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Author Topic: Just cancelled tibial tuberosity/lateral release surgery. Need more answers!  (Read 1136 times)

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Offline PattyLaLa

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I was scheduled to go in for this surgery today, but backed out last night.  I have been going through two years, on and off, of major instability in my left knee, have been having a hard time descending stairs and doing many movements onstage (I'm a performer).  I have done a few rounds of various physical therapy but nothing seemed to help.  So after the PT, x-rays, an MRI, I decided I needed some sort of surgery.  I was suprised, however, when the doctor told me of the extensive rehab.  I have a 14-month old daughter and live on a 3rd floor walk-up.  But I was desperate.  In the last month however, my symptoms have subsided.  My kneecap still clicks out a little, but not nearly as much as it had been.  I've been sitting on the floor cross-legged with my daughter a lot and I think maybe stretching those muscles helped?  Maybe I'm nuts and this is just a temporary lull?  Did I just scare my knee into submission for a while, or is there some other way of helping it besides surgery?  I am 43, have mild arthritis in both knees, so frankly the right one doesn't feel that great either.  The patellar instability seems to have been caused by the shape of my knee/leg (I'm sort of knock-kneed).  If I need this surgery, I will reschedule, but in the meantime I need more information about it, the success rate, the alternatives, etc. etc. etc.  I am currently on a health plan through Medicaid, so I'm not getting super-duper service.  The surgeon I went to seems okay, but not very communicative, so I know I will have to be very proactive doing research and trying to get a second opinion.  But where do I start????? ???

Offline supersam1

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hi
iv had a lateral release on both of my knees and im sorry to say it didn't work and i now quiet a few people it hasn't worked on,with me before the operation my knees use to pop back in to place on there own but after the operation they stopped coming out for a couple of years then started again but this time stopped out until me/doc put them back in place.Im currently waiting for a patella realignment.Iv had knee trouble since i can walk so maybe thats why it didn't work for me.
sorry im not that much help but i deffo think you need to look in to it.if i had the chance to go back i wouldn't have had it done

Offline PattyLaLa

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Thanks, supersam!!!  It is helpful to have the encouragement to look into it, and to know there's a chance it won't work!  Good luck to you!

cdubb

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Was it a tibial tuburcle osteotomy surgery with the LR?  Make sure the LR is in fact needed, but if you have instability, you more than likely need the tibial tuburcle osteotomy to correct the situation.  It would be a difficult surgery with a little one to care for, but if you have help, then it's not insurmountable.  I am about 17 weeks out of a tibial tuburcle osteotomy, as well as a patella ACI for a grade 4 cartilage defect.  I have a 4 1/2 year old, so much more self-sufficient than the age of your child. Would have been difficult to do at a stage where I still had to carry a child often.  My husband was also amazing afterwards in picking up my slack.  I took off work for about 4-5 weeks (started initially at home), but then returned when I was still on crutches in braced.  It was good timing though. 

You should be confident with your surgeon and your surgery decision though before proceeding because it is a major surgery. 

What you should also think about besides just caring for your child in the post op recovery period because you'd likely have help then, but think about what you would do if you postponed surgery and your kneecap dislocated and you were alone with your child? 

Offline Skiier Jo Jo

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I broke my tibial tuberosity off, rather than electing for it to be moved and I can tell you that after 10 weeks I can still not carry my son who is 2 and a half (nor do I expect to be able for some time!).

He can of course walk well, but I had a few problems recently like:
- He had a massive tantrum in the car and would not come out.  I had to call my husband to get him out!
- He fell asleep in the car and was so tired that he couldn't walk when I roused him....again, my husband to the rescue.
- He ran away from me in a busy car park as Mummy cannot chase...what fun....grrr....he came back, but it was pretty scary!

Not sure whether your decision is right or wrong, but haviong such a young child does bring other issues/challenges.

Skier Jo Jo
Skiier Jo Jo

Aged 33
Fractured tibial tubercle (plus other bits sloughed off!) and displaced meniscus on 24th Dec 2010
Emergency surgery - Zimmer plate and 10 screws (8 permanent). Straight leg brace
Physio started on day 6. 
Feb 2011 - almost fully straighten leg, with up to 85 degree bend

Offline mrsmarian

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Be ooh soo glad you are rethinking the surgery. I had the same procedure done on my left knee in 2005. I ended up with a patella baja and needed 5 more surgerys to try to correct the baja. Double check on the leteral release....I sure wish I would have. Good luck!
p.s. Really check the doctors backround for any lawsuits ect. :'(

Offline PattyLaLa

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Thanks, mrsmarian et al for the responses.  I went to another doctor who is recommending "proximal realignment."  As I'm researching this, I see that phrase is a catch-all for several types of surgeries!  With all due respect to doctors, I think they can oversimplify things and not want to alarm poor ol' common folk.  Well, I wish he'd been more specific about the name of the surgery, but when he explained it to me (in fairly good detail), I believe he wants to do medial reefing.  I have to call tomorrow and get more details.  It is definitely more appealing to me than TTT, and even though he was pretty speedy, I liked him a lot better than the other doctor and his hospital is definitely better. However, I still feel clueless. 

One thing is for sure, however, I see from the latest set of xrays that my patella is REALLY out of alignment and I now believe only surgery is going to help it.  I was hoping some yoga poses would knock it back into place, lol. 

So, I'm open to comments/suggestions/criticism, etc.

All Best
patty la la

Offline PattyLaLa

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One other thing - he thought the "proximal Realignment" would be better than ttt because I will perhaps need a knee replacement down the road (20 years or so) and this surgery would cause less problems with that than the ttt.  He thought he could salvage my knee and I was "young".   Thought that was interesting.

patty la la

cdubb

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A PKR or TKR can be done after a TTT.  Do you have a lot of cartilage damage also? You may want to find somebody who can do cartilage restoration procedurs like ACI, OATS, DeNovo NT if you happen to have a focal defect. Those won't work for generalized arthritis though.