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Author Topic: Ozzie's 2 Patella and Fulkerson ACI surgeries-both legs!  (Read 29825 times)

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Offline ozzie

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Ozzie's 2 Patella and Fulkerson ACI surgeries-both legs!
« on: March 12, 2013, 11:11:58 PM »
I am going to start my diary now-although I won't have the actual ACI surgery for about 4-6 weeks.  Today I had arthroscopy to make certain I am a candidate for the surgery, shave some damage off meniscus that looked damaged on MRI, and above all, "harvest" cartilage for the future surgeries.  I am going to first post my background here, which I also posted a few days ago elsewhere under the subject: Need advice for upcoming ACI.

 I am a 49 year old woman planning to have ACI on both knees-one at a time.
 I am having an arthroscopy March !2 (6 days from now) to "harvest" cartilage for ACI surgeries.  I have had knee pain for 10 years and was told by 4 orthopedic surgeons that it was chondromalacia and there was nothing they could do.  My understanding is that my patellas are in the "wrong" place (outside the center) and have worn away the cartilage completely in some areas (probably would have been less damage if I could have had the patellas moved 10 years ago-not sure why that did not happen).  I live in Atlanta which I am now especially happy about because one of the top surgeons for ACI knee surgery, Dr. Gillogly, is here and he will perform the surgery.  The problem, unfortunately is on both knees!  So, I plan to have the surgeries 6 months apart-although I guess that might be "flexible" given whatever happens. During the ACI procedure, the doctor will also move the patella, which I believe is called Fulkerson.....

I have very much appreciated the blogs that i have read on here and elsewhere.  I have purchased some 😙 of the items recommended on a woman's blog on this site-including shoes and shorts!   I am trying to lose the weight I have gained being inactive prior to surgery and also to strengthen my quadriceps, which seems like it would be helpful for rehab...  I know many people have their injuries as result of "trauma"-I have not seen any blogs/posts with a history like mine, ie, wearing away of the cartilage over time.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 07:44:31 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Ozzie's 2 Patella and Fulkerson ACI surgeries-each leg!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 11:40:14 PM »
Arthroscopy to Harvest the Cartilage-March 12, 2013[/b]

Today, I had arthroscopy to harvest the cartilage from my right knee.  The pain is minimal and I can bear weight with use of crutches. 

Arthroscopy experience:
My OS is Scott Gillogly in Atlanta.  He has a surgery suite next door to his office space.  After checking in/, I met with "Game Ready" ice machine rep who explained the device to me.  On the phone, Doug had told me that I would pay $300 at check in for the surgery and then file with insurance.  I had heard of this ice machine-the exact brand is mentioned on this site-but only in reference to the ACI surgery, but not for the arthroscopy.  I told him that I would meet him that morning, because I figured if this is something Dr. Gillogly recommends, I should do it.  i am confident in the doctor.

I learned that morning that Dr. Gillogly does recommend this ice machine for arthroscopy.  Also, I asked Doug about whether I would have to pay again for machine for ACI and he said I would not need to pay then.  Perhaps he will file with the insurance next time...not sure.  From his explanation, my husband and I thought it sounded like a good contraption-it continually ices the surgery site and also periodically tightens slightly so that it promotes circulation that in turn prevents blood clots.  I started to wonder why my mom did not know about this from her surgeon this past summer when she had knee surgery.  She had just iced her knee the "old fashioned way" with an ice pack.  As I said, Doug is very nice and helpful.  When I told him that I planned to have ACI surgeries, he had the typical reaction of those who are familiar with the surgery and long rehab-which was surprise and concern!  Oh well, I know this is going to be rough, but I am excited to move forward and hopefully get closer to the day I will be active again. (My dream is to go back to running a few miles a day, but I know that may not happen.  My hope is that I will be able to do a cycling trip for my birthday when I finish rehab and be able to hike and walk without pain!)

The surgery itself was about 45 minutes.  I was given Verset first and then after speaking with the surgical fellow and resident, and then with Dr. Gillogly (for about 10 minutes he answered our (my husband and I) questions about the ACI surgery).  Then they put the general anesthetic into the iv I think and that's all I remember!  Woke up with a small amount of pain.  Not bad, but I was happy when they then gave me tabs for generic Percoset and very quickly the pain disappeared.  Before the meds, I ate a few graham crackers to have something in my stomach and also drank quite a bit of water with the crackers and alone because the anesthesia makes one's mouth dry.

Gillogly has a PT center in his office, which is good because they are trained in ACI rehab protocol.  I would guess that many or most physical therapists are not familiar with the ACI surgery.  Most surgeons here in Atlanta have either not done this surgery or have done just a few.  She showed me how to walk with crutches.  I can bear weight, but use the crutches to take off the amount of weight.  She showed me how to use them on stairs because I have 3 stairs in front of my house.  Tomorrow I will go to the office and see the nurse and the physical therapist.  I believe the physical therapist will give me some exercises related to this surgery, but also give me some to prepare for the ACI surgery.

At home, the medication has worn off and i feel a small amount of pain, but very tolerable. I have the ice machine on and working on my knee whenever I am sitting or lying down. I was tired and took a nap midday and now I am feel normal energy.  I have been walking around the house with the crutches no problem.  I am glad that my mom suggested that I put the raised toilet seat in prior to this surgery.  It does help so I don't have too far to go to sit and stand up. The brand is Drive and it is their "Premium Seat Rizer with Removable Arms".  I purchased it on Amazon.  To put on toilet, one removes the regular seat and cover, attaches the riser with bolts that comes with it and puts regular toilet seat on top of that.  My husband did it without any problem.

I imagine that in a few days, I will be back to normal or almost normal.  Then the waiting will begin!
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« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 07:43:36 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary:step 1: Arthroscopy to collect cartilage
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 08:20:43 AM »
A bit to add about the first night of the arthroscopy-I did not get up and walk around much the first day and then around 10pm I went to bathroom and found I had more pain than before. It was hard to get around on crutches and bear weight.  I later realized that it was because I had put a pillow under my knee and that affects circulation and can cause pain.That night, I found a website which recommended exercises for the first night (Arizona Orthopedics) and I did some of them and made a quick improvement thank goodness. I will ask the physical therapist at my appointment for 2nd day for their explanation. Another thing that helped was to remove the pillow I had only under my knee. I fell asleep with feet, calves, and knee elevated, but straight on two pillows. I just woke up and used bathroom and was very glad that I have much less pain again.  I did take two percoset a before I went to sleep.
The exercises I did that helped:  flexing foot back and tightening quad-hold for 10 seconds-5 reps 2x, alternate toe point and toe flex, tried to do leg lift, but not able to budge!

This morning, my knee barely hurts again and I can easily walk with the crutch bearing weight on the right knee where I had the surgery.



The recovery from this is probably good learning practice for the ACI surgery.  I have had to work quite a bit to get the quadricep to "engage" reliably.  Sometimes walking, it suddenly gives out.The quadricep takes awhile to come back and the PT exercise (leg lifts) hurt a bit and were not so easy. I am not talking about bad pain, but the pain that is there impedes the exercise I realized, so I took Advil an hour before my last session and it helped alot.  It was a very fruitful session.    I had a "break through" that made things alot easier.  I was doing exercises for the quad-straight leg lifts, with electrodes on and suddenly it felt like the muscle jumped.  When I walked afterwards, it was much easier to ambulate smoothly.  After that I could straighten my leg better and my range of motion (heel to the hamstring) was measured at 125, much improved from two days before.  I walked with crutches for about a week and then 1 crutch for few days.  At home, I don't use any crutch now, but  I keep the crutch with me to go out of the house-I am much quicker with it.  i am still walking slowly, but feel better doing so.

I do not yet have a date for the ACI surgery.  I am awaiting approval now for the surgery.  The doctor's office insurance person told me that it should be easily approved, since the first surgery was related to the second.  I hope she is correct.  She was supposed to contact me Friday about it, but has not.  So, I have my fingers crossed.  I want to know the date, so my husband can plan time off and I can arrange some help.

One month post op from arthroscopy harvesting-My knee has been stiff and I still have not been walking normally.  But, I think I am now rounding the corner on that and have discovered what is the most helpful to resolving this problem.  I went to the gym yesterday and rode the bike for 45 minutes-sitting close so my knees were bent alot for half the time and using a bit more weight when I had my legs last bent.  I also used the leg press. Both of these had been part of my physical therapy (which I am no longer doing-to save my sessions for the ACI).  I walked into the gym stiff and left with my knee naturally bending as it should for walking.  So, I am going to try to go at least once a day-if I can twice.  I also am doing as much knee bending exercises at home as possible a few times a day-and doing a step (about 1 foot off the ground) repeatedly.  These help as well.  I want to be back to normal for walking so 1. I won't be so slow  2. so I can be ready for the ACI  3. I should be ambulating normally by now post op.

April 10th, 2013-Today I had a disappointment.  First of all, my doctor's office has not been great at communication.  I had called last week on Friday to see if my doctor's appointment planned for this Friday could be scheduled earlier because I am having difficulty walking normally and I should be back to normal by now.  The doctor's assistant said she would check and call me back and she never did. Today, I called her to see about going in tomorrow (Thursday) because I am worried about not being up to speed (literally-I am really slow) and she said "you are not even approved for the surgery".  She said that there was a new problem with the approval for the Carticel lab, not the actual surgery.  I was upset on many levels:  1.They had not called me to tell me. 2. besides planning for the surgery, we had also gotten a plane ticket for my mom to come visit. 3. They had told me I was approved a couple weeks ago and did not say anything about an additional Carticel approval.  I spoke later to the insurance person at the office who said she found out yesterday and had not started the appeal process.  Both women said they would call me back, but when I did not hear from them a few hours later, I again called the insurance person and she was more calm about it and said that this is typical for this surgery  and should be a 5 day process.  She said that Dr. Gillogly has to speak "peer to peer" to someone at the insurance.  So, hopefully that will be resolved and we can continue to plan for the April 30th surgery date.....
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« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 08:39:10 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline Mistyd

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 03:27:00 PM »
HI OZZIE,

Glad your harvesting procedure went so well.  Mine was a breeze too. I had had debriding and shaving done in Dec and that one took about 3 weeks to fully heal (back to exercises normally), where as the harvesting was less than a week.  Although, since then, my knees have degenerated extremely fast and my exercise has been DRAMATICALLY limited due to pain.

Anyhow, I am really surprised your doc would be willing to do both ACI's within 6 weeks of each other!  Especially if you are having an osteotomy as well.  Wow!  You are one tough lady!  I know there have been a couple of people who had both legs done at the same time (which is amazing to say the least), but to space out the surgeries so close together  :o.  Good luck my friend! :)

I love the ice machines!  Nice to have your surgery center and pt center so close together.  Not to mention having the best pt protocol.  I know when I asked my physical therapist if he knew about ACI and the protocol for rehab he just blinked and said the typical "you mean ACL?"  No.  ACI.  lol.

Have a great day!!!

God Bless,

Misty
Living for the Audience of ONE: Jesus Christ

'95 -knee injury
5-'04 -knee scope cleaned up grade III tears
12-'12-knee scope cleaned up tears
2-'13-harvested cartilage for upcoming ACI
...awaiting ACI

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 09:42:05 PM »
Hi Mistyd- 

Thanks for your note.  It is nice to hear from people in similar situations as I am going through the knee journey!

The doctor did say 6 months  spacing between surgeries, but when I went to PT today (post op for the arthoscopy) they were doubtful and said it is usually 3-6 months at least...and they work specifically with this doctor!  I want to get it all over with, but I don't want to be foolish, and frankly, I am worried about tolerating too much pain!!!
I don't know that I am the strongest person when it comes to pain management and it sounds like just one surgery will cause significant pain for at least a couple weeks, probably more....

 :)



« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:45:19 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline Mistyd

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 03:16:48 PM »
Well, while the pain might be bad I think the fear is more about the graft site.  The graft and cells are EXTREMELY fragile for several months.  It takes a loooong time for the cells to harden and become cartilage (they are inserted as a gel - 3 months post op they are as soft as a marshmallow).  So having another surgery just 6 weeks post op on the first ACI is a scary thought.  Although I totally understand the  desire to get them done and over with.

Perhaps, and I have read several peoples diaries who have had it done this way, you could have both knees done at the same time.  Get all the pain and hassle over with.  you will definitely need someone waiting on you hand and foot for about 6 weeks though.... so only a few are able to do such a thing.

Hop you are healing up nicely :)

God Bless,

Misty
Living for the Audience of ONE: Jesus Christ

'95 -knee injury
5-'04 -knee scope cleaned up grade III tears
12-'12-knee scope cleaned up tears
2-'13-harvested cartilage for upcoming ACI
...awaiting ACI

Offline vickster

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 09:15:10 PM »
You might find this an interesting read

http://www.kneeclinic.info/download/CKC_GNHFT_ACI_RehabGuide_101106.pdf

My understanding is that ACI is pretty painful - an open surgery (arthrotomy, rather than keyhole) and that there is much bone work (even without any sort of osteotomy)

Most people (in the UK at least) seem to take around 3 months off work, braced for 6 weeks, NWB for 6 weeks (patella may be different as not weightbearing)

I got to the arthrocopy harvest stage for MACI in late 2010 but was not suitable as the surgeon believed my knee to be valgus aligned and that the repair had a very low level of success - he wouldn't consider the osteotomy and cartilage repair in the same operation - too much surgery in one go in his words

Before the surgery didn't happen, he told me a year to be back to pre op level and 2 years to something like normality

Good luck with it all - there are plenty of (M)ACI and deNovo diaries - also patella
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:26:01 PM by Vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 05:14:59 PM »
Vickster, Thanks so much for the link to the article.  It is just the kind of thing that will be helpful to me!  Kayla
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 06:17:11 AM »
May 21, 2013-after a disappointing and frustrating 2 months, where my insurance issued multiple denials and stonewalled any communication, I did get an approval for the lab -ie growing cells at Carticel.  We knew someone at the insurance company and that person helped us to talk to administrators.  Based on the fact that I already had the first surgery, they approved it.  I need the left knee done too-so I hope that we will be able to approve that when I am ready.  My husband's office may change insurance companies (he has a say in it because he is a partner in the business)-which might be helpful....My understanding is that this insurance has approved ACI patella surgery through Carticcel and including through my doctor's office. The problem is how difficult they make it to communicate after a denial.

I am cautiously excited to move forward and I have surgery date for June 18.   My doctor is not in network and had been approved for both surgeries in network (United Healthcare had approved that easily and quickly-which made it even more surprising when things became difficult with them)because he is the only doctor in my area with experience with ACI surgery (and the PT's who work in the office are trained in rehab for ACI as well).  So now it has to be reap proved and I hope that does not have any complications that will change the date again.  I hope to be posting in a few weeks about ACI rehab and not about insurance. (:
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 06:20:36 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 01:07:00 PM »
I had my ACI AND Fulkerson surgeries yesterday morning.  The doctor was Scott Gillogly in Atlanta.  The location was in his "surgery suite" next door to his office. I had two nerve blocks, femoral and sciatic, so 24 hours later my leg is numb (although I can move it- to swing it over to get out of bed, etc.  (I am using my thigh muscles though, not the quads, which  are hard to engage because of the block).  Today when I go to the office to meet with PT and the doctor/nurse/and or fellow, they will refill the little ball with the block medicine and so I should have relief for another 24 hours.  I think that will be the femoral block only. I will also see my phuysical therapist (PT is also located at the office which is especially good for ACI patients because the therapist are well trained for the ACI protocol working with this doctor.

So I've been feeling well all day yesterday and woke up this morning well too.  Dr Gillogly said to lay on my stomach as much as possible so that gravity helps the patch to adhere.  I have my "cuff" for icing and squeeze,although I can't feel it!  Also a soft brace to help me keep knee straight.  I will soon get the more "serious brace-perhaps today that I have seen the ACI patients wear in PT.

Feeling very excited to be finally "moving forward"
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 07:53:33 PM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 06:59:01 PM »
I went to PT for the first time today (day after surgery).  I saw the orthopedic fellow (ie doing orthopedic fellowship for orthopedics) who works with the doctor and will see Dr. Gillogly day after tomorrow.  I still am numb and not in pain.  I am trying to take advantage of this time with no pain to get used to the crutches.  Also, in PT today, I bent my knee at 90', which may not happen once the pain develops.  I just now am using the CPM machine-"constant passive motion"for the first time and I am going to try to get it up to 90' today.  Again, once pain meds wear off, this will likely be uncomfortable, but right now I can do it easily.  Its good to bend it to prevent against scar tissue build up and also develop flexibility that will help my progress.    I took some Percocet today because I have a bit of feeling coming back and very slight pain.  i have read the knee geek/guru diaries and posts related to the ACI and the Fulkerson, as well as other knee surgeries, and everyone says stay ahead of the pain.   I had just read Misty's post about her post op experience and sounds like once she started to regain sensation, the pain came on quite quickly (and her nurses were not on the ball and she suffered for that).  I am at home and in control, so I am starting the pain meds now!!!!

I thought I would have more limitations, but today the PT said I should be driving before 6 weeks, which is sooner than I had expected.  Also, I can touch my foot down on the ground when I am standing, to help with balance., which the physical therapist said with other areas of the knee for ACI, the protocol is to not bear any weight in the beginning.

There is one small stair in front of our entry door and this morning and yesterday I was so scared to lost my balance on it, that I had my husband pick me up and over the threshold (so romantic)!  But at PT today, the therapist said I can put right foot (the one that had the operation) down as I do a stair or something harder, as long as I put all my strength into the crutches and not put much weight down on that foot.

I like that my teenagers are helping around the house and making me stuff like smoothies.  It is a good experience for them.  Prior to the surgery  I cooked some stuff to freeze, but I am encouraging them to cook more than they usually do and to clean up stuff around the house.  I was supposed to have the surgery in April, but the insurance stuff delayed it and in a way it is a good thing because I could help my two teens prepare for camps and trips by shopping and drawing up some lists....I have alot to be thankful for and I am so glad that I am able to have this amazing surgery and have hope for being active again-my spirits are cheerful and grateful!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:50:00 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 07:28:00 PM »
I may already have listed the things that i purchased prior to surgery that are helpful, but if not, I would like to share my suggestions.  I got many of the ideas from other peoples' posts.  I bought most, if not all the stuff on Amazon.  Most are really reasonably priced-the shoes are expensive!

1. Raised toilet seat[ftp] - Drive Medical Premium Seat Riser with Removable Arms for Standard Toilets,    purchased on Amazon.  Very good-comfortable, good height, and stable because it is screwed in.  Has arm rails.$34.70
2. Shower seat-white plastic seat, can't find the brand-Amazon purchase.
3. Merrell shoes-I got a few to use for the duration of rehab (and rehab for my next knee eventually)  My favorite is: Merrell Women's Circuit Mary Jane Breeze Shoe ($136) and also I like another pair :Ahnu Women's Gracie Flat.-$110, purchased on Amazon too! 
4. a hospital style table on wheels, which I absolutely love, even before the surgery I have been using it bedside or in a chair.  The brand I got is very stable, lifts and lowers easily, is large enough for computer and books, place for cups.  The brand is: Medline Overbed Table, Composite Top-$65.
5.  I rented the "Game Ready" ice machine-my doctor works with a certain company who met me before both knee surgeries at the surgery suite prior to my operation to review how to use it.  It cost $300 to use for both surgeries.  I have submitted the receipt to see if insurance will help with cost.  This is an amazing invention!
6. I put a chair (actually the rocking chair I bought for nursing my kids when they were babies) with an ottoman in my room to make it easy to get to a place to sit comfortably.
7. Colace-to counteract the constipating effect of pain killers.
**July 29-I am adding a couple more thoughts here about planning for surgery.  In retrospect, I am very glad that I accepted offers of help from family, friends, and neighbors.  Several people brought meals, a couple friends drove me around, and some people brought treats, and I have had visitors that came to chat and refill my ice machine, make me a snack, and keep me company.  I had hesitated at times when people offered to help, not wanting to put anyone out or burden anyone, and I highly recommend to accept all offers!  People want to help and it makes a big difference. It was really nice for me and my family to have the meals that people brought over.  It's very very helpful and also nice to know people care.  Even if you only have one or two offers of help-it can make a positive difference. 

Also, I have enjoyed my time reading and watching movies I got from Netflix -stuff I don't do enough of normally. But, I found having a visitor stop by eachday or a few times a week- to be a mood booster, and kep me from feeling isolated.  Some people offered to visit-ESP my closest friends-but I also asked friends who live in my town to come over for an hour or so, if I was needing some company. 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 08:29:10 PM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 02:27:15 AM »
48 hours, plus: I am now writing three days in a row-which I won't keep up-but i have to comment on the minimal amount of pain i have had so far.  I have had the femoral nerve block medicine still going-I carry it in a little pouch that goes on my shoulder or my neck like a necklace.  I reduced the speed of release for the medicine as of this morning, just to keep it going as long as possible.  It looks to be getting pretty low now and I am starting to feel more in my leg.  I was numb for about 36 hours and really this afternoon, more than 48 hours after surgery, is when I have started to feel some pain.  I guess because of the medicine and numbness, I have been able to achieve very good degree of knee movement.  I use the constant passive machine CPM about 4 hours each day-actually more, because I am trying to take advantage of this time with so little pain where I can hopefully prevent scar tissue and encourage blood circulation in the knee/leg, which is good for the graft.  The degree of knee movement is at 110 degrees!!!!  When I had the arthroscopy in March, to harvest the cartilage, I could barely bend at first and absolutely could not engage my quads.  Today, I was able to lift the leg using the quadriceps (ie not compensating by using hip muscles) and we added straight leg lifts to my PT exercises, along with hamstring stretch, calf stretch, heel prop (prop it on a thick foam so that the leg straightens-not so comfortable, but therapeutic)., and ankle pumps (moving foot around, "drawing letters" in the air with toes).

  I am walking on the crutches a few times a day around the house and to the car when I have to.  I have only gone out of the house to go to PT this morning and yesterday morning. My husband keeps reminding me that I have to get up and move some so that I don't develop blood clots and to keep circulation going. Today, I was fitted and given my immobilizer brace that I will be wearing for 6 weeks to 3 months.  So far, it is not uncomfortable.  I have heard from other people I know and read on this site that the brace can be painful if it pushes into tender areas. 

I know there may be some challenges ahead with rehab, but the lack of pain and the quick initial progress has been great! 
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas

Offline GraceinCA

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 03:04:58 AM »
Hi, Ozzie.  Glad to hear that you're doing so well.  I'll be having surgery on July 29th.  I ran into the same problem you had with your insurance company or i would have had the surgery on May 3rd.  Everything was supposed to be approved and then they came back and said the Carticel was denied.  We've been battling since the end of April and I finally got the approval on Tuesday.  YAY!

I've basically been in pain for 5 years because of an injury almost 20 years ago.  They removed 80% of the cartilage from the back on my knee 18 months ago and the pain has been much worse.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to having the surgery.  I know it's going to hurt and the rehab is going to be tough but I'm really looking forward to the "other side".

I hope that you'll keep us posted on your recovery. 

Offline ozzie

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Re: Ozzie's ACI surgery Diary
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 05:57:36 PM »
I hope my writing about my experience will be helpful to you!  What is the location of the injury (ie patella, etc-mine is patella).  Will you have osteotomy like I did? One thing that I wish I had done was practice with crutches before surgery and strengthen my arm muscles. I had been swimming, but not super consistently.  Really though it was the first 2 days that I got a little shaky crutching around and that may have been related to the affects of just having had surgery. Today was easier-especially because they said I can now put my foot down as I move along and although most of my weight goes onto the crutches, I'm supposed to put up to 20 lbs onto the right foot/leg.


 I am 36 hours post op.  they removed the line with the nerve block-even though there was a bit left.  the nurse said that there is risk of infection or possibly other risks leaving it in any longer. I am taking Percocets about every 5 hours- two 325 mg each time and i have still very little pain thus far.  I am using the CPM machine 4 hours daily-and because I have had good range of motion, I am up to 110 degrees!  Also, I went on the bike today at PT, and was able to make full rotations after a short warm up with half rotations.  I don't find the CPM machine uncomfortable at all-I imagine if one had more pain then it would be harder to use it. I am resting in bed alot-with a few walks around the house and also to car and doctor's office. We had friends bring dinner tonight and after about 45 minutes of sitting with the group I excused myself to my room and the ice machine due to pain.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 01:16:56 AM by ozzie »
ACI patella and trochlea & Fulkerson on Dec. 26, 2013-Dr. Scott Gillogly
ACI patella surgery and Fulkerson with Dr. Gillogly June 25, 2013
Extensive cartilage damage in both knees due to misalignment of patellas