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Author Topic: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.  (Read 11623 times)

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Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2014, 03:32:11 AM »
Day 50 (~7 weeks):

Today was a great day in my road to recovery. My doctor finally gave me the green light to take off my knee brace. I am officially walking without a brace. He says my knee looks great. He wants me to start on focusing in strenghtening my quads and hamstrings. He does not think I need PT anymore because strenghtening muscles is something I can do at the gym or at home but that before I stop PT I should get a program from them to do at home. All in all my knee feels good and the steps I took around the house without the brace felt ackward but it did feel awesome to do it. I do feel a lot better.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 04:35:32 AM »
Day 51:
Second day walking without the knee brace, I have to take baby steps to feel confident that I won't fall. My physical therapist thinks that I can't stop PT just yet and that I need to continue to go at least once a week which I will do because I like to hear the progress from others it builds confidence and I think they'll make me get out of my comfort zone. The knee does look a bit swollen after today's normal routine so I'm icing as I write this. I will update in a couple weeks or so.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2014, 04:35:41 AM »
Day 60 (Two Months post-op):

The knee continues to heal. I'm doing physical therapy everyday at home and once a week I go to the Physical Therapy office. They have increased the level of difficulty for my exercises. The most challenging for me is balancing on the operated knee while bending. It's tough because my quads are not recuperated yet. I am walking with a small gimp, but the PT people tell me it will go away when my quads and hamstrings are strong enough to pull on the patella on their own. I have not tried doing stairs down yet because I fear I will fall. But I have started doing stairs on the way up, it's challenging and tough but there isn't pain. Hopefully with another month of PT, I'll walk normal without the gimp  ;D

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2014, 04:39:39 AM »
Day 78:

Checking in to give you an update.
My knee continues to heal. I can walk longer and faster than before. I can do 4 flights of stairs up without a lot of discomfort although my knee feels very tight/stiff. Unfortunately, I can't do stairs down which it's frustrating because I would think that by now I would be able to. I continue to do physical therapy every day. I will update again in a few days.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2014, 03:24:23 AM »
Day 90:

Well I can say now that I'm almost back to full functionality. I can do stairs in the way down now!!!! It's still very awkward because my knee can't fully support my weight on the way down but it's getting there! I have started swimming twice a week at the gym freestyle only. I'm not doing a lot of laps only a few, more because I'm out of shape than for knee pain. So that's a positive. I continue to do physical therapy everyday at home. The PT person tells me that to his judgement I am now in strength recovery phase and that he believes I will be able to do hiking again without an issue but that I shouldn't over force my knee too soon.

P.S. Make sure that if you decide to get the Denovo NT procedure you get written confirmation of approval from your insurance otherwise you will end up navigating insurance crap just to get the claims settled.

Offline ksteen

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2014, 03:57:20 PM »
Thank you so much for your updates.  I have been talking about doing this with my doc for a couple of years.  I'll have a few holes to plug, so mine will be a bit more intensive, but I've been scared to death of getting the insurance letter saying they won't cover the cost.  Can you elaborate on what your bills are, and what you have gone through from the insurance perspective?  Who is your carrier, etc.  Thanks so much.  Your progress on day 90 is quite encouraging.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2014, 04:39:25 AM »
@ksteen.
My total cost so far is around $40,000. I'm currently in the process of appealing claims that my insurance has denied claiming that the Denovo NT procedure is not proven to fix cartilage defects. They had initially approved the procedure verbally but later backed out. That's why I advice you or anyone else to get written approval from the insurance company. I'm not going to name them to avoid any litigation problems.

Day 95:
I have been clear to start cycling and flat trail walking by my PT person. I will be cautious about it because I've yet to ask my doctor for clearance. I continue to swim twice a week and do PT at home daily. My knee is starting to feel normal again but gaining my strength will be key in the next months to fully heal.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2014, 03:47:46 AM »
Day 104 (~15 weeks) post-op:

Hello everyone,

I was given excellent news today regarding my surgery from my OS.
He has cleared me to start hiking again :) He does want me to build my ability and to not over do it until from the start. He agrees with the PT person and I can also start cycling. He thinks that my knee has healed incredibly well but that he wants to see me again in two months to clear me for good from observation. I just finished my first 3 mile hike around a trail near my house and it felt awesome to be out again without pain. The knee felt weak on the way down but it was not painful. I'll continue to build my muscles and hopefully the weakness will go away. Now my outstanding issue is the insurance claims.

Offline ksteen

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2014, 01:08:39 PM »
Great news on your progress.  I have an appointment with my doc to do this.  I can't wait to be 104 days out on mine - but I have two knees that need to be done, so I have a long road ahead of me.
You didn't mention your insurance company, but I found the following document which should apply to me (my insurance company/my state), so I am extremely hopeful this will work out.  I don't know if this info will help you out or not.  Good luck with the insurance claims. 
https://secure.bcbsm.com/mprApp/MedicalPolicyDocument?fileId=2059704

Offline wingedfeet

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2015, 12:26:09 AM »
How are you doing now?
10/13 Traumatic patella dislocation with huge chondral defect
10/13 Denovo graft and MPFL repair

Offline stephlouise

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2015, 08:12:49 AM »
@2iron-knee,

Do you have any updates regarding the longer-term progress or success of the graft? I'm on Day 11 following my DeNovo graft surgery (behind patella, left knee, 2 square cm defect) and my progress is thus far similar to yours from your diary, though my doc has been more conservative with the CPM and weight-bearing. I'm also worried about how fragile the graft is and have had a couple of "scares" with accidental twisting on the CPM - any time I feel new pain (or hear a crack, which has happened once) I panic that I've just dislodged this graft. All I hear is negativity about the fragility of the graft behind the patella. So it would be great to hear how things worked out for you over one year post-op.

Your progress in the diary was very encouraging! It would be great if you could update again. Thanks, and all the best.

Offline 2iron-knee

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2016, 06:39:05 AM »
@steplouise:

I know this is super late but I do have an update.

Day 773 (2 years, 1 month, 12 days) post-op:

I am  and have been fully functional for a long time now. I don't exactly remember when that happened, but I have been able to get back to hiking 100%. There has not been any restriction whatsoever of the things I can do. I even started doing mountaineering and rock climbing and my knee has responded superbly.
I do; however, feel that my operated knee (left) is the weakling of my knees. Sometimes whether consciously or not, I use my right knee more often to descend stairs or descend trails which I believe is a sign that my quads and hamstrings in my left leg never actually recovered fully. I feel very lucky that I chose to have the Denovo NT surgery and despite having to pay the costs of the surgery fully out-of-pocket I do feel that it was worth it.

Offline 01

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2016, 02:20:18 AM »
Congratulations on your recovery! I am recovering from a Denovo NT procedure myself and your story is an inspiration!
04/2016 Denovo NT on LFC/trochlea

Offline stephlouise

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Re: Denovo NT: Cartilage repair for defect behind patella, left knee.
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2016, 04:48:56 PM »
@2iron-knee:

Thank you so much for the update! Hearing that you're hiking and climbing is very encouraging. It's not too surprising that you're noticing lingering weakness in the left knee. The degree of atrophy I experienced (complete atrophy of the quad and hamstring, practically, and also the left knee) seems like something that will be extremely difficult to completely overcome. The rebuilding of the muscle is also what I find most difficult.

It's also a relief to hear you're glad you had this surgery. I also paid 100% out of pocket (or, am still paying, rather) for the surgery and all rehab costs. So far, I'm happy I did it. Mobility is priceless - but I've wondered if I'll still feel this way a year down the road. Again, very encouraging. Thanks for replying - and for sharing your progress.


@01:
Good luck with your recovery! I updated my post-op diary, and if you ever have any questions or concerns, I'd be happy to pass along anything I've learned from my experience.