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Author Topic: I have had an improvement!!  (Read 16323 times)

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Offline tanyap

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I have had an improvement!!
« on: October 13, 2007, 12:57:12 PM »
Hi All,

Well, after months of new physio, e-stim, lot of moaning on my behalf, lot of frustration, tears, pain and frustration - I have had a development that is a small, but definite improvement!!

My VMO was dead, invisible, no movement if I squeezed hard and tried to contract it. Nothing. Nada.

Around 2 or 3 weeks ago I woke up one morning and I kept getting what felt like electric shocks in my VMO for a lot of the day. I secretly hoped it meant it was waking up - itd increased in size from nothing to a pea, to maybe a sardine in the preceeding 3 months.
I had some more dislocations so there was no change for a couple of weeks after the electric shock day.

In the past week its felt 'different' doing my exercises. It actually feels like the muscles is straining trying to do them. Before it just felt like nothing, like a stretched piece of skin, not muscular feelings at all.

Then I noticed that it was behaving differently if I contracted it when my leg was in a bent position. Before it would be slack, Id contract it, Id relax and itd go back slack again. Suddenly it stopped going back slack after Id contracted it. I still have to contract it 'manually' to get it doing its job in a bent position, but I dont have to 'hold' onto it anymore, it stays doing its job automatically - so one half of its job is back.

And then yesterday I was lying on my bed having a look at my leg and contracting the muscles, and I suddenly realised I can actually contract it and you can SEE it (as opposed to feeling around for it under the skin), AND I can isolate the contraction in it - before I would just mentally squeeze on my whole leg to try and engage it at all in conjunction with the other muscles.

This is more or less exactly what my OS told me would happen. It would one day gain enough nerve fibres to just start working. Its not fully operational yet, and even when it is its gonna be a lot of work to make it strong (step 1 - get it working, step 2 - make it strong), but it should be easier to strengthen it when its firing properly, and with luck I wont get that futile feeling Ive been having recently when it seems like Im working hard for no return.

In the meantime Im still at the same risk of dislocation until it really does start doing its job and then gets strong - but wow - im really happy that you can see things starting to change!!!

Thanks to all who have supported me and advised me here. Ive taken lots of the advice from here and Im sure thats helped things along.

Ill keep you posted as to further developments!!!

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 mineemowse

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2007, 01:12:59 PM »
Congratulations, Tanya!

You've really turned a corner. I can't imagine how great you must feel!  ;D

I know it still won't be easy, but what an accomplishment you've made - you're hard work is paying off---

Continued success!

Donna
'98 torn meniscus
'99 arthriscopy repair
'02 cartilidge replacement injections
July '06 arthriscopy cleanup
Oct. '06 Oats Allograft procedure (failed)
May '07 arthriscopy cleanup
Dec. 3 '07 - TKR

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2007, 01:15:58 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS!! There's hope for the rest of us then?! If only mine had woken up 20 years ago when I first had physio...(if only I'd had a physio that cared enough to try harder). At least I am older and more informed now. I won't be stopping physio until I am sure things are on the right track. If only my joints didn't protest the retraining so much - it's one step forward, two steps back. Got new exercises on Tuesday and by Wednesday I had sharp pain everywhere in one knee and it was back to rest, ice, rest, ice (sound familiar??). I have lots to do but no willing knees to help. Am even doubting I'll be back at work in 10 days time (4 weeks post op, when the OS said 10 days!!). Sorry, don't mean to rain on your parade. You've put in heaps of hard work and you deserve it totally. Once again, congrats.
Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2007, 03:45:12 PM »
oh Kathy - I so understand, I had surgery 20 years ago and never regained full function. Thats why I am where I am now.

My joints protest too - Ive had to use anti inflammatories the past 3 nights running cos by the time I got to bed my knee hurt so much from exercising it.
Every dislocation I have puts me back around 1-2 weeks too - and Ive had 4 in the past 3 weeks so its hard work!!

I find it difficult to articulate but its like before I was just stretching myself and I didnt feel the muscle I was supposed to feel working, and suddenly I can. Pretty weakly it has to be said - but that can be worked on.

Phew - it IS hard work - Im mid exercises session right now and Im poofed!
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 april

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2007, 04:27:47 PM »
Yay! Glad to hear. :)

Offline shortyclairebear

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2007, 09:28:04 PM »
YEAH!!!
tanya that is great!!
im so gald that you are seeing an improvement!!
i hope there is something that can be done to stop the dislocations so you can well and truly feel as though your'e making a recovery!
keep up the great work you must be doing something right!!
take care,
claire x
(ps your PM made me laugh! sorry not replied yet not felt too great these past two days but will try and reply tomorrow!!)
i had a motorcycle accident-landed on right knee!(mar 05)
...arthroscopy - 4th feb 06.
...VMO Advancement,LR+JMedial reefing - 24th jan 07.
...28 feb 07 i fell down 14 stairs.....more pain and stress!
...now at PT working on ROM and strenghening

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2007, 12:51:22 PM »
Tanya,
I will keep my fingers crossed that your VMO improvement has a reducing effect on your dislocations. I don't know how you manage to cope with so many of them! What a stress on your joint structures they must have. Go, go, VMO!
Cheers,
Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2007, 02:12:33 PM »
thanks everyone,
claire - hope youre feeling better, no rush on PMs - just good to know youre still around - youve always been really encouraging to me - thanks for that.

kathy - I like the new mantra - GO GO VMO!!! perhaps someday I can make a dance for it :)
Theres times I wonder how Ive managed with all the dislocations too but actually when the muscles are so weak like mine they dont hurt so much at the time, you just get sore after, Im hoping I can reduce them alright.

I probably wont have another 'big' bit of improvement news for another few weeks - but Ive feel like I have a new lease of enthusiam about doing the physio - which is lucky really cos I was getting VERY tired of exercises day in and day out with no change!!
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 Lattitude 61

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2007, 05:34:36 PM »
Congratulations! Always good to have proof the hard work will pay off. So glad to hear you are experiencing this new gain.

Offline maria1985

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2007, 06:26:19 PM »
ahhh congratulations tanya i'm so glad that you are experiencing some improvement, i'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.
keep us posted.

maria.xx
chronic knee pain since 10 years old.
lateral release in 2000
goldwaithes in 2002
2 weeks intensive physio in 2005
nowhere near to finding the course of the problem.

Offline kimmyxs

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2007, 07:18:56 PM »
Wow, what a wonderful outcome from such hard work!
6/03/89 - First Knee Cap Disclocation
7/05/89 - Returned to work
6/17/06 - Tramatic Knee Cap Dislocation and Vertical Fractured Patella
6/28/06 - ORIF - Screws - no wires
8/24/06 - Ditched the brace - start PT
9/20/06 - First spinning
1/15/07 - screw removal, LR , VMO Advanc  & patella cleanupl

Offline hil13

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2007, 01:28:38 PM »
Hi Tanya
Congrats to you. Your hard work has got you a result, keep going.
 GO GIRL GO.
I taking your advice very serious. Keep us posted.

Good Luck
 Hil.

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2007, 02:18:02 PM »
Hi Everyone - thanks for all the encouragement!!!

Id like to report that my PT was very happy with my newly firing VMO, and very interested in my story of electric shock feelings. She thinks strengthening may go faster now that Ive gotten the muscle firing.

Another new development - since it started firing I can 'feel' the muscle pulling my kneecap medially when I do my exercises. And today I noticed I could feel that medial pull when I walked. Its a little sore (probably its not been pulled medially for ages) since VMO started firing, but the ache actually reminds me how a knee should feel if you know what i mean??

Oh and the other new development is that VMO feels like a tired muscle after I exercise now - before there was no feeling of muscle fatigue, there was no feeling of anything there.

GO GO VMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
xx
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 kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2007, 02:52:38 PM »
I have my next physio appointment on Thursday. I'll be interested to see what he's got to say about my VMO muscles. I have hollows where they should be! I can actually get a faint flicker out of my left one when I contract my quads but only with concentration. My right is even worse, but it does work briefly with effort. I think my physio is more concerned about my general joint alignment (or lack of) for the time being. I guess because even walking can do damage if alignment is off. I do have things to do to prevent the releases from tightening up again, but I imagine VMO work isn't far off.
Keep up the hard work Tanya, and GO GO VMO  ;D
Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2007, 03:05:19 PM »
Hi Kathy,
If you can fire them at all and theyre just weak from disuse I wouldnt worry too much. You can always work on a muscle that can be fired.
The trouble with my VMO was it wasnt firing AT ALL. And the annoying thing is that I went to a PT practice for over a year and a half who didnt try to address it and in fact may have made the problem worse by getting me to do leg extensions that only served to cause an even bigger imbalance!!!

We live and learn eh? These things can take a while to sort out.

In the meantime Ive opened a whole new world of pain pulling this darn kneecap medially - no wonder VMO switched off!!!!
xx
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