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Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2005, 04:54:31 PM »
Hey OATS folks,

When were you allowed to go back to work? 

I realize that I can't get back to all my activities at work until I am completely back on my feet.  But I can go back to doing desk-type work (per my program director) at any point.  I would love to get back at about 3 weeks (if I can convince my OS).  I have a wheelchair, so getting around isn't a problem.  Also, I work at the hospital, so from a rehab standpoint it's actually easier because I can just pop in and use the equipment during the day.  My only concern is that my knee still aches like the dickens when it's down for any length of time, but I should be able to keep it elevated.  If I only miss 3 weeks, then I don't have to make up any time (or lose my vacation next year), so I'm really hoping...

Also, when were you allowed to drive?

Thanks,
Danelle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline kathleenj

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2005, 06:06:42 PM »
Hi Danielle,

I read your post op diary again...sounds like you are doing great!!  Try not to push things too much...you really need to watch that swelling.  I'm sure you know but...swelling causes ROM problems.  I know you are anxious but please take it slow. 

As far as going back to work goes, I dont think I can help too much there.  I work seasonally so I have 3 month breaks and scheduled both OATS during those times.  I didnt go back until about 8-10 weeks post op each time.  Although, I'm a photographer and being on my feet for hours at a time, I couldnt have imagined going back any sooner.  A desk job is certainly different. I think its more of how you feel and whether or not you can elevate and ice at work.
 
Driving is a different story.  Techically, I wasnt supposed to drive until I was off the crutches.  However, having 3 kids that needed to get to all sorts of activities I was driving at about 4 weeks...very cautiously, avoiding having to hit the brakes to stop short.  My PT gave me speeches about it but I only drove locally and only when absolutely necessary.

Keep up the good work with rehab.
kathy

   
right knee oats 12/03 scope autograft
right knee revision oats 6/04 open autograft
loa, plica excision, chondroplasty 12/04
synvisc 5/05
patellofemoral OA
patella baja

brattkids2

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2005, 06:13:59 PM »
I went back to work 6 days after my OATS. I had a sit down desk job though!!

I started driving as soon as I got rid of the t-rom brace. I was locked at 0 for 6  days.

Paulette

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2005, 07:33:19 AM »
Well it's D-Day for me, I go to the hosiptal in 4 hours time.

I'll post as soon as I am able to to let you know how the knee is.

R.
3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2005, 03:12:26 PM »
Good luck Rich.  We're all pulling for you.  Let us know how everything went.  Just remember, ice is your friend. ;D

Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2005, 10:43:47 AM »
Hi All,

Well I made it back home yesterday afternoon (Sunday).  My consultant was pleased with the way the op went and I have a video and some lovely photos of two 8mm plugs inserted into my 2cmx2cm defect area.

The pain killers are doing their job, but the exercises the physio have given me are hell.  When you're back to walking normally you soon forget how painful it is just tightening the muscles in and around the knee.  Still, with no weight bearing for 6 weeks the muscles will soon disappear if I don't do them.

Getting into a comfortable sleeping position would seem to be the next challenge.  I always end up sleeping on my front but the OS had to make a 2-3in incision down the middle of my knee cap (over the top of an existing scar) as my defect was in an awkward to reach place.  So flat on my back is the only comfortable if not natural sleeping position I can find.  Anyone have any tips in this area?

I'm picking up a wheelchair today, so my wife can take me out over then next few weeks.  Much to the amusement of my work colleagues.

Thanks for the ice tip Danielle, I bought a BeWell ice/heat gel pack off ebay a couple of weeks ago which has a velcro sleeve for the gel pack.  I've been putting it on as much as I can but the heat from my knee soon defrosts the gel pack up to room temperature.  I think I need to buy another gel pack and keep swapping them round.

Cheers,

Rich
3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2005, 12:29:48 PM »
Hi Rich,

Glad to hear things are going OK.  I think my grafted lesion was exactly the same size as yours! ;D  My first few days were abject hell.  I was either unconscious from the painkillers or writhing around in agony.  I couldn't believe how much it hurt to try to contract the muscles.  It's going to get better.  By about day 4 I wasn't feeling too bad and was able to do a SLR without crying.  Don't get too carried away with the exercises though.  Early on, it's better to let the grafts seat and less is actually better with these things (so I'm told by my PT, OS and lots of OATS folks on this board).  Are you using a CPM?  Don't worry too much about the muscles going anyway.  They're going to shrink a lot just being NWB.  They'll come back once you're on your feet (I hope, as mine are definitely kaput.)

I'm not sure what to tell you about sleeping.  I can only sleep on my side and after two weeks, my knee still is too sore to let me sleep (or not sleep, as it were) anywhere but flat on my back with the leg propped up.  I would make sure to take some pain meds before bed, at least early on (note - after I weaned off the narcotics, I substituted a good belt of scotch at this point, which also seemed to work).

Hey, how come your incision's only 2 inches?  I had the same thing and mine's almost 5"?  Well, it's not midline anyway, it's medial (to the inside), through some of my old scope holes (and next to the hockey-stick shaped incision from my MCL recon).

BTW, the wheelchair is a great idea.  I don't use mine much, because our house is difficult to navigate.  But it'll let you do things like feed yourself (I even managed to sweep the house in mine, on one particularly boring afternoon...)  I find, though, that a lot of stores have the little motorized carts, so going out hasn't been bad.

Icing is key for the first week or so (I'm still doing 3X a day at 2 weeks).  You really need more gel packs or something.  It's too bad your OS didn't give you something like a cryocuff.  Mine gave me this awesome thing called an EBIce.  It's a knee wrap attatched to a little cooler that you fill with ice water and plug into the wall.  It has a motor that continuously pumps cold water into the wrap.  It's a perfect temperature and you can just leave it on.  I think these are very expensive though.  Cryocuffs aren't as expensive (I actually have an old one in the garage, if anyone wants it, but it's a bit beat up from use).  Ezy wraps are nice too, being a velcro holder with slots for 3 ice packs  (OK, so I've had a bit TOO much experience with these things).  Make sure to keep the leg elevated too.

Good luck,
Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2005, 04:18:31 PM »
Hi All,

Well I managed a SLR this morning and the muscle tightening pain is subsiding.  I'm still icing as much as possible as my knee still has swollen bulges when I straighten it.

I've not taken as many drugs as I could have done over the last 3 days as the pain doesn't seem anwhere near as bad as when recovering from my MCL or ACL ops.

Having my leg elevated most of the day has helped, I'm just fed up with not being able to carry anything (drink,book etc.) and taking an hour to wash and dress every morning.

I've done only 4 days of 42 NWB, it's going to be a long and drawn out journey.

I'm due to see the PT again on the 18th and OS on the 21st.

What is it about PTs, they all seem to be ex-KGB operatives, ruthless and highly skilled in administering pain through exercise.

Anyone ever met a nice PT or have I just been unlucky?

Cheers,

Rich.
3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2005, 08:55:24 PM »
Glad to hear things are going OK Rich.  I know what you mean about carrying stuff.  I finally got a backpack and use it to lug stuff around.  I either eat out of plastic bags and tupperware containers or lug a chair into the kitchen and eat on the counter.    Not pretty.

Actually, my last 2 PT's have been tremendous.  In fact, they usually spend their time trying to get me to slow down.  If you think about it, they have a pretty thankless job.  They have to take people (who are often unmotivated) and make them do things that hurt, all for their own good.  Not exactly easy.

I'm day 15/42 of NWB, not that I'm counting either.  It seems like it's going to be forever.  I have my first postop visit tomorrow, though, and can't wait to get my stitches and staples out.

Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2005, 05:59:52 PM »
Hi,

Sorry for not posting earlier but my broadband went pop last Tuesday and I've only just got back online!!

Talk about fate, I'm stuck at home and then BT stuff up my internet connection, and I thought I'd be crawling up the walls with the internet at my disposal!!!

Anyway, to catch up, the pain has subsided now and I'm off the tablets completely. 

I'm getting sore hands from crutching round everwhere and managed to slip on the patio on Monday night and put my foot down to save myself.  Well, that hurt for just a few seconds but I don't feel lke I've done any serious damage (fingers crossed).

My main concern is the grating feeling/noise from my knee cap when bending my knee from straight?

It happens every time I bend it and at the same 2 points, crunch and pop noises.  I don't know whether its down to the swelling pushing against everything else against each other inside the knee or a misaligned knee cap?

I see me PT tomorrow and the OS on Saturday. Hopefully they'll have some answers?

I'm up to 10/42 and already planning what I'll be doing when I can walk again!!(Checking out MCN, my wife has agreed to me having another motorbike early next year).

Hope you had your stiches out Danielle and the scars isn't too noticable.  I'm lucky (if you can call it that) to have hairy legs and so my scars aren't too visible unless you're looking, ladies don't have the same luxury.

Lets hope my knee is more robust than my internet connection!!!

Cheers,

Rich.

3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2005, 12:13:11 AM »
Hi Rich,

Glad to hear things are going well.  I wouldn't worry too much about slipping.  It's happened to me twice and my OS says it's not the momentary lapses that are a problem, but rather walking on it.  I'm also having problems with my kneecap.  Whenever I have my leg completely straight and then bend it, the kneecap pops.  My PT says it's just because the kneecap floats because of the swelling and isn't tracking right.  It supposedly will go away as the swelling does.  Good luck with the PT.  They're working my butt off!  (And I love it ;D)

I did get my staples out.  The wound looked hideous at first, livid purple.  It's improving somewhat with time.  All in all, if this works, I don't really care what it looks like.  I went back to work light duty on Monday and I'm tired as heck crutching around (borrowed a wheelchair today for the long hauls).  And I'm allowed to drive, yippee.  My magic NWB date is 6/8, but I'm going to be PWB for 4-6 weeks afterward, so I am still facing quite a long time on these darn crutches.

Good luck,
Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2005, 09:05:56 PM »
Hi Danielle,

I saw the PT today and they're really please with my progress.  Good hyper-extension and more than 90 degree bend, and my quad and calf muscles are still there and firing when I want them to.

My kneecap popping is exactly as you describe and as you've been told, my PT said it was likely to be the swelling.  It is still a horrible sensation.

I didn't have to do any exercises at physio, just told me to continue as I have been.  I see the OS on Saturday to remove my dressings.  If they heal up and aren't infected then in 2 weeks I may be able to try 'Hydro therapy' (basicaly walking in a pool supported by the water) however all three of my previous larger wounds have all become infected and taken ages to properly heal so I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

I'm impressed you're back at work.  I have a sit down job but don't feel up to spending 8 hours sat in the same position just yet.

I'm assuming you can drive because you have an automatic gearbox?  Here in the UK manual/stick shift is more common and my car is a manual so no driving for me until my clutch leg is fully operational.

My NWB date still seems ages away (18th June) and I'm not too sure what the procedure after it is, crutches or walking stick or get on with walking? 

I can't wait to get rid of the crutches, my hands are sore and I've even got marked skin from the elbow supports.  I can't go far without feeling knackered so the wheelchair has proved useful when going out to the shops/park. 

It's a real eye opener trying to integrate into normality as a wheelchair user.  No one knows its only a temporary state of affairs and its interesting to see peoples attitudes to you and how easy/difficult it is trying to do normal stuff.

I'm glad you've had your staples out, at least the wound can start healing naturally.  I remember my wounds from the mcl & acl were blood red for a while and now they're a feint line of lighter skin so hang in there.

Cheers,

Rich.
3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2005, 01:52:23 AM »
Hi Rich,

It sounds like things are progressing.  90 degrees flexion isn't bad.  My OS told me once you get to 90, the rest of the flexion will come.  Keep up with the quad stuff.  I find that mine feel weaker the longer I go, despite all the cycling and SLR.  Hopefully you won't have any wound issues and can get in the pool soon (like I'm supposed to be doing, although still trying to find an indoor pool...)

I do have an automatic car, so driving isn't much of an issue.  But I try not to stomp on the brake because it hurts.  Work is OK, but I'm REALLY darn tired crutching around (I think your description of knackered was an appropriate one).  I haven't made a full day yet, but have been bringing some work home.  I'm just doing light duty stuff now anyway until I can walk without crutches.

I sure know what you mean about wanting to get rid of the crutches.  My hands, arms and back are killing me.  And now I'm having some rotator cuff problems with my shoulder from them.  I ended up buying some cycling gloves with padded palms and they help a bit.  And the wheelchair is interesting.  I've certainly seen the best and worst of people.

Have a good one,
Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05

Offline RichE

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2005, 09:31:27 PM »
Hi,

The cycling gloves is an inspired idea!  I'm getting them out when I've finished typing this. :D

I must remember to ask about cycling when I see my OS on Saturday.  That might help relieve some of the boredom and get the blood pumping again.

I'm going to go to the shopping centre (mall) tomorrow in the wheelchair (even I need the occasional retail therapy), see how I get on in a busy public place and going to try and see the new Star Wars movie, see what provisions they have for wheelchair users? 

I do have a new exercise to do, lying down with a rolled up towel under my knee.  Then try and straighted my leg. Ouch, maybe I'm not doing as well as I thought? :'(

Catch u later

Rich

3/99 MCL Repair
9/99 ACL Reconstruction
2/05 Microfracture
5/05 OATS
7/05 Knee Cap Lateral Release

Offline Beauzer

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Re: OATS Procedure Recovery
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2005, 04:07:42 PM »
Hi Rich,

I agree that the short-arc quads (the exercise you described with the rolled up towel) are a pain.  Just when I was getting happy that I could do a set without too much problem, we added weights at PT today.  Ouch and swollen.  I still have problem with the seated kicks too. 

Hopefully you will be allowed to bike.  My OS had me on the bike at one week out, with no resistence.  He says it's good for ROM.  I found that although it hurts a bit at first, my knee feels better and less stiff once I'm done.  I'm supposed to add a little resistence now, but find that it really hurts.

I've been pretty swollen since I came back to work on Monday.  I don't keep the leg elevated like I should.  Today's particularly bad (and I'm very stiff), I think partially because it's raining.

Good luck at your appointment tomorrow.  Talk to you later.
Danielle
32 - R knee gone to hell
lat. meniscus 94
ACL, chondroplasty 98
Chondroplasty 99
Screw fell out into joint, med. meniscus, microfracture 99
MCL/med. capsule recon, med. meniscus 00
Chondroplasty 04
Chrondroplasty 1/05
OATS 4/05 for OCD lesion
AVN, MFC fracture 10/05