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Offline gm203504

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Worried
« on: January 26, 2011, 07:16:10 PM »
Hi all...

I'm new around here and this is a little long winded, but I just need to get things off my chest. I'm a 24 year old from the US, generally good physical health, 5'3", 115lbs.

I was helping my brother-in-law move out of his apartment in November 2009. I stepped off the moving truck and my knee twisted and buckled, then hurt like crazy. I figured it was a lateral meniscus tear since that's where the pain was. After the usual RICE home treatment, the pain went away and my knee was back to normal.

In November 2010 I was visiting my mother-in-law in Washington DC and my first day there I spent the entire day walking around to all the monuments and museums. Several miles of walking. By the end of the day, my knee was in agonizing pain. I could hardly walk and going down stairs was a nightmare. I tried to stay off it as much as I could, but I had another 12 days of vacation left and didn't want to sit around.

After my vacation, my knee seemed to be fine again. I decided to go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, but about half way home my knee flared up and I limped the rest of the way back. By that time I knew I had to see a doctor. I saw my primary care physician who also suspected a meniscus tear, had some x-rays taken to make sure nothing was broken and sent me to physical therapy.

I went to physical therapy for a few weeks and did exercises every day, but the pain was still there. My PT instructed me to try going for a 30 minute walk every other day. There is a Target store just a half mile at the end of my street, so I tried to walk there to pick up a few things. By the time I got to the store, my knee pain flared again and had to limp home with my purchases. My PT and I agreed that physical therapy was improving my leg strength, but my pain worsening and my knee has started to catch. She also urged me to see an orthopedic surgeon.

This past Monday was my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. He's a knee and sports medicine specialist who was recommended to me by a family member (who is also an orthopedic hand surgeon in the area), so I knew I would be in good hands. He did the typical manual tests on my knee, and pain was elicited on only half of the tests - probably because this was an old injury and it wasn't one of my flare up days. He took a look at my x-rays and noticed something my primary doc missed. There is a notch on my lateral femoral condyle where there definitely should not be one. He said it could be a bone defect from birth, but he doesn't want to ignore it because it could be causing my pain. He ordered an MRI to get a better picture of what was going on.

Yesterday was my MRI, my first one ever, and it was a very strange experience. At least I was able to wear my own clothes and listen to my ipod. So now I sit and wait, but hopefully not for long.

I think what worries me most is that I'm one of the many people out of work people in America. However, for me, it was by choice because the job was awful and management had no respect for their underlings. I quit my job the week prior to my November 2010 vacation (I was one of 4 others that quit that week, it was that bad). I'm afraid that my knee injury is going to drastically limit my job opportunities. I'm a photographer, as well as a baker, so both lines of work require a lot of standing, walking, etc. which I really can't do at this time. Employers can't refuse to hire me because I'm injured and may require surgery. However, they can be put off by it and if they do hire me and find that I struggle with daily tasks, they could fire me then. If I do require surgery, then there is no way I can do either job on crutches and in a brace.

So there's my story, my worries, my blah blah blah. On a good note, while I was writing this I received a phone call from a potential employer requesting to interview me for a couple positions. Hooray! Now I just need to get this stupid knee fixed.

Offline smillie

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Re: Worried
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 06:28:29 AM »
Welcome to Knee Geeks! Sorry you have a reason to come here, but I hope you find the support and information you need. It's worrisome to have knee problems, especially when you don't have your diagnosis yet. There is a lot of good information around here and in the information hub (look up in the top right corner of the page for the link to the hub). If you haven't already, you might find it helpful to read some of the sections on knee anatomy, knee exams, xray and mri imaging, and anything else that looks particularly interesting. That way, when you get your mri results, they might make some sense. It will also help you when you talk to your OS about those results. It really helps to have a good idea of anatomy when discussing your knee.

Good luck! And let us know what we can do to help.
patella pain began early teens
'94 TTT/LR/VMO adv.
'94 MUA
'10 tried PT again
1/11 scope/hardware removal
4/11 (Finally!) dx medial instability due to LR
5/9/11 LPFL reconstruction scheduled

Offline sorcha

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Re: Worried
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 03:25:41 PM »
Hey! I'm new here as well and not quite in the same boat at you but I understand why you're worried. I just had surgery (lateral release) and everything I've heard about it (haven't had my post op with my Dr yet) is that it is a long, slow recovery. I'll be graduating in a few months and I'm a little worried that my knee will hinder my chances of finding a job (as in jobs I am qualified for and would like I can't apply for since they require walking & standing), not to mention I'm a little self-conscious about going to a job interview with a limp or with crutches. But while I'm looking for a job I'll keep my fingers crossed for you as well!

Sara

Offline soozles

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Re: Worried
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 02:31:40 PM »
Have you gotten your MRI results yet? I was recently interviewing for residency positions, and I went to a majority of them on crutches, and it didn't hinder me at all. Normally, we have to go through a process known as the match, but I am eligible to accept a position out of the match, and I was offered several positions out of the match at places I interviewed at on crutches. I just stressed that this is a problem that will be resolved by the time I start and won't hinder any of my day to day activities. I'm glad to report that I was offered a place at my number 1 program as well, but I would just make sure when you go on interviews, let them know that it was a problem before, but you are expected to make a full recovery after the surgery and you will not have any limitations in your job.
May 2005: Torn PCL, misdiagnosed as chondromalacia
April 2010: pain worse, lots of instability
Nov. 23, 2010: PCL reconstruction
progress here: http://pclrecovery.blogspot.com/