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Author Topic: Becoming confused and discouraged  (Read 1646 times)

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Offline daedalus

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Becoming confused and discouraged
« on: October 08, 2008, 08:33:15 PM »
I've posted here before about my knee problem, and I'm sorry to keep posting with more questions.  But the docs are really confusing me and now it's starting to get me discouraged.  Long story short, I injured my knee in a motorcycle accident two years ago.  I had a deep cut down to the surface of the ligament, but the ligament was intact.  No surgery to date, and all of my MRI's (I've had 3 done at the request of several OS's I've seen) have been normal.  The MRI's also show that my meniscus is intact. 

I can walk, but my knee hurts everyday and feels sore or swollen even when sitting down.  It's becoming really frustrating and it's constantly on my mind.  Some days it brings me down so much I'm just in a bad mood all day.  I know many people here have much worse problems, so I'm sorry if I'm complaining.  But I used to be very active, and now I have pain even while standing in the shower or brushing my teeth.

None of the docs I've seen know what's wrong with my knee, and they want to do a scope.  However after reading this forum and talking to my family doc, I'm very nervous about a scope and scared it may do more harm than good.  Especially since no one even knows what's wrong.  I understand the scope is a diagnostic tool, but the idea of things getting worse or even just staying the same after surgery concerns me.  In fact, I was scheduled for a scope this month but I cancelled it because frankly I'm just scared.

There are so many questions in my mind.  If my knee is normal on the MRI, what is causing the pain?  Is it cartilage damage?  Can it be fixed?  Will the pain come back several years after surgery?  Will I ever walk or stand without pain again?  I asked my OS, but he said he can't anwser until he looks inside.

My family doc has suggested I try acupuncture, which I'm very skeptical of.  But at least it's non-invasive and can't do much harm.  So I'll give it a shot, but I'm not expecting anything.  Then it's back to the same question - to scope or not to scope?  I guess at that point I won't have any other choice but to get the surgery.

Sorry for the long post.  I'm venting, and also looking for advice.  Thanks for reading.

Offline jathib

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 08:47:16 PM »
There are so many questions in my mind.  If my knee is normal on the MRI, what is causing the pain?  Is it cartilage damage?  Can it be fixed?  Will the pain come back several years after surgery?  Will I ever walk or stand without pain again?  I asked my OS, but he said he can't anwser until he looks inside.

The question you need to ask yourself is, do you want to spend the rest of your life living in the kind of pain you're living in now? If the answer is 'yes' then don't have the surgery.

MRIs are not always 100% accurate. They often miss things which is why sometimes the only way to know what's causing the pain is to have it scoped. You won't know if it's cartilage damage or something that can be fixed unless you have the scope. Nobody here can answer that. Even your own doctor can't answer that. Sometimes you have to take a chance on the unknown if you want your life back. Your chances of being worse off then you are now are pretty low. The chances of being better off are much higher. Scopes are pretty minor surgeries when you get right down to it. Most people come out of them fine and get on with their lives.

Maybe you should stop reading this forum. Most of the people here are here because they had major problems. The fact is, the vast majority of people that have scopes don't write in forums. They might stop in before surgery then afterward we never hear from them again because all went well. Most people don't have major problems. My guess is, whatever is wrong with your knee is not going to get better, ever. Acupuncture might make you feel better but it won't fix your knee.

Offline daedalus

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 08:57:09 PM »
Thanks for your response.  When you say "My guess is, whatever is wrong with your knee is not going to get better, ever," I'm guessing you mean it will never heal on it's own, right? 

But if I get a scope, there is a good chance of being having a normally functioning knee again? 

You're probably right that most people who get a scope would not come back to this forum if they have good results.  But for whatever it is worth, I will definitely come back here and post my results whether or not they are successful.  I am very grateful to all members of this forum for the info and help.

Offline Leentje

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 09:22:21 PM »
When I read your post, I tought "well, the question in fact has been answered"... Let me explain : you're injured and you want this to be fixed, best conservative, if not surgical. I can understand you're not a pro for accupuncture, bu it can't do any harm so why not try it (as you said)? Secondly, you want this problem to be solved and as 3 MRIs so far have been negative and OSs don't know what's wrong, I think you might want to choose the scope-route.. A diagnostic scope is just scoping to find the cause of your problems, no treatment.  Talk things through with your OS and be clear : if he finds something during the scope MAY he treat it? That way you won't get any surprises afterwards... BUT it might be the case you'll need anyther scope for a treatment..

Whatever, wishing you the best of luck!
Bilat patellar malalignment/PFdysplasia
00/06/83 L wrist #
11/12/00 L knee LR + chondroplasty
21/08/02 L knee TTT
02/03/04 L knee stretched PCL
11/09/07 L ankle dislocation/medial avulsion #
25/05/09 L ankle medial avulsion # AGAIN!
05/06/13 R ankle dislocation

Offline jathib

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 02:11:29 PM »
Thanks for your response.  When you say "My guess is, whatever is wrong with your knee is not going to get better, ever," I'm guessing you mean it will never heal on it's own, right? 
Right. A torn meniscus for instance, can't heal on its own because it doesn't have a blood supply. The frayed edges can cause constant inflammation in your knee. Removing them eliminates that.

Quote
But if I get a scope, there is a good chance of being having a normally functioning knee again? 
Yes, certainly a much better chance than doing nothing.

Quote
You're probably right that most people who get a scope would not come back to this forum if they have good results.  But for whatever it is worth, I will definitely come back here and post my results whether or not they are successful.  I am very grateful to all members of this forum for the info and help.

Most people don't write on forums, period. But thousands have successful surgeries every year. I wish more people would post positive results. People often get scared after reading forums like this because most people won't even seek out a forum until they experience lots of problems. My knee actually feels great after having a PKR almost two years ago. I only stick around to share my experiences. I also had a successful ACL reconstruction. Even my partial menisectomies were successful at removing my immediate pain. Unfortunately, I already had arthritis by the time I had the first one and I kept tearing my meniscus which resulted in it being removed a piece at a time.

Offline daedalus

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 05:01:58 PM »
Thanks everyone for your replies.  It sounds like I should get a scope.  I may still try the acupuncture, but I honestly think it will be a waste of time and money.  I am just hoping if I get a scope, the OS can figure out what is wrong and can fix it.  I'm usually a positive person, but I'm getting worried that the doc simply won't be able to find out what is wrong inside my knee and therefore won't be able to fix it. 

Offline jathib

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 07:53:45 PM »
I'm not sure why you would think the doctor won't be able to find what's wrong. It's what they do after all. Most of the time it's pretty obvious when they can actually look inside.

Offline eaglemom

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 08:47:59 PM »
Have you thought about massage?  They can sometimes really get some stretching in that helps or just relax the leg enough that you are better able to know and understand where the pain is coming from.  Some on the board don't agree with me on that one, but it is a tool that certainly has helped many many of us.  eagle

Offline daedalus

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 09:09:37 PM »
I am worried the doc may not know what is wrong once he looks inside, since I have read posts here which say the scope was inconclusive.  Maybe I really should stop reading this forum.  But overall, it's a very helpful resource.  Also, every radiologist I've seen says there is no soft tissue damage and my knee looks normal.

I haven't considered professional massage, but I can't imagine that would solve this issue.  I did heat therapy and massage on my own for several months, in addition to two months of PT and it did absolutely nothing.  That's partly why I'm getting discouraged.

Just today I learned something new which I'm looking into.  The doc's report from my initial injury says that the cut in my knee went down to the surface of my patellar tendon.  The tendon was intact, but there were superficial abrasions on it.  Maybe this is causing the pain?  I'm going to see my doc again next week and ask him.

Offline jathib

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 09:21:09 PM »
I think inconclusive results are pretty rare. You can find notes in here about just about anything that can happen. The only ones that don't post are the ones that actually die on the table. And then there's the vast majority that don't post because they go on with their lives.

It really comes down whether you want to find out what's wrong or not. You and your doctor can speculate all day long but you won't have an answer without a scope. Worrying about whether anything will be found, or whether it can be fixed is pretty much a futile exercise. If you let it get in the way of actually doing something you might as well learn to live with the pain.

Offline daedalus

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2008, 09:30:48 PM »
I understand your point, jathib.  I am just wondering if there is any way I can avoid surgery, but if there is not then I will get the scope. 

Offline jathib

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2008, 01:55:45 AM »
Sure, you can just not have surgery. But after two years the chances of getting better are nil. If it hasn't healed on its own by now it's not going to. You can go to pain management for the rest of your life and try to manage your pain and be forever thinking of your knee,  or you can have a scope, remove all doubt, and perhaps get your life back. Honestly, it seems like a no-brainer to me, but I've had scopes in five different joints and my knee was the easiest for me.

Offline alisonr

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Re: Becoming confused and discouraged
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 10:38:33 PM »
 :D i had a scope the 2nd in 10 years ur only sore a few days i found out that i hads arthiritis 10 years ago and how bad i now no why i have been having very painfull knees my rt one has been split 3/4 up on the patella my problem now is whats going to happen now with it as i cant afford to stay of work any longer been off work 9 weeks now but have been complaining about pain since march this year and working on it so i suggest you get your scope then you can have a real diagnoses ive had mri scans and xrays many times but it was the scope thatfound it