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Offline Genesee Glassworks

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Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« on: June 14, 2007, 10:10:00 PM »
Hi everyone!  Nice to see that I'm not alone in all of this knee mess - it's hard for friends and familly who don't deal with this to understand.
I want to send out a big [[[ HUG }]  to everyone here that suffers every day with
knee and joint pain.  I'm 33 and it's ruining my life.  I just want you to know that I understand and feel for you all.
Normallly, I'm not that sappy when I introduce myself - didn't realize I sounded like Debbie Downer until I re-read what I just wrote....lol

Anyway....I'm new here and I was  wondering if there was a specific place to put my questions.....
Where do I post Cartiel questions?  I'd be so happy if someone could guide me there!
Thanks so much and nice to be here   :)

Offline desag

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2007, 02:55:09 AM »
hello,

I agree, I don't think my friends or family quite understand what I am going thru with my knee issues, this site really helps with that.  What is cartiel?  Sounds like it might be related to cartlidge.   
I am 31, and in the glass business too, , I am new to this site but you will find a ton of answers and engourgment here.  Good luck!

todd
2008 Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction and other clean up work
2008 Medial Meniscus repair, dispaced bucket handle tear
2005 R ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair
2000 L ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair

Offline tanyap

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2007, 09:26:58 AM »
Hi Debbie Downer,
Im seriously considering having my name changed to that :)

Im 33 also and I feel like my knee is causing me to waste my life away because i cant walk anywhere or do anything with any freedom of movement without dislocating it!!!

Whats Cartiel?

Welcome to the site!!

Hi Desag,
i totally agree - people ask me to go for walks and sound surprised when i say my knee isnt up to it - even though its like this for 2 years now!!! And Im sick of all the 'how can it be going on this long' comments too..... ouch ouch ouch is all i have to say :)
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline desag

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 01:19:30 PM »
hello tanyap,

dislocating knees are really hard to deal with, I really feel for what you are going thru. 

And those  comments about 'how come your knee still hurts'.  I got one yesterday from my business partner, He walked up to me after I had spent 12 hours in our glass shop, on concrete and I was icing my knee and he said "wow, your knee really should not hurt you so much" in a very dis beleiving tone as if I am not doing enough to correct the situation.
 
Like two surgeries, over a year of rehab, countless dr. visits, mri's, pain killers, anti inflamatories, every supplement I can find, constant icing, tons of swelling, tons of cracking in the knee, knee wraps, knee taping, knee bracing, cortizone shots,  bla bla bla isn't enough to try and make it better and yeah it still does hurt that much.

Anyway, on a positive note, I have been working thru all the pain with a light streching and strenthening routine that has helped a lot!  Its good days and bad days, and I LOVE the good days, it sounds cleche, but above all stay positive, its hard, oh so hard, but you can do it!  I would put a smiley face here, but I can't figure it out, I very remedial computer skills.

todd 
2008 Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction and other clean up work
2008 Medial Meniscus repair, dispaced bucket handle tear
2005 R ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair
2000 L ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair

Offline tanyap

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 02:18:50 PM »
Hi Todd,
im glad im not the only one who experiences the whole 'what - your knee is still bothering you!!' comments!!!

i had a big surgery 18 years ago for recurrent dislocations, mostly soft tissue repair, also bone graft, cartilage repairs. I do remember a number of years of just PAIN most days. Although it did fade away and I had a 'normal' knee for a long time - normal meaning i had 3 or 4 dislocations a year which over time increased in frequency and decreased in severity, there was a long stretch where id go 'hang on my knee is out',  pop it back in and carry on doing whatever i was doing - sounds bizarre but i got used to it.

it started getting more and more frequent 3 or 4 years ago and i could feel my leg getting weaker but because there wasnt pain i didnt take much notice. then 2 years ago i had a series of dislocations that resulted in a final whopper one that left me completely unstable, id no 'kick' and i ended up on crutches for a couple of months, swollen knee, couldnt weight bear, all the signs of ligament damage.

off to physio and OS, OS was very dismissive, think my past history clouded it all - 'oh youve had loads of dislocations this is just a bad one - do physio, its clear you have muscle atrophy'. Physio on the other hand had a lot more to say 'LOOK AT THE STATE OF YOUR QUADS!!!'.
Took some time before I could even MOVE my knee, meanwhile more atrophy, then it turned out i wasnt even strong enough to do a leg extension!! i quite literally could not extend my leg without physically holding my kneecap in place with my hand or else itd slip out.

So 2 years on, had some improvement with physio. but i still feel totally unstable with every single step - plus ive had 150 dislocations in 2 years (probably 60 or 70 in the previous 16 years). physio kept trying to discharge me - i kept saying 'but i still cant walk comfortably!!!'

back to different OS (you may wonder why i waited 2 years - my right leg was so atrophied that i knew it would take time to build muscle and i kept hoping the physio would start working). new OS took one look and said 'who are these physios? look at your VMO - its invisible - the rest of your quads are obviously weak too, right leg is visibly skinnier than the left, and whatever exercises they had you doing it wasnt addressing the real problem which is that your VMO cant possible be stabilising your patella because it isnt there! You dont need surgery - if you get your VMO strong - and the rest of your quads - itll support your knee and the dislocations should stop - at least in everyday life, youll probably never be able to play contact sports or run or doing anything 'extreme' on that leg cos the tendency to dislocate is there'

so off to new physio - this was last week - she took one look, read my history and said 'i dont think physio is going to stabilise your knee, the surgeon is wrong'. however she said we would work together for 6 weeks or so and see was there improvement.
they strapped me into an isokinetic testing machine and discovered my right leg is 44% weaker than my left - they looked depressed at that - but i felt good cos at least in 2 years ive gained 56% strength.
so she said that we will do that test again at the end of July and if we see improvement that we will continue to work together. and that im to see OS again early august, she will write to him after next test.
in addition they got me to get an electrical muscle stimulating machine cos they say my VMO isnt 'firing' and that ive neural inhibition so this is to wake it up - i personally call it the 'torture device' - 20 mins twice a day of electric current forcing my quad set to contract - not a pleasant feeling :)
In addition to the new physio exercises that are all VMO specific and hurt a lot afterwards!!! Ive been even more unstable than usual for the past few days cos my muscles have been worn out - theyre barely up to the job without being tired - so you can imagine the instability when they are!!!

so now im praying that the new physio starts working - cos im at the end of my tether with it - my life has slowly spiralled inwards the past 2 years as i stop doing things from fear of dislocation or else im laid up nursing my last dislocation - at one point i was having 6 or 7 dislocations a day.
i cant walk any length - even from my house to the car is a huge effort of fear and awkwardness.
ive worn the same pair of shoes for 2 years cos any different ones increase my perceived instability.
its just a nightmare - ive been very depressed about it the past few weeks.

sorry - just had to let all that out - my partner is sick of listening to me im sure and my friends dont understand. i just feel like im completely gammy and cant do anything fun or have any freedom of movement!
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline desag

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 04:43:35 AM »
Wow, you have been thru the ringer with your knees!  I am so glad you are sharing your story with us.  I can not imagine that many dislocations, every step is an adventure.  I can see how this is really changing your life. 

Keep fighting!!!!!!!! That torture machine is painfull, when they did that to me after my surgeries....ouch, but it really did help alot to get the muscles firing.  You said you did gain some strenth, that is awesome, build on that, even if its small gains, it is in the right direction.  your muscles hurting after therapy is a good thing; its means your muscles are still alive, and getting stronger as they repair themselves from the work outs.  My trainor said that taking some muscle building supplements, amino acids and lean protien, maybe even creatine (drink alot of water)? It could help add to the effects of the work outs; see what your therapist thinks 

Please let me know how your tests go at the end of July, that gives you 5 or so weeks to build muscle!  Keep me posted about your work out sessions, I love to talk about work outs and stuff.  It will help keep me motivated too to keep up with my stenthening and stuff.  Did you play sports?  Talk to you soon

todd

             
2008 Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction and other clean up work
2008 Medial Meniscus repair, dispaced bucket handle tear
2005 R ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair
2000 L ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair

Offline tanyap

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 09:52:08 AM »
hi todd,
yeah i will keep fighting - painful though it is!!!

Oh im glad someone else is familiar with the torture machine - im glad to hear it does work - how long did you use it for? When i ordered it the lady on the phone said at least 3 or 4 months - Ive to bring it to my physiotherapist on Monday so she can advise me on the best intensity settings etc... Its kind of shaped like a big tube that completely covers your thigh so it has seperate settings for each side, ive to set the VMO side higher than the lateral side for now anyway.

Im doing my exercises 3 times a day - they didnt seem like theyd be too difficult when the physio went through them with me - but when i settled into doing them they took a lot out of me!!!
Im doing 6 different exercises right now:
Wall Slides - with a gym ball between my back and the wall - my right foot turned out 10 degrees, 15 of those, holding for 10
Sitting on the gym ball using my right leg to pull myself forward, foot turned out 10 degrees, hold for 10 then push myself back - 10 of those
Lunges - with my right foot turned out 10 degrees, 10 of those
Step downs - off 2 telephone directories - 10 of those
Straight leg raises with a 5 pound weight - 10 of those
Straight leg raises with my foot turned out 10 degrees and 5 pound weight - 10 of those.
and torture device for 20 mins twice a day.

Thats actually a little more than they prescribed in physio - Im holding for longer on the lunges and doing twice as many gym ball sitting and step downs and twice the weight on the leg raises. When they were checking my ability in physio it was right after they got me to do isokinetic tests, so my leg was fatigued and i was wobbling a lot on the exercises, but when i had a night sleep and started doing them next day i was capable of doing a little more so i just did.
Im back to see physio again on monday. I will ask them about muscle building supplements.

I didnt ever play sports because Ive had this problem since I was 12 and I was advised against a lot of sports over the years. But i did used to cycle 6 miles a day to and from work for many years - my OS said Ive gotta get back into cyclying. Its been 6 years since I cycled - i gave my bike to a friend 4 years ago cos she wanted to get fit but she put it in her shed and never used it, so I collected it on thursday - its in bits!!! covered in dust and cobwebs, Im going to service it this weekend, new tyres, tubes, brake blocks etc.. and see if i can bring it back to life to start using again - the frame is perfect, so are the wheels and the cables seem ok - so Ill give it a go. Ill probably only be able to cycle a few yeards at first - but its all about small steps isnt it?

I was thinking about the pain you have after a day on your feet on concrete - I used to use Menthol and Wintergreen lotion at night on mine - I tried everything there is and that was always what I found best. I remember using colourless iodine at one point too - just painting it on - but i dont know if you can even get colourless iodine anymore, it was an old wifes tale that iodine painted on your skin would help joint pain - my grandfather had sworn by it - i do remember thinking it helped at the time......

I went to a faith healer some time ago too - he was a contact healer - placed his hands on my knee. he didnt stop it from dislocating - but it definitely took a lot of the pain and 'awkwardness' out of it. I went 4 times, i dont know if he really worked or if my brain believed he worked so i felt relief - but i didnt mind which - i was just happy to have some relief.

when were your surgeries and what were they?
tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline holly101

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 01:52:05 PM »
I just had the Carticel Surgery one month ago.  What kind of questions do you have?  I will try to answer as best I can.  They did mine along with a Tibial Tuberosity.

Offline desag

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 05:57:21 AM »
Hi Holly101,

How have you been since the surgery?  It looks like most of the Carticel post are under the Arthritis section of this site, is that correct?  The carticel surgery sounds like a cartilage transplant of some type and a relativly new procedure? 

Hi Tanya,

Sorry it took me a while to post, busy week-end.
I think I used the torture machine for about 3 months and I was super happy when they said I didn't have to use it anymore, but it really does help jump start the muscels to start working.

I am really impressed with your work out program.  I always found the wall slides and lunges to be a bit difficult, I am suprised you can do them, I think their is some good strenth left in those legs!  The foot being turned out a few degress really helps take some pressure off the knee cap, good technique.  5 pound weights on the leg raises is really good to, it took me several weeks after my surgeries to work up to that.  A WORD OF CAUTION, don't get to far ahead of your self with the exercises.  Some of my biggest mistakes and biggest set back came from over exercising.  But as long as your not having pain and OS says ok, go for it! 

Today was a work out day for you, how did it go?
Did you get the bike back in riding order?  Have you tried a stationary bike in therapy? 
Can I get Menthol and Wintergreen at the drug store?  I would love to try this, like you, I will try anything to get rid of some pain.

My first surgery was on my left knee, it was a ACL reconstruction and a meniscus repair and reconstruction.  They sowed one back together and scraped one to promote healing.  It was a total nightmare!  They said they were going to use a hamstring graft from my hamstring.  It failed, they took my tendon out of my hamstring and had a "false harvest", they sheared it off to thin and could not use it for my new ACL, and with it they took about 25% of the strenth out of my hamstring.  Option two, patella tendon graft.  I specificly did not want this because of my family history, oh well, I got it.  The ACL is doing great now but most of my problems now stem from this area of my knee.  Then I got a staph infection from the surgery, by far the most pain of my life.  I had a high fever and I knew their was something wrong.  They decided to listen to me when I passed out in therapy.  Three days in the hospital and tons a antibiotics later and the infection was gone.  From their I got somewhat back on track, I picked up tendontitius of the patella in rehab and it has been with me since then.  I had the surgery in 2001.  I also got additced to oxycontin.  It was my first ever addiction and going thru withdrawl was very difficult.  Did you ever see that Sandra Bullock movie, I think it was called 28 days, when she was going thru withdrawl, it was just like that.  I would take a scolding hot shower and be ice cold! 
Since then I now have alot of issues with my left knee, really bad crepitus, chrondomalcia of the pattella, thickening of the syvnovial fluid, plica inflamation, my articular cartlidge is missing in a few spots and looks to be spreading, my femur is wearing down from my knee cap grinding on it, maltracking of the patella........but my ACL and Meniscus are pretty good.  I have had a cortisone shot that helped for about 6 months with the pain.  Of course my OS says these other knee issue are not related to the surgery.............yeah.

Now for knee number 2, in 2004 I tore my acl and both meniscus and they said I needed the same surgery.  Becasue of my horrible first surgery I said no thanks and tried to live with it.  That didn't work and in 2005, about a year or so later I had the surgery and they used a cadiver graft.  It went great!!!!!!!! No problems and my right knee is doing wonderful!!!!!! Some pain and cracking, but it is strong.

I will talk to you soon!

todd       
       



   
2008 Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction and other clean up work
2008 Medial Meniscus repair, dispaced bucket handle tear
2005 R ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair
2000 L ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair

Offline tanyap

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 10:37:25 AM »
Hi Todd,
Wow - thats great, 3 months of torture machine isnt the worst!!! I saw my physio last night - she gave me a right going over, I came out feeling like Id been run through a mangle :)
Anyway she said something very interesting, theres no problem putting strength back into my leg - you can already see VMO starting to awaken a little (a hollow area has started to fill slightly), but its getting VMO to 'fire' is the problem. I brought the torture device, the rest of my quad reacts to quite a low intensity (45 on the scale) but my VMO wont respond until 65 - she said its very very 'lazy' - a lot of neural inhibition going on, the only way to break it is to use it. so now ive to do leg extensions and straight leg raises WHILE using the torture device to retrain my brain to engage VMO.
So im desperately hoping that works - id been exercising away the past 2 years and VMO just wasnt firing at all, but there was nothing being done to encourage it to fire - so hopefully its possible to retrain a muscle to fire by itself.
When i walked out of physio last night I felt more stable than I had in ages - because VMO had been massaged, contracted, relaxed, ultra-sounded, you name it - they did it!!! so it was awake when I left - i could really feel the difference. I hope that starts translating to everyday life!!

All my exercises remain the same just the leg raises and sitting on the gym ball made a little harder. Wall slides I HATE - my technique is not naturally good - I really have to concentrate to get them right - she wants me to concentrate on technique rather than numbers of them for now.
I think the two I hate most are wall slides and step downs - both make me feel like my knee is about to go. Perhaps its just Im worst at them that I dislike them so much :)

Tried to service my bike but age has frayed the brake cables so Im going to leave it in for a professional service and new brakes. Mind you it looked a hell of a lot better when I cleaned it up!! Im hoping to get that in during the week or else this weekend - Im anxious to even just cycle 10 yards on it!
The didnt mention the stationary bike in therapy - although they did strap me into the isokinetic machine and hooked me up to the computer for a series of leg extensions!!! tiring!! i got so wrapped up in the stuff they had me doing that I forgot to ask about the bike - but Im back out to see her next monday so i can check with her then.


Ask in the drug store about Menthol and Wintergreen - Im sure its available in the USA - its not a terribly unusual product - try googling it?

Poor you - your first surgery especially sounds like a nightmare!!! And then getting the staph infection!! Its awful when they dont listen to you - I mean its hard not to listen when you pass out in therapy - but it shouldnt get that far!!
Painkiller addiction is nasty alright - but if youre in a lot of pain you need the meds - I personally find that a bit of a catch 22!! I use Devils Claw myself sometimes- its a natural anti-inflammatory - but youve gotta take it for a while to build up in your system. I think it works though.
Did you ever try glucosamine? I think it helped me with some crunchiness in the joint - didnt do any harm anyway!!
I dont believe your OS for a second - although perhaps he means - the surgery didnt cause the problems, however your inability to use your knee in a normal way because of your surgery may have caused them :)
My PT is saying I have a lot of crepitus also - but it doesnt cause pain thank god - just feels nasty crunching around in there.

Thats great that they DID fix your right knee properly!

you know I was thining about your knee pain again - my surgery was in 1988 - I remember a number of years of pain and using creams, ice etc... to relieve it - but it DID stop bothering me after some time. It might have been 10 years before it just felt 'normal' again. Before the body forgot there had been a surgery at all - if you know what i mean.......
so there is hope........
tanya

 






1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline desag

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 06:59:18 AM »
Hello Tanya,

The tone of your last post sounded really up beat compared to the first one I read, it sounds like the therapy is really helping.  I know there is a big difference in a joint hurting and a joint tired from working out, I mean your knee is already feeling more stable, that is wonderful and I know thats one of your major goals!

With the wall slides and step downs, I felt instability and pain in the patella too.  I bet you get alot of return on these exercises though.

I am heading to a natural food store on Saturday and am looking to get the wintergreen and the devils claw; how long did you have to build up the devils claw in your system before you noticed it helping?  I do take a good bit of supplements, gloucosimine, condroiting, msm, fish oil.  I beleive they have helped.  That crepitis, I have it like you, sounds horrible but really dosn't hurt that much, I hope it stays that way.

I have been having a pretty good time of late with my knees, I have started what I beleive to be a lifelong journey of knee mainatance.  Exercise, strethcing, iceing and rest.  In fact I am icing right now.  I will talk to you soon, keep up the hard work with the exercising!

todd 
2008 Double Bundle ACL Reconstruction and other clean up work
2008 Medial Meniscus repair, dispaced bucket handle tear
2005 R ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair
2000 L ACL Reconstruction & Meniscus repair

Offline tanyap

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Re: Where do I post Cartiel questions?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 10:04:33 AM »
Hi Todd,
Yes - I can definitely feel a difference in stability - although I have traded off some instability for some pain - but its the pain of joint tiredness mostly. I am getting a worrying painful clicking/crunching on the step downs - if I turn my foot out slightly it hurts less, my right foot naturally turns out a little (always has), but Id been trying to do them with my foot straighter - Ill speak to the physio about it on Monday.

Youre right though - I do get a lot of return on these exercises.

I think I was taking Devils Claw 3 or 4 weeks before I really noticed a difference, its supposed to be a wonderful anti inflammatory - but only if its been built up in your system. I think 6 weeks is optimum, but if youre going to notice a difference youll notice it in 3 or 4. They have a liquid version of it and a tablet version of it here in Ireland - I think the liquid version is better. Its easier to take too - just some drops in a glass of water. See what the have anyway.
Ive tried Glucosamine too - i did think it helped, but then it sort of plateaued for me. Although the way im crunching these days it might be time to take it again :)
Whats MSM - I havent heard of that? I might get fish oil - no harm to try something new.

Exercise, stretching, ice, rest...sounds good. I bet as time goes on you will need to ice it less and less. There was a time where I iced everyday a number of times a day, but it stopped needing that. Your body eventually stops swelling the area thats had surgery.

Ive my MRI and skyline view x-rays today - I dont know if they will give me the MRI results there and then or send them to the OS direct - Im hoping they give them to me because I want to post them here :)

1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app















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