DIARIES => Post-op diaries (50-100 posts) => Topic started by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:22:39 PM

Title: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:22:39 PM
My hubbie has finally pursuaded me to post my diary up here rather than keeping it off line for so long. I'm currently 8 days post Stage 2 MACI, so here goes . . .

Well Iím starting my blog in a rather backwards fashion. Iím currently just over 24 hours post op, but letís step backwards a bit . . .

7 weeks ago I had my 1st stage MACI. It seems a distant memory now. The early start - up at 5 for a 7am check-in. Surgery went well and I had my cartilage cells removed. Those cells have had more of a holiday than I have this year. They were flown to Amsterdam to grow big and strong.

In those 7 weeks, work was manic and knowing that I was going to be off work for a while, Iíve been trying to get as much done as possible. My husbandís been an absolute start since my knee failed in December. Heís been my rock and has picked me up when Iíve been down and kept me smiling.

Iíve been burying myself in my work so I didnít get to think about surgery and mostly it worked. The week before surgery was my husbandís birthday, so as part of thank you we went away to Colchester for the weekend.  We stayed in the middle of town, so we could walk in the steps of his ancestors, and not just because I couldnít walk far!

So that brings me up pretty much to date. I got a phone call from Prof Briggsí secretary early this week to say that check in had moved from 7am to 10.30am. Such a relief! And I could have breakfast! Most nights Iíve been having weird dreams and Thursday was no exception. I tossed and turned all night and finally got up at 5.15 for breakfast, and after feeling a little queasy had ginger jam on my toast. I then decided to grab some more sleep.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:30:59 PM
Friday 24th September - The Big Day

The morning just seemed to drag on until we left for hospital. Once in hospital, everything just moved so fast and before we knew it my bed had arrived and it was time to go. I think my husband was more scared than me!

He disappeared whilst I was in surgery. I remember going into pre-theatre at 12.45 and remember coming back around at 2.30. Iíve had so much drugs this afternoon, Iíve just lost track of everything except the pain. Everything Iíve read said it would be really painful in the first week and even the anaesthetist said it would be. Iíve had a local in my leg, plus a heap of pain relief and morphine. I just want to sleep all the time.

Iím keeping water down no problem, so itís onto dinner. Tuna pasta and veg followed by rice pudding and more drugs. Iíve had a bit of gas and bought up some water, but felt a little better, so carried on eating. I managed to eat a fair chunk of dinner, but needed a break to crack on with pudding. I had my drugs and then realised it wasnít just gas and up came everything. Talk about feeling like pooh. We called the nurse who had the cheek to ask if Iíd seen my drugs come up!

Because we couldnít be sure, I had to wait until 10 for my next batch unless the pain was too much. I had all my drugs intravenously just in case, but I was just so dozy. I had a broken nightís sleep with the wonderful joys of a bed pan. Iím going to be getting out of bed tomorrow and Iím so scared! Itís weird, but I thought Iíd be so eager to get going, but itís a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Iím so tired and Erek (my teddy before anyone asks!) is getting lots of cuddles. Everything Iíve read and been told about the pain is true though . . .
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:33:30 PM
Saturday 25th September - D Day Plus One

Itís just over 24 hours post op, and Iím up about on crutches to go to the toilet. Itís soooo much better than a bed pan!

My husband and my mummy came to visit this afternoon. I didnít think that she would as she doesnít like hospitals. She brought me some gingerbread men and a bottle of red wine (for when Iím home and feeling better!)

Iíve kept all my food down today which has been a great improvement. Iím still sleeping quite a bit, but it was quite painful this morning and my drugs have knocked me out. At least when Iím sleeping, my body is starting to repair itself.

Yesterday was the first time Iíd ever been ill from anaesthetic. It was my sixth knee operation, and I really want it to be my last. My aim pre op was to be off crutches by Christmas, but if Iím not, then so be it. I know I canít rush this.  Iíve got to take it easy and take the advice Iím given. Hopefully progress will be steady and secure. I wonít know for at least four months, so itís going to be an endurance battle, but one Iím determined to win.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:41:07 PM
Sunday 26th September - Not a great day

My pain was controllable until I got up in the night for a hop. It just wouldnít settle, so a batch of drugs and Iím sent off to the land of snoozeville. Iím not sure what was different about those drugs, but Iíve had the weirdest dreams about flying animals, and now I have little appetite.

Not sure if Iím going home later or not as Iíve just had my food order taken until tomorrow morning. The nurses are asking me if Iím going home today, and I just donít have a clue! I donít feel ready to go home as I donít think weíll cope.

I went for a hop to the bathroom this morning, and the nurse and I got out of bed too quickly and pulled my clips. That was quite a shock and it was incredibly painful and brought tears to my eyes. Toilet will just have to wait!

The physio has been around this morning as well. Itís been busy so far today! I made it to the next set of rooms, but itís just wearing me out.

Iíve managed to wash my upper body this morning too, but I think I took too long doing it and having my leg down for that long means that Iím now in a fair chunk of pain. Iím back lying in bed with it raised and weíll see if it settles.

Hubbieís been back up this afternoon. I had my happy pills just before he arrived so I was a little dozy and slept through part of the Grand Prix. Prof Briggs came in at the end of the race and gave the go ahead for the removal of my pressure bandage this evening and home tomorrow.

I donít know what drugs Iíll be taking with me, but as long as they do the job, I donít care. The only concern I have is the journey home, but I know weíll manage.

Drugs turned up during dinner this evening and I did my own anti-coag injection. Iíve never done any needles before. Itís a bit easier than I thought and I may have to do my own when I go home tomorrow, so I need to learn. I just need to work out what to do with the dead needles then!

Iíve been gearing up for the removal of my pressure bandage as they usually hurt when they come off. Other than a few tingles, it wasnít actually that bad. The coverage bandage over the wound had stuck to my clips and theyíve bled a bit, but other than that theyíre apparently good and clean. Iíll take the nurses word for it, but Iíve lost a couple of inches off the top of the brace and about 3 off the bottom, but as I know Iíll be going to the toilet before bed and during the night, it was agreed the brace could go back on. It just makes me feel more confident and I feel I need it right now.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:45:24 PM
Monday 27th September - Time to go home!

My brace has come off while Iím in bed this morning . . . But Iím going home today! The nurse has been around this morning and gone through the drugs Iím taking home. Iím got a new drug to take as the pain relief Iíve been having (oxycontin) is a controlled drug so I either stay in hospital or have something else. Iíve opted for the latter, so Iím off with Tramadol. Iím sure it will give me funky dreams, but itíll be worth it.

Prof Briggs has been back in this morning and seemed a little miffed that my brace wasnít attached to my leg. Itís got to stay on for 7 to 10 days, so it will be still be on when I have physio next week.

Physio has been around again this morning, and Iíve been for a walk and Iíve done stairs. Going up is a lot harder than I imagined, but Iíve done it now and it will only get easier.

Iíve started discharge now. My dressing has been changed and doesnít look to bad (Iíve been brave enough to look now!). Iíve got my drugs, so weíre just waiting for lunch and painkillers before making a move.

What a journey home! What should have been a straight forward 1 hour journey, turned out to be 1 Ĺ hours. Now home and Iím so tired. I chilled for the rest of the afternoon. Iíve just ordered a toilet stand so hopefully it will turn up tomorrow.

Iím so tired, but Iíve had my drugs and stabbed myself. It took me an age to eat dinner, itís not my appetite thatís gone, but it feels that my stomach has shrunk so much.

When we went up to bed itís time for stairs. I was so exhausted and slept pretty much right through the night.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:49:36 PM
Tuesday 28th September - First day back home

Iíve had visitors galore this morning. Iíve had flowers delivered from work, Dadís been and mumís been too. Iíve managed to get my hair washed. What a palaver but so worth it! I feel so much better now. Our neighbour has popped in and asked if they could use our parking space next week for a funeral. Unfortunately, my toilet stand didnít arrive today, so hopefully it will be tomorrow.

Getting tired in the evening again, but itís bound to happen in the early days.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:56:52 PM
Wednesday 29th September - Time to change socks

Had a really rubbish night last night, waking at 12, 1, 2, 3, 3.45, and 4am. That was when I resigned myself to next to no sleep and really stupid dreams - you cannot run with a brace on! Next thing I know it is 7am. Big drug time. Finally woke at 10 for breakfast in bed. Today we decided to change my dressing, tubi and stockings. Getting everything off was the easy part. My wound is only weeping a bit at the top now and I suspect thatís partly down to the Fragmin. Getting a new stocking on was really difficult but my husbandís learning the hard way! It took just over an hour to get the fresh stocking and tubi on and I finally got downstairs at 12.45. Itíll be lunchtime soon - that makes me seem really bad.

My toilet stand arrived this morning too and it makes such a difference getting on and off the toilet.

Iíve spent this afternoon chilling, but itís been a little painful this afternoon. Weíre getting our hair cut this evening, but we always thought I would dip out depending on how I felt. Iíve stabbed my stomach now, and hopefully it wonít bruise like I did yesterday. I keep moving it around every day, and Iíve got 4 left to do.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 02:59:35 PM
Thursday 30th September

Sleep patterns fell into the same category as yesterday. I was greeted this morning with my mobile. Itís been on silent since I was in hospital, so when it went off yesterday, it was clearly ignored! However, it was my first Ďwhere do I find ...í from my boss! A quick email later and an update on my knee and Iím ready for breakfast.

I even managed to make it down stairs today by 10.30am! My sister-in-law is coming over this afternoon with my niece and nephew so that should be interesting.

Even just lying on the sofa whilst children are around is tiring. My nephew can be quite demanding. He had a small packet of biscuits then wanted another. He did ask again later and still got a no, so tried his mum, then my husband. He still got nowhere!

Iím left to recover once theyíve gone, so a few drugs followed and Iím still catching up on television from whilst I was in hospital.

Iíve done my stabbing now and I seem to be eating quicker too. I just need to get more active so I donít put on more weight!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 02, 2010, 03:04:41 PM
Friday 1st October - One week down

Well Iím a week post op today. My spirits are doing well, although itís normally alcohol night tonight and I canít have any!  :'(

It looks like I canít stab myself on one side of my stomach without bruising though. Yesterdayís needle hole has now bruised. Itís only tiny and compared to the one from a couple of days ago, it wonít be too bad.

Iíve finally been able to catch up on emails this morning whilst my hubbies been out. Itís the first time Iíve been left on my own for any length of time, and I donít feel too bad. I havenít made any food yet and that will be the big problem for me once heís back at work. Being on crutches itís practically impossible to carry anything and Iím really not sure.

Before my operation, I was reading a lot of notes from other people from here who have had this operation and one thing that was mentioned a number of times was Ďelectric shockí type pain running along the scar. I had my first one this morning and boy does it hurt! Fortunately I hadnít had any strong pain killers this morning, but they soon followed that episode! I really hope I donít get many of those, but now itís started, Iím sure Iíll get more :(

Iíve started watching my DVDs this afternoon. No doubt thatís the first step to getting bored. Iím off all next week, and then Iíll be working from home so I hope I am ready to start again.

I struggled to stab myself this evening for the first time. Iím so glad I only have another 2 to do. After that I need to get up and about a bit more so I donít risk any clots.

This evening I was just so tired. I ended up going upstairs by 8.30 and was ready for bed by 9. Still had a rubbish first half of the night as is now becoming the norm, and finally woke at 8. I still donít get more than 3 hours at a time.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 03, 2010, 02:52:45 PM
Saturday 2nd October - Day 8

Hubbieís out on his bike this morning as normal and left me downstairs again. Iíve had a bit of a surf on here and found someone who is 7 weeks ahead of me which was good. Iím now also getting pain in my heels where Iím laid up all the time which is going to bug me. Iíll mention it to the physio on Tuesday to see what I can do to alleviate the pain. I know itís only because I am sat on my butt, but itís annoying.

The one thing I have found is that my stomach muscles appear to be doing some more work when I sit up and lay back down, so hopefully itís a step into losing some of the excess flab I have after nearly a year of no exercise!

After a week of my hubbie doing all the cooking, he wanted a break, so we had take-away delivered. Itíll be great when I can help him out again. It's been quite an uneventful day really.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 04, 2010, 04:35:57 PM
Sunday 3rd October - My first bad day

Iíve been in great spirits until this morning, well the middle of the night. My heels are really sore today from sitting on my bottom all day and itís getting me down a bit. I got left upstairs this morning whilst hubbie did the weekly shop. We then managed (more successfully this time) to wash my hair without getting the bathroom and each other soaked!

The Commonwealth games start today, so Iím watching the opening ceremony. My knee is just having a bad day today. Itís pretty painful compared to what Iíve been used to. Either Iíve been lucky so far, or Iíve been given the right drugs and Iím taking them at the right time to keep the pain levels down.

Iíve also finished my course of Fragmin today - no more stabbing! Iíll give the hospital a call tomorrow to see if Iím okay to leave it or whether itís worth now taking a low dose of aspirin (providing I can take it with the rest of my drugs). I donít want anything to go wrong as Iím still quite immobile. Fingers crossed things will get better tomorrow.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 05, 2010, 11:42:30 AM
Monday 4th October - The bad day continues

Today started off okay. I want to try cutting back on the Tramadol now. I rang the hospital this morning, and I donít need to take any aspirin either now. The good news is that although I have a bit of bleeding and weeping from the top of my wound, they arenít worried as it is mostly down to the Fragmin and a bit of an awkward cut. Looks like all systems go for removal of clips tomorrow! Thatís made me happier now.

I havenít had a great afternoon. A few big twinges of pain which have brought me close to tears, but Iíll get there eventually. So much for wanting to cut down on the pain relief! I think my knee has other ideas. I need a hug. The pain just rumbled on throughout the evening. Still physio starts tomorrow . . .
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: Snowy on October 06, 2010, 09:12:13 AM
Hey Skittle! Sorry to hear that your recovery has been tough so far. It's funny - we go into these surgeries knowing perfectly well that it's a major operation that won't be easy to bounce back from, and yet it's astonishing how slow and painful it is in the immediate aftermath. For me recovery has been one of the toughest experiences of my life, but I also feel like I'm learning so much from it - mostly a degree of patience that I would never have believed I was capable of...

I'm really interested to hear how things progress for you; as someone in my early 30s with arthritis in both knees, cartilage repair is always on my mind. I do hope that as you get over the immediate aftermath of the op, things improve considerably.

Many virtual hugs to you. :)

Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 06, 2010, 02:57:35 PM
Thanks Kay, I must admit that probably up until 4 weeks before surgery I didn't come on here much, but it's been a godsend these past three weeks.

I too am mid thirties and am far too young for a replacement, so I hope the long haul will be worth it.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 06, 2010, 03:04:59 PM
Tuesday 5th October - Physio starts today

Oh what a night! I foolishly decided to take only 1 Tramadol to go to bed on last night and woke at 4am screaming in pain. So much for me cutting down on pain relief. I should have known my knee would have other ideas!

This morning passed quickly, and before we know it, we were bundling me across the back seat of the car and getting off to London. My clips came out easily enough (I didnít look, but hubbie did and watched the three pronged scissors do their stuff) and felt quite tingly afterwards. Itís a weird sensation and something different. The physio worked me really hard and I have a lot of work to do as my quad is just like a lump of wobbly jelly and will need so much work to even get somewhere near decent. I can hardly move my leg and probably have less than 5 degrees of movement. Before stage 1, all I could do was static quad exercises and was walking with a stick for short distances (you could forget anything longer than a hundred meters).

Iíve done some exercises this evening and iced, but itís still sore. My fixed brace is back on to hop and for sleeping, but Iíll be taking it off for exercises from now on. Iíve got physio again on Thursday and am desperate to make some progress by then.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 07, 2010, 09:50:13 AM
Wednesday 6th October - On my own

Probably my best nightís sleep last night! Iím fairly sure I didnít sleep through the night, but it felt a better sleep.

Hubbieís back at work today, so Iím being left on my own for the first time for more than a couple of hours. Iíve been left with a number of calls to make and a heap of exercises. I had a text check in from hubbie late morning, so I gave him a quick call. My knee is aching from exercises, I donít want to overdo it, but Iíve got to get this leg moving.

I managed to get down on the floor this evening. I waited for hubbie just to make sure I didnít have trouble either way (I didnít). Iíve managed to lift my heel off the floor eventually, but only about a sheet of paper away. Itís a start, but it took a while. I probably have about 10 degrees of movement now, but I have physio tomorrow lunchtime. Doing exercises, then icing followed by bed meant I slept right though for the first time since surgery.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: Lottiefox on October 07, 2010, 03:31:36 PM
Hey Skittle

Thanks for keeping your diary updated. Sometimes people are reading but not always posting replies. Your experiences will be really useful for other people having MACI. Don't beat yourself on the pain meds reduction, MACI is MAJOR bone work and you'll need some medication help for a while. You're doing well, this is a long recovery from what I've read but those who take it slow and steady have great outcomes. Keep us posted and I hope improvements are soon on their way.

I'm a UK gal too, MACI was mooted for me but my whole knee is a bit - well, worn out and most of it is patella which MACI isn't great for. So, I trundle along with PT, some drugs and lots of indoor cycling!

Take care

Lottie x
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 08, 2010, 09:21:33 AM
Thursday 7th October - Physio session 2

Mummy is coming over today so I can get to physio later. Iím looking to start dumping the brace from today. Iíll still sleep with it for a bit, but itís probably going to have to go back at the end of the month when I have my review with Prof Briggs.

Bundled myself into the back of Mumí car at lunchtime to get to physio and managed to get a spot at the top car park (the easy access). Physio went well and Iím getting rom of nearly 30 with assistance. I need to be 45 by next Thursday (fingers crossed). Exercises in the evening didnít give me anything additional, but I have a few days to go yet.

Current plans are for hydrotherapy to start in a couple of weeks which gives my wound a chance to fully heal. I canít get in the water until it does. Iím a big water baby, and I havenít been in the pool for a year, so itís giving me something to really look forward to.

I needed to up the pain relief today, but with physio I really expected it.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 09, 2010, 07:04:06 PM
Friday 8th October - My best friend visits!

I had a great nightís sleep last night. Clearly getting more exercise during the day is having its benefits. Iím still on the same amount of pain relief to go to bed on, but I wonít drop it until at least tonight as if I have a problem in the night, itís not fair to disturb hubbie. Heís getting tired having to do everything plus working full time with an hour commute each way. At least itís the weekend tomorrow so he can chill out a bit after his cycle ride.

My best friend is coming over today. Sheís been living in Lanzarote for the past 18 months and has just come back. Weíve not seen each other since May when she came to visit with her husband and their daughter (whoís now 29 months old) so we've got some catching up to do.

Iíve been reading a few diaries on here whilst Iíve been at home, and noticed talk about a femoral block. I remember the anaesthetist saying Iíd get a local in my leg as itís a really painful operation. Reading through the discussions of the block triggered some vague recollection of my leg muscles jumping all over the place just prior to surgery. Itís pretty much the only thing I remember from pre-theatre to be honest.

Exercises today have been tough, achy and well tough. I canít even lift my heel remotely off the floor and flexing isnít getting anywhere near what I had yesterday. My knee hurts a lot, so as much as I hate it, Iím giving in to pain relief. I suppose now that Iím moving around itís going to happen :(

Iíve spoken to my boss this afternoon to confirm that Iím taking next week off sick instead of working from home. Things have been really manic whilst Iíve been off and I feel a little guilty leaving the team in the lurch for longer than I anticipated, but Iíll start checking through my emails next week and see how it goes.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 10, 2010, 01:43:24 PM
Saturday 9th October - Episode  err . . . Day 15

Lesson learned last night - when Iím half asleep I have no balance. Thankfully Iím still wearing my brace at night and I only fell onto the bed. It was enough to wake hubbie up and give him a bit of a scare. I was fine though and grateful that my leg just went straight up in the air and came back down on top of the other one.

I watched my first film today since surgery. Iíve held off this long not because I know it can be the start of a slippery slope to boredom, but more because I havenít had the attention span to be able to watch anything longer than 45 minutes. I decided to watch Mamma Mia! Iíve never seen it before nor knew the storyline, but I couldnít stop laughing! Trying to dance when youíre sat down trying to do exercises is amusing too!

Did the best thing this afternoon - I HAD A BATH! Finally got a look at my new war wound and at last it appears to have stopped weeping. It looks like Iíve had a blood blister which was causing the bleeding and weeping. Itís just one big scab now covering three clip holes. Weíll just have to see how it pans out to see what level of rubbish-ness it looks like, but the rest of it looks pretty good to me.

More exercises to do this evening. . .
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 11, 2010, 12:43:46 PM
Sunday 10th October - 10/10/10

Getting there with the exercises now and moving a little more in the right direction. A little bit of the scab fell of this morning and it doesnít look too bad underneath. Itís my nieceís birthday today, so Iím getting a change of scenery and going to visit her later. It means bundling me in the back seat again, but I donít mind.

I managed about an hour before my knee started to ache too much and we came home. Got out of the brace and jogging bottoms and back into more comfortable shorts and went to sit down . . . BANG! Bent my knee slightly, got a massive hit of pain and the room span. Fortunately I was about to sit on the sofa anyway, so I fell backwards crying and screaming. Once the pain had subsided enough to stop crying I went straight for pain relief. I donít pussyfoot around now when it starts. That followed by ice meant that it settled within about 45 minutes.

Still, off to the doctorís tomorrow . . .
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: Snowy on October 11, 2010, 08:51:13 PM
Ouch! The unexpected bend doesn't sound like fun at all. I hope the doctor is able to reassure you that no damage has been done.

Congrats on the first bath - that's a blissful post-surgery moment. :)

Hope all continues to go well!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 12, 2010, 12:05:38 PM
Hi Snowy!
Fortunately the bend was mid air and was just a result of having it my fixed brace for a tad too long whilst visiting my niece and a coldish room. It doesn't feel any different inside and like many people here I'm sure you understand the change in feelings if anything goes wrong. It does ache a bit if I let it stiffen up, but I don't get too many sharp pains nows, just a constant low level pain.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 12, 2010, 12:06:54 PM
Monday 11th October

Weird dreams again last night - donít you just love drugs? Exercises again this morning. They are getting a little easier now, so no doubt Iíll get some new ones at Physio tomorrow even though Iíve still got a lot more movement to get. I just look at it as one small hop towards getting back in the pool (albeit hydrotherapy to begin with).

My MIL is coming over later to take me to the doctors to get another sick note and more drugs. No doubt the doc will want to see my new scar and Iíll need to describe whatís gone on in the past 17 days. She arrived just as I was finishing my exercises.

As suspected, I needed to explain everything to my GP, but I walked out with my sick note and more drugs and she didnít ask to look at my scar. Fair enough I did have my brace on, so she probably didnít want to disturb it. But the look on her face when she called me in was an absolute picture. It was almost ĎOMG what have I got here?í

Another set of exercises to go today, then ice and bed. Sleep enables my body to fix itself, and Iíve not had my afternoon nap today for the second day in a row.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 13, 2010, 08:19:34 AM
Tuesday 12th October - Physio session 3

I had a reasonable night sleep last night. I only woke a couple of times with shoulder ache as Iíd pulled myself onto my pillows again. Mummy is coming over again today to take me to physio, sheís cooking dinner for us again tonight which has made hubbie happy.

Physio is chuffed with my progress and I have ROM over 45 which was Thursdayís aim (itís more like 60 from cold). I have more exercises to do including SLR and massaging. Physio wasnít worried at all about my bout of pain on Sunday either which was cool. The scar is looking good, and sheís going to check if they have the equipment to get me into the hydro-pool whilst Iím still non-weightbearing. If so, Iíll be getting wet in a couple of weekís time which will give the scar a bit more time to dry out. As a result of progress, my Physio has cancelled my session on Thursday, so Iím back in a weekís time!

Iím staying fairly positive at the moment which is great as Iím not the strongest person mentally, but the more I think about what this means to me, the more positive Iíll hopefully stay.
I start looking through my work emails tomorrow with a view to working from home full-time next week. TBH itíll be nice to get back to an office - Iím starting to miss people
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 14, 2010, 09:52:53 AM
Wednesday 13th October - Day 19

I had a rough night last night. Woke up at 1.30 and just couldnít get comfortable, so I propped myself up on my pillows and proverbially tossed and turned (as much as you can in a fixed brace!). Iím going to try and sleep without it on Saturday night, so weíll see what happens then.

Started going through my work emails this morning and emailing my boss a bit. Heís made me laugh today which is good as I wonít see a soul until hubbie gets home late this evening. Even doing half a dayís work has worn me out and Iíve had my first afternoon nap since Saturday.

Sleeping without my brace this afternoon has meant that my knee is quite sore this evening. I really want to ditch the brace and if Iím going to get pain like this, it may be longer before I sleep without it. But positive thoughts are a must so Iíll still give it a go on Saturday.

Another day of highs and lows. My high today was cooking dinner for the first time since surgery. It was only pizza and chips, which you can just throw in the oven, but itís a start and itís another night that hubbie doesnít have to cook.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 15, 2010, 07:58:56 AM
Thursday 14th October

Yet another uncomfortable night last night. Either I couldnít get comfortable or my knee couldnít - why couldnít they both just settle at the same time? Thankfully it didnít disturb hubbie too much and itís settled this morning. Iím doing some work today with the aim of working a bit more than yesterday. I probably did less work today, but I didnít fall asleep so thatís got to be a step forward in my book.

Exercises have been going well today and I actually managed an SLR on my own! It was only the one, but itís a start and more than I could do yesterday. I havenít been able to do one since, but itís one more than Iíve been able to do since last December, so thatís my big high for today.

The Commonwealth Games finish today, so itís daytime television for me tomorrow. If thatís not an incentive to go back to work I donít know what is!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 16, 2010, 09:04:51 AM
Friday 15th October - Three weeks gone!

I actually had a really good nightís sleep last night and tried going to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees (and brace). It was a little strange and uncomfortable, but I managed about an hour before giving up and rolling on my back. I hardly disturbed hubbie too which was really good. To top it all, I even cut back on my night time pain relief, from 2 Tramadol to 1. The next step will be to replace it with paracetamol (Iím currently on 6 a day).

I canít believe itís only three weeks since I was a mix of cacking my pants and nervously excited about going into hospital to be fixed. If I said it had flown by Iíd be lying. Iím still trying to settle into a routine which is going to be a problem when I start back working next week. Still, Iíll cope (I hope!)

Iíve managed to get some more work done today, and hopefully by building up over the last three days will mean that next week I can do reasonably well. At least I havenít fallen asleep today.

Exercises have been tough today for some reason, so Iíve cut down the number of reps, but increased the frequency. Maybe the change will do my leg some good. Iím starting to get some shape in my leg now and itís not a mass of quivering jelly anymore which Iím really proud of. My left leg (the good one) is also looking the most toned it ever has with all this hopping and jumping up stairs!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 17, 2010, 10:53:43 AM
Saturday 16th October - Hubbie does overtime

I tried getting to sleep on my side again last night with the brace and it seemed a lot more comfortable than the night before. Iíve cut the Tramadol down to one a night for the second night running and itís starting to give me weird dreams. Theyíre not nightmares, just surreal so I donít think itís anything to do with withdrawal symptoms Iíve read that can occur with Tramadol. No doubt Iíll get those when I cut out, but it looks like they only last a week or so, and Iím weaning myself off as quickly as I dare. I canít rush it because I still have some pain episodes every now and then, but they are getting less so fingers crossed Iíll soon be able to replace Tramadol with paracetamol (I know itís not great replacing one drug with another, but needs must) and then cut down on that too. Iíve been living off paracetamol since the start of December 2009.

Still, itís the weekend and the sun is shining. However, Iím housebound as hubbie has had to work today. Iíve also got to try and make my own lunch today which shouldnít be too bad, but does mean I have to eat in the kitchen because I canít carry anything. He did however, get a plate out for me as itís the one thing I canít do, so weíll see how it goes . . .

Lunch was a sandwich, so I managed to eat in the kitchen with no worries. Watched my second film since surgery ĎElizabethí which was okay, but I just couldnít get into it. I guess I just want some company as I canít wait until hubbie gets home :( Iím having a bit of a down moment because I havenít seen anyone other than my hubbie since Tuesday. I really need to get back to civilization and soon.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 18, 2010, 08:36:33 AM
Sunday 17th October - Civilization beckons!

Blimey I was a miserable moo yesterday wasnít I?

A much better night sleep last night. Iím still waking around 1.30 and 4.30 in the morning regardless, but it appears my body has adapted to this broken pattern. I woke up last night on my side which considering I didnít ditch my brace as I originally intended to do I was really chuffed about.

I told hubbie when he got in last night about not seeing anyone for days, so weíve agreed to bundle me in the back of the car later and visit Pets at Home.  Iím also getting a bath this afternoon too. Having a wash down every day whilst heís at work because time is short in the mornings is okay, but it doesnít beat a proper wash!

Iím also in much better spirits today probably because Iíve got things planned.

Pets at Home was great (and I never really thought Iíd say that either). I got to see people; I mean REAL people and not just ones on the TV screen. Woo Hoo! Today has been really great highs compared to yesterday. Iíve had a massive hug from hubbie and another bath. Getting in and out of the bath was so much easy than last week and I couldnít believe just how dead skin I scrubbed off, especially after doing the same last week too!

Iíve managed to sit at a table for all three meals today which was a real improvement as since surgery Iíve either been lying in a bed or lying on the sofa. Itís a big step forward for me and tomorrow I start back at work. Iím working from home for the week, but only 4 days. Iíll see how the week goes before deciding what Iíll do the week after that.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 19, 2010, 08:26:33 AM
Monday 18th October - Back to work

I slept a lot more on my side last night, so hopefully itíll be a lot easier when I lose the brace at nights too. Mornings have become a far more efficient machine now and weíre getting into a routine (which may be thrown into chaos next week if I decide to try for an office visit!).

Work is busy playing catch-up, but Iíll get there. Iím still making time to get my exercises done which is important. I can see my diary taking a bit of a back seat from now on, but Iíll still try and update everyone at least weekly for a while.

A full day at work wore me out more than I expected and I was asleep on the sofa (sans brace!) when he got home. Managed to eat at the table (my temporary office) again which was good, so hopefully Iíve taken one more step back to normality. For some reason this evening, we also decided to measure my scar too. I always presumed it would be 4 inches, but it is a chunk smaller. Itís only 8cm (just over 3 inches). About half the scabs have fallen off now, and itís looking good.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 20, 2010, 08:03:21 AM
Tuesday 19th October - Physio session 4

Iíve a day off work today to use up my holiday before the end of the year. Iíve physio this afternoon and mummy is coming over today as well to be chauffeur. She ended up being housemaid to cleaning the bathroom and kitchen which was fantastic. Physio went really well. I got forced to lie on my front today but managed a ROM of 110 with it. Flexing on my front I have ROM of 90 which was what I need for when I see Prof Briggs in just over 1 week. As far as flexing goes, Iím slightly ahead of schedule, but my muscles are still quite weak. My aim for next physio session is an SLR completely unassisted!† Iíve met every challenge my physio has thrown at me so far, but this is going to be my toughest yet.

On a downside, I found out today that Iím not getting hydro therapy until Iím weight bearing just in case I lose my balance or slip. Itís just to safeguard the graft, but itís a little disappointing none the less.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 22, 2010, 09:04:54 AM
Double update today

Wednesday 20th October - Day 26

A busy day at the Ďofficeí today, but I made the mistake of putting my leg up on one of the dining room chairs. Getting up was not the problem, but getting the leg back down was. A few twinges followed and it remained sore all evening. On the plus side, I only had 1 Tramadol today.

Thursday 21st October

Slept okay considering how much I ached yesterday evening, but this morning it has all but settled back down. Itís now just toes and heels that are sore. This morning it was a little bit noisy next door and outside. It didnít bother me last week, but then I wasnít working. I ended up being picked up and taken into the office in the afternoon. I got to catch up with people I hadnít seen for five weeks, so it was good socially as well.

Drugs wise, for the past two days Iíve had a full daily dose of diclofenac sodium, 6 paracetamol and 1 Tramadol. Pain wise, itís starting to feel good again.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 24, 2010, 06:29:14 PM
Double update again

Friday 22nd October - Red Foot Day

My toes are still sore this morning, so off came the DVT prevention sock to reveal a red, hot and swollen foot and toes. Going back to working this week, Iíve been sat with both legs down for a large chunk of the day . . . so hubbie has now sorted out a box for me to rest on which elevates my leg by about a foot, and Iíll try and take more breaks. Naughty me.

However, work is now starting to pile on jobs for me whilst Iím working at home. Itíll make me busier and I fear I wonít get the time to get exercises done during the day.

I managed to cook most of dinner tonight which meant that hubbie didnít have to do that much and could enjoy his Friday night wine. I canít wait to get off the Tramadol so that I can join him again. I only had one again today, so I donít think it will be too long. Cooking was a big bonus of my day, but it was also the first day I decided to sleep without my brace on.

Saturday 23rd October - 4 weeks and a day

I slept pretty well considering I didnít have my brace on, and itís given me a big uplift. My foot is also a lot better today. Itís still red and warm, but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. Lesson learned - I must elevate more!

We had a family birthday party today, which meant a bundle in the back of the car and lots of kiddies running around - brace time. I lasted surprisingly well considering what my foot was like yesterday. I was doing okay as I had my foot elevated most of the day and I managed to get all my exercises done.

I was having such a good day I was looking forward to not only sleeping without my brace but not having to take any Tramadol either. However, once I got upstairs to bed it just ached so much I gave in.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 26, 2010, 11:07:22 AM
Sunday 24th October - Big Sleep

Other than my usual waking at 1.30 and 4.30, I woke at 7, then after 9. Considering I went to bed just after 10 last night, that was a real big sleep. I guess I just donít have my party feet on yet!

Iíve been really pushing my exercises today as I need to be able to do a straight leg raise by next Tuesday when I see the physio again. Today I managed my first one! Okay my quad quivers like thereís no tomorrow, but Iíve managed it and things can only get better.

Monday 25th October

I had a rough night last night waking every 3 hours as normal. I wish I could get into a longer routine, but my body just doesnít want to. Whenever I woke up my knee ached, so I did a few flexes before settling back down. Iím reluctant to put the brace back on at night and this was my third night in a row without it, and the last thing I want to do is increase the pain relief either. I was hoping to cut out the Tramadol and just stick to paracetamol, but knee has other plans at the moment.

Managed all my exercises today and the straight leg raises are coming along nicely. My plan tonight is to go without the Tramadol, so Iíve upped the paracetamol to its max and weíll give it a go.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 28, 2010, 02:13:52 PM
Tuesday 26th October - Physio session 5

Sleeping without Tramadol didnít quite go to plan, and not only did I toss and turn, my knee ached so much this morning, so I gave in when I woke up this morning. Iíve got my last physio session before I see Prof Briggs tomorrow evening.

I got worked really hard at physio and managed a whole heap of exercises. Iíve been given some slightly more advanced ones and weíll see what Prof Briggs says tomorrow night before moving on to the next stage.

Wednesday 27th October - Post surgery Check-up

Work, work, work, work, work. Thatís pretty much been my day. Iíve had meetings galore, which enable me to sit with my leg up and do all my exercises. My SLRís are coming along well now, which will help when I can start weight-bearing.

Got stuck on the M25 getting to Watford this evening to see Prof Briggs. We managed to get there with about 4 minutes to spare only to be told Ďheís not here yetí. . . Anyway, once he arrived, he whizzed through the backlog and soon I was hopping in to see him. Heís well pleased with the scar and I even managed to get ROM of 120! He had a go about me turning up with my brace in hand (Iím only using it to travel and in public now), and said I shouldnít need it at all now.

Travelled home that night without it and it ached all evening . . . Maybe I need to wean myself off of it for travelling rather than going cold turkey!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 29, 2010, 06:48:29 PM
Thursday 28th October

Second day in a row back in the office. Iím looking to up my days to a full week as of Monday with the aim of being full time back in the office in 3 weeks (8 weeks post op). Iíve got one week until I start PWB, and boy I canít wait!

Friday 29th October - 5 weeks post surgery

Iím 5 weeks down the line today, so time for a bit of an update on how things are going. So far, Iíd have to say Iím glad Iíve had it done. Who knows what Iíll feel like when I start weight bearing next week!

Pain wise, Iím currently on 150mg diclofenac (50mg x 3), 3000mg paracetamol (1000mg x 3), 50mg Tramadol (50mg x 1) each day. Tonight Iím going to try cutting out the Tramadol again and replacing with a dose of paracetamol. I first did this earlier in the week, but felt terrible the day after.

Iíve only had a fixed brace which I was given in hospital and kept on for the first 10 days solid, which I started to wean myself off of after week 3. I started at removal for exercises, then a few hours a day, then all day. I started sleeping on my side with it at some point between weeks 3 and 4, then at week 4 lost it at night completely. Itís now only used for public appearances and travelling. My next step is to wean myself of it whilst travelling, then in public.

I only ice once a day unless my knee is having a bad day, then I ice where itís practicable, otherwise itís ice gel (Biofreeze). Itís a bit like Deep Heat, but goes cold instead and still hasnít gone over the scar. The knee is still swollen and if I press my fingers into the knee next to the scar slightly I get dimples, but it does stay elevated most of the time (either sat on the sofa with both legs up, or at my desk with a box and cushion underneath).

I massage the scar tissue twice daily in small circles over the scar, but not down the sides. This is upon my physioís advice as we donít know the state of the tissue underneath the scar, and donít want to risk it breaking up (although by now itís probably going to be okay!).

I canít hop far without getting out of breathe (and I was pretty fit before my knee went last December), but I can do a 2-point turn on my sticks! I can stand still for a couple of minutes before the non-operated leg starts to ache.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 01, 2010, 01:36:24 PM
Saturday 30th October

I managed last night without Tramadol, getting through with just paracetamol this time. Iíll forgive the weird dreams, the broken sleep and feeling down this morning. Itís just withdrawal symptoms, and theyíll soon go. My knee doesnít have the deep ache it did last time I tried going without Tramadol which shows how much difference a few days can make.

Sunday 31st October

Second night in a row without Tramadol last night. The weird dreams are subsiding, Iím getting more sleep and I feel fine today. Fingers crossed, this is now a turning point to getting off Tramadol. I still have a few just in case for when I start PWB later this week, so weíll see how it goes.

Bundled in the car this afternoon with brace over to my best friend. They were going to throw their dog out in the garden as heís normally quite a bundle of energy (and an over sized German Shepherd). However he was an absolute star and I was more than comfortable without the brace on around him. Travelling is becoming awkward sat in the back seat as itís making me travel-sick over 20 miles. I canít wait to get back in the front seat of a car!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 04, 2010, 01:17:42 PM
Monday 1st November

Back to an office today. Iíve managed another night with Tramadol and Iím starting to feel really tired and down in the evenings. Today was no exception. I am however, finding my exercises easier and have started massaging my right foot in anticipation of having some weight pushed through it on Thursday evening - boy does that hurt! I wish Iíd done it sooner and Iím not putting that much pressure on it either.

Tuesday 2nd November

I had a really rubbish nightís sleep last night. I lost track of the times I woke up, thought Iíd woken up but was still dreaming and basically couldnít get comfy. I even went back to sleeping with my teddy bear which I havenít had for a few weeks now. My dreams are completely wacked out, stupid or scare me and I was only on Tramadol for five weeks! I really canít wait for the withdrawal symptoms to disappear. From what Iíve read itís a least a week, so weíll just have to see how it goes.

Wednesday 3rd November

Still having really manic nights, but hopefully it will settle soon. Todayís only news is that I pushed my exercises last night too far . . .díoh!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 05, 2010, 05:47:49 PM
Thursday 4th November - PWB Begins!

I must admit thereís a lot of nervous anticipation about tonightís physio session. Part of me is really looking forward to being able to not hop everywhere and part of thinks itís going to hurt. . . .

PWB is the weirdest thing going! After starting nervously with putting a trainer on for the first time in 6 weeks which felt really heavy at the end of my leg, I managed to do an SLR with ease. Queue sitting on the bed with my feet down and a few simple exercises and Iím off on my crutches learning to walk again. Heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe. Apparently I have good technique, but Iím concentrating like mad! Iíll get there without thinking soon. Iíve climbed stairs one at a time now without hopping and it feels really good.

With every step I make I get a sensation of pins and needles in my foot which instantly disappears the moment the weight comes off. The best bit for me was no real pain in the knee at all. For the sensation in the foot (even though Iíve been massaging my foot every day for the past week), I can start to feel a little happier about myself and my knee now.

Itís been nearly a week without Tramadol now, and I am so looking forward to alcohol tomorrow night!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 09, 2010, 02:05:29 PM
Friday 5th November - 6 weeks post op

Rang the hospital this morning to check about surgical stockings as Iím still wearing two! Theyíve said I donít need them anymore, so itís off to find where my socks have been hiding for the past 6 weeks. Itís going to be strange without them, but itís one more step to some degree of normality (whatever that is going to be for me now).

Iíve been off Tramadol for a week now, and the withdrawal symptoms have almost gone. Iím sleeping so much better now as well. Iíve started to cut back on the Diclofenac Sodium to 100mg (2 x 50mg) a day, but still 4000mg of paracetamol (except for when I forget a dose!) I know I still need the maximum because m knee has a really deep ache that evening and the following morning.

I actually sat in the front of the car after physio last night. It felt so strange after getting used to the back seat. Itís only a 10 minute journey home from the hospital, but my red scar had turned purple in that time, so it was dinner on the sofa and ice on the knee. Itís never great having a techni-colour leg.

Saturday 6th November

I was sat in bed doing my first set of exercises of the day, but something in the knee went ping. I got a bit worried, but upon looking at the scar, part of the last big scab was missing. I must try not to miss any tablets today though, Iím getting really forgetful and this week Iíve missed a dose of pain relief at least twice. By the time Iíd walked to the bathroom this morning, my legs were two different colours! Itís strange not having stockings on anymore, but Iím glad to be without them. The one thing I have noticed (and itís one mainly for the ladies), is not to shave when youíre wearing stockings. It may be unsightly, but Iíve had so many ingrown hairs where theyíve had nowhere to go because of the tightness of the stockings itís unbelievable. Looking back, the new scar on my knee is a big change to how my leg looks, and shaving could have easily waited (even though I looked like a yeti!) .

Sunday 7th November

I missed my third dose of pain relief yet again yesterday and Iím regretting it today. My knee really aches, so today itís time to cut back on exercises and elevate (and not miss any pain relief). Getting in and out of the bath was much easier this time, so next week weíre going to fill the bath up before I get in to see if I can cope. All of the little puncture scabs from the clips have gone now and I just have one big chunk of scab left now, but it doesnít seem quite ready to come off.

Unfortunately that all changed early evening as I had a sharp pain along the scar which made my leg jump and my jogging bottoms somehow managed to rip it off. It was quite a deep scab (so what remained bled) and now whatís left aches and feels uncomfortable. I can only see how it goes now.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 10, 2010, 07:01:12 PM
Monday 8th November / Tuesday 9th November
Iíve been having real problems with blood pooling in my foot these past few days. Itís fine when Iím elevating it and asleep, but if I let the leg drop when sitting or wake in the night, my foot swells, gets hot and purple. The moment I start flexing the ankle, it alleviates, so I know something is wrong. It looks like my veins arenít working the way they should be and itís only since Iíve taken the stockings off that Iíve noticed. Hopefully theyíve just become lazy, but Iíve ended up wearing a stocking to get back to sleep at night now. I have physio on Thursday, but I donít know if itís too long to wait or whether I should make a GPs appointment now.

Update: I ended up putting my tubi back on Tuesday afternoon, and hey presto - less purple foot! Itís only mildly pink and hardly aches. Maybe going from stocking and tubi to nothing was just too much of a shock to the leg. Hopefully I can wean myself off the tubi over the next week or so when Iím more mobile and everything will be okay.

Wednesday 10th November

Iíve left the tubi on for the past 24 hours and my leg is now much happier. Itís slightly pinker if I leave it down for too long, but on the whole itís less hot and swollen. Maybe I didnít learn from last time. Iím still doing ankle flexion exercises when itís down which will help the veins do what theyíre meant to do. Iíve got physio tomorrow and Iím supposed to be down to one crutch. Unfortunately this is one challenge Iím not going to meet, but Iíll try for next week (week 8) and go from there.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 19, 2010, 01:06:36 PM
Thursday 11th November

I managed to stand for the two minute silence today which I was impressed with. Iíve tried more exercises at physio and have tried walking with just one stick. Apparently the mechanics are all there, I just lack confidence (plus it aches after about 5 minutes).

Friday 12th November - Week 7

I travelled to and from work today completely without my brace on. Hopefully, thatís the last Iíll see of it now before it gets put away in the cupboard. Itís only taken two weeks since Prof Briggs said I didnít need it anymore to be able to ditch it completely. I still havenít really been out in public since surgery, but I feel confident enough to not wear it if I go out. This evening I tried going down to one stick and it feels okay. The strength is coming back slowly to my quads (yippee).

This week Iíve dropped the paracetamol down to 3000mg a day and see how it goes.

Week 7 update

My crutch slipped off the bottom step on Saturday and I slammed my operation leg straight down. Big, big pain, but after flexing it for about 5 minutes and icing it has started to settle back down. It still feels good to walk on, so Iím hopeful of no damage done. I stayed on two crutches for the day, but straight back down to one the following day. Itís definitely getting easier to walk now, so fingers crossed, Iíll be down to a stick very soon, and then completely free within the next two weeks!

The weather has played havoc this week and being damp and cold hasnít really helped, but then thatís autumn for you!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 25, 2010, 01:41:25 PM
Week 8 update
Iím down to just a walking stick now and can quite happily wander a few wobbly paces around the house. Pills wise, Iíve now started taking paracetamol as and when and am down to 2000mg a day and 50mg diclofenac sodium.

The strength in my quad is coming along a treat and Iíve now been allowed on the exercise bike for 10 minutes a day with no resistance.

Iím still doing plenty of exercises a day, and have started travelling short distances in the front of the car which means that I now donít have to lay across the back seat so much (woo hoo!).

Iím also well on target to ditch all forms of stick by Christmas, and probably even by the end of November which is even better.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on December 07, 2010, 06:13:44 PM
Week 9 update
The start of week 9 is when the stick got ditched and I only go out on crutches to walk distance (like into town to do the Christmas shopping). Itís great being able to carry things again and not relying on a waiter (aka hubbie). I now only walk with a wobble when my knee gets tired, but it seems I can potter around for a bit more now.

Week 9 also saw the end of diclofenac for the first time in 51 weeks. Hopefully paracetamol wonít be too far behind, but I still ache and get twinges, so it may still be a while.

Iím still cycling 10 minutes a day on no resistance as my knee aches after 8 minutes still. If I slow down, I donít ache, but I donít feel like Iíve done anything either. Exercises are coming on gradually and moving to more advanced levels, but I still canít sit on the bed and straighten my leg out because my quads arenít strong enough.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on December 07, 2010, 06:19:37 PM
Week 10 mid week update
Week 10 sees a visit back to Prof Briggs mid week. Hopefully heíll be happy with my progress tomorrow. Iím still wearing a tubi almost full time, but I have a posh works do on 7th January and I want to wear a dress so I need to start getting used to life without it! I want to wear heels too, so I hope Iím not setting my hopes too high!

I had to cancel physio this week because of the snow, so now that itís gone, itíll be all systems go again. My knee does not like the snow and Iíve slipped a couple of times and kept everything crossed, but the strong twinges settle quickly, so hopefully all is still okay.

Iíve been getting a rising number of electrical shock pains along the scar in the past two weeks. The only good side to them seems to be that I have a smaller numb spot on my knee. Something to talk to Prof Briggs over. . .
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on January 06, 2011, 02:02:48 PM
Week 10 update
Saw Prof Briggs and heís pretty happy with my movement (up to about 95% now) and pain levels, so next visit is 3 months away!

Weeks 11-12
Iíve dropped the pain relief right down to nothing now, and only take a couple of paracetamol when I need to which is fantastic. Iím a much happier bunny now and hubbie gets to see it to, so heís getting some relief from all the chores.

Weeks 13-14
I dropped the tubi at the start of week 13 and my leg felt a little wobbly and unprotected for the first couple of days, but after that Iíve not looked back. Itís only gone on for trips into town which have been few and far between, but Iím getting there. Physio is coming along well, but Iím still not driving or climbing up stairs properly :( - Iíll get there one day!

The cycling is improving slowly and I now have some resistance for the whole time Iím cycling. Iím walking without sticks or crutches now and only use a walking stick for distance. Iíve managed to walk a grand distance of just over half a mile with a stick, and Iím looking to increase that slowly, then drop the stick completely over the next few months.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on February 01, 2011, 02:00:03 PM
Week 15
First week of the New Year and Iím recovering from flu, so Iíve not done much exercises which has hurt my progress. We had our annual Office meeting and ended off down the nightclub afterwards. I didnít do any dancing, but being on your feet most of the day is not great for a weakened leg.

Weeks 16-18
Iíve had tonsillitis this week - really not doing well here. On the plus side, Iíve managed to walk up stairs properly for the first time in over 13 months!

Being able to walk upstairs normally (ish) has made a real difference to the progress Iím making now.  I am able to walk a lot further without a walking stick now (about 1/3 mile) and itís getting a little bit more each time I go out.

I sat in the car for the first time in over 13 months too at the weekend and tried a few stamps on the brake. It only hurts a little and the pain doesnít last, so hopefully Iíll be able to start driving in the next couple of weeks. I dread to think what my driving awareness and hazard perception is like!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on March 16, 2011, 01:42:16 PM
Week 19
OMG! I drove! I only managed 10 minutes, but itís more than Iíve done in over a year. When I got out of the car, my leg just completely gave way, but a few small paces, and it was okay again. It just aches like it does when I do a lot of exercises.

Week 20
Iíve driven twice this week, and Iím now up to 5 miles in the car (that does sound really bad doesnít it?). Iím slowly building it up, so Iím sure itíll be okay soon. Exercises are coming along really well too now. Iíve started doing squats and calf rises this week with the physio and theyíll really help with the driving and walking. I can now walk Ĺ mile without a stick now and at last my speed is getting up to somewhere near where it used to be. I donít feel like Iím being overtaken my old folk anymore which makes me happy.

Week 21
Really big update for me this week. My physio has decided that Iím doing so well, Iím now being moved to once every other week. Fingers crossed, itíll be gym work soon.

Week 23
Iím driving every Friday now, and Iím up to just over 20 miles over the course of the day (to and from work). I still canít drive all the way (itís an 80 mile round trip), but Iím getting there. Exercises have stalled slightly and it turns out to be the level of scar tissue, so a quick blast of ultrasound and some deep massaging lies ahead of me. . . (and itís painful!)

Week 24
The extra massaging is causing the nerve regeneration to go into overdrive! I suppose itís a good thing, but boy is it distracting. At least the bonus is that the scar tissue is clearly starting to break down and go a little bit squidgier.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on March 25, 2011, 01:49:34 PM
Week 25
Had my last physio session at the hospital this week - Iím now progressing to Gym physio. Itíll be hard work all over again, but I know itís going to be worth it. Saw Prof Briggs for my 6 month check-up on Wednesday and passed with flying colours. I have full range of movement (but I swear itís still about 98 %!). I have no tenderness along the scar, and the added bonus is that Iíve only had 2 paracetamol since January.

Iím up to walking a mile unaided now, and Iíve been told to Ďget on my bikeí - Cheers Briggs! Seriously though, now that the weather is improving, Iím going to be getting on the exercise bike every day to build up the conditioning that I need to head out doors. My bike may be overdue a service though (but must not make excuses!).
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: Catsmum on March 26, 2011, 08:28:07 PM
Hi Skittle

Thanks for posting such a helpful post op diary. I am about to embark on stage 2 of MACI/ACI and it's very reassuring to know that you are doing so well at the 6 month stage. I hope you continue to progress and wish you all the best for the cycling!

Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on May 20, 2011, 01:46:20 PM
Hi catsmum,

Sorry it's been a while since I've been on here. I'm glad you've found this useful. When I started out writing, I didn't want it to be a 'pretty-pretty' blog, because this type of surgery just isn't like that. It's hard work, darn painful and stressful, but I'm at 34 weeks today, and I can safely say it's been worth it.

Keep positive!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on May 20, 2011, 01:49:17 PM
Week 34
Itís been a while since Iíve updated everything on here, so a quick update on how things have been going in the past 9 weeks. I have a new physio now who has completely shaken up my routine which is has made my progress come on leaps and bounds and Iím now starting to get some muscle definition back to my quads. Weíve been working on balance and core muscles for over a month now and itís really starting to show.

My walking has come on leaps and bounds and I can now easily walk over a mile a day, Iím cycling for 30 minutes a time (once or twice a week because Iím lazy) and Iíve finally convinced my hubbie to take me swimming once a week now too.

We first went swimming last week and from what Iíd read from other blogs I was expecting a fair bit of nerve regeneration pain in the pool, which made me quite nervous. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this didnít happen. I was chuffed that I thought Iíd got away with it, but on the way home I had the biggest shoot of pain Iíd had for a long time - thankfully I wasnít driving! Iíve had a few spikes since, but nothing as strong as that one.

Iíve still got two numb patches next to the scar line, but they are now smaller and I know that with every bit of pain I get, it will get smaller. I doubt it will completely go, but I can walk and Iím not in masses of pain every day, so itís a small price to pay for being able to live a relatively normal life again.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on June 04, 2011, 09:13:12 AM
8 1/2 months down the line and a quick update . . .

I'm off on my first holiday in two years! Dead excited though so I just thought I'd share it with you all. I've packed a knee support which I really hope is going along for the ride along with walking poles and a pack of paracetamol. Can't see anything else should be needed.

yippee!  8)
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on June 12, 2011, 10:03:11 PM
Back from my hols!
Another quick update - just got back from Tenby, weather was great all week, just a tad on the windy side! My knee doesnít do high winds but I guess thatís just down to the lack of overall strength still in my leg. Iíve been walking over 5 miles a day and swimming every evening as well. The one thing I have noticed from swimming is that my scar itches afterwards and I get a lot more knee regeneration spikes in the few hours after getting out of the pool.

The good news though was that the knee supports went along for the ride and I only needed 1 paracetamol all week - Iím so chuffed with that, but back to the grind of work tomorrow.

Iím coming up on 9 months post op soon, so Iíll give an overall update of how I think things are going shortly.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on December 13, 2011, 01:57:46 PM
Week 52!
Yeah Ė got to a whole year down the line. Sorry for the lack of update at 9 months, things have been a little crazy at home, but Iíve gradually been getting more and more done at physio and am down to a session every 3-4 weeks. My swimming is coming on a treat and Iím now up to a mile a time (it takes about 50 minutes, so not quite back to my old speed just yet). The swimming has helped with the nerve regeneration as well, and my numb spots are gradually getting smaller, although I know theyíll never completely go.

My knee now copes with high wind but my leg is still a bit smaller than the other. Iím walking a lot more and over more difficult terrain (i.e. not flat!) and stairs are a doddle, even when I visit castles. My cycling is coming along nicely although Iíll never be a high standard.

Iíve also found that I now hate the sensation I get kneeling down and find it really hard to want to put weight on my right knee, but I try it every week in the hope that Iíll get more used to it.

I still get twinges across my knee and it occasionally locks, but itís usually a sign that Iím about to overdo things so Iíll stop (and get bored doing next to nothing for the rest of the day).

I have my 1 year check-up with Prof Briggs tomorrow evening, so weíll see what he has to say.

Well Iíve seen Prof Briggs now and heís really pleased with my scar and movement. Iíve still got a bit of pain deep in the knee, but other than that, Iíve been given free rein to do pretty much what I want and go back in 12 monthsí time.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on January 27, 2012, 02:02:19 PM
Another update . . .

'Free rein to do what I want' - That clearly went down well - We're expecting twins at the start of August!  :o

I've had a few niggly pains around my knee and right hip, but my physio has given me some simple excercies and now they don't hurt again. I'll see how I get on over the next 5 or so months, but so far, the knee is holding up with two little ones on board.  ;D
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on August 13, 2012, 12:44:13 PM
The twins arrived 7 1/2 weeks early in the end (they're 9 weeks old today). My knee coped incredibly well during pregnancy with the added weight, but I've had to start exercises again almost from scratch since they were born. It's a lot better now, but still locks out occasionally although I have the added bonus that I can kneel without too much discomfort. Not sure when that happened, but I'm not complaining!

Got my 2 year checkup at the end of September, so hopefully I'll be back to pre-pregnancy progress by then with 2 little identical girls to go with it.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: sune on August 14, 2012, 11:13:05 AM
Hi Skittle.

I'd love to know how much sports you are able to do now, as opposed to before.
I am waiting for a patella MACI+TTT also, my reason is I am not able to do any sports (recreational biking would be enough for me, just want to get my pulse up) or walking for more than about 2km at a time.

Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on September 25, 2013, 04:52:20 PM
Had my three year post op check-up this week and passed with flying colours.

We took our girls (now 15 months old) to meet Prof Briggs and he was amazed how busy I have been. I do a lot of crawling and walking with them now and as they get older, I should be able to increase this. I've not been swimming in a LONG time, but hopefully I'll have the energy to get to the pool one day. . . Twins are quite hard continual work!

As for my knee, it occasionally locks or feels like it catches on something, but it is usually a sign that I need to do some exercises. A few days later and its business as usual again. I do worry about getting another hole in my cartilage and having to go through the whole process again, but fingers crossed it seems to be going well!
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on October 30, 2014, 09:41:45 AM
Had my 4 year post op check this month.

I can crawl like I used to and now that our girls are both walking we get out as much as possible with them.

I've still not been swimming, although we are considering taking the girls soon. I've had some issues with my SI joint due to complications from child birth which have led to a few niggles in the knee, but on the whole it's doing really well. It's a little tender in the joint, but there's no fluid build-up, so hopefully it will settle. It's always in the back of my mind that I'm wearing out another hole in the cartilage, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Prof Briggs is happy with the knee which is a good thing and my next check-up is in a years time.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on November 24, 2015, 10:35:14 AM
Well, I've just sailed through my 5 year check-up!

I ended up having a steroid injection in my right SI joint a year ago and it's caused no problems with my knee since.

I occasionally get a build up of scar tissue around one of the keyhole scars, but a good massage over a few days and it's as good as normal again.

The good thing is my knee is still stable and long may it continue!

Back off to Prof Briggs again this time next year :)

One happy mamma, I can't imagine what life would be like if I hadn't had this done.
Title: Re: MACI following failed microfracture (UK)
Post by: skittle on July 29, 2020, 11:25:53 AM
I thought I'd just pop back on and give everyone an update! I'm now heading to 10 years post-op, and doing great!

I can run, walk, swim and crawl which I never thought would be possible 10 years ago. I still have the occasional twinge which makes me doubt myself, but generally, it's all doing so well. Last Summer I had my second steroid injection in my right SI joint which took a while to settle, but is all good now too (the next one is already scheduled for 3-4 years time!).

I've never been in any doubt whether going through all of this was worth it, and now I'm on the sunny side and proud of the story that all my scars tell.