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Author Topic: Still experiencing pain after arthroscopy and lateral release and scab  (Read 1971 times)

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Offline linday

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Hi

Can anyone please give me the benefit of their advice?  After several years of suffering pain in my left knee on the outer left side just below the kneecap I was finally diagnosed with a possible cartilage problem and advised to have an arthroscopy and lateral release.  I had the operation 8 weeks ago.   There was a lot of bleeding and I was off work for five weeks (having been told two!).    After the operation my knee felt quite stiff rather than painful so i was quite pleased.

However, as the swelling went down and I became more mobile and started going for walks I am now experiencing the same pain as before the operation only worse!  When I mentioned  this to the physio she suggested that it was part of the healing  process but I am not sure about this.   I find that after any extended period on my feet or after a walk the pain is so bad I need to rest for the remainder of the day.  i was advised to wear the othotics which were prescribed before the operation.   I find this very frustrating, especailly as my husband and I used to enjoy  going out for walks in the country with friends.   I am getting very depressed about this.

Also I still have quite a large scab on the incision site which has not yet fallen off.  I have to  wear a plaster on this most of  the time as I am afraid of  catching it and pulling  it off.  Shoudn't this have fallen off by now?  I also have a large vertical scar down the side of my knee but this is healing quite well.   Any advice appreciated.

Offline TwoBadKneesUSA

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Did the OS give you a good reason for the lateral release?  Or was is just suggested because you have a cartilage issue?  Sometimes an isolated LR can be of benefit, but they are few.  You may want to talk to your GP or get a second OS to look at it.  It might be too soon for another OS to be willing to look as you are only two months out.  WIth my second LR I had a ton of bleeding into the joint and it took a lot longer for that knee to get better.  It hurt for quite a long time when I did anything, so some of what you are experiencing can be because of that.
'83 lt knee scope
'88 lt knee LR
'89 rt knee LR (6 mos. after left)
'05 rt knee scope (clean up)
7/5/07 - scope, LR left, right clean
3/19/08 - LR failed, Supartz failed
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=47974.0
8/21/08 - new OS apt
8/5/09 - TTT, LR, PFJR sched.

Offline linday

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Thanks for your reply.  The reason for the lateral release was that the patella was misaligned and did not move as it should have and therefore the tendons had become tight and thickened.   As you say it might be because there was a lot of bleeding and the arthroscopy incision site is just where the orignal pain was.   However, the pain seems to be at the end of the bones rather than in the knee.   I was just wondering if I should maybe wait a bit longer to see if there is any further recovery.   It just seems very difficult to get an opinion on how long the recovery time should be.  This seems to vary from person to person.

Offline TwoBadKneesUSA

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Unfortunately recovery is different for everyone.  Typically recovery takes 6-12 months.  I know that some docs think it is much sooner but for most it is not.  The one I had on my right knee took almost 18 months before it felt reasonably normal again.  It is the one I had all the problems with, bleeding, scar tissue, lots of swelling....  Your results may vary.  Some of the pain may be due to the body adjusting to the new position of the kneecap.  More time may resolve it, but if you are very concerned try to get back to your OS.
'83 lt knee scope
'88 lt knee LR
'89 rt knee LR (6 mos. after left)
'05 rt knee scope (clean up)
7/5/07 - scope, LR left, right clean
3/19/08 - LR failed, Supartz failed
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=47974.0
8/21/08 - new OS apt
8/5/09 - TTT, LR, PFJR sched.

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Hi There,

When you have any type of surgery you form scar tissue and some people get it more then others so its important to ice the knee every couple of hours to reduce the swelling so less scar tissue builds up, that can be hard to get right again once you have it.

I did not rest and ice my knee often enough after my scope and now have a build up of scar tissue that may need to be removed surgically. I just do not want others to get to this stage, so is important to keep iceing and elevating.

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 Frank Lawler

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Did you have PT after the operation? In my case, the therapist agressively dug his thumb into the site of the release,
forcing as much pain as I could stand, in order to prevent the formation of scar tissue. I did recover quickly, however in my case the initial improvement did not last.
2002 LR both knees
2009 Synovectomy both knees
2010 Patella Realignment right knee

Offline Lottiefox

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Some good advice here - one other thing that flags up for me - you say you're wearing orthotics that were prescribed before the operation. It might be worth checking that these still meet your needs. A LR shifts the dynamics of the knee and like all good puzzles, this affects our feet, ankles, hips and so on....pre surgery orthotics might now not be the right sort for your "new" knee tracking.

Hang in there,

Lottie  :)
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....















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