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Author Topic: Can't stand the itching!!!!  (Read 17294 times)

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Offline anasta5ia

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Can't stand the itching!!!!
« on: January 27, 2004, 07:25:51 AM »
Ok-

As most of you guys know, I am now in a combination of braces on my left leg in an attempt to keep my kneecap from doing that nasty dislocation thing that it loves to do.

I now have a neoprene patella stabilization brace (it goes from about 6 inches below my knee to about 6 inches above my knee) with a patella butress, spring steel rods on the sides, and velcro straps on underneath a full length DonJoy Controlled Position Brace (from the very top of my thigh to the top of my foot).  I have a Bracesox on underneath all of this.

The problem is..........I am completely broken out underneath where the patella stabilization brace is.  It itches HORRIBLY!!!!!  There are little tiny welts everywhere.  I have tried hydrocortisone cream (I have gone through 2 full tubes in 3 days), lidocaine gel (it helps for about 10 minutes...I have gone through a whole tube of this since yesterday), and I even tried spray lidocaine (it didn't do anything.  It says on the can that it works good on itching!!!).  I jut don't have any other ideas of what I can use.

I was my bracesox at least every other day, if not every day.  And I don't think the problem is with them since I have one on the other knee too and I only have a tiny spot that breaks out, plus my bracesox goes from my ankle to thigh and the irritation is only where the patella brace is.  I tried washing the brace and it also made absolutely no difference.

Please.....Give me any suggestions that you can think of.  If this doesn't stop itching soon I am considering gnawing my own leg off!!!

-Heather G.
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2004, 08:05:23 AM »
Heather,

Could you have developed an allergy to neoprene?  Allergies can often get worse if the contact continues, or during stress, or menstruation, etc.  It's not uncommon, especially if you have another brace on top forcing your skin into unrelenting contact with the neoprene.  I can't wear the stuff, I have to use something else.  Even with brace sox.

The only other thing I could think of was that maybe you have a little fungal situation going on?  It can happen in the neoprene brace.  The remedy (15 years ago) was to microwave the brace (no metal!) but you'd have to talk to the manufacturer about how long and if this is a possibility at all.  You should also nuke the brace sox at 20-30 second intervals until they are good and hot.  Washing does not kill all fungus, the heat is what you need if this is the problem.

The other things to try are Gold Bond, Lamisil, or some other over-the-counter anti-fungal if you think this is a possibility.  And maybe Benadryl for the itch?

Just some ideas.  Hope you feel better soon.

Heather

PS have you talked to Don Joy about this?
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline Kimby

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2004, 02:51:31 PM »
Hi Heather G - am wondering the same as Heather M about perhaps you have developed an allergy to the neoprene on the brace.  If it only happens when the brace is on, something isn't cool about it.  Instead of a brace sock, would it be possible to wrap the knee first in cotton gauze or strips from a thin cotton towel?  If you wrap the leg above and below the area of the brace, being cotton it shouldn't irritate.  You can use the Ace bandage clips to hold either one on.

If it does irritate, there might be a couple of things going on besides allergy to the neoprene:

1.  The brace is too large for your leg and is rubbing;
2.  You are getting a heat rash (the cotton, though should take care of this - it will absorb the moisture).

Don't put cream on with the brace because then the brace WILL slide up and down - only put the cream on (and like MG says, hydrocortisone can cause other issues around your body) when you are relaxing.  Benedryl works good too (both cream and pill, although the pill makes most people really sleepy).

I feel so bad for you - I have so many allergies of my own (even when I react to a medication I end up breaking out in hives!) so you have my sympathies.  I think Heather M's idea about calling the company is a good one too.  They might have some ideas - after all, they want the masses to continue purchasing their products, so anything they can do for you I'm sure they will!

Good luck.

Kim
1982 - R patella tendon transversal
1983 - L patella tendon transversal
2003 - R TTT and patella medial ligament   reconstruction
2004 - L TTT and PMLR

Offline cat

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2004, 05:07:13 PM »
Heather! Poor dear! On top of everything else to have the itchies!
I developed a similar problem. I wear my neoprene brace all day. I was using hydrocortisone ointment. It works better than the cream but my dermatologist didn't want me to use it long term and especially while using the brace as you absorb more of it. Now I am on Protopic, which is a nonsteroid. I also use the bracesox- the cotton ones- not the supplex ones.They make me worse. The cotton bracesox have helped me tremendously. Most of my "plague" is under control. I hope you find some relief soon.
cat
"Miserable malalignment"
 Lateral release, medial reefing, VMO advancement, and TTT-  3/2/04
Screw removal- 5/24/05
Cortisone injection to pes anserine- 7/27/05
Femoral derotation osteotomy, TTT revision- 10/18/07

Offline Nettan

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2004, 05:10:33 PM »
Hey !!

For me it sounds either is the brace not exactly suitable for you or you're an allergic to the material. My advice is let someone look at it to see if it's an allergic reaction. If there's an allergic reaction I'm sure this can be fixed by an orthopeadic technique man by wrapping around some other kind of material round the one you can't have. I had this problem and my OTM fixed it. It can also be so that you have had this brace for a while and you need a new one, because they aren't holding for forever. Or that your knee has loosen muscles and the brace is too big. Maybe it alos can be it's to warm for you. I wish I could offer more help. Hope it will be better.

hugs nettan  ::)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline anasta5ia

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2004, 02:33:37 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies!!!!!

I went to a GP today and it is official......I have an allergy to neoprene.  The GP then sent me over to see an ortho tech to see what else they could do for me.  We came to the conclusion, pretty much nothing.

Tonight we are trying a large 1/2 inch felt square with a circle in the middle ace bandaged over my patella.

My OS wants to see me tomorrow at 10 so we can hopefully formulate a plan of action.  He is talking about casting me until we can get the surgery done.  YIKES!!!!

Wish me luck.

Hugs-
Heather G.
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline cat

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2004, 04:14:31 AM »
Heather,
Can I sign your cast?  ;D ;D
Good luck with your OS apt. Let us know what color you get. I hear the make a glow in the dark one.
cat
"Miserable malalignment"
 Lateral release, medial reefing, VMO advancement, and TTT-  3/2/04
Screw removal- 5/24/05
Cortisone injection to pes anserine- 7/27/05
Femoral derotation osteotomy, TTT revision- 10/18/07

Offline Linds

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2004, 05:06:44 PM »
Good luck with the appointment with your GP, Yikes, I was reading it saying sounds like she's allergic to neoprene..and then .. you are. Anyhow, I really hope they can help you out. A cast..that wouldn't be much fun..but neither is your kneecap dislocating.
Take care and hugs
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline Holly

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2004, 09:42:33 PM »
Heather:
I was just reading through all the postings and about to suggest you see a dermatologist to prescribe a non-steroidal like Elocon or Elodil when it turns out you're allergic to the Neoprene - Poor baby!! Well, if it's not one thing...it's ALL OF THEM! Keep up the good spirits, kid, and best of luck with the upcoming surgery.  If you do get a cast, get a gorgeous, funky, flamboyant one 'cause even if you can't walk straight, you can walk PROUD!!!
Be strong...Holly
1998 run over by car;Rt knee lat menisc/med menisc tear, ACL/MCL tear, patella frx, tib frx, femur frx, 4 scopes repr menisc/repr lig/debride pat, open MCL rpr, dbl osteot3/04;MUA,lysis6/04;scope10/04

Offline anasta5ia

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2004, 01:50:40 AM »
I'm Back!!!!!!

Well, another traumatic day in the life of me.........

Just when I took the braces and stuff of so my OS could see my knee, I guess I just moved a tad bit the wrong way and out pops my kneecap.  So, my wonderful OS had the pleasure of reducing it for me.  I must say, to have someone else do it is much better than doing it yourself, but it is still most decidedly NOT something that I would recommend.

As I expected he decided that the only way for me to manage until my next surgery is in a cast.  They tried to make it as light as possible with lots of cotton and a little less than the normal amount of fiberglass, but it still weighs quite a bit.

He is still concerned with the fact that I am putting so much stress on my right leg.  I am only 14 weeks post-op and I am getting an incredible amount of pain on he medial side of my knee where everything was reconstructed.  But being the awesome person he is, he was determined to figure out something so that I would not be in so much pain.  He said that I am much to young to be in constant pain and got right on the hone with the pain management people to come up with something.  We had toyed around with the idea of Lidoderm patches on the most painful area, but he didn't think that they would be nearly strong enough to do anything.  Plus, with the allergies that I have to pain meds and the fact that I am now resistant to Percocet I have become quite the challenge.

After 3 1/2 hours at his office, I came hobbling out with my flourescent pink leg cast and prescriptions for Morphine (which tends to make me pretty sick, but since it is only for breakthrough pain we thought we would give it a try) and also Duragesic (Fentanyl dermal patches).  You put on one patch and then change it every three days.  I am not thrilled with the idea of using such strong narcotics, but with my pain levels where they are, I guess it is for the best.

So, now I am playing the waiting game......He is still trying to get things going so that my surgery can be moved up.  At this point we dont have any idea of when it will be since he has a 5 month wait right now.  I really don't think I could deal with a cast for 5 months.

Thanks again everyone for all of your ideas and happy, positive thoughts.

Hugs-
Heather G.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2004, 02:39:37 AM by anasta5ia »
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2004, 02:11:21 AM »
Heather,

You and Heather K win the Bubble Wrap awards for this quarter, without a doubt.  Could it be the name....?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm really glad you've got a plan for pain management.  I understand your concerns about the meds, but as long as you are under a doctor's care and don't do what Rush Limbaugh did (shop around for docs, break every rule, buy drugs from other sources, take more than the prescribed amount, mix drugs etc.) then your chance of addiction is very, very small.  That's what the doctors are there for--to help you with surgery and other medical interventions so that you can live your live.  And if you're dislocating on the exam table, you need that help!  I'm so glad that you're being taken care of--it sounds like your doctor is the best.

I'll be thinking of you...I thought my knee was cute with its subluxing every time I pivot or shift my weight in the kitchen, but you've got me hands down.

Take care.

Heather

PS Are you going to post a picture of the magenta monstrosity (aka your cast)?
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline anasta5ia

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2004, 02:14:53 AM »
Thanks Heather!!!!

I really do think that the name has something to do with all of this.....Hmmmmmm....I wonder if I change it if it would be any different.  Or maybe it is where we live.  I know Heather K. is from Southern Califonia too.  

I was going to take a little pic of my new best friend for all you guys to see.  Hehehe...I like it, the Magenta Monstrosity.

Hugs-
Heather G.
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2004, 03:00:07 AM »
Heather--

I was born in Riverside and raised in Laguna Niguel.  I left when I was 18, but I'm technically from So. Cal. as well...and named Heather....and have the knee from h*ll.

I think we're on to something.

I'm going to have to look at the possibility of becoming my alter ego or something.  Hmmmm.

Heather (Two of Five)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2004, 03:00:29 AM by hmaxwell »
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline Heather_K.

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2004, 06:14:40 PM »
Hello all Heather's and others with bad knees!
  I am sorry I could not resist the temptation to post.  I too live in southern california and have the body from hell.  Apparently my other "good" ankle was gettting a little jealous of my other joints, so it has decided to roll out twice in 3 weeks, I go back to the ankle OS next week to talk about surgery, meanwhile both knees are still a mess.  I hope to get some cortisone shots in late February for my screws, my OS is more than scared now of me because of my wound complications, but I do have some good news, I do not have cusshion's disease, after many blood tests we have finally ruled that out.
 Heather G, good luck with the pink monster, it sounds like you have had worse luck than me, I am so sorry, hey maybe we should both change our names and move?  ::)
Take Care Everyone!
Heather K
rt: lateral. release, chondroplasty, TTT+ LR, MPFL recon.+scar tissue removed Left: TTT+LR, revision with new screws + 8 ankle surgeries =Total of 30 surgeries, MRSA infect. with muscle/skin graft surgery. Surgeries 10 RT knee, 12 LefT knee, 8 Left ankle. message/email me for info/advice on TTT's. .

Offline missmyknee

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Re: Can't stand the itching!!!!
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2004, 08:21:38 PM »
Hi Heather

Sorry it had to come to having a cast. I had the PINK MONSTER too. When I broke my leg I was in a full leg Hot pink cast. I was in it for 3 1/2 weeks before I had to have the rod and plate surgery. I had a cast leash that looped around the bottom and I could raise a lower my heavy leg with it. I also had a yellow rubber cast cover to put on for showering. I hope your doc can pull some strings a get your surgery soon. Five months would not be fun at all.  One thing I noticed when I had the cast was the quad wasting. After 3 weeks, I could put my hand down to scratch the top of my knee. That's how much quad I lost in 3 weeks.

Heather, please take care  :)

Pam
4Fx Clsd red
IMrod fib plate
derotate osteotmy tibfib
AF
IPCS patbaja
DeLeeOsteotmy,LOA,LR Zplasty,bongrf,chondrplty
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