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Author Topic: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft  (Read 18993 times)

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Offline xclaxmom

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16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« on: September 06, 2013, 02:25:01 PM »
I thought I should try to post my daughters story to out help others that may have some questions regarding this surgery. This board helped us when we were trying to figure the whole thing out.

My daughter had a previous previous microfracture ACI biopsy, and lateral release last year. We were told by her previous OS that she had a torn meniscus but came out of surgery being treated for a defect on her trochlea. We had never even heard of any of these conditions or treatments.  So it was definitely a shock.
After first surgery, the pain never went away. She says pain got even worse.  After not really feeling comfortable in her pediatric OS experience dealing with cartilage we decided to take her to some specialists to get their opinions. That is where we landed with her needing an osteochondral allograft.


Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 03:58:31 PM »
Home from the hospital. Surgery lasted 1 and 1/2 hours. She was in hospital for 2 nights. She is in a locked brace and can be full weight bearing as long as brace is on.  She has no exterior stitches to be removed, just glue so she won't have her next Dr. appt. for 4 weeks.  She was able to shower which she said felt great. Pain has been manageable.

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 02:30:38 PM »
wow .. full weight in the brace!  that is awesome!
(I was told no weight bearing for 6 weeks - our difference might be location of implant)


How is the bending?  can she bend it yet?  how about a leg lift?   from past history, the leg lift is key!

Awesome she seem to be doing well .. keep up the great recovery!


Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 03:26:25 PM »
We were told that she doesn't engage the trochlea until her leg is bent, which makes since because squatting and stairs, etc. hurt her the worst.
She can't really lift her leg yet because of the nerve block I think. 
Therapy wise, she can bend to 45 with NO weight but she can just go to maybe 20 because it hurts.
No cpm.
With her microfracture, she was at 50% weight bearing In locked brace. It's interesting how every doctor has there own protocol.
I don't know if you have used an ice machine or plan on using one but my daughter loves it. Her Dr. felt a bag of peas worked as well but she really wanted one so we bought one off of Craig's list.  It was a $25 worth spending.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 02:55:34 PM »
10 days post op
She went back to school 5 days after surgery with no problems. She also went to therapy twice last week and was able to bend to 45 and multiple different straight leg lifts with her brace on. Her quad is firing but her pt wants it to fire more.  I don't think she has had any pain , possibly she just hasn't told me but she's not taking anything either.
All in all things are going well except for the fact that she can't drive. For a 16 year old to have her independence taken away I think is the hardest for her.  I have to remind her it's just temporary.

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 11:18:59 PM »
Back to school after 5 days .. wow, very impressive!  to be young again!   ;D
Good for her .. I am so happy to hear she is doing so well and progressing along at a fast pace

I get the independence issue .. i struggle with that too and this is my 5th knee surgery in 4 years, it does not get any easier, unfortunately!

Well, I am so happy she is doing well!

Offline Heidi Ductable

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2013, 10:46:51 PM »
How's your daughter doing this week?  I hope all's well.

Maybe she's even started to enjoy having a chauffeur?  (wink)  I wish...

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 05:20:41 PM »
Hows the daughter doing?   She managing school, crutches and such ok?

Is she weight bearing or not too?  She been allowed to do anything more in her rehab protocol?

just wanted to check in!

have a good weekend and talk to ya next week!
- thorn

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 10:46:38 PM »
Hi Heidi and Thornburg my daughter is doing good thanks for asking.

Nothing too exciting to post. My daughter is just over 2 weeks post op. Her quad is firing much better. At pt they added leg lifts without the brace on, which she says is much harder to do without her brace because it's hard to control leg to stay straight even though there isn't the additional weight of the brace. He also has her doing some stretches. She would like to do some core workouts but she feels it in her knee so she stops.

The glue on her incision is completely gone and scar looks good. Hers is on front of her knee cap. Maybe 5 inches long. Swelling is a better, she is still icing 15 min at least 3x a day.   She has completely ditched the crutches. 100% weight bearing if brace is on and locked at 0. She is very happy to not be using crutches this time around. She is only allowed to flex to 45* when non weight bearing, that is no problem.


Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 02:51:33 AM »
Hi again!

After reading your post tonight, it finally hit me it sounds like your daughter's rehab protocol is very close to what my ACI protocol was from my 2009 surgery.   I was able to walk in a brace, no bending.  I am the opposite now .. I can bend all I want .. no weight!

Since I had my allograft in different place than your daughter, our post op instructions appear opposite.

I have the same scar (in fact he went down the same place as from my ACI surgery) ... doc said .. why give you another!  I was like, thanks!  Mine is about 6 inches down the middle too!

Super glad to hear she is doing so well .. sounds like I am jealous of her walking without crutches and she might "envy" my bending!   ;) :o :)

tell her to keep up the leg lifts ... they are important!

talk to you later! 

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 01:12:35 AM »
Hi all.
Nothing too exciting happened today or over the weekend, but for some reason my daughters knee has been aching. Hopefully it's nothing to worry about.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 03:50:25 PM »
Tomorrow is her 4 week anniversary.
The ache that she was having last week is gone. She felt like it was soft tissue rather than from the graft area. Really no changes at therapy or increase in her range of motion. She has her 4 week appt. on Friday so that should be a little exciting with some changes.
On a different note. She was asked to homecoming. So dress shopping with her brace, well, it is was it is.  She is really hoping to where heels but she never wears them and Im too worried about the instability.  She insists that she'll ask the Dr. for his permission.
Hope everyone else is doing well. Heidi and Thornburg sounds like you both are doing great.

Offline Heidi Ductable

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 07:15:48 PM »
Great story! Glad she's well. Congrats to her on being asked to Homecoming!  I can't even imagine trying to dance in heels right now, though.  If the doc says no, just remember... there's always the prom!  ;)



Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2013, 02:50:33 PM »
4 week post op doctor visit went well for her. Dr. said she didn't need to wear her knee brace at all anymore. It was a total surprise. We thought he would say start slowly increasing rom but nope , she's going from 0 to walking. She is do go to therapy 3x a week and is able to bike as much as she wants and a lot of other stuff.  The only important thing is that she is not engage her trochlea by squatting or going up stairs.
My concern is that without her having her brace on, she will forget she just had surgery and hurt it again. After all it's only been 1 month.
Next appointment is in 6 weeks. Dr. said after next appointment she'll be released for everything except competive sport. Seems to good to be true. Hopefully the old pain won't be there.
Take care.

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 03:07:53 PM »
Hi!

That is great news she is released to do more stuff/activities!!   good for her, I am sure that makes her feel good being able to use the leg/knee more.

Mom ... ( ;)) her knee will quickly tell her what she can and cant do ... it will be fine!   ::)
stairs are tricky ... just remind her to think before she approaches stairs .. otherwise she will go flying up them and then .. Ouch (speaking from previous experience).   :-\

How is her rom/bending ... much pain there?   Good luck in PT and keep us posted on how the knee reacts to all this new activity!

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2013, 02:05:49 AM »
Hi Thornburg.
It's now been a week since her Doctor released her from not wearing her knee brace.  Her knee is not doing great. It definitely swelled more this past week. It is hurting more, so the Pt and I decided to still hold her back some because the Pt said she doesn't listen to her body and pushes through the pain too much. She is riding the bike for 10 minutes, and stretching her ROM, other than that everything is straight leg.

I've been really concerned because she is still experiencing the old pain that she had when the weather is cold and when there is a storm coming.  Unfortunately her knee is still locking 3-4 times a day too. I know it's only been 5 weeks but I don't think this is normal.

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2013, 03:06:47 PM »
Hi xclaxmom -

I'm sorry to hear the knee is not responding as well right now.   She really needs to listen to her body and knee (but that is 16 yr old for ya!)  ;-)
She cant push it to hard or to fast ... the joint still needs time to heal.  It almost like rehab is cyclical ... smooth sailing, add new stuff to routine, knee gets fired up and is unhappy .. then calm again.

As far as weather, I can tell you when its gonna storm before the weather folks can!   LOL
My knee is highly affected by rain/storms .. when the pressure changes.   Now, I have had 6 knee surgeries so I have a bit more wear and tear which I assume it is what it is.

Very sorry to hear about the locking.  Does PT have any thoughts on why the knee is still locking?  How does it feel when she rides the bike?  is the locking just when walking or other exercises too?

I know its all frustrating when "previous" issue(s) still exist, try to stay positive and tell her this is a long haul recovery.  Its going to take time, be patient!

keep us posted on how the next 7-10 days go ... hope it improves for her!

Offline MDAL

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2013, 11:29:27 PM »
It's too early to tell... 5 weeks? That is still inflammation season, pain, weird feelings, weakness, atrophy of muscles and tendons due to immobilization, issues growing them back, breaking scar tissue, dealing with fluid changes in the join, etc.

Lockings from time to time? Yes... they will happen, especially if things are over forced (protective inflammation) ...

This will take more time than 5 weeks... no worries, just make sure she doesn't overdue exercises and throw it all away...




Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2013, 01:54:39 PM »
Thanks MDAL.  After reading your post I relaxed a little bit.

7-8 weeks post op.
Swelling has improved a bit. I figured out that when her knee would swell, is after going to watch her team race cross country. Even though she was told to take it easy, sit and watch. She of course wasn't. 

Her insicion opened up a tiny bit and oozed but quickly scabbed and nothing more happened. We were surprised that this would happen at 6 weeks, but the body is full of surprises.

PT changed. In addition to doing all of her stretches, she is also doing lifts with weights. Mostly straight leg exercises with weight.  This was good for her because she was very bored with old routine. Still no squats or lunges. Also keeping knee straight going up and down stairs to protect graft site.

All in all she is doing better pain and swelling wise. She still has so bad days. Her knee is still locking up around 5 times a day. Sometimes she has to use her other leg to help release it just like before surgery. Hopefully it is just scar tissue. Hope everyone is doing well.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2013, 07:46:02 PM »
10 weeks

Went to see her Dr. On Friday.  He said she is doing great and he wished all his patients looked as good as her. Her swelling is very minimal and her range of motion is almost normal. He even mentioned her returning to sports eventually but since she is a distance runner she wouldn't be able to get in shape soon enough before the spring track season I want her to just focus on recovery. He also has released her from PT. He said exercises can be done on her own. She is to just focus on building her quad muscles back. She is happy about not going to PT but has no idea really what to do and how hard to push herself.  Her knee is still locking a lot but he thinks it's getting caught on something and not to worry about it. Daughter insists it's like before when she originally started having knee pain.

She also had a blood test, to check her antibodies against the graft. She wasn't very happy about this little surprise.  Next appointment is scheduled for March which will be 6 month checkup.  Recovery and rehab protocol for this procedure has been much quicker than when she had her microfracture.  Still crossing our fingers that this is a success this time.

Offline thornburg

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 01:28:01 PM »
Congrats on the great checkup news from doctor!  Those are always good to have & hear!

Recovery is a slow long process .. just keep that in mind!  Slow and steady will win!  ;)
(I have to remind myself of this too!)

My doc released me from PT too, but I keep going about every 2-3 weeks for check'ins to make sure I don't do something stupid or get new ideas on what to work on.  I figured it was not gonna hurt anything to keep those PT appointments for my own sanity, more than anything.

Sorry to hear about the locking, hopefully it will all work in the long run and this surgery fixes it for her!

How is her pain level?  Hopefully that is better than pre-surgery.

stay positive during rehab!!!

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2013, 01:58:31 PM »
That's a good idea to still check in with PT every few weeks, Thornburg. I'll have to see if Dr. Will right a script for that.
Her pain level is better than before her surgery. But she really hasn't been engaging the trochlea until now. She is using it to go up and down stairs and she is starting to do some squats on it.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 06:09:07 PM »
It's been 4 months since my daughters allograft surgery. There is not anything too exciting to share with everyone. We feel there isn't any swelling and it has not been swelling with the exercises she's doing. She is not in pain and doesn't have aching. Her rom is good but still doesn't have her normal hyperextention like her left knee back.  Her knee is still locking and clicking though.
 I think she is getting bored with home exercises so may have to invest in a gym membership.
It's been really hard for her to watch and sit out as another track season approaches. But we are still thankful she is not living in constant pain.
Hope everyone is healing well.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2014, 02:18:26 PM »
Hi all. Last week we went to my daughters 6 month follow up.  The graft has totally healed. The Dr. Has released her to begin to start running again. He also told her not to give up on her dream of getting a scholorship and being a collegiate athlete. I'm a little hesitant to let her compete again but her Dr. said it's okay. Her plan and what she's been doing is running 1/2 to 1 mile and doing her track warm up with her team and then she leaves and goes to the gym.  So far so good.

Offline MDAL

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2014, 10:53:08 PM »
It's great to hear a happy ending!


Offline Hokieman89

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2014, 04:50:12 AM »
Hi xclax,

Great to hear! I am three weeks post op from what sounds to be the exact surgery your daughter had. My defects were in the trochlea as well. I am 24 years old and it's been a few years since I've been able to run and squat, so I'm anxious to hear how her knee responds to being fully released!

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2014, 03:01:22 AM »
Hokieman,
Hi. My daughter is running 1 mile/5x a week. She is running at a slow jog, taking it really easy. So far it hasn't hurt her like before. She is now at 7 months post op.
Good luck with your recovery.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 08:00:17 PM »
It's been just over 9 months since my daughters surgery and she is still doing well. She started running cross country again this week. She said she has been run/walking 4 miles. The knee is not giving her problems it's all the typical pains you get while running again. She still has it lock on her when she has been sitting for a while but that doesn't cause any pain. Hope others a doing well too.

Offline MDAL

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2014, 11:35:49 AM »
At 9 months it seems like the cartilage is there to stay... should be stable by now, but I have heard it should continue to grow for 2 years from op, but at a very slow rate. Cells should continue the process of producing the collagen matrix.

Locks after sitting is normal (well at least I have that too), but doesn't bother me much.

Good luck for you and your daughter...

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2014, 01:58:26 PM »
Hi. Just wanted to give a quick update on how my daughters knee is holding up. She is around 15 months postop and she is still doing okay. She finished out her last year in cross country but wasn't any where near the pace she was able to run before her injury. I had to remind her that after what she went through, just even running is a gift to be thankful for. For the most part her knee pain was minimal.

Offline MDAL

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2014, 11:46:55 PM »
Awesome!

At this point you can safely say this is a success story, we need more of these here... of course an operated knee will never be the same again, but if she can run cross country at all, it's because things were properly done and worked.

All the best for you and her and Merry Xmas ( no knee pain in the sock :D ).


Offline hopalong2

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2014, 10:03:28 PM »
Thanks so much for posting with longer-term follow up!
It's so helpful for those of us who have gotten past the initial stage but are still wondering where we'll end up in terms of functionality and pain.  Best wishes to your daughter for continued progress.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2015, 04:02:15 PM »
Update:  19months post op

My daughters graft is is still doing well. Every now and then it aches a little, but it only lasts a day. She is running track and doing hurdles. Yes hurdles. They wouldn't have been my first choice but my daughter assures me that she doesn't land on that knee. She also promised me that if she has any real pain she will stop. Hope this info helps everyone.

Offline xclaxmom

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2016, 01:21:25 PM »
Just wanted to give a quick update on my daughters knee. All is still well and the allograft is holding up. She is now just over 3 years post op. She is a sophomore in college and living on her own. Last spring she was training for a half marathon. She was running 8-10 miles a day. Against my wishes of course. She was happy to knock half marathon off her bucket list. The only thing that still bothers her about the knee is how it locks when bent and sitting. She sometimes has to manually release it to stand. There is no pain with this. Hope this helps others.

Offline BezProblemów

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Re: 16 y/o daughters osteochondral allograft
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2017, 03:47:09 AM »
Thanks for all the updates Xclax; they're really helpful and it's great to hear your daughter is doing well.

I wonder if the sitting issue could be scar tissue-related. 

Tell her to make sure she is tracking mileage on her running shoes and replacing when they get too high.  That was one of my mistakes that led to my knee problems.  And a half marathon is plenty, no need to do a full :)