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Author Topic: Irritated cartilage -- how long to heal??  (Read 1356 times)

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Offline KarenS

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Irritated cartilage -- how long to heal??
« on: October 21, 2004, 01:50:45 AM »
(I cross-posted this, because I think I posted it on the wrong board!)

Hi, everyone. I'm new here.  

I had a lateral release done on both knees about 11 years ago after many, many months of therapy for my patella tracking problem. Since that time, I have had 11 blissful years with only rare knee pain in my right knee (very minor, and very infrequent).  

Recently, I got a job at night that involved hours of standing on a concrete floor (no sitting allowed except for breaks). At the same time, I had a checkup with my orthopedic surgeon, who recommended doing straight-leg raises to strengthen my quads (I work out quite a bit and the exercise equipment at the gym was aggravating my knees a bit). After three weeks of working, and then trying the new exercises one time, I ended up irritating the cartilage in both knees and had to quit my job. My knees aren't swollen or anything -- just very irritated, and I can only stand up/walk around for very short periods of time.

So, I've basically been sitting around as much as I can (with two small children, which is quite difficult!), because the doctor said to restrict my activity until the cartilage settles down. I know it takes awhile for this to go away, because I had an episode just like this after my second knee surgery (from relying too much on my not-quite-healed other leg). But I can't remember how long it took.

Here's the thing: It's been three weeks, and I'm going nuts. I do have some pretty good days (meaning, I can walk around the house a little more without getting the irritated feeling), but they're mixed in with some pretty lousy days, too.  I can't remember if this is the normal process of healing, or if I keep getting mini-setbacks when I walk around the house too much...? I mean, what does "restrict your activity" mean? I was super-active before -- very busy from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., with very little sitting! I also speed-walked 12-15 miles per week and did full-body workouts at the gym 4-5 times a week. So, I would think that not exercising at all (as if I could  ), avoiding stairs as much as possible, and sitting for periods of time to rest my knees is restriction enough, don't you think? I'm so worried that I'm not doing the right thing!

BUT...now I'm worried because it seems to be involving more than just my knees. Why is that, do you think? My ankles have been involved since this recent flareup. When my knees feel bad, I feel pressure in my ankles; when my knees feel pretty good, my ankles feel fine. (They don't look swollen at all when I feel the pressure, by the way.) I also get sensations in my calves, like they are tight and sort of bruised. It's hard to explain. But these things seem directly related to how my knees are feeling. Does anyone know what this is all about? I'm wondering if it all stems from the fact that my legs are malaligned (which is the reason my kneecaps were tipped). I guess it make sense that it's related...but I'm praying that it goes away, and that it doesn't mean a "new" chronic condition for me to deal with.  

To summarize: Does anyone know if this is the usual way that cartilage heals -- some days good; some days bad...maybe eventually the good days will outweigh the bad? And does anyone know why I would have weird happenings in my ankles and calves that relate to my knee irritation?

Offline Janet

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Re: Irritated cartilage -- how long to heal??
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2004, 04:45:56 AM »
I have no idea about time for your cartilege to settle down. But are you taking any meds to help? My knees are always irritated and I take Celebrex. It doesn't get rid of the pain, but it cuts it down. I couldn't function well without it. Why not ask your doctor for something to help the pain?

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline KarenS

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Re: Irritated cartilage -- how long to heal??
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 12:26:43 AM »
Thanks for the reply, Janet. :)

I saw my OS today, and he only recommends that I take Aleve. He also is baffled as to why it's taking so long (it's been three weeks) for it to settle down, even though everything I read online says it could take a lot longer. I'm so confused.

He also sent me for blood tests to check for rheumatoid arthritis. I'm really freaked out about that, even though he claims he doesn't really think I have it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2004, 12:27:20 AM by KarenS »















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