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Author Topic: Neverending knee pain?  (Read 1340 times)

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Offline Ellasyn

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Neverending knee pain?
« on: January 08, 2010, 02:51:15 PM »
I used to have a login on here as Smeagol, but no longer really use that email, so Ill explain again.

I had knee pain from the age of about 10, and had an investigative arthroscopy at 12.  Diagnosis was synovial chondromatosis, so they cleaned out all the pieces.  The pain came back after a couple of years and they monitored it until it got unbearable and they operated again when I was 18. Just a clearout and it did absolutely nothing for the pain and didnt stop the locking either.  I went back to that OS after a couple of months saying it wasnt fixed at all and he said of course it was and that the pain was all in my head.  My parents decided that the OS was right and that I was attention seeking.  After months of trying to get it fixed trying ultrasound and acupuncture and physio with no improvement my parents finally realised I was genuinely in pain and let me go and see an OS at a hospital 6 hours away.   I had to pay for the consultation and x rays, but the OS decided there was significant pain and booked for an operation on the NHS.  They cleared out and did a partial synovectomy leaving me almost completely pain free for 2 years.  The pain and locking returned at the end of 2008, so after much arguing with my GP I managed to get referred back to an OS.  They spent a long time sending me to physio and telling me its in my head or that I just needed more painkillers.  Eventually they got in touch with the nice OS from miles away and the local OS admitted I needed surgery again.  He insisted the MRI scans etc showed no disease and that surgery was pointless, yet when he went in he found a 12mm long piece of cartilage type stuff and signs of the disease returning on the lining.  The operation was summer '09.  He removed the piece and left everything else alone. 

I had no relief from pain after the last operation although it did stop the locking.  When I went back he said there was nothing else he could do, and passed me on to another OS.  I finally had an appointment with the new OS on the 6th of Jan this year.  He had a look and decided the pain was real and needed sorting, which was progress, but thinks my symptoms are due to fluid and scarring on/around the fat pad.  He wants to shave away and clear out a significant amount and thinks that will stop the pain. 

Im currently suffering from a burning pain in most of the medial side of the right knee, as well as what feels like semi dislocation of the bone at the back of the knee when Im sitting for long periods.  Ive also recently developed a graunching pain in the front of the knee below the kneecap as I go up stairs.  I cant kneel on it and squatting is painful.  Im on and off crutches as the pain gets too much to walk.  I currently have to take 2 acupan 3 times a day and some other painkillers overnight that make me sleep better aswell.  I have had to heat it a lot with the recent weather which has eased the aching from the cold.  It doesnt really swell, but then Im not one of those people that swell up much anyway.  I havent been able to do much sports, or exercise, or even walk much distance without a great deal of pain.  Im fed up of being 23 and a jobless stressed woman thanks to this knee when I could be doing so much more.

Does anyone have any experience of this sort of pain and what should I expect from this latest surgery? Is it likely to work? How long to recover?

Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing from people.


Offline Clarkey

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Re: Neverending knee pain?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 03:32:05 PM »
Hi There,

Sorry that you have been through a lot already with your knee and its still not right today and can share your experience of people telling me its all in my head including the physio I saw on the NHS. I also had an MRI scan come up normal but when my OS looked inside my knee had to remove the fat pad and plica which were rubbbing against my bone and causing catching and sharp pain.

I am 7 weeks post up and get pain on the medial side of knee where the plica was removed has you OS ever mentioned medial plica excision to you. I am not sure if its worked or not having my fat pad removed but been told you can live without it. I also read up it acts as a shock absorber so not sure if its good to live without one. My MRI scan did show an inflammed fat pad surrounded by fluid but the OS that saw my scan said it not causing any problems but was wrong as he had to remove it once he was inside my knee.

I cannot squat or kneel down after having surgery back in November but been told by my OS could take 3 to 6 months before I can kneel down again and may take about the same time for you kneel down again after you have had your surgery. Hope your next surgery is more successful.

Nick :) {2010} :)


RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline Ellasyn

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Re: Neverending knee pain?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 03:37:54 PM »
Hey, thanks for the reply.  Ive not had any mention of plica excision, although the last operation apparently showed relatively good soft tissue barring the start of the chondromatosis again.  Im not so much worried about losing shock absorbers, if its gone and so is the pain, I can do stuff, just carefully, whereas now I cant do anything.  Its been 5 months since my op and physically seems to have recovered well, the inability to kneel was from before the operation and just hasnt gone away.  It annoys me a bit to think I went through all that operation and stuff for no gain, but I think I just got an Os that didnt know what to do with something out of the ordinary.

Offline Ellasyn

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Re: Neverending knee pain?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 08:19:21 PM »
Ive had a date through for my surgery, monday 15th.  Im hoping this will fix the pain which has been getting progressively worse.  Im still not quite sure of what to expect recovery wise though as my previous surgery has been from just 2 weeks to recover to a couple of months. 

The OS wanted me to have a lot of physio on the knee straight after to make sure I dont mess everything up again by walking on it incorrectly, but I dont know what sort of stuff that would be.  My previous "physio" has been basically use your leg, do leg lifts, goodbye. 

What recovery and physio should I expect from this?  Im wanting to get mobile and get a job ASAP but obviously having loads of time off for physio sessions or because Im recovering isnt a good look.