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Author Topic: Born without knee cap, having issues with replacement  (Read 1150 times)

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Offline kahai99

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Born without knee cap, having issues with replacement
« on: June 08, 2012, 03:30:56 AM »
First time poster here, hoping for some help or at least comments and suggestions!

I was born in 1982 without a knee (patella specifically if I recall my life history) and had an artificial one placed when I was 2. It allowed me to walk, run, jump, bike, play sports provided I do not have to bend my knee past 90 degrees as that is as far as I can bend it on my own. 110 forced. Also I am 5'8" now and 220 lbs (a bit overweight, I know, been working on that)

In 2011, August, I went on vacation to the beach and while in the water I used my bad leg to jump a wave as I could not get footing on the other however using my strength a sudden dart of sharp pain went up my leg and I more or less ate that wave regardless. I walked off the mild stiffness and thought nothing more. In December I started to feel what I thought were bones connecting. Not so much grinding just like a metal/plastic touching now and then when my foot hit the ground or when I was 'tapping' my feet to music which started to get uncomfortable.

I went to an Orthopedic in March and found out my artificial patella had gotten out of the groove, which I've attached to this post for reference from 2 angles. Doctor wasn't very helpful, said he wouldn't suggest surgery to realign the patella as I'm still young and it could possibly weaken the knee further. Except my LIFE happens when I'm young, am I wrong? He did perscribe a J-Knee Brace by chance it may help nudge the patella back into place. I'll admit, the brace does help with shock absorption and feeling of strength (never had a lot of but I feel more stabilized). He wasn't very helpful, didn't even offer suggested exercises while wearing the knee brace. Nothing. Safe to say that when I go in for a second opinion it won't be with that doctor.

What do you guys think? After 28 years surely the knee replacment will need re-replaced soon anyway right? I'm more or less afraid of the huge medical bill that will be coming my way even with insurance; mybiggest concern at this point. I just don't know what I should do, I sorely miss walking like I used to all these years until now. Perhaps some of you know some exercises I can do to help the dislodged patella back into the grove with the J-Knee brace?

((Disregard the smaller patella, that's the one that eventually formed AFTER I was 2yrs old at some point in time. I'm assured it isn't messing with anything...))
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 03:33:14 AM by kahai99 »

Offline ALRunner

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Re: Born without knee cap, having issues with replacement
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 02:06:57 PM »
My advice is easy to give and as such possibly worthless, but I would advise you get at least a second opinion.

Obviously I'm not a physician, but your patella used to work fine, it then became dislocated, and if he's saying just put up with this permanent dislocation it's certainly not something I'd accept at face value.

When you're told the same thing by multiple experts it's probably safe to assume that they are correct, but if one person tells you something that you consider to be unacceptable (and it sounds like this is a big deal to your way of life, not surprisingly), it is absolutely reasonable to see a second person about it. I'd think about first googling for local orthopaedists whose particular expertise is in knee replacement surgeries. If possible, find a few local clinics, then look up each physician. See which one runs the clinic and set an appointment with him. You may also find out whether the doctor is actively involved in research in the field (a good thing), or more or less just showing up each day to collect a pay check (not a good thing).

All MDs are qualified to have an essential competency, but just as all people with drivers licenses can drive, there is a huge variance in their abilities. Good luck!

Also, I highly recommend you lose that weight. You can do it through diet alone and no exercise needed. I myself am a bit heavy now as well and it is 100% not helping my condition at all. I'm currently on an aggressive course to get ultra lean--not so much for appearance but for weight. There is an incredibly strong correlation between body mass and joint damage. With your height you could lose 50 lbs, realistically, and that would represent 22% less mass to move when you extent your leg, not at all insignificant.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 02:09:54 PM by ALRunner »