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Author Topic: my poor old knee !!!  (Read 922 times)

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Offline leslest

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my poor old knee !!!
« on: September 28, 2008, 07:03:23 PM »
I am a 50yr old woman and I should probably know better but hey ho. Whilst diving in Sharm el sheikh this june my better half thought it might be interesting to go to Dahab and dive the blue hole. This involved a shore dive, something I have always tried to avoid, basically cause it involves to much effort !!. However I gave way to peer pressure and off we went. The day started off really well, the first dive was terrific. Then came the second dive, we got kitted up, lead wieghts, tank etc and walked into the sea across some very large and very slippery pebbles. The obvious accident that was waiting to happen happened, I trapped my foot in amongst the pebbles and started to fall forwards, deciding that this was probably not a good idea I pulled myself back and managed to over balance and started to fall backwards, at this point I realised that I was about to fall backwards onto the air tank on my back so in my haste I twisted on the already fixed foot and promptly landed on my right hip with a tremendous thump. As I went down my left knee went off with resounding pings and pops that would have put even the most proffesional of firework displays in the shade. I lay there for awhile and gathered my thoughts whilst my knee slowly came back to life. My hubby was stood above me looking the oppitomy of concern and asked would I still be ok to dive. For the none divers out there if you dont have a dive buddy you dont have a dive. So not wanting to let him down I crawled the rest of the way into the sea and we had our dive. I will add at this point that it was the shortest dive we have ever done due to the fact that I was in so much pain I absolutely drained my air tank in around 35 mins. The fun started when I tried to get out of the water. Even with the benefit of a 5mm wet suit to hold my knee in place the waves were causing my lower leg to move in an extremely un-natural way. I remember thinking to myself that it did not seem right that my knee was going left to right as well as backwards and forwards, I can be a bit simple at times. I finally made it to shore and started to get out of my wet suit and I quickly realised that something was seriously amiss, my knee was twice the size it was before I went in for the dive and it would not hold me up. Even the camels on the beach were laughing at me as I tried to get up from the sitting position after getting out of my dive kit. I quite simply could not stand up, a very nice young man with big biceps helped me in the end mmmm. Sorry I digress, once back in Sharm we went to the Sinai Clinic and after x rays etc etc that no showed no broken bones I left in a wonderfull bogey green plaster that went from mid thigh to mid calf. Not exactly designer material but hey I could walk again so I wasnt going to complain. There was to be no further diving for me that holiday. Once we got back to good old blighty and the notorious NHS the fun really started. My plaster was intended as a get me home job nothing else. My gp was brill he sent a request for an urgent appt to the orthopods. Two weeks later and with the added addition of several blisters from a plaster that was sadly lacking in padding my dear hubby took me to our local A&E dept. They removed the plaster and advised seeing an orthopod [ is there an echo in here].Four weeks later I finally get to see an orthopaedic houseman, he recomended an xray { there is an echo in here]. quell surprise no broken bones. Next recomendation was to have an MRI scan, four weeks later I have the scan done, not to long a wait really. The crunch comes when I am told that I have to wait four weeks for the report on said scan. Ok so I wait patiently to go back to the hosp to see the same orthopaedic houseman. The report showed that I had a grade 3 tear to the MCL, partial tear to ACL, extensive contusion of the lateral tibial plateau, meniscocapsular separation of the lateral meniscus involving its attachment to the popliteus tendon, with probable popliteas tendon injury also. In short I had kna****ed my knee. I thought, ok so what do we do now. 8 weeks intensive physiotherapy was the prescribed treatment for my injury and despite my comment that was it not a little bit late for that seeing as the injury occurred 10 weeks ago. ' Oh No ' says the houseman 'its never too late'. So I wait and I wait. 3 weeks later I get my my much anticipated appointment for physio. Great thinks I, now we can start to move forward and get this knee back up to standard. WRONG, the physio took one look and said 'There is absolutely nothing I can do for you,that knee needs surgery'. I now await my next orthopod appt on the 15th Oct, when hopefully this time I will see the organ grinder and not his oily rag!!!. I have been living with this injury for what seems like most of my adult life, but in truth it has been 18 weeks and two days [ not that I am counting]. Will I ever walk, sleep , run, go to the gym, dive, or basically live a normal life again.

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 07:43:23 PM »
That is one he!! of a saga leslest! And one that we sadly hear all to often when you wait for the NHS rusty gears to engage. And in answer to your last questions - the odds are in favour of you being able to do all these things again.  :D

Whereabouts in the UK are you based? There are lots of people here who could probably advise as to particular surgeons to see and there is a list on the information pages as well as a number of clinics listed.

Can you afford to go private for a consultation? This is often a good way to get more than your foot in the door. If you have a good relationship with your GP ask about the Choose and Book system that is available to NHS patients. Do you have copies of your MRI pictures? If nor ask for copies of them and of the report - you can take these to your consultation if you choose to go for a private consultation. You do have a lot more choice than they really let on you know and as you have been in the system for so long perhaps you can use that as leverage to get an earlier decision.

BTW as a fellow bubblemaker - how deep did you get into the "Hole" on that first dive? Although -i am based in Geramny I am a Brit and am BSAC trained to Dive Leader level - used to be based in Bristol and dived extensively around the West Country.

Sue  ;) in sunny but cool Bavaria
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline leslest

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 08:33:17 PM »
Hi Sue thanks for the reply, I used to work as an ODA [ operating dept asistant] in the NHS and the private sectorplus I am orthopaedic trained, so I am up to speed on all the consultants within my area not that it carries any wieght what so ever, as to if I go private or not , that all depends on what they say thay can do for the old knee. I am still waiting for an answer to that question ???. so far they seem to have taken the view that if they wait long enough I will either get better all by myself or , and this seems to be the most popular opinion, I will grow a new leg. I tend to favour the latter. Sorry I am coming across as rather negative, I really must try not to. I was supposed to be diving next month and I have been told that it would not be a good idea, so as fellow diver I know you will understand how I am feeling right now.Bang goes my Dive Master course till next year [I hope]. :'(
We went  down to 30mtrs at the Blue Hole, that being the dive limit for the area.We were however extremely fortunate in that there was a free dive competition taking place that day. Those guys are awesome. I admire their courage. We hung around quite literaly inside the Blue Hole just watching and I might add breathing for them, untill our tanks were dry. It is not something I fancy doing, but it made good viewing.
Lesley  :-*

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 11:18:06 PM »
Hi Lesley

If it is any consolation I got my Dive Leader (BSAC) after my first knee went down the tubes so to speak - the finning practice I did in rehab was a great bonus - swam for hours with my mask and snorkel on finning up and down the pool to build my quads and hamstrings - I used softer pool fins to begin with and then went back to my trusty Quattros. And the one sport where I never needed to wear a brace post op was diving as my suits seem to give my leg the support it needed - most sleeves are made from neoprene any way. I did wear a brace once under my membrane dry suit but it felt really weird so I didn't do it again.

Where do you dive in the UK? I was West Country based but dived all over the place - my favourite British Isles sites being in Scotland and Ireland.

Have you had any progress on the Ortho front?

Sue
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline leslest

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 05:42:18 PM »
HI Sue,
         I live in Ascot [ not far from the race course]. I believe the neoprene will hold my knee, cause it did a stirling job the day I injured my knee. Its the getting out of the water and climbing up fin ladders that worries me. I could take off most of my kit before leaving the water but the thought of someone having to haul me out is mortifying.I await my appointment with the orthopods, which is not till the 15th Oct. The physio has sent a request for me to see the consultant in person but we will see if that comes to fruition. So far I have had absolutelty no treatment on this knee, according to my books and the internet I should have been at least two weeks non wieght bearing and the rest of the time in a hinged splint with some kind of physio in put. It will be interesting to hear what this chap has to say.I used to work with him when he was a registrar. I wonder if he will remember me ?

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 06:24:06 PM »
I dived Scapa in 1997, diving from the MV Sunrise - 2m Stride entry and then climb back up the ladder to get back on to the boat. The skipper would drop a coil down over my pillar valve and helped me back up that way - afterwards we used it a lot on other boats with my buddy explaining how to do it. It caught on in our club and quite a few "fit" divers use it now! I don't use it any more but know others who still do. Getting back into a RIB is still a problem for me as I can't do the big kick - mind you all the time i have spent on crutches has made my upper body strength much better and I can haul myself up and over once I have a good hand hold  ;D

With regard to your leg - every protocol is different so don't take things you read here or elsewhere as gospel. I was never in a brace before an operation. In the 80s with my first ACL I was put into plaster - first a back slab for 5 weeks then a walking plaster to be sent home to the UK. They wrote the details of when it was to be removed on to it and what follow up ops I was to have and when. They also gave me all the operation and treatment notes to pass on to my NHS Ortho - what happened - they binned it - replaced the full leg plaser with one of their own and left me 3 months to do nothing! So as you see nothing is simple.

You have quite a complex injury -  the main structures that are really damaged are the Postero-Lateral Corner and that is not a common injury. I've just had (7 weeks ago) surgery on that area as well as an ACL revision. It could well be a long haul. Make sure that your surgeon really knows what he is doing with the PLC injury as a mess up there will cause you a lot of problems.

I was in an immobiliser immediately after my surgery and am now in a brace which is set from 0° to 90° because of the reconstruction work that has been carried out on the PLC. I have sometimes had a brace after ACL recons but there each surgeon follows different post op protocols. Even had 2 different protocols from the same surgeon  :o

The most important thing is to get a clear diagnosis and a strategy for recovery from your Ortho.

Good luck and keep me posted if you can

Sue

1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline leslest

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Re: my poor old knee !!!
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 06:08:24 PM »
orthopaedic outpatients yesterday !!!. waited an hour and finally got called in. my heart sank when I saw the registrar that I had seen last time. he asked how my knee was and i explained it seemed just the same. he asked had the physio made any difference, i explained that the physio had said he could nothing for me and that he was supposed to have written to my consultant stating that fact. the registrar said that my knee at my age would take a bit of time to mend but to continue with the physio and he would see me in 8wks. At that point through gritted teeth  ;D i repeated the fact that i was not receiving any physio. Mmm says registrar 'ok hop up on the couch i will have a look at your knee',  he then says ' negative lachmanns, you need to just be patient and wait :-\'. when i state that it has now been 20 weeks since the injury and that i feel as though i am part of a study into knee injuries and that i am the control ie do absolutely nothing and lets see what happens !! his reply is ok  i will go and speak to my consultant. enter stage left said consultant, i get to go through the whole history with him, he  examines my knee and says' POSITIVE lachmanns you need an acl reconstruction, put her on the list as an urgent we are running out of time if we are to have a succesfull outcome for this lady' :o I swear i almost pocked my tongue out at the registrar :P. So now I wait for the operation , in the meantime i have to do proprioception to improve muscle tone pre op. My piont in all of this is i knew my knee was knackered, it felt totally wrong and because i was not prepared to be fobbed off i finally got the boss man to listen to me and agree to do something about it, fellow knee sufferers take heart , if it feels all wrong then it probably is, keep moaning. ;)