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Author Topic: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI  (Read 30113 times)

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Offline Nick 33

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Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« on: October 22, 2005, 03:04:28 AM »
I'm finally going to see Dr. W in Ann Arbor in January, it takes 3 month's to see that guy "wow".  My current OS said I'm jumping the gun he told me to give it time.  I was talking to my current OS about Dr. W, and I guess they know each other, and my doctor told me he is a good surgeon but he doesn't have any more tricks that I don't have.  He said I'm starting to look alot better but I guess I don't notice it because I live with it.  I can stand straight up when sitting in a chair as fast as I can, but I cant sit down fast I have to go real slow.  My ROM is 0 to 120 deg. but I still have to walk stiff legged.  My current OS said he had a patient that was similar to me but not as bad and it took him 2 years to get over it.  Has anybody ever heard of people having scar tissue problems that went away.  I mean went away meaning the scar tissue just starts strectching with the other muscles almost like its a normal part of the body.  Thats what my current OS told me, he said I will be walking normal and running he just doesn't know when?  My OS is a good Surgeon too, when he scoped my knee last time I quit taking pain pills 2 days after the surgery becuase the surgery hurt less than having a knee full of scar tissue, but the scar tissue came back in about 2 weeks.  In the mean time I have returned to work, I had to take a functional capacity test to see how I would do,  my doctor said I would not pass it, but I did.  The therapist said you walk with a limp but you can carry, walk, climb good enough to go back to work, so I have been back to work now over 3 months.  I don't actually have a easy job I'm a factory welder which I like, I work 8-12hrs. a day and I'm actually cautious to get another surgery because what If more scar tissue comes back than before.  It took me 10 months and 3 surgerys later just to get back to work and I still have a limp.  Yeah my knee sweels up a little at work but I guess I'm used to it already.  I guess the reason I want to see Dr. W is to get a second opinion on what my current OS is saying and to see what Dr. W thinks I should do?  I'm really having a hard time to make a decision because my current OS is a good Doc. he is the Medical Director for the Green Bay Packers and surgeon as well for them, I see him very often on TV when a player gets hurt,  But I dont like the way I walk and the way my knee feels so stiff all the time.  I don't know If I would have a hundred surgery's and this is the way my knee would turn out every time.  I'm just really confused about what to do if Dr. W says I should have surgery.  I have to stop babling and get going, if anyone could comment on any question that I have or offer suggestions I would appreciate it.  I've been out of my last surgery know exactly 7 months to this date.

Thank You
Nick 33
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline Janet

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2005, 09:41:12 PM »
It's always a good idea to get a second opinion. I have been a patient of Dr. W for almost three years now. When I first went to see him, I was at my wit's end. I had already had two surgeries for scar tissue with two different doctors. My last OS was very well respected and well known, but she kept saying things like "I just don't understand it," "I've never seen anything like it," and "It just doesn't make sense." I don't think she thought more scar tissue was causing my problems, and I certainly didn't know it. But because I had developed patella baja, she thought I may need a larger surgery like a TTT or osteotomy. She recommended I get another opinion from Dr. Wojtys or Dr. Noyes because she didn't know what else to do for me.

Because I live only 45 minutes from Ann Arbor, it was an easy decision to see Dr. W. He told me right away that I had scar tissue around the patella tendon and a defect behind the patella. There was no way to know which was causing the most pain and loss of function. He gave me the option of surgery with no guarantee that it would help. He told me it would take 6-8 months before we knew if the surgery would help. At this point, I had ROM of 0-120, but extremely poor quad function. I couldn't fully extend my leg when weight bearing. I could barely bend when weight bearing, so I walked with a pronounced limp. My functional ability was about 50%. I jumped at the chance for more surgery, as it was my only hope of regaining some semblance of normalcy.

I had the surgery in June 2003. He removed a huge ball of scar tissue from the patella tendon/fat pad area and cleand up other parts of the joint. It had been four years since my original injury, and I had never recovered. Therefore, it was very hard, long, painful rehab, but at the 18 month mark I was considered fully rehabbed. I gained quad strength and function. The scar tissue has not regrown. Unfortuantely, my knee is still a mess and I still have trouble walking because of the pain, but it is much, much better than before the surgery. I feel like he gave me my life back and I am no longer disabled. I just wish I had seen him two years earlier than I did. Then I may not have been left with permanent damage.

You are doing the right thing by getting an opinion from a doctor who treats this kind of patient. "Kathrn" from this board is also a patient of Dr. W. She drives a long way to Ann Arbor,, has had one surgery with him and has another scheduled for November. Perhaps she will answer you, also.

I wish you the best of luck!

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2005, 01:19:36 AM »
Janet and Ktee

Thanks for giving me some good input, I know there is no gaurantee with surgery, but the next one cant last no more than 6 months.  My job only offers 6 months off of work for medical, otherwise your terminated.  It use to be a year, but things change alot in the work force.  I know I got the determination to fight this and get working out asap, but my knee always fights back.  Thanks again

Nick 33
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline Janet

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2005, 02:39:09 AM »
Nick:

Don't be discouraged. Six months off work should be enough. I went back to work part-time at about two months, then back full-time at 6 months. I could have gone back full-time sooner, but took the extra time for PT. After that, I rehabbed on my own under my PT's guidance. A good PT/OS will work with you to fit your schedule.

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline KATRN

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2005, 05:04:22 PM »
Nick,
 
I think you are doing the right thing about getting a second opinion.  Atleast see what Dr. W has to say and the go from there.
Like Janet said I have had surgery from Dr. W and he has done wonderful things for me.  I do not regret it one bit by having surgery from him.  It has been four months from my last surgery and I am doing well.  I am scheduled to go back in on November 9th.  I still have some scar tissue but I did have some complication after the last surgery which may have caused it.  Have been very pleased with Dr. W.  He will be truthful and will not give you any false hope.  He will tell what he thinks and I did respect that.  Before having surgery with him I was at 45 degrees flexion I am now about 80-90.  I still have aways to go but it does feel so much better.
Good luck.  But only really you can decided what is best for you.  You know how it feels no one else.  Believe me I understand how hard of a decision it is to make.  But unfortunately you are the only one that can make that decision.  I have contimplated this next surgery but am going to go for it.  I will just hope for the best.
Good luck

Katrn
1/26/04 fell in parking garge Left Patella Fracture
1/27/04 ORIF  screws and immobilizer
2/7/04 ORIF revision pins and wires placed
3/5/04 full cast removed hinged brace applied
3/8/04 PT began

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2005, 12:21:10 PM »
Katrn

Thanks for the post, I have been keeping up on your "up date from Ann Arbor" posts.  And I hope everything goes well for you on the 9th of November for you, well be keeping fingers crossed.  I already told myself if Dr. W thinks he can help me, I'm going for it, I would like to get it done in the cold winter months so I could hopefuly get back to fishing in the spring again.  I'm doing all that right now but I walk with a stiff leg, and it gets me down when I have to walk around stuff instead of just stepping over things.  But I know things will get better just going to take some time.

Good luck to you and hope to hear from you after your surgery.

Nick 33
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline KATRN

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 06:34:38 PM »
Nick,

I will definitately keep everyone posted on my progress.  Really nervous this time around. 
I sure hope that Dr. W will be able to help you.  Where are you traveling from?  It takes me about four hours to get to Ann Arbor.
I will keep an eye out on this site to see how you are doing..

Kathi
1/26/04 fell in parking garge Left Patella Fracture
1/27/04 ORIF  screws and immobilizer
2/7/04 ORIF revision pins and wires placed
3/5/04 full cast removed hinged brace applied
3/8/04 PT began

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2005, 04:34:57 PM »
Kathi

I'm traveling from Menominee, MI, its about the lowest part of the Upper Pennisula right next to the Wisconsin border.  Its about a 8 hr drive, its a long drive but if someone can help me it would be worth it.  The driving doesn't effect my knee none, its the daily pounding of doing things that makes it swell up.  When I wake up in the morning its like its getting alot better then I walk around (limp around) then it starts swelling up again.  I know how nervous a person can get before surgery, but one thing I think about is there is this foreign thing in my knee thats trying to control my life and the OS is the person thats going to take it out and make it better.  I don't know it may sound crazy but I try to think of stuff like that to calm myself and get ready for surgery.  Good luck and hope things go well.

Nick 33
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline KATRN

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2005, 03:31:39 PM »
MENOMINEE, MICHIGAN!!  What a small world.  I am originally from Gladstone, Michigan.  I have a sister in law who lives in menominee.  We stop by and visit her on our way up north.  That is so cool... 
Sure hope the weather holds up and you won't have any problems get to Detroit.  Will you be driving alone?   I am so going to keep my fingers crossed for you.  I hope that doctor W is able to help you.
I will posted everyone after my surgery on Wednesday.  I will start getting things together tomorrow and will be driving up Tuesday morning.
Keep in touch Nick.

Kathi
1/26/04 fell in parking garge Left Patella Fracture
1/27/04 ORIF  screws and immobilizer
2/7/04 ORIF revision pins and wires placed
3/5/04 full cast removed hinged brace applied
3/8/04 PT began

Offline Jakem

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2005, 06:03:19 PM »
Good luck Kathi!

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2006, 03:15:06 AM »
On Monday Jan. 16th I made the long trip down to Medsport in Ann Arbor, MI.  It took about 6.5 hrs. to get down there and did some serious speeding, but didn't get caught.  It took 9.5 hrs. to get home.  I woke up in Ann Arbor on Tuesday Jan 17th to pouring rain, left Medsport at about 3:00 p.m. and on my way home encountered rain, slush, ice and finally 4-6" of snow, sometimes travels were as slow as 30 mph. thats why it took so long to get home.  Boy was that fun, cars and semis in the ditch all over.

But anyways I seen Dr. Wojtys and he told me right of the get go my knee will never be the same after having scar tissue issues.  That didn't really shock me, because my knee hasn't been the same the last 18 yrs. scince I torn my ACL in High School.  I never had it reconstructed until I had a menisectomy almost 1.5 yrs. ago by a doctor that didn't do a very good job on it, according to my last OS which Dr. Wojts said was an awesome Doctor. I brought my MRI's and surgical report and they also took an X-ray of my knee as well. He looked them over a long period of time, he wanted to make sure I didn't have patella baja, and I didn't, thank God.  He thought I had a good range of motion, he wanted me to stand and then squat down as far as I could, I did it and scar tissue snapped, but was able to go from 0 - 125 deg. he said that was good.  He wanted to see my last debridement pictures when I got scoped last.  He wants to make sure I have enough cartilidge behind my patella, if not he would like to wait awhile and see what improvements I could make on my own, because surgery then might not help much.  But if I have enough cartilidge behind the patella he would go for a surgery then.  But one catch, he said I would have about a 50% chance to get rid of it.  Then in the next sentence he told me he thinks if he would remove the scar tissue he doesn't think it would return.  So now I'm just waiting for him to receive those scope pictures from my other OS.  He figures the reason I can't walk with a normal gait is because the scar tissue is attached to the patella, and or the cartillidge is damaged and can not slide back and forth. 

I told Dr.Wojtys Janet and Kathi recommended seeing you and he said "Thank You".  Janet if you are reading this didn't you say Dr. Wojtys removed your scar tissue and it never returned?  Do you feel anything in there like catching or snapping or anything like that?  I know you are suffering from patella baja though.  I'm probably going to have to wait 2-3 weeks before I hear anything from Dr. Wojtys.  In the morning when I get up, my knee feels pretty good, but after about an hour on my feet it, feels like the scar tissue sweels up, does that sound about right with scar tissue?  Janet and Kathi, I thank you for telling me about Dr. Wojtys , he answered all of my questions that I had on scar tissue that my other OS's had no clue what to say.

When I hear from Dr. Wojtys I will post again.  Kathi, how have you been doing?  Talk to you all later.

Nick
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09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline Janet

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2006, 03:56:46 PM »
Nick:

It sounds like you are satisfied with your visit with Dr. W. I'm sorry about the weather and driving, though. I'm so fortunate that I only have to travel 45 to see him!

He also wanted to see the pics from my last arthroscopy before deciding what to do. Unfortunately, the last hospital system only kept those on file for six months, so they weren't available. I did decide to go ahead and have the surgery, although he told me we couldn't know for sure where my pain was coming from....the patella defect or the scar tissue. He ended up debriding the patella (again) and removing a huge ball of scar tissue from around the patella tendon. And yes, the scar tissue did NOT grow back. (Let me quantify that a little....I still have visible, stretching scar tissue outside the joint in the soft tissues that was not surgically removed, but it doesn't impede the function of the joint itself.) And yes, I have patella baja. And yes, I still have catching and some snapping. But yes, it was well worth it all and I am much more functional than I was before.

As for me, my knee is always very sore when I wake up, probably from having it bent while I sleep. In fact, I wake up several times a night and have to straighten my leg because my knee hurts, then I toss and turn until I can get back to sleep. After I move around a little and take a warm shower, it feels better. But then it deteriorates pretty quickly. Any time I bend it, it gets irritated, so that adds up pretty quickly with walking or even sitting! I still try to stay off my feet as much as possible, and keep it bent as little as possible. I'm sure this is mostly from the chondral defect behind the patella. I sure wish they'd come up with a good way of resurfacing the patella. I know research is going on, but who knows when procedures will really be available and reliable?

When he requested my arthroscopy pictues, I then had to wait six weeks for another appointment. When I found out within three days that my pics weren't available, I was so distressed that I had to wait all that time for nothing! I'm glad you'll get your answer in a couple of weeks. Keep us posted!

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2006, 02:26:25 PM »
Janet,

Yes, I am satisified with the trip to see Dr. W,.   I'm just a little nervous if I go through with another surgery, that things would get worse than where I'm presently at.  But every surgery that I have had scince ACL/Menisectomy has actually made things better, especially with the pain part, I just want to walk normal, don't want to play hockey, football, basketball or ride dirt bike I know those days are behind me now.   Would be fun to run around with the kids again and play sports with them.

I have to work 10hr. days this week, It will probably tire me out, but I have done that scince I've been back to work, actually had to work 12hr. days when I got back to work the first month.  I'm a welder and I have to stand all day on concrete so it will sweell my knee up a little.  Its kind of funny theres about 4-5 other guys limping around work that have knee, joint problems, so I fit in pretty good ha, ha.  It seems my knee doesn't mind standing all day compared to sitting in a chair for about 2hrs. that really kills me.

Talk later
Nick
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!

Offline KATRN

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 02:38:05 PM »
Nick,

Glad to hear that your appointment with Dr. W went well.  I sure hope he will have some kind of answer for you.  What I have experienced from Dr. W is that he just doesn't jump into surgery.  I have been really please with everything he has been able to do for me.  Considering that I was only able to bend to 45 degrees when I began seeing him a year ago and I am currently at 100 degrees I have nothing to complain about.
It seems like the knee is coming around although a slow process.  We stopped trying to get more bend out of it about a month ago.  Dr. W wanted to turn the focus to strengthening the leg so thats what I have been doing in therapy two days a week.  I still wear the unloader brace when I am going to be up on my leg for along period of time.  If I don't it become irriated very quickly.  But I continue to work on going down the stairs and that does seem to be coming along.  Dr. said that with some strength that is should get easier and I think he is right.
I am heading back up to seem him at the end of February and I am hoping for good weather. 
Keep us posted.  I will be thinking about you.

Kathi
1/26/04 fell in parking garge Left Patella Fracture
1/27/04 ORIF  screws and immobilizer
2/7/04 ORIF revision pins and wires placed
3/5/04 full cast removed hinged brace applied
3/8/04 PT began

Offline Nick 33

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Re: Going to see Dr.W in Ann Arbor, MI
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2006, 01:45:39 AM »
Kathi

Thats great that you are starting to go down steps again.  Theres no way I can do that even though range of motion is 0-125deg. I would be in screaming pain if I would attempt that,  crossing my fingers, and waiting for a phone call from Dr. W, to see if my back side of patella looks good enough to attempt another surgery.  Keep up the great work and good luck

Nick
09/04 R ACL reconstruction with Med and Lat menisectomy, 12/04 R knee minipulation, 03/05 R knee debridement, Booted out of therapy 5 times lack of improvement, 8/06 R LOA, U of M.  Go Blue!!