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Author Topic: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...  (Read 1085 times)

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Offline bikermike

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Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« on: June 30, 2005, 09:51:10 PM »
I just turned 40 this month, so I guess this was inevitable...  I injured my knee at 22 playing basketball.  The diagnosis was that I 'stretched' the ACL.  After staying off it for a while, I resumed normal activity until about 2-3 years later when I torn some cartiledge (again) playing basketball.  This required surgery where my doctor (an excellent technician) removed roughly 1/3 of the medial meniscus (inner front) of my right knee.  After a good recovery from the surgery I continued an active lifestyle doing a lot of cycling, wearing a brace on the knee during other sports, and experiencing mild post-actiivty discomfort.  For the most part, no complaints. 

Over the past 5-10 years I have conciously cut back on high impact activity.  I enjoy road cycling, so I do that more than anything.  In fact, this tends to help my knee pain.  It is only recently (over the last 2 months) that I have had a somewhat constant ache, even walking with a slight limp.  I do not believe I have recently re-injured the knee in any way.  I have an appointment with my family physician, and will be seeking a referral to a specialist.  This is the first time since the surgery 15 yrs. ago since I've been to the doctor for my knee.

The questions I have are generally:
1.  I am in good physical condition, but have a larger build (6'0", 220 lbs.).  I would like to maintain activity and health in this knee, what should I do to promote longevity on my knee?
2.  I see info regarding meniscal transplants, is this something I should investigate?
3.  Do the glucosimine supplements really help people?
4.  What tests should I request?  MRI?  X-rays?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Nettan

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Re: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2005, 07:33:56 AM »
Hey !!

Sorry you have problems now after so many years. Unfortunately it's not unusal developing problems after so many years after having meniscusproblems. Have it myself, so I know what I'm talking about. I assume that you have gone through rehab earlier, if not you find good excercises to keep musclestrenght up under the gym on this site.
I know there are peps on this board using supplements like glucosamine. If you go down to TKR section you find specific topics about that you can read.
Under meniscus section you can read about transplants.
Both Mri and x-rays can be good after so many years. Having any problems with looking or catching ?

Hope you get help soon.

Hugs Nettan  8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2005, 01:21:14 PM »
Odds are. the first thing an orthopedist will do is take x-rays.  If they removed 1/3 of the meniscus at 25, odds are you have some cartilage degeneration at 40.  Depending on how much, location, etc. there may be treatment options other than pain killers and anti-inflammatories.  Make sure the OS you see is a knee specialist. 

As to glucosamine - some people get a lot of relief from it.  Some don't.  I take it.  I don't get any relief, but I tell myself it is slowing down further damage.

And if an OS tells you it's arthritis, it was bound to happen, sorry.... find a new OS.  While it's true, it was likely to happen, that doesn't mean you have to learn to live with it.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline bikermike

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Re: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2005, 03:05:31 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions and kind thoughts.  I bought some Glucosimine/Chondrotin last night and started taking it.  I know it can take 2-3 weeks to start to see results, if any at all.  If it truly is arthristis setting in, what do the docs tend to recommend?  Am I looking at a regime of anti-inflamatories and exercises, or are they going to recommend a knee replacement, or something along that continuum?

I have an appointment with my physician on July 11th (hate having to wait that long).  She's pretty good so she'll give me a referral to a good KNEE specialist.  Not sure how long it will take to get an appointment with him/her.

As to locking or catching, there is a small "click" just before my knee gets to full extension.  Nothing severe enough to cause additional pain, just enough to be annoying.

 

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2005, 10:35:38 PM »
Mike -

I will say this - my doctor, who I like, referred me to an OS, who I fired.  OK, I didn't fire him, I just refused to continue seeing him.  Why?  Because he gave me the standard arthritis line. 

How will it be treated?  There is a huge continuum, and you mentioned each end.  A lot of the options in the middle depend on how much damnage, where it's located, etc.  If you have what they call focal lesions, which are basically potholes in your cartilage, there are actually surgical procedures that can replace the cartilage.  But there is, as always, a downside.  The shortest total recovery time is about 6 months, and for some of the procedures (and depending on the size of the damage) as much as 2 years.  Go with your gut - if you don't like the first OS, press hard.  If you still don't like him, request a copy of your records and a copy of all film (x-rays/mri/etc) and find a new OS.

Good luck.
Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline N888NJR

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Re: Surgery 15yrs. ago, only now getting pain...
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2005, 11:08:44 PM »
Hi,

Sorry to hear of all your knee problems. I know how frustrating it is....VERY! I first injured my knee playing football when i was 13, with my kneecap dislocating. It happened a further time two years later with a patella fracture, then the other one popped out twice in the next four years. Since the first time, ive never really recovered and so visited my OS in Aberdeen, Scotland in February (05). He told me i needed a Proximal and Distal Re-Alignment of my right leg, then of my left leg later. I underwent this re-alignment in April (05) and now, 11 weeks post op, my knee only bends 80 degrees and its the size of a small football.It is an extremely slow process!!! Its not all doom and gloom though as my physio says im making good progress. I understand it takes around a year to regain full strength but my past experience of knee problems and hour after hour of rehab will get me through and back to my main goal, playing football again. Im now 21 and will be 24 when i get back playing (WHICH I WILL) so its been a long hard road but one thats worth it if you put in the hard work and motivation.
Because this procedure does mess with your joint quite a bit and leaves a lengthy scar down your leg (8 inches), I would advise reconsidering your next move as i think this is a big thing to a youngster, especially a 15 year old. If there is no option but to have the surgery, then all the best to you. But if you have another option, id strongly advise going for it first to see if its successful as this much work on a growing leg could prove detrimental, despite what your OS tells you. Good luck!!!