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Author Topic: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction  (Read 18842 times)

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Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2014, 01:32:31 PM »
So, the outing to physical therapy wasn't as bad as I expected. I managed to get out of the house and into the car alright. The physical therapist just pretended the left leg didn't exist. She said she is going to have to be creative to think of exercises for the right leg that don't involve moving the left leg at all. My ROM went up from 97 to 105, so I continue to see progress, however small. I can tell that the right knee has gotten a lot stronger, although I still am somewhat scared to put all of my weight on that side when I am standing up.

As far as the left knee goes, the pain seems to have hit its peak and is coming down into "normal" levels that I remember after the right knee operation. Hopefully I will be able to reduce my painkiller intake this weekend and switch to ibuprofen by the end of next week. I am up to 40 on the CPM machine. The incision sites all look ok, and I get to take my first post-op shower tomorrow! I can't wait for that.

One good thing about being homebound and then shuttled around by my parents is that I am missing what is already a pretty bad winter. I don't do well in the cold, and I'm pretty bad about slipping on ice. I will have limited exposure to the elements until at least February, which is when I hope to resume my normal commute by train and bus. The right leg is probably almost strong enough to drive, but now of course I have to wait until I can keep the left knee bent to fit in the driver's seat. So I probably won't be driving for a number of weeks. It's a very strange feeling to revert to my teenage years when I had to rely on my parents to get around. I can't wait to reclaim my independence.

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2014, 12:56:56 PM »
Reposting this here because this forum seems to get more traffic:

Hi everyone. My OS says I have super lax ligaments and super loose joints. He wants me to get checked for Marfan's and other disorders. I called a local research hospital, which has a Marfan's program, and they told me I need to see a rheumatologist first. Does that sound right? I took the first available appointment, but this doctor doesn't specialize in anything relating to Marfan's or anything like that. If anything, doesn't it seem like a cardiologist or a genetic counselor would be the place to start?

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2014, 09:39:45 PM »
Yesterday, my left knee was doing well enough that I planned to switch from painkillers to ibuprofen today. I woke up this morning, and I knew that something was off, so I kept taking the painkillers. Now, the pain has gotten worse. I hope I haven't pushed myself too hard. I left the house this weekend, and I have been walking around the house more often than I did after my right knee surgery. Anyone have any ideas as to why my pain would be getting worse at one week post-op? It's not bad enough to panic and go to the ER, but it's bad enough that I may try to call my surgeon tomorrow...

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2014, 10:21:28 PM »
Well, today, the pain has been better than it was yesterday. So hopefully I am right on track with everything. Now that it's winter, I wish I could hibernate and wake up in the spring with strong legs and normal knees...

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2014, 08:47:20 PM »
I've been getting waves of bad pain in the afternoons, which I didn't have after my right MPFL reconstruction. However, I'm still planning to go back to work on Wednesday. The pain isn't so excruciating that I won't be able to work through it.

The steri-strips came off of one of my incisions today, and I noticed that it is not healed at all. Perhaps that has something to do with the pain.

My right knee's ROM at my last PT session was 111 degrees. I still have the CPM machine for my left knee, so I've been doing a couple of hours at 120 on my right knee. Because the left knee has to stay in the brace and is only partial weight bearing, we're limited in the exercises we can do for the right knee. But the right leg is now my dominant leg and has been managing.

My two-week post-op appointment for the left knee is on Tuesday. Hopefully I will be cleared to start PT on that leg at six weeks post-op again and wean myself off of the crutches and brace. That means hopefully by 2015 I will be down to one crutch!

Offline lucha86

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2014, 07:52:35 PM »
hey leenie
glad to see your getting on ok i think with all MPFL RECONSTRUCTIONS they will be all different and judging by the diaries i have been reading it depends on several things that can cause more pai. eg damage, hardware used, site of incisions etc......... I found with mine , the pain was the worst in the second weeks than the first... it all depends on the individual......
but keep it up you know what to expect since you have had your right done which is a good thing =) keep us posted

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2014, 06:39:50 PM »
I had my two week post-op appointment for my left knee today, and the PA said everything looked good, although the knee is still a little swollen. The stubborn incision finally closed up this weekend. The pain has also gone down, so those two factors may have been related. It wasn't until this weekend that I was able to wean myself off the painkillers. Now I am alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Therefore, I am planning to start back at work tomorrow. After my last surgery, I couldn't wait to get back to the office. This time around, probably since pain has been more challenging, I haven't been going so stir crazy. But it will still be nice to get out of this house!

PT continues on the right knee. It doesn't feel like I am getting very far, since we are so limited in the activities we can do! I really think the most progress is coming from walking around putting most of my weight on it. The right knee continues to be sore, which the PA said is to be expected since it is going through so much supporting me after the surgery on the left knee.

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2014, 04:56:59 PM »
I'm back at work as of today! Work is so much more exhausting than being at home though, even with not that much to do and a bath seat under my desk to prop up my legs. I almost wish I had taken a few more days or a week off, but I'll manage. Of course, I miss my ice machine the most! I am right across the hall from the office kitchen, which has a freezer, but an ice pack here and there is not the same as nearly continuous icing. My use of the CPM machine will really suffer as well. On a normal workday, I can probably squeeze in two hours on the left knee when I get home, but tonight I have PT and another appointment as well, so by the time I get home I will just want to eat dinner and pass out. Or maybe just pass out.

The thing that is the most bothersome is feeling like I'm a burden. I know my mother is happy to help me when she can, but now she has to work on the weekends to compensate for driving me to work, which causes her to get to work late and then have to leave early as well. I value my independence very highly, so sometimes I almost snap at her when she offers to help me with something that I can manage on my own. I need to learn to be more patient, especially because of the sacrifices she is making for me!

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2014, 01:58:52 PM »
Ugh. I had a DVT scare yesterday. My left foot got really swollen and painful. I called my OS, who advised me to go to the ER to get an ultrasound. I went right after work, and of course the ER was jammed. After an hours-long wait, I got good news. The doctor said the pain and swelling was probably due to increased activity from starting back at work. So, the good news is no blood clot. The bad news is that I'm pretty busy at work and couldn't take today off to rest as I would have liked. This weekend's rest will be very well deserved!

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2014, 07:28:01 PM »
Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post-op on the left knee and 12 weeks post-op on the right knee. I went upstairs for the first time today since before my left MPFL reconstruction. I am planning to move back upstairs to my bedroom next weekend.

The pain is manageable with ibuprofen, but it is worse than after my right MPFL reconstruction. Also, on Friday I had to do more walking than usual, and my left foot got sore and swollen again.

I am up to 90 on the CPM machine for the left knee. PT on the left knee starts in two weeks, and I can't wait! At that point, my PT will start working with me to wean me off of the crutches and brace.

PT on the right knee is proceeding slowly, as we are limited in the activities that we can do by having to keep the left knee locked in the brace. I still have pain in the right knee, especially when sitting down or standing up.

The bath seat that I keep under my desk is a lifesaver, as I keep the left leg propped up all day and the right leg propped up part of the day. It seems like it will be a while before I can sit with my knees bent all day.

The biggest questions are when I will be able to get back to driving and taking the train. I could probably drive short distances, but I think I will wait until I start PT on the left knee. I've started taking the bus, but I'm still scared to take the train. To board the train, I have to be able to climb up three steep steps. And then there is just more walking than I am used to to get between the train platform and my bus stop. Hopefully I will be able to manage this by sometime in January. Taking the train would give me back so much independence.

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2014, 07:25:54 PM »
So I guess I have to live with my left foot being swollen and sore now. That's fun.

We used the leg press for the first time at PT yesterday. At first, I could barely move the weights at all, so we had to switch from 50 pounds to 30 pounds.

One thing I haven't read about in the other diaries, perhaps because of taboos, is how people are dealing with everything emotionally, beyond using these diaries as a cathartic way of letting out frustration and communicating with other people going through similar experiences. I know that it's been really difficult for me to deal with. Before September, I was a happy office drone. If I wanted to go somewhere for lunch or leave work early, that was easy to do. Now, I am sore. The physical effects are more or less obvious. But more than that, the surgeries have taken an emotional toll. I thought by now I would be better able to deal with the loss of independence and isolation, but it's really weighing on me. I'm lucky that I am still able to work and am not totally putting my life on hold, but I'm certainly not moving full steam ahead. And I don't envision being back to full strength before April, at the absolute earliest. Life sucks right now. I'm doing my best with my exercises, but other than that I feel helpless to do anything about that right now.

Offline esm87

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2014, 03:37:51 PM »
Hi Leenie

The emotional side is hard. I've had an MPFL reconstruction & Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy on both knees. My right knee was first in April and my left knee was the 10th of September.

I still feel like it's holding me back and yeah, it does really get to me. I guess I have to try and put everything into perspective. I knew this was going to be hard but I needed to do it due to constant pain and instability in my knees however I don't think I really understood how long it would take me to feel "better". I think especially because I've had both knees done, as have you.

I'm back at work too and I can drive but I am SO tired by the end of the day and at the weekends because I'm still having to put so much energy into everything. I also can't just decide to go and do things like you mentioned. I managed to go to the cinema a couple of weeks ago which I was really worried about - will i be able to make it up and down the stairs to my seat? Will I be able to sit for the whole film without feeling too uncomfortable or my knees feeling really stiff and sore.

I guess we just have to expect this until we are feeling better and really think about the things we used to take for granted. I can see huge improvements in the knee I had done first so deep down i know it's been worth it, it's just hard to see that sometimes!

Hope you're doing okay - it'll be worth it in the end!

Offline lucha86

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2014, 06:23:57 PM »
Hey Leenie chin up things will get better I assure you
In my diary the amount of time I moaned and groaned and for rather frustrated and tired with mpfl reconstruction is a lot lol sometimes  you just wanted to cry and scream I myself blubbered and cried in front of my physiotherapist for 20 minutes because I was so tired and frustrated and wasn't seeing results......

I remember my surgeon telling me you will be back in two weeks to work hmmmmm.... Nope leg triple the size barely able to walk 4 weeks post surgery, even he couldn't fathom what was wrong with my leg as it was so large and blistered he thought it was a large bleed but not knowing where from lol he even said he thought I would be an easy case.... That annoyed me lol so I wrote him a 25page article of how I felt the whole process of mpfl reconstruction went including the attitudes of doctors lol I vented. MY frustrations but then how can doctors learn about mpfl if they don't listen to their patients lol doctors really don't understand how tiring frustrating and painful mpfl really is lol  :P

Remember as my sister reminded me she knows a lot of medical things she said each and everyone heals at a different rate....... Some people are quicker and some people are slower...... :o

Even I agree with Emma who felt she underestimated the time of healing process I agree too, I think sometimes throughout mpfl reconstruction you get a lot of good days and bad days....  Even post 6 months I would try to jump out of a ring in a match my knee would just stop mid air and the wrestlers had to catch me for my own safety and you have to work with it rather than against it and it's frustrating lol......... ::)

My best advice to you is the following keep yourself occupied to take your mind off the surgery and think in a few weeks you and Emma will think how far you both have come, the surgery is so worth it but to gain things sometimes we choose the hardest paths in order to gain a better quality of life......

Keep us posted but think use this diary to express yourself in the best possible way so when others have this surgery they have an understanding of what to expect and it will make you feel better at the same time ...
Chin up you will get there keep us posted ! :))

Hope your doing well Emma too :)

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2014, 05:58:13 PM »
Hey guys, thanks for the encouragement! I guess I have good days and bad days, both physically and mentally. I am currently six weeks post-op on my left knee and fourteen weeks post-op on my right knee. I start PT on the left knee this afternoon.

The pain on the right knee is pretty bad. It still hurts a great deal to stand up from a sitting position. My ROM is good, but it is painful, even when I elevate the leg. I still use the ice machine when I am at home. I alternate between the knees, but I tend to ice the right knee more since it is more painful. The right knee is still swollen, although the left knee is more swollen.

I see the OS next week for a three months most-op visit for the right knee. Hopefully he will see good results and reassure me about the pain.

Offline Leenie

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Re: Leenie's MPFL Reconstruction
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2014, 02:45:25 PM »
So, the physical therapist measured my left ROM, which is only 68 degrees... The recovery is going to be a long road. I think my right knee was at 90 or so by my first PT session. I think the major difference is that the company came to retrieve the CPM machine last week before Christmas. Having had it in my house since mid-September, I wasn't sorry to see it go, but with the holidays I would have had plenty of time to use the machine.

I'm now using the brace unlocked to 60 degrees while walking. Maybe tomorrow I will be allowed to start using just one crutch instead of two.

I'm looking forward to 2015. 2014 was a rough year, healthwise, as I had kidney problems in addition to the knee problems. Hopefully by spring I will be walking strong, and able to go back to all my old activities. I'm also looking forward to losing some of the weight I've gained over the past several months of being sedentary!















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