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Author Topic: Lots of Questions - PT and doc advice  (Read 2263 times)

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Offline HK_Aubie

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Lots of Questions - PT and doc advice
« on: December 11, 2004, 04:29:15 AM »
Allow me to give you my backstory: I am 25, and my right knee started hyperextending when I was 8.  The left started when I was 9.  Dislocations started when I was 11.  I don't have a good record of my dislocations or subluxations, because I was a weird kid and would, if I could help it, not always tell anyone, even the doctor.  As you might imagine, or know, having this problem as a child, especially when you're an introverted nerd, is not easy.  I'm still dealing with some of the emotional baggage.

At age 16 they did a Trillat and arthroscopy on my right knee.  It seemed to help.  I was so inactive, it was hard to tell until I went off to college in the mountains and was walking all over campus every day.  My left knee became a much bigger problem with all the walking, hills and stairs.  Lots of dislocations and subluxations, even though I wore a knee brace everywhere.  At age 18, they did a patella realignment.  Both knees still occassionally hyperextend, and less frequently dislocate.  I average around 4 dislocations in a year, usually in winter when I'd slip in ice or snow, which is one reason I moved to California.  Here it still happens, but brought on by doing stupid stuff, such as my most recent, worst dislocation ever, from moving my refrigerator to retrieve food that fell behind it.

Growing up, I never went to a physical therapist.  I had some home exercises, but by high school I'd quit doing them because I despised them and they didn't seem to make any difference.  Even post-op, I recovered with mom's help at home, no PT.  Last June, after increasing frustration with my physical limitations, I decided to find a doctor and get into PT.

I recently quit PT, because I felt like it wasn't doing anything but taking up all my time, it was starting to seem like they didn't really understand how to help me, and the final straw was severe ice burn on my knees.  

My main question: do you think PT really can stabilize my knees?  and if so, how long should that take?

After 6 months, I felt no difference in stability.  Has anyone had a beneficial experience with this?  I felt like at my PT office, and I've observed this with docs too, they're used to sports and work injuries, or old-age problems, but aren't as competent with congenital problems like mine, not that they'll ever admit it.  

Any input and/or advice would be great, let me know what your experiences have been, please.  I was a shy kid who just went along with whatever my doctors and parents decided, so I'm very uninformed.  I had to look up in my medical records what specific procedures were done (they were explained to me in very basic, simple terms), and I didn't even know I had any screws in my knees until I had new xrays done in June.  Clearly, I am far too clueless considering it's been 17 years.  Any info/tips/etc appreciated.
patella realignment (LR, medial reefing and tubercle plasty) on left, trillat on right, not that I fully know what all that means, having been a teenager trusting my doctors at the time.

shadehawk

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Re: Lots of Questions - PT and doc advice
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2004, 05:13:09 PM »
I think many of us feel like you, but you can't give up.  The PT instructors probably get fed up with people with genetic problems as it is so hard to deal with.  They try to help out and I have found that their pain management treatments very helpful.  
My patella will not go back to where it belongs, but I have not given up trying the exercises as PT says it will keep me mobile and I agree with her.  I do home exercises daily.  
I have been doing my exercises three times a day since 2001 and have not had any knee surgery.  Yes, I am frustrated and wonder if there will ever be an end to all this, but I still do it anyway.  I can not even get an OS to agree that I need braces.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2005, 02:01:43 AM by shadehawk »

Offline masterknee

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Re: Lots of Questions - PT and doc advice
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2005, 01:20:04 AM »
The onlytime to give up on PT is when the action causes so much pain with what is wrong that you cannot function.  Where I am at ith mine is that I do PT as my OS said till peration to keep knee from stiffinging up.  Have my medial miscus done and my MCL done for ssugery repair tears causing great pain under knee cap and side of knee.  

Offline HK_Aubie

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Re: Lots of Questions - PT and doc advice
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2005, 02:59:06 AM »
The thing is, I am functional without PT.  My last surgery was nearly 7 years ago, and until 8 months ago I did not do ANY PT.  6 months of PT did not help my arthritis pain and did not help my stability.  In fact, I have gained weight (as you know, more weight just puts more load on the knees) because PT took up so much of my time I did not have the time or energy left to do more comprehensive exercises.  This is why I'm inclined to give up on PT.  I appreciate your input, but I'm not sure I effectively communicated what I'm seeking here.  I mean, if PT's not helping, why do it?  I guess what I'm really asking is if anyone has similar problems to me has found PT to help with stabilization, and how long it took for them to notice an improvement.  
patella realignment (LR, medial reefing and tubercle plasty) on left, trillat on right, not that I fully know what all that means, having been a teenager trusting my doctors at the time.