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Author Topic: New Knee Pain and New Member  (Read 877 times)

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Offline Zaz

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New Knee Pain and New Member
« on: May 20, 2005, 06:41:36 AM »
Hello.  I don't know exactly where to start so it seems fair to start here.

In November 2002 I dislocated my right knee, severing the popliteal artery and completely severing the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament, the medial and lateral collateral ligaments were damaged but apparently not severed.  The artery was surgically replaced including the use of a stent.  I required two fasciotomies due to swelling and they infected so were allowed to heal from the inside out, finally closing March 2004.

I'm diabetic, by the way.

The ligaments were not reconstructed because of the risk of infection and frankly, because no orthopedic surgeon wanted to touch the injury.  An MRI in February 2003 showed the medial and lateral meniscus to be torn.  Recent x-rays show that joint is bone on bone now.  My current ortho recommends a total knee replacement but is concerned about potential artery damage and wants me to lose weight first.

Apparently, due to lack of blood flow in my lower leg for about 8 hours between injury and arterial surgery (as well as a blood clot following surgery) I have damage to my lower calve muscle.  My right heel does not quite reach the floor.  So, I'm standing unbalanced with most of my weight on my left leg still, 2 1/2 years after the injury. 

I'm in more pain than I really would like to be.  I do feel lucky since I was told I was expected to lose my leg.  I still have mobility and some independence.  I wear a brace and I can walk short distances with a cane or walker and use a wheelchair for longer distances.  I can't stand very long and driving is difficult.  I've made a lot of adaptations.  My knee has also scarred in so it's a lot more stable than it was.  It used to dislocate all four directions easily, now it only dislocates a bit front to back.

Finally, I get to why I'm writing.  I had trouble in my left knee before all this.  I've joked that it's the knee "formerly known as my bad knee."  I was diagnosed with chondromalacia patella years ago in both knees and current x-rays confirm osteoarthritis.  I have had episodes of very sharp pain which have now become essentially constant.  If I'm very careful and use the walker, making sure not to rotate my knee at all I can walk all right. 

The pain is located just below my left knee joint, anterior and medial; perhaps roughly in the location of the medial collateral ligament.  It is a very sharp, tearing pain.  It reminds me somewhat of the tearing sensation I experienced when I had plantar fasciitis some years ago.  So, I'm wondering if it might be just an inflammation of some tissue.  I worry about it being something worse.  Having my left knee out of commission would really be unpleasant.

I've got an appointment with my ortho for June 30th.  I've been icing my knee and taking my usual anti-inflammatories and pain medications.  How do I know if it's bad enough to either head to emergency or whine for a closer appointment?  I just want to keep the mobility and independence I have for now.  Does anyone have ideas of most likely problems or other things I can do myself to improve the situation?
"I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it."  Garrison Keillor

Offline Alla

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Re: New Knee Pain and New Member
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2005, 10:42:11 AM »
HI there
Geez you've had a torrid time of it.... what a lot of bad luck!  I'm not much help to you really as I just have torn ACL.... something that seems insignificant compared to your experience.  I think if it were me in your shoes I'd be seeking the advise of an OS as soon as I could.  Other then that I really dont think I can offer more then just the moral support to say hang in there....
Alla
Torn ACL December 04
ACL Reco May 05
Cleared to return to sport May 06

Offline Zaz

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Re: New Knee Pain and New Member
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2005, 07:43:25 PM »
Well, thank you for the moral support.  :)  Every bit helps.  It's been interesting to find a whole forum devoted to knees and to read some of what others are going through.  I don't feel so much like a total freak now.
"I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it."  Garrison Keillor















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