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Author Topic: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out  (Read 1145 times)

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Offline djmaria9209

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Hi forum.  This is my first post here.  I became injured on June 14th in an unfortunate trampoline accident.  My left knee buckled out from underneath me on a normal landing.  I was in excruciating pain so I went off the mat and waited for the pain to subside before attempting to walk off altogether.  When I tried to walk off of the mat, my left knee buckled again causing the same (if not more) knee pain than the first time.  So with assistance I was carried off of the mat.  I had an MRI two days later and my results were the following...

1) full surface through and through tear of mid portion of anterior cruciate ligament
2) thinning of medial patellofemoral retinaculum
3) moderate contusion is present in the proximal tibia, particularly posteriorly
4) undersurface tear of posterior horn of medial meniscus

Needless to say my range of motion in my left leg is very limited.  Also want to note that my RIGHT knee has had a torn meniscus since 2008 and I have only aggravated my right knee by using crutches to get around.  However, back to my left leg because it's the most damaged.  My left leg can't bear any weight and the knee protrudes out in a manner in which I can not straighten out my leg entirely.  Even if I am standing with both feet flat on the floor my left leg is noticeably sticking out around the knee area as opposed to my right knee.

My problem is that OS wants me to try to get my left leg straight PRIOR to surgery and I am trying everything possible to get that done but every time I try to straighten it out it is so very painful.  I can't flex my knee maybe more than 30 degrees and I am looking for some advice from this lovely community on if any of you have ever had to forcibly straighten your knee.  I have even tried putting my heel on a chair and putting multiple books on my quads to help "gravity" out.

I am afraid that if I have the surgery that my recovery is going to be difficult (or so they have said) if I can't straighten out my leg.

I'm only 30 and it saddens me that I will need surgery on both my knees :( and I was an active gym member and worked with a personal trainer before all this happened.  I am also a college student who is in the nursing program and I understand that if I am unable to walk then I can no longer try out for the nursing program.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,
M

Offline sarah123

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Re: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 03:24:55 PM »
So sorry to hear about your accident. Not very technical about knees but I had a double dislocation in March ( follwig dislocations snice I ws 13..now 44) which has led to corrective surgery......trochleplasty on right knee first in May.  My problems are shallow grooves so are different to yours. The only advice I feel qualified to give is that  my OS said i had to get strong before surgery otherwise the recovery would be even longer. So I exercised like mad and had physio til I was deemed 'fit' for the op. I had the opposite ..i had to have full flexion and simply pulled my knees to me everyday.Plus strong quads. ( although were not really strong enough hence a slowere recovery) Little by littel the swelling went down and i got there. So they are right when they say if you dont get this right before surgery it willbe so much harder after.....are you having physio ....just keep going every day because something mustbe happening. And seek professional advice. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Offline djmaria9209

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Re: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 03:30:02 PM »
Well do you happen to have any advice, exercises I can do to help with this?  My left leg has atrophied a lot and I can only walk on the crutches with my tip toes because as soon as the heel hits the floor I am in so much pain it's unbearable.  I don't know how to strengthen my quads when I can't really move my leg.  Oh, I am in a knee immobilizer too, I forgot to mention that earlier.

Offline sarah123

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Re: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 03:42:30 PM »
When I dislocated knees I had to deal with swelling and pain in the first instance. Swelling with ice and el and elevation and pumping the knee...ie being mobilzed ( because of the acute swelling) and bracing/tightening the quad and releasing...this pump action helped with reducing the swelling over time and started to strengthen the muscles. The pain gradually subsided as did the swelling til I was back to 'normal 'again. This process happened time and tim again with each dislocation and took 4-6 weeks to feel back to normal. I can only go on what worked for me when i was imobilised and dealing with the immediacey of my injury....I'm sure a physio would be able to be much more specific to your injury because everyone is different. Good luck and hope this is of use.

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 06:49:53 PM »
There may be a mechanical block to why you cannot straighten the knee out...my friend and fellow KG Cosmicsnuffle had a complete ACL tear and was locked at around the same point as you. The stump of the ligament was caught in the intercondylar notch (the bit between the bones I think) where the joint moves, so full extension was physically impossible until the clock was cleared with a scope. She then had to do PT to get to full extension and regain flexion before it was reconstructed. Has your doctor considered anything like this? The MRI may miss what is happening in this respect, as they can be notoriously unreliable for ACL damage. I am guessing your struggled to even get the leg straight enough and still for the MRI to take place...

Just a thought. In the interim gentle wamth prior to exercises such as heel slides and the prone hangs you describe might help, then ice afterwards. A warm bath or shower can help, as can plenty of stretching prior to exercising.

I know how frustrating it is to have bummed knees when you're active. Try and keep as active as you can do, see this as a chance to set up a good program for your upper body and to get yourself strong for the surgery. With the right surgeon there is no reason why you shouldn't go on to nursing - look at all the footballers, golfers etc who have had ACLr with success. I do think you should bring up the possibility of a "block" though when you next speak with your surgeon...

Good luck

Lottie
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline djmaria9209

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Re: Surgery coming 8/11/11 but OS wants me to straighten knee out
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 11:09:52 PM »
@sarah123 thanks for the advice

@Lottiefox that would explain a lot.  Really my OS is just going to go in on 8/11 and see whats going on and fix whatever it is.  He knows for sure my ACL is gone but he is unsure even after the MRI results came in that I have anything else wrong even though it is very apparent that there is more wrong. I will definitely mention the block though.  I'm concerned because the surgeon doesn't seem to be as concerned about my condition as I am but perhaps it's because he sees so many of these types of cases regularly. 

Thanks again,
M















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