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Author Topic: torn cartilage out of no where?  (Read 897 times)

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Offline ibby_taekwondo

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torn cartilage out of no where?
« on: December 21, 2005, 10:28:46 PM »
hi.. i had my ACL reconstructed in aug05... now.. PTs reckon cartilage is torn.. however, this wasn't a problem pre-op... nor was it there during surgery as surgeon would have spotted it.  i have an EXCRUCIATING pain in the same spot.. primarily when just attempting to do a standard dip - the rest of my physio going OK.. its just weight bearing exercises i suck at - they reckon its cartilage stuff.. but how can that be? can it be created in the small time since my operation? i haven't really done anything physical.

also.. if i try to straighten the leg.. it killlsss there!  however, despite my previous topic i created talking about a non-straight leg even 2months post ACL recon... PTs claim it is now straight (i dispute it is, but they argue its because my other knee is extremely "hyper" so relatively it looks like its no where near wen standing with shorts on trying to straighten/lock out both legs) but when i just put it straight.. it's not 'too' bad... but if i sit and put my foot on a chair with the area under my knee empty, the joint kills.. and any presure downwards on it is quite painful.

its 4 and a half months post-op now

help!   ???

thanx.. ibby

PS - oh and.. if i need an arthroscopy.. wots one of them like?  how wud it affect me seeing as i am post-acl still
Initial injury Nov03 - GP sent me home with some cream to rub.  March04 private consultation led to believe torn cartilage. GP then sent2hospital, surgeon sed it was torn ACL (may04). Aug04 surgeon fired. Sept 04 new surgeon/waiting list. Aug05 ACL recon. Ever since-developed patella tendonitis :(

Offline Heather M.

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Re: torn cartilage out of no where?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 03:51:03 AM »
Do a search on scar tissue problems, as they can develop after an ACL reconstruction and mimic a lot of other problems--especially cartilage or tracking issues.  The inability to straighten your leg without sharp pain, and the same pain on slight weight-bearing knee bends is a very tell-tale sign of scarring.  A lot of times this is misdiagnosed as tracking or tendinitis, plica syndrome, or even a meniscus tear.

Where do you live?  Someone may be able to recommend a doctor with a lot of experience dealing with tough knee problems after a surgery like yours.  Unfortunately, no one can tell from reading a post what you have, we can only make suggestions for you to research and investigate.  Some of the more common complications after ACL recon are scar tissue (called arthrofibrosis or sometimes a cyclops lesion if the scarring is in a specific spot), mal-tracking problems, tendinitis, too tight of a graft or impingement....lots of possibilities.  From your description, I'd investigate the possibility of scarring around the patellar tendon, especially if you had a patellar tendon graft.  The timing is basically perfect, as scar tissue becomes more and more problematic, starting at about 3 months post-op.

Here is a very good article on scarring in the knee joint after ACL.  This is a pretty rare problem, and so many OS's haven't seen a lot of cases.  Or, they think it's so rare that the discount the possibility and think it's something else.  This happened to me for over five months after my surgery, even though I had a great doctor.

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

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: torn cartilage out of no where?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2005, 01:33:29 PM »
I don't know how long you waited to have the ACL reconstruction done, but there is new research out that indicates that patients who wait longer to have their ACLs repaired have a higher incidence of meniscus tears.  You can find the article at, just go to the knee section.

And in the meantime, make an appt with your OS ASAP, so that he can evaluate your current condition.
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 shade

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Re: torn cartilage out of no where?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2005, 01:54:11 PM »
Here is the article mentioned above.....
July '05 (RK) - LR/debridement
Mar '06 (RK) - Open LR + Allograft w/OBI TruFit Plug + Fulkerson TTT
 Feb '07 (LK) - LR + Fulkerson TTT