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Author Topic: 11 months after microfracture still getting pain somebody please talk to me  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline thedaggster

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Hello,
I am in serious need of some information. Here I am, mid October and heading into November. I had undergone microfracture surgery on November 30th of last year(2009). My surgeon was only able to "poke" one or two holes in the affected area. So the area was very very small. I don't experience any locking by any means and have been doing my physical therapy. I am wondering what could be the possibility that I am still experiencing pain, is it scar tissue? I have always been a very active athlete and have now spent 11 months out of everything. I am really concerned that I will have to skip another skiing season.

Can anyone provide me with any information as for what I should do as far as exercises, knee braces, drugs e.t.c. that will assist me to heal properly. How long might this pain still last. I am only 25 years old and have never had any knee problems in my life before this. I promise I will do anything that anyone tells me, as long as it will speed my recovery or assist me to understand what might be going on under my knee cap.

I had seen the doctor 2 months ago and went in for another MRI. He reviewed the results and explained that the area is filled in and "glazed" over. It is apparently still healing. Am i supposed to lay off of it completely or continue to try to strengthen the muscles around the affected area? If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate any possible suggestions. Thanks a lot.

Offline knee always hurts

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When are you experiencing pain? Is it constant or intermittent? Does it occur more during certain activities? What is your current level of function? Are you doing any exercises at all outside of PT?

You've definitely come to the right place though, if you're looking to commiserate. I'm 26 now, and last summer I was the epitome of good health. Then I had an accident running on Sept. 4th last year. I actually injured my foot. Somehow, a strange chain of events that still boggles my mind happened, and I now have two rotten knees, each with a separate problem, and neither of which I had before July this year. Prior to that, I had a horrid and indescribably painful problem in my left knee which has since subsided, but both of my knees are essentially ruined, at least in the near term. Prior to last September, I had also never had a single problem with my knees. I think that is how this often happens, sadly.

Alright, it's not often that somebody promises to do something I tell them to. Actually that almost never happens, so this is quite exciting. Start by reading this thread here:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=53006.0

Take a look a this fellow's blog as well. You can't argue with success, I don't think. He had persistent, intractable knee pain for over a year and is now completely cured.

Then, read these medical papers. There are three of them:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:sIxlKJaiqGYJ:rehabeducation.com/main/wp-content/uploads/Therapeutic%2520implications%2520of%2520tissue%2520homeostasis.pdf+synovium+irritation&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiMFOXRVhxrNp-vyd2N412erMdLYT51ZxagCtws0q--x1BuKdZhvDaCJzzNAvqpjcUGZ6zJEMCf60Yg4McSC8qyqJswR9Yv4SvprHm0UDbt3e-W1MSLtb4nHXQiwt47Nx3sCd5a&sig=AHIEtbTwvpWG6Zql7FWhLn0MInvJsws4Ng

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:w42Ub7Mx5UYJ:rehabeducation.com/main/wp-content/uploads/Patellofemoral%2520Pain%2520-%2520Current%2520concepts.pdf+role+of+synovium+in+patellofemoral+pain&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiaF03W7rL6sHTpe32GnYPBQAMLDeDDd65xw95lieCutrCa3-E5p-CdgsisjCmBshwwO3lx_cPk-STSseTcMJ6u-D-lkHWoZ0ZMlhe4jaQra7YrZAZUXxFE90dII0ydmboKuHJx&sig=AHIEtbTtD9pPn0RwGicAjcPFm1nzDR2LhQ

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:4msKEpZCA24J:prdupl02.ynet.co.il/ForumFiles_2/19447772.pdf+The+Pathophysiology+of+Patellofemoral+Pain&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgGIVZMNaVoTwM0D9wAvqt3-f2aEHuIF0hnWOdEYXFiLlGFVJnjfQmbs4FsQ7VbWO_OiUmt_jxBwg1wHu5bY24AhdW6X80qJx4w2S-iEiDd8zoQPXkWnPg1c5484uLbMXHdnzTC&sig=AHIEtbRuEhbHlhgdwVnugn-_0eOiBdncTQ

They're a bit dense, but if you've been suffering for almost a year, it's worth the time and effort to slog through it.

Then, if you feel like it, and only if, take a look at a couple of other threads chronicling the saga that has been my knee pain experience. Now I'll have to warn you, some of my posts are a bit, err, flamboyant. But I think a bit of hilarity is a good counterbalance to the ache in my knees:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=52020.0

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=52770.0

Finally, do ask any questions you might have.

Oh, and an answer to your question, "How long might this pain still last." It will last until the conditions necessary for it to subside are in place. There isn't any time frame on it.

Good luck!

Offline AndrewH

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I had microfracture 13 months ago. The pain never went away despite the fact that the defect completely filled in.

I had mosaicplasy 3 months ago and the pain has already gone!

In saying that I did also have microfracture on a small lesion on my patella 3 months ago and its also fine. It wasn't causing me any pain pre-surgery however.

From what I've read it can take up to 18 months or longer =for microfracture to work. But if its still giving you problems after 11 months then it doesn't look good.
June 09 - Microfracture to MFC right knee 1.5 x 1cm
July 10 - Mosaicplasty to MFC right knee 1.4 x 1.2cm (4 plugs) plus mosaicplasty to small lesion on patella (1 plug) and microfrcature to another small lesion, also on patella

Offline kscope09

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If the mfx worked why then did you need the mosaicplasty?
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o

Offline AndrewH

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If the mfx worked why then did you need the mosaicplasty?

It only "worked" in so far as it filled in the defect. The fibrocartilage that filled in the defect wasn't good enough to stop the pain however. I was no better after microfracture as I was pre microfracture.

Mosaicplasty seems to be much better so far.

I did also have microfracture on a seperate lesion on my patella this summer however. It wasn't bothering me before surgery however and isn't causing me any problems now either.

June 09 - Microfracture to MFC right knee 1.5 x 1cm
July 10 - Mosaicplasty to MFC right knee 1.4 x 1.2cm (4 plugs) plus mosaicplasty to small lesion on patella (1 plug) and microfrcature to another small lesion, also on patella

Offline thedaggster

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The pain comes when I bend the knee past 90 deg. and bear any weight on it. I am doing exercises that the pt's had given to me as I finished pt a long time ago. Is there another surgery that I might need to get. like I said the last mri that was looked at showed that the lesion had completely been filled in. But I dont know what the hell the cartilage has to do after that in order to heal properly. Can anyone offer any more suggestions as to what I might have to do to speed up this process or strengthen the muscles around this area. should I just start using it again and see if the thing gets better.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated and are definitely welcomed, Thanks.

Evan

Offline knee always hurts

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Well, I can only suggest again reading the links I posted. Continue with the physical therapy exercises that are painless. You are preventing your tissues from healing properly if you are overloading them. Generally, if you can find a range of acceptable painless activities, you could probably recover within a few months. If the defect is significant enough, then maybe only something like a mosiacplasty would help. But I think in most circumstances you should be able to rehab it with gentle activities.

Offline jt801

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Hi-i am 20 months out from my microfracture. Mine was done on the weight bearing part of the lateral femoral condyle. Like you i continued to have pain and soreness well past the point that i thought i should still have it and was afraid to try to do anything. Finally i decided just to step up my activity level when my OS told me that despite what i was feeling my MRI looked good. I have been back to sports for about 9 months and my pain level hasnt gotten any worse; in any case to me its a fair trade for the improvement in my knee function compared to pre-surgery. With all that said i obviously dont know that much about what kind of pain you are experiencing. In my case its kind of a persistent ache that varies in severity and comes and goes. I would say that if this is what you are experiencing and not getting sharp pains, then you might try to start a few activities and see how you respond. Good luck!
12/99 left knee lateral release and plica removal
1/09 right knee chondroplasty and microfracture LFC