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Author Topic: 1 year post-LR today--not exactly a celebration  (Read 2595 times)

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Offline snowcat

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1 year post-LR today--not exactly a celebration
« on: August 01, 2002, 07:54:59 AM »
Today is my 1-yr anniversary of my most recent knee surgery.  (Partial lateral menisectomy and cyst draining as well as lateral release).  I'm glad I had the meniscus stuff taken care of--the cyst wouldn't have resolved on its own.  

But, I wish I'd never heard the words "lateral release."  I am worse off than I was before in terms of overall pain.  The procedure itself seems to have worked (I don't get the chondromalacia pain anymore), but quad atrophy from various complications  (such as a cortisone injection that for some unknown reason made my probs 100X worse) has left my kneecap slipping and sliding all over again.  The major problem is the severe IT Band tendinosis I've developed as a complication of the LR.  I've just gotten to the point where I can *usually* count on being able to walk short distances without major pain (but I always have some pain).  

Sometimes things seem to be improving: With the help of vioxx and ice I went for a short hike recently, with only a few moments of excruciating pain--I was ecstatic!   :D  But that was slightly overdoing it, and I paid by hardly being able to walk the next few days.  I have also been able to swim a few laps using my legs (rather than just my arms) on my last two trips to the gym, without excruciating tibia pain (no one knows what that's from.  Possibly patellar tendinitis).  But other days, like yesterday, I cannot even sit in my desk chair to work because of the pain shooting from knee to hip.  :(  Can't bike or do any other sorts of trainers/machines at the gym.  

My OS's suggestions for 10 months were more of the same PT or more surgery; the best thing I've done in this recovery process was to return to my sports med GP, who has all sorts of alternate ideas.  I'm having soft-tissue treatments (ASTM) that helped at first, but I can't really tell a difference lately.  I'm getting orthotics soon and hope that helps.  But lately I'm starting to wonder if this is going to be a permanent condition...

Anyhow, I am just blabbing here.  I appreciate and am trying to focus on the little improvements.  But I'm incredibly frustrated that I'm in such bad shape--worse shape--one-year later.  I know a lot of you are much worse off than I am--it's just upsetting that I was expecting a simple procedure (wasn't even expecting the LR part) and an easy recovery (like my first arthroscopy, a previous menisectomy), and now I still have no idea what to expect in terms of recovery.

okay, enough of my whining.  Just wanted to get it off my chest.
snowcat
« Last Edit: April 23, 2003, 08:24:58 AM by PFS_Mod »
5/00: partial lateral menisectomy (R)
7/01: LR, partial lateral menisectomy, cyst draining (R), followed by ongoing problems with illiotibial band syndrome & adhesions
6/04: Much better!

Offline Heather M.

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Re: 1 year post-op today--not exactly a celebratio
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2002, 10:59:30 PM »
Snowcat,

I'm here with you, every painful step of the way.  I find it ironic that we had the exact same surgery, exactly one month apart, and we are each still struggling to get back to 100%.  Heck, I'd be happy with 25% at this point.  I know my cyst was not going to resolve itself, but there just HAS to be an easier way than what we've been doing.  I never even knew what an IT band was, let alone that it could make your life a living hell.

I wanted to ask you and anyone else if they have found a comfortable way to work at the computer.  As you know, my job involves 8 or more hours a day at the computer, but I am lucky if I get two in before the whole knee starts throbbing and hurting so much I have to go ice and elevate.  I'm usually done for the day after that.  I've tried working in different positions, using a special pivoting footrest, using a box, using a beanbag, and working on my bed with my laptop (I don't recommend it at all--the neck and shoulders are brutalized).  

??? Has anyone rigged up a way to work at a desk with knee problems?  For me, keeping it straight is only SLIGHTLY less painful than keeping it bent to 90 degrees--I can't do either for long.  Basically, a recliner is the ideal position, but working on a computer in a La-Z-Boy just isn't an option.

On a positive note, despite the last year of knee surgeries, I did manage to finish my first novel.  I have found an agent and publisher, and hope to sign a contract in the next few days.  This is all very exciting, but in the back of my mind is the knowledge that this contract is for two books, and the rate I'm going the second will be done in about 2004  :o

Anyway, I guess this is proof that there is life after knee surgery.  I just wanted to let you know....

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 Grace

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Re: 1 year post-op today--not exactly a celebratio
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2002, 11:52:37 PM »
Hey heather!  I know what you mean about the recliner!  God bless lay-z-boy!!  i have an old one in my apartment that my parents gave me...its nice and broken in.....but i love the ones at my mom and dads house much more!!  Big, soft, ahhhh!
anyway...hope you guys are both feelin' better soon!  And keep the faith......getting better doesn't come easy!
                                                lots of hugs - Grace
8 months of continuous physical therapy
plica excision/ shaving 6-10-02
5 months of agressive physical therapy
modified Fulkerson and lateral release 5-13-03
currently in limbo

Offline snowcat

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Re: 1 year post-op today--not exactly a celebratio
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2002, 09:52:51 AM »
Well Heather, since we've had such miraculously bad results, maybe our miracle recoveries are just around the bend!!  It wouldn't be any less likely than the problems we've had, right?  :o   Not to mention our "good" knees too...trying to ignore that popping and snapping!!

I don't have a desk-work solution, unfortunately.  Have you tried different chair heights?  I think my fairly-new chair (a significant purchase for me & much better on my back) is a bit too tall for me and is putting too much pressure on my thigh--oh, the lovely shooting IT Band pain.  (I was inspired to get out my receipts, and, interestingly, found that I got the chair in late March, right around when things stopped getting better...I am coming up with all sorts of theories at this point!!   ::) )  So I've traded chairs with my boyfriend for a while to see if that helps.  Hmmm...could you somehow set up something that mimics a recliner that keeps your leg at a slight bend and allows it to angle down?  With different sized boxes and pillows?  Then again, each leg solution seems to upset something else--back, hips, whatever.    :-/

LOL...my posts are so helpful...I just post to let you know that I have no solutions... :P

Congrats on the progress with your book--how exciting!!  

Hi Grace--thanks for the encouragement!  Hope things start looking up for you soon too!

snowcat
5/00: partial lateral menisectomy (R)
7/01: LR, partial lateral menisectomy, cyst draining (R), followed by ongoing problems with illiotibial band syndrome & adhesions
6/04: Much better!















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