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Author Topic: Need Advice- VMO still not responding 22 months after last surgery  (Read 2715 times)

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Offline beatyaz

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In August of 2004, I was training for a marathon and felt a sharp pain in my rt knee.  I had an MRI that revealed an extensive horizontal tear of the medial meniscus, primarily involving the mid body and posterior horn.  There also was evidence of mild chondromalacia.  I had arthroscopy surgery to repair my knee.  I had three portals with the third above my knee through the muscle.  I went to physical therapy three times a week. 

After several weeks I was not gaining any strength in my muscle.  My knee cap began to slide to the side of my leg.  I had to move my knee cap each time I wanted to bend my knee.  This could happen up to 50 times a day.  I went in for a second surgery in January of 2005 that consisted of a lateral release and removal of my plica.  I continued to do physical therapy three times a week.

By July of 2005 my VMO was still not responding.  I flew to Steadman Hawkins knee clinic in Vail, CO to seek some advice.  I was told that there was nothing that they could do and recommended Synvisc shots.  I had the Synvisc shots towards the end of that year and was referred to an Internal Sports Medicine Doctor.  He started me on a daily injection of growth hormones coupled with an at home stem unit.  I did this for 9 weeks with no results. 

I was referred to a Neuromuscular Specialist who ran nerve conduction tests.  He concluded that there was no evidence of femoral or other nerve injury.  He suggested that it may be the result of muscle detachment from the medial patella. 

I had another MRI in Sept of 2006 that concluded that I have an oblilque tear posterior horn medial meniscus radiating to the inferior articular surface.  This also extends to the mid body of the medial meniscus.  It also noted moderate chondromalacia of the patella as well as mild chondromalacia of the medial compartment with surface irregularity of the articular cartilage.  I am not sure how this happened since my activity level is not strenuous on my joints.

My current Orthopedic Surgeon recommends surgery for the meniscus tear and chondromalacia.  The problem is that I have never recovered from either of my previous surgeries.  I am a 29 year old female who used to live a very active lifestyle.  I am very limited in what I can do.  I am unable to run, climb stairs or do simple movements.  Does anyone have any knowledge about severe muscle atrophy?  Is there such a thing as VMO transplant?  Is it possible to recover from surgery without a functioning VMO?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I feel like I am at my wits end.


Offline EMANN

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Re: Need Advice- VMO still not responding 22 months after last surgery
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 12:20:05 AM »
I am in a similar situation.  Had both knees scoped in Nov 05. Grade 1-2 chondromalcia,  but nothing done to  right leg. It is now strong and fine

Left leg had  chondroplasty done on it.  PT was terrible.....wrong from the get go!  Hurt my knee in PT in January.  Did nothing for 1 month & switched PT's to a friend. Knee slid laterally during that time.   MY new PT said DO NOT DO A LR!  Finally got some VMO movement in April and pulled the kneecap back some but not all the way.  Continued PT through August (9 months!!!). Got MRI in Sept and b/c of the PT injury, I had a 3mm grade 4 tear of my articular cartilage behind my patella (first MRI missed it in February).

I've done weights, ice, heat, e-stim, acupuncture, name I've done it.  At least now I know what is wrong, but the VMO & the whole quad muscle for that matter isnt functioning normally like the other leg.  I dont know what is wrong.  I know other people on here have lesions of the patella but do not have my quad problems, or at least I don't think they do.  I walk and the entire quad jiggles back & forth sideways instead of locking onto the VMO at the knee and becoming stiff.  I am in good shape too and have always had strong legs......especially now after 9 months of PT.  I have no answers for you, but am in a simialr situaton.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 12:25:21 AM by EMANN »

Offline edwardg

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Re: Need Advice- VMO still not responding 22 months after last surgery
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 11:41:48 PM »
Been there, done that........
  I understand your frustration as I am in the same boat.  Because of the weakness due to quad atrophy, I am beginning to lose my balance very easily.  I have fallen down stairs twice and constantly lose my balance every day.  The worse part is that although a nuero-specialist did an EMG/NCS and concluded that I have a severe lesion to my femoral nerve, they have not been able to find that lesion.  Even if they were to find the lesion, I have been told there is most likely nothing that can be done.  I "used" to live a very active life and was athletic.  Now I cannot even play like I would like to with my child.  You would think something could be done about VMO weakness with all these technological advances these days.  Has anyone heard of a VMO specialist?  If so, I would be willing to travel to see this person because this whole deal of "there is nothing that can't be done" from the doctors is getting old and I refuse to believe that.  I am worse off than when I began and pissed that they keep telling me that there is nothing that can be done!