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Author Topic: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline VillaB

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Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« on: May 22, 2010, 11:44:15 PM »
Hi there,
             My left knee dislocated 4 times in 4 months, starting last November -- twice when I was sitting on the sofa very relaxed and twice when I was dozing in bed in the morning and just turned over. It is obviously a fairly bizarre experience so I have seen a GP and a specialist about it. An x ray and an MRI showed I have a meniscal tear from an old injury (cruciate ligament, which caused minor instability) and generally loose ligaments on both knees. The general anatomy seemed fine, but the muscles were a bit unbalanced and there was some plica.
      The specialist proposed an arthroscopy but frankly, I think he just wants to root around and have a fiddle, and I don't think he's really understood why it happened. I have another appointment lined up this week with another specialist who treats Italian footballers' knees (I'm living in Italy).
    My own theory is that I ran into problems when I stopped doing regular exercise, after taking a desk job, plus a bit of general instability. I started exercising again when I got fed up waiting for a specialist's appointment, and I have not had a recurrence for two months.  I have no pain (and never really had any). My question for anyone out there is whether I should avoid surgery or let them poke around with a knife.

Offline Silkncardcrafts

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Re: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 09:24:33 AM »
Hi there,

That is exactly how my knee caps used to come out, but now I have had surgery it never happens.

I would avoid surgery as much as you can. The fact that you haven't had problems for a few months due to exercising is a good sign.

Make sure you ask about getting some CT scans done. They are the best scans together with plain x-rays for assessing patella problems.

It sounds like the first OS you saw didn't really know what he was doing and just was plucking solutions out of thin air !

Good luck. When is your appointment ?
11/1996 - RK LR
07/1997 - LK LR
11/1998 - LK MPFL Reco
12/2005 - RK LR Repair
07/2006 - LK MPFL Repair
11/2006 - LK LR Repair
22/05/08 - LK Trochleoplasty
11/02/10 - RK Trochleoplasty
07/03/11 - RK Chrondroplasty

Offline VillaB

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Re: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 10:12:32 AM »
Hi Silkncardcrafts,
                           Thanks for your quick reply. My appointment is on May 27th and the more I read the less I want to go down the surgery route. Is there a name for this condition? (I haven't understood if it is patellar subluxation or dislocation, but it certainly feels like dislocation to me) and also for the procedure you had. The other question, I guess, is that the MRI revealed a meniscal tear but I haven't really had any symptoms for that. Is it the kind of thing you can just leave, or does make them more likely to want to operate?

Offline Silkncardcrafts

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Re: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 01:18:41 PM »
Hi there,

Not long till your appointment then. Mine is this week too as I am having problems with swelling and just won't go down.

It is called patella instability. A patella dislocation is when the knee cap goes completely out of the groove and a subluxation is when it partially goes out. Sometimes you may not experience pain for a meniscus tear. Mostly they like to take it out, just depends on how bad it is. If you are going to a surgeon that works with a lot of elite athletes you should be in good hands.

I had a trochleoplasty, where they deepen the groove the kneecap sits in. My kneecaps used to come out very easily and that operation has now addressed that. There are many reasons why you may have patella instability, but is important to identify why. That is the reason why CT scans are so important and really tell the full story.

Let us know how you go.
11/1996 - RK LR
07/1997 - LK LR
11/1998 - LK MPFL Reco
12/2005 - RK LR Repair
07/2006 - LK MPFL Repair
11/2006 - LK LR Repair
22/05/08 - LK Trochleoplasty
11/02/10 - RK Trochleoplasty
07/03/11 - RK Chrondroplasty

Offline VillaB

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Re: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 05:46:59 PM »
The GOOD NEWS is that the Professor (one of Italy's leading knee specialists) advised against surgery, unless it gets worse or becomes unbearable. He recommended that I carry on building up the quadriceps to stabilise the knee. He didn't seem very interested in the meniscal tear.  I don't even have to do physio, but he sent me off to the gym with a personal trainer to learn the exercises. It was really cool as the gym was full of framed jerseys of footballers and photos of professional athletes he's treated (eg Totti, Serie A's leading goal scorer...)

The BAD news is that the following day at work, (yesterday) I got up suddenly, turned and sprained my knee! The same knee.  I wouldn't be surprised if the muscles were a bit weak after being pulled around and exercised on the night before. At first I thought it had dislocated it as there was a kind of click, but now I'm hobbling around thinking I tweaked the ligaments again.

This kind of fits in with both doctors' diagnoses -- they both said I had pretty loose ligaments, even  on the "good" knee. Anyway, there's not much swelling and it doesn't seem unstable, so I'll give it a week and give him a call if it's not getting better.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, a second opinion is a good idea because sometimes there are alternatives to surgery.

Offline VillaB

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Re: Knee dislocates when I'm VERY relaxed...
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2011, 09:55:19 AM »
UPDATE:

Well the good news is, with good advice, I have not had another dislocation in over a year. The bad news is that I stopped doing my exercises over the summer, stopped going running, (it got very hot here in Rome) let the muscles get a bit limp...and now I've had 2 subluxations within 2 months.

Each time I've just had a split-second of instability (even while walking in a straight line), a nasty pain, and then the sense that the ligaments on the side have been yanked, so quite sore and dodgy feeling for a couple of weeks.

It happened yesterday and it's a bit sad, because the day before, I had got back on the exercise bike with a view to building up the quads again. Maybe I overdid it.

I've been reading other comments here that say dislocation is far more painful than subluxation, but you know what, I've found the opposite. But then, my weird dislocation moments were always when I was very relaxed.

Still don't regret avoiding surgery. Like the footballer's knee man said -- best case scenario rehabilitation is 3 months of pain and physio and if you can keep out of trouble by just doing exercises, then do it.















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