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Author Topic: Why cut the nerve?  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline A.Still

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Why cut the nerve?
« on: August 11, 2012, 01:08:15 AM »
I had knee surgery in January. Partial meniscectomy of my medial meniscus on left side.
After surgery I noticed that I had no feeling on the left outside part of my knee on the medial side. The entry wounds were not as small as from my first surgery on my right knee.
I still have no feeling on the side of my knee at all! When I asked my doctor about it he said he cut the nerve and it was standard.
It was not the case on my right knee and I can't find anything regarding it online except that it's possibly a mistake made during surgery.
The only relief I've gotten from the surgery was the knee stopped catching but still pops.
Done PT and plenty of good exercise but my nerves have gotten† me to the point of not being able to be in one position for more than an hour or 2. Taking Gabbapentin now and still in pain.
IT band syndrome has developed in my left leg and nerve pain radiaiting from my genitfemoral nerve, to my hip at the point of my IT band and numbness down my entire leg.  :'(
When I asked my doctor prior to surgery if I needed a lateral release because it was tight due to my injury he said no. The doctor was very vague after surgery and wouldn't discuss anything. Just said everything looks great and continue to do PT. Is there a problem that you see here? I've heard doctors are vague about surgery when something goes wrong.
This is all work related and they're giving the usual bureaucratic BS so I'm seeing an attorney on Wednesday and I would like to know some facts before hand.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 02:03:10 AM by A.Still »

Offline Im139

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 09:03:48 AM »
A few questions: Was thIs an arthroscopic procedure? How much meniscus was removed and would it had been enough to require a larger incision for removal? The only technique I've seen for meniscectomy is when they shave it with an isolating cutter which is the same size as the scope. Was your procedure done at a teaching institution with residents on staff?

Offline silverghost

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 09:41:32 AM »
Hi

I would definately get a second opinion on the op seems a bit strange that 'the nerve would be cut as standard?!' i thought any nerves would be preserved?

I certainly had my nerves numbed with a block so i could understand you not having feeling after the op but if nerves were just cut and no explanation for this then I would be asking questions to the medical board..

Was a letter provided post op detailing your procedures ? i would have asked for this and if this shows reasoning for the cut then you could research it more.

good luck
'96 ACL reconstruction
'09 Arthroscopy/cartilage repair
Diagnosed with Grade 4 OA no medial cartilage and significant varus alignment
'11 fitted with off loading knee brace
'12 HTO, meniscus transplant, acl reconstruction & microfracture all in 1 go!

Offline emm10161301

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 09:57:07 AM »
Hi, I had mpfl knee surgery in june (on both knees) there are patches on both my knees that are numb, I've got soo used I don't notice, but I've no sensation. And then on my left leg from just below the knee to my ankle about 5 cm wide on the inside of my leg I have no sensation just pure numbness. I spoke to my os about this. He said any surgery on the legs is invasive and that this happens its hard to miss nerves, and they can take up to 2-3 years sometime to fully regrow and regain the feeling. This happens to people who have a heart attack bypass done when the vein is removed from the leg. So I would maybe speak to anothr os but surgery always has its risks. I didn't even see my surgeon till 40 days after the op, and even then it was an in and out thing.so it may just take time. Because lying on my front my knees may be numb in areas but there are pains. And of course there are, surgery has taken place.
2002-2012 regular dislocations of both knees, tried everything from braces and casts to physio.
June 2012 MPFL surgery on both knees

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 10:23:17 AM »
The minute you take a scalpel to the skin to cut through to the substructures, the chances are that a superficial nerve is cut. Whether it is a bigger branch or a smaller one is pot-luck to be honest and that is what your surgeon meant by being "standard". It is irrelevant as to how large the incision is.

I have had several surgeries on both knees and the numb patches are there, you just get used to it. If you are lucky the numb patches gradually reduce in size. That has happened to my right knee where the skin below the knee used to be completely numb following multiple open-knee surgeries. My left knee is celebrating its 4th birthday today and the whole of the shin is numb superficially. Sometimes it feels like I have a wrap of cold jelly on it, others as if it is crawling with ants. The latter is a sign that the nerves are rebuilding the pathways but it takes time! 
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline silverghost

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 01:05:22 PM »
Many Happy returns to your knee Kaputt!!

I take it your not buying a cake?  if you are could you share some round since my surgery ive had quite a cake fetish!! never had it before so i think i got an extra nerve in my stomach!!

strange what an anesthetic can do !! :P
'96 ACL reconstruction
'09 Arthroscopy/cartilage repair
Diagnosed with Grade 4 OA no medial cartilage and significant varus alignment
'11 fitted with off loading knee brace
'12 HTO, meniscus transplant, acl reconstruction & microfracture all in 1 go!

Offline Snowy

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 03:09:41 PM »
Kaputt_knee is absolutely right - it's completely normal for small branches of the nerves to be severed during a surgical procedure. In fact it's pretty hard to avoid. I was told ahead of time by my PT that there's one branch of the saphenous nerve that typically has this happen during ACL reconstruction and that I could expect to have a numb patch as a result. The patch was huge initially - it started at the knee and went most of the way to the ankle on the lateral side - and a bit unnerving until I got used to it, but it did shrink a fair bit over time and now I'm barely conscious of it. The really interesting part was when the nerve started to regenerate a few weeks into recovery, and I had all kinds of strange sensations in that area for a while - heat, cold, and even a weird few days when it felt like someone was pouring a fizzy drink on my leg.
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 allyd

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 03:59:51 PM »
Agree with the others. While your OSís explanation may not have been clearÖ cutting nerves is unavoidable, I think if you took a quick survey of everyone here who has had surgery Ė youíll quickly find out everyone has numbness of some sort.

Iíll say itís unsettling and disconcerting at first, but it gets better over time as nerves re-generate and youíll just get used to it as well.
04/09 RK - Dislocated Patella & Grade III MCL Tear
06/10 RK - Re-Dislocation Patella
09/11 RK - MPFLr + Lateral Lengthening

Offline A.Still

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Re: Why cut the nerve?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 02:02:46 AM »
Yes this was a very standard meniscal release with no note of nerves being removed or contacted. It was arthroscopic but the sutures are (were)X shaped and about a half inch each line. He said that the nerve was cut and that it was standard procedure with a smile. But I literally have no feeling on the left side of my knee. :P
I was introduced to a younger Dr. prior to my surgery and I wondering if he used me as "training" and had to tuck away a couple errors.
Since this post I was at the Dr. for GI issues and was asked to get on all fours which was extremely painful and straining. I was sweating and shaking and offered no help. I get home that night and snap my tendon while lying down taking off my shoe. Then a little more in bed.
Dr. will only refer me to a pain specialist because I had a detailed CAT scan that showed the connective tissue in my hip. But attending nurse told me it does not show muscle, tendon, and nerve tissue. Dr. says He will not refer me to ortho. I'm going up the ladder at the corp. right now until they act a little nicer. Hopefully the phone calls reach the right people.
Have also found 2 attorneys that accept closed workmans comp. cases to help me out.
Happy Birthday to your knee Kaputt.