, 2010, 05:02:51 AM
Hi Katie!

Congrats on making it through the surgery and I hope recovery is doing well!  How are you?

I'm pretty pleased with where I'm at!  It's been the past week that has impressed me the most, in terms of walking.  The first week or so of weight bearing was slow and painful, but now I'm doing like 100% better!  And my endurance is pretty good too.  I love that I can walk all over campus.  I get tired and achy, but my knee can handle it, which is awesome!  I even volunteered to go bushwacking tonight (checking out to make sure no teens are making out around campus-I'm a tutor/counselor at a college prep program).  That involves a good deal of walking, but I felt like I could do it.  It was pretty nice to get away from the noise for awhile! 

There are still lots of things I can't do, but they will come in time.  I know that recovery is a long process and involves a good deal of work.  Too bad I'm not more patient!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on June 28, 2010, 10:34:30 PM
Hi Jen!

I'm doing great! My leg is getting stronger every day. I did leg lifts at PT and got 87 degrees for my range of motion.You?

Oo! I can't wait to be able to walk that much. I love being able to walk. Haha bushwacking sounds fun, those poor embarrassed teenagers! (I'm a bit evil hehe). The job sounds interesting too!

Oh I know what you mean, this process is so much longer than I'd like. I'm horribly impatient and would love to make it go faster if I could.

Katie
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 28, 2010, 11:40:32 PM
Hi Katie!

I was actually released from PT around week 6.  Sounds crazy...yup!  But with the job I have now I have very little time off, so my OS ordered an at-home therapy regimen.  It's working out well.  At my last therapy session I was just starting to walk with 1 crutch and hit 113 ROM.  Now I am doing great with the walking and hitting about 130 (with a tidbit of pain).  I pushed a bit too much yesterday with the ROM and ended up achy in the evening.  But all is good today!

Bushwacking is rather fun.  I never actually see anyone in the bushes, but we do find people wandering off on their own and we send them back to the activities.  I am a bit evil as well, so going bushwacking is one of the fun jobs! 

Now I have to go off and supervise study hour.  Yay for reading time for me! :)  And silence since they can't talk during study hour.  Hehe!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on June 29, 2010, 12:21:48 AM
Hi Jen!

Wow! I can't imagine being release from PT after this week! My goal is to be able to run and dance again though. Lol I know dreaming big! I can't wait to hit 113! Maybe this Wednesday at my next PT appointment? Hehe. I wish I could do an at-home regimen. I'm in grad school and have been video chatting into class since my grad school is in WV and I'm home with my parents in MD until I recover!

Haha! I find it funny that it wasn't that long ago since I would have been one of those teenagers (I'm 22 now) and now I'd have fun trying to catch them. I don't know how old you are but I gather from you saying you are going into your last year in college that you are probably close to my age too?

Have fun reading! I need to study for a Statistics test lol *procrastinating*

Katie
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 29, 2010, 04:47:09 AM
Yup I'm 21!  It's funny the difference college makes in a person...and how quickly highschoolers change after graduation! It is fun to try to catch them doing stuff.  We can issue pushups for cussing or walking on the grass (we also must do them if we slip up :-\)  and we get to take cell phones if we see them in class.  But man some of the attitudes!  Ugh!

I found a Harry Potter book printed in Spanish, so that is my current reading project.  Delightfully challenging. :)  It's nice to read a Spanish book that isn't assigned in a class.  Funny story-one kid thought he would be smart and say something inappropriate in Spanish, and I caught him and he had to push ups.  He was all like "How did you know that?!"  I was like dude I've studied Spanish for 7 years and lived in Mexico for a semester.  I know things!  It was funny!

Good luck with the stats test!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 30, 2010, 04:29:42 AM
Well, I caught the stomach flu from someone, and am currently feeling pretty terrible.  Ugh...but hey I'm not even noticing my knee.  I haven't really paid much attention to my knee since about 3pm since I've been distracted with being sick.  It feels pretty good though, all things considered.  Done some fast walking down the hall (loooong hall) to the bathroom and it's all been good.  Sorry if that's TMI.  :) 

Not much to report other than that.  Tomorrow is my 2 months mark from the surgery, and I'm pretty happy with things. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on June 30, 2010, 10:27:14 PM
I hope you feel better! Stomach Flu sucks!

I did well on my Stats test thank you!

Haha yeah, I keep looking back at how I was when I was 17 or 18 and how I am now and the difference is just strange to think about. That does sound fun, it's like a game... "mmm where would I have hidden when I was their age?" Eep I'm not a fan of pushups, but that is a good idea for a punishment! I can imagine, teenagers attitudes can definitely test your patience! I'll be working in school systems when I finish grad school as a school psychologist, it should be interesting considering I still look like I'm 16 (and until I start talking people actually sometimes assume I am).

Oo I was never very good at Spanish but Harry Potter in Spanish sounds fun! I love the Harry Potter books  :) Haha, that is great! Kids just assume the teachers don't know what they are saying. I'd love to see a teenager try to use sarcasm on me thinking I wouldn't give it back to them.

I'm glad to hear you're happy with things after 2 months! Today is my 6 week mark exactly and I am sooo glad I did this surgery!  :)

Katie
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on June 30, 2010, 10:42:45 PM
I am feeling much better.  I haven't had much problems today with the flu, just some lingering dizziness which is now all but gone. :)  It's a good thing because we have lip sync practice tonight and must be able to dance, as much as my knee allows. :)  It's a huge event, one of the 2 big events of the summer, so my floor has got to figure out some dance moves for tomorrow!   :o  Hmm...we'll see how this goes...

I'm also glad I did the surgery.  Recovery has been rough, but already I can tell a big difference in how my knee moves and its strength/reliability.  I'm not afraid of it dislocating/subluxating anymore.   ;D  I don't look forward to having the second leg done, but it'll probably happen within a few years.  At least I know what I'm up against!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 01, 2010, 05:42:38 AM
2 Months Post Op!

Wow I can't believe it's been 2 whole months!  My knee is doing pretty good, and I'm happy with how recovery is going.  I am now seeing the big picture of this surgery, and I can say with 100% certainty that I do NOT regret anything about my knee.  I am of course still having issues with my knee, but I can see how much better it is, and how much stronger and more reliable it will be.  The recovery is still slow, but now I feel like I can handle the slowness.  A few weeks ago this wasn't the case, and the recovery was driving me nuts because I was still unable to do so much.  But now I can see how far I have progressed, and that I will make a full recovery.

On another note-during lip sync practice tonight I did some twisting/turning and my knee kinda rebelled. :)  It's sore now, but nothing bad has happened other than just moving it a bit to quickly.  I'm much more careful with the dance moves I'm doing.  Heck, I'm just happy I can do some dancing. :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on July 01, 2010, 04:03:44 PM
Congratulations!! I am soooo happy for you! You've definitely come a far way and are an inspiration to me- it amazes me all the things you've done while recovering- keep it up- you're doing awesome =)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on July 02, 2010, 12:34:23 AM
I second cupcake!! I'm at that point where I'm crossing over from the recovery driving me nuts and being so grateful that I did it. It is so awesome that you are even semi-well enough to dance a little! I love dancing and hope I can do a little dancing soon too :) Keep doing awesome! I look forward to seeing how well you are progressing, it gives me something to hope and strive for!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 02, 2010, 01:29:15 PM
Aw thanks!  You two have made my Friday morning happy!  And I kinda stayed up until 2 am talking with my coworkers...so I needed something good to get me going!   :)

I survived the lip sync contest, although I was sore and swollen afterwards.  I was also one of the MCs, so I had to get up on stage in between acts, which also didn't make my knee too happy.  Right now, stairs don't bother me too much.  But going up and down stairs a dozen times and dancing and hurrying while doing all this made my whole leg hurt!  But after some ice and a short night's sleep, I feel much better.  :D

Oh, and the dancing wasn't too intricate-just dancing along to lyrics and such.  But I'm really happy I could do it.  I found out last night that my boss was questioning one of the other employees, wondering how I could do it.  But yet she never raised a concern with me.  I hope I surprised her last night!   ;D

-Jen

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 05, 2010, 05:37:05 PM
Hope everyone had a good weekend!  I got to enjoy a few days off, in preparation for the next 12 (!!!) days of constant working-no days off.   :o  It'll be a very long couple weeks, and in the middle is a 2 day trip to St. Louis that'll be jammed packed full of activities.

I have discovered something interesting about my knee.  I've been working to overcome some tightness beneath my patella, or so I thought it was tightness.  However, I figured out this weekend that the "tightness" is actually numbness.  I knew the skin/surface of that area was numb since the surgery, but I think it's also numb deeper down. I don't have problems bending it or moving it, so I realized that it wasn't tightness.  Kind of frustrating to know that my knee will always feel like this, but as it doesn't hurt or cause problems, I supposed it'll be ok.  It just feels weird!  I also HATE kneeling on my knee because it's numb and I can't tell if it hurts or not.  So I shall wait to kneel more until I talk to the OS at the end of the month. 

On a happy note-my swelling is down a WHOLE lot.  My knee looks pretty darn normal!  That's exciting!  My Mom was surprised when I went home this weekend and saw it-she could see my "knee parts." :)  I do think I can feel one of the screws, but on the x-ray taken Day 1 Post-op, it looks like that one wasn't as counter-sunk as the others.  It's also right under my scar, so it could just be a lump of scar tissue.  Another thing I'll talk to the OS about.

So on the trip to St. Louis the program is going to Six Flags.  I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to go on the awesome roller coasters and thrill rides, but I'll call the doc tomorrow to be sure.  I'm pretty bummed that I probably can't do all the rides though...ugh! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 07, 2010, 04:02:01 AM
Today wasn't a very good day.   :(  My knee was achy and painful all day long...grr!  And lots of scar tissue still breaking up.  I think the main problem is the humidity and it's making my poor knee hurt!  I'm too young to "feel the weather in my bones!"   ;) 

Also, I still have a bit of resistance in the back of my knee when bending it.  I can get to 130, but then I have a lot of pain in the back of my leg.  Anyone know why?  Is it just swelling or something else?  It's frustrating me a bit, but I still am happy that my ROM is pretty darn good. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 08, 2010, 05:54:01 AM
I went for a bike ride this morning, which was awesome!  I love to ride my bike and I'm happy to be back on it without any problems!  I rode all over campus and the surrounding blocks, which is all relatively flat.  I'm hoping to get up early every morning and go for a short ride.  I only went for about 20 mins today, but I rode fast and hard.   :)  I don't like riding slow...anyways my buns were burning and my legs felt great!  I'm looking forward to riding again in the morning.  Ahh...normalcy is returning slowly. 

My achyness is better, although I still think it's because of swelling from the humidity...which is still around.  Ick!  But lots of ice today made my knee happier.  I still have bruising along the sides of my knee and behind it.  Do ya'll think this is normal?  I think part of it is from sleeping on my side, and part is probably from bending because it hurts in the back when I bend really far (125+ degrees).  I normally bruise easily, and with all my knee has gone through in the past couple of months, bruising doesn't worry me much.  I'm just wondering when it might go away. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on July 08, 2010, 01:49:05 PM
Even though I haven't posted much, I've been following your updates. Awesome to hear that you are back on your bike and able to get a good ride/workout. Super sweet! Keep on keepin on :-)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 08, 2010, 05:35:24 PM
 glad to hear that you were able to get on your bike and ride for a while! :)

humidity and rain = bleh

have a good day
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 09, 2010, 01:56:56 PM
Yeah, being back on the bike is great. :)  It's making me feel much more normal and happy that I could really exercise.  I'm also able to run a tidbit...mainly just dashing down the hall to catch a student.  ;)  It's not pretty but now that I can do it I can work on it.  I was never a runner beforehand though, so I won't be training for any marathons or races. 

The humidity is starting to get better, but it is just a fact of life in the summer.  We're headed on a trip to St. Louis bright and early tomorrow, which will test me physically and mentally.  But we have lots of fun stuff planned, so it should be a good weekend if I can keep up!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 10, 2010, 06:13:21 AM
Tomorrow is the trip to St. Louis, and I'm pretty excited!  It'll be a trying 3 days, and I'm sure I'll be pushing my limits with my knee.  But I also am sure all will be fine.  I've been forgetting about my knee a lot more often the past day or so, which is great!  I feel so much more normal!  Tonight we had Karaoke night and I stood for most of 2 hours, danced a bit, and ran around a bit trying to keep the kids excited.  I spent very little time tonight focused on my knee.

I was super sore last night after sitting and watching a hypnotist for 2 hours.  I learned my lesson that I must still keep my leg moving when sitting in cramped quarters for a few hours.   :)  It took a few mins before I could walk normally because it was STIFF!!  So tomorrow on the 5 hour bus ride, you can bet I'll be stretching!

I've determined I have an awesome job-karaoke, hypnotist, trip to St. Louis including 6 flags, the Zoo, the Mark Twain caves, the Science Museum...and random other things.  This job has been a blessing through and through.  I accepted the position previous to knowing I needed surgery.  And then it started 6 weeks Post-op when I was finally getting off crutches.  I'm so thankful that it's worked out so beautifully!   :D

I need to be up in 5 hours.  I must go to bed.   :-\

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 12, 2010, 08:10:59 PM
wooooo! hope that you have a blast!

and it is amazing how things fell into place and allowed you to do the job too :)

have a fun trip
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 13, 2010, 12:15:02 AM
Well, I'm back and I made it through the weekend!† So glad to be off the bus though!† A 6+ hour ride is not my idea of fun...

My knee held up pretty well throughout the weekend, considering I walked a lot (6 flags, St. Louis Zoo, Science Museum, the Arch, and a college tour).† Yesterday wasn't a happy day, as it hurt enough for me to take tylenol.† I usually ignore the pain or ice/massage it until it feels better, but that wasn't working out yesterday.† Being nasty hot didn't help either.

I'm a little worried about one of my screws.† There's a noticeable lump at the top of the Fulkerson site, and I think it might be one of the screws.† I don't know if something's wrong with it, but it doesn't quite feel right.† The x-ray after the surgery makes it look like that one isn't as level with the bone as the others, so it might just be the way it is.† The lump is larger in the last week or so, but that might just be the swelling going down.† I don't know!† Grr!† It's also directly under the scar, so I thought it might just be a lump or scar tissue.† It hurts every now and then, but not horribly bad or anything.† Ice usually will make it stop hurting.† I just really don't want to have the screws removed now but I'm worried there might be something wrong.† I have an appt in 2 weeks, so I'll have to wait until then.† I'm not a patient person and I just want to know if something is wrong or not.

Other than that, my knee is doing great.† I barely iced this weekend and was pretty active, but the swelling is still down.†

Oh-so anything I sit for a long time (30+ minutes) and don't move my leg, but knee is pretty achy upon getting up.† A stretch and a few careful steps make it go away, but I was wondering how long this will go on for.† If I sit for a long time...more than an hour or 2, and don't move much...ugh it hurts!† I'm guessing this is pretty normal but I was just curious when people started to see that going away.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 13, 2010, 06:39:16 AM
glad to hear that you had a good weekend!
the ride doesnt sound fun though

the stiffness and pain from sitting for a while, when i had the MPFLr and LR in 08 the pain from sitting hadnt left yet, that may be because my knee was still messed up, or it may be normal, but i know that during class i would have to get up during every class just to move unless i wanted to have a stiff and painful knee when the bell rang, that is prob not what you wanted to hear though.

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 13, 2010, 10:21:22 PM
Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but it's good to know.   :)  The stiffness is mainly in the MPFL site, so I know it's not something bad.  My OS said pain there is ok, but pain at the Fulkerson site is not.  I figured I'd be stuck with it for awhile though.  Especially during the hot, humid summer months.  I also get some nice, loud pops, which I think is still scar tissue.  That grosses me out, but it rarely causes pain.  One pop and it's fine...looking forward to the day I don't have to hear any more popping though. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on July 13, 2010, 11:22:24 PM
Ugh, I get these snaps that my PT said might be my IT band snapping? Those hurt but I don't think there's anything wrong..everything's just all tight. Grrrr...I can't wait until I can wake up and the first thought is not about how much pain I'm in!! Do you think our knees will ever be normal??? I would say normal again but for people who have had their knees popped out....I don't think they ever were normal lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 14, 2010, 01:45:37 PM
I think we'll be normal again, it'll just take time.  And we aren't the most patient people in the world, right?  :)  The limitations and pain are frustrating, but I can see them diminishing over time, which is encouraging.  And I try to celebrate each little accomplishment.   ;D  I just think how blessed I am to be able to have surgery to fix the problems, and have people who have helped each step along the way. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 14, 2010, 04:14:34 PM
i agree with Jen, it is frustrating, but celebrate the little things. it will take time and hard work, but at least it is a problem that surgery can fix.

i had been volunteering at a PT clinic before this surgery (the one i went to before, and wanted to go back to), and have seen some cases that make me want to cry. there are little kids that have already suffered enough for more than a lifetime, and surgery either is experimental and could possibly kill them, or they are most likely not going to live to be 20-25, and there is very little that can be done. i look at Payton Thorton (he has epidermolysis bullosa, or EB. It affects about 20 out of 1 million births, but the most severe form, recessive dystrophic EB, which is the kind Payton was born with, occurs about twice in 1 million births, yet he is still spunky and has hope, he is going to have a transplant, but while there will undergo chemo, which will almose kill him, he will also spend months in isolation because his immune system will have to be almost destroyed to take the transplant) and realize that what i am dealing with isnt anywhere close to what this four year old little boy has already been through. he is going to have surgery, but it is going to almost kill him

this will pass, eventually our knees will be normal, it is just going to take time
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 14, 2010, 10:11:12 PM
That makes me sad, but is encouraging too.  At my job, during training week, we stopped at a Y camp for some training exercises.  A whole camp of kids (100+) were there who had cancer, and they were running around, playing dodgeball, laughing and having tons of fun.  It certainly made me realize how lucky I am.  And how thankful I am.

On another note...it's hot!  Temps in the 90s and heat index was at 113.  Ugh!  Walking around campus feels like swimming, with all the humidity.  Funny thing-I love it!  After living in Mexico for a semester, I love really hot weather.  I am probably the only one here who does though.  :)  It is almost to humid to breath outdoors, and my poor glasses fog up going outside.  Tonight my girls will be sleeping in my dorm room, since only staff have AC.  Lucky them! 

My knee has recovered from the weekend, and is feeling great.  The MPFL site was giving me a good deal of pain this weekend, but I think the bus ride and such was probably the culprit, as it feels better again.  Yay!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 15, 2010, 04:35:34 AM
i hear you about the heat! it was 97.4 with an 89% humidity in the shade.

glad to hear that your knee has recovered from the weekend excursion! :)

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: psych_kt on July 15, 2010, 05:43:48 AM
Hey Jen!

I'm happy to hear your knee survived the busy weekend!

I have a question for you. At about 8 weeks I remember you saying you were already hitting 130 degrees ROM. Today (Wednesday) was officially 8 weeks for me. I just switched PTs (I had a more conservative one but she went on vacation, now I have one that is a lot more geared toward getting me better) and my new PT is shocked at how tight my knee still is! I only hit 117 at PT Tuesday, and that was after A LOT of stretching it. What did you do to get your ROM back so quickly? Any stretches and/or tips would be helpful!

You have been such an inspiration to me and have helped me to persevere through all of this!

Katie
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 15, 2010, 03:22:48 PM
I can't say that I did anything in particular, just heel slides on a flat surface and wall slides (while laying on my back).  Using the bike helped to loosen my knee, I believe.  I think I was just lucky with the ROM and haven't had major issues with it from the start.  In the hospital, the day of the surgery, I had my knee bending to 90 in the CPM.  I suppose that helped.  But when it did feel tight, I massaged it a lot to loosen the muscles and then did the exercises.  Someone recommended that taking a nice, hot bath them doing the exercises was helpful because the muscles were relaxed.

I hope that's helpful!  By the way, congrats on the 8 week mark! 

Mellophone-ugh to the heat!  I'm glad today is going to be a bit better!  I had 2 of my girls sleep in my room last night because of the heat.  It was nasty hot in the dorm. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 15, 2010, 10:56:37 PM
glad that the heat is getting better for you, it was 101.3 in the shade when i was outside last. the humidity is down some, but we really need rain, our gardens are drying up :( even though we have been watering them

Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 16, 2010, 05:17:13 AM
I forgot to mention yesterday-I played raquetball!!  Well, I don't actually know how to play, but I hit the ball, walked/ran around the court, etc.  I worked up a nice sweat and felt pretty active.  I was a bit afraid of the ball hitting my leg where the Fulkerson was, but that didn't happen. It was super fun!!  And my knee had no problem with it.

On a sad note- another camp here on campus went swimming at the aquatic center last night.  2 of their kids died, found at the bottom of the pool.  Even though they weren't with our group, it was a shock.  The staff of my group could only imagine what their staff members are going through, and the lifeguards too.  It's a close knit community, so some of our teachers and staff were a part of that camp.  Nobody really knows what happened yet.  Senseless tragedy!  We're scheduled to go to the aquatic center on Monday, and all of us are a bit nervous.  Lots of kids don't even want to go.  And we have no clue when the pool will even open again.  It was a sad day on campus...   :-[

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 20, 2010, 01:39:25 PM
Hello everyone!

Not a whole lot of new stuff to report, although I may have overdone it a bit over the weekend.  I had 2 visitors to campus over the weekend, and both wanted to go on a long walk around campus.  Then my mom and sister and I went to the farmer's market, which is HUGE!  I loved it!  Mom and I plan to go back soon.  But all that involved a LOT of walking and driving, so my knee was a little achy. 

Today should be interesting because I will be wearing flip flops all day.  Usually I wear tennis shoes, because the extra support makes my knee happy.  But it's spirit week, so I'm wearing some interesting outfits. :) I'm a fortune teller today (ends in -er day)!  It's the last week of my job, and I'm kind of bummed because I'll missed these silly kids! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 22, 2010, 05:03:12 AM
I fell today, first time since surgery, on my knees.   :-[  Did I panic a bit?  Oh yeah!  But it ended up ok, so far.  We'll see in the morning.  I accidentally tripped over a student's foot and went down.  I think I must have twisted a bit as I fell and I ended up landing nearly all of my weight on my good knee.  I did hit the side of my surgery knee though, and of course it hurt a bit.  Not too much though!   :)  I freaked out because I was afraid it would hurt a lot, and the poor student felt horrible.  I had to reassure him that it was alright and I was ok.  I'm hoping that come morning I won't be swollen, sore, or achy. 

On another note, I keep forgetting that I can't squat down all the way yet.  I end up sitting on the floor often, and the last few days I've tried to squat down normally, or even kneel without thinking.  I don't want to kneel because the top of my kneecap is numb and I can't feel what I am kneeling on.  And I'm paranoid it'll hurt the Fulkerson site...although that fear is diminishing as time goes on.  When I do try to squat down all the way, it hasn't been hurting as much now, which is good.  I just need to pay attention!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 23, 2010, 01:37:29 PM
I have had no residual pain or swelling from my fall the other day, which is great!  I'm still afraid of falling down though...I suppose that's normal.  I just cringe at the idea of falling on the Fulkerson site, and suspect if I did that, it would HURT!  Let hope I don't have to experience that, right? :)

Other than that, not a whole lot to report. Tomorrow is the last day of my job, so I'll have lots of rest time again.  I suspect I'll be bored though...hmm...and I'm really sad to be leaving these kids!  I think I'll be crying a lot today and tomorrow.  :( 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 27, 2010, 11:11:28 PM
I had my 3 month appointment today, and it went pretty well.  Other than the waiting 2 AND A HALF HOURS to see the doctor!  I was NOT happy about that!  But the doctor said I am healing beautifully, which was nice to hear.  I also got a ask a bunch of questions.  He is pleased with my ROM, and not at all worried that I have pain when bending beyond 125.  He said it will eventually go away, as it's part of the healing process.  I also don't need to push through the pain because it will get better as I continue to heal.  He also told me what I thought was bruising is actually permanent skin discoloration, and it's kind of gross.  It'll be with me for life though...Oh well.  Worth it to have a working knee.

He also told me that my right knee (non surgical) tracks badly, but the ligament is in tact so I shouldn't have problems with it, unless the ligament is compromised.

Oh, I will be going back to physical therapy, just to work on strength.  He is happy with how things are going, but it's still weak.  So I'm gonna work on getting big muscles now! :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 28, 2010, 04:29:39 AM
thats great news Jen! other than the wait, but YAY!!!!!!!! so glad to hear that you are doing well
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 28, 2010, 10:59:04 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty happy to get a good report!  I start PT again tomorrow, and it'll be nice to have someone to ask all my questions to again.  I'm actually switching PT places, for a few reasons.  I think my last place was a bit too conservative and I need to be pushed a bit harder.  Also, I never had 1 PT.  I usually saw 2-3 people during my visit, and towards the end my old PT (the main one) would disappear and I wouldn't see him again at the appointment.  I'd rather have someone who stayed with me, especially as I work on strengthening and such.  And, to be frank, the facilities at my new place is brand new and nice!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 29, 2010, 03:38:46 PM
I had my PT this morning, for the first time in a while. I really like the new place, and I think I'll progress well with it!  My new PT is really nice, and he asked tons and tons of questions.  He told me right off that he's only seen this operation 1-2 times in his 8 years as a PT, but that doesn't worry me.  He KNEW a lot about it and focused most of the questions and exercises on my patellar issues.  Although he doesn't see this operation much, he knows a lot about patellar issues, which is good to know.  I think I'm in good hands!

He did a lot of measurements: swelling, muscle strength, gait evaluation, ROM, etc, and he seemed pretty pleased with everything.  He said I've been doing a good job with my home exercises, and I'm doing very well with recovery.   ;D  He measured the ROM on my right leg (non-surgical) and was surprised to see how bend-y I am.  I got to 148 on my good knee.  Then he measured my surgical knee and I got to 135.   :)  So he was pleased by that!

He gave me just a few new exercises to do at home, and told me that we're going to focus mainly on standing up strengthening exercises, since I'm doing so well with the laying down ones (SRLs, etc).  I'm looking forward to Monday and more PT!

-Jen

PS: No increase in pain post PT.  Yay!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 30, 2010, 12:49:35 AM
awesome! glad that you like the new place, and it must be really good to have someone that knows a lot about patellar issues. even better that there was no pain post PT!! :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 30, 2010, 02:34:25 AM
Yes, I was super happy to not be in pain post-PT.  I suspect as we add more, especially with weights, that may change.  But hey, if my muscles are sore, at least I know they are there!  ;)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 30, 2010, 03:27:38 AM
very true, if they are sore then at least they are working and are there :)

when does college start back?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 30, 2010, 03:42:33 AM
I actually won't go back to my college campus in the fall (which would start around August 20th).  I'm headed to Washington DC for an internship program!  I'm super excited!!!  I have to be there on September 1st, although Mom and I are taking the Amtrak there a few days early.  I've never been on the trains, so I'm really looking forward to it!  And to some Mom time.  We are like the Gilmore Girls (if you've ever seen that show).   :)

When do you have to be back at school?

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 31, 2010, 03:56:27 PM
thats really cool! and awesome that you will get some mom time as well. ihave to be back at school on august 9th
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 31, 2010, 06:01:26 PM
Oh man, that is soon!  Do you think you're going to be able to handle the increased activity well?  My high school was pretty big and 4 stories, so I shudder thinking about having to return to that!  Ick!  There was an elevator, but only one so if you were on the opposite side of the building, it wasn't much help.  ;)  I hope it goes well for you!

Today I've been busy finishing the clean out of my closet and reorganizing it, then repacking it.  Ugh.  Probably carried a bit to much weight, but my knee is feeling ok.  I do have some nice heavy bags and such for Dad to carry downstairs when he gets home.  He's been on a weeklong bike ride across Iowa, called RAGBRAI.  I personally think he's crazy for riding his bike across the state, but I'm kind of jealous I could do some of it with him!   :-\  Perhaps next year...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on July 31, 2010, 08:53:43 PM
im not sure how i will handle the increased activity. my school is 3 stories, built on a hill, with the lunch room and an annex seperated by a hill and stairs, and the library isnt connected either, and the band room is on the other side of the teacher parking lot and football field. we are moving into a new building, and in the plans it looked like it had a lot of stairs, and i think only 1 elevator (but im scared of elevators too). it is going to be a challenge, especially since they wont let anyone in there until the 8th to see the building. so i have no clue where my classes are, but i do know that i am parking by the band room, like 10 feet away from the highway, so ill have to walk around the track to get to the main building every morning.

cleaning out the closet doesnt sound like fun... lol. but what your dad is doing sounds like it would be a blast!!!! hopefully you will be able to do some of that with him next year!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on July 31, 2010, 09:15:11 PM
That sounds like it'll be a lot of fun to deal with...ugh.  I hope it all turns out ok!  It'll be a lot of walking, but hopefully people don't jostle you around too much.  I hope you don't spend the whole day going from 1st floor to 3rd floor and back!  Being in a new building will be neat though!

Cleaning out the closet is NOT fun.  But it is now clean and organized and happy.  And Dad finished the bike ride!  He dipped his tires into the Missouri river on Sunday and today dipped them into the Mississippi (a tradition for the bike ride).  The event stayed overnight in my hometown last year, and it was awesome!  10,000+ bike riders invading the town!  And the food vendors had amazing food. :)  It's pretty neat overall.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 01, 2010, 12:23:45 AM
haha, yeah it will. and my locker is on the third floor, so im going to be up there, even if i dont have a class up there. my dr told me to use crutches for the first few days, even though i havent been using them. my graduating class alone has about 400 kids, and the classes below me are even bigger!

im cleaning out my closet now too, lol it is less fun than imagined

the bike ride sounds AWESOME!! how many times has your dad done it? it would be cool if yall could do part of/all of it together next year if he plans to do it again.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 01, 2010, 02:51:37 AM
My high school was a bit smaller, at about 1,600 students, but I get why crutches would be a good idea.  Keeps people away!  I used a cane at my job to keep the high schoolers from jostling me too much.  Especially in the cafeteria!

This is my Dad's first year doing it!  Last year he rode a few days, but he wasn't prepared to do the whole thing.  This year he bought a new bike and started training soon after the snow disappeared!  He's ridden his bike to a neighboring town (about 20 miles away) a few times a week.  Around where we live there are LOTS of big hills, so it was good training.  The route they had this year wasn't too tough, but still 400+ miles of hilly farmland.  I can guarantee you I won't do it all next year, but it would be fun to ride a day, or part of one. 

Did you find anything interesting in your closet?  I had fun going through a bunch of old things.   :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 01, 2010, 05:25:58 AM
it does sound like it would be fun to do part of, hopefully you will be able to make that happen!

lol yeah i did manage to find a few cool things, one of my tie-dye shirts that i thought i had lost (its lime green! and i live in tie-dye) and my hinged knee brace with patellar support and straps (hopefully i wont need it again), now i wish i could find my bed lol, because thats where my closet went, so for tonight im going to sleep in the living room floor lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 01, 2010, 02:07:22 PM
Closets are always an interesting thing to clean out.  Glad you found your shirt!  I found my old hinged brace with the patellar support too!  I don't even know what to do with it because it wasn't effective when I had it, and now the patellar support could cause some problems.  I am hoping I don't need it but I'll probably keep it anyways. 

Hope the floor was comfortable!  I avoided setting much on my bed because I didn't want to sleep anywhere else (my bed is comfy), but my floor had the tiniest pathway through it for me and the dogs to walk. Now almost everything is cleaned up.  I just need help hauling out stuff to donate and recycle.   :)  I found lots of old notebooks, agendas, and assignments from high school....and middle school.   :-\ 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 01, 2010, 05:02:43 PM
Closets are always an interesting thing to clean out. Glad you found your shirt! I found my old hinged brace with the patellar support too! I don't even know what to do with it because it wasn't effective when I had it, and now the patellar support could cause some problems. I am hoping I don't need it but I'll probably keep it anyways.

Hope the floor was comfortable! I avoided setting much on my bed because I didn't want to sleep anywhere else (my bed is comfy), but my floor had the tiniest pathway through it for me and the dogs to walk. Now almost everything is cleaned up. I just need help hauling out stuff to donate and recycle. :) I found lots of old notebooks, agendas, and assignments from high school....and middle school. :-\

-Jen

yes they are! and same here with the brace, it didnt help with keeping the patella in place before, but it did help with lateral stabilazation, so if i need a brace after this surgery, it would most likely not be this same one, but hopefully there will not be a need for a brace!

lol the floor wasnt too bad, i went to the camper and pulled one of the mattresses off, i thought about the camper after i had already layed down, but was glad to get up and go get it so i had something to sleep on other than the floor, but this morning my mom stepped on my glasses :( the lens almost came out, and it has 2 cracks in it near the screw and a new scratch

STUFF FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL? lol does that seem like forever ago?

when is your next PT appt?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 01, 2010, 05:14:13 PM
Yes, middle school does seem like forever ago!  Technically only 7 years ago...but it seems like much longer.  I've cleaned out my closet and moved houses since then, but I apparently don't look to close at what I'm keeping.  Or I'm a packrat...but now all that stuff is in the recycling bin. :) 

Glad you found something comfortable to sleep on!  But bummer Mom broke the glasses.  My lens has popped out a few times, but luckily it hasn't cracked.  I don't want to get new glasses...but I probably should.  I bought mine online really cheap almost 2 years ago, and they are kind of scratched now.  :(  I hate choosing new glasses! 

My next PT appointment is on Tuesday.  My last one was just a diagnostic appointment, so he just measured and did some simple exercises.  It'll be interesting to see how this next one goes. I have a month before I move to DC, so I hope to be at the point where I can get into a gym and do my strengthening on my own.  I won't see my OS until December or January!  I hope all goes well!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 02, 2010, 03:05:37 AM
ditto on the packrat... i wish there was a recycling center closer (the closest one is about 25-30 miles away)

yeah, but im going to try contacts again soon, and we got the lens back in (if i dont have glasses on then everything a foot or more away is blurry and i am legally not allowed to drive. even with glasses i cant see the road signs far away) these glasses i let my great aunt choose, she works at an eye clinic and saw these (they are purple, but the legs can be turned and are light teal on the other side) i LOVE them

ah, have fun at PT. but wow, not going to the os until December or January!! thats a long time away! hope you are up to it!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 02, 2010, 04:24:29 AM
We have curbside recycling, which is amazing.  Just throw everything in the recycling bin (not even sorted), set it out on garbage day, and away it goes.  I love my town for that.  Heck, it is illegal for businesses to throw away cardboard and paper.  Not sure how they monitor this, but I think out landfill is filling up to quickly...thus the law.

Anyways, I feel ya with the glasses.  I can't drive without mine either, and at about 1.5 feet I start to get blurry.  I don't like contacts much though, so I am happy with glasses.   ;)  Four eyes, that's me!

Ugh...my knee HURTS today!  I am not happy!  I wore some dress shoes (flats, with the slightest wedged heel...kinda like the sole of a sneaker) and just going to the grocery store killed my knee.  They are not very bendable, so I couldn't walk right in them.  And now my knee is hurting quite a bit.  I'm gonna take some ibuprofen and go to bed.  I have no clue how I'm going to find dress shoes I can wear all semester while interning in DC...

And I have no choice about seeing the OS until then.  I won't be back in the state until the end of December...I think it'll be ok though.  Apart from today I've been feeling pretty great with my knee!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 02, 2010, 04:34:20 AM
that sounds awesome!

wooo! glasses and a bum knee lol

:( im really sorry that your knee hurts. good luck finding dress shoes :-/ , thats going to be a challenge! a few days ago i tried to put my boots on (riding, like horse riding, with about an inch and a half heel) and i had to take te brace off to get them on, and within 5 mins my knee was hurting more, so i know excatly what you mean, and it isnt pleasant at all

wow, sorry you have no chioce about seeing the OS until December. good luck, and hopefully your knee will feel better in the morning!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 02, 2010, 04:40:15 AM
I think it'll feel alright in the morning.  I sleep on my stomach, so my legs are straight all night.  So I don't wake up achy or sore usually.  I was so happy when I could finally ditch the brace at night and sleep on my stomach.  I think the worst part about the surgery was being forced to sleep on my back with my leg elevated on pillows.  That is honestly the part I remember absolutely hating because it was uncomfortable and painful, and I just can't sleep on my back!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 02, 2010, 01:56:59 PM
My knee feels much better this morning.   :)  I took ibuprofen before bed last night, and I slept well and woke up with a happy knee.  I also wore a compression sleeve to bed. The compression makes my knee feel better, and I was hoping it would help keep any swelling down.  It must've worked because I don't see any extra swelling and my knee doesn't hurt!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 02, 2010, 02:41:17 PM
YAY! really glad to hear that you have a happy knee and were able to go to sleep! :) sleep is amazing!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 03, 2010, 04:05:41 AM
I have a nice happy knee again!  Yay!  All the pain from yesterday is gone!

I made a personal milestone today!  Ok, ya'll are gonna think I'm silly, but I hung my hammock up today and laid in it for a long time today.  Now, I'm talking about a real Mexican hammock, that I brought back from studying abroad, not the American hammocks that sit on stands in the backyard.   ;)  There's a big difference!  I was happy to find myself comfortable in it, and I could even get out of it easily.  That is sometimes an issue.  I am definitely taking a nap in it tomorrow, so long as it isn't too hot outside!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 03, 2010, 06:34:56 PM
I had PT again today, and it went pretty well.  The therapist introduced several new exercises, as well as some stretches.  Let me tell you...I don't like those stretches!  :-\  One was on my stomach, just bending my leg and lifting it.  It stretched my thigh out.  Then he had me do one while hanging my leg off the table that REALLY stretched out my tight.  It hurt!  But in the good-muscles-are-stretching way.  Then he had me do some kneeling stuff.  I don't like to kneel, although it doesn't hurt at all.  I just don't like the thought of kneeling on screws and the osteotomy site.   ;)  It's all in my head!  Anyways, he had me kneel on a pillow, on my hands and knees.  Then he had me try to sit back on my legs.  I obviously can't get all the way down on my legs yet, but I got pretty close and it stretched my muscles too.  I'm guessing my poor muscles are pretty tight!   :)

Then he had me do wall slides in front of a mirror, to show how I favor my surgical knee.  Oopsie!  Then he had me pull myself around on a wheeled stool, as my fun exercise.  It was hard! 

The only thing that hurt was the stretching stuff, which is to be expected.  I'll be working on those a lot at home to loosen myself up!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 03, 2010, 07:07:50 PM
the hammock sounds nice! (is it the type that you hang on 2 trees?)

wooo! stretching lol. kneeling doesnt sound too great though... :-/

it sounds like you are in good hands!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 03, 2010, 07:13:24 PM
Yup, that kind of hammock.   ;)  Dad hung up hooks on the front porch, so I could lounge in the shade nicely.  I will go out there soon and rest, I think.  I missed my hammock!

The kneeling was nerve wracking, but overall good.  At least now I know I can do it without problem.  Not that I really want to.  Who needs to kneel?

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 03, 2010, 07:21:16 PM
THOSE ARE THE AMAZING ONES! We had one down at the river, and i would take naps in it. Laying in the hammock and watching the fire was always fun too!

Burst your bubble, but i need to kneel, lol i have to work on my car and get on the concrete floor to do it, so im nervous about that. You might not need to kneel though lol
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 03, 2010, 07:22:13 PM
So i guess it isnt too hot today?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 03, 2010, 07:38:19 PM
Yeah, I need to kneel too...I drop my phone under my bed like every other day.  And kneeling is the easiest way to get it back.  But I still don't like to do it, especially on a hard surface.  But since it doesn't hurt, I should get used to it, huh?  I'm happy that I can, because I know there are people who've had knee surgeries and haven't been able to kneel for a loooong time.  So I'm glad I can, and I just need to get used to being able to do it again!

It's a wee bit hot out....heat advisory...feels like 98.  But, to be fair, when I was in Mexico, it was like 107 in February.  Hot temps don't bother me too much, just the humidity!  And it doesn't seem to humid out.  :)  We'll see how it goes!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 03, 2010, 08:32:55 PM
indestructible phone? lol

and yeah, it isnt as bad when it is a dry heat, the humidity makes everything worse and yucky and even hotter
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 03, 2010, 09:18:06 PM
My phone may well be indestructible!  It's been dropped  probably hundreds of times, kicked, dropkicked, rained on, dropped in a puddle, sat on, folded up in a recliner, slept on while open, and who knows what else!  Sad thing...I've only had it for 9 months.  It's slick and heavy, so it falls a lot. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 03, 2010, 09:25:05 PM
Haha. Nice.

It sounds like my I670 from Nextel. It fell into the river, off my bike, was thrown, dropped, and everything else, and still managed to work and not break for several years.

WOOO for indestructible phones!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 04, 2010, 03:59:03 AM
I went shopping today, determined to find nice dress flats I can wear in DC.  I think I did it!  I found 2 pairs of flats, which are super comfy and make my knee feel fine.  One is a grannyish pair of Mary Janes.  They aren't stylish, but they are comfy and I can walk a long ways in them, I think.  The other is a CUTE pair of black flats that are also super comfy and have good support.  The best part-both pairs were on sale, 70% off, only $10 a pair!  Success!  I'll wear them around home the next few days to be sure they agree with my knee, but initial tests are positive!  Now just to find a pair of brown flats...

My knee is tired and a bit achy, after a fairly intense PT.  Icing now and feeling pretty good!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 04, 2010, 05:03:20 AM
Woooo! Congrats on finding some flats! :) That is awesome, and they were on sale too! Even better!

I hope that your knee feels better in the morning!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 05, 2010, 04:15:47 AM
Today wasn't my best knee day.  I drove a lot, and there's not much room to stretch my leg out while driving in that car.  So I was stiff, then I did lots of walking at the mall with my friend.  So my knee aches a lot today, but tomorrow will be a bum-around day, other than PT.  So hopefully it'll feel ok after some rest. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 05, 2010, 05:00:19 PM
I'm sorry that yesterday didnt make your knee too happy. However yay to the fact that today will be a lazy day other than PT :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 06, 2010, 03:01:29 AM
I had PT again today, and we added a new exercise- from the weight machines! :)  I haven't used any of the weight lifting machines yet, so that was exciting!  I used a machine that used my calves, kinda like doing a bicep curl, but with my legs.  It was hard, especially when he had me do it with just my left leg.   :-\  I could only do a few, with no additional weight.  But hey, at least I could do it!  I also did a new exercise with a yellow band.  Someone has to hold it, and I hook it behind my heel and pull my leg back.  Another calf exercise.  My quads are doing alright, but my calves are pretty weak.  I have lost a lot of calf muscle...  :(  Tiny skinny chicken leg! 

After PT I had a lazy day!  ;D  Had to rest after all the work yesterday!  I strung my hammock up and napped outside, as it was relatively cool- only in the 80s.  Tomorrow's gonna be the same, so I'm hoping for another nap outside.  It's so relaxing to rock gently in a hammock and fall asleep!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 07, 2010, 04:00:24 AM
Today was another lazy day...summer break and not working...gonna have a few of those! :)  However, my knee is feeling a lot better!  I was able to do the new (painful) stretch today and it felt a lot less painful.  My thigh is finally starting to stretch out.  Ahh...I'm going to be working hard on that stretch over the weekend.  Want to show some progress to the therapist on Tuesday!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 07, 2010, 04:55:17 PM
Have fun while you can! Glad that stretch is less painful! :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 07, 2010, 10:29:35 PM
Thanks!  I don't have much of my summer (the last summer.. dah dah dah...) so I'm going to enjoy it.  I'm pretty bored though and can't wait to start my adventure in DC. 

I think my knee is getting used to the new exercises and is accepting being back in PT.  The pain is pretty much gone again, which is great.  We'll see on Tuesday at PT if it flairs up again, but I'm hoping not!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 08, 2010, 05:04:20 AM
I had a nasty cracking noise in my knee earlier this evening.  I was going to sit down and my knee cracked loudly, seeming to come from the lateral side of my knee.   :-\  It didn't feel very nice, and my knee's been a bit sore since.  I'm hoping it feels alright in the morning. 

On another note, I think I'm finally seeing progress with my new thigh stretches from PT.  Don't get me wrong, they still HURT, but after I've done them, it feels really good.  I think I'm going to suffer through another set before I head to bed.  I can tell that the pain has lessened a bit since I learned it on Tuesday, but dang, I still have to force myself to finish a set of 5!   :(

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 08, 2010, 05:56:14 AM
OH NO! Thats not good at all!!! The only good thing is that you think it came from the lateral side of the knee rather than from the medial or front. But still, it doesnt seem like it would have been a good experience to have!

Im sorry that the stretches still hurt, what exactly are you doing? hopefully it will pay off and you will be able to show some progress on tuesday!!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 08, 2010, 03:19:45 PM
The stretch is when I lay on my back with my leg laying over the edge of my bed.  I take my right (non surgical) leg and hold it to my chest.  Then I pull my left leg back towards the bed as much as I can.  It really stretches my quads, which are pretty tight!  It's getting a little easier.

My knee feels alright after the cracking last night.  It wasn't the normal noise from a scar-tissue-pop, so I was a bit concerned.  However, all is well. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 08, 2010, 03:51:24 PM
Yay, really glad to hear that your knee feels okay after the cracking noise yesterday, but what do you think it was if it didnt sound like scar tissue breaking up?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 08, 2010, 04:04:57 PM
I don't know.  I suppose it probably was, since nothing feels different and there isn't any pain.  I haven't had pops for awhile in my knee, so maybe it was just one that was a long time coming?   :)  Who knows!  I'll only let myself worry if it ends up hurting more, and it hasn't. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 08, 2010, 04:19:43 PM
Glad there is no pain :)

Hakuna Matata!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 09, 2010, 02:12:06 AM
Today was a good day!  I'm feeling much more "normal," like I did before restarting PT. :)  I think with my new PT exercises, I've been a bit more swollen and in pain, which is understandable since I'm trying to master new movements.  I think I'm on the right path now, and doing a good job at gaining more strength.  Yay! I have 3 weeks before I leave for DC.  Although I do have a perscription for PT there, I'm hoping I can be taught an at home therapy, since I'll have access to a fitness facility in my apartment building.

On another note, Mom and I have planned our vacation to DC.  She's coming to stay for 3 days with me, and we have a great schedule, I think!  Mom is technically disabled, and cannot walk long distances.  So we have an easy 3 days planned that still has a lot of activities.  We managed to plan things by location so as to minimize walking distances, both for my knee and her legs.  I don't want to overdo it before starting my internship!  I can't wait to be there!!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 09, 2010, 10:15:07 PM
I found out today that I can wear my rainboots again, and they don't bother my knee at all!  How did I find this out?  Interesting story...we had major storms last night (I woke up at 2am and turned on the TV, expecting to see a tornado warning...it was scary).  Well, my town (and state basically) is pretty flooded enough already.  The added 4-6 inches of rain last night didn't help.  So I went down to the basement this morning to do laundry...to find and inch of water between me and the washer and dryer, which is luckily elevated on a concrete slab.  So everytime I went to do laundry today I've had to put on my boots, go down the rickety basement stairs, and wade through the water.  Ick!  We've had flooding before, so all of our stuff is in totes or up on wooden pallets, but it's not fun to have to wear boots to do laundry!

My PT exercises are a lot easier now and not near as painful.   :D  I hope I get new ones tomorrow afternoon, or at least add some weight to some.  I love being able to see the improvements I've made!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 10, 2010, 09:54:23 PM
Oooohhhhh my muscles HURT!  :)  Don't worry, nothing's wrong.  PT was a LOT of weight lifting and such today.  My legs feel so tired and achy!  I suspect tomorrow I'll be sore, but it kinda feels great to have achy muscles!  That means I'm building up my poor muscles! 

I did some work on the leg press machine today, two legged and one legged, plus to some calf lifts on it.  I also used the calf-curl machine again, with more weight!  I couldn't do it with one leg, but I used 2 to lift, then just my left leg to lower it.  Then I spent probably 10 minutes on the treadmill.  He had me walking backwards, uphill!  It wasn't too hard!  I could even do it without holding on for awhile. 

My PT measured my ROM while I was kneeling on my knees, sitting back on my legs.  It didn't really hurt, and I got to 140!   ;D

So overall, today was a good day!

Oh, and my PT also determined that my left tibia is longer than my right.  Odd, but they fitted me with a wedge thing in my shoe to see if that helps with anything.  In all honesty, it just kinda messes up my gait.  But I suppose I'll get used to it and hopefully it'll help with my gait overall!  It feels very odd right now though...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 10, 2010, 11:48:09 PM
Since there is nothing wrong, YAY FOR SORE MUSCLES!!!

You seem to be making excellent progress! Hopefully things will continue to get better!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 11, 2010, 01:16:47 AM
Thanks!  It is nice to be sore for a good thing.  Although my quads hurt so bad I couldn't nap.  I haven't slept well for a few nights mainly from the weather (horrible storms) and tonight looks like another bad night for the weather.  The humidity is insane here, so thunderstorms are coming like crazy.  One town had a heat index of 123 yesterday!  This is Iowa, that shouldn't happen!  Ours was only like 105-110 yesterday and today (only...ha).  Man am I glad to have AC! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 11, 2010, 02:40:39 AM
Haha sounds like yall are getting some of what was down south all summer! Its still here too! Lol, hope it cools of to a tolerable level up there, and the humidity comes down, also hope you have better luck sleeping tonight
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 11, 2010, 10:03:20 PM
You can keep your icky humidity and heat, ok?  And do you need any rain?   :)  We had another huge storm system last night, that dumped between 2.5-6 inches up river.  Sunday night we had a similar system, that dumped 6 inches of rain north of us.  So we have water in the basement again and the whole central part of Iowa is facing major flooding!  I'm hoping all the levees hold and that our water plant doesn't get compromised.  Oh, and more rain tomorrow...  :-[

My knee was surprisingly NOT sore this morning.  I expected it to hurt after doing so many new and intensive things at PT yesterday, but my legs feel pretty good.  I can even see a different in how I'm doing stairs.  Yay!  I go again to PT tomorrow, and will probably be exhausted afterwards.  But I'm ok with it when I can see differences! 

Oh, and the insert for my right shoe seems to be working out well.  I'm now pretty used to it, and it seems to be helping me walk better.  :)

Good day (other than the weather)!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 12, 2010, 01:20:00 AM
Haha some rain would be nice! I love the heat though, hate cold weather!!!

Yay, that is awesome!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 12, 2010, 07:11:22 PM
I had PT again today, and it was both good and bad.  I'll start with the bad, because I like to end on a good note.

The PT had me do some steps downs today, just to see how I'm doing.  He asked if it hurt, and it did.  So then he had me stop because he thought it was because of tightness in my hip flexor muscle.  The stretch that I was taught last week, that is hard and hurts, stretches that muscle.  I told him I didn't think I was gaining anything with it, so he had me do it.  Then he said that in 8 years of practice he's never seen anyone with muscles that tight.   :-[  Not a fun prize to win.  Even my good leg was pretty dang tight.  He told me that 10+ years of knee problems have likely caused it, and it may never get to the point that is normal.  Basically, I may have to do that stretch my whole life because I can never gain back the looseness.  Hmph!  Not the best news.

However, that said, he's still pretty pleased with my progress.  I leave for DC in about 2 weeks, so I asked him if I should start looking at PT clinics there.  He said that he doesn't think I'll need it necessarily.  He thinks that they can teach me the exercises and milestones I'll need to know. I'll also have access to a fitness facility in my apartment building.  So as long as I am faithful with my exercises, I may not need to go to PT there.  Considering I spent 1/2 the summer doing PT at home by myself and still made good progress, I think that I can continue it at home once I move.  And if I'm struggling, I can always find one there because I do have a prescription.   :)

Last night was a horrible night.  It is sooo hot that even with AC, my room was dreadfully hot.  I may sleep on the uncomfortable couch tonight.  I awoke several times, and of course if I wake at night I notice my knee isn't comfortable.  So my knee and heat kept me up....and the heat isn't relenting anytime soon.  Ugh!  It was so humid today that it felt like a hot steamy shower outside.  And that was at 9am.  I refuse to go outside now!  Ick!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 13, 2010, 11:32:38 PM
dang, that sure isnt a fun prize to win!
but hopefully the stretches will help some

it looks as if yall have taken some of the weather from the south, how do yall like it? its HOT and HUMID! haha, hopefully it will cool off some for everyone!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 14, 2010, 01:14:34 AM
You can keep your nasty weather!  Actually it's very normal for Iowa to feel like this in the summer.  But it doesn't usually last for like a week or two without end.  And the excessive rain isn't normal. 

My knee wasn't too happy today.  I had to get up at 4:45 am this morning (the horror!) and drove my grandparents 2 hrs to the airport then drove right back home.  My uncle is extremely ill and they flew out to see him today.  Been a rough 24 hours.  But things are looking alright, and it looks like he'll pull through.  Anyways, 3-4 hours straight of driving made my knee stiff!  So I'm fighting that today, but it does feel better now. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 14, 2010, 01:37:45 AM
wow, i didnt realize that Iowa had this kind of weather.

im really sorry to hear that your uncle is extremely ill, but you did say that things were looking better, right? so he should be able to pull through and recover, correct? i will be thinking about him and praying for his recovery.

ewww, stiff knee from driving, hopefully it will loosen up soon!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 14, 2010, 02:09:05 AM
Yeah, Iowa is pretty diverse.  We get winter weather of, oh say, 20 below zero.  Then summer heat index of above 100.  We have to be prepared for everything! 

Yup, I got word awhile ago that doctors are sure he'll pull through, although he'll be in the hospital for awhile.  So that's the good news of the day.  Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Hopefully my stretches will make my knee feel better!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 15, 2010, 01:31:34 AM
WOW! That is insane!

That is awesome! Glad that he will pull through! :) And maybe he wont have to be in the hospital for too long :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 15, 2010, 02:07:14 PM
Everything looks like it'll be alright in the end with my uncle, but he does have a long fight ahead of him.  I'm driving the 2hrs to the airport again tonight to pick up my Grandparents.  I shall need to stock up on the caffeine because their flight doesn't get in until 10:30!

I almost feel down the stairs yesterday!  :-\  I was near the bottom and my right (good) heel got caught on the step and I starting falling forward.  Well, I think my body has developed a panic response to falling because I jerked back really hard to I would fall on my knee, and landing on my butt.  I did kinda hurt my good knee, but it feels alright now.  Dang I was scared though! Falling down stairs is like my worst nightmare right now!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 15, 2010, 11:02:54 PM
sounds like you are going to have a late night ahead of you! be careful!!!

:O WOAH! that would have been bad!!! nice save though! glad that you didnt fall, but are you more prone to fall up or down the stairs?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 15, 2010, 11:07:11 PM
The stairs have it out for me...I just fell up them and landed directly on the Fulkerson site. :(   Dad ran into me with pushed me down...grr!  I'm icing now but I can feel a bit of pain.  I have a lot of numbness in my knee, so I can't really tell where it's hurting.  But it does hurt some...not majorly though, which is good. 

I swear...I have the stairs in my house!  I've fallen up and down them numerous times before my surgery, and my Mom fell down them and broke her foot once.  They aren't steep or skinny, but the carpeting on them makes it easy to slip! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 15, 2010, 11:26:30 PM
 :o OH NO! Stairs are evil! Im really sorry you fell up them and landed on the fulkerson area, does it feel odd because part of your knee is numb, but it hurts too?

Sounds like your stairs have it in for everyone though!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 15, 2010, 11:39:36 PM
It does feel odd.  I know it should've probably hurt when I fell, but since the surface is numb it didn't.  However, it's been throbbing a bit and has a few shooting pains.  They aren't bad and I don't think I've done any damage.  But I am hoping it doesn't swell.  I'm not very happy with the stairs...or with Dad for that matter.  Jeeze!  Men need to be more careful!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 15, 2010, 11:50:37 PM
are you going to do anything preventative before it has a chance to swell? or deal with it if that does happen?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 16, 2010, 12:25:33 AM
I have my compression sleeve on it, which is making it feel better.  I also iced it and will again soon.  I have to drive to the airport tonight, so I'll probably take ibuprofen to keep swelling down/keep achiness away while in the car.  That's my game plan!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 17, 2010, 01:33:49 AM
My knee seems to be just a bit more swollen today, but not much. The drive to the airport and back last night was not fun, and my knee HURT after being cooped up in the car and the added achiness from the fall.   :-\  But I slept like a rock and it felt great when I woke up.  Some extra pain today, but again, not a whole lot.  Overall, I think I got lucky after falling on my knee on the stairs. 

My PT has added weights to my exercises, and I have some at home that I can use.  I can tell that they are really working the muscles, but it feels good!  And I'm able to stand on 1 foot for more than a minute on my bad leg, so tomorrow at PT we'll start some new balance exercises- fun! :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 17, 2010, 04:35:12 AM
Yeah, it seems as if you did manage to get lucky! :) Awesome! Are you glad to be adding weights to the excersices? Are you nervous about the balance stuff? Or can you fully trust your knee?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 17, 2010, 01:33:20 PM
Adding weights is nice, but man it's amazing how much just a pound or two can really change it up!  And make it harder!  Getting 25 reps of the leg raises with a 2 pounds weight is pretty challenging! 

The balancing stuff does make me a bit nervous, because it means a lot of odd movements and a bit of jerking around (because naturally my balance is terrible...even on the good leg!).  But it's been going alright and it hasn't hurt my leg.  It's actually a really good way to work on strength too.  Also, I can tell some of my walking issues are due to bad balance, so working on that and strengthening the muscles is going to make all the difference.  And hopefully keep me from falling again!  ;)

I am trying to fully trust my knee.  Mentally it's hard, but physically my knee is getting much stronger and the ligaments are solid.  Just learning to trust it is a bit hard!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 17, 2010, 09:46:53 PM
Weights dont seem heavy, but they do make a huge difference!

The balancing stuff seems like it will be difficult to do and trust the knee, but if it helps you overall with balance, then maybe you  wont be as much of a klutz. JK

Trust is often like paper, and this paper has not only been crumpled, it has been shredded! And is now being put back together, best wishes for a speedy recovery and the ability to un-shred the "paper"
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 17, 2010, 10:12:38 PM
Ha!  I like the analogy! 

PT today was good, and I had absolutely no pain or achiness at all during the session!  Usually at least one of the things will hurt a bit, but not today!!  Yay!  I didn't do a whole lot of stuff, but my therapist had me walk up and down stairs quite a bit to check my progress.  He actually made me do almost every single exercise until I was ready to fall over from exhaustion!  :D  He likes to see jelly-legs, as he said.  My muscles sure got a workout though!

He did have me stand on 1 foot with my eyes closed.  Ha!  Talk about being a klutz!  I need to work on that....he even had me do it on my good leg, and determined that I just suck at balancing.  But it's something they can work on, so that's good.

And I am a total Klutz...I won't deny it.  That's how I ended up with the bum knee...darn trampolines...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 17, 2010, 10:37:01 PM
Haha thanks!

Yay! That is amazing!!

LOL, okay you are a Klutz, but a funny and good humored one :)
however arent we all?

TRAMPOLINES!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!! as i got out of my car today i had to resist the urge to go get on the trampoline. haha that wouldnt be too good yet.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 17, 2010, 11:58:31 PM
I have an unnatural fear of trampolines now.  That's how I initially injured my knee, so I have no desire to get on one! 

Yes, I think many people here on these boards probably have a streak of klutziness in them.  :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 18, 2010, 02:09:57 AM
Haha, that is a good enough reason to want to stay away from a trampoline!
And yeah, you are most likely true.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 19, 2010, 01:13:15 AM
I don't foresee myself getting on a trampoline ever again.  I think what they called "hyperextension" was actually when I pulled/tore the MPFL.  All I remember is incredibly pain and hardly being able to walk for days afterwards.  And then subluxations until I had my surgery, 10 years later. 

My parents apparently think I'm a packmule...we are doing some intense, deep cleaning of the house, and who gets stuck hauling stuff out?  Yeah, me.  Luckily none of it is heavy, but going up and down the stairs is getting tiring!  But my knee doesn't hurt, and my form on the stairs is getting noticeably better- yay!  I didn't realize how poorly I traverse the stairs (even on the good leg) until my PT mentioned my problems on Tuesday.  Now I'm focused on correcting habits that I've probably had since I learned to walk, or at the very least since the accident on the trampoline 10 years ago. Not an easy feat!!  But at least I know how to work on it now!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 19, 2010, 01:38:36 AM
Glad that the stairs arent giving you any pain!
And in your case stay far far away from trampolines!
Basically you are having to teach yourself how to walk up and down stairs again... Not an easy thing to do, esp when you are having to concentrate on both legs.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 19, 2010, 02:12:56 AM
Yup, that's basically it.  It's challenging, but it'll help me overall.  So I'm all for it!  And hopefully I will stop looking like a dork when I go downstairs, or stop falling down them!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 19, 2010, 03:30:51 AM
If it helps, and keeps you from falling, GO FOR IT!!! WOO!! :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 20, 2010, 08:25:39 PM
I had PT again today, and we did a few more new exercises.  Next week will be my last week, so they are teaching me a lot of things so I can hopefully do it on my own before I go to DC.  That's our gameplan anyways.  :)

The PT had me balance on one leg, and apparently I impressed him because he then got out a 4 lbs ball and we tossed it back and forth, while balancing.  He also had me throw it straight up and catch it, and toss it from one hand to another.  I did pretty good on all of them, and it's one of the exercises I can have fun with.  ;)  And I accidentally tossed the ball into his stomach once.  Oops!  My hand-eye/depth perception isn't so good...

He also had me do a not-so-fun exercise.  It was one of the weight lifting machines, and it made me straighten my leg from a sitting position, with the weight on the front of my shin.  Oh man, that hurt!  He the adapted it so I wasn't using a much weight and wasn't straightening it fully, but it still hurt a bit.  So then me had me sit on the table and used a 5 lb weight, and it didn't hurt at all and I could do it.  Then he bumped it up to 7.5 and it was still fine. So I've gotta work on that a bit to build the strength. :)

My poor legs are exhausted!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 21, 2010, 11:39:20 PM
Great! It sounds like you are doing great! WOO! About the balance part! :) But the not-so-fun exercise, ive had my patella sublax while using it before this last surgery, so be careful please!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 22, 2010, 12:18:32 AM
Honestly, I don't intend to use anymore than then adjustable leg weights, and I'll be avoiding that machine because it didn't feel good.  I think my PT just wanted to see my strength, and he wasn't surprised when I couldn't do it.  Just testing the water!

My leg/hip muscles are so sore today!  I couldn't fall asleep last night because they were achy and sore last night, so I ended up taking a muscle relaxer I got after my surgery.  It did the trick, but I had to get up super early, so I only had like 5.5 hours to sleep it off.  Basically I was exhausted all day.  But it helped.  However, I've had to get out the heating pad things today because they are super stiff and sore up near my hip, from the balancing exercises.  Ugh!  However, my knee is perfectly happy, so all is good.

I helped a Freshman friend move up to my school today.  The freshmen are so lucky because they have move-in crews that carry in all their stuff!  I had to grab a blanket and a lap desk thing, and the movers got everything else.  Lucky newbies! :)  It was nice to see friends that I won't get to see til January though!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 22, 2010, 04:35:41 PM
Oh, okay :)

Sorry that your hip muscles are sore, but i have a question: if you take a muscle relaxer, can you legally drive while the muscle relaxer is working? Say you took it at 6 and you had to drive somewhere at 8, is that legal?

The move in crews seem to be a trend! They also seem like they would be really awesome!

This is your last weekend home, correct?
When do you leave for DC? Also, how are you feeling about this semester?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 22, 2010, 09:19:48 PM
Hmm...I don't know about the driving.  Mom was driving so it wasn't an issue yesterday.   I know I wouldn't drive if I still felt drowsy or such from it, but I'm not sure about the legality.  I know some places don't allow driving under narcotic meds, but since that isn't narcotic I have no clue! 

Yup, it is my last weekend home. :)  Mom and I are really excited about the trip.  We leave on Saturday. I've got about half my packing done, so that's pretty good (for me).    I'm super excited about the semester and just ready to get there and start my internship.  I know it'll go by way too fast though...then I'll have to start applying for jobs and such!  Seems way to soon to be done with college!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 24, 2010, 03:16:29 AM
I had PT again today, and it went pretty well!  The PT had me stand on the trampoline thingy and balance on one foot on it.  I did pretty darn well, considering it's a very squishy surface.   ;)  The PT also just had me do a little of a lot of different things, just to see how I was doing with them.  Since I only have 1 more session before I leave for DC, he wanted to evaluate how I'm doing.  Overall, he thinks I'm doing great.  However, he's a little concerned because I can do the exercises, but my stamina is very low.  I get tired very easily.  He mentioned that finding a PT place in DC might help, but also that I can probably do just fine on my own.  So I'm going to look up some places there and be prepared if I need it.  :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 24, 2010, 03:20:24 AM
YOU GOT ON A TRAMPOLINE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 24, 2010, 03:27:04 AM
I know...I glared at him and told him I hated trampolines...he didn't seem to care!  ;)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on August 24, 2010, 03:55:10 AM
LOL, at least this time the experience wasnt bad :) nothing bad happened! :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 26, 2010, 01:32:23 AM
Yes, it is one good trampoline experience...I still don't plan on jumping on one outside of therapy! :)

My knee has felt pretty great since PT on Monday.  The stiffness is lessening noticeably.  In the mornings I don't have much at all upon waking, and the stiffness I get when sitting is also improving.  Yay! 

I'm busy packing my life into 2 suitcases right now, and making sure they are still light enough to carry...ugh!  But I'm super excited to leave in 2 days!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on August 27, 2010, 03:41:09 AM
Well I had my last day of PT today (for awhile at least).  I am taking my referral for PT with me to DC, and I'll see how it goes and where a clinic is and then make my decision whether I use it or not.  It'll probably be a few weeks at the very least before I can figure out my schedule and such and work in PT.  So we'll see how it goes!

PT was good today.  The PTA achieved the jelly-leg syndrome he likes so much, and wore me out as usually.  I did do one new thing.  Instead of standing on the trampoline, he adjusted it so it was at a 45-ish degree angle facing me, then I threw one of the weighted balls at it and caught it, all while standing on 1 foot.  My balance is getting noticeably better!!   ;D  And my super-tight muscles are starting to stretch out a bit.  Overall, the past 4 weeks of PT have made a major difference.  My gait is great, and only have a slight limp when I've walked a LOOOONG ways, or after PT when my leg is tired.  ;)  And my quad muscles are nearly the same size as my good leg.  Definitely have seen major improvements in strength, endurance, and pain.  Yay!  :D

I leave in 1 day!  Super excited!!!!  And I'm not so worried about stiffness on the train because my stiffness has nearly gone in the past few weeks. 

In short- I'm feeling incredibly normal, which is nice.  Still have some pain and problems, and my walking downstairs sucks.  But my knee feels trustworthy and much stronger/better. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 01, 2010, 09:45:19 PM
Hello ya'll!

I'm finally in DC and with an internet connection! :)

I've been in DC the past few days, working out how to use the metro, site seeing with my Mom, and getting used to my new home.  I'm proud to say that I am quickly becoming a metro pro, and I love public transportation (I know...weird).

I have to do a lot of walking, but my knee is holding up well.  It gets tired and achy, but a bit of rest and it is fine.  I've very pleased, and it feels as stable as ever.  Yay!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 03, 2010, 01:38:33 AM
Time for some updates on my knee:

Since coming to DC, I've obviously done a lot of walking.  My knee is holding up pretty well.  The walk to the metro is only 3 blocks, and from the metro to my internship is another 3-4 blocks, which isn't bad at all.  My knee gets tired after walking more than 5 or so blocks, but I just slow down or stop and rest for a minute and I am fine.  I can walk fast enough to match the DC-natives for awhile though. :)  And I don't have much pain, only when I push it aka walking for 1+ mile. So I know my limits now and can respect them well enough!

My apartment has a VERY nice fitness center, and I had my first workout there tonight.  I am continuing to do the things I learned in PT, although it's been a few days since I've done them...   :-[ I rode the bike for a bit, then hit the leg press machines and was able to do all the things I did last week in PT, and I think with a bit more weight!   ;D  I worked until my legs were wobbly, like my PT likes!  Then I walked on the treadmill for a bit, and even tried a bit of running.  It didn't really work out.  I think I was more scared of falling alone in the fitness center.  I'll have to work on the confidence and try running again soon.  I didn't want to do it while people were watching though because I figured I would look like a big dork! :)  Maybe one of my roommates will supervise.

Happy knee tonight!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 03, 2010, 02:10:46 AM
Hey Jen! Glad to hear that you have gotten settled! :) Do you like DC?
Its great that your place has an awesome fitness center! :)
what exactly is the Metro? i feel like an idiot, but where im at we do not have any type of public transportation, other than the school bus...
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 03, 2010, 03:54:23 AM
I love DC.  I really love living in an urban environment, even with the loud traffic, big crowds, and occasional unhealthy air warning...it's still so nice to have so much to do 24/7.  And public transportation is a plus!  I hope to live here when I graduate and get a job here, so this is my time to get used to the city and search for jobs/apartments/etc.  Oh, and do an internship, class, portfolio, and Model United Nations.  Busy semester, but an amazing opportunity.  I feel so blessed to have this chance!   :D

The metro is the subway.  That's what they call it here.  I haven't heard a single person say "subway" so I've gotten used to calling it the metro.  And DC has a pretty great system!  It's a little crowded at times, but all in all, it's clean and nice to travel on.  Standing up in the metro while it's going is a bit of a challenge, especially with my knee.  But I've figured out how to plant my feet to keep my knee safe.  I do take a seat though whenever there is one!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 03, 2010, 04:17:47 AM
Glad that you are enjoying DC, it sounds like you will be really busy this semester! But hopefully it will be an amazing experience!
Lol, i had never heard anyone really call the subway a "metro" before, but assumed that was what you meant. Public transportation does sound nice though! Hopefully you will be able to keep your knee safe for a long time!!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 03, 2010, 12:58:20 PM
Yeah, that's just what they call it here.  I suppose they just want to be different.   ;)

Busy semester indeed, but I can't wait to start on some of this stuff.  Especially the model UN.  We actual role play delegates to nations in the UN, and sit on committees.  It's a conference of like 600+ students in DC, so it should be a pretty neat experience.

I am avoiding any sort of heeled shoe to keep my knee happy.  I can kind of wear them, but not for long so I just don't try.  Better than making it unhappy!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 04, 2010, 03:28:45 AM
I had a success today!  I went to workout again, because I love the workout facility and it feels great to have a chance to workout semi-normally for once.  I decided to try the elliptical machine, figuring I wouldn't be able to do it well.  But I could workout on it really well, and even got up to running speed, which felt great!  I went a mile, and my knee felt pretty good.  It did start to ache, but I just slowed down a bit and it felt fine.  Then I did my leg press exercises.  Overall a good workout!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 05, 2010, 10:34:34 PM
I worked out again last night, 20 mins on the elliptical and like 10 on the bike, plus leg press stuff.  I can tell that my endurance is starting to get better!  Yay!  I'm going to start tracking the settings on the leg press machine so I can see how much I am improving.  I just need to remember to do it!  ;)

Today I walked A LOT!  I walked a mile or so to church, then back.  Then I went downtown and walked probably another miles.  Boy am I tired!  My legs are tired, and I have a kinda burning feeling near the medial side of my kneecap.  I'm going to ice and massage and hope it goes away.  I probably overdid it a bit...  Oops!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 06, 2010, 04:36:58 AM
congrats on endurance coming back! lol, it sounds like you might be a little too ambitious at the moment and overdid it a bit... hopefully some rest and ice will make it feel better by morning.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 08, 2010, 02:05:03 AM
Yeah, I was a bit too ambitious. My knee was a bit more swollen today, but I'm icing it now.  It didn't really hurt much though, so that's good.  I had to sit in a meeting all day today at my internship, which made it stiff.  But the walk to the bus loosened it up nicely.  I even worked out today- 1.25 miles on the elliptical and my leg press exercises.  I hadn't done it for like 2 days, so I thought I ought to work out a bit...   :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 09, 2010, 02:32:44 AM
im sorry to hear that your knee was more swollen today, but its good that it didnt hurt much. Wooo! for working out :) how much weight are you using on the leg press stuff?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: cupcake1007 on September 09, 2010, 08:48:42 PM
Ha it's funny to hear you all discussing the term "metro," I grew up outside of DC so I didn't realize that the metro and subway were the same things for the longest time. Glad you're having fun in DC and your knee is doing relatively well. I just asked my PT today about the Elliptical and he said to just hold on and go for it so I might hop on mine a little this evening! I'm *still* walking with a cane etc but I'm to the point where I'm finally moving forward every day so yay for that!!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 11, 2010, 03:44:36 AM
Wow! †It's great to hear from you! †I thought the elliptical would be hard, but I just hoped on and went for awhile! †It was nice to sweat for once (and not because of the heat...DC is HOT!) †I'm glad it's going better for you!!!

Mellophone- I think I'm up to about 40 lbs, lifting with just one leg. †I knock it up to 55 (15 increments only) to do calf exercises, using both legs. †Not a whole lot of weight, but I'm slowly progressing!

This week hasn't been the best. †My knee has been swollen, in part from walking more and in part from sitting at my desk all day at my internship. †But I have my very own office, which is sweet! †And the work is pretty good...challenging but not boring or impossible! :)

Gonna rest a lot this weekend!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 11, 2010, 06:13:44 PM
CUPCAKE! :) How are you doing?

Sweet! Thats awesome! Plus the work isnt too easy :) cool! Though im sorry that the increased walking and sitting have made your knee become swollen again, but maybe ther rest that you speak of will come this weekend and will help
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 11, 2010, 06:44:33 PM
I'm pretty much being a bum today...oh well!  I am considering starting my homework though, which is a step in the right direction.   ;)  My knee is feeling happier though.  I am waiting for a set of ankle weights to arrive so I can keep up with some of the PT exercises.  But the mail is slooooow.

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 15, 2010, 12:52:34 AM
Today did not start out well at all.  On the way to my internship, I was walked down the sidewalk and tripped over an upturned brick.  Fell directly down hard on both knees, skinning them both.  Holy crap that hurt on my left leg, because I fell directly down on the screws.  OUCH!  I got up an started walking and wanted to cry....grr...  Now of course it's swollen and stiff and achy, but ice has helped.  It's odd thought because of the numbness I couldn't feel the pain from the skinned knee, but the whole joint HURT!  It was an odd sensation....

Now everytime I get up or move around my leg is super stiff.  Poor knee has been traumatized!  Hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow, or at least be less swollen!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 15, 2010, 04:38:09 AM
:( OUCH! Just reading that hurt! I cant imagine falling on a sidewalk right now! Dang, that sounds like one of the crappiest ways to start a day!
Im really sorry to hear that! Are you using any form of compression for the swelling? Hopefully some of the swelling will be gone in the morning, and it wont hurt as much.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 15, 2010, 11:25:51 AM
I think I'll wear a compression sleeve today, if I can find it. :)  But yeah, it was not a good start to my day, or work week (I intern Tuesday through Friday).  I hope I don't repeat that experience again, because not only did I feel stupid because there were people around to see it, but it also scared me and HURT!  But hey, it'll be a better day today because it's not going to happen again!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 15, 2010, 11:13:38 PM
Awesome, hope you are able to find the compression sleeve!
Are you off every monday? 
IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN! It was a really bad fluke, and should never happen again! How is your knee feeling now?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 16, 2010, 01:25:00 AM
I actually forgot to put on the compression sleeve today!  Duh!  But my day was good overall.  I did a ton of walking because I had to off-site meetings.  Then I felt so good after work that I walked to Trader Joe's (grocery store) from my internship instead of taking the bus.  It was only 6ish blocks, and it was downhill-nice!  My leg is still a bit more swollen, but it feels alright.

I have every Monday off from my internship so we can do programming through my internship program.  This week we visited the Millennium Challenge Corporation and heard a speaker, and also heard from a different speaker at the HQ of my program.  It was nice to have the day off, but on top of 2 programs each Monday I also have a 3 hour class.  Busy but interesting!!  And it's nice to only work 4 days a week.  :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 16, 2010, 02:25:50 AM
I just noticed a bruise on my poor knee from my fall yesterday!   :(  It looks rather pathetic...and let's be real.  I will fall again.  It's inevitable!  But hopefully not anytime soon.  And not in front of everyone and their brother in downtown DC.   ;)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 16, 2010, 03:39:36 AM
That sounds like an awesome schedule, packed and busy, but good.
 :o You forgot the compression sleeve, but its good that it was okay.
Yeah, you will fall again, but hopefully it wont be in such a public location, or anytime in the near future either.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 17, 2010, 11:55:06 PM
Ugh, my knee has been killing me today!  It has hurt nearly all day, and I have no clue why.  Well, perhaps I do.  I got my leg weights in the mail, so I've been doing my exercises with weights for the first time in a few weeks.  That could be why. But dang I am sitting here with ice on it and now it's finally starting to feel better!  I have a tour of the capitol tomorrow, so I hope it feels better by then!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 18, 2010, 05:17:45 PM
Ugh, sounds like your knee has been giving you a little bit of a challange this week. Hopefully it is hurting because of the weights, and will back of once your knee becomes adjusted to them. Wooo! The tour of the capitol sounds really cool! Hope today is better!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 19, 2010, 03:12:28 AM
Yeah, it has been an icky week.  I blame it all on falling on Tuesday.  But the bruise from that on my knee is now turning yellowish, so that's almost gone!!

The Capitol tour was neat.  They don't really show you a whole lot of the Capitol, but it was still neat to visit.  However, they made us walk there from our apartment complex, which is probably 5-6 blocks away.  Then there were lots of stairs on the tour.  I could've taken an elevator, but I just sucked it up and did the stairs.  My knee was a bit achy, but it felt sooooo much better this morning than it did last night!!  However, I hurt my foot on my left leg today (I don't know how) and I can barely walk right now.  I have to walk with a noticeable limp to avoid SEVERE pain in my foot (as in I nearly fall down it hurts so bad) so I am resting it and icing it.  I don't think I've done any real damage, as I've the same pain before.  I have high arches, and I think my shoe irritated the top of my foot yesterday.  Then all the walking today just made it really hurt, like deep muscle pain.  I hope tomorrow it will be ok again. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 19, 2010, 05:22:14 PM
Dang! Sounds like you havent had a break this week. Do you have to go anywhere today?

Bummer about not seeing much of the Capitol, but glad your knee felt better than the night before! And ouch about your foot  :-\ seems to have been a tough week, but today is Sunday, so :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 21, 2010, 10:39:19 PM
This week seems to be going better, although my foot is NOT better.  Grr!   >:(  It's still super painful after I walk much at all, and today it's really swollen and red on top.  I'm seriously considering visiting the DR because I really can't survive in DC with foot pain like this.  And ya'll know I waited 10 years to deal with my knee...so the fact that I want to go to the DR now shows how I'm feeling.

Off to ice my foot.  The knee is doing spectacularly, considering I have to walk so that no weight is put on my big toe. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 22, 2010, 12:31:36 AM
Glad to hear that your knee is doing okay :) can't say the same about your foot though... Do you have any clue what you might have done to it? Yeah, 10 years vs less than a week, your foot must be hurting pretty bad right now :( Thats a huge downer, does the ice haelp at all though? Is it getting better or worse? Hopefully somehow it will get better soon!

Tomorrow is a new day :)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 22, 2010, 12:42:39 AM
Ice helps a bit, but as soon as I walk down the hall or more than just around the apartment, it starts to hurt.  Then it gets progressively worse.  And now when I'm resting it's kind of a burning pain?  I don't know...and looking around on the internet isn't helping me much. :)  Darn internet diagnosis!  Never works for me...probably because I just want it to be nothing. ;)  But I talked to my Mom about finding a provider here to check me out, and I can pick whatever doc I want and it'll be added to our plan, since they don't have set doctors out here.  Regional insurance and whatnot.  But that's nice because I can find whoever I want!  So I found one near my internship and if it doesn't feel better tomorrow I'll call.  Sigh....I thought I was done with doctors for awhile. :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 22, 2010, 01:10:33 AM
Haha, dang internet, too much out there at times.

that does sound nice about the insurance bit though, but hopefully you wont have to call them... It would be nice to be done with dr's for a while!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 22, 2010, 01:29:35 AM
As much as I want to not go to the DR....I am having to limp to avoid foot pain, which is not good for the knee (although it doesn't hurt!).  So we'll see...Hopefully a miracle will happen by tomorrow and I'll feel 100% again!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 23, 2010, 12:28:08 AM
How is your foot? Feeling better?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 23, 2010, 01:28:31 AM
No, not a bit.  I am calling the doctor tomorrow because I think it's more swollen today, if at all possible.  And it's swollen enough that the swelling is causing pain...grr....

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 24, 2010, 01:31:12 AM
I went to the doctor today to check on my foot, and she said she didn't think it was related to my knee, or a blood clot, which is good.  However, she thinks it might be a fracture.  So I went and got x-rays, and she'll call me back tomorrow with the results.  Ugh....I don't like the thought of possibly having to wear a boot.  I doubt my knee would be too happy with that...

My knee is doing great, considering how odd I have to walk due to my foot.  It seems a bit more swollen, but that could just be my imagination.  It's feeling good though!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on September 24, 2010, 02:38:06 AM
Ugh, doesnt sound too good, hopefully you wont have to wear a boot, that seems like it would be heck on your knee.
Glad to hear that your knee is doing well, awesome that it is feeling good.
It seems odd though, about your foot, because you dont recall doing anything to it, do you?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 24, 2010, 11:27:39 AM
It is odd, because I didn't have any trauma at the onset of the pain.  I had on my tennis shoes, and I thought maybe they were tied a bit tight because my foot hurt.  But then when I took them off it didn't get better.  I suppose I could have had minor pain before that and not noticed it (I'm good at ignoring pain for awhile).  But who knows.  I'll find out hopefully early today if I have fractured anything.  And if not I'm not sure what the doctor is going to do with me.  I HAVE to walk a good deal-at least 2 blocks to and from the bus stop to work, and another block from the shuttle to the bus stop.  Plus I'm missing out on being able to "see" DC on the weekends because I can't walk without pain!  Ugh!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on September 25, 2010, 01:02:49 AM
I heard back from the doctor, and I got some good news.  Nothing appears to be broken in my foot.  Yay!  However, we still don't know what is causing the pain.  Sigh...I've been told to ice, elevate, and wrap it in a bandage.  Along with not using it much.  Pretty much impossible since I HAVE to walk a few blocks to work and activities and such.  But she told me to be sure to wrap it up when I'm on my feet.  So now my sausage-like foot (it's really swollen) is swaddled up in an Ace bandage. It doesn't really make it feel better though because it pushes on the part of my foot that HURTS, but hopefully it'll help with the swelling because that's causing more pain.

My knee wasn't too happy today.  I suppose after a week of walking funny it's bound to ache a bit.  Really it's just stiffer.  Eh, it'll be fine in the morning I'm sure.  My foot, not so much.  But that's not going to stop me from going to Chinatown tomorrow!  :) 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 01, 2010, 11:58:28 PM
It's been a long, busy week.  But everything has been going relatively good!  My foot is feeling tons better, although it still swells when I walk.  But if I wrap it my foot doesn't swell too bad.  So it's pretty well under control.  I feel yesterday on the sidewalk, then again today. Grr!!!  DC sidewalks SUCK!  Luckily I fell on my good knee, which is now bloodied, black/blue, and more swollen than my left knee.  Sigh...such is my luck!

However-good trends:  My ROM, which has been really good, has gotten a lot less painful when bending past 140.  For example, I can now lay on my back, pull both knees up to my chest, and just let my heels hang down.  Previously, this hurt a bit.  But now it doesn't.  I can also grab my left foot from behind and nearly touch it to my butt without pain.  And can sit which both of my feet up on my desk chair, with my knees super bent for a long time without it hurting.  Yay!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: crankerchick on October 02, 2010, 08:28:10 PM
Wow Jen you have a had a busy few weeks of falling and what not, but glad to read your foot and knee is feeling better. Hope the other knee that you fell on follows suit soon! Watch out on those sidewalks girl!

Great to read that your ROM is even better too, sounds like you are coming along great. I know I don't post much, but I still follow and am happy to read that so far things have been successful for you. Glad you like DC! (I live near DC too!)
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on October 02, 2010, 10:51:29 PM
Hey Jen! Dang! Sounds like you have had a lot of tumbles recently! :( Though your ROM is awesome! :) Glad to hear that your foot is feeling better (not normal though, but not as bad at least)
Have a good weekend!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 03, 2010, 12:05:55 AM
Hey guys! 

Yes, life has been busy and today I walked 1/2 way down the National Mall-crankerchick, you would understand how far that is!- and all over the Pentagon City mall (4 stories) and back home from the Metro, and my foot didn't swell at all.  I had an Ace bandage on under my tennis shoe, and my foot feels great!  So I think that hurdle has been overcome, for the most part. I shall be tested on Monday though, because I've been invited to a formal Gala and will be on my feet in dress shoes with no bandage on for 5 hours.  I'm so excited though and it's a big honor to be invited!!  Yay!  And I get to dress up really nice.  Black dress, clutch purse, pearl necklace...yeah. Nice!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 06, 2010, 11:27:00 AM
I survived the long night at the Gala on my feet, rather wonderfully!  Of course my knee ached a bit after standing for a few hours, then sitting through a long dinner without moving.  But overall I felt normal.  And it was an incredible opportunity!

Other than that, I wanted to point out a few other successes I've noticed recently.  I've been doing my stretched diligently, and I can see a stark improvement.  Remember my tight quad muscle, the one that won the PT prize for being the tightest ever seen?   ;)  Well I've seen a LOT of improvement and I think my PT would be amazed because he said it might never loosen up.  Now I can match my right leg in stretchyness :)  and still am seeing improvement.  Also, my hamstring has loosened a lot due to the stretching.  I can, for the first time in my life, comfortably do a toe touch while sitting with my leg out straight.  But only on my left (surgical) side.  My right hamstring is FAR tighter than my left!!  So now I am being sure to stretch the right side as well, but it seems to be more difficult in stretching out than my bad side.  Odd...

Well, I must get ready for work, but I have noticed how much more flexible I've become in the right ways and thought I should share.  Oh, and after the surgery I have noticed that I no longer jiggle my legs while sitting.  I used to be one of those people who jiggled the floor, table, etc by jiggling my legs-rather annoying. I think the period of immobilization broke my habit, because I now have no desire to jiggle.  :D

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on October 06, 2010, 12:37:51 PM
This is encouraging to hear.  I am 3.5 weeks post op.  Doing well, but anxious for all this to be over.   :)  Patience is not my virtue. 

To anyone facing a procedure like this, I highly recommend they work on flexibility.  I have always been flexible and have really appreciated that recently.  To be able to put on and tie my shoes with my leg fully extended has been a very good thing. 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 07, 2010, 01:08:53 AM
I'm glad my story is encouraging to you!  When I was in your place I had people on here who were encouraging to me and taught me so much.  The community on here is amazing and I'm glad I found this forum! :)

Flexibility is a good thing to work on.  I was lucky and gained back my flexion relatively easy.  Only 1 time in PT did I want to kick the therapist while working on my bed.  ;)  I wish I had better flexibility beforehand, but it's turned out all right.  I would definitely agree that trying to be as flexible as possible behorehand is a good piece of advice!  I had a hard time with shoes...  and trying to get them on without bending... :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 11, 2010, 09:21:03 PM
I've finally been able to get back to the gym to work out with the weights and on the elliptical.  Because I hurt my foot, I gave it a rest for a couple of weeks until I was sure my foot was 100% better.  But now it feels great and I've been able to pick up right where I left off!  Actually with the elliptical I've been able to add a good deal of resistance, which is an improvement from before. I think having to walk everywhere has been a great exercise regime in itself, but it feels good to be back in the gym, working the legpress and feeling my legs burn! :)  There's still a size difference between my 2 legs, but it is getting better and better all the time. 

And...I think I'm going to apply for Peace Corps.  Well, I AM going to apply, but I'll see if they take me!   ;)  They defer automatically for 1 year for ligament replacement, but I figure I can apply and see what they will do.  And I really want to do it.  Since I'm graduate in 7 months (help!!) I figure I should have a plan. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: thecamster21 on October 11, 2010, 10:56:01 PM
Glad to hear your foot is better and great news on the elliptical!! I just ran my first 5 minutes on the treadmill and realized two things! 1. I am so out of shape and 2. My knee felt great!! This was the first time running since my LR Aug 09!

I am glad to see we are all coming along nicely!! Good luck with the peace corp!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 12, 2010, 12:14:28 AM
Yeah, I've done the elliptical before and it feels great!  I am going to try running on a treadmill...I am not a runner, never have been.  So who knows how that will go!  I can run around the apartment, down the hall, and dash across intersections.   :)  Survival in DC=running through an intersection at some point!

Glad to hear you are doing good!  And you'll get back in shape soon enough, now that you can RUN! 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 12, 2010, 11:22:04 PM
Oh I am just so skilled...at falling.

I fell today...on stairs...marble stairs....

Other than being embarrassing because I was at the National Geographic HQ in DC, I landed in a sprawled fashion, with my bad leg bent and flat against the ground. Like how I used to sit in a W shape with my legs.  But before I totally hit the ground I ended up bending it super far...basically completely full ROM (have been missing the past 5 degrees or so). And I heard a nice pop.  I am hoping all is good, as it isn't super painful and I seem to be able to bend it a bit farther.  Perhaps I did a mini-mini-MUA to get the last few degrees back! :)  We'll see in a few days...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on October 13, 2010, 03:50:56 AM
EEK!!!! Stairs are hateful things.  Hope you are okay. 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 13, 2010, 12:06:45 PM
I seem to be alright.  My knee is a bit more achy this morning, but I also did some hard exercises last night, so that could be it too. :)  And I don't even have any bruises this time! :D 

And yes, stairs are hateful things.  Luckily in DC there are TONS of escalators, but that also means I have to intentionally look for stairs to do my PT exercises on...

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on October 16, 2010, 04:04:25 PM
Sounds like you have had a bit of a rough time with stairs and falling in general. Glad to know that you are okay though! :) Do you still like DC?
Have a good weekend!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 17, 2010, 03:29:26 PM
Do I still like DC? Are you kidding?!  :)  I love it here!  I don't want to leave and go back to my home college to finish my last semester....sigh...

The week has been crazy!  My internship was hosting a conference here in DC for 200+ people (the conference I've been working non-stop on while I've been at my internship) and the past 3 days is when it took place.  Thursday I was busy running (literally) around the conference space, working out all the details.  I literally ran up and down the 2 flights worth of escalators probably 10 times...and discovered in the process that I can actually run up and down stairs pretty well, even moving stairs!  :)  I was on my feet most of that day and a good deal of Friday as well.  Of course my feet and knee hurt, but not super bad.  I just was up on my feet way more than normal! 

Today I am resting allllll day!  And doing homework...ick...but I didn't fall at all during the Summit and had a great time, even though I was super busy!

Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on October 18, 2010, 05:56:19 AM
Good to know that there is a chance that one day I might be able to run up and down stairs again.  I cannot remember the last time I went up/down stairs without thinking about it. 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 18, 2010, 05:44:22 PM
Oh, I was thinking about it for sure, especially since it was on an escalator.  But I was thinking more about finding certain people or getting my hands on the stuff we needed.  So I was only 1/2 thinking about it. :)  But it is nice to have that ability again....especially when the metro is about ready to leave and I am on a different level at the station.  Just makes life easier!  I am still struggling to run well on flat ground, especially for more than just a few feet.  But I can run short distances alright aka like across the street and such. :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 21, 2010, 02:20:44 AM
Ok, so I have a story for those of you who have been to DC, or live here.  So basically, the DC metro escalators tend to break down ALL THE TIME!  Yesterday I was riding up the Dupont Circle escalator, which incidentally is roughly 180 feet long (seriously...it's insane!)  and while I was near the bottom, it broke down!  :(  So I got some good stairs exercise in climbing up, up, up the escalator. 

This weekend I am going to the Zoo, and the metro stop there has an escalator of 204 feet.  I hope it doesn't break down!  DC has insane escalators!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on October 21, 2010, 04:28:26 AM
DC does have insane escalators... and stairs... and walking....  I am anxiously awaiting for my knee to heal enough to make a trip to DC.  My neighbor's daughters go to school there, American & George Washington.  My neighbor and I want to go for a "girly weekend," but I need to be able to walk.  They have offered to get a wheel chair and push me around, but I want to go when I am well enough to have fun and not be a burden to everyone.  Friday will be 6 weeks post op for me.  I am exceeding expectations so hopefully it will happen soon. 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 21, 2010, 12:04:01 PM
I went on an insane trip to St. Louis with 120+ high schoolers about 2.5 months out.  It was hard and I had to pace myself, but I did just fine.  Considering the 6 hour bus ride (that was the hardest part), I was happy to make it through.  The only problem was that I couldn't ride hardly any rides at 6 flags-which I was sad about because I love roller coasters.  But I didn't want to risk jarring or hurting my leg at the beginning of the trip. 

So, a vacation fairly soon post op is doable.  Just bring ibuprofen and see if you can have access to an icepack if you do get swollen from the added activity.  That sounds like an awesome trip though!! I'm trying to find a way to come back in Spring for a conference, while getting my school to pay for it. I think it is a realistic possibility. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 29, 2010, 02:54:18 AM
Things have been going pretty well!  I went to the zoo this weekend, which is big and hilly.  I was so tired afterwords, and my knee hurt somewhat.  It was just built on a fairly steep hill, and because of zoo construction I had to walk twice as much.  But after some rest and some good nights sleep, my knee felt 100% fine.  I'm finally past that stage where a bit of overdoing it sets me back a few days. I've been noticing that my knee recovers a lot faster.  :)  About time!

Life's going good, and my stamina in my knee is improving as well.

Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on November 09, 2010, 11:53:09 AM
I realized a few days ago that it had been 6 MONTHS since my surgery- WOW!  So I thought I'd sum up my feelings and such...

I am 100% glad I had the surgery done.  I've seen big improvements in my abilities since the surgery, and I no longer worry about my patella moving the wrong way.  The ligaments are holding and it appears that the surgery has been very successful- yay! 

I am still working on strength, and continue to see improvements.  Balance is still not great, but I'm working on it.  And I can do 1 legged squats nearly as far down as my good leg.  And the reason I can go farther is due to my muscles being tight, not because my knee can't do it.  So obviously I'm still trying to keep my muscles stretched out, which is a pain.  But I'm noticing improvements there as well- although I just have to remember to do my stretches!

Overall, I am happy with my knee, and the surgery and long recovery has been worth it.  I'll be on here every now and then to update and let y'all know how things are going though!

Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: ParisBaby on November 17, 2010, 03:36:06 PM
I am so glad to hear that you are happy to have had your surgery. I am going in for my MPFL tomorrow and I have to admit I have been thinking to myself, what are you doing!!
I have read through your diary and it sounds like it was a long recovery but you have a better knee situation now.  I am so frightened that my knee will never be back to normal, even the crappy normal that it is now, so every time I get upset or frusterated about not know about specific points of progress I reference your blog.  So good luck and keep us posted!
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on November 17, 2010, 10:22:36 PM
I am nine weeks out from my TTT and already see an improvement.  It's good to know that it will be even better in a few months. 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on November 29, 2010, 08:54:14 PM
Hello everyone!

Thought I'd update a bit, and say hey to y'all! :)

Things are still going well.  My sister came to visit me in DC over Thanksgiving, and man I swear we walked all over the city!!  My legs killed me- miles and miles of walking.  But my knee held up pretty well. It was sore, but then again my whole lower body way pretty sore.  And a bit of sleep and stretching made it feel 100% the next day.  I've found that stretching feels AMAZING, and takes care of my aches and pains. 

I've been doing a lot of running up and down stairs (yes running- it's cold outside and I try to go faster now :) )  and much of the time walk up and down the escalators rather than just riding them.  Extra exercise, right?  And it doesn't hurt to go upstairs, something which I haven't experiences for YEARS. 

I've applied for Peace Corps, and am slowly going through the application process.  They may defer me for my knee, but considering the progress I've made, I think my doctor will say I'm good to go when I go see him in Dec/Jan.  They defer automatically for 1 year for ligament replacement, but my departure date will be after the 1 year anniversary of my surgery, so I should be good to go!

ParisBaby-the recovery is definitely long, but worth it. 

Mermaids- I'm sure it'll get better!  It just takes time and hard work. 

Adios for now!
Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on January 06, 2011, 11:21:04 PM
I have passed the 8 month mark of my surgery, and I'm feeling great!  I had my 4th post-op visit on Tuesday, and my OS seemed pretty happy with me.  My strength is still poor, but he's given me a script to go to PT once every few weeks to learn some strength training techniques, which I will use at home.  He wants me to focus on things I've never been able to do before, such as running. 

I also had to get clearance from him to go abroad for 2 years with Peace Corps.  After looking things over, he thought it was perfectly fine and that I would have no problems serving in Peace Corps, which is amazing!  Right now I've been nominated to teach English in Asia.  I'm really happy he was agreeable to it, and it's great that he's confident that I will not have problems with me knee.  Now I've just got to keep working out and learn how to run.  Did I ever mention that I hate running? :)  Guess I will learn to like it....I suppose. 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on January 07, 2011, 01:16:50 AM
That is awesome news, Jen!  Gives us all hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on January 23, 2011, 04:40:51 PM
On Friday I had my first PT appointment in awhile.  My OS wanted me to go back to PT for strengthening, particularly of my hip, which apparently has very poor strength and control.  That in turn affects the knee so now we are focused on the hip for the most part.  I got some exercises to do with the stretchy bands, and with my exercise ball.  I don't know what they are called but dang they made my muscles hurt! 

To add to that, I fell on the ice on the way to PT.  I fell directly on my left knee, which HURT!  I now have a nice bruise on my knee, and there's a second bruise that I'm pretty sure is from a screw.  :(  Even with all my caution on ice...I still have a "gravity attack." 

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mellophone on January 23, 2011, 09:46:18 PM
Oh no! Is your knee still hurting?
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on January 26, 2011, 10:16:23 PM
No, my knee is ok now.  I still have a nice bruise, but you know that's what happens! :)

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on March 28, 2011, 03:51:13 AM
Well, it's been awhile since I've written, and I've got news, good and bad. :) 

The good:  After about 2 months of physical therapy, going once every 2 weeks, I was released permanently!  Yay!  ;D  I'm able to run on an elliptical, ride my bike for long distances, and walk as much as I want.  I am starting to run on ground/treadmill, and it's going ok.  :)  I feel better than I ever have! 

Bad news:  Peace Corps has deferred my medical evaluation process for 2 months, which means they won't look at my medical files until June.  It's frustrating because it's such a short deferment that it seems pointless to me. Sigh. I'll calling the medical office tomorrow to argue my case.  Considering it's been almost 4 months since my OS filled out my knee evaluation, a lot has changed since then and I've improved a lot.  They want to know if I can walk up 2 flights of stairs without problems, walk over rough terrian, ride in a vehicle over rough terrain, lift stuff, or ride a bike.  I can do all of that just fine, so I'm frustrated...  :(  But it will all work out, and I'm praying I'll land wherever God wants me. :) 

Overall, life is good!
-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 02, 2011, 04:49:54 AM
I've passed the one year anniversary of my surgery!  Yesterday marked one year, and man am I grateful I went through with it.  The last year has held disappointments, struggles, pain, and awesome days when I've met a goal, and it's all worth it.  My knee is stronger and more stable than ever.  I'm able to do this I've never really been able to do, like run.  It's amazing to see how far I've come.

Overall, happy knees!!

-Jen
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: mermaids on May 02, 2011, 04:17:15 PM
wonderful news!!!!  success stories give me hope.
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on May 20, 2011, 03:01:28 PM
Happy news! I've been invited to serve in South Africa with Peace Corps from July 2011 to September 2013. :D 
Title: Re: Fulkerson Osteotomy/MPFL reconstruct 4/30/2010
Post by: naturegirl on October 19, 2011, 07:12:04 PM
It's been awhile since I have updated, and life has changed so much! I've been in South Africa for 3 and a half months and am now an official Peace Corps Volunteer. Thankfully I haven't had any knee problems. I have to walk 5km one way to one of my schools, 2-3 days a week, on sandy pathways. Heck, I have to walk 7km to the nearest village if I feel like getting groceries because transport rarely ever comes my way! I'm now settled in a tiny village on the Kalahari, figuring out things like moving through the bushveld to get to work and kneeling on my concrete floor for the morning bucket bath. :) My knee is doing just fine, and I'm even planning on training to run a 5K. That's a big deal for me, but now since I'm walking it to work, I think it'll be a manageable goal.

Life is good, and I don't have to worry about my knee anymore. Which is good because I get to worry about learning Setswana and not making a fool of myself all the time. And that takes a lot of energy! 

If you want to know more about my life in SA, my blog is jenpcvsouthafrica.wordpress.com. Hope all is well with you all!
-Jen