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Author Topic: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25  (Read 18212 times)

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Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2012, 11:14:04 PM »
So today is the one day during this d*mn recovery that I am allowing myself to have a pity party!  Therapy this week has caused an immense amount of pain and even required an occassional pain pill, as the ice machine when I got home just wasn't cutting it.  Heel slides on the wall measured at 77 on left and 83 on the right but heel slides on the table are still crappy.  Passive flexion leaves a constant stream of tears down my face and she had me sitting off the edge of the table with my legs dangling (right leg wasn't too bad, left was supported by her and still with horrible pain).  My PT feels horrible-we've been through a lot and I think this is the first rehab that leaves constant sharp pains.  Don't get me wrong, there were tears every now and then with the other ones but regaining motion has never really been an issue.  So I cried and cried and then cried some more.  I brought my ear buds today so that I can try to self-soothe while doing the heel slides by listening to music, as there are certain songs that provide a great sense of inner peace and tranquility-helped a bit but not enough.  Getting in/out of the car is bad; driving isn't though so once I get in I'm fine until I need to get out.   ;D

Ran to Officemax after PT to pick up some laminating that I dropped off before hand and to take advantage of the 20% off coupon I had and then headed home.  Unfortunately, my garage is coated in these stupid flying bugs that are coming from the tree.  They are harmless but creepy nonetheless and I have a HUGE fear of bugs.  It's silly as I'm a million times bigger than them but it's still a very strong fear.  So I sat in my car trying to figure out how to get out, as they were on the door to get out, crawling on the ground, and flying like crazy.  I was essentially paralyzed with fear and then felt stupid for it too.  But it didn't matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it.  Probably because I couldn't get out of the car fast enough, nor could I walk fast enough to get out of the garage.  So I ended up pulling back out of the garage and parking on the street.  Came inside, hooked myself up to ice, and cried like crazy-partially because of the pain, partially because of the stupid fear of the bugs, and then because of the frustration.  I am supposed to be back at work next week getting everything for my kiddos ready and I am so limited.  Not sure how to manage stairs yet and although my classroom is on the first floor with a ramp (or 3 stairs) to get into the building, all of our meetings are held upstairs in the library, as it's the only room with AC.  Those first few days are nothing but meetings so this should be fun.  This is so not fair...my kiddos deserve better than this!

Okay, done ranting and time to wrap up this pity party!  Tomorrow will be a better day...after all, not sure it can get any worse than today!
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction

Offline emm10161301

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2012, 11:50:27 PM »
Awk :( I wish I could give you a big hug and a box of tissues!! I know exactly how you feel, I've been there and its rotten. That's the problem with this sugery, the drs tell you you should be able to bend, but the pain prevents it. You are doing awesome! You really are! Be proud of yourself!! And as for the bugs, I'm the exact same! If you get bug spray, spray it. Jus in the garage like an airfreshioner and they will slowy kill them all. This also kills any other creepies like spiders and all. As the weather is up and down here with heat we leave the back door open to let air in. And flies come in, so my gramps sprays some bug spray about the house and they die within an hour even if its been a few days from its been sprayed :) just put today down to experience and look at tomorrow as a fresh new day :) a day for success :)
2002-2012 regular dislocations of both knees, tried everything from braces and casts to physio.
June 2012 MPFL surgery on both knees

Offline YogaGirl

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 01:07:01 AM »
So sorry you had such a rough day! Em is exactly right, don't dwell on this one, give it up... it happened and now you get to move forward. I suggest putting on your favorite comfort movie, wrapping up in a good blanket and calling it a day.

And don't stress yourself out worrying about school yet or the kids. You will either get to the meetings or they will figure something else out. Those are the options... They will either excuse you from them, give you an expedited version, or move the meeting. I don't see them firing you because you literally can't bend your knees. (Helllllo lawsuit!) So that will work itself out. And the kids do deserve the best, the fact that you're worrying about them right now, instead of yourself, shows that they have a damn good teacher.

Focus on NOW and you. You get to be selfish right now, in fact you have to be, or else you wont get better. No worrying about the future, its coming no matter what. So make good decisions now to get yourself in the best state, physical and mental, for whats ahead. You got this!!  :D
www.peaceloveknees.com <---- check out my MPFLr blog
www.brightskyyoga.com

Offline Xeplasma

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 09:41:54 PM »
((teacher2many)) I am in hug giving mode right now( probably because I need some myself) and wish I could just give you a real one. This PT thing does $#ck! I was all excited to have moved to 60 on Thursday only to wake up to a swollen painful knee on Friday.
I hope you're feeling a bit better today and things look a little brighter. Hang in there.

Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2012, 10:31:21 PM »
So Friday was indeed a crappy day but yesterday was not so crappy!  :-)  Sometimes I think the frustration just gets the best of me, especially since there are so many orthopedic issues and just when one starts to resolve, another one either flares up or surfaces.  The fact that my shoulder (I had part of my scapula/shoulder blade surgically removed in Jan. 2012 as it was catching and when it'd 'pop' back in, it'd dislocate my ribs) has been progressively getting worse isn't helping-it was a fear of mine that has now become a reality and rightfully so as the arms are doing more work than they should right now.  So when I see my surgeon this upcoming Thursday, we are addressing both knees and trying to figure out how to calm the shoulder down a bit.  And then I'll investigate the hip options as well.

My niece and nephew came by yesterday to visit with my dad for a belated birthday visit and it was nice to see them.  Really wanted to go for a walk around the block with them but I know my limitations so instead, opted for some bubble blowing fun instead!  Today I ran a few errands and had a heck of a time getting in the passenger seat after the first errand.  The knees swell with the smallest bit of activity, making it that much more difficult to bend them.  Hoping one day I'll wake up and things will have turned the corner-hopefully!  Actually if I can just get a full night sleep, I'll be happy.

Was in contact with my PA yesterday to inquire about what type of goals they wanted to see at my appt. this week and there was mention of wanting full extension (yay on that one-extension is never really an issue for me as I always have about 5-8 degrees of hyperextension) and flexion to 90 (insert tears here).  There will be a discussion on pain relief options for the knees; does anyone have any experience with other options other than pain meds (ie pain patches, etc.)?  Trying to find other options to help with pain other than meds, especially since I'll have a bunch of little ones to teach in a matter of a week or so and want to avoid the pain pills as much as possible as they make me too 'foggy' and only work to dull it, not to rid it completely.

Xeplasma-sending virtual hugs your way as well!  Sorry to hear about the bad day you had and the continued pain and swelling; I know how frustrating the setbacks are but hopefully it's just a setback and once things calm down a bit, you can regain some of your flexion.

YogaGirl-unfortunately, my district can put me on leave if I cannot perform my job duties.  They are very strict with having restrictions at work and you end up on FMLA if there are any.  So although they won't be able to 'fire' me, if I cannot 'fake' getting through a typical day, they can force me to go on leave until I get clearance from my doctor.  So my philosophy with all of these past surgeries is 'what they don't know, won't hurt them'.  I had no choice with the shoulder, as that was done in January and was on lifting restrictions for about 3 weeks and since my kiddos all have moderate-severe disabilities, lifting them is a given.  But I'm going to do my best to get through the days with the help of my assistants-unless there are MAJOR improvements over the next week or so, can't envision my days at work being successful.  Thanks for the support!!!!  And I think the website with yoga ideas will be great!  We've done a bit of that and pilates as part of PT but those positions are a bit impossible but right now but as soon as flexion becomes more of a reality than a vision, I think yoga would be very beneficial all the way around!

Em-thanks for the support!  Bending is not my friend and since they want to see flexion at 90 come my 4 week mark this week, this should be interesting.  But we'll see how things go in PT on Monday & Wednesday.

Time to ice the other leg and attempt to get the swelling down before I shower otherwise I fear I'll be showering with one leg in and one leg out of the tub!  :-)
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction

Offline joanfan123

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2012, 10:06:19 PM »
On the topic of pain patches I know my grandma uses them for her arthritis in her knee, and sometimes her hip too. They help her walk without a walker pretty well. I also used some during a trip I took in April for the plane rides, I personally found they didn't help with deep pain, but mine were not prescription.
May '10- PT LK
June '11- PT LK
October '11- Cortisone LK
11/8/11- Arthroscope Fat Pad trimmed LK

Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 03:53:23 AM »
Quick update before I go 'veg' on the couch with a cup of hot tea before bedtime!

Headed to work today for day 1 of classroom prep and holy cow....!  The pain and stiffness set in after about 20 minutes on my feet and I took many 'sitting' breaks throughout the day.  Trying to get down to a chair was hilarious-the knees won't bend enough and most of the adult chairs are on wheels so every time I'd start to brace myself with my arms and lower, the chair would start to move.  Not really sure how I'm going to manage getting down to the little kid chairs that are about 18" high off the ground but we'll see.  Maybe I'll just sit on the tables!   ;D

I am definitely worried and concerned about heading back to work but not going, feels like I'm failing my kiddies and I already feel like I'm failing in this rehab so that would just make it that much worse.  I see my OS on Thursday so hopefully the 'no forced flexion' rule will get thrown out the window and some different perspectives, advice, suggestions will be given.  Maybe after a week or two of being able to 'force' that knee to bend whether it wants to or not will help.  And if not, so be it.  My goal is to try a week or two with the kids and see how it goes.  If it's manageable, great, and if not, I'll have a conversation with my OS re: leave of absence until things improve but I can't just give up the fight without trying.  Those kids mean the world to me and they deserve to have someone in their life who is absolutely crazy about them and who will do anything and everything for them and unfortunately, they don't get that at home.  So if I can give that to them for the 2.5 hrs/day that they are with me, I consider myself lucky and honored to be that one person in their life.

Flexion today was a bit worse than Friday which I knew it would be as PT was at the end of the day after being at work all day.  Think the L measured at about 67 and the R at about 78.  So the gap is closing between the two sides but I found out from OS office that they wanted to see flexion at 90 come Thursday-oops, think they're going to be a wee bit disappointed!!!

Time to sign off-seeing my PCP tomorrow so we'll see if he can shed any light into some of the sleeping issues (which I know are from the pain and irritation) and the overall 'drained' feeling-perhaps the anemia is rearing its ugly head again! 
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction

Offline franny

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 09:31:21 AM »
Aw bee! I know the worry you're going through, I'm a teacher too. I teach teenagers with learning difficulties and am quite energetic in my approach, I was once described as 'bouncy'. Erm, well that's not the case at the moment! I feel like they are going to get a rubbish version of me, walking around makes my knee swell enormously and sitting with it bent in front of me makes it so stiff that I can't move when I stand up!
I sometimes think people don't realise what an energetic job teaching is. Do you have good classroom assistants? If so could you brief them with the kind of help you will need. I'm lucky that my college are being quite supportive and I always have a good support worker in the classroom.

On a positive note, I was having a real problem with flexation and it has suddenly get a lot easier - still don't think I've reached 90 yet though and I'm at 7 weeks! It doesn't feel as terrible when I bend it now though. You should be really proud of how great you are doing!

Good luck with sorting out your sleep and pass on any tips as I have not had a proper night since I had the op. I wake up every time I move!

Good luck with your physio, you are amazing!
Bendy Childhood
1999 - Dislocation R Knee-cap
2002- dislocation L knee-cap & arthroscopy
Many subluxations & instability in both knees
2008- gave birth to daughter, PGP, subluxation and instability following birth
2010- dislocation L knee-cap
2011- EDS III diagnosis 
02/07/12- MPFL Reconstruction

Offline YogaGirl

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 08:04:41 PM »
Hey Teach, how's it been going lately? I'm hoping no news is good news... You make it to 90 yet?
www.peaceloveknees.com <---- check out my MPFLr blog
www.brightskyyoga.com

Offline momma-cat

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2012, 09:02:02 PM »
Teacher,

I thought I would hop onto yours diary and see how you are holding up. I am also a teacher but I teach online. However, I feel your pain in the up-and-down aspect because I am a PCP to about 1400 children so I am up and down constantly. I go back to work on 1/2 days in two weeks. I know a lot of teachers that sit on the sides of their desks - maybe an option?

As for sleep, I take Trazadone. It is a really, really old antidepressant. But it doesn't work too well as an antidepressant but it has a great "side-effect" for drowsiness thus is now used for insomnia.

You are doing much better than me on angles - my right knee is only at 46 degrees as of yesterday. But PT really put a hurt on me yesterday and still paying for it today.

Keep your chin up - this too shall pass - only downhill from here.....can't think of any more at this moment.

Momma.cat
Catherine H.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2012, 01:55:56 AM »
So, quick update...

I hit the 4 week mark yesterday and had a post-op visit today.  Got the okay to ditch the braces (and trust me, I ditched them but honestly, I've been walking without them for about the past week, with this week wearing them very minimally at work and yes, I did tell them that today too).  I was supposed to have 90 degrees of flexion by today but only at the 70's bilaterally but doc isn't TOO overly concerned.  He did mention something about maybe needing a 'flexionator' at the next visit if things still aren't at full ROM.  Sounded horrible and all I can think of is the commercial for the 'baconator' burger at Wendys!   ;D   He's hoping that in another 4 weeks things will have greatly improved-so am I!

He prescribed tramadol to help with the pain and gave the ok for PT to push flexion, as we were restricted with no forced flexion.  Like the fact that tramadol is not a narcotic but still weary as to its effects.  Took the first dose about 7 pm tonight so that'll give me a few hours to see how I react (dizziness, etc.) and also to see if it makes sleeping any easier.  Contemplating restarting taking magnesium at bedtime to help with sleeping (worked wonders the last few times as it supports healthy nerve and muscle growth) but we'll see how things go with the tramadol.  It is only once/day so I think I'm going to take it at the end of my work day so that it can kick in before I get to PT but will still be in my system for work the following day as it's an extended release tablet lasting about 24 hrs.  But this weekend will be the test and if it doesn't work that way, I may just switch it and take it at lunchtime (providing it doesn't cause too much drowsiness or mental fog) so that it can kick it for PT but that way, I'm only having to get through half a work day in pain (my AM session).

The classroom is almost set up.  Was going to go back tomorrow to get some paperwork done but as I was leaving, many HUGE boxes of new materials arrived so I'm adding that to my list for tomorrow.  Not sure why we get them at the end of our 'set up the room' week but at least we get them before our kids start.  Still doubting my success at work, especially since I found out today that one of my assistants is not with me this year and I'm not sure if they're replacing her or not. I'll find out if I can or cannot do this soon enough!

I did run to Target after work to drop off/pick up the rx and was crying in the store!  The pain was just ridiculous and the swelling was horrible-a bit of a vision of what life will be like starting Monday.  But I came home and immediately hooked up to my ice machine-not sure how long I'll still have it so I'm definitely taking advantage!

Hope all are doing well; fingers crossed for increased flexion tomorrow at PT! 
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction

Offline Xeplasma

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2012, 01:10:44 PM »
This flexionator thingy does not sound much fun. Although associated with the 'baconator' it does sound better, haha
. I'm stuck at 70 ROM myself and it's been a bit depressing. They have not been pushing at all and can't even imagine the pain it would bring.
Do you have to return the machine? I hope/believe mine is a purchase, now it makes m nervous, I'd better check the paperwork.
I so wish I could drive but lifting my leg side to side is still pretty difficult.

Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 04:09:22 AM »
So, just a quick update!  Today was my first day at work with the kiddos and it was far more difficult than I anticipated.  I have a very energetic and mobile group of kiddos coupled with their moderate-severe disabilities.  Getting in/out of a chair, just to sit and play/talk with them is horrible, yet alone trying to 'chase' them down the hall.  Luckily, I have 2 great program assistants who did a lot of the 'quick' movements which helped ease my mind of some of the safety concerns as they can easily outrun me!

I am also 36 days post-op today and my R leg FINALLY reached 90 painful degrees of passive flexion.  The L is at 83 and still tighter and far more painful than the R.  I told PT that I only want it measured every Wednesday in honor of the weekly anniversary of surgery as it was getting far too depressing to not see significant improvements when it was being measured every PT session, not to mention I felt it was better to have a specific timeframe of at 5 weeks, x degrees of flexion obtained, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, etc.  I will be e-mailing the 6 week measurement to my doc next week and we'll see what he says.  And even etter than the 90 and 83 degrees of flexion was the fact that today was the first tear-free day of PT since rehab started 4 weeks ago!  Now don't get me wrong, it hurt like heck but I found deep breathing was helping to get through those really painful times.

I also stopped taking the tramadol-last dose was this past Tuesday.  This was not the game plan of the doc but I didn't feel comfortable having it in my system while being responsible for the little ones, although I have yet to notice any side effects except for some drowsiness when it first kicks in.  And I wanted to see how I did at work without it and more importantly, if it made a different at PT without it.  And none of those happened; the only difference I noticed was a poorer quality of sleep due to constant pain and more irritation/pain all day but I didn't notice any difference in flexion as measurements yesterday and today were the same (I had her measure both days as yesterday was 5 weeks but today was the first day on my feet all day with the kids and wanted a baseline of what those days would look like, as that's how measurements would be taken from here on out-no difference noted on either side regarding flexion, only with edema and swelling).  So we'll see how it goes; if sleep is still horrible tonight due to pain I may take 1 tomorrow night to see if it makes a difference or not, especially considering it's a long weekend.  It might be a play it by ear situation too-really bad days might require a bedtime dose whereas painful but tolerable days won't.

I think that's it...a cup of hot tea is in order along with some of the giant birthday cupcake my PT gave me!
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction

Offline Xeplasma

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2012, 03:22:05 PM »
Yay for the beginning of school year!! It's always been a favorite time for me( nerd anyone?).
90 ROM sounds dreamy at this point. Congrats!!!
I hope you feel better this week.

Offline Teacher2Many

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Re: Bilateral MPFL Reconstruction-7/25
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2012, 03:14:41 AM »
Super quick update before the president comes on for his speech:  yesterday marked 6 weeks since surgery.  Passive ROM was measured at 100 on the R and a little shy of 90 on the L.  Not sure how accurate those results are as they were measured by someone different so the consistency isn't there; will have the other PT measure tomorrow just to be sure (nothing like getting your hopes up for 100 just to find out next week only at 94 due to inaccurate measurement).  The pain has been HORRIBLE...the left is absolutely miserable, the right a bit better.  I've been questioning if I should have returned to work due to the pain and limitations but when I see those little smiles, all seems better until I try to move my leg again.

The L is giving me so many problems-medial pain is brutal, quad sets cause immense patella pain, quad weakness is ridiculous (esp. when compared to the R), and definitely has a lot more sharp stabbing pains and pulsating pains than the R, etc.  Any kind of pressure, either on the medial or lateral side, really hurts.  Now don't get me wrong, the R side isn't perfect but a lot of these issues are either only present on the L (such as the quad weakness and patella pain w/quad activiation) or if they are on the R, they are greatly diminished in severity and intensity.  Flexion seems to be at a stand still, gaining maybe 5 degrees a week if I'm lucky on the L, maybe a little more on the R.  Sleeping is still painful and difficult, waking up maybe 2-3 times/week in pretty bad pain and an overall feeling of being 'uncomfortable'-clearly the pain is too much for the meds to combat.

There is a pretty significant pocket of swelling on the R side along the anterior tib-PT thinks it might be from overuse due to the pain/weakness on the L and the foot drop on the L as well=lots of compensation with the R.  It does worry me at times from the past history of blood clots post surgery so it's just something I keep an eye on and watch for intense redness, swelling, warmth, fever, etc.  So far so good but always in the back of my mind.  There's still intense swelling of both knees-worse towards the end of the day with pitting edema present.

The L hip has been acting up as well and I knew it would once returning to work as my 'lazy' days of chilling at home ended.  Need to figure out when to address that so suppose an e-mail out to my hip OS will be sent in a few days to get the exact protocol for surgery, rehab, etc. so I can see if it's doable over winter break or if I should try post-poning it until the summer (although the thought of being on crutches in the winter with tons of ice and snow doesn't sound very good).

For those who have been on or are taking pain meds, what have you tried that you've found worked?  The meds I've been taking aren't working for the pain anymore, which I think is due to intensified pain from increased activity levels.  Wanted to see if there was anything others have found more helpful.

Hope all have a splendid weekend!
6/07-L TTT & LR
6/08-R TTT & LR
6/09-Bilateral ACI
7/10-R derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, LPFL reconstruction
6/11-L derotational femoral & tibial osteotomies, R hardware removal
1/12-L tibial hardware removed, R scapulectomy
4/12-L femoral hardware removed
7/12-L & R MPFL reconstruction















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