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Author Topic: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)  (Read 5489 times)

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Offline Joe2500l

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37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« on: November 20, 2013, 04:50:07 PM »
Hello All,
Typical weekend warrior. Softball. Play football and basketball once a week. No running. Nothing crazy.  I partially tore my PCL in Jan 2010 playing football. Bad luck - frozen ground.  No surgery. Rehab. Resumed playing about 10 month later.  No issues/limitations. Ligament grew back confirmed on MRI. 

Fast forward to November 2012. Playing football knee started swelling up after coming home. Still no pain. Thought it was weird though. Then playing a couple of weeks later knee started hurting. Played a little more then knee really starting hurting. Shut it down. Went for MRI. Doctor confirmed - cartridge defect.  Arthritis in knee. Had a full thickness loss present on the posterior of the weight bearing surface of medial femoral condyle. His 1st speech to me was for me to considering playing less active sports since I was getting older anyway. This really didn't sit well with me. Very hard at 37 to be told that's it - time to take up golf.

Anyway - went for 2nd opinion at HSS.  Recommended trufit plugs with stem cell soak (mine - from hip).  There isn't a lot of info out there so was skeptical. Surgeon assured me he has done over 500 of these with a good outcome. I asked about OATS and deNovo etc based on a lot reading on here. He said he would do deNovo but it's a much more involved rehab.  So I went along with it.

Had surgery June 2013. Outcome was good. On crutches for about 2 weeks. Went back to work after 1 1/2. Toe tip weight bearing from start which was great. Have a desk job so not too bad but commute into the city which is a bummer on crutches. Attempted to take subway on crutches but eventually relented and took cabs for a few days.  Started rehab 1 1/2 weeks later. Everything went pretty well. Had an issue with some swelling about 6 weeks in after I started walking more and ditched the immobilizer brace. Went away though.

Had 3 month checkup with surgeon in September.  Everything progressing well. Full range of motion. No swelling. I played softball in the fall. Still couldn't run at full speed (about 2/3) but happy I could play.  Was given clearance to resume basketball/football at 6 month mark with brace. That will be my next milestone. Looking forward to it. Hopefully without pain or swelling. Right now walking is completely fine. Running still has a little pain. Going up stairs is just about back to normal (believe it or not that's a big one - I weight about 200lb so lot of stress on knee)

Couple of observations - be comfortable with surgeon AND procedure.  Follow rehab diligently. I used the constant motion machine all the time (would actually fall asleep in it) and even more importantly the game changer ice machine/compression. That thing is the best invention ever. So much better then just ice. I would look forward to using it after work.  My knee would feel like a million bucks after using it for an hour or so. I was sad to return it after 6 weeks.

I also like my surgeon because he was aggressive - when I came to his office at the 6 month checkup with a cane based on PT recommendation  he scolded me and told me to throw it out. It would only delay my rehab time. A little hardship was to work through he stated.  But at the same time I have not done anything stupid and followed recommendations. The softball in September was a little aggressive but I played 1st base and took courtesy runners. Softball barely qualifies as a physical activity anyway but I do love it and was glad to play the fall season after missing the summer.

Anyway I don't see many trufit posts on here and it's probably a procedure on its way out with better ones in the pipeline but figured I would post. Any question feel free to ask.  I really gained a lot of valuable info from posts on here before my surgery.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 05:18:16 PM by Joe2500l »

Offline Joe2500l

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 05:34:36 PM »
Well I played football (american kind and strictly two hand touch) for the 1st time last week. All in all pretty happy. Knee is still not 100% but I was out there and running. Straight ahead was no problem and painfree. Couple of times I went to turn or cut fast I could fee some twinges in the knee. Most importantly there was no swelling after game or the following day. I played for about three hours with cleats on fieldturf so def got a good test. I was wearing a bauerfiend genutrain S brace recommended by surgeon. It felt pretty comfortable.

Am at 6 months post op and cautiously optimistic will get better over next few months.


Offline irishgal

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 05:15:34 AM »
Hi, I'm an (was?) avid tennis player and a lifelong athlete.  Started experiencing knee achiness after tennis and was told I needed arthoscopy for possible meniscus tear.  Surgeon debrided many tears and found a full thickness defect of lateral femoral condyle (weight bearing location, 1.5 cm).  He debrided and performed thermal abrasion.  Now, 7 weeks out, I'm experiencing extreme sharp pain on lateral front of knee.  Am wondering how your rehab was from the TruFit plug surgery?  Also, I'm 52 and wondering if I'm a candidate?  Thanks for any info!

Offline Joe2500l

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 04:35:07 PM »
Hello,
My rehab was pretty easy overall. The best part of the tru fit plugs is that they are weight bearing right after surgery (within reason obviously) so no prolonged absence from work and this also allows you to start rehab right away. My rehab was 3 months (was suppose to go a little longer but insurance gave a hard time and since I was doing better and better I didn't think I needed to go anymore).

Had some issue with swelling after I came off crutches completely which meant I had to dial back rehab a bit until it went down. Lasted about a 1 or two.

They can use one or more plugs depending on size of defect. The issue is not a lot of surgeons use them.  And some of the newer procedures are showing more promise I think.  I had honestly not heard of it until my surgeon recommended it.  He said he had done about 500 of them with very good success rate. But did I have proof? No.  But surgeon was very confident it would work for me based on my age, size of defect (about 1 cm) and activity level.  He offered to do de Novo too but said the rehab is intense and the return to activity can be up to 18 months. With the plugs the return to activity is 6 months.  I am not far enough along to say if surgery was complete success or not. I go back for MRI this June to see if any cartilage regrew. But based on lack of swelling am encouraged. This was becoming a big problem for me before surgery.

For some milestones -

Had Surgery end of June 2013 -

Went whitewater rafting and played paintball end of August 2013

Played softball season from Sept 2013 - through October 2013


Started playing football end of December.  Have played two weeks so far and no swelling. Def still not 100% but am encouraged so far. Still have some pain but nothing excessive.

And looking to start basketball this month.

For exercise can do an elliptical machine with no issues.

Good Luck!

Offline irishgal

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 12:58:04 AM »
Thanks so much for your update.  It's giving me hope.  I'm headed up to HSS in February for 2nd opinion.  I just hope they don't tell me I'm too old at 52.  I've been playing sports all my life.  Swimming as a junior and basketball, softball in high school and college.  Now really into tennis.  My lateral pain hasn't improved at all since 2 weeks after arthroscopy and it's now 9 weeks out.  So I figure if it hasn't improved in 7 weeks it's probably not going to.  The bummer is that I didn't have this pain before surgery.  Just knew there was a loose body because I could actually see it and move it around under the skin.  Thought it was best to get it taken care of but had no idea surgeon would spend an hour in there making things worse.  But anyways, thanks for the hope!!  Continued good luck to you!

Offline irishgal

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 01:26:30 PM »
Hi, wanted to give an update and get your opinion.  First of all, how are you doing now with almost 10 months of recovery?  Second, I did go to HSS to see Dr. Williams.  He also recommended the mosaicplasty with synthetic plugs.  My defect is almost 2 cm and is full-thickness.  Unfortunately, my last surgeon didn't deal with AC defects so decided to cut away most of my meniscus on both sides (even though MRI said they were intact and normal!).  So I'm now wondering if it will do me any good to go through with the plugs if the meniscus isn't addressed?  Also I live in Florida so am wondering how long my family and I will have to stay in a hotel in New York?  Do you think I can fly home after a week or so?  Do you have any advice based on your experience?  Thanks!

Offline Joe2500l

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Re: 37 yo knee mosicplasty (TruFit Plugs)
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 09:45:40 PM »
Hello,
Sorry for the delayed response.  I don't check the message boards as much as I use to.

For my specific surgery it was an out patient one day procedure. I was give an epidural or spinal block (not sure which one) but not general anesthesia.  Went in at 7AM and was done by 3PM.

I took 1 and 1/2 weeks off from work but I was mobile next day on crutches.  I def think you could fly after a week physically (although not sure about the whole blood clot thing and what they would say).

I didn't have any issues other then an arthritic kneecap (but who doesn't) so can't speak on the meniscus.

My defect was about 1 cm so not as bad.

As far as an update - I just had my 1 year MRI and followup with Dr. Williams and it was very good news. It showed complete fill in of the defect.  No restrictions at this point.  As far as how I feel I would say I'm about 75-80% back to where I was before I started having the swelling and pain. I still feel some stabs of pain here and there but nothing serious. If I really push it it will get sore but the biggest thing is that there is no swelling. I don't ice at all anymore because there is no swelling. I play basketball once per week and softball 2 times a week right now. I still wear braces because at this point I just feel more comfortable wearing them and figure it can't hurt.

As for advice I would emphasize finding a good physical therapy place and following through on it. My quad muscle really atrophied and think i would have been back to normal a little faster if I was more diligent doing PT. 

Good Luck. Any question feel free to private message me.















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