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Author Topic: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary  (Read 85990 times)

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Offline lucha86

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An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:53:38 PM »
In just a couple of days, I will have my mpfl reconstruction. And I will start this diary.... I hope this can be a learning tool for doctors, physios and patients alike as there is alot still to learn with mpfl reconstruction and a place for me to vent my pain, frustrations and describe everything.....
My history is a long one with my knee I have had this since I was 15 it would always give way to the lateral and sleeping at night was hell as my body was growing rapidly i was near enough 6ft by the time i was 15, they put me in a cast for 8 weeks to see if it would stop it but it did not Year after year it kept dislocating, i sometimes would cry to sleep, but when i was 26 it all changed......
I travel round the world to take part in competitions and matches, but last year it all went wrong.
My opponent did a wrong move on me and my patella dislocated laterally. After this I went straight back home to see a doctor my knee kept dislocating by itself and the effusions I couldn't control I saw three doctors who said your muscle was not strong enough, i said to them my muscles were strong enough as i lift men above my head for a living that is enough to make a doctor go quiet and drop their pens lol....
After a YEAR later and the THIRD orthopaedic doctor  and over 30 dislocations/ sub laxions in 6 months he finally agreed to send me to a orthopaedic surgeon, who specialises in the knee......

So i met the surgeon a very nice gentleman very sarcastic which to be honest in sports you have a sarcastic sort of personality so it was nice to speak to a happy doctor he checked me he asked me to squat i could barely squat by this point, he checked it over and asked me how was i still training with the condition my knee was it i replied " dunno, just keep going" So after a few hmmmm from the surgeon he said sit down that's when he said my MPFL he thinks its rupture my tttg was above >>20mm and there was also cartilage missing from behind my knee cap, i had never heard of mpfl ligament at that point. I thought im an athelete and i have never heard of this ligament???

He then explained oh don't worry we will take out the hamstrings put incisions in these several places, you will be back to work in two weeks, back to wrestling in 6 months... Everything was abit of a blur to be honest when he was telling me about the surgery, when your an athlete then you hear the word surgery... the first thing you think is.....i'm buggered lol! then you realise it will get better no pain no gain.....

So i signed the paperwork walked out.... but then i did feel a bit frustrated with the fact that why didn't any of the other doctors before him see these problems? I kept training on it when they said there was something wrong where i knew as an athlete there was something wrong.... so i have found new hope this surgeon will fix the issue
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:30:23 PM by lucha86 »

Offline esm87

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 06:42:34 PM »
Hi Lucha86

Have you had your surgery yet? Hope everything went well with you and you are not in too much pain.

I'm only 8 days post-op from a MPFL reconstruction and Lateral release so I know that it's pretty tough the first couple of days.

Looking forward to hearing how you are getting on. I've started a post-op diary too as reading other diaries was invaluable to me.

Take care,

Emma

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 01:40:05 AM »
Sorry for the delay yes Emma I had the surgery on Tuesday I only got out on hospital on Friday as I got an infection the, day of the surgery was ok ,

Day 1 surgery day i arrived at 7am to the hospital,abit late as the taxi had broken down, no food no water, very hard especially when you have a strict diet as an athlete.. so waited for the anaesthesia doctor he came in and i said oh your the guy whos gonna drug me up and keep me alive in a sarcastic tone he laughed and said yes he was i signed his paperwork gave him some chocolates he looked a bit shocked and i said there for keeping me alive in the surgery he laughed and walked off, then the surgeons right hand lady to sign more documents gave the team some chocolates as a thank you as i think its important to show some doctors appreciation as they work hard..
So they said i would probably be one of the last ones, which made me feel better it was now 8am then i managed to rip my theatre socks don't ask me how lol after this so i waited and talked to some wrestlers on my blackberry on Skype within an hour of seeing the nurse they said your next i was like?? i thought i was one of the last, and they said change of plan when you have no one with you fear can set it but then you only have to think of the positives of the surgery i even remember one of the wrestlers on the phone asking me in Spanish what just happened i said to him im going under then he decided to put on a bet how long it would try me to cry lets say he lost the bet lol ...
so i walk to the theatre, at 10:00am i remember the clock clearly then i am in the anaesthesia room and they start putting in the canular in my hand first time no pain amazing...... by this time im relaxed i then jump out of my skin as i hear the two doors from the theatre open and my surgeon comes in and says thanks for the chocolates then i see the operating room is dark and the lights were on at this point i thought oh great its happening right now!!...
The surgeon then said but i must say to you my registrar is not here to do the surgery he is running late.. at this point i said to him in a sarcastic tone oh dont worry if anything goes wrong i will just go after you he went very white and quiet and the other doctors and nurses in the room as they know i wrestle started laughing...

then i hear the other doctor saying you will have a warm sensation count to 10 and you will be out i counted to 12 everything went into a blur... then the next thing i know i have a nurse looking at me saying wake up that was really weird, that whole evening i got drugged up so i don't remember much expect the nurses calling me dory the fish from finding nemo as i was so high lol i even remember laughing with an older lady next to me who had a knee replacement i had double the amount of tablets compared to her...... and i was 45 years younger than her

Day two was the hardest as the nerve block ended during the night so only had two hours sleep so my surgeon came the next morning and asked how are you doing, you look like your doing fine.. i replied in a sarcastic response "I'm absolutely fantastic which he replied " do i sense sarcasm there" i replied dose me up please"

He then laughed and looked at my drugs chart  ...i was on quite a few drugs from oral morph to paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine phosphate,

then he said he would lift my leg in the air and told me i would have to hold it i thought he was joking then he said has she had her painkillers and the nurse replied yes and then he lifted my leg up in the air and let it go... i had to hold it mid air to be honest i was holding my breath the pain was shooting through my whole knee wanting to seriously jump and attack lol

i remember one of the patients shouting on the ward i looked angry and the surgeon better stand back lol , he was happy with my extension he walked away after me giving some extra chocolates for the surgery

My physio tried to get me out of bed but could not get out of bed because my leg was so tight and painful, so when the physio left me alone and time to calm down i got myself out of bed.. i get frustrated when i cant do something...

But what I didn't know was the surgeon told the nurses on my ward this is one if the most painful knee surgery you can have its worse than a knee replacement as the knee surgeon I had is one of the best in the country for mpfl surgery. the nurse said i caught an infection and they needed to manage my pain better and I had to be kept in for longer.

But it was frustrating how people were getting up quicker than me with knee replacement and they were 80 years old! and im a late 20's wrestler, it made me even more frustrated and the pain was so intense once i got out of bed i refused to sleep in the bed as the pain was so much getting out of it even being drugged up like dory the fish so the nurses let me sleep in a chair with a stool..
 but the matron then told me it will happen it time, remember this isnt an easy operation.

Day 3 omg painkiller painkiller and the icing machine changing it every two hours is the best thing I can advise as the knee swells to stupid amounts started moving knee very stiff pivoting is hard my doctor has given me no brace, with no explanation why so I'm having to listen to my knee on each move.. and even walking you have to blank out the pain i do alot of meditation and sometimes for me even it was hard to overcome that pain! do not underestimate this type of mpfl surgery, it is complex and will hit you hard...

Day 4 day of discharge I get home with 15 tablets a day to take luckily enough my sister is a pharmacist and my brother in law is a pharmacy lecturer so they made sure i was taking the correct medication and the correct time because it became confusing.....and trying to walk is hard because it's so tight but I'm persisting in it but had to stop as knee was swelling badly doing my physio exercises some are a little too advance but I'm starting on the ones I can do, i am so drugged up that even my niece who is four kept asking what's wrong auntie and my nephew who is only two kept climbing on my chest to give me a hug young kids pick up things quickly.... i have slept a lot i think that is due to the surgery and medication.....everything is a bit of a blur, im so dory the fish out of finding nemo
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:39:25 PM by lucha86 »

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 01:51:55 AM »
My knee now mpfl reconstruction
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 09:40:44 PM by lucha86 »

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 10:21:34 AM »
Day 5 - frustration of tightness
I found walking today annoying because of the swelling and muscle tightness been walking on it for two days now the physios say the more more I walk on it the lower it will get I'm still waiting on my ice machine which will arrive tomorrow as I have just
been using general ice packs for the moment the pain you cannot describe it's best to keep on top of your meds as the pain is so immense it can physically and emotionally drain you I'm finding I'm sleeping a lot due to the meds I'm taking I'm hoping in the next few days it will get lower any extra ideas to get my knee more comfortable would be nice

Offline esm87

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 03:53:30 PM »
Hi Lucha

Glad to hear you are at home but so sorry to hear about you contracting 2 infections. I can only imagine how much worse that must have made you feel!

I'm 12 days post-op so still relatively new to all this too. I find that walking does get easier the more you do it but it's still not pain free. I have a stocking bandage, a brace and crutches. Starting to try and walk without the brace though to see if it get easier. I also bought muscle resistance bands to try and bend my knee.

I find that the best thing for pain is the ice and also keeping on top of your medication. I try and ice my leg every hour, especially after i've been up to go to the bathroom etc. I don't have an ice machine either, I just use ice packs. My medication makes me really tired too, I usually have to have a sleep during the day. My pain has got easier though but it is by no means pain free!

Hopefully the pain you are feeling will ease off a bit soon.

Emma

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 04:17:45 PM »
Lucky for you Emma I don't have a brace the doctor elevated my knee post surgery and said no brace for you and that I didn't need it, so it makes it a lot harder to be mobile I argued with the doctor to have the brace he said your an athlete your legs are stronger than thought this surgery so every movement I have to be careful with, because i have no protection

Glad to see your doing well good thing is I have a nurse coming to check on me each day to give me my injections and check on infections .. I have a post op surgery appointment with the surgeon in over 10 days so I'm hoping by that point I will have at least 70-80 rom so I can sit in a car comfortably
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 09:28:44 PM by lucha86 »

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2014, 06:16:58 PM »
Things I've learnt so far with mpfl surgery
1) ice ice ice
2) know your limits, push to a certain point but don't over do it
3)pain meds keep them constant or the pain will be physically emotionally draining
4) if walking on carpet socks are best as you can glide compared to slippers grip shoes etc
5)have as much support around you as possible because this surgery is a severe complex surgery
6) sleep off any large pains or cramps..,
7) be aware of your surroundings plan your walking routes which have more space as sometimes if you don't you can get stuck in a position
8) have hope and determination and it will get you through the hard points..

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 09:04:57 PM »
Day 6 - failure is not an option
Today has been hard, I slept bad last night leg kept twitching, so it kept waking me up my cryo  cooler ice pack arrived today, before it I tried to walk tops I could do was 60 steps.... Wearing the ice brace cryo I managed 110 which made me feel great, after that my knee had other ideas, started cramping very badly

so I dosed myself up on medications and had the nurse visit me to give me my injections, so I rested so the determination and the help of the ice cooler  I achieved more than without it, my knee is still tight to the medial side,

as a wrestler, it's easy to get frustrated from three hours in the gym a day to sitting down or walking like a baby taking its first steps, but I know I coming to the end if my first week I have about 55 rom ( range of movement) and still have one week before I go to see the surgeon for my post op. It's amazing how with this surgery they say this surgery is worse for pain than a knee replacement.. I can seriously believe it. 

Today cheered me up as I had my first shower and felt more dignified and independent....My knee is bruising now which I expect and I'm feeling it knit together... Tomorrow I see my wounds for the first time.. I believe as an athlete this surgery has challenged me on every physical and emotional state there is possible..

There will be points I cry get frustrated and get determined this surgery has been trial and error knowing what works and doesn't, but through the trails  I believe it's giving me more hope and determination that each day there will be less pain and it will only get better.... But one thing I will say is never underestimate what your body is trying to tell you listen to it....
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 09:30:42 PM by lucha86 »

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 04:18:01 PM »
Day 7 - no sleep and giving way
So last night tried to sleep knee kept jerking so it kept waking me up. So I decided I
Would get up Start walking and get some breakfast, my ice pack I have been walking around on with
It as I can do more as it eases the swelling I'm finding harder to do elevation exercises but walking going upstairs is getting better and less tighter but today my knee gave way twice I started freakin out,
The nurse visited Me and checked it and said it's ok but she said to me do not push your body or you will do more damage to it work with it rather than against it she now has told me to elevate it for the rest of the day but my legs remain restless I'm Hungry for more to do more

My bandages got changed and the surgeon has done a great job can't complain. its very neat... but the wrestlers have been making a joke that i have a smiley face on my knee and to be honest they are correct lol but the ironic thing is that i am like the bad girl in the wrestling so to have a smiley face on my knee is just  hilarious to the wrestlers.........
 I'm taking less medications now which is good my next aim is to work on elevation of leg as my quads are weak, i think its really important to get it moving as soon as possible to get rid of stiffness

i am still having celxane injections in my stomach to stop the risk of DVT the district nurses have been giving them to me each day because they freak me out i cannot do them myself, they are wonderful nurses.... :)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 09:13:25 PM by lucha86 »

Offline rob2278

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 03:48:14 AM »
It always amazes me when I read cases like yours when the doctor doesn't provide a post op brace. In the US, you'll see every professional athlete in a post op brace no matter how strong their leg may be. As someone who's 3+ months post op, I'd recommend to take it easy on your feet until you feel stable. You can damage your knee if it gives way - the ligament you had repaired/replaced takes time to heal.

At this point, youu can work on strengthening your quads with leg lifts - even if you're unable to get the leg up unassisted, start by using your good leg to help out. My DR wouldn't let me out of my leg brace until I was able to do them!

Good luck with your recovery, and if you have any questions, ask! We're here to help

Knee History:

01/1990 - R Knee - removal of bone chips
05/1990 - L Knee - dislocation
Fall 1991- L Knee - 2 dislocations
12/1991 - L Knee - LR/MR
1992-2013 L Knee subluxations
04/2008 - R knee reconstruction (torn patellar/quad tendons)
04/2013 - L knee - dislocation
01/31/2014 -MFPL reconstruction

Offline esm87

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 10:08:48 PM »
Hi Lucha

It's good you're active and I can understand that due to you being so active normally that you will feel like things are not moving fast enough. Just make sure you don't overdo it.

Hopefully you've had a better day today? I find sleeping really difficult at the moment too. I think it's something I'm just going to have to put up with until my knee feels better.

I had my first physio appointment today. It was pretty sore but at least i've got some exercises to work on now.

Emma

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 11:06:34 PM »
Day 8 - no doctor available , hired sports therapist, gruesome stairs
Today again sleep has been an issue I keep waking up with pricking, cramping pains, the meds aren't really helping control these immense pains so I thought I would ring the surgery for better meds and they said it was a training day and no doctors were available, as I only had around 50 degree flex right now getting into a car is like impossible, so I have to wait till tomorrow to speak to a doctor.... For them to give me a prescription over the phone I was actually screaming and crying down the phone I felt sorry for my gp luckily enough he specialised in orthopaedics he said are you ok>> i just remember blanking out with the pain and I handed the phone to my sister who us a pharmacist and he gave me a whole bunch of codeine phosphate to help me ride the storm/pain the pain was crazy i felt like my calf, knee and shin and foot were going to burst open.... ..........

.Physios in the uk private I looked to take in my jaw dropped for a homes session 30 minutes  was 100 pounds (160 usd) so I went back to my old gym trainer and got her for 20 pounds half an hour which is a huge difference, she has known my knee problem for 2 years and trained me for 3 years, she helped me to get up 3 flights of stairs in my house twice,  which is like 40 steps one way, which was an immense success,

stairs are the worst part of this  for me out of any exercise with the rehab the stairs make me quite literally drip sweat, so after this I have decided to rest my knee and put on the ice cuff knee cooler so I don't feel anything

 As a wrestler we get trained to show no pain have no fear I say if anyone can get through this type of surgery, then you are a true warrior because mpfl surgery is a complete different level of pain lol put me in a ring any day lol :)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 09:16:21 PM by lucha86 »

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 11:19:17 PM »
I know what you mean rob leg extensions are hard to do, but the trainer I have is working on that with me now  I can get a little up but not much, I was bit shocked when he didn't give me a brace I even remember not even saying a word because I was shocked, I know some wrestlers who have had this surgery and they all had braces except for me.. My knee feels like a bunch of elastic bands right now and I'm fighting to stretch them out......
Esm87 yes sleep is a strange thing right now if I get 4 hours sleep I'm happy, I feel it's like cramping knitting together swelling etc at night  my first proper physio appointment is not till June, as that is the only appointment they have available,  but I will train with my sports gym rehab trainer till that point.
Sometimes you could say its frustration because you lose independence, as well as having to rely on others and sometimes the way I travel round the world by myself and do things how I want to do it is taken out of your control and it's like you have to work with your knee or it will work against you.

Offline lucha86

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Re: An athletes mpfl reconstruction diary
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 05:53:27 PM »
Day 9 - more meds from gp - surgeon cancels post op consult until 2nd June!!!!! - lightening bolt pains....
Today has probably put my blood pressure through the roof, so I managed to get some extra medications woohoo, while walking today I had huge lightening bolt pains running through my veins in my foot and shin, which stopped me from walking, my foot is now a balloon, as well as my calf shin and foot with blisters on them...... so the surgeons secretary confirmed 18 hours ago I had an appointment this Monday with the surgeon then she sends me a message today saying it's cancelled and the next appointment available is 5th June  omg that is like 4 weeks post op....I know the nhs is under pressure the surgeons secretary was lovely my sister rang the secretary as she was worried as a pharmacist i might have a DVT, and that was the nearest appointment she could get, which i did appreciate....

 I'm furious because I thought the surgeon needs to see you in a certain time frame after the surgery and  then they tried to give me an appointment for 5th June and on that day i have physio at the same time the surgeon wanted to see me at a different hospital?? i cant be in two different places at once??

 so i rang up the appointments line and explained the situation and they said well if you cancel one of them you will be discharged i flipped and being high as a kite and very sarcastic i tell you what shall i just send my leg to the surgeon and he can just sew it back on via post and then i can see the physio at the same time? the lady laughed on the phone and said your funny..and said yea funny and drugged up she laughed again..and i was being serious lol.

then she realised i couldn't be in two different hospitals at once so i agreed to the surgeons one and i agreed to a later appointment that day with the physio
stupidity considering the hospital system shows all my appointments I'm so frustrated and just too drugged up right now to vent it lol
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 09:24:54 PM by lucha86 »















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