Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: A meniscus odyssey  (Read 12160 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline blackbeltgirl

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Liked: 0
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2006, 03:44:47 AM »
Rob-
I'm not in the medical field.  I've just developed knee-related OCD, after my last surgery.  I've read tons of articles on cartilage health and treatment options.  As irritating as it is to have this problem, and to keep having surgery, I'm just glad that they can help me.  I'm not really handicapped by my knee now, I just had to modify my sport choices.  But if the doctors are right, that's something of a miracle.  I'm "supposed" to be in so much pain I walk with a cane.  Not the case, fortunately.  But I don't want to wait and find out if that will be the case in a few years.  It may be too late for some of the better surgical options by then.  So I keep reading everything I can, and found a doctor who specializes in more extreme cases.
Good luck witht he brace.
Jess
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 Cindysphynx

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 1
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2006, 08:08:04 PM »
Ah, another middle-aged tennis player with a torn medial meniscus.  A soul mate!   :D

Rob, my left knee surgery was 9/21.  My doc put me in PT right away.  After 6 weeks, I returned to tennis (they didn't find any arthritis or suchlike during the surgery), albeit gingerly.  Then I noticed that my knee wasn't tracking well and went back to OS.  I got a diagnosis of chondromalacia also, and OS put me on Celebrex (I can't tolerate Advil).  OS sent me back to PT and said this was conservative management that should work.  I'm supposed to do the PT for a month and take the Celbrex for two weeks, and come back to see the OS in a month.  If that doesn't work, OS could inject the knee.

So you're not alone.  I'm still playing a very light tennis schedule, but because I move badly to my left and won't run down lobs, I'm rather easy to beat these days!   ;D 

Hang in there!

Cindy
partial meniscectomy and plica ressection -- Sept. 05
chondromalacia patella -- Jan. 05

Offline Caroline109

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 2433
  • Liked: 1
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2006, 10:33:44 PM »
Rob, I'm not far behind you, I'm 51. I was born in September, 1954, another baby boomer with bad knees!
Caroline
Chronic low platelet count
Men. surgery, both knees 2003,2007,2008
R PKR Sept. 17, 2008 - Biomet Oxford Partial
LK-TKR 4/21/2010 Biomet Vanguard Signature Knee
Scar tissue issue next to TKR knee
March 2, 2011: PKR to be revised to a TKR

Offline xisbum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 0
  • Tennis nut raging against reality
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2006, 12:57:49 AM »
Well, the Cho-Pat dual strap brace works some, but walking isn't my major problem. I've been getting around pretty well, and the brace doesn't make that much difference. I can tell it woud definitely NOT work on a tennis court.

I was really excited about seeing the new OS today and explaining the situation while stressing how much I wanted to get back into tennis. I even took the belt I was wearing the week of surgery as a visual aid; the difference between its girth and me is striking. And I'm now down to 165, 37 pounds lighter than the week of surgery.

Lo and behold, the wonderful front desk people had no record of my apointment. The doctor was in surgery, and I was out of luck. They couldn't even find my records, which my previous OS secretary assures me she sent on Jan. 9. Oh, they could work me in on Feb. 16, if I cared to re-schedule, apologies, apologies, etc. Of course, I already used up a half-day of sick leave to make this appointment.

I just turned around and walked out in disgust after telling them I would rather find a doctor who really wanted to see me and help me with the problem. I also plan to write a letter directly to the doctor demanding that he find my records and immediately forward them to me. I don't want my personal records floating around in an office where I will never be a patient.

My wife says I'm being unrealistic, and I cannot understand why I should cut these people any slack. I'm trying to get help here and they don't seem to care. I work for the federal government, and believe me I see more dedication and commitment in an hour than I have seen in several doctor's offices in this area lately.

The bottom line is ... no bottom line. I'm still stuck in limbo with no program and the prospect of finding another doctor, trying to get an appointment before summer and more weeks without tennis, my only stress relief.

I'm almost ready to ace bandage the damn thing as tight as I can and hit the courts. Maybe if I hurt it again some doctor might pay some attention. It sure makes staying on this weight loss thing harder than ever.

Again, I know my problems aren't much compared with most of those in this forum, but they are all I have. I don't know where else to vent.

Thanks for listening. Hope to have some good news one of these days.

Rob in Virginia

Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline Cindy Bailey

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Liked: 0
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2006, 11:39:46 PM »
Rob, I'm so sorry that you couldn't see the doctor and had to be rescheduled. ::) Have you noticed that if you had inconvenienced the doc it would be terrible, but when the patient shows up the right time and day then they make a mistake we are to accept that and move on. It really p's me off the way that we patients have to wait! >:( I hope that you can get your records and find an OS that is a good one and really cares about the patients. Good luck to you, I'll keep my fingers crossed and say a little prayer that it works out for you and that you can get back to the tennis courts. ;)~~Cindy ;) :)

Offline Cindysphynx

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 1
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2006, 04:00:39 AM »
Hey, Rob?

You still out there?  Come on, we gotta find you a new OS.  I know one other guy who is probably good, in Kensington Maryland.  PM me if you'd like his contact information.

I'm sorry things haven't worked well so far . . .

Cindy
partial meniscectomy and plica ressection -- Sept. 05
chondromalacia patella -- Jan. 05

Offline xisbum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 0
  • Tennis nut raging against reality
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2006, 10:08:18 PM »
Still here and still steaming. I'm in a delicate place now because I'm always in a delicate balancing match with my dark side and positive side. Tennis was always the savior, the one place I could go and make everything go away, where everything outside the white lines just vanished. That's hard to explain to people.

I had a rough weekend; ate lots of chocolate and sugar and am afraid that all the good work over the last 7 months is slipping away. I need something positive to happen soon.

CindyS, any leads you have I will gladly pursue. The OS I tried to see Friday was recommended by another tennis-playing friend. Some other leads I have are Drs. Dennis Carlini, Thomas Fleeter, Charles Engh and John Albrigo. They are all in Virginia and they are all on my insurance list.

I see about 5 OS possibles in Kensington - Goral, Hinkes, Pereles, Schneider and Solomon. Any of those ring a bell?

Once I get this thing fixed one way or another, we should try to hit some.

Cindy B, thanks for the thoughts. I got my copies of the records, but the OS lost the copies my previous OS sent. They are floating around in the air somewhere, which really makes me feel good.  :(

Oh, well. At least all the chocolate is gone.

I'll try to be perkier next in the next post.

Rob


Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline Cindysphynx

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 1
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2006, 07:35:08 PM »
Once I get this thing fixed one way or another, we should try to hit some.


Ha!  You'd *destroy* me!   :D

I'll PM you about OS possibilities.

Cindy -- who missed almost every service return today
partial meniscectomy and plica ressection -- Sept. 05
chondromalacia patella -- Jan. 05

Offline xisbum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 0
  • Tennis nut raging against reality
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2006, 09:48:59 PM »
Hey, not talking about competing, just hitting. I get a thrill just hitting the ball without worrying about points and games and all that.

I love running down a shot and hitting a return that does what it should do. Only those of us who are brave enough to try this sport understand just how difficult that is. I've been doing it for many, many years, and it still thrills me.

Don't get me wrong; I love to compete, too. But you don't have to compete to enjoy the sport.

So let's plan on some hitting once we get these balky knees fixed.

Rob

P.S. Got your PM. Also got a telephone call this morning from the doc whose staff totally ruined my weekend. I did write that letter, and I didn't spare him or his staff. He was very apologetic and very keen on "making this right." And he somehow found time to fit me in his schedule this Thursday, so I don't have to wait another month to see someone and at least tell my story.

Since I have him on the defensive, I will see him and see how he proposes to treat the knee. Nothing to lose, right?

Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline Cindysphynx

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Liked: 1
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2006, 02:20:50 AM »
Excellent!  Let us know how it goes, eh?
partial meniscectomy and plica ressection -- Sept. 05
chondromalacia patella -- Jan. 05

Offline Cindy Bailey

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Liked: 0
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2006, 03:00:52 AM »
Rob, glad to hear the good news! I hope that the ball is in your court now. Good luck and let us know how your appointment with the OS goes. ;)~~Cindy B. ;) :)

Offline xisbum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 0
  • Tennis nut raging against reality
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2006, 04:46:16 PM »
Well, guess I'll have to describe what happened with new OS, even though it's pretty bad and I'm still trying to regain some balance.

First, he took X-rays, the first since before the surgery. He showed them to me, and pointed out the cutest little nick on my left medial femoral condyle.

"That's dead bone tissue," he said. "Probably nicked during the surgery. I'm sure he didn't mean to, but these things happen. I wouldn't have operated so quickly, but it's done.

"There is nothing we can do about it, and it will get worse with time. You should quit playing tennis immediately and find some other physical activity, like swimming or biking."

Boom. There it is. That other doctor killed part of my femur, and a big part of my quality of life, and "these things happen."

How can you answer something that definitive? It's the cutest little nick you ever saw, a perfect triangular piece of bone, or lack of bone, that wasn't there before the surgery. Some things fall into place about the old OS- the lack of physical therapy, the refusal to acknowledge alternatives such as unloader braces, the rapid move to cortisone and Synvisc. Appears to me he was trying to cover his ass.

But I accept my part of the responsibility; if I had stayed in shape and watched my weight, he probably wouldn't have been mucking around inside my knee in the first place. C'est la vie.

Lose more weight? Won't help, the new doc said. Try the unloader? Waste of time. Any hope? Nope, not until it's time for total knee replacement, and even then he wouldn't let me play tennis.

"These things happen." And doctors wonder why they get sued for malpractice. I don't have a victim personalilty, but I'm tempted to sue this guy just to expose his quick trigger finger.

But I probably won't. I'm more interested in finding a way back on the court. I'm not the quitting type, and I got the new OS to write a script for an unloader. I'm willing to tolerate a certain level of pain if that's what it takes. If it gets me to replacement sooner, so be it. I can't just give it up like he wants me to.

I'm also thinking of starting a league or an organization for tennis players with arthritic knees, where we can all get together and hit or play for an hour or however long our knees can take it. While I love to compete, I love hitting the ball even more. We'll see how the brace works before jumping headlong into trying to start something so new. Maybe USTA or some local tennis group would be willing to help. There should be plenty of baby boomers in our situation.

Wish I bearing better news. I'm not giving up, but my shot at getting back on the court is getting longer and longer.

Rob
Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline blackbeltgirl

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Liked: 0
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2006, 01:58:04 PM »
Rob -

Glad to know you're not giving up.  Sorry this happened to you.  I think we all make the mistake of forgetting that our doctors are human and fallible.  Their diagnoses are fallible (unless it's something unmistakable that shows up in some sort of test that requires zero human interpretation), their treatment advice is human and fallible, and of course they can make mistakes.  Malpractice is the result of true neglect, or intent to mistreat.  Not an honest mistake, which is natural in medicine.  Until our bodies operate like our cars, and can tell the computer exactly what's wrong, we'll be subject to the reality of human interaction and interpretation in our medical care.

I don't know much about bone nicks, but it sounds a little like OCD - osteochondritis dessecans (spelling?).  That is where there is a patch of dead bone, that then kills the cartilage over it.  Your age may be a factor in your treatment options, but it coulod be worth researching bone nicks and OCD, to see if you can get the same kind of treatment.  Microfracture, ACI, or OATS may all be options for you.  I know doctors tend to be more aggresive on younger patients, but you may want to try to find a sports medicine doctor who doesn't think your age disqualifies you from these more aggressive treatments. 

But as someone who did give up my sport of choice to save the knee - it's not as bad as it seems.  I used to spend 4-5 days a week at tae kwon do, hours a day.  I would teach classes, assist other instructors, and take class- often all in the same day.  It was a big part of my social life, my fitness, my mental health, etc.  I LOVE tae kwon do, and I LOVE my school.  When I first had my surgery I expected to be back on the mats in 6 weeks - taking it easy, but back.  Of course, once the camera got inside my knee, that all changed.  The first few months weren't too bad, since I was so focused on my rehab anyway.  And then it started to sink in - this wasn't temporary.  Every time I tried to even walk through some techniques, I knew I was being an idiot - my knee told me so. And eventually I realized that I still have all the great friends, but I needed to find something new to do with my evenings.  It took some getting used to, but it's a year later now and I'm fine.  It's unfortunate that i haven't found any other sport that brings me the same joy, so I haven't been as good at staying in shape as a result.  But since so many things hurt my knee, I don't have many options at the moment.  I guess my point is - you haven't even considered giving up tennis.  ANd that's admirable.  But don't sacrifice 20 years of quality of life for 2 more years of painful tennis.  At least truly consider trying some other activities, to see if you could find the same joy, friendships, stress relief, etc.

Good luck-
Jess
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 xisbum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 0
  • Tennis nut raging against reality
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2006, 02:30:23 PM »
Want to apologize to all for overreacting to the latest bad news. I shouldn't blame the surgeon, even though that's tempting. I had many options along the way to this point, such as maintaining a decent weight, staying in shape, researching other avenues besides surgery after the initial injury, etc. I made the decisions in each of those situations, not someone else, so my current situation is on me.

Jess, I am not the most outgoing person in the world. In fact, I am extremely introverted, painfully shy and very often insecure around most people. Some of that is illogical, I know, but that's the sum of my experience through almost 60 years. I get through almost every day by adopting different persona as the situation demands. I very seldom show people the real me - except on the tennis court. For many years it's been the only place where I can be myself, and let people judge me on what happens on the court at that particular time.

A tortured rationale, I know, for the irrational hold a simple sport has on me, but there it is. That's why I'm raging so much.

I do face reality, sometimes, and I am coming to realize that competitive tennis may be history. I'm trying to adjust to maybe getting back on the court a couple of times a week, if that. I'll get through this, but I don't know if I can find anything else I believe in so much.

Again, apologies for anything negative I've been saying about anyone, surgeons et al. That's not my nature.

Rob
Baby boomer and tennis nut raging against reality.

Offline blackbeltgirl

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Liked: 0
Re: A meniscus odyssey
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2006, 03:06:22 PM »
Rob - no worries.  I UNDERSTAND!  I know how much it sucks to even think about giving up something that has added so much to your life.  But remember - if you cut back the schedule, or however you handle this, you don't lose the friendships you've made on the court.  Those people have seen the real you for years now.  Meeting them for a drink, or a meal, or hanging out cheering on your friends together are all still possible.  Even if you decide to be a cheerleader and not a competitor in the next tournament.

As to reality - one of my favorite quotes fits your comment on the subjetct.  "Reality?  It's a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there..."  We need to let just enough of it sink in to protect us from significant harm, and then leave the naysayers behind and live the way we want to live.  And again - I think it's great that you don't want to just throw in the towel.  Just make sure you're smart about how you handle things, so that you can enjoy the next 40 years.

Keepyour chin up.  Vent away.  Ask questions.  Demand answers.  And kepe looking for an OS who's will ing to treat you, the person.  Not you, the statistics on paper.  On paper you may not "qualify" for aggressive treatment, but as a person you deserve it.

Good luck-
Jess
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)















support