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Author Topic: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010  (Read 7924 times)

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Offline ParisBaby

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MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« on: November 04, 2010, 07:35:05 PM »
Okay so I am going to go ahead and start my post-op diary 2 weeks before I am actually having surgery. I have to say, I am really really really freaked out about having this surgery. What is my surgery, you ask? I am basically having a MPFL reconstruction using a donor ligament to replace my current messed up and stretched out and generally crappy current ligament.  I have a long history of sublexing my knee cap (for laymen none medical people, popping my knee cap out of place) and once it happened again very badly, right after I had my son, I realized that I need to get this fixed. I can't dance, I can't walk comfortably for more than a couple hours and most importantly I cannot carry my son with any confidence that I won't fall.  Enough is enough; however I am not looking forward to this. I am so worried that it won't be fixed, I will never be "normal" again, I won't be able to exercise, etc. etc. It is maddening, almost to the point I would just like to have the surgery so I can get it over with.  So I am preparing the best I can... I am scheduling all my appointments, I am planning everything that I can ahead of time, and I am setting up rides since I won't be able to drive. I am doing my best to prepare for every eventual catastrophe fully aware that I cannot think of everything. lol.  Anyway, I am nervous as all get out and any suggestions anyone has would be welcome! I have been reading what I can on the boards here but it seems that alot of people have had a TTT with their MPFL, which thankfully I do not need. Although I have heard of the two, the MPFL is harder to recover from, so bummer for me. :)
I am already coming up with goals to discuss with my physical therapist right after surgery. I am very goal oriented and I need to know that there is progress and happiness for the things I want to do on the horizon. So goals in order of what I want to achieve in time sequential order:

1. Ride in a car comfortably
2. Start driving my car ASAP
3. Be able to walk without crutches by December 31st
4. Be able to walk without a brace by January 21st
5. Be able to start lightly exercising on the elliptical on February 17th
6. Be able to working out (the sweaty, hard working kind) by March 1st

Soooooo I will be back, as I get more nervous and as surgery looms closer and closer, and hopefully after surgery I can post that I making it to my goals
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 08:05:32 PM by ParisBaby »

Offline MPFLgirl

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 02:21:43 PM »
I had this surgery with a few other procedures on August 11th and let me tell you it is no picnic. I hope you make a quick recovery, but let me give you a little advice on some things you may want to have handy right after your surgery. You may want to get a raised toilet seat. Alot of people recommended this on the board, and I really wish I would have had one. Get a shower chair. You will not be strong enough to stand independently anytime soon after your surgery. This surgery cuts into alot of muscles and nerves and the pain is incredible at times. Ice was more helpful in the beginning, but now I use heat more. I hope they send you home with a cryro cuff. This is an ice machine with a knee wrap that allows you to continuously ice the knee. It is heaven after surgery. If they send you home with a CPM machine, use it as much as you can tolerate it. Last piece of advice, be very careful how far you push yourself in the beginning, this type of graft is very prone to tearing in the beginning. For the first 6 weeks you have to be very careful. My PT was great, but in the beginning it was alot of stretching and leg raises. Lucky for me that my surgeon did a double band replacement, but he used my hamstring (autograft). Since you are getting a donor (allograft), that is good, and you should not loose the hamstring muscle. But you will loose your quad muscle and it is so important to work this muscle back into shape. I wish you well with your surgery. Keep that positive outlook and you will do fine.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 02:37:04 PM by MPFLgirl »
MPFL reconstruction with lateral release and hamstring autograft 8/11/10

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 03:46:28 PM »
So here I am the day before surgery... still freaking out but trying not to think about it too much. I have such a fear of being put to sleep but I know that I DO NOT want to be awake for this, although it is funny that my OS offered that option to me. I thought he was kidding but nope, entirely serious, and I had to reassure him that under no circumstances do I want to know what is going on at any point during the surgery. In fact, if I could be drugged up before I even get to the hospital, I would, just so I can stop feeling so nervous.  I am reading through all my documentation, such as "Getting Your Skin Ready for Surgery" and "Sugery Information Checklist" and I am trying to take notes and feel prepared but all I keep thinking about it tomorrow, my life will change and it will be a long hard road to recovery.  I keep thinking positive and saying, maybe the recovery won't be as bad as I am imagining it, or I can do this, but I am very much afraid that I am lazy and afraid of pain and I will not to do the therapy perscribed and then I will loose my abilities with my knee.  I went to physcial therapy last week, in order to establish a baseline of use that I need to at least get back to this, where I am at before surgery, even though it is by no mean considered a win if I end up exactly as I was before surgery. So I feel like the anticipation of this surgery is going to be the worst of it for me, the inaction and the idea that I have no real frickin clue if I can do this.  So tomorrow is both coming way too fast and way too slow....

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 03:59:08 PM »
MPFLgirl - I have already purchased a shower chair from Aldi (gotta love that store) and I am borrowing a Cryocuff from a friend who had surgery a couple months ago, in case they dont send me home with one.  My OS wants me "up and moving around right away".  :o  I have to admit I challenged him on this, saying you mean you want me moving toward the couch right? and he put me in my place and said NO, I want you up on your crutches doing things that night.  I will be in a locked brace but I will be weight bearing right away, which is odd since none of the posts that I have seen have had that option right away.  I discussed with the physical therapist last week, when I would be able to possibly drive, she said two weeks after surgery, depending on my useage of pain meds.  Even I think that is a little soon so I am backing that goal up to 3-4 weeks just to be safe.  Thank you for the suggestions... I am making a list for my fiance to follow and letting him know what to expect :)

Sk8m8 - I went to P.T. last week and they gave me some exercises to do in the short time before my surgery, to strengthen my quad... One was to just tighten my quad muscle over and over again. Another is to sit down and raise my leg up and down about 5-7 inches up and slowly lower it.  Another is to lay on my stomach and raise and lower my leg up slowly. Another is to lay on my side and again raise and lower my leg.  I was told to do 15 sets of each exercise 2 times a day. 
I am only taking about 7 days off of work, which means I will be out for a total of 11 days.  I was told that I should take 2 weeks but I dont have that kind of vacation time and it is only a couple days so I am thinking I will make the attempt to come in anyway. I sit at a desk all day though, so I will be able to keep my leg elevated and wear the cryocuff as needed.  Good luck on your surgery... people get this done all the time, and survive and go on to live happy knee lives. I am sure we can do it too.

Offline Russ13100

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 11:34:29 AM »
ParisBaby good luck on your recovery!

Ironically I had the same procedure yesterday as well.  We should compare notes lol.

-Russ

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2010, 03:07:16 AM »
I am about 30 hours out from surgery and i have to say I am really upset that I went ahead with the surgery. I am in so much pain. The nerve block wore off and I have to say it has been pretty awful since then. The nurse called in a better drug called Lortab supposbly better than Percocet but I have to say it doesnt feel better. I am having constant muscle spasms up my thigh and around the site of surgery. I am supposed to be doing P.T. and bending my knee as much as I can up to 90 but I havent even attempted to do it. I am still trying to do ankle pumps and some quad sets but I feel like my knee is on fire constantly. I am weight bearing as much as I am able so I am still trying to walk on it with some aid of the crutches but even that is hard and I only get up like 4 times a day. I just dont see how this is going to get better. I feel like I am already behind on my exercises and I am never going to be pain free again. I am just really discouraged tonight and worried about the future.

Offline tybarra

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 02:22:51 PM »
I am about 30 hours out from surgery and i have to say I am really upset that I went ahead with the surgery. I am in so much pain. The nerve block wore off and I have to say it has been pretty awful since then. The nurse called in a better drug called Lortab supposbly better than Percocet but I have to say it doesnt feel better. I am having constant muscle spasms up my thigh and around the site of surgery. I am supposed to be doing P.T. and bending my knee as much as I can up to 90 but I havent even attempted to do it. I am still trying to do ankle pumps and some quad sets but I feel like my knee is on fire constantly. I am weight bearing as much as I am able so I am still trying to walk on it with some aid of the crutches but even that is hard and I only get up like 4 times a day. I just dont see how this is going to get better. I feel like I am already behind on my exercises and I am never going to be pain free again. I am just really discouraged tonight and worried about the future.


Paris Baby I had a MPFL repair using my own ligament back on July 15th. I want to be honest and say to be patient as it is a long road to recovery. But it does get better. The first month I would see improvement with each day after that I couldnt measure my improvement by day but by weeks even months. Not only is this surgery very painful but it is very emotional. I am 4 months post op and still get emotional over it. I wish you the best of luck for a speedy recovery and look forward to reading your progress! Take Care-Tybarra
Right MPFL Repair July 15th

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2010, 09:12:39 PM »
Day 4

So the last 72 hours have passed so quickly, it is amazing what can happen when you get decent drugs and you aren't in constant pain. The Lortab seems to be working well and I take a couple Aleve in between the doses of Loretab, I am able to function pretty good. I have showered for the first time, I can say that has done alot toward making me feel human again. I am really glad that I had the shower chair, it made showering not as bad. Plus my two sisters are nurses so they have been over helping me unwrap my dressings and rewrapping the ace bandage and doing the p.t. exercises.  My younger sister I can bully into being nicer to me, but my older sister isn't as sympathetic to my whining, which is good.  I was able to bend to about 35 degrees I think today with her and I did 2 sets of 15 which I consider a success. I go to my first session of physical therapy tomorrow so we shall see how we have been doing but I have been trying to stretch and do quad sets. The only thing I am concerned about now is that I was trying to tighten my quad with my sister and she was like, nope I dont feel anything. I thought I was tightening as hard as I could and she couldnt even tell. so I am anxious to hear what they think in therapy. I am sleepy now, I am sure it is from the execursion of traveling up and down the stairs and then doing the exercises. Plus my son is back home after staying with friends for a few days. It will be fun to see how we try to incorporate a 11 month old baby into our newly established routine. I am so happy he is home but I am taking a backseat to his needs, so I will have to share my husband's attention now. :) I am good with that, I just hope I can still progress as needed... more after my session tomorrow.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 05:59:20 PM »
Day 8

I have officially surpassed the week mark and I have to say, I am feeling pretty darn good, compaired to how I felt last week at this time.  :D
I am weight bearing about 75% with the brace locked and I can move around without my crutches sometimes.  I have taken 3 showers and they have all be successful, only one slip... beware of crutches on wet tile!  I have learned to have whoever is helping me dry off the floor before I even attempt to get up from the shower chair. I am going to give tips about my shower experience because it was vastly different between each caretaker, the one with the most experience obviously was the best. 

1.  Have a shower chair - it has been immeasurabley helpful. I got one at Aldi for 19.99 so they can be bought cheaply. Mine also has suction cups on the feet so it doesnt slide around.

2. Put all products needed in the shower close at hand. I even brushed me teeth in the shower since it was easier to do so sitting down rather than trying to hover above the sink and rest all my weight on my good leg.

3. When done with the shower have a towel ready. If someone is helping you this helps with some of the embarassment of showing your bits off to everyone.   I towelled off and then got in my shirt and undergarments. I also put on pants while in the shower chair.

So that it is  for now, it has been a really hard past few days, more on the home front as my fiance trys to balance my son and taking care of me. It has been hard on him, since he is not used to doing it all my himeself. And he is probably feeling jealous that I just sit back and do nothing while he is running around exhausted. I feel bad but I cant pick up my son or anything until the dr. tells me it is safe. So he is having a harder time than I am, I think. I think if I get more mobile, at least he wont have to take care of me.




Offline naturegirl

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 09:05:02 PM »
Hello!

Sounds like you are making a great recovery!  I saw you commented on my thread before your surgery, so I wanted to see how you are doing.  Let me say, I am jealous that you can weight bear already.  I wasn't allowed to for 5 weeks.  That makes life sooo much easier! 

Isn't being able to take a real shower amazing?  It made me feel so much better, even though it was hard and a bit scary (risking falling and whatnot). 

Hope it keeps going well! 

Jen
1999-ish: L knee hyperextension on trampoline
4/30/2010 Fulkerson Osteotomy and MPFL/LPFL reconstruction
Serving with Peace Corps July 2011-September 2013 in South Africa-knee is happy :)

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 10:32:54 PM »
Day 11

I had my first post-op visit with the OS today and I am a little discouraged from his reaction to my progress. I thought I was right on target, I thought I would earn my gold star for accomplishing all the things that the physical therapist wanted me to do, and then some. I am bending at 40 degress pretty easily with no pain, I can do a partial SLR, with a little bit of help, I am pretty much 100% weight bearing and I have stopped taking the medicine he perscribed and am able to be okay with just Tylenol.  I thought this was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC but apparently I was mistaken in this.  I am supposed to have better muscle control and be bending at 90 degrees at this point, the weight bearing is a given. I was a little confused because this is what his post op papers said but when I got to PT the first time the therapist was under the impression that the protocol was that I would bend 40 degrees the first two weeks and then at four weeks I should be at 90.  I even showed her the paper he gave me, then she looked at her notes and still decided the protocol was correct at 40/90.  I tell this to the fellowship surgeon (i call her the real surgeons assistant), when I told her that, she said "Well they are just goals, not limits." which made me feel stupid for not pushing myself to exceed the goals. I thought that they were mutually exclusive but apparently not. I do not like it when there is conflicting answers to the same question, especially when the PT and the OS are in the same building and are seriously 10 feet away from each other. I am going to discuss this with my PT on Wednesday when I go back.  I am restricted from driving until I can do both of those things and Gosh darn it I really thought I would be ready to drive by then end of this week. I am peeved.

But other than that little wrinkle, I think things are going just fine. I made it into work today, and I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to sit comfortably in the cheap chairs that they provide us here, which do not adjust go up or down, as well as the correct height to rest my unbendy leg and I only moved my computer twice. lol. So projects for tomorrow are to bring in a pillow for my back and try to figure out how to bend my knee in a locked brace. lol. I am also in a building that is not really set up for people who dont have two functioning arms and legs, so the doors are a little difficult to get into without getting wedged into it, since I have to swipe a badge and crutch over to the door and get it open before the swipe is deactivated. I am really uncomfortable at work so if anyone has any suggestions on what I can do to get comfortable enough to make it through a 8 hour workday, I would appreciate anything. I am trying all sorts of stuff but I cant stay comfortable for more than an hour and a half.
So an okay day but hopefully when I go home and put some ice on this puppy, I will feel better. And when I figure out what to do about my chair, I will probably feel even better.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2010, 01:49:54 PM »
Day 12

Last night was one of the worst nights since after I had surgery. I left work, thinking I need to push myself, like the OS said. I am way behind so I have obviously been mollycoddling myself so I really need to step this sh*t up. All these thoughts went through my head while my finance picked me up from work and we made plans to go straight to the grocery store. Now we didnt just go to a grocery store, we went to a mega store which is like the size of an airplane hangar. I told myself these things as we walked in and I decided to leave my crutches in the care, I told myself this as I was debating on wether or not to use a motorized shopping cart the first time, I told myself this as I was ASKED by the door greeter if I wanted a a motorized cart. Each time I brushed this offer off saying I needed to get exercise and practice walking without crutches if I wanted to be off them in a couple weeks.  I paid for my hubris, I was in such pain half way through the trip that I just wanted to sit on the floor and be carried out of there. I made it back to the car, through the torturous drive home and into the house.  I put my son to bed, while I cried and rocked him.  He is only 10 months old so he doesnt care what I do when I hold him as long as he gets fed and the goodnight music is on. lol  So I cried where no one could see me as I realized I had made the mistake of trying to be a hero and show everyone how much I really can do myself...  It was humiliating to realize that I can't control what I can and cannot do simply by thinking I can do it.
So after I put him to bed, with some assistance, I made it downstairs to my ice machine. I had my finance fill it with new ice and I sat there for about an hour icing my knee. He then brought me dinner and I ate it and then took a pain pill.  Then I iced it for another hour.  We managed to shower me and then I went to bed in a blissful state of unawareness due to the pain pill. I am debating on wether I should call the dr today because I made a big deal about how I was done with the pain meds and now I am wondering if I can make it though the work day without any. My knee is still very tender and sore today and sitting at my desk is torture and I can barely concentrate on things due to the fact that I just sit here thinking about my knee.  I might see if I can go home at noon since I am struggling this morning and I have only been here for about an hour.
I am chalking yesterday up to a really bad day but I am afraid today will be just as bad and it hard for me to shake my doldrums. I am just irritated that I cant make myself comfortable in this dumb chair with my leg on this box. lol. I am afraid to take pain med since I have no idea if it is going to be better or worse for me since I am already tired today. Woe is me.  ;) I will get through today, hopefully with my dignity intact.


Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 03:02:16 PM »
Day 13

Yesterday wasnt too bad, as the day progressed I started to feel more comfortable in my chair since I was able to figure out how to lower it another 2 inches which really made a difference how I was sitting and how high my leg was raised. I made it through a long 10 hour work day and then I came home to ice my knee.  It wasnt too bad.  Today I am working from home, thank god, my boss has said that I can try working from home on some days that I am not needed for meetings at the office. I am hopefully that this doesnt mean anything like they dont need me, but I am grateful for the opportunity since I can sit in my bed with my pillows and my ice machine and I can do my work. I tell you this is a good set up! I think today will be a good day! My physical therapy appointment went well, I told her about the OS visit and how I was really disappointed not to have met his expectations and that I wanted to push myself since I have another visit on the 13th and I was told he wants me at 90 degrees then with better muscle control.  So today I did a partial SLR all by myself! I am not able to lift very well by myself but I am able to lower it from a raised position all by myself. It is hard and my leg is shaking the whole time but I was able to do like 8 of those so I consider that to be progress for me.  I also got my leg to bend to 50 degrees, not comfortably but by sitting on the end of the table and using my good leg as a support to control the bend, I was able to get to 50.  I am really excited about that and I am going to really work this weekend to get another 10 degrees before Monday. I need to get to 90! So I have a goal and I will get there.

Offline Kmcsmiles

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 04:48:51 AM »
I think you are doing well!  I had a mpfl and a lpfl reconstruction on September 10th.  I also was allowed to partial weight bear right away.  The pain at first was worse than when I dislocated my knee but gets better.  You are doing pretty well to be off pain pills!  I won't burden you with you with all my complications but I am still on them 12 weeks later so you are doing well!  I was told 90 degrees by 5-6 weeks, but I know mine was slightly different with the lpfl.  Good for you to be back at work!  I am still not teaching.  It spunds like you are doing well for a few weeks out!

Kendra
   
12/20/89: diagnosed hypermobility joint syndrome
88-96 numerous checks/mri's on knee pain
91- left knee dislocate
93-96 rt and lt knee lateral release, plica removal
12/09 dislocated rt knee
09/10 rt knee mplf and lpfl reconstruction
06/11 rt knee repair nerve damage and ligament
10/10 MUA
6/11 r

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 06:10:27 PM »
Day 18

So I had PT this morning and I thought I had got to at least 70 degrees in bending but I was only officially at 62 this morning. Bummer, but I am happy since it is 12 more degrees than I had last week on Wednesday and I have been pushing myself all this week to get better. My PT and I have made the mini-goal of being at 70 on Wednesday when I go back for my bi-weekly appointment.  I am really hoping that I will be at 73 so then I can maybe get another 12 degrees by my OS appointment on Monday the 13th... My PT suggested using the shower or after the shower to help get the initial stretch out there... I have noticed that when I sti in my shower chair, I will raise my knee as far as I can with it hurting slightly and then I let the water run over it and it immediately feels better. I feel like I can get a better stretch out of it after my shower too, if I do that.  She said that the wet heat really helps loosen my ligaments up. I was thinking last night that it sure would be nice to have a hot tub right now. lol.  I havent attempted a bath yet, since I dont really like baths, the antibiotics already did a number on me, not to get to graphic and I am terrified of falling as I try to lower and raise myself into the tub. I will settle for 85 degrees if I have to and I will beg to unlocked my brace to at least 30 degrees. 

She also set me up on the electrical shock machine while I was doing my quad sets and my assisted leg raises. I am just having a really hard time getting my quad muscle to fire at all. The machine felt like ants were crawling all over my leg since I seem to have this strange numb yet overly sensitive skin area on the inside of my thigh above the MPFL scars.  It doesnt exactly hurt to have things touching it but I dont really like to have fabric or anything rubbing on it, so the electric shock was a trip. I can't even tell when I am flexing it, so it is really bothering me since that was another condition of me driving. I am going to really push hard the next week to get a good SLR.  I can pretty much lower it to some extent and I can kind of partially lift my leg but I cannot for the life of me get my darn heel off the ground myself. I dont know what else I can do since the quad sets, I feel like I tense every muscle EXCEPT my quad. My gluts and my lower back hurt from taking some of this strain of trying to make up for the quad. I can do all my other leg lifts just not a SLR. I think once I turn that corner I will really feel a sense of accomplishment. I have been walking around my work today with no crutches since they really are just a hassle to have and in the snow they are really useless and much more of a hazard to myself and to others. lol. So I bring them along, just in case my knee starts to hurt, but I dont use them very often.

I have found that I DONT like the ice machine. With it being winter and all, icing my knee makes me so cold that it is difficult to warm back up. It feels good on my knee but it really does feel so COLD. I have never liked the cold though so I am not surprised by my dislike. I am wondering if a heating pad will help offset some of the coldness... hmmmm. something to ponder.

Thanks Kendra for your encouraging note! It seems like I can only see my situation but I know that there alot of other people out there that have had a harder recovery than I and I am grateful for it.

Anyway, here is to the goal of 73 on Wednesday and a better SLR.