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Author Topic: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis  (Read 4556 times)

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Offline Xeract

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At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« on: November 08, 2010, 11:19:14 AM »
Hi all,

I've posted a couple of times before about pain below both knees after bilateral arthroscopy last year. The original operation was to remove plica in both knees and was successful. At the time, the surgeon said my knees looked very healthy.

A year and a bit on from that, I'm still getting pain below both knees. There is a bit of aching and stinging (although very mild) when I sit still or bend the leg, but the pain is worse when I do a squat or run. It's not terrible pain, but it's bad enough to stop me doing any sport. The pain seems to be located either side of the patella tendon and sometimes underneath. Sometimes the pain feels like it's on the skin too.

I was told it was a fat pad problem so I had a cortisone injection which didn't help. PT hasn't helped either.

I decided to get a second opinion. An ultrasound assessment of the fat pad showed no swelling and only a small amount of scarring. I then went to another surgeon and had another MRI a couple of weeks ago which showed nothing! My knees are perfectly healthy it seems. Even so, as there was a small amount of scarring I'm having alcohol ablation injections for the fat pads, although I think the surgeon recommended this more because he's at a loss about what it could be rather than truly believing it will work. I've had the first one and maybe noticed a small difference so I haven't given up hope, but it still seems unlikely that they'll work.

So has anyone else had pain like this after an arthroscopy? I've ruled out tendinitis and chrondromalacia because they haven't showed on the MRIs or ultrasound. There isn't a large amount of scarring in the knee, and I have no problems with range of motion.

It would be great to get some opinions, I'm at a bit of a loss about what to do if these injections don't work.

Thanks

Edit: I should add that this is the second MRI I've had since the operation, so I don't think it's being misread

« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 11:37:16 AM by Xeract »

Offline Snowy

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Re: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 04:54:42 AM »
I'm afraid I can't offer any specific advice on your problem, but I am struck by how similar your symptoms sound to Knee Geek member Clarkey. He just posted this thread:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=53936.0

It might be worth the two of you comparing notes as you seem to have been left with almost identical issues after plica/fat pad issues. (Nick can't run, squat, or kneel due to the pain.) He's been exploring options for a while and is attending a pain clinic soon to see if they can help.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline kscope09

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Re: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 11:07:29 AM »
I had a suprapatella and lateral plica taken out of my right knee.  I'm glad the plicas are out, I think in my case they are better out than in but there is a little scar tissue there and from time to time it can feel a bit sore.  My op was in August and in December I was getting really nasty stabbing pains in the side of the knee that could come on at any time and were really painful and the pt said he could feel some scar tissue just uner the surface.  I've had friction rubs and ultrasound on the area which has helped a little but it can come back from time to time.
Feb 08 Inurred right knee
18 months of physio, knee tracking but knee still painful
Aug 09 Scope - Small tear in acl, fragment found in postereo-lateral compartment, suprapatella and lateral plica and small defect in mfc.
May 10 Right knee feeling better but left knee causing trouble as a result o

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 12:58:14 PM »
Hi Xeract,

Thanks to Snowy have found your thread and seem to be in the same position as I am in at the moment after having had my medial plica removed in November 2009. I will be 1 year post op on Tuesday and aslo get pain at the bottom of my right knee and was also told by my OS I have healthy knees but cannot run at all and if I attempt to run feel pain around the portal areas at the bottom of my right knee.

I also had problems with my fat pad in my right knee that was trimmed at the same time as having my medial plica removed and had nothing but problems since my surgery. I can kneel upright but cannot run or squat without feeling pain as Snowy pointed out. I have had 2 cortisone injections into my right knee pre op and post op and have found it has not really helped with the pain and swelling and have been given Naprosyn by my GP for the swelling at the bottom of my knee but is not really doing its job in reducing the swelling.

An MRI scan is a waste of time if it is scar tissue causing the problems and a ultasound scan is better for looking for scar tissue in the knee that I had done a few months ago and scar tissue was spotted on the scan. I had PT and friction massage but find its not really helping to get my knee right again.

kscope09, I think my knee would have been better of if they did not remove the plica as the surgery has made my knee problem become worse rather then better. I had friction massage as well but I found it has not really benefitted my right knee. 

Nick :) {2010} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline Xeract

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Re: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 10:11:29 PM »
Hi Guys, sorry for the late reply, thanks for getting back to me.

I just had my second alcohol ablation injection yesterday. The doctor noticed more scarring on the medial side of the right knee using ultrasound which is where I get a lot of pain, so hopefully that's a sign we're on the right track. It's too early to tell whether it's made a difference, but I'll update this thread when I know for sure.

Offline Clarkey

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Re: At a loss - knee pain a year after arthroscopy, no diagnosis
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2010, 11:14:22 AM »
Hi Xeract,

I also get most of the pain on the medial side of my right knee and have had a cortisone injection but not an alcohol ablation injection which you have had twice done already. I will discuss this type of injection when I go to my Pain Clinic appointment on 30th November and if its going to be helpful or not. I hope the alcohol ablation injection works for you the 2nd time round.

Nick :) {2010} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming