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Author Topic: General help; history of knee dislocations, leg length discrepancy, flat feet  (Read 1948 times)

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Offline 6079

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I've had knee problems for years, but unwisely, never took the time to understand exactly what the problems were, so I hope you will bare with me and offer your knowledge to set me on my correct path to recovery.

I've been to several knee specialists.  What I understand is my knee caps rest further from the protective "valley" of bones, as it were, resulting in an increased probability of dislocation.  My right knee dislocated from common activities about 5 times before I finally realized I should strengthen it instead of keep off it.  No dislocations in 6 years.
I have recently noticed what I believe to be a leg lenth discrepancy; right leg shorter than left.  This has caused some right hip pain.  I have considered getting a proper "heel lift" or similar accessory to balance my legs.  I would appreciate some advice on where to go for that.  I did receive custom orthotics from one chiropracter, but they cost over $100, did little balancing, and have now broken; admittedly to not the greatest care of my own.
Somewhat ironically, I have a job distributing ads throughout my neighborhood.  Last month I would walk  up to 6 or more hours a day.  I didn't feel any great localized pain doing this.  Pain-wise, I am relatively without discomfort. 
My biggest concerns are a potential new dislocation, future arthritis, and losing balance and falling at an older age.  This is because my greatest challenge is simply walking around the house.  Taking angles, using my knees in any direction other than straight ahead can be very difficult.  How much of this is caused by knees, I don't know.  I suspect the lyon's share of the problem is due to my leg length discrepancy, however, I have flat feet, as diagnosed by various physicians.  Even when my legs felt at a more equal length, I have had trouble keeping steady, without losing balance.  I would describe it as not feeling grounded.  I don't know why flat feet would cause this, but maybe having one leg even slightly shorter than the other can make for a problematic combo.
Other than this, my left knee has started causing concern for the first time ever.  Most of you may be able to relate the following sensation:  stepping forward with a slightly bent knee and placing weight on that leg, when the knee locks and snaps your leg straight again, as if it can't handle the weight at such an angle.  This has been a common occurence in my right knee, but in the last couple weeks has switched to my left knee.  Around that time I stopped doing the ad distribution.  Now I do it for only an hour or two a day and that has somehow stopped these occurences.

I have also felt some pain in my right foot in the underside of my foot, near the ankle.  Perhaps one of these many "trouble" spots is causing me to favor it and creating a plethora of small contributions to a walking disability.

After my last dislocation, I stretched and did various lifts with my legs, making sure not to strain too hard.  Now I only stretch a few times a week.

Of course I would prefer to non-surgically resolve this, but I also don't want to be in my 60's and have a much lengthier road to recovery from surgery.  If there is a corrective procedure which seems necessary, it seems the sooner is better.  None of my doctors suggested surgery, however.

I don't have a succinct question to ask, other than how to be as normal as possible, I guess.  How to walk with balance and keep my knees safe.

If you have any terms associated with my problems, any particular exercises, suggestions, overviews of what to expect, or orthotic "heel levelers" recommendations, further reading, etc., I would greatly appreciate it

Offline jathib

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I've always had flat feet and a leg length discrepancy but neither has caused me balance problems. If anything I'm more stable what with all that feet on the ground. It's quite possible your balance problems are not related to your extremities at all. My friend makes orthotics and he used to give me heel lifts in exchange for me fixing his computers. Quite a nice deal, I don't know where regular people get them other than a pharmacy.

But here's the weird thing. Turns out my legs weren't really unequal lengths. My buggered knee had gone completely knock-kneed and it appeared to somehow be longer. When I had my PKR last December my doctor straightened my leg and they both ended up being the same length. At any rate, you need to sort it out. I have serious hip and back problems from being uneven all that time.

Offline missmyknee

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I severley broke my leg in 4 places , underwent surgery for IM rod and had to undergo a surgical rebreak to correct a malalighnment of my tibia. My leg became a 1/2 inch shorter because of all that. I had to wear a 1/2 inch heel lift in my shoe. I purchased it at a Sports Medicine Store for about 20-30 dollars. I wore it for 4 yrs. I had a TKR in same leg , that brought the leg length almost equal. I had to have 2 revisons including a spacer exchange for a thicker spacer. Now my other leg is about 1/4 inch short  :P  So now I find I am having hip pain on the other hip, so will go buy another heel lift for other leg. Sometimes I would wear flip flops and PT said besides the hip and back pain , I was causing a muscle imbalance too.

4Fx Clsd red
IMrod fib plate
derotate osteotmy tibfib
IPCS patbaja
DeLeeOsteotmy,LOA,LR Zplasty,bongrf,chondrplty
chondrplty,LOA,fatpad remvd
openLOA,neurectmy,ITB Zplasty,fabela
PLC recon,revison,LOA,synovec
MCL,revison LOA
openLOA,prox Zplasty
openLOA, 6 neuromas excised,synov
3 Fusions