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Author Topic: so much pain...!  (Read 1088 times)

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Offline awshizzy

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so much pain...!
« on: March 24, 2009, 08:30:46 PM »
I'm new here. I'm a 23 year old very athletic female. I've played basketball, fastpitch & slowpitch softball, volleyball, did ice skating, track, soccer, and many other things my whole life. I never had one problem with my knee until the summer of 2004 when I was 19. I was in left field and threw a girl out at home plate, but I threw so hard that I sprained my knee. Every once in a while after that, if I jumped too high or ran too hard or moved in a weird way, I would feel like my knee would just pop out of place, kinda. I don't know how to describe it. I didn't think it was a big deal. Well August 12th, 2007, I was playing softball and all I was doing was running to second base when I tore my ACL. I was told I was going to have ACL Reconstruction, the surgery would be 1.5 hours, I'd be on crutches for 2 weeks, and then start therapy. Well when I woke up I was told they found a chunk of cartilage missing also, and the surgery went up to 3 hours because they also did Microfracture, and I would be on crutches for 6 weeks instead, then start therapy. The surgery was October 1st and I didn't get off crutches until 2 days before Thanksgiving. I did everything I was told, including therapy, staying off of it, getting that really expensive machine that bends and straightens it...I did everything the way I was supposed to.

Fast forward to present time, and I cannot walk comfortably. I made a lot of progress and was almost back to normal, but I was still physically unable to run, which is what I want to do more than anything else. Everytime we tried in therapy, I'd almost collapse from how much pain I'd be in. I kept checking back with my doctor but he said it would eventually happen. It never did. I still can't do stairs without using a railing. If I stand on one foot, my left one, with my knee locked, and then try to bend it and stand back up, I can't do it. In July & August of 2008, on 2 separate occasions, the area under my scar swelled up so it looked like I had stuck half of an orange underneath the skin. A short of cortozone brought that down. Over the past 6 months, it's gotten more and more painful each day. I still can't run. And now, I can't even exercise it hurts so much. I feel like I was going uphill and recovering, then I plateaued for a while, and now I'm on my way back down. I was dancing to a song for 3 minutes the other night out at a bar, and the next 2 weeks I had to call off from work practically because of how much pain I was in. I got an MRI done this past Saturday and my doctor told me that my ACL is fine, but the chunk of cartilage the size of a nickel is still missing, meaning the microfracture either never worked, or it worked and then wore off. He said also now I have a torn meniscus, and that's what I'm in so much pain. He said the only options to fix this involve surgery again. I'm going to another doctor on Thursday to get a second opinion, but I really don't know what to do.

Now I have a couple questions.

1.) Is there anything I can do about the fact that I had absolutely no idea and had never heard about what microfracture was until AFTER he decided to do it on me? Because it turns out that I'm only the 2nd patient he's ever done it on, and the first was unsuccessful. If I would have known that, plus what I've learned about researching it, I would have never let him do it. He never consented me for it.

2.) If the microfracture didn't work and I have a hole in my knee, I'm back at square one where I was 2 years ago with the hole in my knee. My question is - why is it that I could run and play sports perfectly fine then, and never had any pain whatsoever, and now I can't even manage stairs or carrying something heavy by myself?

3.) Is there any other way to fix this garbage besides microfracture? I still don't even know that much about it, but mostly what I've heard is negative.

3.) Does anyone have any advice at all...for anything? I'm extremely upset and just thinking about it is enough to make me break down right on the spot. I hate not being able to run, I hate not being able to play sports, I hate the fact that I've gained about 10 pounds because I can't exercise because of the pain...I'm so desperate these days and I hate living like this...

Thanks.

& P.S. Sorry if this is in the wrong section...I just had a bunch of questions so I didn't know which would be the appropriate place to put it! :o)

Offline maryc

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 09:44:17 PM »
Sorry you are feeling so frustrated - this knee stuff can be a real pain.
You are taking the right step in getting a second opinion.  If you can see if you can get an OS that specializes in sports medicine.  They seem to be more concerned about getting you back to a "playing" state.  Check with your local sports team or college for their team doctors.  They are either interested in sports injuries or can recommend specialists.
The cartiledge grown as a result of microfracture is prone to wearing down.  by it's nature its not as good as original cartiledge.
Search this site and google for information on microfracture.  The best thing you can do is to become as informed as possible.
Sending healing rays your way

8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline clarky_vl

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 11:00:09 PM »
Hi,
Sorry you are going through all this, and are in so much pain. I dont really have anything useful to add :P but I to had microfracture done for a hole in the cartilage at my first ACL reconstruction without me knowing it was going to happen, which was a bit of a shock at the time, I am not too sure what mine is like at the moment, but at the time of my second reconstuction 9 months later, it was apparently not healed very well. I am glad my surgeon did all this extra stuff I didn't know about before during the op though, it was probably better to have it all done at once, assuming of course that it had all worked.

I am kind of going through a similar thing as you at the moment with the pain and frustration of having a totally rubbish knee and not being able to do a lot, but mine is due to the ACL still not working and tearing my meniscus, my cartilage is apparently not in such a a good state either, so I just wanted to say hi and that I am sorry for everything you are going through.

As far as your questions, I dont really know too much about this, but I think there are some other treatments for holes in the cartialge, but they are all a lot more invasive, and the microfracture is the easiest, and usually works quite well. There are quite a few people on here who have had it, and I think there is a section on here about those kinds of treatments and injuries, you might have better luck there. Maybe you are in more pain now because of your additional meniscus tears, or maybe the hole or healthy cartilage is getting worse? sorry i dont know, but it sounds really horible  ???.

I think it is good that you can and are seeking other oppinions so you can get some answers and possible solutions to your problem!

Good luck! :)

Vicky
11/10/07 ACLr-hamstring, lat meniscectomy, microfracture
29/7/08 ACL revision-hamstring/LARS
7/7/09 ACL revision-quad/LARS
20/2/10 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
6/7/10 ACL revision-BPTB allograft
14/3/11 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
Then: ACL revision + extra-articular repair

Offline awshizzy

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 03:16:29 AM »
Hi,
Sorry you are going through all this, and are in so much pain. I dont really have anything useful to add :P but I to had microfracture done for a hole in the cartilage at my first ACL reconstruction without me knowing it was going to happen, which was a bit of a shock at the time, I am not too sure what mine is like at the moment, but at the time of my second reconstuction 9 months later, it was apparently not healed very well. I am glad my surgeon did all this extra stuff I didn't know about before during the op though, it was probably better to have it all done at once, assuming of course that it had all worked.

Hi there. Thanks for responding! Was there ever an issue with him doing it without your consent? That's the part that makes me the most angry, because once I researched it a little bit and I found out he had only done it once before, I would have NOT given him my consent. But I don't know if there is anything I can do about this...like a malpractice thing or something? I don't know...

Offline awshizzy

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 03:19:23 AM »
Sorry you are feeling so frustrated - this knee stuff can be a real pain.
You are taking the right step in getting a second opinion.  If you can see if you can get an OS that specializes in sports medicine.  They seem to be more concerned about getting you back to a "playing" state.  Check with your local sports team or college for their team doctors.  They are either interested in sports injuries or can recommend specialists.
The cartiledge grown as a result of microfracture is prone to wearing down.  by it's nature its not as good as original cartiledge.
Search this site and google for information on microfracture.  The best thing you can do is to become as informed as possible.
Sending healing rays your way



Thanks for responding. :o) I always thought that my doctor specialized in sports therapy and everything. He told me if I ever wanted to go back to running & playing sports, I had to have the ACL reconstruction. So of course we did it. And then he said his main goal was to get me back to all of that. The exercises I did in therapy were centered around me getting back to sports, I was told. The other day on the phone though, the doctor told me if I feel uncomfortable with him, I can get a second opinion and he can give me some names of some other doctors who specialize in sports medicine. I was so confused, because that's what I was told he does! lol. So I don't know. I have an appointment in about 12 hours with a new doctor and I'll see what he says. I think he specializes in it! I feel like right now my only option is some kind of surgery. So I kinda feel like I'm not really searching for a second opinion, I'm searching for someone to do the surgery that I trust.  :-\

Offline Tom Footballer

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 01:13:02 PM »
3 weeks post microfracture operation, to regenerate cartilage growth following a football injury,  I fell and hurt my knee again.

I stumbled/slipped on my crutches putting my injured leg down and slid along a wet pavement. The knee swelled up and I had the same feeling in the knee that I experienced before the microfracture operation.

It has been 5 days since this incident and the stiffness hasn't gone. I am worried that I may have reversed all the hard work post operation by affecting in some way the scar tissue/new cartilage.

Any advise of what this means, or info from anyone else who has had a similar setback would be much appreciated. My PT seemed to shrug off the incident and remarked that the swelling wasn't to bad, but I'm worried as the knee feels similar to what it did before my operation i.e. stiff/ swollen.

Many Thanks   

Offline michelel

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 11:26:05 PM »
Hey awshizzy whats up, girl I feel your pain, literally.  My advice is stay the he** away from microfracture.  I had MFX 8 months ago, for an OC impaction fx of MFC.  I went in trusting my OS I had this thing that all doctors were gods and would never lead you astray.  I have now developed a new way of thinking.  Turns out the OS who did my MFX specialty was HANDS! HANDS!  Yea I should of researched him more but like I said thought he knew best.  Anyway right after the MFX my pain was significantly WORSE.  I couldnt stand the pain it was awful. After 4 months of this crap he ordered another MRI.  It showed that the MFX failed no cartilage growth whatsoever.  So he referred me to a sports med OS at Baptist hospital, I went to the appt with her and she recommended OATS.  She said MFX should not even be attempted on defects greater thn 2cm.  By the way initally my defect was 2cm x .5cm, on that MRI post op 4 months it was 3cmx 1cm. Ok so she said OATS, I did a ton of research on OATS and asked a ton of questions on here.  I thought well It sounds like it could help.  My surgery date for OATS was April 27.  I went in to the hospital on back to the or and woke up in recovery only to find out that the OS said the damage to my knee was to extensive for OATS. WHAT????  Yea, she came and talked to me and said girl your knee is beat up the defect had grown more to 4cm x 2cm.  She gave me pics and she wrote by them and there are a number of things wrong its very depressing.  Anyway, so now she has referred me to an OS in greensboro who does ACI and PKR.  Those are my 2 options occording to her.  So here we go.  Look just know what you are getting into, do your research, ask questions, and if they act like they dont have time to answer be like look this is my life you have in your hand, i need you to take time and answer my questions.  Good luck hon, and take care...just stay away from MFX. Ofcorse thats just my opinion.
PEACE & LOVE
Michele
Right Knee:  1983 meniscal tear scope debridment &lateral release. 1991, 1997, 2001
2003 scope meniscal tears. 
8-08 MFX MFC lesion FAILED.
 4-09 Went in for OATS-not a canidate.
 6-09 Uni Right MFC.

Offline Doodleit

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Re: so much pain...!
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2009, 10:16:16 PM »
Help! I went in for a meniscus tear on 3/09 and got a suprise microfracture. Was told to weight bear ASAP and was walking at three weeks without crutches. It is now going on eight weeks and I have had to take a week off and be back on crutches again since my recovery. I have a job that requires alot of walking and a little sit down breaks. I am having shooting pain when I put full weight on the leg. I was shocked at the rehab protocal and that I was not given the NWB status for my MF. My MF size is approx 1.5cm from what I can tell from the surgery notes in the medial femoral condyle area of the knee. I was doing okay with walking, but the more I walked on the knee the more it's been hurting. I went to the OS and informed him about the pain and he just tryed to aspirate fluid from the knee(which he did not get any fluid) and he gave me a cortisone shot and said my pain would get better. It's funny because from what I was told by the PT who gets his patients, this is his protocal that he goes by and he had a MF done on himself about 5 years ago. I would think he would know that you should be NWB for this area of the knee?!?! Has anyone had good results from being weight-bearing with a MF in the MFC area? I'm at a lost and REALLY need to get back to work before I run out of money!