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Author Topic: Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help  (Read 989 times)

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Offline granolagurl

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Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help
« on: November 02, 2005, 11:02:04 PM »
Hi there: I was hoping someone could help so I know how I should proceed. When I was 12, my right knee dislocated for the first time while playing basketball and I instinctively pulled it back in place and was taken to the emergency room. I was put in a brace and used cruches for about 4 weeks and did physical therapy for a few weeks. This happened a few more times throughout my life and I kept being told that there isn't really much I can do but strengthen the muscles to hold the patella in place and since I was a girl and not "too" athleitc, to not worry about. Well, I'm now 27 and the locking and crunching sounds in my knees have gotten worse. I FINALLY found a doctor that took me seriously but he told me that I waited too long. He said my kneecaps are pulled to far to the outside and for the past 15 years everytime I walk, run, anything, I've been wearing down the cartilidge and grinding the bones together. I mean, you can hear me coming because of the crunching noise!! He wants to cut the outside tendon in hopes that the inside one will pull the kneecap in place. Is this a viable option?? I didn't have family support for this problem when I was younger and am scared now b/c he said I also have osteoarthritis caused by this. I saw the xrays of my knees and WOW, the patellas are pulled way to the right side. I don't like the idea of this surgery but also don't want to be in a wheelchair by the time I am 40.
Anyone (seems to happen to mainly females when genetic) have this problem??
several dislocations starting at age 12
severe patella tilt in both knees
OA
thinking about LR for both knees

Offline Janet

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Re: Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2005, 01:18:08 AM »
Did he tell you the name of your diagnosis or the name of the surgery he would be doing? It sounds like it could be a lateral release. If so, there are tons of people here who have had one, me included. 

My understanding is that a lateral release (LR in our shorthand) works for a patella with a lateral tilt. That was my case. It has less success for a patella that is pulled to the outside, although sometimes doctors try that before doing a more major surgery like a TTT. You also must remember that while the surgery may put your patella in a more biomechanically correct position, it won't reverse the damage that has already been done to your cartilege.

If you don't know what the surgeon is planning to do, I'd call the office and ask. Then people here can give you loads of advice and tell you their stories.

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 granolagurl

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Re: Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2005, 02:49:22 PM »
Thank you for your comment. The surgery he suggested is a LR. The doctor was very evasive when I asked if this will correct my knee as I have not had a dislocation for a few years and am wondering if the surgery could cause one to happen again. I'm going to get a 2nd opinion, but still have to research doctors in my area.
several dislocations starting at age 12
severe patella tilt in both knees
OA
thinking about LR for both knees

Offline fluttergirl

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Re: Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005, 10:07:46 PM »
Definitely get a second, third, fourth opinion until you feel comfortable with your diagnosis.  I'm 33 and have had a lot of problems over the past 2 decades.  I've had OA (and crunchy knees!) for a long time as well, and I can't imagine a doctor saying it was too late.

I have misalginment issues with both knees (R knee has been OK-knock on wood).  I was never very athletic either, but I did do a lot of biking (good for quad muscles).  My LR wasn't very successful, but I didn't have many options at the time (I was in college).  I had a dislocation in spring, and it was the last straw, so I found an OS that finally told me what was wrong and why this was happeneing.  He explained that in my case, an LR never would have worked because my patellar tendon was too long.  A TTT (tibial tubercle transfer) would fix that.  So far, so good.

Anyhoodle, find an OS that you feel comfortable with and will give you the pros and cons of surgery, PT, etc.  Good luck!
Left Patella Dislocation:  1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2005
LR: 1/94
TTT: 9/23/05
OA in both knees

Offline smiley196

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Re: Crunchy knees -- I think I waited too long to get help
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 11:54:55 PM »
hey there,
i think your talking about a lateral release. It is done arthroscopicly, all from the inside so you dont have any scars except the tiny scope holes. Having an LR makes all the difference in some peoples knees, but in others it doesnt help too much.

In sept. I had an LR as well as a TTT to help fix my malalignment and so far I notice so much imporvemnt and im only 7 weeks post-op, so im glad i did it.
krista
*16 years old*
Left Knee:
Torn:PCL, ACL, MCL
SEVERAL dislocations
Grade 3 Chondromalacia
Medial & Lateral Meniscus tears
Plica Syndrome
Sept 14th 2005-(LK)ACL recon, TTT, menisectomy,plica removal

May 26th/06-Torn ACL(RK)

June 14th/06-(LK)ACL graft recon, screw removal, menisectomy