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Offline agilitynutt

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Need Help!
« on: August 30, 2006, 07:53:14 AM »

Just to give you a little background on myself....  I am 35 years old and work as a professional dog trainer.  I own two jack russell terriers which I complete in dog agility with.  My life has been turned upside down during the last two years due to my knee. 

In April of 2004 I started having knee pain. Never had any type of injury that we are aware of.  September 2004 had a scope done, expecting to find a torn meniscus. Instead they found a 2.5cm hole in the bone and no cartlidge. The scope helped, but was told it was temporary. By March the pain was unbearable. The decision was made to perform an OATS procedure. I was told this was an attempt at avoiding a replacement. The OATS was done 6/05. I was NWB for 7 weeks and then probably another 3-4 PWB. Started PT at 7 weeks Post-op. Throughout my recoverery, my OS was very happy with progress... never concerned by my amount of pain.

Just kept telling me it shouldn't hurt and no one else has had problems with this procedure. I was in PT from Aug 1, 2005 thru April 1, 2006. During this time my PT was somewhat confused, the pain didn't seem to follow normal patterns, he couldn't get me releifde spite spending many, many extra hours with me. In Feb. I was having major back pain, when my PT couldn't help he insisted that I go see my GP. Blood work and xrays were done at that point. Xrays were clean of my back but bloods showed possible Auto-immune issues (positive ANA and RA). Was sent to Rhuematologist. At the same time I went to a new OS for a new opinion. He took TONS of xrays, many of which had never been taken before. His take of the knee was that alignment was great, normal joint space, graft appeared to be healing but his suspicion was that I had a medial meniscus tear (I have heard that one before). He wanted to wait a bit longer since I had just had a 2nd scope in December to check the graft, he suggested waiting until June to repeat MRI and proceed from there. OK, fine I didn't want anyone else cutting my knee at that point anyhow. In June he repeated the mri using contrast, once again something the previous OS never did. He could not find anything wrong in the knee, the graft was healing nicely and no sign of meniscus tear. Good news, Right?? No one is able to determine why I can't put weight on my knee at some point DAILY.

During this time I was seeing a local Rhuematologist. I had heard possible dx of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rhuematoid Arthritis, and
Lupus. After getting no where yet again, I went for a second Rhuematology opinion. This time with one of the top guys around.
After looking at my bloodwork and history he told me I certainly have something auto-immune going on, but can't put a name on it yet. With some testing he was able to determine it was NOT Ankylosing Spondylitis. He is fairly certain I have the early stages of
Rheumatoid Arthritis, but has not ruled out other possiblities. He has been trying to control the pain, has tried Prednisone, tapered me off that and had to up Celebrex to 800mg a day to take the edge off the pain (no major releif, rather allowed me to limp around at work) Just last week he tried steroid in the joint, suggested maybe Synvisc injections, wants to refer me to a OS for a second opinion, and made a comment I am really concerned about..... He said I may need a knee replacement. I got very quiet.... He asked if anyone has ever mentioned that, NO, if fact I had gotten the impression from my OS that it really wasn't an option since everything is normal in the knee. The current OS is my second opinion. Both OS have told me pretty much the same, the 2nd with xrays and mri to back him up... there is nothing they can do surgically to help the knee. In fact the second guy thought it was very possible that this is early Rhuematoid Arthritis.

There is not a day where my pain level stays below 4/5 for more than a few hours.  Often much higher.  I am taking 400 mg of Celebrex every morning with an additional 400 mg at night if bad pain.  I also am taking Tramadol for pain.  Most of my pain is weight bearing pain.  If I can stay off the knee it feels pretty good at least until I stand up  :(   I have never had a brace or anytype of support for my knee, don't know if it would help.   I very much would like to return to a somewhat active lifestyle.  At this point, I often cannot walk my dog around the block (less than 1/2 mile),  I would like to get back on my mountain bike, and in general lead the life of a normal 35 year old. 

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!


Offline Megwi

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Re: Need Help!
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2006, 05:32:34 PM »

I can't offer any help at all except to get a 3rd opinion and don't take no for an answer.

I'm sorry you are having a rubbish time, its awful that you are in pain and so incapacitated.

Fingers crossed for a resolution

Ski fall Dec '05
MRI scan Jan 06
Surgery Feb 06 (TPF with ACL 1 screw, arthro meniscus removal)
Out of immobiliser May 06 and into PT
Scar tissue/ROM issues.
57 PT sessions.
Finished PT Jan 07 with nearly full ROM PT said "youve got more than I ever thought you'd get."