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Author Topic: Tennis, anyone?  (Read 1081 times)

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Offline xisbum

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Tennis, anyone?
« on: September 10, 2005, 03:50:15 PM »
Hello, fellow knees sufferers. I'm a newbie here at Kneegeeks and don't know where to post this, so I'll just jump right in with the facts.

I'm a top-end Baby Boomer, born in 1946, former smoker who quit in February, 1982, when I started taking tennis seriously. Played very hard tennis for the next 23 years, not very good but extremely competitive and stubborn. Ran down many balls, made many sudden stops and starts, most of them putting extreme pressure on my knees, especially the left one.

Also fought a constant weight battle since putting away the Winstons; actually went over 200 pounds for the first time this spring, and on my short frame (5-5), that was way too much weight.

Twisted my trusty left knee in April, and on my birthday, June 29, had artho on torn medial meniscus. OS took out a chunk, took a look at the medial articular cartilage and said "oops." Told me a week later that the meniscus was okay, what was left of it, but that the articular cartilage was riddled with osteo. I was likely in for some rough days, and maybe not many days on the tennis court, except for some soft, social doubles.

Although devastated, I jumped on his planned recuperation program, which included ample use of prescription anti-inflam drugs, Tylanol, aspirin, and even huge doses of glucosamine and chondroitin. As an afterthought, he recommended weight loss.

No recommended exercises, other than flexing the quads 150 times a day, and no physiotherapy. In fact, he said do as little as possible for the foreseeable future.

Progress - None. There was considerably more pain than I ever experienced in the knee, even from the initial injury up to surgery. Probably full of illusions, I expected to be back on the court in the advertised 4 to 6 weeks. Didn't happen.

Finally, he injected cortisone into the knee on August 11, 6 weeks after the surgery. He said if the knee felt better, I could try a little light hitting against a wall for about 30 minutes a time. I waited a week, and, indeed, the knee did feel much better. But the pain returned after one session against the wall. I took about 4 days off, and when the knee started to feel better, I tried another hitting session. Bad idea; the pain returned, and I called the OS with the bad news (Knews?).

He immediately went to the Synvisc option, and after some hassles with the insurance company (what's new (Knew) there?), the first injection session has been scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 11, some 11 weeks after surgery.

Ever since the surgery, the OS seems to be leading me toward at least unicompartmental replacement, even though he says the right things about getting me back on the court and about my being too young for knee replacement. I agree with him on the latter.

But he's made no mention of any kind of therapy, and he hasn't said a word about unloader braces, which, from the research I've uncovered, might help a codger like me stay on the court a while longer before opening his knee. And I have yet to see any information on the unicompartmental surgery that says tennis is a recommended post-surgical therapy.

There is some good news, and it's not about Geico. I have lost 20 pounds since the surgery, and I will lose another 30 by February. Take that to the bank. I'm doing my part.

I don't know where to put this post, because I really don't know what I'm asking. I try to walk a mile every day at lunch, and the knee reacts differently each day. Right now, it's on a schedule of pain on the even days and relatively no pain on the odd days. I've started sleeping with the knee elevated, and that seems to help some. Also, wearing highly cushioned Nike runing shoes seems to help, too.

This I do know - I am not giving up tennis without a fight. I made some bad choices through the years, especially concerning my weight, but this OS pushed the right motivational button when he said losing weight might keep me on the court for a few more years. His exact words about the knee: "You might be able to play on it for 10 more years or 10 more months, but it will eventually wear out. Losing weight might help." Thanks, Doc.

If the Synvisc doesn't get me back on the court, I am going to insist on an unloader brace, one made especially for active sports. Somehow, I think my OS has the treatment sequence out of whack. Seems to me the brace should come before the Synvisc, which should be the last resort before surgery. Whatever. I will insist on the brace, even if I have to pay for it.

This is one Baby Boomer who will not go gently into that good night.

Sorry for the vent. Don't usually talk this much, but am not usually this determined, either.  >:(

Comments are most welcome.

P.S. I guess my question would be is there anyone out there who has resumed active tennis after all this, especially after synvisc or with an unloader brace. And where should I be posting if not here?

Thanks. Sorry to sound so angry; it's really determination, not anger.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2005, 12:34:19 AM by xisbum »
Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline Alla

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 01:19:49 PM »
HI there
Im not much help to you, but I thought I'd comment..... just for the record... Im a ACL rupture victim who shares your desire to get back into sport..... netball and tennis specifically.  I had my reco done in May, and am still desperately trying to get the muscle back into my legs enough to start running again and get back into sports.  Damn my knee.... damn wet floor boards that I slipped on and damn the fact that I was nice enough to fill in for that netball team on that faithful evening!  I didnt even blow my knee out playing the game proper.... I was walking off the court! 

Anyhow, if it makes any difference, my mother, who is the same age as you are (sorry to bring that into it) has just recently undergone a hip replacement in each of her hips.  She was relatively active before hand although not much of a sports person, then was bed ridden with pain in one hip.... from what we found out later was both oesteo and rhumatiod arthritis. Her hips were both very worn out.  They did one hip for her, and then the other went, so they did that less then 12 month later, and I tell you what,.... she hasnt looked back. She is back to what she was before all be it a little more careful then she was.  So I figure if she can do it.... so can you.  I wish you all the best in resolving your issues...... please keep us posted!

Alla

 
Torn ACL December 04
ACL Reco May 05
Cleared to return to sport May 06

Offline xisbum

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 03:13:59 PM »
Thanks for the kind words, Alla. Sorry to hear of your situation, but happy to hear your mother is on the mend and on her feet.

Don't worry about the age reference. Baby Boomers believe that old saw about being as old as you feel, and most of us don't feel our age. At least, we don't feel our age until something unforseen happens.

Our generation (your mother's and mine) share many traits, among them persistence and defiance. While we don't think we are immortal, we do think we can overcome many things. Physical challenge is one of those.

My primary problem is trust in my OS; he is well known in this area for treating NFL players, and I'm afraid my little case just isn't exciting enough for him. I'm not sure he's giving my knee the attention it deserves. I just can't understand no physical therapy or exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee.

What does your surgeon have you doing to recup? I would think the ACL would be more difficult to recup, but I bet you are doing many more targeted exercises than I. On the scale of things, a little meniscus tear, even with the osteo, shouldn't be that hard to treat.

Let me know how your program works. As you know, there's nothing more frustrating than to watch others hit tennis balls while you can't.

Take care.

Rob
Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline raquetball1

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 07:05:36 PM »
Hi xisbum,

Another "boomer" here, but with a reconstructed acl.  I scarfed a section of a reply I put on the cruciate ligament board to give you some idea of some knee friendly quad, hamstring, hip abductor/adductor, and lower leg exercises I did in rehab and continue to do almost ten months post-op. 

Re pre-op rehab:  You should be strengthening all the muscles in your legs, particularly quads and hamstrings.  Leg presses, both one legged (on injured leg) and two legged; hamstring curls, again one-legged and two legged; for lower leg muscles, push the leg press machine all the way out and place just the ball of your feet on the bottom of the board with rest of your foot off the board and do reps of "toe-ups"; one-legged standing for one minute without putting other foot down X three; standing on one leg either on floor or rockerboard and throwing a weighted ball against a slanted rebound tramp and catching it (if this isn't available to you, grab a friend to toss the ball with you while you stand on one leg (do this from three perspectives: 1. facing forward, 2. facing from the left, 3. facing from the right); if you have a sports cord, walk it out in four perspecitves: forward, backward and both sides; wall slide squats; find a stable "step" about six inches high and step up on bad leg and over on bad leg, then step backwards up again and over...always landing on bad leg....also do this sidestepping; hip abduction and adduction.  None of these exercises should stress your knee if performed properly and it is crucial to build up all the muscles you can in leg prior to surgery because your muscles will waste big time post-op. 


I do these exercises in two sets of twenty each.  If you have access to "Cybex" exercise machines, most of the above, other than balancing exercises, will be available.  Hope this is of some help to you.
autopatellar acl recon Nov. 2004 at age 51

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Offline purplestars1881

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 07:56:47 PM »
Hello There...

I am also a tennis lover and had surgery on August 15th for a torn meniscus and the OS also did a LR to correct tilt which was causing my kneecap to run against my bones. I understand your frustration about not doing any PT...I just started my PT last week and I was very anxious to start...I wanted to be active in my recovery!

In general, I don't think that PT is usually prescribed for a torn meniscus. However, in your case they found OA which in and of itself is a hinderance, but then you add recovery for the meniscus annd the OA complicates matters even more. Strengthening the muscles is going to be very important. I would tell your OS that you want a referral for PT at the very least so that you can get evaluated.

Second, my confidence in my OS would be shaken as well if I had the surgery mishap that you had. If you don't feel comfortable with him, get a second opinion. You could even ask the PT for the name of a good OS. What you may be finding with your OS is that he knows the types of treatments to use with NFL players to prolong their career, but not the type of treatments for people to use to prolong their knees for life.

I wish you the best of luck, I hope I was helpful!

Heather
Lateral Release & Torn Meniscus...August 2005

Offline mhsflute07

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 09:04:05 PM »
Hi,

I play tennis and recently had TTTs on both my knees. I agree with what everyone else has said. I would request PT....your OS probably won't mind....tell him what you told us. If he blows you off again, I would get a second (or more) opinion. Good luck!

~Erin~
June 2, 2005 TTT/LR  R.
July 26, 2005 TTT/LR  L.
June 6, 2006 Microfracture R.
June 5, 2007 Microfracture & Screw Removal R.
March 12, 2009 Scope and ACI Biopsy R.
May 12, 2009 TTT, Trochleoplasty R.
December 15, 2009 ACI (patella) & bilateral hardware removal
December 21, 2010 LOA and LR

Offline Alla

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Re: Tennis, anyone?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2005, 01:39:49 PM »
Hey there

Yeah, Im not looking forward to watching the tennis season go by without me participating either.... Im hoping to get in there by christmas.... but not sure if that will happen....

Get a second opinion if you arent happy.  Over here I can go to PT without referal by an OS... can you do that over there??  I got my ACL tear diagnosed on about the 6th visit to a different health care professional.... all others missed it.  Im afraid that I was determined that I'd done more damage then they were claiming.... and I was right.... I reckon that we know our bodies quite well... so I pushed until I was taken seriously.  If you lack the trust... then get another opinion... you really do need to trust your OS

Alla
Torn ACL December 04
ACL Reco May 05
Cleared to return to sport May 06















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