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Author Topic: How long is recovery supposed to be?  (Read 1486 times)

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Offline Mandy

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How long is recovery supposed to be?
« on: January 09, 2005, 07:06:52 AM »
Hi everyone~

i am about a month and a week out from a scope and plica removal. i had a great three weeks of post op but then i took kinda a turn around.  constant pain, bad swelling, and not able to do a whole lot at PT.   i went to the OS yesterday...as ive posted in two other posts.  didnt go to well i guess.  he didnt like the pain and swelling that i am having.  so im now "sentenced"  :P to another month of PT and then go back to the OS to talk some more about what else i can do.  my next option is a TTT which i dont wanna do as of now.

what i am wondering is how long is this recovery supposed to be. i know that everyone is different and all that.  i just wanna know how long i should be waiting before i seek another treatment option to correct everything.      

just thought 5 wks of PT would really do the trick for a scope but i guess either im mistaken or this surgery didnt help me any.  i feel like im back at square one again and i just want things to get better.  so if ya could maybe give me some insight as to how long this surgery recovery typically is.  

i was also wondering when i would know if this surgery was a success or failure??

thanks in advance,
~Mandy :)
21 yrs old
12/04: plica removal (RK)
2/05: debridement, LR/TTT (RK)
6/05: debridement, LR/TTT (LK)
10/05: scar tissue removal/debridement (LK)
3/06: screw removal (both knees), debridement on TTT site (LK)
5/08: debridement, HTO, Maquet procedure (LK)

Offline Heather M.

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2005, 12:29:17 PM »
Five weeks isn't even close to enough time.  I know you're young and normally would be expected to heal quickly, but...it's going to take a bit more time than that.  Most patients give appropriate PT at least SIX MONTHS before even having surgery.  And the post-op is pretty much the same--six months.  My last surgeon wouldn't even consider surgery until it had been about 6 months since my last one.  It just takes a lot of time to calm the knee down and get it back to the point that you can start building strength up.  And if you are getting increased pain with the time that goes by, it's worth considering whether you are doing too much.  You had major surgery where inflamed folds of the lining of your knee were cut away with a laser scalpel or some equally ooky instrument--it's going to hurt.  And it's going to leave a lot of trauma behind in the knee for you to deal with.  Unfortunately, rehab after a surgery like this (which causes a lot of soft tissue damage) sometimes feels like 3 steps forward and 2.8 back.  You have to look at your progress over weeks and months--but you're just over a month post-op!  

So look back at how you were the week after your surgery--aren't you MUCH better than that now?  If so, be glad.  If not, then try to pinpoint the things that irritate and inflame your knee--the things that you have lots of pain after doing--and cut them out of your routine for a while.  Work on getting the swelling down and reducing pain as much as possible.  Try to walk normally, without favoring the knee and without flaring it up--even if it means walking about half as fast as you used to, or only walking as far as the end of your driveway a couple times a day at first.  Then, slowly build up the amount of time you're on your feet until you can easily walk around for 10-15 minutes; after that, you can work on increasing your speed a bit, reducing the distances you go overall if the pain flares again.

Anyway, you'll get lots of ideas like these ones on this web page.  All I can say is that the recovery from plica surgery and other soft-tissue stuff like lateral release or VMO advancement is SLOOOOOOOW.  And you can't really change the speed with which your body recovers--all you can do is delay recovery by overdoing things and ingoring the signs your body is giving you.  As long as you are getting heat, redness, swelling, inflammation, and debilitating pain, your knee isn't ready to get back to the normal life activities.  So keep icing and elevating, use an ace bandage to provide some compression, and REST your knee and your mind.  Go to physical therapy for the great pain-relieving treatments like phonophoresis (heaven!), jobst treatments for swelling, gentle tissue work to reduce swelling, stretches and so forth.

You will get back to your sports, but your body is going to decide the pace, so try not to be too hard on yourself or get too frustrated.

Heather

PS here's a great, extensive article on plica syndrome.  It sounds like things are going exactly according to plan for you.
http://www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic543.htm
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
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Offline phoenixrunner

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2005, 06:54:43 PM »
Mandy,

I just wanted to say that "i've been there too!" as far as a slow recovery from plica surgery. Before surgery, i got the impression that the recovery was going to be super fast.....when i wasn't doing a whole lot better after 3 months i talked to another PT who said that usual recovery time is between 3 and 6 months.  I'm now at about 8 months, and although i've seen a bit more improvement in the last few weeks or so, I starting to get a little ansy again.

Shortly after  i was  "cut - loose" from my original post-op PT after 4 weeks my knee got worse. (Like yours did.) I too was sentenced to more PT by my OS, but my PT said that it would be a waste of money and that i should just complete the exercises at home, so that is what i did. I do think that it is a GOOD thing to just go back to PT -- and have more supervision in your rehab.  Now, i'm going to see a different PT --- to get more help.  For me, at least, there seems to be a fine line between doing exercises that strengthen my quads...and those that really irritate my knee.  

So, good luck to you and try not to get too frustrated.

L.

Offline Mandy

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2005, 04:27:59 PM »
Hey!

thanks L for the reply.  i too got the inpression that the recovery was about 3-4 wks....my OS even told me that. ::)  but yea, I've been working my tail off at my second round of post op PT.  only i seem to be falling back even more now!   >:(  i have to cut alot of my program out cuz what i could do about one month post op, i cant do that now!  we have also had to substitute that majority of my program numerous times before.  just gotta keep truckin along i guess.

i go back to the OS on the 27th to discuss where im going with all of this.  i am also looking into getting another opinion on all of this too.  just want another pair of eyes to take a look and see what he/she thinks.  

Thanks again everyone!
~Mandy
21 yrs old
12/04: plica removal (RK)
2/05: debridement, LR/TTT (RK)
6/05: debridement, LR/TTT (LK)
10/05: scar tissue removal/debridement (LK)
3/06: screw removal (both knees), debridement on TTT site (LK)
5/08: debridement, HTO, Maquet procedure (LK)

Offline Linds

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2005, 04:34:18 PM »
hey Mandy, a second opinion can't hurt...neither can a 3rd or 4th or even 5th.  but really, you are still pretty fresh out of surgery. And it's important to remember that you had a plica removed which is soft tissue.  Soft tissue takes awhile to heal and to not feel ouchy anymore. :-/ Keep up the good work and be patient.
Hugs
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline phoenixrunner

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2005, 06:59:42 PM »
Hey Mandy,

A quick question for you: How much are you icing your knee?  

Well after surgery my knee was still really swollen --- but my PT said that icing it really wasn't that important anymore. (I suppose this was about 2 or 3 weeks out from surgery.)  This didn't make much sense to me at the time...but i trusted him and didn't spend time icing it.  Now, I'm wondering if icing it might have really cut down on my long recovery time.  

Now, I'm doing the exercises that my PT gave me, as well as working on the StairMaster and the Eliptical Trainer at a gym.   After working on those machines for 40 minutes or so my quad is "awake" enough to do fine with a short 1 mile run on dirt. This is the most i've got out of my knee since surgery.   :D

Anyway....just thought that i'd mention that if someone told you to not worry about icing it....i'd question that advice.

best,
L.

Offline Mandy

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2005, 07:58:38 AM »
hello!

L-- i am the icing queen. JK.  but yea i ice alot during the day.  usually once  before school, maybe once if i come home for lunch, and then when i come home from school, after supper, and then before bed.  i also get iced each time after PT....i love that one the best! :P  

also, i am still having troubles with the estim.  the muscle just barely fires lately and its kinda annoying!  my PT had me do 15 min of estim and then i did about half my program with the stim still on!  it was so weird!

anyone else had estim while working out?  never heard of it!
21 yrs old
12/04: plica removal (RK)
2/05: debridement, LR/TTT (RK)
6/05: debridement, LR/TTT (LK)
10/05: scar tissue removal/debridement (LK)
3/06: screw removal (both knees), debridement on TTT site (LK)
5/08: debridement, HTO, Maquet procedure (LK)

Offline allstardiva2005

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Re: How long is recovery supposed to be?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2005, 06:48:51 PM »
Mandy- yeah i've worn the estim a lot while working out. i think that when you're working out, you're trying to fire those quads/muscles. if you're having difficulty with firing your muscles, between working out and the estim- you should hopefully be able to.

Christy
Medial Meniscus Repair- '00,03
Partial Meniscectomy- '03, '04
ACL Reconstruction- '02
Exploratory Scope- '05
Allograft ACL Revision & Neuroma Excision- '06
Hardware Removal & Bone Filing- '06
Scar Tissue Removel- '07

** Medial meniscus transplant is in the near future... **















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