KNEEtalk

The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: mainey on August 18, 2004, 04:53:45 PM

Title: Too many knee ops!!
Post by: mainey on August 18, 2004, 04:53:45 PM
Hello

Im new to this site but must say I never thought I would find one like this.....one where I can hear from those of you that can relate to my problems!

I am 26 years old and so far have had 9 knee operations. Seven on my right knee and 2 on my left. I have had six reconstructions, two medial ligament repairs, and one minor op to try and fix my old doctors mistake. I have torn both my ACL's and medial ligaments, have cartilage damage, and have dislocated my left pretty badly.

My problem is that I need to have more surgery, on both knees....and its hard to trust any doctor now as my old doctor whom had done 8 out of the 9 stuffed my knees up. He has used both my patella and hamstrings and my legs are as weak as you can imagine. I easily fall or hurt myself bad from the easiest of things...eg, walking, stairs, getting in and out of my car. Bruising, swelling and pain are now great friends of mine, I see one, if not the three of them every single day now.

My problem and questions are, to anyone who has ever been in the same situation, or just to anyone who would have any advice. Since I have had previous operations by the one doctor, not many other surgeons that I have been to want to help in fixing my situation. They say they cant fix another surgeons mistake....so where does that leave me? Do I go back twice a year like I have been to the same surgeon who has already stuffed them up and just let him keep hacking at them? Is there any surgeon out there who looks after people like me? Is there any kind of strength buiding exercises to rid the pain? Is there any operation that could fix them without going through years of treatment?

I would love to hear any suggestions, believe me, there is nothing more  in this whole world that I want right now than to get them both to a point where I dont feel pain everyday, and just to be able to confidently walk around without thinking that one of them is going to go any second!

Mainey NSW
Title: Re: Too many knee ops!!
Post by: Ron22 on August 18, 2004, 05:28:16 PM
wow.... mainey..sounds like me...had my first 2 before i turned 20.....was tough cause i played d-iii football on astro turf..not like the good stuff they have now...glorified indoor/outdoor carpeting laid over concrete...my first guy gifted me with 2 acl repairs/med meniscus and a botched lateral rel and a staph infection..came back too soon both times..wound up losing 2 steps...my strating job and a nice mix of arthritis/tracking/pfs/and eventually 5 ops after that 2 vascular surgeries as the brace was wrong for my flexion and destroyed 2 of the main veins....all on the same leg...viola..circ prob too.....makes for a nice vicious cycle w/ swelling and numbness and of course instability....the last dude botched the harvest on the bone graft fom my hip on the joke of a maquet...now a dead hip that goes outta joint with necrosis and advanced arthritis....i feel ya...pls Im me if you'd like to vent in private...just click on my name and choose send private message....

best

ron
Title: Re: Too many knee ops!!
Post by: AndrewC on August 18, 2004, 06:03:14 PM
Hey there mainey

Sorry to hear about your situation...

The first thing I would do in your situation is look on the "respected and emininent surgeons" part of this site.....see "knee surgeons" on the main bar at the top.

I dont know who you have been seeing or how good they are meant to be but they are obviously not doing you any good...mentally or physically....
You didnt say how you tore the ligaments so many times??(sports or bad luck?) but either way at 26 you should have more options open to you than you currently do....For a start there is an allograft for ligament recon which wont involve using any more of your poor legs.....

If I were you I would seek as many new opinions as you can....with surgeons who are experienced in the kind of surgery you need.....they do exist although you may have to do some travelling to find the right one....

Keep us posted and good luck......
Title: Re: Too many knee ops!!
Post by: anasta5ia on August 18, 2004, 09:13:05 PM
Hi Mainey-

I can really sympathize with your situation.  I too am 26 years old and have had many surgeries on my knees, 6 surgeries to my right knee (seventh is coming up on 9-2) and two to my left knee in addition to 5 on my wrists.  Fortunately, only one of mine (the first one) was done by an incompetent surgeon and I got the heck out of there ASAP.  The rest were just from lots of bad luck, horrible alignment, and also trying to put my poor body back together after I spent 13 years of my childhood as a gymnast tearing it apart.

I won't go into all the various surgeries I have had, but some have been the same as yours.

It can be really tough to trust an OS after having a bad one.  I know how hard it was for me, and the bad one I had only performed surgery #1 on my right knee.....It must be really difficult for you at this point.

While it is true that many OSs do not want to take you on if you have had multiple surgeries by another OS, don't give up.  There are many excellent surgeons out there that can help you.....I was terrified when I needed to find my current surgeon, but he has been an absolute godsend to me.  I trust him completely with not only my knees, but also with my life.  He knows his limitations (like not wanting to do the reconstruction on my ankle because of my history and wanting the actual ackle specialist to do it) and has even tried to help me find research programs to help me with my severely arthritic wrist that may have to be fused in a couple of years.

I also understand what you are feeling with not being able to trust your body.  It is hard going from an elite level gymnast not that many years ago to someone who never knows if she is going to do a face plant on the floor with her next step.  Just last night, I was in the store with my husband and we turned the corner....The right knee decided to medially dislocate (despite the brace) and I took a little larger than normal step (well, normal is pretty small considering I have an ankle boot on my poor ankle) onto the left leg......This larger step put my leg into a position where the tread on the back part of the ankle boot was not touching and I proceeded to slip and slide.  If not for the fact that I had been holding onto my husband's arm, I would have ended up face first into the nearby display of laundry soap.  I get so angry with my body at times....

Definitely check out the KG list of top surgeons.  I think that you will find one that can help you with your situation as many of them take on extremely difficult cases.  Unfortunately, my OS is not on the directory as he works for our private HMO (I know it is rare to find really excellent surgeons in a private HMO, but it took a lot of research and I found who I consider to be the best OS in the world....Of course I am biased!  ;D)

Don't give up!!!!  You will find someone who can help you!!!!

Feel free to IM me anytime.

Hugs-
Heather G.
Title: Re: Too many knee ops!!
Post by: Ron22 on August 18, 2004, 09:17:58 PM
hi..i think the main thing as others have said is not to give up...finding the right doc is the key here...not all os's are the same especially for folks with chronic probs and multiple surgeries....don't lose faith...ask around..compare notes with fellow knee sufferers...and don't be afraid to ask questions and most importantly..remember..the doc works for you...pls let me know if i can help in any way

cheers

ron