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Author Topic: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010  (Read 7922 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.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2010, 03:18:15 PM »
Day 20

I am the happiest person today.  I did a SLR by myself last night. Actually, I did 5.  I was having an awful night, my baby was crying cause he woke himself up and nothing I could do was soothing him, because normally I walk around with him in my arms and that works when nothing else will. Well with the brace on, I cant carry him and my walk is all stiff and unbalanced so I was so frusterated that I couldnt even help my son and nothing seemed like it was getting better. Not the bend, not the strength and I did this surgery for nothing... So I was sitting in bed and I am like this is the dumbest thing ever, I can control how much effort I put in and I WILL lift this  f-ing leg if it is the last thing I do.  So using the tips I found on naturgirl's post surgery blog (1. DO NOT tighten your glutes or your lower back. If you feel like you are, you need to poke yourself in those muscles to remind yourself to relax them. It helps, I swear.  2. Push the bottom of your heel out and flex your foot and raise from there.)  Using these tips, this is the first time I could actually FEEL my quad and knee cap engaging. I was so excited.  So I did some warm up quad sets and then I tightened my brace up and I lifted it.  It was AMAZING! I think I have subconciously been scared to lift it since I am terrified that I cant control the bend and that it will drop suddenly and hurt me. So I did 5 of the SLR's and my other leg lifts and I felt really good.
I have been really working on quad sets now that I know how to do them correctly, although I would say that 5 out of 10 of them are wrong and I have to start over, not tightening my glutes and lower back.

So I had PT again today and I had to do the SLR without my brace which is much harder for some reason, but this is the way my OS is going to make me do it on Monday, so I need to do whatever it is that he is going to make me try.  So I did the E-stim machine while doing quad sets and the SLR's. I am still having some trouble lifting my heel without the brace (I think it is my subconscious fear) but I am able to raise it once she starts me and I am able to hold it and lower slowly all by myself.  So I am going to practice a ton over the next 4 days and hopefully I can do it on Monday.  Also! I got to 75 degrees which is PAST my goal of 73. I hung my leg over the side of the table, we put a hot pack on it and I worked on it for about 5 minutes and at the end I was able to get to 75 degrees.  This is so great because when I first started this morning, I was only at 58 which was less that what I had on Monday and I was really downcast.  The heat felt amazing, it really took my mind off the pain of the tightness and helped me focus on controlling the bend. I raised and lowered my leg with my other leg several times trying to make sure that it is a nice and smooth controlled movement, just so that my knee can remember what it feels like to bend back and forth.  It helped work some of the pain out too when I was tired of pushing the stretch. 

So all in all, a wonderful day at PT and some more motivation to get to where I need to be on Monday. I think I might actually make my goals and that makes me so fricking happy that I can't even put it into words.  I am going to work really hard over the next several days to get the bend out and hopefully push it to 90 degrees and I will be using the time at work sitting at my desk to do several quad sets a day. Today has given me hope that my knee might be "normal" again someday and that it can happen. I haven't had that hope for 3 weeks now and I have to say it feels pretty darn good.

I am also going to get some Vitamin E. My scar is starting to scab and peel a little which for some reaon I find fascinating, but it isnt shaping up to be a nice scar so my PT said Vitamin E oil. Plus it is so dry and yucky cold out that I guess my skin could use a little extra moisture.

Oh and one more thing! I have done the last two PT sessions with NO pain meds whatsoever. No tylenol, no prescribed drugs, nothing. I havent done it on purpose, usually we are running late and I dont have time to find them before we have to get out the door but I have done it and it is fine. My knee is pretty tender right now, after the session, so I might get some tylenol so that I can work, but other than that, I feel like it is good to feel the pain. It reminds me that I hate wearing this brace and I hate having knee pain and the more I work on it, the less it will hurt tomorrow.  So it is my constant reminder to keep my head in the game and work on it. Plus I have lived with knee pain for about 12 years now so I guess I used to it. lol. But this time I actually can DO something about it, so it is good.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 05:54:03 PM »
Day 25

OMG! I got clearance from my OS to drive and to unlock my brace to 70 degrees! I am the happiest person in the world right now, I even cried a little as I was able to sit in the front seat of the car and not feel like my back hurt and that my whole body was straining to accomodate the straight leg. It was fantastic and amazing what stupid things will make a person happy.

So I had PT today again... I have been really working on my bend, but I havent been able to get past 75 degrees at home. I sit in the shower until the water runs cold, I have a heat pack on it, I have been stretching every night, but still it hurts alot and I am not getting the bend. So today in PT she put me on the bike and had me rock forward and backward and I have to say WOWZA that hurt like a son of a gun.  I still wasnt getting it past 75 so at the end of PT, she basically had me sit at the end of the table and then she pushed on my leg and worked on my knee cap at the same time. It hurt, I am not going to lie, but I was happy to have some help pushing at my leg. We were able to get to 82 degrees which she wrote up for my OS to look at. I think we might want to add another day of PT to the schedule at least until I am at 130. She said that is fine, the perscription was for 2-3 times a week, so I am going to add some visits. I want to get this working and over with.  So my OS wants my bend to be at 110 in two weeks and then two weeks after that, he wants it to be 130. I am nervous, but I am willing to give it a shot. It is all for my benefit so I am not going to argue with him, specially now that I can drive myself to PT. yay! I am going to go get a rental car, since I am not sure that I can handle a standard quite yet so I have to rent one. It is worth the expense though if it means that I have more freedom. I am so stinkin' excited.

I was also able to do a SLR today in PT all by myself. The funny thing is that I can't do one without the PT at least touching my foot. She literally put her index finger on the bottom of my foot and then I was able to raise it. I think it is a confidence issue, something of a mental block. In my visit with the OS, I had told my fiance that if it looked like I couldnt do it, he needed to touch my foot with it finger and yep, as soon as he did, I raised my leg for the OS. So the OS seemed pleased with my progress and that my knee cap is moving around alot but seems secure. He comes in and immediately starts pushing it from side to side, pretty roughly. It still gives me the willies to feel that, I cant get past the fear it will pop out, but it is nice to see it in there, nice and tight.

So today was a really good day, even though it is snowing and really yucky outside.  I am still using my crutches because of the snow and the fact that I am un-used to the fact that my leg bends now so sometimes is sort of collapses on me, so while I am at work I will use the crutches, so I dont look stupid falling, but at home I havent been using them, in fact, I have been taking my brace OFF and walking for like 5 minutes around the house. I am very careful, but I feel like the brace was preventing me from using my quads and bending where I could.  I am thinking maybe a cane would work more, so that way I have a hand free but I still have some support while my leg is getting used to walking... I will have to check them out at the grocery store. :)

All in all, I am pleased with my progress, although I have to say... I was disappointed and upset before my OS visit. I find that my greatest successes usually follow my greatest low points, where I am doubting everything and all my reasons to have surgery seems stupid. Maybe this is a motivating factor for me? I dont know. I just know that every time I get upset and feel like this surgery was a big mistake, I end up pushing myself harder.  So for all those people that might be thinking that this was the worst decision you ever made, I get it, but try to use that as encouragement to push yourself a little harder. After all, we can live the way we are now, which kind of sucks, or we can hurt and go through pain, and it can get better. I just view it as, nothing is as worse as it is now, and if by me pushing on my leg and crying now makes the next time better, I will do it.

Offline spurs27

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2010, 02:56:25 PM »
Paris,

First post for me on your page but I have been away from this blog for a while. 

I had an MPFLR just over 2 years ago and I think you are doing great!  It seems like your OS is like mine was in that he has you doing as much as tolerable in terms of activity.  Mine had me in a CPM machine the day of the surgery.  The CPM would bend my leg for me up to a set angle.  He had me increasing it by 5-10 degrees each day.  To this day I think that was the deciding factor in my recovery.  PT was hard, but that's where you make your money!  Today, I'm back to running 20 miles a week and doing everything else I used to love to do.

Have confidence in the judgement of your OS.  It sounds like he knows what he's doing.  Have confidence in your PT...they know it's hard for you but they also know that sweating a d few tears at PT will get you where you want to be a year from now.  Keep it moving and keep pushing yourself each session and it will pay off!

I'll check in on you from time to time and feel free to ask questions...

Brian
History:
1992:  L kneecap dislocation
1992:  L knee Arthroscopy & MCM repair
1998:  R kneecap dislocation
2002:  R kneecap dislocation
2004:  R kneecap dislocation
2007:  R kneecap dislocation
2008:  R kneecap dislocation
2009:  R MPFL recon

Offline naturegirl

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2010, 03:19:11 AM »
Hi ParisBaby!

Glad to hear that things are going well!  Isn't doing that first SLR exciting?!  That made my week when I was able to do it. :) 

It really sounds like you are turning a corner and hitting some major goals.  You bend will continue to improve....although it's frustrating that it takes soooo long!  It sounds like you have a great PT who is really supportive but knows when to push a bit.  And the fact that you are willing to push your limits and comfort zone will make your recovery easier. 

I look forward to hearing more good news about your knee, and I'm sure I will! :)  Good luck with your appointments in the coming week.  I'll be seeing my doctor for the first time in 4.5 months in a few weeks, and I'm hoping he will give me permission to serve in Peace Corps for the next few years (I've already been nominated, but the medical approval will make it or break it).  So hopefully he's pleased with me! 

-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 #19 on: December 15, 2010, 09:24:34 PM »
Day 27

I have been driving for two days now  ;D.  It is AWESOME to be back in control of my coming and going and not to have to schedule someone to take me to work and pick me up. I think that has motivated me more than anything. The driving has also forced me to bend more frequently and in different ways with my foot, since I have to reach the brake and the gas pedal. My knee hurts alot while driving but I think it is good, since it is forcing my ligament to accept the stretch and to hold it for at least 15 minutes.  This is really good therapy on my knee.

I had PT again today and I was able to get to 87 degrees after heat application, the PT pushing on it for like 10 minutes and some other stretching. So I am thisclose to 90 degrees. I have added an extra day of PT over the next 4 weeks as well since I feel that I need to really push myself and I find I work harder at PT than I do at home. So Mon, Wed and Fri I will be at PT for an hour working on my knee.  Hopefully I can meet the goals the OS gave me. 

I have also given up walking with the crutches. I ended up carrying them for the most part, I am not super stable on my knee but I figure the best way to become stable is to practice walking on it. So I have to concentrate when I walk, no distractions but this way I can work on walking normally and letting my knee feel the bend back and forth as I take steps.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2010, 09:34:54 PM »
Hey Brian - It is great to hear that you are able to run again after the exact same type of surgery. How long did it take you to get that kind of mobility and strength back?  I would love to run again, I used to run very short distances, like a mile a day, but I liked it and I would like to be able to do it again.  My OS decided NOT to use the CPM on machine on me. I never knew why, but I did ask about getting one and he said no.  My PT thinks it is because he was trying to protect the bend in my knee right after surgery and that I wouldnt be able to feel if it was too painful because of the nerve block. Or he just wants me to work for it. lol. I dont know. I LOVE my OS. He laughs at my jokes and doesn't take me seriously when I complain about the long recovery. He also listens to me and my fiance when we have questions and will sit down and explain anything that I seem to freak out about. :) I would recommend him to anyone. I even checked his references with random OS and medical sales people, to see what they had to say about him. They gave him glowing references for this type of surgery, so for some reason that made me feel good.

Jen - I am so so so so so happy for you! Wow! The Peace Corps is an amazing adventure and I hope your OS gives you clearance. That is so exciting and a very inspirational thought. You are only 4.5 months out and you feel you are able to join the Peace Corps.  Is there any reason why you couldn't do it other than you had major surgery.. but I mean you are better now right?
The SLR situation was fantastic. I was so excited, but again I was coming from a major low too and I was able to channel that into motivation for my leg. Once I can bend past 90 I will be super stoked and then once I can sit in a chair without feeling any pain, or even noticing my knee bending, that will be a real turning point for me. I think this surgery is going well and I am fortunate not to have alot of the issues that some people are experiencing on this board. I am glad I read about them beforehand so I could set my expectations levels. Let me know what happens with the Peace Corps and good luck!
Lyndsie

Offline naturegirl

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2010, 11:22:45 PM »
Hi Lyndsie,

I'm actually 7.5 months out from surgery, but I haven't seen my doctor since August because I moved from the Midwest to Washington, DC.  Thus I couldn't quite travel the distance to see him! :) 

The Peace Corps requires a 1 year deferment for ligament replacements, and since I had my surgery April 30th, my start date of the end of June will be after that.  I suspect some questions from PC about my knee, but haven't heard any objections yet.  Of course, I also haven't received the full medical forms.  However, it is super exciting! 

Keep counting all the blessings...that's the best way to go.  I didn't have much trouble gaining back motion, however strength was harder for me to get back.  Each person is different.  I wasn't allowed to weight bear until 5 weeks out, which was horrible....so count yourself lucky you can do that!

-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 #22 on: December 16, 2010, 05:25:14 PM »
Day 28

Okay I am super grumpy today. It snowed another 2 inches last night, I forgot stuff upstairs and had to climb the stairs a ton and it seems like I am the slowest person around. I was really irriatable this morning, I am tired and I am sick of being in this brace and my knee hurting. Today is just a really pissy day for me. I was 30 minutes late to work because of snow and slow knee walking and I just dont like sitting at my desk. I am tired of wearing the same large black pants to work, but I cant wear anything else since they dont fit over my brace. I am tired of feeling fat and like a big loose blob. It seems that all the muscles in my body are gone.  Is that enough complaining? I am sure I can go on more but maybe I better stop, otherwise I will be even more pissy as this post goes on. I am even annoying myself.

I guess I am just not feeling productive or good today. I go to PT tomorrow which is great since I always seem to feel better after PT.  Bad part is that it is at 6am, but it was the only time they had to fit me in. So early to bed tonight, and lots to do.  I am going to work on the bend today while sitting at my desk, the goal for tomorrow is to get past 90.  I was at 87 last time, I am thinking I should be at 95 at PT this time. a good bend gain will make me happy.  and that is one step closer to reaching my set target of 110. 

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2010, 03:12:58 PM »
Day 29

So I got to 90 degrees today in PT but no further than that. I have to say the earlier PT was brutal to get up for. My PT said that I seemed to be more sensitive to the aches and pains today than I normally am. I dont know if I am just going thru a phase this past couple days.  But I am glad to have reached 90. I feel that is a major milestone and the sooner I get past it and on to the next one, the better.
I feel sorry for my fiance. He is really bearing the brunt of my temper and my frusteration over my inability to do things for myself. I am so tired of asking people to help me, or explaining to people what happened. I just want to do things myself but I am afraid to take too many risks and have a possible setback. I have started showering without help again, and I am driving again too. Next step is to start being able to take care of my son. I am working on it, but walking is still a little scary so I get scared to carry him. oh well. Hopefully he still wants to marry me after all this is over.

Offline spurs27

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2010, 06:28:07 PM »
Day 29

So I got to 90 degrees today in PT but no further than that. I have to say the earlier PT was brutal to get up for. My PT said that I seemed to be more sensitive to the aches and pains today than I normally am. I dont know if I am just going thru a phase this past couple days.  But I am glad to have reached 90. I feel that is a major milestone and the sooner I get past it and on to the next one, the better.
I feel sorry for my fiance. He is really bearing the brunt of my temper and my frusteration over my inability to do things for myself. I am so tired of asking people to help me, or explaining to people what happened. I just want to do things myself but I am afraid to take too many risks and have a possible setback. I have started showering without help again, and I am driving again too. Next step is to start being able to take care of my son. I am working on it, but walking is still a little scary so I get scared to carry him. oh well. Hopefully he still wants to marry me after all this is over.

Awesome on the ROM increase!  Getting to the point where you can go all the way around on a stationary bike is key.  Once you do that, all you have to do is keep lowering the seat on it (which causes your knee to flex to greater extents).  That really helped loosten it up for me.

I'm still married after having my surgery 3 months after the birth of our second child and saddling my wife with all that so you'll be fine :) 
History:
1992:  L kneecap dislocation
1992:  L knee Arthroscopy & MCM repair
1998:  R kneecap dislocation
2002:  R kneecap dislocation
2004:  R kneecap dislocation
2007:  R kneecap dislocation
2008:  R kneecap dislocation
2009:  R MPFL recon

Offline naturegirl

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2010, 12:06:23 AM »
Congrats on making it to 90! That is a step in the right direction.  And it just feels good to meet a "big" goal. :)  I definitely agree that the stationary bike helped me a lot with flexion, and it felt good to be using my leg again in a semi-normal way!

Bad days just suck, and they tend to come in groups.  Venting here helps a lot though! You'll make it through these few bad days and be on to feeling better soon enough.  And now that you've made it to 90, you can start setting other goals! 

Morning PT does suck.  I had to do mine at 7:30 in the morning so my Mom could drive me there before work and pick me up on her morning break. I had to wake up extra early so I could massage and stretch well before PT, which made it hurt less.  But after lying all night my knee always hurt more for morning PT.  Ugh!

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 #26 on: December 20, 2010, 04:23:02 PM »
Day 32

I got to 95 degrees today! I'm getting closer and closer to being able to go around on the stationary bike too.  Today is a good day, although the PT was probably the most painful I have ever had. She had me lay on my stomach and then she bent my knee back toward my butt. ow. that is all I can say. I had to pull out my deep breathing exercises from birthing class and I even got a little teary eyed, but I got through it and I got another 5 degrees, which I am super excited about.  I did another new exercise today too, where I laid on a weight machine and I started doing calf raises and lowering. Basically if I were standing, I would be raising and lowering on my toes, but this gets a good stretch in my calf too since I am letting my weight push my heel lower than my toes. So a semi-normal work out move. lol.  I was up and moving around more this morning too, so that I would try to be looser for PT. (Thanks for the suggestion Jen.) I think it helped.  My son has pink eye and a cough so it wasnt like I was sleeping much anyway. So I figured I might as well get up and get stretched out. :)

The snow has let up a little too so it isnt as scary to walk around. I am taking every opportunity that I have to bend my knee and flex my foot up and down. I find that if I bend it to the max that my brace will allow right now (70 degrees) and then I flex my foot up and down, it gets a better more painful stretch.  Hopefully this is helping with the flex and extension even while I am trapped in meeting with the brace on.

I was also able to do my SLR sets pretty easily today. I didnt even need the finger touch to my foot to get me started. I just started doing them and my PT was helping someone else and came back to me doing them. She was happy about that. I joked that I was ready for the ankle weights now. lol.  I have to wait until I am able to raise it without even the slightest bend and no twinges of straining.  Which I have to admit, I do strain a little and my knee cap hurts when I do them. So I am okay with still practicing and holding on the weights. I am able to balance pretty easily on my leg and the slight resistance band work we have done has been super easy too. 

What a difference a weekend makes! I feel like my attitude has improved so much and I am ready to try more. :) Hopefully I can keep it up and continue to meet my other big goal of 130. After that, a new brace and more freedom!


Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2010, 08:24:24 PM »
Day 34

Another day at PT... It was again pretty painful as she is bending my knee more aggressively now, with me lying on my stomach and she is pushing it toward my butt. The good news is that I gained another 3 degrees on the bend so I am officially at 98 degrees before Christmas. This is great news to me, since I couldn't have imagined it before when it hurt so much to bend to 90. I would really like to get past 110 before the start of the new year. Who knows, but I think I can really work on it over the holiday weekend.  She is having me do more exercises involving moving and lifting, seems to be engaging more of all my thigh muscles rather than just my quad. I dont really understand why I am doing them, but I trust that it leads to the overall health of my leg and knee.  It was hilarious to watch my legs as I was squatting. I have my normal leg which has a normal sized thigh, not too much muscle, and then I have my right leg. It is so skinny and little looking. It looks so abnormal compared to my other leg, I burst out laughing when I saw them next to each other. I have looked before and noticed that it was smaller but when I saw them both contracting, doing the same things, it was too much. I think my laughter was slightly horrified too, but also I felt sad. I am not really sure why I was sad, I just was sorry for my poor little leg.  :-\

I gave my PT a Christmas gift today too, and I hope that isnt too weird... The way I see it is that I see her more than I see alot of my friends and I am very vested in how much effort she puts into my therapy. I would like her to know that I appreciate her time and efforts and that I hope we have a successful relationship in the new year. lol.  I should have written that on the card, but I was running late (as usual) and I forgot the card.

So some progress, some holiday time and hopefully a good begininng to the new year.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2010, 03:14:09 PM »
Day 40

Whooooohoooo! Today in PT I got to 110 degrees and I am so close to being able to go all the way around on the bike. I was so excited when she measured me, I am still a little in shock, like are you sure? Do you want to measure again just to make sure it is right?  ;D  This is fantasic news since that means I have met the goal of the OS for my visit on Wednesday so the pressure is off a little bit, although I am still going to push it since I would like to make sure I am meeting my next goal on time too. So this is a good day, I don't have to go to work today, which makes it a BETTER day.  I am really happy with my progress. I would like to get a little more stability and strength in my leg for when we take the brace off. I feel like I am really shaky with walking and stuff so I will mention that to my PT, since we have bend where it needs to be, lets start working on getting my leg muscles back and use back.
I am happy today!
 

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2010, 02:27:01 PM »
Day 43.

It is officially 6 weeks since I had my surgery. I have to say, I am doing okay, but I wish I were in less pain.  I had my OS visit yesterday and I didnt see my regular OS since he is on vacation. I saw a PA, which I think means Physician Assistant.  He was really nice and positive but he wants to change my brace to the patellar support one.  It is smaller, and a LOT tighter, which makes me really uncomfortable. Plus I dont feel like I am at all stable in walking and whatnot. So I am a little upset and I refuse to wear it. It cut of my circulation so bad that I had the mark from the brace 2 hours after I took it off. I am going to PT today, I am taking my brace and I am going to ask them if this is normal. If not, I am going to call in after the first of the year to see if maybe I need to get a larger one. It is just too uncomfortable for me to wear. So I am wearing my old one for now, I unlocked it to 90 degrees to I am still getting the bend. I am really concerned with my leg muscle support. I feel like it isnt built up enough for me to feel comfortable on it yet everyone wants me to walk around on it like normal. I feel like saying, yeah right are you all crazy? I know I wont do it, my body is already compensating for the weakness and I feel like that is a path I dont want to go down.  I have gotten lazy in my SLR's and I am turning my leg ever so slightly in and that means I am using my hip flexor instead of my quad. I have noticed myself doing it, I am working on stopping but I am lazy sometimes and I just want to move my damn leg.  I am going to talk to my PT aout exercises I can do at home to work on it.   
I also did a new exercise in PT that has me freaking out. He put me on a box about 1 inch off the ground, made me stand on it with my bad knee, and then try to bend my knee and touch my other heel to the ground. I simply couldnt do it. I did like 7 and it was a struggle for each one, with my leg shaking and me saying that I was too scared to do it. I feel like my knee is going to collapse.  I have no support and I have no control over it. I know this is probably mental but I mean, isnt there some way to trick me into thinking I have some support? So needless to say, follow that PT up with the OS taking my support away, really kind of ticked me off. They arent the ones that have to deal with the pain when I do fall or the worry that I will fall in front of a bunch of people and humilate myself. I mean, I had that problem before surgery with my knee dislocating, so why the hell did I go through surgery if the result is the same?
I need to talk to my real OS and talk to the PT and see what I can do. I just feel like a failure because I am too scared to do what they now want me to do.

Offline spurs27

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2011, 04:44:58 PM »
To echo what Sk8m8 said, you're not a failure.  You are actually doing pretty good for where you are post-op.

The sutff the PT's and OS's are asking you to do is tough, but is not excessive for where you are post-op.  For the box exercise, ask the PT if you can move it close to something that you can grab onto.  This will trick you mentally giving you something to hold onto and will give you some peace of mind when doing the execise.  Most of our apprehension during rehab is mental.  Your body can and will do amazing things if your head will let it!  Have confidence in yourself but give yourself the mental support you need to get through the execises and your body will respond!

The new brace does sound too tight.  But the reason he put you in it was to decrease the amount of support it provides so that you will use the muscles in your leg more when walking.  If it seems like it's not enough support, there's that mental block again.  You can still be cautious in the new brace but keep wearing it rather than your old one to be able to get the benfits from having a brace with less support.

Remember, we all have bad days where it seems like we're going down the wrong path.  But have confidence in the OS and PT you have.  You have had some great success on increasing your ROM.  Now it's time to build-up that muscular strength again.  You're doing great...
History:
1992:  L kneecap dislocation
1992:  L knee Arthroscopy & MCM repair
1998:  R kneecap dislocation
2002:  R kneecap dislocation
2004:  R kneecap dislocation
2007:  R kneecap dislocation
2008:  R kneecap dislocation
2009:  R MPFL recon

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »
Day 48

Today is a much better day. So I got the brace changed out, I took it in before PT that day and they gave me a size larger. It is still pretty tight, so I still hate wearing it but it isnt nearly as unbearable as it was.  I admit that I dont wear it as much as I am probably supposed to, but I have tried putting it on for at least 4-6 hours a day.  ;D  I consider that to be a compromise between myself and the PT.

I am excited because we had FANTASTIC weather on New Year's Eve so my fiance and I took our baby for a walk around the park, a 2 mile walk, which took us 2 hours because I was walking without my brace. This was an excellent idea since I was able to walk with the stroller so I had support in case my knee gave out and I felt good about it mentally.  The only thing I had real trouble with is that on the outside of my knee the lower knobby bone hurt. I was having these twinges like something is strung wrong and is thwacking when I walk. It is hard to describe but it feels like it is painfully twinging.  I sometimes have gotten this feeling in my hip before surgery but I have it in my lower shin muscle/ligaments, in the back of my knee and calf.  I have mentioned it before to the PT, since it has always hurt when I work on my flex, usually massage has helped fix it, but it has hurt more since I have flexed more and as I have used my knee more. I wonder if I should call the surgeon, but I feel kind of stupid since I dont know how to really describe it.  My PT says it might be my IT band and I am scared that it is my compensation methods that are making it twinge and hurt but he didnt say that was the case. So hmmm, I am unsure about this new development.

I am still at 110, it doesnt seem like my knee wants to go further, but I am able to go all the way around on the bike and I am able to keep the machine on. lol. It keeps taunting me to "pedal faster" though. So I consider that to be a win for the flex.

I have also been working on squatting down with my bad knee. I am keeping my good foot on the ground, but I am keeping most my weight on my bad leg and I do squats that way. I am getting the exercise, but I am also getting a safety foot for my head. lol. PT isnt happy with the way I am doing them, he wants me to push myself but I am happy that I am even trying to get there and I do keep trying to do them with no safety foot, but then I get all shaky and twitchy. So I will continue to bastardize my PT until I feel good about it. I havent had my regular PT person for the last 3 visits, she has been on vacation, so I dont really like this guy anyway. He doesn't seem to listen to me, and I wonder if he actually knows anything about my specific surgery and recovery. I feel like telling him, THIS IS NOT AN ACL RECONSTRUCTION, SO BACK OFF.  I have kept my mouth shut but I am really looking forward to my regular PT person tomorrow. I have missed her. :) Maybe she is my good luck charm since I havent really progressed since she has been gone. I'm Scots, I can be superstitious. lol.   

Anyway, thank you so much for the encouragement, I really dont know who to talk to sometimes. No one really understands unless they go through it.  This board has been a real relief for me during this process and for that I am grateful.

Happy New Year everyone and here is to 2011 being a happier more healthy and more mobile year than 2010!  :D

 

Offline LoosePatellas

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2011, 06:40:35 PM »
Thanks for all your regular posts! I'm 2.5 days out of my MPFL surgery, so it's very inspirational to hear about all the success (and hard work) you're putting into recovery. Happy New Year!
Unstable kneecaps, dislocations since age 6
1992: Arthroscopic Surgery on right knee to remove loose body
No dislocations from 2005-2010
Three dislocations in 2010
RK MPFL Reconstruction schedule for 1/3/2011!!!

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2011, 03:01:34 PM »
Day 50

Day 50 - A nice round number! Anyway, not much to report, other than I did talk to my regular PT about my discomfort and pain and she said it is indeed my IT band, she even found the really bad knot that was causing the twinging. So we did some massage, she showed me what to do, and it is helping.  She says that since I have been keeping that leg straight and still for so long, alot of my other muscles and ligaments have tighten and shortened, so now I have to stretch more than just my knee, so I should expect to have pain in the whole leg as everything gets stretched out.  Yippee. lol.  So massage is the key, I think and I am going to make an appointment to get a deep tissue massage next week.  I think it is about time to get some things worked on professionally.  I am still at about 110, we didnt measure on Wednesday, but I danced with the baby yesterday. I wasnt holding him but I did move more than I have moved since surgery and I was rewarded with laughs and smiles from my beloved baby boy. He is sick with an ear ache so I will turn myself inside out to make him feel better, knee be damned.  :-*

I thought I would share how I am doing with my goals too... The ones I had before surgery.

1. Ride in a car comfortably - DONE!!! as soon as I was able to unlock my brace to 70 degrees I felt so much better.

2. Start driving my car ASAP - DONE!! as soon as I was able to unlock my brace to 70 degrees and do an SLR I was able to drive. Probably about 4 weeks out from surgery.  It still hurts to get in and out of the car, I have to be careful, but actual driving is no problem.

3. Be able to walk without crutches by December 31st - DONE! - I was walking without crutches about 2 weeks after surgery.

4. Be able to walk without a brace by January 21st - I am on my second brace, hopefully at the 8 week mark I can get rid of it. My PT says it takes up to 8 weeks for soft tissue to heal, so I am planning after that no brace. I am half on and half off with the current one and I sleep without one, so this is partially there.

5. Be able to start lightly exercising on the elliptical on February 17th - I am already lightly exercising on the bike, and I have taken to walking when the weather permits. I have been restricted by my PT saying I am not allowed to do much right now outside of PT but hopefully next week I can step it up some more. I am giving myself til the end of January to really work on it. No need to do more than try for now.

6. Be able to working out (the sweaty, hard working kind) by March 1st - This is the last and final goal. Not there yet, but we will see.

So I think I am doing pretty good, in that I am making all my personal goals, I am making the OS goals.  Now if I can just get 15% of my quad strength back and get some stretching out of the way, I will be much better. lol. So the goals for January for me personally are to get enough quad strength back that it doesnt hurt to lift it, and to get stretched enough that I dont feel constant aching and pains in my back and down my thigh. And I want to get that IT band thing done. 

I am feeling optimistic.


Offline LoosePatellas

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2011, 03:09:03 PM »
Congratulations to you! I am just a  few days post-op, so an optimistic post like this really helps brighten my day. My major milestone today was that I slept a full 8 hours last night, the first since my operation. (I of course woke up for a few min for pain meds)
Unstable kneecaps, dislocations since age 6
1992: Arthroscopic Surgery on right knee to remove loose body
No dislocations from 2005-2010
Three dislocations in 2010
RK MPFL Reconstruction schedule for 1/3/2011!!!

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2011, 06:08:05 PM »
Congratulations LoosePatellas! Seriously, a good nights sleep is nothing to sneeze at when you are coming off a surgery like ours! I felt like I didnt get a good night sleep until I could unlock my brace a little, but I am a side and stomach sleeper so I just couldnt get comfotable enough.

I went to visit my OS today, my 8 week appointment. It went well, he seemed to be optimistic about my progress. He said that I need to get my flexion to where my other leg is by the end of the month. Let me just say... my other leg is pretty flexible! lol. I used to be able to sit with my legs folded under me and then lay on my back. So my good knee touches my butt pretty easily so he wants me to get there with my bad leg.  I am laughing but I think I can do it. I made it to 120 degrees in PT which is not at my goal but we have really been working hard of getting strength versus flexibility back.  So I will work on it but I really want to work on stability and strength more.
I also asked him when would be a good time to get pregnant again. I am not looking to do so any time soon but since I gained a TON of weight with my first (think 70lbs), I am assuming worst case and I need to know my knee can support that kind of weight again, ecspecially since falling is not an option when you are pregnant. He said I should wait at least another 2 months. Other than that, he basically moved my knee cap alot, my right one is in really tight... my left, not so tight. I asked if that means I need to have surgery on the other one and he said as long as it isnt dislocating then I dont, but if it does cause me problems they can just do the same procedure. I dont know about y'all but I DO NOT want to do this again. This is HARD WORK!  :D. and I am done with having knee problems after I get this fixed. This is it! Done, Finito, Finis!  I want to wear 4 inch heels and not have to worry about anything like knee problems. I want to walk down a flight of stairs in said heels and feel confident about not hurting myself. I want to be able to push a box with my foot and not have my knee dislocate. All of those things are worth this procedure, so I guess I just talked myself into another one. hahaha. Can't argue with myself!
Thanks for the posts Sk8m8... I find other people's stories just as inspiring and honestly, it is nice to know other people have my struggles too. It really helps me think that I can get to the next goal or degree. We can do it, it just might be a little scary and painful at times, but like I said before, what is the alternative?

Offline Kmcsmiles

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2011, 08:40:32 PM »
It sounds like you are doing great meeting your goals!  I laughed when I read how you want to be able to wear heels and not worry about your knee dislocating.  That is exactly heat I want, even just a 1 in heel!  I had my mpfl reconstruction in September.  The more I started to move around the more the rest of my leg hurt-behind my knee, on the side, etc.  My pt said the quad and hamstring attach by the mpfl which causes pain when you start to move, and all the other muscles, etc need to get used to moving again.    I agree massage really helped and after a few weeks of moving around that pain went away at least.  I hope your recovery continues to go well!
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 spurs27

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2011, 04:59:05 PM »
Sounds like you are over the hump, Loose.  Now just a matter of building-up your strength!  Congratulations on your progress...
History:
1992:  L kneecap dislocation
1992:  L knee Arthroscopy & MCM repair
1998:  R kneecap dislocation
2002:  R kneecap dislocation
2004:  R kneecap dislocation
2007:  R kneecap dislocation
2008:  R kneecap dislocation
2009:  R MPFL recon

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2011, 03:53:59 PM »
Day 64

I am pretty optimistic today. I am able to hobble up the stairs like a normal person and have been for about a week. I can't carry anything and I have to really concentrate on making my knee hoist me up, but it can be convinced to do it. (btw, I talk like my knee is a seperate entity from the rest of my body, which is how I consider it these days, since it won't listen to commands from my brain and doesn't do what I want it to, when I want it done.  :o).  So I am happier, plus with massage my knee pain has been getting better. It still can twinge and feel really painful after walking around in this snow (you have to walk VERY carefully and plan every step) but I am feeling about 75% normal these days which is a BIG GIANT improvement over the last couple months. 

The things that still bother me are:
1. I still get pain if I sit with my knee bent for too long. I have to straighten it or move it alot more and sooner than my other knee. I am talking like crippling pain where it feels like I have a ligament charley horse.
2. I still get pain walking, again on the side and behind my knee.
3. I still have pain when I do a SLR or try to lift my knee using quads and knee strength.
4. I am having alot of pain in my hip and quad from being unflexible for so long.
5. I am unable to bend past 125 because of said quad and hip flexor pain. How ironic is that? I could probably bend my knee more if my darn quad wouldnt hurt so much! lol.

I am hoping that these things get better with time. I am really happy about the stair walking, and I am working on trying to figure out how to go down the stairs with both feet too. That will be a real milestone.  I am able to step down backward, like off the step but actually facing down the stairs I am too scared of the height and the possibility of falling. Mental blockage, again.

All in all, I am happy with the results of this surgery, as I twisted my knee the other day in PT trying to get off one of the machines. I am talking the kind of twist that would have normally popped my knee out in the past, but it just hurt, like a stretch or a pull. I didnt feel any looseness or any sliding of the knee over. It is hard to describe the degrees in which the knee dislocates but I am assuming that people on here know what I am talking about since we are all intimitely knowledgable about knee dislocations.  I think that two months is not so bad to be feeling paritally normal, I will be happier of course when I am much more normal and can work out and such but I feel I am so close to actually being able to.  The OS said I can start the elliptical, if I get another 15 degrees and I am past week 10. So hopefully I am at 135 degrees by the end of January and then I can get on the ellipitical machine.  I am already able to do the bike with a 3 resistance and I am lowering the seat to a 4 setting for right now, which was a normal setting for me before. So happily, the bike is getting easier, and I dont even need to heat up before I do it.  It doesnt even hurt at first to do the bike, before it would take a couple minutes to warm up and stretch my knee out before I could really start going around and getting some speed.  So improvements yes, it is harder to measure now, but I measure it in normalcy of my life, rather than degrees on my leg. lol.
 

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2011, 04:07:59 PM »
Kmcsmiles - Sadly, most of my reasons for this operation were all superficial and petty. lol.  I LOVE wearing heels, the higher the better, and I have several pairs of heels that I have spent the last 10 years wearing happily. I have worn ballet flats/trainers/Ugg boots/ugly old man slippers exculsively now for about a year, even since the injury that put me over the line.  I feel frumpy. lol.

Sk8m8 - I bet we would do it again, escpecially once we see how fantastically this operation will turn out.  ;D Yeah, my current employer would probably fire me, even though I have only taken off one week of time, but the PT is twice a week and I think it annoys my boss that I have obligations that I have to take care of. Not to mention that fact that we are self insured here and I just cost the company about $50k. and I have only been here since May. So from an employer standpoint, I am an annoyance.  But you know what, I care because I want to do a good job, but I dont really care. I am going to do what I have to do and if they (my employer) doesnt like my choices, then I will find a new job. I put this operation off for about 10 years, cause there was never a "good" time to take off work. Well my knee decided for me, and frankly I feel stupid I didnt get it done sooner.  I have been through 2 employers in those 10 years and neither one of them deserved my waiting. My arthritis and dislocations meant nothing to them and the fact that I have lived in pain received no extra compensation or recognition, so my mindset for now is f-'em. I need to do what I have to do and bully for them if they dont like it. (Obviously I have saved up a little nest egg so that I wont be living on welfare if I do get fired and I have some time to find a new job, and that has afforded me a small sense of relief and freedom).  Look at it this way, they would fire me in a heartbeat if it was good for the company, and I have too look at  myself as my own company. I have to do what is for the good of the company.  ;)

Offline LoosePatellas

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2011, 05:51:37 PM »
Parisbaby:

So stressful to have to worry about workplace insensitivity! Luckily, since I work on a college campus, there are long breaks - but in a week and a half the semester starts and I'll have to hobble around campus again. I'm really hoping it's done snowing for the winter!

Also, congratulations on having the elliptical in sight! That's a big one!

As for heels - my knees have always been so bad that I've never been able to wear them, but I wonder/dream that I might after full recovery!
Unstable kneecaps, dislocations since age 6
1992: Arthroscopic Surgery on right knee to remove loose body
No dislocations from 2005-2010
Three dislocations in 2010
RK MPFL Reconstruction schedule for 1/3/2011!!!

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2011, 06:00:51 PM »
So I went to PT today and I felt really well rested and awake so I was ready to work hard. I took some asprin before my session and I think it helped me push it further than I have been able to in awhile because I was able to get to 134 degrees of bending. Which makes me really happy. So I am going to push for another 10 over the next week, so I can be that much further in my goal. I think my limit is 155? I am not sure what the flexion is on my good leg, since I never thought to measure it  but I will ask on Wednesday when I go back to PT.  We also did another exercise at PT which was the quad weight machine. This is the one where you sit down, put your shins behind the bar and lift your legs out straight. It works the front of your quads. It hurt so bad. It hurt to lift it and it hurt to lower it. Right smack dab on my knee cap, it hurt, sharp pain. I think it is from me not using that motion in a long time, but man oh man she had me do 2 sets of 10 and I think it took me about 5 minutes for that. I was not supposed to use my good leg unless I needed to and the weight was at 10lbs. It really hurt. I am assuming that is going to be my new exercise to get over.  It used to be the bike, then it was the stairs... I am good on the bike, the stair step thing is okay, I am not great on it but it doesnt hurt. 
I had a good hour massage on Friday and man did it feel good. She bent my knee enough and really worked on my sciatica and my IT band pain. I felt really good but also sore like she massaged deeply. She also worked on my knee cap, massaging it like I am supposed to, and working out the scar tissue all around the knee cap. I feel she did a good job and am going back in a couple weeks, just as a maintenance. Plus I got the gift certificate for Christmas so I might as well use it for the next couple weeks. :) 
All in all, I am feeling more confident walking, I can now walk at a semi-normal pace, and I am very stable, except for the occasional twinges on the side and back of my knee that draw me up short. I am very scared of those but I am hoping as time goes on, they will go away.
I heard an interesting thing today in PT... one of the OS people said that for every 1 pound of extra weight you are carrying it is 5 pounds of extra pressure on your knees.  So since I gained an extra 70lbs during my pregnancy, it would explain why my knees suddenly gave out on me.  I am still carrying around 15 extra pounds from my pregnancy since I couldnt work it off due to the injury but wow! I suddenly saw the damage I did to my knees and am thankful they carried me through that time so well.  I am excited to get back in the gym and get this weight off so I can give me knees a 75lbs break. lol. 

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2011, 09:22:16 PM »
Back at PT again... On Sunday, I worked out in the pool, did the bike for 30 minutes and some weights. My knee hurt all weekend. On Saturday, we moved boxes and I went up and down the stairs many times and I was trying to paint baseboards. Plus I tried to do the Just Dance game on my neices' Wii. I think I overdid it but I was just trying to be normal and active and get my knee back in shape.  So in PT today, it was killing me and I have to say I am still in some pain today. I might take it easy over the next day, but it is supposed to have a ice and snow storm, so that is going to be tricky.  Nothing new to report, I went backward in some flexion to 131, but oh well. I am trying to go to PT twice a week for over an hour,  sleep train my son, get our house ready to show, work full time, plan my June wedding and get some sleep at night. I am dead on my feet most days, so I am thinking that this is all I can take on.
I am very tired so I should probably be working on my knee a little more, so maybe I will do that tonight.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2011, 06:28:45 PM »
So today was not a good day. I had my 3 month evaluation with my OS today and I am not where I need to be. No the dr was not happy... he is putting me back on pain killers in order to make me try to bend more and work out more.

My range of motion is not good, I haven't increased more than 10 degrees in the last month and I still haven't regained strength in my quad, which is putting stress on other parts of my knee and my hamstring. It is causing me pain and I am damaging other ligaments.   So over the next 6 weeks, he needs to see more improvement and increased range of motion, otherwise we need to talk about next steps, during which he used words like MUA (Manipulation under Anesthesia) and sports therapist (not the physical kind, but the mental kind).

So not a good visit, in conjunction with a painful physical therapy and a long wait for the OS, which made me about 2 hours late for work, is stacking up to be a tough day so far.

I didnt think it was that bad and I can't beleive that we would be talking about being put under for a mere 15 degrees but I guess that range of motion is important. Plus I am very discouraged today since I feel like people keep saying I need to try hard, and I feel like saying that I have been trying hard. I mean, I get up at 5:30am to go to therapy, I let them torture me for about an hour and a half, I go to work , where I sit all day and my knee is killing me, I work extra hours since I came in later, and I rush home to try to see my child for at least an hour and a half before he goes to bed. I mean, what more can I do? My baby already screams like I am a stranger to him, he doesnt even recognize me right now because I am always gone before he wakes up either at PT or at work. It is just frusterating, I can't keep all these balls in the air and I probably have been letting my recovery slip. So I guess there is nothing to do but get up earlier, try to work out more, stay up later doing exercises and hopefully it will get better with time. I am just discouraged and upset that this isnt over yet. 3 months is a long time to be in pain and to work hard and see no results.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2011, 10:08:48 PM »
So I have been swimiming every Saturday or Sunday and it is a good exercise for not hurting my knee. I am concentrating more on trying to use my quad muscle. I am going to therapy twice a week. They have really been working hard at bending my knee, and on Monday we got to 140 degrees, after some major massage and alot of pain on my part. My quad does not want me to bend my knee. I am going to really concentrate on stretching this weekend, and I want to get to 140 on Monday, but easily, and with so much pain.  I feel like I still have a long way to go on strengthing my quad and trusting my knee not to buckle under me for no reason, it did it today and I caught myself but it is not trustworthy yet.  I will do my exercises tonight and hopefully I will start to see an improvement.  I am somewhat discouraged but hopeful that this can still be salvaged. My OS seems to be very hopeful as well and says that the numbers tell him that the recovery rate on this surgery is fantastic and that I should be able to get back to where I want to be. I just have to stay positive.

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2011, 08:13:36 PM »
So I am getting close to the year mark of my surgery and oh how things have changed. I am fully flexed (last check at PT was 160, which is as far as my other leg goes too) and I only have slight pain when I bend it that far.  I think it is because I cannot bend it further enough times during the day for it not to hurt.  I am having a hard time sitting on the floor cross legged for some reason the other side of my knee hurts when I do that, I think it is my hamstring.  I will keep working on that though.  What else?  I have most of my strength back in my quad, I still have some work to do there, but I can carry my almost 2 year old son, feel strong and able.  I still get weird twinges in the back of my knee on the left side, my PT says that is my hamstring and it will go away, my OS also thinks that is fine and he says that I will have twinges for awhile after surgery just as I break up more scar tissue and get more use out of my knee.  And the best part!  I can RUN again!  Not well, or gracefully or for a long time but I ran a couple weeks ago for the first time in over 2 years.  It was such a fantastic feeling that I am so happy I got this surgery.  It is a long process with alot of struggles but I think as long as you dont admit you will ever stop getting better, you can keep going and getting better.  I never said that I will ever give up trying to get back to normal. I never always believed it but I always kept trying.  My new goals are to run more frequently and to keep getting back the strength in my quad. This surgery is a really hard life experience but I encourage other to think about the long road and know that it will make it better, but it will just make it alot worse first.  ;)

Offline helpmeplease

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2011, 07:39:30 PM »
Thanks so much for your post-op diary. I'm having my MPFL Reconstruction in December and am sooooooo nervous... It was really helpful reading about everything you've gone through and will help me in my recovery. Any additional tips you have about preparing for surgery or the recovery process would be greatly appreciated :)

Offline ParisBaby

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2012, 04:44:07 PM »
It is hard to believe it has been over a year, but here I am a year and a half out from my surgery and it is still going well.  I was able to stop PT, I have been working with a personal trainer to get back in shape and I am about give birth to my second child and the knee has been holding up with the weight gain! I am still not super confident in heels, I am better though and I have every expectation that I can get back into it after I have this kid.  ;)

One thing to note: my surgeon did such a great job tightening up my MPFL, it makes my other side of my knee really really stretched out, so I have been having more pain in my outside knee area.  It isnt bad, nothing a llittle massage wont fix, but it is a little weird.

Life is good, I am so glad I had the surgery.

Offline emm10161301

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction - November 18, 2010
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2012, 03:47:27 PM »
I just want to say thank you soo much! I have read your entries and they have given me such hope! I had mpfl and lateral release on both my knees june 20th so I'm only day 26 post op and I've found it soo difficult! I have progressed on a good bit but unfortunately I haven't had physo so has taken me. Longer first PT next monday and first OS app the 30th of july. If you have any tips I would be glad to hear them! As my right knee bends to almost 90 and my left barely moves at all. The right has the most wrong with it to which confuses me? I can't do any SLRs an I am on a zimmer frame but I wasn't given braces or supports to wear all the time. I have a spare brace but I can only support one rather than the other. But well done!! You have been such an inspiration! :):) 
2002-2012 regular dislocations of both knees, tried everything from braces and casts to physio.
June 2012 MPFL surgery on both knees