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Author Topic: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday  (Read 1514 times)

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Offline jchicago

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Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« on: March 18, 2006, 09:38:27 PM »
Hi fellow knee pain sufferers,

Just had my lateral release surgery yesterday.  The doc said that it bought me some more time.  I suppose he was referring to the necessity of having a TKR.  Luckily, it was day surgery and I didn't need to stay overnight.

I was in quite a bit of pain upon waking, and the nurses had to get an order from the doc to give me more pain meds, because I had already been given the maximum dose.  They sent me home with Vicodin, which is giving me an upset tummy, but seems to be holding off the worst of the pain.  It still hurts, but I can put some weight on it.

My leg is in an immobilizer and I'm getting around my apartment with a walker.  Thankfully, I have a laptop with wireless, so I can sit here on my couch as I type this.  And while I am home all next week I can work from home by dialing into the office.

I've had anesthesia awareness in the past, and it's pretty horrifying to wake up as they are cutting into your knee.  But I lucked out and had a great anesthesiologist.  He reassured me that he would do everything to make sure that didn't happen to me again.  He attached a brain wave monitor to my forehead, which had not been used on me before.  And so I didn't wake up!  This was my biggest fear about this surgery.  I'm so happy with the job he did, I am writing a letter to the hospital.

But one thing that did go wrong, which isn't knee related...  I am allergic to latex.  I get a nasty rash and hives within hours or a day or so of contact with latex.  Sometimes I'll get a fever if the exposure is too much.  Despite having told every staff member I met that I cannot have contact with latex, having it written all over my chart, and having an alert bracelet on, I came home with a few rashes.  I have no idea what exposure I had to latex while I was asleep, but on four occasions yesterday prior to and after surgery, I had various nurses touch me with latex gloves or products.  I know there are people for whom any contact with latex will cause them to go into shock.  It scares me that hospitals don't take better precautions to prevent people with latex allergies from contact with it.

Back to the knee...  I will be seeing the surgeon on Monday, and hopefully I'll be able to talk with him more about what he found when he operated.  He said I had a lot of bone spurs in there, and arthritis which needed to be cleaned up.  And when he talked to my mom while I was in recovery he told her that the cartilage is worn down to barely nothing. 

Hop skip n jump

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 11:20:42 PM »
Hi JChicago

I'm glad the surgery went well and that you are home etc. I know what you mean about allergies, I'm allergic to certain adhesives like steri strips so have to double check everyone knows! It's great having wireless eh!

Anyway sleep time,
Mind how you go
Hop

Offline Kris

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2006, 03:09:08 AM »
Hi JChicago,

I'm so glad your surgery went will.  I've had several lateral releases so I know what you went through.  I was in an immobilzer also for several of them and was full weight baring at about 4-7 days on average.  I had to wear the immobilizer for several weeks giving the site time to heal properly.  The hard part is over (surgery), now you can set your mind on healing.  I wish you a uneventful and speedy recovery.

Kris
Right  LR on 2/8/02,  7/11/03, and 11/5/05
Left leg LR on 5/02, 4/05
Right achilles tendon lengthened on 2/01.   Synvisc injections on 2/17/03. 
Cortisone on 12/03 and 3/04, 12/05. 
Proximal Reallignment Right 5/23/05
R Microfracture 5/19/06
PFJR 6/20/07

Offline amy1

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 05:26:04 AM »
It is strange how different doctors havd different protocols,  I had a lateral release, medial plication and spur removal.  I had a knee imobolizer for about three days.  The doctor to me to use it for comfort, by there was no medical reason for me to wear it.  I was sent home with a CPM machine to keep my joint moving, Initially I was on crutches for about a week, then to partial weight bearing.  After about 3 weeks, I ditched th crutches.  Sorry that I couldn;t give you more information.
6/2004 partial lateral meniscus removal and microfracture left knee
7/13/05  open lateral release, medial plication, spur removal right knee
12/06  re do proximal realignment right knee (scar tissue formed ) 5 days post op - fell and fractured elbow
08/2009 - feeling good so far work 50 hrs a week

Offline jchicago

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 08:59:38 AM »
I saw the surgeon on Monday.  He had a very concerned look on his face, which concerned me because he's usually very gregarious and smiley.  Anyway, he told me that my knee is in an advanced stage of arthritis and that this surgery only bought me some time, but that total knee replacement is in my near future.  And since my left knee is in about the same shape, I'm assuming he meant both knees.  I'm going to have an LR done on the left one later this year.

I start PT on Friday.  So far I'm getting around without the immobilizer okay...just using a cane to keep me steady.  I'm finally off the heavy duty painkillers, so I feel more of the pain, but it's not unbearable.  I drove to the store today, so that was a good thing...much sooner than I thought I could.  But I felt worn out when I came home.  Think I will wait until Monday until I return to work.  I've got horrible, awful bruising, but I guess that's to be expected....it does seem a lot worse than my last arthroscopic surgery, but I was younger then.

I'm so sad.  I'm only 32.  I'm not married, but would like to be.  Having your knees feel like crap all the time makes it kind of hard to stay active in the dating scene.  Sigh.  And while people tell me I am pretty, I can't help but feel so defective.  Who wants a woman with scars all over her knees and who can barely get around a lot of time?  I was just recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis too, so this is a double whammy for me.   :'(

Anyway, thanks for letting me whine.  :)

Offline shade

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 10:51:31 AM »
Jchicago,

Hi there.....

Sorry to hear your news yesterday but there are things that can help with your knee pain.  Did your OS or GP put you on anti-inflammatory meds yet??  Some of them can really make a big difference in the day to day pain also glucosamine is a real boost for some people - Have you tried that yet??
There are also surgical procedures that can unload the knee that might be beneficial to your condition & they fix the mal alignment issues that possibly gave you the arthritis in the first place.

Don't give up - you are young and they are doing different things all the time to help people with these conditions.

Good luck and keep posting your progress.  ~Shade
July '05 (RK) - LR/debridement
Mar '06 (RK) - Open LR + Allograft w/OBI TruFit Plug + Fulkerson TTT
 Feb '07 (LK) - LR + Fulkerson TTT

Offline jchicago

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 01:06:22 PM »
Hi Shade!

I'm already on anti-inflammatories for the RA, so I've got that covered pretty well.  Glucosamine was something that I had a reaction to a few years ago.  I don't remember why, something about my bloodwork, but my doc told me not to take it.

See, this is what I don't understand about arthritis.  I thought that the arthritis caused the mal-alignment, not the other way around.  But my surgeon said what you did....that the mal-alignment is what caused the arthritis.  I guess I just don't understand what arthritis really is.  I'm still relatively new to all this.

Offline shade

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 01:40:21 PM »
Jchicago,

It unfortunate that you can't take glucosamine - it has helped many people feel relief.  There are also some other meds that can help like the spray freezing or Pennsaid drops.

From reading I've found that most of the symptoms of arthritis is caused by repetative movements or overuse stress on the joints caused by malalignment.  Whether your injury begins with a traumatic injury or from genetic reasons it's necessary to deal with what's causing the problem or it's going to keep creating problems.

Some people do okay after a lateral release but other's need other procedures to unload the patella and take pressure off the knee.  It does take months after an LR to see if it has helped, so you definately have to give it awhile to see if the LR did the trick.  Hopefully this procedure will buy you the time you need.  It helps to be seeing a surgeon that is a patello-femoral specialist to make sure that everything is being done to help your knee.  I've seen several surgeons that told me I'd have to live with the way my knee is and now I've found a patello-femoral specialist who believes that quality of life is important and is willing to try to try a restorative method to try to give me a better lifestyle.  Age matters alot with the different procedures offered but you are in a good age group.  You should research microfracture, OATS, & ACI procedures that restore cartilage growth.  If you look in the arthritis section there is alot of info on these procedures.  The first page of kneeguru also have an in-depth section about cartilage that should help you become more informed about knee arthritis.
Good luck.  ~Shade

Here are some other sites to check out.

http://www.arthritis.com/osteoarthritis.asp

http://www.cartilagedoc.org/home.cfm
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006, 01:44:14 PM by shade »
July '05 (RK) - LR/debridement
Mar '06 (RK) - Open LR + Allograft w/OBI TruFit Plug + Fulkerson TTT
 Feb '07 (LK) - LR + Fulkerson TTT

Offline jchicago

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006, 01:51:10 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for the info and links!  I do feel lucky in that I have one of the best knee surgeons in the area -- he is well known by his peers for his talents and use of the latest procedures.  I'll have to ask him about the cartilage reconstruction.

Offline jchicago

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 01:57:05 PM »
Shade, I just watched that little animation on the arthritis website, and it was painful to watch.  I was having sympathy pains for the cartoon knee.  OUCH!   :(

Offline Linds

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 03:00:44 PM »
Hope everything keeps going well with your recovery, sounds like you are doing well so far. Make sure you use lot's of ice... it's like the number one most important thing with recovery from this surgery.
Goodluck
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline Kris

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Re: Had Lateral Release Surgery Yesterday
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2006, 03:43:41 AM »
Hi JChicago.  I'm in almost the same boat as you are.  I've had several lateral releases (4 to the right leg, 1 to the left).  I'm 27.  Right now I'm searching for a surgeon to do a partial replacement on my knee.  I guess I'm fortunate that right now I'm not in need of a total knee replacement.  Both my lateral and medial sides of the knee are almost perfectly intact, almost being the key word.  It's my patello-femoral joint that causes the problem.  The arthitis in my knee is impacting my teaching quite a bit since it seems to get harder and harder to stand, walk around the room, and other things I have to do on a daily basis.  I sure wish you the best of luck.  It's sad to see arthitis in people so young (I'd hate to be old with it too.)  Good luck and keep in touch.

Kris
Right  LR on 2/8/02,  7/11/03, and 11/5/05
Left leg LR on 5/02, 4/05
Right achilles tendon lengthened on 2/01.   Synvisc injections on 2/17/03. 
Cortisone on 12/03 and 3/04, 12/05. 
Proximal Reallignment Right 5/23/05
R Microfracture 5/19/06
PFJR 6/20/07