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Author Topic: Surgery Worth It?  (Read 687 times)

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Offline Jessyca

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Surgery Worth It?
« on: October 01, 2009, 04:57:09 AM »
Ok, background info is in a thread called Jessica's Knee Adventure.

You may recall that I am wearing a DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite brace about 8 hours a day.  My OS had me try it 2 months ago so that I could postpone a Lateral Release/debridement surgery until February.

Well, long story short, it feels great!  But only if I wear the brace.  I can run.  I'll be ice skating next week (as soon as the rink opens)  The only thing I still can't really do is swim, because I can't wear my brace in the water.

Here's the dilemma... I am 20 years old.  My career depends on my knees.  So, do I risk a third surgery?  I completely trust my current surgeon, and believe he has the ability to actually fix my knee.  But, the memory of two failed surgeries still haunts me.  As long as I'm wearing my brace, I can do what I want to be doing.  How do I know if that is enough?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 05:00:23 AM by Jessyca »
February 9, 2006 Fell skiing, knee twisted.
July 12, 2006 Arthroscopic surgery
October 23, 2006 Possible reinjury
January 10, 2007 Arthroscopic surgery
August 13, 2009 Bracing my knee until surgery in January
January 29, 2010 Arthroscopic surgery - LR/debridement

Offline steggles87

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Re: Surgery Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 05:18:23 AM »
I'll start by saying that I am by no means a professional of any sort. But in my opinion I would have said don't do the surgery had it not been for 2 factors; a) you are only 20y.o and b) your career depends on your knees. You have your whole life ahead of you and I think if your surgeon still has faith that you should give it one more go. I understand how hard it is but a lifetime of dodgy knees and a higher potential for increased problems later on in life probably doesn't justify sitting back and letting nature take its course. The fact that you have great mobility and strength NOW will hopefully help your speedy recovery. All the best.

Offline crankerchick

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Re: Surgery Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 02:16:00 PM »
Hi Jessyca. That's a tough call and ultimately a decision only you can make of course. I just want to point out that your failed surgeries weren't really failures. They were the wrong surgeries to do in the first place. My OS often says, a minimally invasive procedure is maximally invasive if it doesn't work. In your case, it's not like you had a failed LR or failed TTT--at least those surgeries are attempts to address alignment issues. An arthroscopy for a meniscus is hardly even in the ballpark of what was/is wrong with your knee, unless your stability/pain issues now really are as a result of muscle atrophy after the scopes.

I had a surgery 2 years ago, and I don't consider it a failure. It was never intended to fix my lifelong knee problems. It was intended to remedy the acute pain I was experiencing at that time that was different from any pain I had felt previously, and it was successful in that endeavor. The pain was from the plica catching in my joint, he took out the plica, pain problem solved. Unfortunately, it wasn't the right surgery for me to have because it just fixed a symptom of a greater problem. At that time, I had been told all my life that my knee problems were something I would have to deal with forever, so I wasn't surprised when that doctor said the scope wasnt going to fix the lifelong problems. To me, I had 2 different issues, my lifelong problem which didn't seem to be too bad at that time, and the new, acute problem, which the surgery was supposed to fix (and it did). But looking back now, I know that inflammed plica 2 years ago was just another symptom of my bigger problem, so while my surgery wasn't a failure, it just wasn't the right surgery to do because it wasn't getting at the root cause. 2 years ago, it was too easy to believe that I was having 2 separate issues that weren't related. Now I know, they probably were. Something was causing that plica to get inflamed, and my surgery didn't address that.

So in my true to rambling nature, I just want to say that in your case, your past is what it is--the past. Those surgeries were the wrong surgeries to start, so of course they failed. But if you are confident now that the LR/debridement are the right procedures, then you can't let the past failures guide you, especially when they aren't really "failures." I think the real questions are, do you want to wear a knee brace for the rest of your life and are you putting your knee at any risk by not fixing the problem?
Mar '07 - plica excision
Oct '09 - femoral + tibial derotational osteotomy & TTT
Aug '10 - hardware removal
"You control your leg. Don't let it control you." -Smart trainer
"Get your a$$ in gear and go for it! Nothing will happen until you make it!" -Smart doctor

Offline eaglemom

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Re: Surgery Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 02:16:25 PM »
This is a tough call - and really only one you can make.  I'm not a os / nurse / pt person, etc - but you have to decide the quality of life that the knee is allowing you to have.  I too would be extremely nervous with failed surgieries in the past (I'm there now) but you are very young.  Possibly take a deep breath and really examine how much the knee holds you back.  Next since you've admitted it your knee determines you life and you much have the brace on.  So is that how you want it to be - with a brace?  Nothing wrong with that if your ok with it. I would think at some point though your going to want a life without the brace - maybe then you have the surgery but not now.  And why the pressure to decide now?  You have until the morning of the surgery to totally decide.  Not sure I've helped here, but its a tough call either way.  eagle

Offline Jessyca

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Re: Surgery Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 03:24:24 PM »
Thanks for all the info and advice  :)
February 9, 2006 Fell skiing, knee twisted.
July 12, 2006 Arthroscopic surgery
October 23, 2006 Possible reinjury
January 10, 2007 Arthroscopic surgery
August 13, 2009 Bracing my knee until surgery in January
January 29, 2010 Arthroscopic surgery - LR/debridement















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