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Author Topic: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help  (Read 1741 times)

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Offline Hiker girl

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Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« on: June 30, 2012, 04:39:57 PM »
I am starting my 6th week post op. 

After my scope my OS told me my fat pad was impinged and mushed around into the joint.  He told me swelling would be problematic for months.  This is slowing my PT, I can't drive, when I work I have to use Ice packs and prop my leg up. 

When the swelling begins the moment I wake up the pain slams in as well.  I do my 3 sets of 10 passive flexion and extension 3 times a day.  Every hour I do heal pumps and slides.  Every 2 hours I strap on ice.  I take anti-inflammatory with pepcid AC.

I started gait training yesterday....I could walk some. 

I need advice on keeping the swelling down...I am so frustrated.  Thought I was going in for a meniscus clean up and I just can't wrap my mind around how long this is taking. 

Please help :'(
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 04:52:14 PM by Hiker girl »
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 07:42:26 PM »
Sorry to hear that you are having such a rotten time. The fat pad is typically a difficult thing to deal with because it's such a sensitive tissue. Maybe your walking will progress slowly but surely. :) Also, you might find something useful from other members' posts who have been through this procedure.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.

Offline Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 08:03:49 PM »
Thank you for your reply. 

I have been following Nick's diary and I couldn't figure out why he had minimal pain after surgery and could walk.  I did take a fall at week 4 and got ambitious and rode a stationary bike thinking I could increase ROM ;D   That was not the best idea.  My PT was not happy and worked extra hard and long.

This is exhausting both mentally and physically and sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing.  Although I can straighten my leg now after 2 yrs. 

OS promised I would be able to hike, travel and work without pain....eventually.   I  just can't see past each day and feel hope slipping esp. when I have to rely on other people for simple tasks like driving, cooking, cleaning..... :(
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 10:26:28 PM »
6 weeks is very early, I know it feels like a lifetime. Keep up with what you're doing, ensure you're elevating as well - higher than heart not just up in the air if you can manage it (is tricky I know!)

Being able to straighten your leg is massive - you will get the swelling to go down and when it does you'll have better gait and functionality.

My foot was still swollen 10 months after surgery. It is now 15 months on and still swells a bit more when its hot. Surgery is a biggie. Let your body heal!

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 Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 11:01:25 PM »
Lottie,

Thank you for your reality check on surgery.  Your post was so encouraging I got a bit tearful :'( .  I don't know if my progress is good, but it sure helps to know the progression on how I will eventually be able to walk without limping?  And hiking?

I am checking online for a zero gravity chair since this knee higher than heart is messing with my back.

I have had to miss out on climbing Whitney and traveling to Europe for my 30 anniversary.   

15 months of swelling, that must be hard.  I hope things resolve for you.  If I only had a magic wand I would make all of us with strong, pain free knees 8)

Debbie
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 04:43:43 AM »
Knee problems are really tough to deal with and surgery is never easy. I think of surgery as a dirty bathroom at a big concert. People outside are dying to get in, and those inside are just dying to come out.  ;)  ;)

It sounds like you are pretty depressed about it. Try and find activities that can help you get your mind off the frustration for a while at least. Easier said than done, but it would help in dealing with pain. Also it might be helpful to get some reassurance from your OS, if you haven't already.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.

Offline Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 05:45:52 AM »
Thank you Kneepaincure,

That was a great analogy ;D

I have never had surgery in my adult life.  My pre-op was done with my gp and since everyone thought I was going in for a meniscus repair I didn't even know what questions to ask...oops!

I ended up not working for 3 weeks but I also did not sleep b/c of the anesthesia and medicines for 6 weeks.  I began taking magnesium and  I have been able to sleep for a week now but I am still emotional at times.  I don't like not knowing what is happening. But, I do think I am grieving.  It was like a bait and switch.  I guess I have to just go through the process ::)

I know what you mean about getting my mind off things.  I have read so many books including pride and prejudice (da is English mjr). And have watched so much netflix.   How does one keep their mind off their knee?  Every half hour there is something we are supposed to do from ankle pumps to popping meds and PT 3 times a day and....... :o :o :o

I think I will start sketching again.  That is like meditation for me.  And the good news is I work 1 day this week..woohoo!

Debbie



Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 06:05:21 AM »
Yes I guess you could call it grieving. I've grieved for my knees plenty of times, though my problems are not close to yours, but being young and having restricted mobility is a bad combination. At some point the sadness just blows off and then I'm good for the next cycle of feeling fine. What changes things for me is acceptance, more than fighting too much, and optimism doesn't work either. It's kind of hard to explain, but it works for me.

Sketching, reading, whatever you can do to make life feel worthwhile again, it's going to help the healing along. Maybe look into a bit of therapy if that's your thing.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.

Offline Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 03:52:26 PM »
Some great advice.  It feels like a cycle of struggling to physically get through the day followed by the dread of sleeping or not sleeping at night.  I just don't take pain meds for anything and now bam I am on pain meds and now meds to deal with the side effects of those meds.  I freaked out just from that.  I began to read the forums and many people are like me walking a fine line of taking just enough without going over. 

Acceptance is a balancing act I like the way you put it. 

I smiled when you said if therapy is your thing.  I am a play therapist/family therapist.  My whole practice is to get the families up, moving and communicating with each other.  I am very active...was active in the sessions.  Now I am just giving directions and having to restrict my practice to adolescents and above.  Ah yes the transitions in life. 

What is tilted kneecaps?  This does not sound fun at all.
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 05:32:13 PM »
Haha, sorry about recommending therapy to a therapist.  :) I said that because I've noticed that being sad just magnifies pain. Though I've known people who get through pain without much emotional trouble and it makes me wonder if it's a sort of inbuilt ability that some have, and some have to work to develop.

My kneecaps track off to the side. And no it hasn't been fun, but it's manageable.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.

Offline Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 01:16:31 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D  No worries!  I have a group of therapists that I have shared with but they  don't get the frustration.

It seems like a mad cycle of holding onto the pain internally for sooooo long (22 months at level 10 pain prior to surgery).  Then post surgery the pain continues and the frustration and sadness seeps in.  I am optimistic and usually nothing gets me down (cancer survivor.....blah, blah, blah).  In PT I am rooting every one on including myself.  Did I do better?

My hubby thinks all the emotional roller coaster is a combination of drugs/meds, anesthesia, poor sleep and not making HUGE progress like my mind wants my body to make.  Poor man is spending his summer break doing every thing....wait that might be a good thing.  I think he has gone over the edge as he just informed me that he is farming worms for our garden ???  He has also trained the kids cats that were left behind when they moved out. :D

I am so sorry about your knees.  I go to a trigger point/acupressure Chiropractor and today he did some manipulations to help my tight patellar tendon and the knee cap moved right into place.  Would that be helpful to you? 

Debbie
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 02:15:26 AM »
22 months is a hellishly long time to be in that much pain. Really hope that things improve for you soon. Then you can help with the worm farm.  :D :D

I guess you are really lucky to have a supportive husband. To go through this alone would be far worse.

And my problem can't be resolved by manipulating the knee. It's a bone issue, not a ligament/tendon one. I'm sure that if someone tried to stretch out the lateral part of my knee, it would then start to pop out of place. For now I am functioning well with all the wonky parts and hoping that they won't give out on me anytime soon.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.

Offline Hiker girl

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 05:01:46 PM »
I am back on crutches!  Got too ambitious with passive movement and the area under and beside my incision is bleeding  :(

PT asked me why I am pushing too hard.  I told him I didn't know how many visits I had for PT so I needed to work hard at home.  Was relieved to hear that PT controls how much and how long I need PT.

So my session consisted of tens, this machine where heat moves 3 inches into your knee (felt so good I wanted it on calf and quads) leg presses, massage and ice massage.  He also said if I feel a little pain that it is too much b/c pain causes more swelling which causes more pain.  So if I can stop the cycle early I will be better off.

I wish I had known how this all works prior to surgery.  But so glad I know it now, it takes a big load off knowing I can just let my leg heal at the pace it will heal. :-\

For those in US, happy 4th!
Rt. knee pain while hiking 08/10
Saw GP 04/11
PT 05/11  failed
MRI  clean 06/11
1st OS, nothing wrong, fired him.
2nd OS, cortisone shot 12/11 
Scope 05/12, fat pad impingement, cleaned and reshaped.
3rd and 4th OS think nerve problem
Nerve study June 2012, Femoral nerve damage

Offline kneepaincure

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Re: Swelling ~~ frustrated ~~Please help
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 11:00:15 PM »
Good to hear that you have some reassurance now. :) Hopefully things will continue to get better and stay that way.
Have had tilted kneecaps for many years, and occasional patellar tendinitis.