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Author Topic: 6 times in 3 years. I need help  (Read 5551 times)

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Offline calum1980

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6 times in 3 years. I need help
« on: July 10, 2005, 06:16:16 PM »
I know this post goes on for a really long time but please read it all. I've had to give the history of the injury over a three year period so it's not really that long.I'm using the emergency section because I dont know what else to do. I'll try to explain as well as I can. It started about three years ago. I was in a club, very drunk. The next thing I know there was an intense pain in my knee. I don't know what I did but I had to hold on to someone to get home. I couldn't walk. The next day I was in serious pain. I couldn't bend or straighten my leg. I couldn't walk. I didn't want to see my doctor. They are a husband and wife double act. The most incompetant people I have ever met. I'm not the only one who says it. The head pharmacist over the road says so too. I waited and hoped it would get better by itself. Two weeks later and it was still the same. So I went to the doctor. She was as much use as I thought she would be. First she criticised me for not seeing her straight away then she gave me pain killers and told me to move it around a bit. Would she have been any more help if I had gone to see her sooner? I doubt it. I waited for over a year for for my knee to get better. It never went back to normal though it did get a lot better than it was. Just as I was becoming more confident that it was getting better, it happened again. I was in a club again, dancing (I know, there's a pattern here). Suddenly, it just snapped. It was the most violent feeling inside my knee. It felt like my leg had broken in half and all the tissue had torn apart. I landed on the floor and after a few seconds I knew it wasn't broken, but the same thing had happened again. I got up and hobbled to a seat. It wasn't as bad as the first time (it never has been). But it was still bad. I still didn't want to go to my doctor. They hadn't been any use before so what use would they be this time. It happened three more times before I went back to the doctor. That was about two months ago now. Stupidly, I waited before seeing him (the husband this time). The swelling had gone down and I had regained most of the movement back in my leg (I've never had full movement since it first started), so it wouldn't even look like there was a problem on the outside. But I didn't care. I wanted somebody to take notice of the problem, and accept that this is a long term injury. He couldn't understand why I hadn't been to see him every time this had happened. I held back from telling him it was because he and his wife were completely useless. I explained what had happened and he didn't understand anything I said. He kept saying "I don't understand what you mean. You'll have to explain it better". I don't know how much better I can explain it. I'm not a doctor or a knee expert. He said that he couldn't see anything wrong. Well of course not. The swelling had gone down. The fact that it had happened five times in three years just wasn't important to him, and neither was the fact that I don't have full movement of my leg, or that it just keeps happening every couple of months. He prescribed some painkillers again (are they capable of doing anything else) and sent me for blood tests for arthritis, which it isn't and I never thought it would be. He told me to come back in three weeks. I did, and that was last week. Once again he told me there wasn't anything he could do because he couldn't see a problem. I once again pointed out the inability to move my leg as fully as my other leg, and he said that because it wasn't as bad as other people he had seen there wasn't any reason to do anything about it. Since when do you treat people based on other peoples injuries. He tried to give me anti-inflammatory's. I told him I could'nt take them because I have problems with my stomach and they cause a reaction. This seemed like an alien concept to him. He said I was refusing the treatment he was offering. I'm not going to take something that is going to cause me pain. I left, frustrated with everything that had happened. Two days ago it happened again. It's not as bad as it usually is, unfortunately (I know that sounds like a strange thing to say but if it was badly swollen and I couldn't move it then they would have to take me seriously. I've had the weekend to think about it and I know I will have to go to the doctor again, but I'm sure nothing will be done. At least if I go it will be written in my medical records if nothing else. I know I can't give much information about the injury itself but I really hope someone can help. Maybe someone knows what this sounds like and/or what can be done to fix it. If it helps, I'm not an old man with dodgy joints. I'm 25 and I don't do sports. Please help. I'm absolutely desperate.

Offline stgiles16

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2005, 06:23:04 PM »
Can you not see a different group of doctors? I am assuming that you live in the UK and I am unfamiliar with NHS but can you not get a referral to an OS? Even the quacks could do that for you. If you cant see another group of drs, try being more forceful with these two and pressure them to give you a referral to an OS.
Good luck
missy

Just a question here,,,,, do you think that your kneecap may be dislocating?
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
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Offline rozzzie

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2005, 07:51:50 PM »
Go see the Dr with it swollen and with it unable to straighten and bend, that should make them take notice.  Maybe they'll give you a referral to an OS.  Like Missy said maybe your kneecap or the meniscus getting caught.  There are so many things that it could be that you need to see and OS that specializes in Knees. 

Wishing you lots of Luck!

Rozzzie
OA of knees since 85
93 scrambled ankle - PE
98 PE
99 anlke fusion
04 hit by car broken leg, ribs AC joint seperation
RTKR Dec 1 2005
LTKR. IM rod removal March 16, 2006

Offline calum1980

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2005, 07:58:03 PM »
I'm almost certain it's not the kneecap dislocating. It kind of feels like the whole joint coming out of place and everything tearing round the back. As for getting a referral I should be more forceful but they are such arrogant people and they talk down to me. I'm also worried that if I do get a referral and then they don't find anything then everyone will think I'm just wasting their time. Maybe I shouldnt assume that all doctors are as useless as the ones I've got but it's just difficult after everything I've put up with from them. As for getting a new doctor, the area I live in is really crowded and and no doctors are taking on new patients.

Offline calum1980

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reply to Rozzie
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2005, 08:09:43 PM »
You'd think that would work but that was how it was when I first went and I just got painkillers. When it went again on Friday I actually hoped that it would swell up really badly so they would take notice but it didn't happen so now I'm nervous about seeing them again and being thought of as a time waster

Offline Heather M.

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2005, 10:48:05 PM »
You are wasting your time, unfortunately.  General Practitioners or GP's are not qualified or competent to treat knee issues.

To me, it sounds like you are subluxing your kneecap--slight dislocations.  These are extremely painful and can drop you to the floor.  You must see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees and patello-femoral syndrome (PFS) to find out if this is what you have.  Essentially, this is the result of poor knee mechanics, where the kneecap is tilted or slightly out of position.  Then, under stress, it moves further out of position, which stresses and damages the soft tissue, ligaments, tendons and even meniscus.  That's actually another possibility--that you have a torn meniscus, and a bit of it is lodging in the joint occasionally and causing this extreme pain and inability to bend/straighten.  Then, with time and movement, the torn bit returns to its normal position...this can fool an inexperienced doctor into thinking nothing is wrong.  A condition which acts similarly would be a loose body, where a piece of cartilage or bone can actually move around in the joint and lock things up, causing agony when it jams the mechanics up.  An x-ray can usually see these if they are made of bone, otherwise an MRI is required.

So based on your symptoms, I would investigate PFS/mal-tracking/subluxations. loose body/chondral defect and also a meniscal tear.  Here are some great pages to do research; if you have to, print out the articles and bring them to the incompetent doctors.  But don't be a victim of the system--fight for your care and go over the head of your GP's if you must, as they are not trained to rule out knee problems!

http://www.steadman-hawkins.com/pate/overview.asp  Overview of PFS
http://www.steadman-hawkins.com/knee_chondral/overview.asp Damaged articular cartilage, which can lead to loose bodies
http://www.steadman-hawkins.com/meniscus/overview.asp  Meniscal injuries
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/html/steps/knees.html  Read the steps going down the left part of the page, from basic knee anatomy to meniscus to problems with the patella (which would be considered PFS)

There have been others suffering from dealing with the NHS who have managed to get the treatment they need, so don't continue to accept this level of treatment.  A GP is fine for triage, as long as he/she understands that they don't have the training to rule out orthopedic problems.  Their job is to try the basics (RICE--rest, ice, compression, elevation) and then refer the patient on for appropriate care.  Unfortunately, the job of those in the NHS is to ration healthcare, as there is not enough to go around.  So the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and all those other trite cliches.  Fight for your knee, as if the problems continue you can begin to experience serious disability!

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
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Offline calum1980

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reply to Heather M
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2005, 11:32:27 PM »
Thanks for that post. I'll get on with reading those articles. It also gives me a bit more confidence about demanding a referral.

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2005, 02:24:59 PM »
I also don't know much about the health care system in the UK, but can't you go to the emergency room?  As soon as it happens, head to the ER, and have someone there check it out.  At the very least, they may be more than willing to give you the referral to the OS.

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 calum1980

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Went back to the doctor
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2005, 05:12:26 PM »
I went to doctor again today. I hate him so much. I showed him how much movement I have in my leg. I can get it just past 90 degrees. Bear in mind with my other leg I can touch my arse with my foot, which I showed him. He said that it was a normal level of movement and he couldn't see anything wrong. He said we can't all be aerobics instructors. What a w*nker! I don't want to be an f***ing aerobics instructor, I just want my knee to be fixed. I don't care how much movement I have. The fact that this has happened 6 times is the problem. I demanded a referral which he said he would do but he also said he would note that he couldn't see a problem, which means I will be put at the bottom of the list again and again while more "serious" injuries go ahead of me. With the state of the NHS I'll be lucky if I get seen within 5 years.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2005, 05:45:32 AM by PFS_Mod »

Offline Nettan

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2005, 05:16:35 PM »
Are there any backways you can take f.i. see a private doc ?

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 calum1980

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2005, 07:25:44 PM »
going private would cost more money than I ever expect to have, unfortunately. I'll just have to wait for the referral, which I think is only to see someone who will test how much movement I have, so I'm sure I will be told once again that they can't see what the problem is. They don't seem to understand this isn't about movent, but a recurring injury that I just want someone to stop it from happening again. Or at least cut it off above the knee. That would stop it. And that's how frustrated I'm feeling right now. >:(

Offline rozzzie

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2005, 08:18:27 PM »
If you haven't seen anyone and this happens again go stright to A&E.  If a DR sees it just after it happens and you will see someone and probably get a referal.  I don't want you to have to go through that again but if it happens, go directly to A&E.

Wishing you  GOOD  KNEE  DAYS !

Rozzzie
OA of knees since 85
93 scrambled ankle - PE
98 PE
99 anlke fusion
04 hit by car broken leg, ribs AC joint seperation
RTKR Dec 1 2005
LTKR. IM rod removal March 16, 2006

Offline donna27

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2005, 12:51:19 AM »
I'd just like to say to you, Callum, that I completely understand what you are going through right now. 10 years ago, when I was 13, I had an extremely painful event like your initial injury. It took my G.P about 3 years to refer me to an OS, and even then, believe it or not, I was given an x-ray and told that there was nothing wrong with my knee! Years later, with injuries to myself from the 'falls' and 'locking' (including a fractured ankle and a fractured thumb!) I was refferred to a different OS (who was too busy too see me, so I saw a physiotherapist instead) who both ended up diagnosing an ACL tear and medial meniscus tear with an MRI scan. I have now had operations for both and are recovering, slowly.

I now have very little faith in the NHS and cannot help being totally paranoid about any treatment I receive. Hell, it is our bodies were talking about here!

I would definately advise you to go to A + E if it happens again. Although I used to go every time my knee locked, especially in the beginning, and all that happened was painkillers and x-ray, but you might get lucky! It's so frustrating how the level of care in some areas of the UK can be dated and even negligent.

Try and get your GP to refer you to a physio in the meantime? There are tests they could do that could make an assumed diagnosis, or at least give you some educated advice - just keep going to that doctor and he'll have to take notice. What person, never mind doctor, would suggest that there's nothing wrong with a knee that causes you so much pain and instability???

Good luck with the doctor and your knee - keep us posted on how things go,

Donna x

P.S. next time you go to the doctor tell him: MY KNEE IS UNSTABLE, IT LOCKS AND CAUSES ME INTENSE PAIN AND SWELLING. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE BEFORE I CAUSE MYSELF OTHER INJURIES.
May 2005 ACL recon (patella) and medial menisectomy
May 2004 diagnosed with torn ACL
June 2003 tibia fracture due to knee instability
1997 arthroscopy shaved away 'flapping' cartilage
1995 Initial knee injury

Offline calum1980

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update
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2005, 04:46:28 PM »
Yesterday, even though I had left it almost a week since the last injury, I decided to go to the Accident and Emergency department to see if I could get any extra help. When I saw the doctor, she was very understanding, moved my leg about, and said she could feel something crunching, which is more than my own doctor has been able to do in 3 years. She also said (as I had already realised) that if this was happening to me at my age then it would just get even worse when I got older. She said she would write to my doctor to get him to refer me to an orthopaedic surgeon. I know my doctor said he would refer me to someone, but I have no idea who. He just mumbled something at me but it certainly didn't sound like "Orthopaedic Sugeon". Maybe one day something will actually be done.

Offline lumpy36

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Re: 6 times in 3 years. I need help
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2005, 02:40:00 AM »
Hi m8

I'm really sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your GP.

I am an aerobics instructor and after waiting 18 months for a referral was told by the consultant that the best thing I could do
was stop what i did and maybe take up gentle cycling. Well, thanks very much for the complete indifference.

It seems that the only way to make progress with the NHS is to either play the benefits system or be completely incapacitated.

In the end I had a consultation privately - it cost 150.00 - but was worth it just to find out what was wrong with the knee and what my options were.

I'd suggest the same course of action and then, when a bit more information is available, camp at the doctors surgery until a proper referral is made for you. Its an awful way to have to do things but if you want people to actually take notice of a serious and debiltating injury it seems to be the only way.

Good luck.

Lumpy.

Long term Rugby injuries
3 arthroscapys
1 Cart. Transplant
Staph Infection
Aerobics instructor - going mad!!















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