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Author Topic: Struggling to walk 8 months post ACL reconstruction/meniscus repair  (Read 1060 times)

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Offline Kara_p47

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Hi there,
I am almost 8 months post op (acl reconstruction & meniscus repair) and I am still having trouble walking let alone returning to sport. My knee seems to give out upon the normal gait action of walking but if I keep it locked straight it is fine just a bit painful. I still have a considerable amount of knee pain, mainly around my knee cap and patella (I think). It also seems to me when compared to my other knee that my kneecap has sort of sunk into my knee if that makes sense. It is most noticeable (or not noticeable) on flexion, you can hardly see it at all. My other symptoms include quad and hamstring wasting, and clicking and catching within my knee and numbness around my knee and on the outside of my calf to my foot. I also experience pins and needles and lack full extension and flexion. Could this be due to scar tissue as I was immobilized for over a month? My OS refuses to believe it has anything to do with my knee but rather a "lazy" femoral nerve post block. I have had numerous tests on my thigh and lower spine, as well as nerve conduction studies, all of which came back fine. My OS has now just said it should come good in time when the nerve wakes up and I just have to wait it out! I'm so frustrated because I feel as though it could actually be something within my knee causing all the other problems, not the nerve but he hasn't and won't do any tests to exclude this?
Has anyone had anything similar happen? I'm getting desperate!!!
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Offline Kaputt_Knee

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  • [Ed: Sue sadly passed away in 2016]
Re: Struggling to walk 8 months post ACL reconstruction/meniscus repair
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 12:05:42 PM »
Hi Kara,

I do not know where in the world you are so if some of this does not apply then sorry.

You can ask to see an independent specialist to evaluate your MRI and X-rays. Typically they would not be associated with your current specialist or hospital. If there is a problem as a result of your reconstruction they should be able to identify it.

The fact that your knee gives out is probably more due to the lack of muscle around your knee, as is some of the pain on walking. The clicking and catching could also be due to this and will get worse as the muscles waste. It is a bit of a Catch-22 situation when you are having pain when using an injured joint like the knee.

As for the numbness - yes it is a bit of a bummer but it happens. The whole of the inner side of my knee and calf, plus the shin are numb and that is getting on for 2.5 years after my revision. On my other knee I still have a numb patch after nearly 19 years. These are superficial numb areas - i.e. they are only in the skin, not deep tissue or joint numbness. I know how disconcerting it can be and if it is not handled properly from the beginning it is very easy to worry about it - believe me I've been there and done that. My numb patch on my right leg is very slowly reducing in size, the one on my left changes its size, mainly it seems with the weather.

You are obviously in defense mode with regards to your reconstruction and I don't blame you at all. Until you get some reassurance that things are OK you will not be able to overcome this.

You say it is only a "bit painful" when you keep it locked - by keeping it locked you are actually stopping your muscles from working properly. The lack of full extension could be a result of this as well as the pins and needles sensation. If it helps at all, I have the sensation most days that my shin is covered with cold jelly and has ants crawling around in it having a party! I have learnt to ignore it as it does not actually affect my gait.

Try to get an independent review and then get some intensive physiotherapy on a one-to-one basis. After this length of post-operative time, group therapy will only discourage you to be honest.

Good luck

Sue  ;)
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee