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Author Topic: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI  (Read 31350 times)

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Offline Room 101

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2009, 06:08:25 PM »
Is the patella surgery still considered experimental?  I kind of thought that was in the past with the dramatic improvement in knowledge & success over the last few years.  Maybe I just got very lucky.  I think my approval arrived within 7-10 days for BCBS to be honest w/ a patella lesion.  I had the AMZ at the first major surgery when they were planning microfracture... perhaps since that part worked so well, they went ahead with the quick approval for the ACI... I am more interested w/ the bad economy and if they'll actually pay... or if I will be in for a fight.  I just got tons of paperwork sent yet again regarding a scope I had in '07 and also for the AMZ I had in '08.  I can't tell you how many times I have filled out the exact same forms...

I could get really wound up on the topic of insurance and choosing the right dr. and referrals, etc. - So I'll stop before I embarrass myself  ;D

I should qualify that this whole injury/surgery thing was such a wild and fast ride... I mean one day I have a scope that didn't help and the next I was scheduled for AMZ/microfracture... I kind of thought that this procedure was "normal", albeit state of the art surgery... but it all happened so fast with me that I mainly read detailed articles on the actual procedure rather than the external things that surrounded it.  It seems as if it's successes should have helped this procedure rise above "experimental"... but again, that's insurance...

Good luck!

Room 101
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 08:24:41 PM by Room 101 »
February 1 2008 - left knee AMZ/LR/Debridement/ACI biopsy
December 2 2008 - left knee ACI - Patela
May 25 2011 - Left knee mfx - trochlea  (ACI growth looked "pristine"), Right knee ACI biopsy
September 5, 2012 - Right knee AMZ/ACI - patella

Offline momhanaway

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2009, 08:48:27 PM »
well being on the femoral condyle is likely why insurance approved it so quickly. mine is patellar which is still considered experimental & most insurance providers will fight this claim extensively. nevertheless, it is great that she has a date and is on her way to recovery. let us know if you are able to upload those photos. also- i am curious what she is doing in terms of in-patient/out-patient hospital stay & pain control method

talk to you soon,
courtney

She will be outpatient. They haven't told us anything about pain management. I hope it's not as bad as what I have been reading. 

Here is another try at the picture.

Offline courtem10

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2009, 03:55:15 PM »
well as far as my orthopedic surgeon says, the patella is still not easily approved. it may not be considered experimental, but most insurance companies still don't like to cover the procedure. he said to expect a 2-3 month insurance battle to get mine approved. however, since i am having the HTO along with the ACI & am going through Cigna which others have had quick success with- I am hoping to get approval sooner. So I just have to wait to and see now
7/08 Left knee microfracture
12/08 Left knee ACI biopsy
4/09 Left knee ACI/AMZ

Offline Room 101

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2009, 10:09:35 PM »
Hi, coutem.  I really hope it goes well for you and the approval comes.  I guess one can get out here and see all the people going through the same thing and wonder how possibly it's still considered new, haha.  The waiting is never fun, especially when it's painful.

Momhan, I hope the pain management isn't a problem.  I know each person is different w/ pain, and I am a fortunate one who really didn't have too much pain.  I was taking half doses of Norco every 4 hours for 3 days and was totally off the drugs at 7 days.  I didn't even realize I was forgetting doses.  I only had pain when I tried to lift the leg... I just had to succumb to picking it up with my hands for a while because there was no strength.  I hated giving in to picking my leg up manually, but it's just the way it was.  I never even had to use Tylenol as a back up.  After the AMZ, they gave me shots of morphine post-op, but for the ACI, I had one of 3 pain injections and no real block because I was fully feeling the pain by the time the ride from the hospital was over.  My worst time was the initial pill and waiting for it to kick in the night of the surgery.  I spent the nights in bed upstairs (even the first one) and the days downstairs on the couch or chair & ottoman.  I am one that for sanity needs change in scenery  ;D

Sometimes I think if I loaded up on pills my ROM would come back faster, but it all seems in line, so I prefer feeling "normal".

I hope your daughter doesn't have a ton of pain issues.  Something tells me if she played 1/2 season w/ this knee injury, she must be a tough cookie  :)

Good luck!
Kim
February 1 2008 - left knee AMZ/LR/Debridement/ACI biopsy
December 2 2008 - left knee ACI - Patela
May 25 2011 - Left knee mfx - trochlea  (ACI growth looked "pristine"), Right knee ACI biopsy
September 5, 2012 - Right knee AMZ/ACI - patella

Offline momhanaway

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2009, 03:25:24 AM »
Thank you for the well wishes, Kim. 

We live about an hour away from the surgical center, so I may take along some crackers and a gatorade so that she can take something for the ride home.  There's a pharmacy right in the building. 

Honestly, I don't know how she played.  Even the coach emailed me saying that she didn't realize that her injury was so bad and that she was amazed that she played so well.  I think it is mind over matter.  It was harder and harder on her and by the end during the conference tournament, I could tell she was just about done with managing the pain mentally.  Tears were flowing when it was over.  All she wanted to do was get her knee fixed and she hadn't even gotten on the bus to go home yet. 

I talked to my daughter and she is focusing on taking good care of herself & getting in the best shape possible prior to Mar. 26th. 

This is such a great support group!  :)



Offline Room 101

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2009, 04:21:20 PM »
She'd going the right thing, that's for sure.  Being in good shape is the best start you can get  :)  Is March 26 still the date as of now?

Kim
February 1 2008 - left knee AMZ/LR/Debridement/ACI biopsy
December 2 2008 - left knee ACI - Patela
May 25 2011 - Left knee mfx - trochlea  (ACI growth looked "pristine"), Right knee ACI biopsy
September 5, 2012 - Right knee AMZ/ACI - patella

Offline momhanaway

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2009, 04:40:42 PM »
Yep, March 26th. 

She is coaching a club vb team and that has really helped her stay motivated.  She said it is hard to watch her team mates train and she can't. 



Offline courtem10

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2009, 07:28:26 PM »
kim- would you say the AMZ was more painful than the ACI?? I am having both, but it seems like the majority of people who have them done simultaneously feel more pain from the alignment rather than the cartilage implant. common sense wise it seems only natural that breaking/realigning a bone would be extremely painful :( but it also depends on the individual case & how your body handles the pain. oh and 1 last thing- do you still have your screws in, or did you have them removed??

thanks,
courtney
7/08 Left knee microfracture
12/08 Left knee ACI biopsy
4/09 Left knee ACI/AMZ

Offline Room 101

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2009, 07:49:42 PM »
Hi, Courtney.  Yes, the AMZ for me was far more painful than the ACI.  I really screwed up following the AMZ.  I definitely learned the hard way.  I didn't respect the pain, and I cut out the pills after 36 hours.  Mistake.  I had one or 2 bad days when I tried to cut the pain pills.  I don't like taking pills at all...  there are some pretty intense blood rushes w/ the AMZ that shock you when you go from elevated to standing.  I kind of tried to make a joke out of it when I stood to keep from fainting  :P -  It lasted right around a week.  I should say that when I was sitting on the couch and elevated, the pain was not bad w/ either surgery.  By week 2 of the AMZ I was able to really move around.  I was back at work full time after 6 days (with an ottoman and lots of pillows for elevation), but that was admittedly a little too soon in hindsight.  I was non weight bearing for 7 weeks and didn't ditch crutches for 11 weeks.

The ACI was different.  I had minimal pain, to be honest.  I weaned myself off pills over 8 days and haven't even had so much as an advil since... not that I didn't/don't want one now & again.  the difference here was how the quad strength was zapped.  I just couldn't lift my leg on my own for a month or better... I'd have to read my diary again, haha.  For the ACI it was strength that stopped progress, not pain.  I had a patella defect repaired via ACI, so I don't know how that compares w/ MFC or other varieties.  I had a lot of vacation saved, so after the ACI I went back to work after 8 days, but I only worked 2 days or so a week for the first month.

I do still have my screws.  It was discussed prior to the ACI, but my doc said if I wasn't bothered by them, he'd leave them.  Honestly, I don't notice them. 

the only after affect of the AMZ was it was a little hard to kneel on the knee although I could do it slowly & carefully, and I had some deadened nerves on my shin where they took the bone.  Now the numbness is also on my lateral knee.  I question kneeling in the future, but who knows.  I have a very long way to go. 

Take care,
Kim

February 1 2008 - left knee AMZ/LR/Debridement/ACI biopsy
December 2 2008 - left knee ACI - Patela
May 25 2011 - Left knee mfx - trochlea  (ACI growth looked "pristine"), Right knee ACI biopsy
September 5, 2012 - Right knee AMZ/ACI - patella

Offline courtem10

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2009, 04:06:41 PM »
okay I have been on cloud nine since Friday. I called Cigna & got the approval for my patellar ACI/AMZ!!! I am shocked I thought I would deffinitely hear a no & await the long process of appeals to begin! So now I have scheduled a tentative surgery date for March 25th in Connecticut. I have to get some final info from Carticel to see if the cells will be cultured by them. If not I will move the surgery back 1 week. Either way I am so happy that this will soon be behind me and I can start moving forward with a new knee! I wish all those good luck who are fighting this same problem. 
7/08 Left knee microfracture
12/08 Left knee ACI biopsy
4/09 Left knee ACI/AMZ

Offline momhanaway

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2009, 05:09:11 PM »
okay I have been on cloud nine since Friday. I called Cigna & got the approval for my patellar ACI/AMZ!!! I am shocked I thought I would deffinitely hear a no & await the long process of appeals to begin! So now I have scheduled a tentative surgery date for March 25th in Connecticut. I have to get some final info from Carticel to see if the cells will be cultured by them. If not I will move the surgery back 1 week. Either way I am so happy that this will soon be behind me and I can start moving forward with a new knee! I wish all those good luck who are fighting this same problem. 

Congratulations!  Keep us updated on your progress.

Offline courtem10

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2009, 07:03:28 PM »
Update- my surgery will actually be April 1st because the cells will take a full 4 weeks to culture. Nevertheless, I am still so happy to have gotten approval. Thanks again for your support!! the countdown begins..29 days

Courtney
7/08 Left knee microfracture
12/08 Left knee ACI biopsy
4/09 Left knee ACI/AMZ

Offline courtem10

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2009, 06:49:54 PM »
for those who have had patellar ACI with an AMZ procedure- what sort of brace were you put in after the surgery?? also, did you have to wear the brace as long as you were on crutches??
7/08 Left knee microfracture
12/08 Left knee ACI biopsy
4/09 Left knee ACI/AMZ

Offline Room 101

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2009, 07:31:23 PM »
I was in a full, lockable hinged brace... from ankle to hip.  I ditched the brace and then weaned off crutches one at a time after that.  For the ACI, I was able to walk with the brace and one crutch, but when the brace went away I went back to 2 crutches for a week or so.  The brace always started locked in full extension and then adjusted at various post op appontments.

Kim
February 1 2008 - left knee AMZ/LR/Debridement/ACI biopsy
December 2 2008 - left knee ACI - Patela
May 25 2011 - Left knee mfx - trochlea  (ACI growth looked "pristine"), Right knee ACI biopsy
September 5, 2012 - Right knee AMZ/ACI - patella

dileigh

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Re: Looking for a volleyball player success story following ACI
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2009, 10:55:44 PM »
I had a thigh to ankle immobilizer brace at first and after a couple of weeks went to a hinged lockable brace that was set at 30 degrees.   Since I am overweight and in my 40's, I was NWB until the 6 week mark.
 I had to keep the brace on until somewhere around the time I was PWB, but I was allowed to take it off at night earlier than that.

Diana
















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