The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: greyliston on August 14, 2011, 06:43:43 PM

Title: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: greyliston on August 14, 2011, 06:43:43 PM
I have had 2 knee surgeries. The first one was a lateral release with chondromalacia clean up, and minor lateral meniscus tear repair. My knee never felt right after that. I waited 11 months and went to another doctor to get another scope done. All they found was that the first lateral release was not long enough so they lengthened it.

Now my knee feels even worse than it did after the first surgery. I used to be a triathlete and avid outdoorsman and these surgeries have left me crippled.

I know that I should have never had a lateral release.

Any suggestions on what to do now? Is there any way to reverse a lateral release? Is there any hope for me?
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: Arity on August 14, 2011, 07:03:13 PM
Sorry, I cant offer anything about your particular surgery as I've never been through your surgery.  How long ago was the most recent surgery?  What does your OS/PT have to say about it?

If there is one thing I have learned it is that patience is totally the name of the game with knees.  It can be quite some time before things feel totally "normal" again.

There is definitely hope, although I know it doesn't feel like it sometimes while we are going through this :) 
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: subwayknees on August 14, 2011, 07:37:46 PM
I can understand how you feel.  Although I an 40 years older than you, after 12 surgeries, most that failed, and a bad total knee replacement I am in a wheelchair, unable to drive, living in pain and on morphine.  Not good.  I recently saw a doctor at a major Umiversity Center who made a suggestion I am looking into, and may work for you.  First, I only now see doctors affiliated with teaching hospitals and Medical Schools.  I have found generally, not always but generally they tend to be a little more current, and have seen more difficult surgical cases.  That said, an orthopedic surgeon at John Hopkins recently suggested I see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in SPORTS MEDICINE.  I laughed, I cannot walk 10 steps and spen my day in a wheelchair and I should see a Sports Medicine doctor.  Then the doc made sence.  He said that doctors who specialize in Sports Medicine usually have a greater indept knowledge of interconnection movements of muscles, ligamets and structure.  They are trained not only to diagnose the problem, but to surgeically repare it if needed in a manner that will yield the greatest movement and motion possible.  It is a slight diference in orientation but  I understand it can make a big difference.  That said, I am personally seeing a doctor board certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.  He works out of Georgetown Uniuversity Hospital, in Wash. D.C., and is presently, aside from his other duties the team orthopedist for The Washington Redskins.  I am also seeing a reconstruction surgeon in New York,  I have not yet met either doctor as my first appointment in Washington is in two weeks.  I did some research online looking into the Society of Sports Medicine Doctors web site and googling (what is sports medicine).  When I called the office I waited to get a call back from his nurse and explained my age and lak of mobility and asked would he still see me since I am far from an athlete.  She replied that he sees many patients seeking to restore their knees as much as possible to the highest level of function.
It may be that all you need is some more time and a different physical therapist. However although I have not yet seen this Sports Medicine Surgeon, I feel that he just might be able to help me.  With you so young and in competition, you fit the exact mold of what these doctors focus on, so if you seek one out, even call you local NFL. NBA of Baseball team, or university athletic department and ask who their Sports Mediciae Orthopedist is and make an appointment it could work.  I hope this is helpful.  Keep us posted.  God Speed
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: Lottiefox on August 14, 2011, 10:16:06 PM
Why was the lateral release done? In isolation one should ever be done when there is patella tilt with no instability. If you don't have a tilted patella, then there is no need for a lateral release. If you do, but also have instability (eg dislocating, subluxing) then the LR is done in conjunction with a re-alignment surgery such as a TTT that you will see mentioned on here a lot. TTTs vary in their type but sit alongside the LR as a way of trying to normalise tracking of the knee.

Unfortunately, many doctors trot out the LR as a cure all for patella issues with no clue why and how they affecting the knee. If you don't have tilt, then a LR can cause medial instability and the knee can feel worse than it did before. If you've got wear and tear under the kneecap the areas of wear can be in more contact with other areas and hurt more. In answer to can it be reversed, yes it can be but the surgery is not often done. There is a member on here who has had surgery to correct the issues caused by a wrongly done LR many years ago.

You need a patella specialist, be that a teaching hospital or not. Where in the world are you? In the UK, teaching hospitals have some good surgeons and some poor. There are equally good surgeons who specialise in the patella who don't teach as such. If you let us know your location there are folks on here in the UK and US who have patella knowledge and may have suggestions as to the next step. You really need a comprehensive work up and X-rays to see whats going on now. How long ago was the second surgery? It is true that things take forever to settle down and a LR is a big trauma, but you usually know if things are seriously not improving or are worse.

Good luck and keep us posted

Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: greyliston on August 14, 2011, 10:55:59 PM
Thank you so much for your responses.

I had the 2nd surgery 3 months ago. So yes, I am being impatient but I am an athlete and am very in tune with my body and I can tell things are much worse now after they lengthened the first release.

I have a history of lateral knee pain (probably just bad ITB) but I had a skiing accident and sprained my knee very badly (no ACL tear). That is why I went to see an OS in the first place. Since the MRI came back negative I just waited 4 months to see if the knee would heal. It still felt bad (not sure what I was feeling at this point - ITB or injury) so he scoped it and since I had mentioned the lateral knee pain he told me he might do a LR once inside.

I do have lateral tilt, not severe but significant. He saw some chondromalcia on the back of the knee cap and decided a LR was necessary. Biggest mistake of my life.

I had both of these surgeries done in Charlotte, NC but just relocated to Portland, OR.

After the 2nd surgery I had another OS examine me, take full body x-rays, review scope pics, etc. and his conclusion was just more time and strengthening.

Again, thanks for your replies!
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: Snowy on August 15, 2011, 12:04:06 AM
Sorry to hear of your troubles. I'd suggest dropping a line to Knee Geek smillie - she recently had a successful surgery to deal with problems caused by a lateral release.
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: smillie on August 15, 2011, 01:31:54 AM
Hi! Someone told me to come by and check out your topic. I had a lateral release as part of a realignment surgery and the lateral release left me with an unstable patella and a lot of knee pain. I had my LPFL reconstruction in May after many years of problems and about 18 months of major problems with it. I am so happy that I had it done. If you look in the Post-op Diaries section, my diary is called Smillie's LPFL reconstruction or something like that. I think my whole story is in there with updates. Keep in mind, I was coming into this with major muscle weakness because it took me years to get a proper diagnosis. Getting the proper diagnosis is the key. I went to a lot of doctors before I finally found a patella guru who could tell me what was going on. I had a lot of IT band pain as well, and a lovely side effect of my surgery is that the graft came from my IT band and now all of the tightness and pain over there is gone. My doctor isn't at a university center or big teaching hospital, but I would fly from anywhere in the world to see him if my other knee decides to start acting up as well.
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: greyliston on August 15, 2011, 05:15:34 AM
Thank you for the info smillie! I am now in Portland, OR and going to get as many opinions as possible before moving further.
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: smillie on August 16, 2011, 01:50:39 AM
You're welcome. My problem ended up being medial instability due to the LR. Only two doctors ever even checked for that and only one determined it was a problem. It's telling that most doctors didn't even check for it. Do your homework around here and find out what to look for in a good patella doctor. And if you're willing to fly to Texas, I know a guy...
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: greyliston on August 17, 2011, 06:03:13 AM
Thank you for all of the responses. Anything else is much appreciated!
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: CloudyBerets on August 18, 2011, 03:48:48 AM
Welcome to the club.Knees are the most failed body part.

Lateral release are risky.Most surgeons are against it,mine was thoroughly against it.Subwayknees warned me about TKR.This is a good forum to hear the success and horror stories of people with bad knees.
Title: Re: I'm 26 and my knee is ruining my life
Post by: greyliston on August 19, 2011, 10:43:46 PM

I see that you have posted in several places that knees are the most failed part of the body. This statement doesn't provide any useful information.