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Author Topic: Sam's ACI  (Read 15254 times)

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Offline SamB

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Sam's ACI
« on: June 19, 2008, 12:50:22 AM »
I had my surgery on Tuesday.  I was a little disappointed to learn that my OS wasn't able to fix the area on my femoral chondyle - apparently it was too far out out of the weight bearing area, and had too much fibrous tissue grown in to be able to insert the cells.  He did say that the patella lesion went well, though.  I guess I'll just cross my fingers that the femoral chondyle won't be problem in the future.  They used a nerve block that was supposed to wear off in the middle of the first night - instead, my leg stayed numb until about halfway through a 300 mile trip!  Drugs are now my friend... :)  Other than the general pain and achiness though, I'm getting around fairly well.  It will be interesting to see what the next few days bring!
Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

dileigh

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 03:01:15 AM »

Good you made it home, the first week is the worst. Was the 300 miles in a car or a plane? Ice, Ice, Ice and stay on top of your pain meds and you'll get through it.


Diana

Offline Fisher201

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 10:22:07 AM »
Glad to hear that you got home safe.  I'm impressed that you managed a 300 mile trip so soon after surgery - I had a one hour drive home 3 days after the op and found that quite draining. 

How are you finding things at home?  It took me a couple of days to get everything set up how I wanted and figure out how to do stuff. 

Fisher
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 10:43:35 AM by Fisher201 »

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 05:25:54 PM »
Wow - I haven't written much, and it's already one week post-surgery.  Things are going fairly well, I think.  I had a bit of trouble with the pain meds - I was on Oxycodone and then Tramadol, but the oxycodone made me itch like crazy (I'm no longer "no known allergies", I guess), and the tramadol made me pretty sick for the last 4 days or so.  Running to the bathroom on crutches and a knee brace is not nearly as fun as one one would think, although it may be pretty funny to watch.  I'm back on Vicodan now, which worked pretty well for my past two surgeries.  I haven't had to take too much, though, so that's good.

I'm in the CPM machine at night, up to 40 degrees.  I don't know that I sleep the best, but once I start work next week, that's going to be the only way to do it, so I figured it would be smart to start now.

I get to get the staples out (65...I had the time to count:) ) next week, and then start some physical therapy.  Slow going. It's a marathon, not a sprint, I guess.  I'm hoping since I only had the one area repaired, the physical therapy and rehab will be less involved than if I had had both the patella and the lateral femoral chondyle repaired.

We did end up going to the ER last night - my foot turned bright red, and was tingly for about 2 hours.  By the time the got the ultrasound scanner in to take a look, it had returned to normal, but the thought of a clot was not very appealing.  All the ER docs were very impressed with the incision, though, so that was kind of fun.

I'll try to be better about getting on here in the future!

Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

dileigh

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 12:20:50 AM »
Wow 65 staples?  How long is the incision?  I only had 30.   

I couldn't sleep in the CPM, and wasn't supposed to do it for more than 3 hours at a time. Be careful not to overdo it.

I stayed out of work 5 weeks, you're going back early.  I know the ER isn't fun, but at least it wasn't serious.


Diana

Offline Fisher201

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 10:24:25 AM »
I reckon I only had about 20 staples.  How on earth did they fit 65 in??

Am on my second week off work now, and am probably gonna go back next week (all the Brits will be out of Wimbledon by then so there'll be less incentive to stay home  ;) ).

Hope your foot doesn't turn into a tomato again.

Fisher

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 05:09:37 PM »
I've read on other people's stories about the "jarring" wakeup - that was about the worst thing I've experienced since this whole deal started.  It didn't help that I was in the CPM machine and had the brace loosened up.  Ouch. 

I got a lot of comments when I was in the ER about how great the surgeons closed up the incisions, so I thought I'd post the picture - the OS had to go over my previous surgery's scar, which is why it's a half moon around the patella instead of straight over it.

11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

dileigh

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 11:06:52 PM »
I guess that's why so many staples.....  I wonder if it'll be less noticable that way.  Good luck going to work next week.  I keep ice packs stored in the freezer at work so they are there if I need them.  You'll probably swell some early since your body isn't used to being in that position for so long.


Diana

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 04:13:18 AM »
Thanks.  I'm looking forward to it and dreading it - hopefully I'll be able to make it a full day, but we'll see. I'm able to sit all day, so it shouldn't be too bad.  I'll have to bring in a couple ice packs for the freezer, though. 

Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

Offline Fisher201

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2008, 12:29:29 PM »
That's an awesome scar!  It makes mine look decidely average.  I'm impressed with the incision and how neatly they've sealed it all up. 

Am also dreading going back to work on Monday - having to be sat upright all day is going to be tough.  Might have to have a lie down in one of the meeting rooms over lunch.  Will be nice to get out of the house though. 

Hope it goes alright for you in work.

Fisher 

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 03:17:55 PM »
I'm on day two at work.  I've decided to only do half days, and spend the other half in the CPM at home.   I was pretty amazed at how sore I was last night after only half a day up and about on my feet.  I'm hoping to be able to do full days next week, plus starting physical therapy.  We'll see how that goes! :)   It is nice to be out of the house for awhile - I never thought I'd be tired of watching movies and playing xbox all day long!

Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

Offline Fisher201

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 02:15:51 PM »
I agree that it really takes it out of you when you start going back to work.  I'm getting some nice blisters and sores of my hands from all the extra time spent on crutches, and this is only my third day back! 

I think you're doing it right by only doing half days this week.  It's better to do that rather than pushing yourself too hard and jeopardising your recovery, or just being too exhausted by the second half of the week that you can't go in at all.

Keep up the good work :)

Fisher

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 02:25:38 PM »
I had my first day of physical therapy yesterday.  Nothing too ground breaking - I just get to start quad isometric exercises, straight leg raises, and heel slides.  I am also apparently supposed to be full weight bearing with crutches - and off the crutches and brace in three weeks.  That's a relief - I had originally thought I would be on crutches for 12 weeks. 

I don't really understand the full weight bearing with crutches, though.  What's the difference between that and just walking without the crutches with the brace on? Either way, I'm putting full weight on my leg, but nothing can supposedly happen to my patella while the brace is locked in extension (if I understand things correctly).   I'm scared to death of pushing too fast and ruining my graft, but I'm also pretty impatient. :)

Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI

dileigh

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 11:12:45 PM »

The crutches are just in case, in case your knee buckles, in case it hurts too bad and you need to take the weight off, etc.  Unfortunately, PT doesn't get ground breaking for awhile.

We all understand the impatience to do more and afraid to damage the graft.  ;D

Diana

Offline SamB

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Re: Sam's ACI
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2008, 06:41:36 PM »
I got a letter from my insurance company a couple days ago saying they weren't going to pay for the cartilage harvest.  I'll have to submit an appeal - they approved the whole procedure, so I'm not sure how they can decide to not pay for part of it.  I guess you should never trust an insurance company... :)

PT is going well - I can do SLR with no help.  That's a huge relief, after my first surgery, it took me weeks to be able to do that, and it was horribly painful.  This time, piece of cake.  My active ROM isn't great, probably only 60-65 degrees.  I'm sure that will come, though.  I'm allowed to place full weight on my leg, but still have to use crutches.  I've noticed that if I'm on my feet for any length of time, I'm really sore later on.

Other than that, I'm just continuing to be patient and follow the Dr.'s orders.  Reading all of the experiences and successes on this board sure makes the light at the end of the tunnel seem closer (and brighter...). 

Sam
11/20/2007 - Removal of loose bodies, debridement, Left knee
4/15/2008 - Cartilage biopsy for ACI
6/17/2008 - Left knee ACI















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