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Author Topic: Just had OATS procedure. What to expect?  (Read 3362 times)

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Offline runner7

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Just had OATS procedure. What to expect?
« on: June 28, 2012, 04:49:31 AM »
I posted on here about a year ago, but I'll give some background.

I am currently 21 years old, and I was a D1 collegiate runner in late 2010.  I started feeling some pain in my left knee, and then in my right knee (medial femoral condyle).  It kept getting worse, and I had to quit running (February 2011).  At that point, my knees felt HORRIBLE for months.  After some MRIs, the doctor gave me the choice of microfracture or waiting it out to see if it would recover.

So for about 15 months I waited it out, and it did recover -- to an extent.  I reached a plateau.  I could walk around "alright", but with every step I knew the pain was still there.  Running was still out of the question.

I got my latest high-res MRI at the beginning of June (2012).  This time it showed that everything was as far healed as it was going to be for the rest of my life.  What it also showed this time though was that the damage extended from the cartilage into the bone, so microfracture would not repair this (which is fine with me, because I never liked the idea of fibrocartilage anyway).

So I got OATS surgery two days ago (June 25).  The good news is that my surgeon seemed very positive about it.  It turns out the defect was < 1 cm^2, and my cartilage was still smooth, but it was gray and soft.  (Since nerve cells do not exist inside of cartilage, my pain was coming from a little higher up in the bone).

I opted for no neural-block, as I would rather feel pain so I know what's going on.  Oddly enough, I haven't felt much pain at all so far.  I haven't even taken any pain medication.  Honestly, it's less painful right now than the first three months after I got injured.

My surgeon said that I can be partial-weightbearing, but I am not taking ANY chances.  I do not want to screw this up, so I leaving all weight off my right leg as I move around with crutches.  I have a bad habit of jinxing myself right when something good seems to be happening, and I don't want to do it again.

Anyway, I've already gone into physical therapy.  The trainer had me move my leg a lot more than I thought I would.  There is some pain when I raise my leg from flat on the table to up into the air.  Is this normal?  It's hard to describe, but it's almost like there's some string inside my knee and raising my leg pulls on this string.  The trainer said there was no need to worry about that, but again, I'm playing it safe.

Hopefully I'll get to run again at some point.  My surgeon said I could try at 3 months out, but I may wait a bit longer.  I've already waited 1.5 years, another half year makes no big difference.  Besides, when (if) I can actually get back to running, it will be competitive 100+ mile weeks, so I need to be fully prepared and evaluated.

If anyone can tell me more of what I could expect in the next few weeks (in terms of pain or otherwise), that would be great.  I really just want to keep my recovery on the "normal" path to avoid screwing anything up.

Oh, by the way, I am also using a CPM for 4 hours a day.  My knee feels a little strained at the top of 20 degrees flexion, but I suppose that's normal??


(And I'll keep you guys updated with my progress as well!)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 04:51:32 AM by runner7 »