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Author Topic: Requesting advice please for Micro fracture surgery - 5 weeks post op.  (Read 2643 times)

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Offline 0live

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Hi I am new here. I hope all you guys are ok!

I am just in need of some reassurance.  I'll try to keep this as short as I can.

I had my first knee op in May this year (arthoroscopy) I had a meniscus tear. They did a scrape and I refrained from work for 4-5 weeks. I had my review after that and my consultant told me it wasn't good news, that I have arthritis of the knee (probably both). He suggested micro fracture surgery, which I have just had July 20th. So I am now approx 5 weeks post op.

I was told to remain on crutches and wear the brace for 8 weeks...and I have to do CPM every day (1500 knee bends - 200 per hour) I don't get a machine for that, I just have to do it manually. Boy, is it tedious, but sure keeps my legs in shape ;) Joking aside...I am slowly getting around the house partial weight-bearing, as I was told I can do so now (still with the brace and with crutches for another week) I have to admit I have been silly at times and I have probably over-done it as I am very impatient and have often walked around without the brace and no crutches (partial weight-bearing and with some hopping. The brace and crutches are such a restriction! I have to take the brace off every hour to do the exercises! But I am now keeping it on when I walk anywhere! I have been very good with my physio...doing it every day religiously!  I begin hydrotherapy next week - 3 classes (1 weekly).

My main concern is that I am experiencing some pain - and a lot of stiffness. Also my knee tends to give way at times, and still locks. I cannot bend it fully straight yet. But I realise it is still early days. I am a nurse (soon to say 'was') and I am advised by occupational health that I may not be able to return to nursing due to the nature of this knee problem. She says that even though I was told 8 weeks, it can take much longer, even months! My consultant always told me 8 weeks. I know with nursing I would be on my feet all day and there is a lot of bending, which I cannot see I could do any longer (sadly). She thinks I need far longer yet!

This is frustrating as I am also on half pay now (sick pay). Added stress. Basically can anyone tell me what is realistic here? What are my expectations  ???  Is it likely that I could take months to be properly back on my feet? I am seriously bored and not mobile at all yet and it is feeling like I never will be. I don't wish to sound dramatic as a lot of you guys are in the same boat. I am just not totally clear on this.

Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions.

Emma  :)

Offline derek320

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Re: Requesting advice please for Micro fracture surgery - 5 weeks post op.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2009, 11:21:25 PM »
I am currently 4 weeks post-op from my microfracture, so I'm just a little behind you. From the sounds of it, you are doing too much too soon. I have different restrictions than you however, I was never put in a brace after my surgery and am doing 8 weeks of non weight bearing. I then will be doing a few weeks of partial weight bearing, comes out to a total of usin crutches for 10-12 weeks.  Yes, they are a big restriction but they are for your own benefit. While that new cartilidge is growing in from the microfracture it is very fragile. Going back to walking and putting too much weight on it too soon can potentially ruin the cartilidge and your whole surgery.

As for getting your extension back, it should slowly come back if your doing your excercises. I still have 11 more degrees to go before reaching full extension. It is a lot of work and causes pain trying to get there, according to my therapist it can take a few months to get full ROM back.

Again, with you knee giving out and getting stiff, you might be doing too much. You lose a lot of muscle and strength during surgery, you need to build up the muscles surrounding your knee in order to provide support.

As for a full recovery, from everything I've read about microfractures, it will take months. My surgeon told me a minimum of 3 months before I am walking properly, but probably longer. My therapist told me that it usually takes months to be completely pain free. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but at least you knew what you would be in for before the surgery. I went into surgery expecting a 4-8 week recovery and came out with a surprise microfracture and months of recovery. I wasn't prepared at all for it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 12:01:43 AM by derek320 »
-Left knee history-
Oct 06- injured knee, MRI shows torn meniscus, no action
June 09- knee begins popping, MRI shows large OCD lesion
Aug 09- OCD lesion removed, microfracture surgery, partial meniscectomy
Jan 19- biopsy for MACI, partial meniscectomy
Apr 19- MACI implantantion, meniscus allograft