Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: 1st post--need advice and hope  (Read 1165 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline NeedHope

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
1st post--need advice and hope
« on: June 25, 2012, 06:41:16 AM »


Hi All,

I am so sorry for everything that you are all going through. I am sure you have faced much worse for me....and I wish I could give everyone on this board a trophy.

Right now I am feeling pretty down because I don't have any answers. I "sprained" my right knee 4.5 months ago while attending physical therapy for my lower back. I was doing an exercise with a band around my ankle where I pull my ankle away from a table leg (rotate my right leg outward while seated on top of the table).

I felt fine until two days later when the pain was suddenly an 8. I tried to tough it out for 6 weeks with icing and and an ace bandage. I saw one OS who said nothing was wrong with it, just a sprain. 3 months later, it was a 2-4 and never seemed to heal. My left good knee began to hurt as well from compensating.  I went and saw an OS at Hospital for Special Surgery in nyc and he did an Xray on my bad knee and said there was nothing wrong with it just a sprain. He said I had tilted kneecaps and it was patellar maltracking (my knee was clicking a lot etc). He sent me to start PT.

The dr gave me a donjoy brace for my left good knee and a tan medi brace (with soft plastic ring) for my right bad knee. He wanted to see which was more helpful. I did the PT which included  squatting with the braces on. By the end of the session my pain had gone from a 0 in my good knee to an 8! That night I couldn't even walk to the bathroom.

It is a week later and I have two bad knees now. I saw the dr. after the PT incident and he didn't even xray it and said I just need to do correct PT exercises. I was instructed to do PT at home (the Hospital PT gave me new "safe exercises").  :'( I cannot walk more than one block without so much pain I need to sit down. I wake up and within 5 minutes have pain.

I ice my knees 3-4 times a day and use icy hot 4 times a day. I take 4 aleve a day. It has been 4.5 months for my right knee with no improvement. It has been about 4 months for my left knee and now this new injury for my left knee. OS says they are both just sprains....but why is it taking so long to heal???

Should I get MRIs done??? I don't think I can do my job right now (it is only 3 days a week) without a wheelchair. This seems extreme. Please help me. I am really depressed. I'm only 27 and never had knee problems before.  :'(


Offline CariG

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 234
  • Liked: 0
  • Still smiling, and still standing!
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 02:15:34 PM »
Hi, am so sorry you are going through so much pain and discomfort...and trying to do the right things without much support from the medical specialists you've been seeing.
My PT told me when I first saw him that no one understands or knows your body as well as you do....and he's right. No two bodies will respond to the same treatment in the same way.
Seriously consider getting a second, third or fourth opinion. Your mobility, and your ability to function, are too important to not do anything and everything you possibly can. See another OS and possibly PT, ask people you know who have problems, or know others with problems, who they would recommend, check out the list on this site as well for an OS you can be referred to.
I'm cheeky, and blessed with a very good GP, and do ask for either a CT scan or an MRI if I know in myself something isn't right and should be investigated....but that's taken years of dealing, and learning to live with, my own issues with my travelling knees...and my GP is more than happy to listen and fulfil my requests when I do ask for them.
Best of luck in hopefully getting some answers in the near future that make sense and help you to recover some pain free mobility.
Thoughts are with you.
All is possible....
2004 ~ clicking/cracking original pain started R Knee
2007 ~ MPFL Reconstruction R Knee
2008 ~ Removal of cartilage (80%) R Knee
MPFL Reconstruction L Knee
12/7/2012 ~ Lateral Release & Scope R Knee

Offline Kwal57

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
  • Liked: 1
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 04:50:57 PM »
Wow. I feel your pain. I am 26, and in a similar boat. I have maltracking in both knees. I've had it for a while now. It got so bad I had a lateral release done on my right one bc it was not responding to PT. Then 10m after the surgery I fell on that knee i had surgery on. I've been in extra pain for 6m now bc of the fall. But now my left leg is reacting to compensation. I did have an MRI and it showed cartilage missing. If you are in so much pain, consider a second opinion. It can't hurt. Ask for an MRI too. they can shed light to what is going on in the joint.

I found Taping helped a lot for maltracking issues. Ask them at PT.

As for boundaries, you have to take care of your body, its the only one you get. If you feel up to it CariG and I had a good condo going on in her post 'self image.' it might be worth the read. It's hard to go from being able to do so many things, to not being able to do them. It's frustrating, and annoying, and sometimes you just want to scream because of it. Keep icing, and doing what you can, and get the doc to take you a bit more seriously, or the 2nd opinion. Sometimes personalities with doctors and patients don't click.

I currently am not working. but I can't chase around 3, 4,& 5 year olds on bad knees. But if you feel you can't work, advocate for yourself, who knows you better than you?!

I was 24 when the one problems started. It's uncanny how it changes your life. Keep up the good work, and no matter what, you'll get through this!! If you need to rant about not being able to do stuff a regular 20-something should be able to do, I am totally your gal...:)

One day at a time.

*Kay*
'Runners' knee > Lateral Release 3/11
Minor Meniscus tear > clip 3/11
Fall on bad knee 1/12
PT 3/12-6/12
MRI > Cartilage missing = Cortisone + PT 5/12
Arthroscopy > cartilage missing, meniscus tear, & misalignment 8/12
TTO/ACI 10/13
Healing....for now :)
instability :/

Offline LindaM

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
  • Liked: 8
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 10:15:57 PM »
Hey there,

Sorry to hear you are hurting.  When you told me you were taking Aleve I wondered if you are taking it on your own or at a dose prescribed by your doctor.  The bottle doses and the prescription doses are not at all the same and you might not be taking enough to be really effective.  It is also possible that after several months of taking it your body is no longer responding to it and it is completely ineffective.  Naprosyn, the original prescription version only worked for me for about two months and has never worked for me since.  During my many years with arthritis I have taken virtually every non-steroidal available at one time or another.  Some worked a few months, some a year or two, some not at all, and some had side effects.  You may just need a different one to control your pain and bring down the swelling more effectively.  Were I you, I would give Motrin a try at full non-prescription dose for a couple of days to see if there is a difference.  If it helps, even if not completely, you can contact your doctor and discuss getting the prescription level dose which is of Motrin or another anti-inflammatory appropriate for you.  I have taken the max dose for long periods of time with no problems, but I wouldn't recommend doing that on your own because you can run into problems if you are not monitored.

I agree, working in a wheelchair is not something very appealing(I've done it after ankle surgery) and if used over a long period will make your muscles weaker.  But are you using crutches when you can?  Walking with crutches, at least at home or longer distances like shopping might help you put less stress on your knees and help you heal up the better one faster.  Even if it helps only one of you knees to feel better, the bother of using them would be worth it. 

Sprains can be worse than a break, in part because we keep using the injured part and it doesn't rest.  I had one ankle sprain that I finally had casted 7 months later because it just wouldn't heal and I expect your OS is trying to do that with your braces with the hope that limitiing movement will give you a chance to heal.  If you donjoy is keeping you knee from moving where it shouldn't, hopefully with gentle strengthening you will get back to normal again soon, then continue work on the bad knee.  Some PTs are just too eager and seeing a young person in good health think you will be able to handle more than you can.  Hopefully you are doing the more gentle exercises at home and icing afterward to build up the strength you will need to keep your knee stable.  Women's hormones make us more liable to ligament problems, so strength is key.

Hang in there!  I know that being in pain is really depressing and makes you worry that it is the start of something really serious, but you have already had two OSs who both believe it is a sprain, and it probably is.  Give it another month, and if things are the same really push for an MRI to rule out the odd exception.

Good luck and good healing :)

Linda

>20 yrs. osteo and inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia
meniscus repair Sept. 2009
right PKR June 2010
left PKR Feb. 2012

Offline LAS

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Liked: 11
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 03:28:27 AM »
Sounds  like you would benefit from an MRI of your knee.     Has anyone you have seen suggested that.  You may have a tear.    LAS

Offline Snowy

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2555
  • Liked: 93
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 04:57:02 AM »
Given the length of time that's passed and the continued high pain levels, you definitely need to pursue some additional diagnostics, including an MRI.

Keeping in mind that I'm not an expert, the fact that there was a specific incident that led to the very high pain levels you're currently experiencing and the lack of improvement in spite of PT both indicate that something specific has gone wrong and your doctors aren't picking up on it. An x-ray is of limited use, because it won't help identify soft tissue injuries. Sprain is a catch-all term that doesn't really help if the OS gave you no indication of which ligament he thinks you sprained and how severe the sprain is. If it's bad enough, the joint could have been left permanently lax and that could be causing additional problems. Patellar maltracking can be responsible for a lot of knee problems, but whether or not PT will help is dependent on how severe the maltracking is and the underlying cause and it doesn't sound like anyone's investigated this for you. There are all sorts of diagnostics like CT scans and rotational scans that can help determine how severe this is, and whether conservative measures like PT and orthotics will help or whether surgical intervention is needed.

We're not experts here on the forum, so anything we say might be wrong with your knee is at best a guess. What is fairly clear is that you haven't had the diagnostics and investigation that your symptoms warrant. The unsuccessful PT you've had so far doesn't necessarily mean that PT isn't the answer (I struggled for years with severe pain from maltracking kneecaps, and PT generally made things worse until I finally signed up with my current PT who took an entirely different approach to the problem) but the fact that your issues started with a specific incident suggests that you may also have an acute injury going on as well as the chronic condition. If it's a soft tissue injury, the x-rays you had previously won't have helped.

That's the advice side covered; on the hope side, my story isn't all that different to yours. I had some chronic ongoing pain from maltracking in both knees when I injured my left knee badly about six years ago. A number of doctors dismissed the aftermath (and my other symptoms) as "patellofemoral pain syndrome," and I spent a lot of time in PT that either didn't help or actively made things worse. After seeing a new sports medicine doc I got a new PT with a new approach and things started to improve dramatically, but he expressed a lot of concern about the laxity in my left knee and the fact that none of my doctors had followed up on it - he said it was characteristic of an ACL compromised by a partial tear. I then blew out the left knee completely in a skiing accident (I don't really recommend that part), had the ligament reconstructed, and am now finally back to the kind of activity level I had originally. It was a combination of repairing the overlooked acute injury in the left knee and very careful, structured PT for the maltracking that finally fixed things. I'm a downhill and backcountry skier, mountain biker and hiker, so I subject my knees to some pretty severe demands. The PFS does flare up from time to time, but when that happens I know what I need to do these days - rest, foam rolling, and a visit to the PT if it persists.

We're all on our own knee journey and what worked for one of us may not work for another, but I really do hope that there will be light at the end of your tunnel. It sounds like additional diagnostics and a second surgical opinion would be a really good place to start.
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 NeedHope

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 05:21:16 AM »
Wow thanks for all your input guys.

I am going to make an appt. with a new dr. at the Hospital for Special Surgery and ask for

1. and MRI of both knees considering 4.5 months of pain due to specific injuries and things worsening
2. a stronger anti-inflammatory for my knees since I am icing 4+times per day and 4 aleve seem to do nothing
3. if I should brace my knees because now my dr. says to not wear braces so that my knee can be strengthened...yet I cannot walk more than one block without needing to sit....

I will post after I have done these things. Thanks for all the advice!!!!!!! It was encouraging.

Offline Snowy

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2555
  • Liked: 93
Re: 1st post--need advice and hope
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 05:35:05 AM »
That sounds like a great plan. The other questions I would ask the new doc:

* What exactly did I sprain, and how badly?
* Can you do the manual tests for a) ligament and b) meniscus damage?

Good luck!
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















support