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Author Topic: Dislocated patella - please help....  (Read 1262 times)

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Offline nikki michel

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Dislocated patella - please help....
« on: May 03, 2005, 03:06:48 PM »
Hi all

i disclocated my knee in january of this year, it was very easily done which was the scariest part.....my knees have always cracked or locked since i was about 12 - im now 20.....

my boyfriend had leant on my knees to give me a kiss on the head (ahhh...) but i had my legs crossed at the time and my right patella just went to the right and completely popped out....it was a discusting sight but i knocked it back into place - without really taking in what had happened! my dad came running up the stairs to the sound of me screaming in pain but he managed to get me walking again and although it ached liked mad i didnt go the hospital and left it overnight

the following morning i couldnt move!! my knee was so sore, although there was no visable swelling or redness it was very stiff and hurt to bend and straighten...so i reluctantly went to A&E with my mum.

i was put in a plaster cast from my thigh to my ankle which i had on for 4 weeks, that was then removed and i was given something called a cricket backed splint which has loads of velcro and metal poles in it which keeps your leg straight...and i had a number of MRI Scans and XRays conducted.

as of today i have been told i have a tear in my cartilage - following on from a 2nd MRI scan that i had on wednesday....but they said it isnt a huge problem, but a problem never-the-less, but they dont want to operate just yet, i have been told to carry on with my physio sessions and if in 6 weeks time there isnt a vast improvement then i have to have key hole conducted....however he also mentioned me having to have a cortisone shot in my knee (does this hurt by the way as im so scared of needles!) and what does it do exactly??? he tried to explain to me but i froze when he said the word 'shot'.....!!!

my progress with regards to physio has been incredibly slow - when they 1st removed the plaster cast i could only manage a 30 degree movement and was crying with pain........7 weeks on and i can just go over 95 degrees but im unable to walk up or down the stairs properly as i cant lift my leg high enough to manover up the steps....this is very frustrating!!!! but i have started to drive again which is a god send!!

is this normal for someone of my age???? im very healthy and used to do a lot of sport and exercise and i cannot believe the recovery is taking so long! i was very naive in thinking i would be ok when they took the plaster off and its so depressing at how long its all taking - and i still have a very long way to go. anyones feedback or their own experience with a dislocated patella is extremely welcome as no one i know has ever experience it!

Nikki
London, England xxxx
« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 03:11:06 PM by nikki michel »
Nikki Michel

Age 20
Jan 2005 - dislocated right patella

Offline Jennifer82

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 03:25:10 PM »
Hey Nikki
Cortisone shots are steriod injections used to help the knee joint move with ease and to relieve pain. They don't hurt if you have an OS who knows what he's doing ::) My OS uses a freezing spray on my knee so when the actual shot is injected I dont feel anything except the medication going in which in my case I have sever arthritis and that part is painful for me! You have nothing to worry about! I remember when I had my first injection in the knee and I was more scared of that than surgery!! :P

Unfortunately us women and our knees are so much different than a mans b/c of the shape of our pelvis and hips that its SOOO easy to disclote our patellas! I have had problems with my right knee creaking and popping since I was 8!

You are my age and we are young so chances are you will spring right back when you get this knee fixed! Just follow your regimen for rehab and really work on getting that quad muscle strong! I cannot express enough HOW IMPORTANT strong quads are for proper alignment especially when you have dislocating patellas!!

Good Luck!
Jennie
Car Accident-2001
MCL, PCL, ACL recon r. knee- 6/01
3 Lateral Releases- 2001, 2002
Fulkerson TTT- 11/2002
Patella Reconstruction- 11/03
Scope/ligament revision-6/04
TKR 5/17/05
Screw removal 8/2005
Ocober 2006-Injured TKR DX: Torn MCL

Offline Patty0513

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2005, 03:28:53 PM »
Hi Nikki,
   I am sorry to hear that you dislocated your patella.  I have dislocated mine hundreds of time, starting when I was 8 years old.  When I was 13 I finally went to the Dr after a dislocation and he did the same thing, plaster cast from hip to ankle.  But that was in the 70's and I am kind of surprised that they didn't use an immobilizer brace that would allow you to take it off and gently bend the knee.  After 4 weeks of being immobilized the capsule gets tight and your muscles atrophy.  You probably also have some scar tissue from the cartilage tear.  Regaining ROM is a slow process as is building up the quad muscles.  Don't get discouraged, keep working on it!!
   I have had numerous cortisone injections in various joints and I don't find them at all painful, although some people do.  I guess it depends on your pain tolerance.  Cortisone is a steroid and an anti-inflammatory, may help with pain and any swelling.  Personally they didn't help me at all.  I hope that they help you!!

Good luck!
Patty

Offline nikki michel

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 03:30:26 PM »
hi jennie

thank you sooo much for coming back to me and putting me at ease with regards to the injection! thats my problem that i have lost 90% of my muscle in both my calf and my thigh and so building it back up is proving to be harder than i thought - normally i would just go for a bike ride or a run - not that easy when you cant bend your knee!!!  ::) ive been given a load of exercises - one of which is a 'knee dip' where i have to place all my weight onto my bad leg and bend my knee so that my knee cap goes over my toe - this is supposed to build everything up but its just taking such a long time....xx
Nikki Michel

Age 20
Jan 2005 - dislocated right patella

Offline nikki michel

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2005, 03:36:26 PM »
hi patty

thanks for coming back to me, its so refreshing to hear other peoples experiences - im so bored of my friends and family telling me to "bend my knee" - like im making it up that i cant walk properly!

i was so surprised when they told me id have to be put in plaster! i seriously thought that they would have given me a brace to wear! but i done 4 weeks in a full leg of plaster and then 2 weeks in a splint - which was also from my thigh to my ankle and now since last week i have been given a much smaller brace to wear.

what i am finding is that i can bend my knee around 95 degrees in physio but simple things like raising my knee to get into the bath or raising it to walk up a step is almost impossible without me moving my hip to accommodate for the lack of bend in my knee - and i am also nervous about this all having a knock on affect with my hip! x
Nikki Michel

Age 20
Jan 2005 - dislocated right patella

Offline pxs

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2005, 03:59:55 PM »
I had a dislocation with led to a lot of swelling and bleeding in my knee.  Like you I could barely bend 90 degrees a month later.  The mri showed a lot of torn up stuff that had to be fixed in open surgery, followed by a month of limited motion in a post-surgical brace, so another month later after that i was still struggling to get beyond 90 Degrees.  I eventually got full range of motion back, but am still working on strength 10 months post surgery.  If your mri showed only some cartilage damage, you may be able to avoid surgery or at least limit any surgery to arthroscopic at some point down the road, and have a faster recovery. You should focus in physical therapy on getting your motion back first, and then the strength should come, but it may take awhile.

Offline nikki michel

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Re: Dislocated patella - please help....
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2005, 04:03:45 PM »
hi pxs

thank you for your advice, thats exactly what i need to do, surgery for me is a last option if the movement doesnt return properly but its just incredibly frustrating more than anything else!
Nikki Michel

Age 20
Jan 2005 - dislocated right patella