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Author Topic: My MPFL Reconstruction Journey  (Read 13327 times)

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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.