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Author Topic: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey  (Read 13342 times)

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Offline patriciapatella

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My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« on: November 03, 2014, 02:48:41 PM »
Hi all! My name is Kristine and I have four weeks to go before my MPFL reconstruction surgery. Here's how it all started:

THE BEGINNING
I first dislocated, or rather subluxed, my right kneecap when I was ten. I was pretending to be ice skating on our living room floor with my socks on and all when bam! I had my first kneecap dislocation. I thought I broke my leg or something and it was really painful. But being the brave kid that I was, I kept my mouth shut about it and only told my parents I twisted my knee when I was asked why I was limping. I never saw the doctor. Two weeks after my right kneecap got dislocated, my left kneecap followed suit, as if in sympathy for what happened to the right one. Again, I just told my parents it was from running around and nothing to worry about. I wasn't worried at all because by that time, my right kneecap felt normal again. Besides, my kneecaps popped right back in after they pop out.

CONTINUOUS DISLOCATIONS
While growing up, I have had numerous kneecap dislocations. Despite it limiting my activity, I still tried what little sports I could. I tried basketball and volleyball, even tennis. But I was always in fear of my knees giving way beneath me. After all, even shifting weight from one leg to the other was enough to make my kneecaps pop out. I became known as the the "girl with weak knees". I have had lots of embarassing moments from all the dislocations. Talk about falling flat on your bum in front of your highschool crush! Each dislocation was painful but I got used to the pain eventually.

PHYSICAL THERAPY
I saw the ortho for the first time when I was 16, 6 years after my first dislocation. He checked my kneecaps and recommended physical therapy first. I went through all of that-- exercises, electronic stimulation, ultrasound. It helped a bit. Dislocations were less frequent but they still happened. I still lived in fear and distrust of my knees. Surgery was presented as an option then but I don't recall why I didn't go for it. I wish I had, though.

STILL DISLOCATING
10 years after that initial check up with my ortho, my kneecaps are still dislocating. There were times when I'd turn in bed and they'd dislocate. One time, I hit my right knee with my luggage at the airport and out my kneecap went. Just thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine. The feeling of dislocations has become too familiar. The good thing was that through the years, the frequency of dislocations has decreased. When I was younger, I'd have multiple dislocations in a year. As I grew older, I'd only have one or two a year, three at most when I'm being careless. I think doing pilates helped strengthen my leg muscles. However, I noticed that I would usually experience the dislocations when my legs were tired. This is just a theory though. I think my quads are doing all the work in keeping my patella stable since my MPFL seems to be so stretched out already. And when my quads are already tired from all the walking (usually when I'm traveling), there really isn't much holding my patellas in place. Well, that's just a theory so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. :)

THE UPCOMING SURGERY
Last September, after I got back from another overseas trip where  I dislocated my knees, I saw my OS again and he told me it's about time my knees get operated on. I've worn them out from all the dislocations for the last 16 years that they already need to be checked. I'm scheduled for surgery on the 1st of December (yay! In crutches for the holidays!) and I am nervous as hell. This is my first time undergoing such a major surgery where I need to be asleep. I've been reading post-op diaries and blogs about the surgery (most of the time lucha's diary entries), and I've been prepping for it. I bought a portable TENS machine, that looks like a remote control, and ice packs from Amazon. I initially considered getting an ice machine but I've looked through all the medical supply shops here in the Philippines and not one of them has one. I then considered getting it through Amazon but then what if it malfunctioned? How was it going to be replaced? Will it be transported carefully from the USA to the Philippines? So, I finally decided to just buy ice packs and a leg wrap from ActiveWrap. Got them from Amazon. I also tried looking around for a CPM machine to rent but ended up discovering that there are only 4 CPM machines in this country! Goodness! My OS talks as if this surgery is going to be nothing but I think all doctors are like that. Maybe he's psyching himself up, too. Anyway, two doctors will operate on me.

So, I am both nervous and excited. This is my chance to finally solve all my dislocation problems and hopefully save myself from more embarassing situations in the future. I've always thought I was going to be forever plump with bad knees. Now I realize I'm just making excuses for myself when I have the chance to fix this and be active with healthy knees. By the way, the predisposing factor to my case is that I have patella alta (high-riding patellas). I was wondering though, do any of you have that? Was the MPFL reconstruction enough to stabilize your patellas or did you undergo another type of surgery for it? My OS says that the MPFL reconstruction is enough to stabilize my patellas and that there is no need to lower them. I'm not aiming to be an athlete. I just want an improved quality of life, without distrusting my knees, without fear. Plus, I love to travel. Just last year, I was in London and dislocated my knee as I was getting on the bus.  ;D

If you guys have more tips for me, I'd be happy to hear them.  ;)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 08:17:24 AM »
I finally had my MPFL recon surgery yesterday. Pain has been manageable and I've been receiving my pain relievers through IV. The pain is mainly on the incision site, I could really feel them and it's a sharp
kind of pain, like I'm being sliced open  :'( I tried to use my crutches today, one day post op, and the pain was unbearable! I could not straighten my leg because everytime I tried to I would feel a
sharp, slicing pain on the incision site.  :'( Has anyone experienced this? At what point after surgery were you able to use crutches? I'm just in so much pain.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 04:35:03 PM »
Heya Patricia chin up :))))
I had mpfl reconstruction in May you will find those pains you are feeling are normal with the reconstruction I had the exact same pain.......what I did is I would walk when my medication was at its strongest to stop the pain on the crutches...... Remember everyone's rehabilitation process and pst surgery progress is all unique icing you will find will help ... I found icing before I walked helped so it was easier on crutches....
The first 10 days are the most annoying / painful it will get better :)))) sometimes you can get nerve pain which is sharp and catches you off guard but keep trying you will get there :)) keep us posted

Offline esm87

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 03:25:49 PM »
Hi Kristine

Hope you're doing okay. I've had the surgery on both knees and the first week is definitely the worst. I know it seems impossible but try and get up and even do a very short walk to the bathroom as often as you bare the pain. I found this really helped as it stops the knee from stiffening.

Your knee will feel really weird (mine didnt feel like my leg - I don't know how else to explain this) as the surgery had realigned my knee cap into the position it should have been and on my first surgery I was too scared to push myself to get up and walk using the crutches. However on my left leg, I really pushed myself and I felt I recovered a lot quicker. Things are going to feel strange and sore for a couple of weeks unfortunately but it gets better and it really is worth it!

Make sure you keep up your pain medication and ice your knee as often as you can. Every time I got up in the first 2 weeks I would ice straight after.

Keep us update with how you are getting on!

Emma

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 05:08:30 AM »
Hi lucha and Emma. i appreciate your replies to my question. At this point, I really need all the advice I can get. I've been reading your diaries and they've really helped me. I haven't properly recounted what has happened to me so here it goes:

DAY OF THE SURGERY - December 1, 2014
I was admitted at the hospital the night before my surgery. I arrived at the hospital with a fever (which I think was from being nervous) but they were able to make it go down in time for the surgery. From midnight, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything and I was hooked to an IV. By 5:30 AM, I was wheeled out of my room and to the operating room where I received my nerve block and I was sedated. They didn't give me general anesthesia. Instead they gave me another sedative which was lighter. It would knock me out but I would come out of it quicker than if I was under general anesthesia. I even remember waking up a couple of times in the OR but I was too groggy. I stayed for a couple of hours in the recovery room before I was returned to my room. I remember waking up as soon as the operation was done and I was shivering. It wasn't even that cold and I was really shaking. Must've been because the anesthesia was slowly wearing off.

RECOVERY
I was supposed to go home a couple of days after the surgery but I had to stay longer because I had high fever and diarrhea. I tried to use my crutches but the pain in my incisions was just too much, I'd almost pass out. My knee was so swollen and it was hard to grip my crutches because of the IV's needle still in my hand. I was taking my anti biotics and pain relievers by IV for three days. Here are my medications:

- Pain reliever via IV: Tramadol/ Tramal, taken continuously until 2 days post op, then as needed
- Anti biotics via IV: Panafox, 3 shots via IV
- Pain reliever tablets: Algesia, taken four times a day, started 3 days post op
- Anti inflammatory: Celecoxib, taken once a day, started 3 days post op

I got discharged from the hospital at 4 days post op (last Friday). I got sent home on an ambulance because we don't have a car and it was just my me, my mom, and our maid.

MOBILITY
Around 2 days post op, I was able to hobble to the bathroom to take my first shower. I had my crutch on my non injured side (left), my right arm around my mom's shoulders, and my operated leg held off the ground by a nurse. I would sit on the toilet with my operated leg propped up on a stool. At first, this was painful but as the days went on, I felt less pain. 3 days post op, I started sitting at the side of my bed with my leg on a stool. Then after a few minutes, I would lower it to the floor. As I would slowly stand up, I'd feel as if my knee would swell and the incisions would hurt again. Now that I am at home, I am able to move around in a wheelchair (we live in a one floor flat) and a crutch with two people assisting me, usually my mom and the maid. The maid would lift my leg off the floor as I hobbled on my crutches. My brace is locked at 30 degrees and my OS encouraged me to try heel slides which is still painful for me to do.

PAIN MANAGEMENT
I am able to sleep well through the night and there's barely any pain on my knee while I am lying down or sitting on my bed. The pain starts when I try to stand while using crutches. My knee feels very tight and then this sharp, slicing pain on the incisions start until it's too much to handle. I can't even walk a step from the edge of my bed because of how painful it would get. I try to move my leg to lift my foot off the floor but my leg's just not moving at all. The pain starts to gradually subside when my leg is slowly lifted from the floor. Even propping it up on a stool is enough to help the pain subside. I called my doctor about it and he prescribed Zerodol as an additional pain reliever to Algesia. I'll be starting tonight and hopefully it will help with the pain. I also do ankle pumps all the time and massage my calves and thighs. The swelling is slowly going down but my bad knee is still twice the size of my good knee. Icing really helps a lot with the swelling and the pain and I keep my knee iced all the time.

OTHER STUFF
You guys are right. This is really a roller coaster. There are days when I just feel so useless and I'm aching to be more mobile. I hate being dependent on others but what can I do? At the same time, I feel lucky that I have people around me who are supportive and help me with everything.

I developed rashes with the elastic bandage that was wrapped around my leg after the operation. The doctor has allowed me to remove it because of how bad the rashes are on my leg. I'm still looking for an alternative to the bandage although honestly, it serves me no real purpose. I'm happy seeing my knee.

When I drift off to sleep, my leg just jerks and this wakes me up. It's not painful though I definitely feel the new ligament and my knee. It's just uncomfortable. Even my good leg jerks every now and then, and this is something that rarely happened to me before the operation. That's why I still have my brace on when I sleep, even if my doctor says I can leave it open when I'm in bed.

I've been mostly sleepy these days. It's surprising how I'm able to adapt so easily to sleeping on my back when I'm a side sleeper. I don't have any problems except for the excruciating pain when I try to stand up. I'm still supposed to be non-weight bearing but I don't know how I'd manage that with crutches when I can't even lift my leg off the floor. I can deal with the tightness and stiffening of my knee but the pain is a different story. Once I get the pain controlled, I aim to move a lot more.  :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2014, 08:05:03 AM »
14 DAYS POST OP UPDATE:

Yay! I'm now two weeks post op! I feel much better these days, except for one thing. I GET THIS DISLOCATING FEELING IN MY KNEE. There are times when I'd feel like my kneecap's going to pop out. Lasts only for a few seconds and my kneecap doesn't really pop out. But the sensation makes me so terrified! When do I feel this:

1. I only feel this when my leg is extended.
2. The jerking feeling in my knee which I wrote about previously has now escalated to this. I can clearly remember three times when I have been awakened from sleep by this dislocating feeling. I find this weird because I am lying perfectly still in bed and suddenly I feel like my kneecap's going to pop out.
3. Aside from being disturbed while asleep, I also feel this while I am dozing off. You know that point where you're almost asleep? I always feel this dislocating feeling. Just lasts for a few seconds and then it's gone.

Have any of you felt this? I have asked my doctor about it and he says that my kneecap would no longer dislocate. He says he screwed in everything really well and that he even tried dislocating my kneecap while in the OR and it wouldn't budge. I remind myself this but am still puzzled as to why this happens. I am scared everytime it happens and no one has provided a logical answer yet. I'm just guessing it might be my muscles which are starting to wake up. I dunno.

Pain has been manageable. Ever since my 11th day post op, I've cut down on taking pain meds. From three times a day, I now only take them once at night. I'm still not as mobile as I want to be. I now have the pain under control but the dislocating sensation I get in my knee terrifies me. Plus, I almost fell backwards the other day when I lost my balance while struggling with my crutches. My mom and the maid are still helping me move around by lifting my leg for me. That terrifies me more because I don't trust anyone with my knee. But I don't have that much of a choice at the moment.

No PT yet. Yes. I asked my doctor about it last week during the post op appointment and he refuses to sign me up for PT just yet. He wants at least three weeks without PT and then we'll meet again on the 22nd. He'll see if I can do PT already by that time. Right now, all he wants me to do are ankle pumps, straight leg raises, and heel slides. I can't even raise my leg an inch off the bed on my own! I've been trying and trying everyday and seem to be making no progress. I'm starting to feel my quads though so maybe using the TENS machine has helped. But I'm still far from being able to do an unassisted straight leg raise. It's frustrating how easy my doctor makes it sound when it's anything but easy! It feels like my kneecap is going to explode! That adds more to the frustration. Bend is still around 20-30 degrees, no improvement there.

That's just about it. I hope to have something better to report in the coming days. This surgery sure is tough to recover from. It is a long, long road to recovery and I'm still waiting to see if it's all worth it. I have my other knee waiting to be operated on.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2014, 12:21:28 PM »
The jetting feeling is normal I had that post mpfl reconstruction in the first 10 weeks once you build up the quad again you will notice a difference I walked up a hill post 6 weeks my knee did the same my surgeon said it was because of the atrophy ...

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2014, 12:28:24 PM »
I meant jerking in the last one lol sometimes surgeons make me laugh they make it sound easy I found it funny to try to fire the quadriceps as it just wouldn't lol the jerking at night is so so normal I would also suggest moisture cream for the rashes I got those as well and used that for the skin at it worked mpfl is a journey in itself it gets easier trust me keep us posted

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 04:41:10 AM »
Thanks for the reply lucha. Sadly, I am back at the hospital. For some reason, my quads on my operated leg are cramping/ spasming. It first did so last Friday and then last night during PT here at the hospital. Last night's episode was much much worse and it's been more than 18 hours and I'm still getting a spasm whenever I try to fall asleep. I have only slept for 3 hours. I am so exhausted and terrified. I am scheduled for an MRI later today and I hope that they'll find out what's wrong with me. I wasn't expecting this to be part of the recovery since I've never had leg cramps my entire life. Until after the surgery. :(
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 08:32:20 PM »
Oh dear sorry to hear that if it helps the cramping i had and spasms were quite strong in the end my surgeon gave me an MUA to help the movement at least the doctors are checking everything is ok :) keep us posted don't be scared the doctors will help you :)

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2015, 11:42:43 AM »
Hey all. I'm back, after spending almost a month in the hospital. Picking up from my last update, I did have an MRI and the ortho discovered I had a herniated disc. There was this bulge in my L4 and L5 and this was hitting/ pinching a nerve. But they could not conclude if this was the cause of my cramps. I had my ortho, a neuro, a PT rehab doc, and an anesthesiologist working on my case. They also considered if it was damage from the femoral nerve block but my symptoms were more for the herniated disc than for the nerve damage from nerve block. I had this pins and needles sensation in my right foot (foot of the operated leg) whenever it was pinched and whenever I stepped on the floor. But that sensation would just come and go.

First option considered was an epidural steroid shot to my spine to help with the herniated disc. I got the shot, was cramps free for a day, and then the cramps returned with vengeance. All this time I was on muscle relaxants and pain relievers. Nothing helped much. And then suddenly, day three after my epid shot, the cramps stopped. I was still scheduled for an EMG and we pushed through with it. I was hyyperventilating the whole time because I was scared that the EMG might trigger another cramp attack but thankfully it did not. Since then, I've been mostly cramp free. The found some nerve damage but nothing serious. The second option, which was Botox, was scrapped since my muscles were not really spastic. I still get cramps from time to time but they are not as intense as before. I have concluded that these cramps are actually because of tension. I had been tense and dealing with repressed emotions the week before it happened. Whenever I am scared or tense during PT, I'd get cramps. So now, I'm all for being at peace and being relaxed. I've even added daily meditation and binaural beats for relaxation. I did a bit of Googling and found something called Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). It's when you experience physical pain due to anger, anxiety, or some other repressed emotion. It's like your body's way of diverting your attention from the emotion by using physical pain. I am still reading more about it but so far what I've read is helping me deal with the recovery and the cramps.

Last Saturday, I had an MUA. My ortho said that I did not have scarring yet and that my leg was very easily bent while I was asleep. While awake, I was the only one scared to bend it or have it bent. LOL He told me I shouldn't be scared because my knee was fine and bending as it should.

Since December 29th of last year, I've been attending PT twice a day in the hospital. I was an in-patient and was just wheeled from my room to the PT gym in the 3rd floor of the hospital. I just got discharged today. I've also just been walking for a week. Yes. I started walking at Week 5 post op. I was only able to hobble a bit during Week 1 and 2 post op. Cramps took over at Week 3 and 4 and I was bedridden during that time because the cramps did not stop. They could not even move me without it cramping. While in the hospital, I had to be in diapers and had bed baths because of the cramps. That's how bad they were. I had a private duty nurse who looked after me the whole time.

Here's my progress so far:
- Able to walk using crutches or a walker. I prefer a walker at this point since I've only been walking for a week.
- We use a CPM maching during PT for 30 minutes per session. I am currently at 90 degrees on the CPM.
- I am still using my braces, except when I sleep. I can now sit on a chair with my knee bent at 30 degrees. I was the one who adjusted my brace.  ;) I plan to increase the degrees little by little everyday.

I'm at Week 6 Post op and I hope to get better everyday. This surgery is tough to recover from but I've heard success stories from friends of friends who had this done and they all say it was worth it. I am not an athlete and though I have no plans of being one, I hope to be more active by the time I've recovered from this fully. All I want is a normal life without the fear of subluxations.

Some recovery tips:
- Get a plastic shower chair.
- Have a good support system. I have my mum, our maid, my sister, and my private nurses helping me through recovery. I am also lucky to have really kind and competent doctors and PTs. I also made friends with three amazing girls who I found on Instagram and are also recovering from MPFL surgery. They have made each day a lot more bearable and it helps to have people who really understand what you are going through.
- Be positive! It's alright to cry once in a while. Let it all out when you feel frustrated. A good cry always helps. And don't be too hard on yourself. Do your best but always remember that there's always tomorrow for more progress in recovery.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2015, 11:18:22 PM »
hey patricia great news to see your out of hospital =))
i think sometimes when people hear MUA with mpfl surgery all the stories i read they freak out lol i had one too and its not bad at all just knocked out and they move your leg lol......
At least the doctors have got you on the right road to recovery which is the main important thing.....

MpFL LIKE you said you can shed a tear or two but its normal in the process of tiredness and frustration with MPFL... keep us posted =)

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 04:42:54 AM »
I was scared of the MUA at first, lucha. I read your experience about the MUA and you said that it helped your case. It helped with the cramps and my knee feels less stiff now. It also felt easier to achieve 90 degrees on the CPM. It's still painful but less painful than before the CPM. I will be seeing my PT rehab doctor and my ortho next week and new exercises might be added to my PT sessions.

Just an observation. Even though I can go as far as 90 degrees on the CPM, I still can't go up to 90 degrees on my own. By on my own I mean through heel slides and through sitting with my knee bent. I can only go up to 50-60 degrees comfortably. I still try to see this as progress though. A week and a half ago, I couldn't even walk! I couldn't even sit with my knee bent, not even 10 degrees. But I hope to close the gap between the flexion I can achieve on my own and with the CPM.

Here's my issue with my recovery. Week 1.5 post op, I was no longer feeling pain. I saw my doctor at Week 2 post op and requested that I start PT already, even if it was just half an hour on the CPM and ultrasound plus simple exercises. I wanted to be able to progress on bending already because on my own, I didn't know if I was doing my exercises right. He said, "No. You can't start PT yet. We have to let the graft heal." What could I do? I couldn't have PT without doctor's orders. One more week passed and the cramps got worse until I got readmitted to the hospital. What do I hear from my doctor? "It's lack of PT, that's why you're having cramps. We have to get your knee bending."  :o I was asking for a go signal for PT a week ago because I already felt strong enough and he didn't allow me. Now, he was saying my cramps were from lack of PT! My cramps aren't regular ones. My quads kept contracting for long periods and were very, very painful. I was in pain 24/7. :'(

From that, here are some lessons learned:
1. Before the surgery, agree with your doctor on a rehab protocol. I was told I was going to start PT after Week 1 Post Op. It did not happen. Hold your doctor to the agreed rehab protocol. If you can start moving early, even if it's just 10 or 20 degrees on the CPM, do so. My physios were surprised why I wasn't endorsed for PT right after my surgery. Now, I feel rushed with my recovery because I was 2 weeks behind rehab.
2. If you think you'll be a klutz with crutches (I still am), practice walking with them before the surgery. Practice non-weight bearing, partial weight bearing, and full weight bearing gaits. I learned them from watching Youtube videos. The ortho resident who "taught" me how to use crutches at around 2 days post op was not of any help. A walker is also a great alternative to crutches.

Progress update:
1. I was able to sit with my knee bent at 50 degrees yesterday for 4 hours straight, with some stretching in between. I find it painful to stretch my leg after my knee has stayed bent for a long time. I'm also walking much better with my brace unlocked at 50 degrees.
2. Before getting on the bed, I lock my brace at zero. My mom helps me into bed by lifting my leg. ;)
3. Still not much progress on the SLRs. I can feel my quads contracting but they are not yet strong enough to lift my whole leg up.
4. I am still challenged with doing heel slides while lying down. What I do is sit on a chair and do heel slides with a rug under my foot or a plastic bag.

I'm not reporting to work yet. I kinda feel sad that I'm not yet able to go back to work and I miss my office already. I'm very fortunate to have very understanding bosses and they allowed me to recover for the whole of January although I'm planning to go back by the last week. I still want to have some leaves left for the holiday season this 2015 since I spent Christmas and New Year in the hospital last 2014.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2015, 05:30:36 AM »
Hey everyone! I'll be 10 weeks post op in two days. Time seems to fly so fast but at the same time I feel that my progress has been slow. Still, the good news is that there is progress to report.  :)

I went back to work at Week 8 Post Op (January 26). I have a desk job with a few fieldwork engagements but my bosses were so kind that they delegated all my fieldwork to my staff. Yay! I brought my crutches and my wheelchair to work and had my operated leg propped up on a box. I also switched from a swivel chair to a regular cushioned chair to avoid any accidents. As for going to the rest room, I have my coworkers to thank. I had two coworkers who would help me to my wheelchair and shuttle me from my desk to the rest room, taking my crutches with them. I was also given the privilege of using the "executive restroom" which was reserved for the bosses because it was more accessible for someone on crutches. Since I need the assistance of my coworkers in going to the restroom, I had to make my trips less frequent. I would only go to the restroom bout twice or thrice and had to limit my water intake. It sucks not being able to go to the restroom as frequent as my bladder wants but I'm more than grateful for the help I'm getting from my coworkers.

I still have my brace on (it's unlocked at 90 degrees) and I've moved from using "underarm" crutches to "forearm/elbow" crutches. It has made a world of difference. I am able to move better with the forearm crutches. I've also tried hobbling around on one crutch but my knee has protested and so I'm back to using two. The only times I lock my brace are when I have people lift it up for me and when I get out of bed. I have it unlocked and do heel slides all throughout the day while working. I find it hard to get into a sitting position that's comfortable. It sometimes takes me half an hour to be comfortable and by comfortable I mean that my leg is no longer stiff and is able to bend. I find that my quads take some time to relax after being in a standing position. I usually bend my knee a few times before sitting down to relax the quads. Then I am able to get comfortable.

I am still using the CPM at therapy. I am now at 115 degrees but that is not without pain. It still hurts but the pain is tolerable, comparable to when I first achieved 90 degrees on the CPM. We still use the ultrasound but no e-stim. I'm just terrified it will cause cramps/ spasms again. My therapists have added more exercises for me. I am now doing mini squats, mini lunges, step ups, side leg lifts, and marching in place. My mind is willing but my leg muscles are still weak. At 9 weeks post op, I was able to do a straight leg raise for the first time. I progressed from a short arc quad exercise to a straight leg raise. I actually just practiced this on my own because it wasn't included in my exercises at therapy. It takes my leg a while to remember how to do it but once it makes that first lift I am able to do bout 5 more. Also, my therapist was able to make me roll over and lie on my tummy so that he could bend my knee. It hurt but it felt so good to stretch. My heel slides are also getting better and I can see that I am gaining more and more flexion on my own.

At Week 9 Post Op, I am able to bend my knee up to 60-70 degrees (active flexion). I can also stand without holding on to anything and walk longer distances. I still have lower back pain (more so now that I have to sit for more than 8 hours at work) and I am still on muscle relaxants (Tizanidine and Pregabalin). I still have a long road ahead of me. It depresses me sometimes but I just look at my progress photos and remind myself that a month ago I could barely walk and now I can and that I can even bend my knee.

I write more about my recovery in detail in my blog: MPFL Diaries That's where I've been posting photos of my knee.  :D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:24:33 AM by patriciapatella »
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2015, 10:39:19 AM »
Hey everyone! I'm 11 weeks post op tomorrow!

Crutching update: I'm down to using one crutch! I can limp slowly without crutches but I ain't taking any risks so I'm sticking with one crutch for now.

Leg brace: I'm brace free most of the time except for when I go to the office or I'm outside. Don't want people bumping into me and falling off balance unprotected.

Flexion: I have reached up to 115 degrees on the CPM so they're taking that away already. With manual stretching, I can get up to 90 degrees with a hell of a lot of pain. Just today, I was able to do heel slides for up to 90 degrees. I wore my leg brace so I could check how many degrees I was bending.

Exercises: I've been given more squatting exercises, as well as exercises for my hamstrings. They are very weak and it feels really painful when I use them to bend my knee while I'm lying on my tummy. We also have gait training at physio already and stepping over those orange cone-ish things that my physio scatters on the floor.

Sleeping: I can now sleep on my operative side. Wohoo!

Medicines: I'm down to taking Pregabalin, Tramadol, and Tizanidine once a day.

I'm walking more and more and have used my wheelchair less. I'm seeing bits of progress everyday and I'm just taking things slow. As long as there's progress and as long as I'm doing my exercises, I'm happy. I may be behind others but at least I'm comfortable where I'm at.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline lucha86

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2015, 09:26:59 PM »
hey patricia
i do agree with you everyones progress is different out of the research i have read most people who have MUA with an MPFL reconstruction do have a rather slightly longer recovery, be proud of what you have achieved so far, you will notice things start from this point to become quicker as in a recovery, its good to see you are down to one crutch keep us all posted
Lucha =)

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2015, 11:45:39 AM »
Hi lucha, thanks for dropping by. I'm already at 3 months post op! Yay!

Here's my progress so far:

- I go up to 110 degrees on my own already. (My brace says it's 110 degrees). During manual stretching with my physio, it's also around 110 degrees of flexion.

- I am able to do more exercises. My leg raises are better and I now do them with ankle weights. I have wall squats and now ride the bike at PT. So far, they only let me do the cycling for 5 minutes.

- No more crutches at home!!! I only use one crutch at the office and it's more of a precaution. But I can now walk without crutches.

- I'm still using the leg brace when out in the public. Since I've only started walking without crutches at home, I'm still using the leg brace at home too. But today I started using this knee support/pad. It's not much really. Just a slip on support. So I'm prolly quitting using the leg brace at home this weekend.

- I'm off my muscle relaxants and pain relievers. It's just ice for me whenever there's pain.

- My muscles feel more sore. I guess it's coz I've been walking around more these days.

Overall, I'm happy. I'm happy with my progress so far. I can sit for long periods with my knee bent. I never even had to prop it up a stool. There's very minimal pain in my knee. I walk almost normally now. My OS is also happy with my progress and wants me to continue in a slow but steady recovery pace. My knee still doesn't feel normal but compared to a month ago, it's feeling closer to normal.

I hope you are doing well, lucha.  :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2015, 02:23:58 PM »
It's been a while since my last post. Here's my update at 13 weeks post op:

- I do the bike at physio for 20 minutes. I bet I could still do more, maybe an hour, but they only let me do 20 minutes.

- My leg raises are now better and I don't have the lag anymore. No need to warm up the quads.

- Bend is at 110 degrees as of last Saturday (measured by my PT rehab doctor). That's roughly 70 degrees of ROM gained in one month. I measured 40 degrees around the last week of January.

- I can squat better now and we've progressed to doing one legged squats on the operative leg.

- We've also added wobble board exercises for my balance.

- No more crutches at PT. Just the leg brace. With the brace, I walk perfectly fine, no limp. But take it off and I'm walking more slowly. My quads have atrophied and I've sometimes lost my balance at home while walking (no crutches, no brace, just a knee sleeve at home).

-I'm back to doing Blogilates exercises. I think this really helps bring back the strength to my legs.

-I'm not even taking pain relievers anymore!

Still pushing through with recovery at a slow and steady pace. Next week, I plan to ditch my crutch at the office. I'm still waiting for the patella stabilizer I ordered from Amazon and I hope to receive it this week or the next. I'm happy I'm able to move more and that I'm improving somehow. I'm in no rush but I'm more confident in trying out new things with my knee.
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2015, 12:50:36 PM »
Hey y'all! Here's another MPFL update:

I'm going to be 15 weeks post op tomorrow! And I'm still working on getting full ROM (it's slow I know) but I am happy to report that things are getting better for me, strength - wise. I'm actually almost at full ROM already. I'm just working on the last 20-30 degrees. My hamstring and quad strength are getting better, thanks mostly to my leg exercises. We've already incorporated 3lb weights at physio and it's helped a lot.

I'm down to having physio just twice a week and will be moving on to having it once a week by next week. I feel that most of the strength and ROM I've regained were from the exercises I did at home. The only addition to my exercises at physio would be the treadmill and the bike. I can bike so much faster now and for much longer. I have more challenging exercises now with the ladder and the step ups.

At this point, I can already do the stairs without holding on to the bannister for dear life. I still hold on to the bannister, of course, but it's no longer a grip of death haha. I still have problems with my balance though. I need to be working on that more. I can also cross my legs now! Yay! I can also kneel already! It still feels sore when I kneel but it's tolerable and it's allowed me to do some of my Blogilates mat exercises.

I have ditched my huge Breg leg brace. It has served me well and will rest for now until my second surgery. I am now using a patella stabilizer from Compressions which I bought from Amazon and it is doing its job well. I am now able to walk better and have been walking crutch-less at the office. But I still bring my crutch and use it until I get to our department's floor.

All in all, life is becoming more and more normal for me. My patella still has some maltracking but I have been reassured it will track properly once the muscles become stronger. I'm excited that now I can do more with my knee. I've been through a lot with the recovery and I didn't even think I would ever walk properly or not have cramps anymore. But now I can!

I still find that many people don't understand my situation. People bump into me numerous times on a daily basis when I go to work. I'm not sure if they do it on purpose because I still have a limp and am on crutches and have leg brace on, very obvious signs that something is wrong with me. I'm not asking for sympathy or that I be prioritized all the time. I just want a little consideration and little more space for movement. I wouldn't have been able to go through all of this if not for my MPFL Warrior Girls, girls who are also recovering from MPFL recon surgery. I am so lucky I have them in my life as my knee sisters. For those of you recovering from this surgery, or any kind of surgery, I am just here if you need someone to talk to. I know how important it is to have people who understand what you're going through while you are recovering from knee surgery.

That's all for now folks! One more week and I'll be four months post op! Hopefully, I'll be nearer full ROM by then. :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline sammi19

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2015, 04:05:25 AM »
Hey Patricia,

 I read your journey it seems like you are doing much better now, that's great to hear! I had an mpfl reconstruction along with a trochleoplasty on the tenth. I was curious if there was a reason you struggled to get your range of motion back?  Right now my range is  0 degrees straight and 75 bent. I'm really struggling to get the swelling down. Is that why you found it difficult? Was your leg just very swollen? I'm fifty percent weight bearing already and I'll be starting the exercise bike as soon as my rom is good enough, probably four weeks. This surgery was super painful, sorry to hear you had to go through it. It sounds like your ortho was much more conservative about your recovery. I started physical therapy three days after surgery and I stop the leg brace at 6 weeks and am full weight bearing right after. It seems like you are still struggling to walk, is that normal with this surgery or just your experience? I'm really hoping to walk as soon as I can, going up and down three flights of stairs on crutches is no fun! I exercise daily by doing laps around my apartment, usually for about thirty minutes making sure to put weight on my injured leg. Did you move around after surgery or did you find that too difficult?

 I hope your recovery gets better, all the best.
 Sam
the bees knees

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2015, 08:01:57 AM »
Hi Sam!

I had difficulty gaining my range of motion due to the following reasons:
1. Cramps/Spasms: I had very severe muscle spasms that kept me from bending my knee. Any activity that involved moving my leg actively set off the spasms. I was told it could have been from nerve damage and that the nerves were getting and sending the wrong signals to and from my brain. All my exercises had to be passive, hence the use of the CPM.
2. Swelling: my knee was as big as a melon. It was really swollen and I iced it constantly. It felt sore to touch and as such, bending it was painful. I wasn't on strong pain meds (i.e. Oxycodone) and so I had to endure the pain while using the CPM.
The MUA definitely helped with regaining range of motion. It became easier to gain ROM back after I hit 90 degrees. Now, I'm at 120-ish degrees, almost full ROM. Another was that I was always seated at work and throughout the day, I would do heel slides and push my knee to bend more and more each day. I also gained ROM faster after my therapists started to do manual stretching on my knee. They really pushed my knee a lot more than any CPM machine could.

I think the main struggle I had when it came to walking was the instability I felt when putting weight on my operative leg. During the first couple of weeks post op, whenever I tried to stand, I would get pins-and-needles sensations in my foot (of the operative leg) and the incisions felt they were going to burst open. The cramps also kept me from walking. I think if you didn't suffer nerve damage like I did, it would be easier to walk. I walk normally now, at 4 months post op. My only issue would be balance. I still lose my balance sometimes but it's been so much better than how I was a month ago. You wouldn't even notice my slight limping anymore and I look as if I didn't have knee surgery at all.

My knee isn't too swollen anymore. There is still a bit of swelling but at least I can see my knee now. It's no longer the melon it was a month ago. I'm out of my brace and now down to just a patella stabilizer. My leg has atrophied and I really feel that I've lost muscle and a lot of strength. I'm working on building back muscle and strength now and that's the focus of my physiotherapy sessions. It used to be gaining back ROM but since I'm almost full ROM, my therapists and I can now work more on strengthening my leg.

You are progressing very well, in comparison to how I was around that time post op. It really helps if your ortho is aggressive with therapy. Mine waited too long to start therapy but I guess he had his reasons. Your ROM is very good. I remember hitting 75 degrees bent on the CPM around the 6th or 7th week post op I think and I was able to bend it to 75 degrees on my own around the 9th or 10 week post op. Doing laps around your apartment is good. I do that too. The walking helped with the leg strengthening. I downloaded an app that counted my steps and I set a target for myself each day.

I wish you well in your recovery. This is a painful surgery to recover from, even more painful than a total knee replacement, some say. At the rate you are progressing, you'll be back to normal soon.  :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline sammi19

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2015, 04:09:05 PM »
Thanks so much for answering! I'm sorry you had so much pain during your recovery, I can't believe they didn't prescribe you any strong pain meds! My physical therapist told me the pain meds are essential in the beginning because they allow you to do your exercises. I wasn't well prepared for the recovery that comes along with the mpfl reconstruction. When the doctor told me about the surgery he mostly explained the trochleoplasty and the mpfl was tacked on as an after thought. I wasn't given any information about mpfl recovery and assumed it was easy peasy, boy was I wrong. The mpfl recovery is so hard. I cry about once a day from the pain and the horrible swelling and popping I get when I move. Though my swelling is nothing like yours. My knee already looks like a knee again, thank goodness. For some reason my body tends to heal pretty quickly, I'm very lucky. This recovery is a real battle, if I had to endure the pain you went through I don't think I would make it, I'm in enough pain without spasms and complications. Your story was a great resource to me. Thanks for putting it out there and I hope you have a great recovery!

Sam
the bees knees

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2015, 09:12:55 AM »
My doctor didn't want to prescribe me strong pain meds because he didn't want me to be dependent on them. Plus, it is so hard buying strong pain meds here. I was only able to go on Oxycodone while I was confined at the hospital after my MUA. After that, I couldn't get access to it anymore, even with a prescription from my surgeon.

The struggle is real with MPFL recovery. If you recover from this, you're pretty much a superhero. Haha

You're welcome Sam. I'm glad you found my posts helpful. Speedy recovery to you!
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2015, 02:46:22 PM »
Hi everyone! It's been a while since I posted here. I'm already 7 months post op! Woot woot! Here's my progress to-date:

- I am now almost at heel-to-butt flexion. I'm still working on it and I'm improving little by little. My doctor tells me my flexion is already back to 99% and I am fully functional with that kind of flexion.
- Stairs, ah! Stairs are easier when ascending that when descending. This is still mainly because of my balance issues. Still, I am able to go up and down the stairs normally already, with just a bit of dull aching in my knee while ascending.
- Exercising has been easier. I haven't tried running but I can already jog in place, jump, do lunges, and dance a bit. :) No breakdancing for me just yet. I feel my leg is now stronger and my muscles are now starting to appear again.
- My knee pops and clicks a lot. Like a lot. It has lessened, though, this past week. The more I exercise my leg, the less it clicks.

I don't think I've recovered fully to the point where I was pre-surgery. But I am doing so much better since my last update here. No more brace, no more crutch. I am walking like a normal person already. :) Is this surgery worth it? So far, yes.

If you've got any questions about my surgery, you can go on to my blog where I post more details, including pictures and videos. The link is in my signature below. :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2015, 03:36:10 PM »
Hey everyone! I'm now 8 months post op and I'm doing very well. I am finally heel-to-butt in flexion progress!!! Yay!!! My ortho told me before that I didn't need to work to get to heel-to-butt but I still worked on it. My balance is better these days, both when kneeling and when standing on my operated leg. It's less wobbly, though the wobble is still there. I can see more of my leg muscles now and I can really  feel them working whenever I exercise. I still can't run properly. I tried to jog but my knee still hurts so I'm progressing quite slow in the running department. Other than that, I am happy. Stairs are no longer troublesome and I am able to walk quicker. My knee clicks a lot less and it's practically normal. :) I see my ortho in a week or two and I'll show him my progress. I have to get stronger because my other knee is due for operation in six months! :) I have to lose weight too!

Hope all of you are doing well!
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline kchan808

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2015, 07:57:14 AM »
Patricia please find yourself a alter g treadmill it has done wonders when it comes to running. I had a trochleoplasty with mpfl and I am now jogging post op10.5 months.

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 07:39:16 AM »
Hi kchan. I did a bit of research and found a place near my city that offers sessions with the alter g treadmill. I might try it one of these days. :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2016, 05:01:04 AM »
I just want to update you all! I had my second MPFL recon surgery last January 18, 2016. This time, it's to fix my left patella. I did not opt for the nerve block. Instead, I had spinal anesthesia. Recovery has been very smooth for me this time around. I am able to do straight leg raises and bend my knee up to 40 degrees at two days post op. I've been walking around and I am barely in any pain. I have no bruising on my leg and my scars look pretty normal. It's three days post op now and I am back home (went home from the hospital yesterday). I am not taking any pain relievers and I can sleep in a "modified" fetal position both on my operated and non-operated side. I'll writing up a blog post to summarize the events of my first week post op and you can check it out in my blog (the link is down below in my signature).

Hope y'all are having a good recovery!
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2017, 07:22:07 AM »
Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I updated my thread and since I had my second MPFL surgery, a lot of things happened.

First off, my second MPFL surgery failed. (My first one was on the right knee, my second one was on the left knee). At 9 months post-op, I suffered a patellar subluxation on my left knee and from then things went downhill. I had constant pain in my knee and had to use a cane and a knee brace. After that initial subluxation, it was followed by at least 5 more subluxations and several near subluxations. I also developed patellar tendonitis, according to my orthos.

Fast forward to almost a year after that first post op subluxation, I am doing well and the pain has greatly reduced. I only really feel it whenever I get up from being seated for a long time. I found that yoga and pilates have really helped me regain movement and they also help with pain management.

I also developed over pronation on my left foot. Ankle and foot exercises helped with this as well as switching to Nike Lunarglide 8 from my Skechers GoWalk shoes for a while. The Lunarglide helped with the pronation and now I can use other shoes without pronating so much.

As for having another surgery, I am still thinking about it. Sure, there are days when I want my left knee to be as good as my right knee (which is holding up amazingly well) but I really don't want to go through surgery again because, as I have proven for myself, surgery is no guarantee that it will turn out well for me. My ortho in the Philippines is thinking of doing osteotomy to somehow remedy my knock-knees although my knock-knees aren't really that bad. My ortho here in Hong Kong where I am now based is just thinking of re-doing the MPFL reconstruction using a stronger ligament and says that an osteotomy is an overkill for my situation. As for now, I'll just manage my situation and be consistent with my exercises and supplements.

If you are interested in how I'm doing, I've updated my blog about my progress. You can find them all here:

http://www.kristinecamins.com/mpfl-reconstruction-surgery-part-2-surgery-day-to-one-week-post-op/

http://www.kristinecamins.com/mpfl-reconstruction-surgery-left-knee/

http://www.kristinecamins.com/mpfl-reconstruction-left-knee-3-months-post-op/

http://www.kristinecamins.com/mpfl-reconstruction-surgery-double-update/

http://www.kristinecamins.com/mpfl-reconstruction-update-on-failed-surgery/
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline Dogdragon

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 07:27:32 PM »
Sorry your 2nd MPFL failed.

I went in to see a specialist earlier this year due to my knees being unstable and dislocatint/sublaxing. They found a fracture on my lateral condyle (something like that), and wanted to go in and fix that and do a Distal femoral Osteotmy as well (for knock knees). So, my left leg got all cut up and DFO & osteochondral allograft on the fracture. But, they failed to address my loose kneecaps.

Anyways, after a long battle, I saw a 2nd OS, and he confirmed my MPFL is "partially if not completely" torn. So, now I have to look at MPFL reconstruction.  I cannot go through another 6+ weeks of what I've already suffered through. I'm almost at 12 weeks post op and using 1 crutch and it's been a trainwreck.. now throwing this new information of needing my MPFL done, that should have been done in the first surgery. I'm just mad.

Offline patriciapatella

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Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 04:06:41 AM »
I feel for you! Knee surgeries are just so depressing.. :( And yeah, they should have suggested MPFL reconstruction the first time around for your dislocations. I heard from my orthos that this is usually done first instead of going for an osteotomy right away as MPFL recon usually addresses dislocations already. But if your knock knees are really that bad then an osteotomy may help prevent wearing out the new MPFL.

For now, I think you should recover from your osteotomy first and see how your knee holds up. Everything feels looser in your knee because the muscles are not strong enough and nothing is really holding on to your kneecap to keep it from moving around. But I'm guessing that as your leg grows stronger, the kneecap will be held in place better by the muscles, even if your MPFL is torn, and it won't feel as loose. By then you can consider the MPFL recon.

I'm hoping for a speedy recovery for you! I know it's hard but just keep your chin up and push through the recovery process. :)

MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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    • Kristine Camins
Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2017, 08:33:12 AM »
Hello everyone!

I want to update you all on my progress. I feel normal now! I had two trips to Korea since September and I was walking a lot in both of those trips. I would average around 13,000-15,000 steps a day and if you've been to Korea, you'd know that their streets go up and down, and my boyfriend and I also went to see some temples on a mountain so that required a bit of a hike too. I am happy to report that I did not suffer any dislocations whatsoever. My knees did not swell up too. There was also no pain in my knees even with walking a lot.

I am back in Hong Kong and going about my daily office-home life and I'm so happy that I am back to feeling normal. I know I still can't walk fast. But at least I don't walk slowly anymore. My pace is around moderate and I can maintain it for long distances now. I haven't been tripping too so yay!

Exercise wise- walking, pilates (Pop Pilates/Blogilates), and yoga. And I'm not even consistent with the exercising. But I know I must make it more regular. Still, nothing really special. I only exercise at home and don't go to the gym.

Supplements/vitamins: Still the same. Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM, Turmeric, Fish Oil, CalMagZinc... Plus some other supplements like probiotics, Biotin, B Vitamins, Amla, Vitamin E, and Stresscare (from Himalaya).

So yeah, it's been almost three years post op for my right knee and NO dislocations on that knee ever since post op. It's almost two years post op for my left knee, with several subluxations post op. It's now one year ever since that first post-op subluxation and I've recovered from it. Still trying to be careful but so far so good. No more knee pain and I can walk well now.

If you are interested in my recovery, please check out my blog posts. I have documented my recovery from both surgeries and I've put up pictures of my journey as well.

I will continue to update this, don't worry. I just noticed that many MPFL survivors stop posting after a year or so, so there's kind of a lack of information on how this surgery holds up after a year. Hopefully, my updates can give you an idea of how it is in the long-term. :)
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella

Offline patriciapatella

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    • Kristine Camins
Re: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2018, 02:36:39 PM »
Hi everyone! I just want to update you all on my progress thus far.

Right knee - 3 years 5 months post op
Left knee - 2 years 4 months post op

No dislocations or subluxations so far. No knee pain as well.

Last December 2017, I went on a hike with my co-workers as part of our annual team building activity and it was a pretty easy hike, say 1/10 in difficulty. I was able to manage the entire hike with no knee pain and it was manageable really.

I've gone on a couple more trips to Korea this year and both times I would average around 20,000 steps per day and I survived them! I still have some difficulty when it comes to walking down sloping ground, especially those that are pretty steep (Korea has a lot of that), but I'm glad to report that I have not gone Jack n Jill rolling down the hill. Yay!

Overall, I'm pretty happy so far! I know I'm still living with one gammy knee because the surgery failed on the left knee but it's no longer affecting my life significantly. I will continue updating you all from time to time about my knees and how they're holding up. For those in the early recovery phases of the MPFL recon and feeling just down and hopeless about not being able to move like before, just be patient. Believe me, it will get better. :) Just hang in there!
MPFL Diary <-- my MPFL blog

1998 - first experienced bilateral patellar subluxations
1999-2014 - multiple dislocations every year
12/01/2014: MPFL recon of right patella
1/18/2016: MPFL recon of left patella















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