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Author Topic: Am I doomed for life?  (Read 858 times)

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Offline kneejoy1522

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Am I doomed for life?
« on: August 12, 2012, 10:55:39 PM »
 ??? ???I tore my right ACL when I was 12. The Doctor and my parents opted for a surgery which used a portion of my own hamstring as a new one. I healed fined as I remember.

When I was 15, I tore my right ACL again along with my Meniscus. I had an Achilles tendon cadaver put in in-replace of my ACL. I healed fine again.

When I was 17, I tore my left Meniscus due to too much sudden running. It was more of a slow, gradual tear. I had surgery and recovered fine.

A few months after that, I tore my right Meniscus again in a sudden knee twisting fashion. When I had surgery, the surgeon told me that I had level 3 or 4 (I don't remember) traumatic arthritis.

I was fully recovered and doing great athletically again a few months later. I even hiked to the summit of a 12,000ft mountain peak (18 hour hike) during a vacation, and had zero knee irritations. About a month later, my right knee slowly began to swell and I went to the doctor and he gave me a cortisone injection and said that there probably wasn't anything wrong with my knee except for the arthritis, which I would just have to deal with forever.

The cortisone shot worked beautifully and I ran, weight lifted, swam, and biked at a higher level than I had ever done before. I even ran a 12 mile obstacle course race that was practically a knee's nightmare. I, nevertheless, had not even one problem and was back at my training the following day.

Exactly 11 months since my first cortisone shot, I started to experience some slight knee pain in the back of my right knee and workouts. I ended up getting another cortisone shot and everything has been great for about 2 months since.

I sit before you right now with an exciting, brand new dilemma. I ran a long run on Thursday, squatted on Friday, and worked a 14 hour day of Saturday which i was on my feet literally the entire day. During the work on Saturday, i frequently felt the same aching pain in the back of my right knee that I had felt before, though this time a little worse.

Today, Sunday morning, I awoke to my knee aching still with it being swollen a little (which it has not been since my first cortisone shot 13 months ago. I iced my knee for 15 minutes and the swelling persists. It really feels like another Meniscus tear.

Now, here is where my true problem lies. I am about to ship out to Air Force Basic Training in 10 weeks. I will then go on to a very rigorous training course for awhile and then I am hopefully off to start my life anew with a fancy beret, and some very expensive Special Operations training under my belt. 

i am worried that if I get another knee surgery, The Air Force will reject my contract because I am no longer fit for service due to too many knee surgeries. And If I get yet another Cortisone injection, that will probably only skirt the tear away for a little while, only to come back in the future.

The reason I just registered for this website and posted this is to hopefully get some professional advice. The PA, and the surgeon himself that I have been seeing since I was 12, don't seem to have any answers for me other than stop exercising, get a complete knee replacement. Please help me. Please feel free to PM for additional information or anything.

I have been taking fish oil, chondroitin & glucosimine & MSM, calcium and magnesium, and I always eat very healthy. I have a very strong lower body with no muscle imbalances. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!
2006-Right ACL Tear
2008-Right ACL Tear, Right Meniscus Tear
2011-Left Meniscus Tear
2011-Right Meniscus Tear

Offline LindaM

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Re: Am I doomed for life?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 12:53:02 AM »
Hi there,

Sorry to hear that at such a young age you have had so much grief with your knees.  It sounds as if you pushed your knee too far with the length of day on your feet and the exercise.  Have you replaced your shoes lately?  As active as you sound, your shoes will only take so many miles without losing their cushion, and your knees will really need that for the rest of your life.  I teach, and as a result get new shoes every three months because even if they don't show a lot of wear they no longer protect my knees from the jolt of every step.  Hopefully you have been evaluated to see if you need orthotics to help your knees stay properly aligned and protect them from excess wear.  If you already show some arthritis this is critically important.

You may have a tear or not, but if you think that ignoring it is a good idea-think again.  If your doctor and PA don't have answers(or answers you like) except cutting back and an eventual replacement the situation doesn't sound good.  You are looking at a physically demanding career and a very good chance that you will be pushed even farther than you have ever been during training.  If your knee breaks down during training  you will face the very real possibility of sent home as unfit anyhow, but with more problems than you have now.  I have a former student who has limped for the last 19 years due to the injury she had during training that was ignored by the army(just told to suck it up and that she was malingering) until it was too bad and she was sent home.   Of course there was no continuing medical care or compensation for her injury.

I know you are excited about your career opportunity in the Air Force, but remember too that you have a lifetime to wear those knees.  Be very sure that your knees are in top shape before you go, even if that means the risk of not being accepted.

Good luck, I hope that your knee does not keep you from your dreams. :)

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

Offline Hopfulnee

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Re: Am I doomed for life?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 01:32:43 AM »
kneejoy1522,

I think LindaM makes some really good points.I don't have experience with your injuries, but at the very least I would go get a second opinion from a good OS who can take a fresh look at your case, so you can make the best informed decision. You owe that to yourself. You sound like a young and ambitious person, and if the Air Force is indeed too rigorous for your condition, you will find another path. Believe in yourself. Best of luck.
Feb 2013 RK arthroscopy/chondroplasty,synovectomy
Aug 2012 - failed Euflexxa,big pain LK too now
Neurontin early,cortisone inj x3, pt x3, Graston
May 2012 - MRI RK
Dec 2011 - MRI RK
Feb 2011 - MCL tear grade II ski

Offline allyd

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Re: Am I doomed for life?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 03:53:28 AM »
Good points made so far. As far as 'professional' advice, you are unlikely to receive any here as this board is on a whole simply made up of knee patients. As for peer advice... there is plenty of that. 

Agree with the others, may be time for a second opinion. If for nothing else than a fresh perspective.
04/09 RK - Dislocated Patella & Grade III MCL Tear
06/10 RK - Re-Dislocation Patella
09/11 RK - MPFLr + Lateral Lengthening