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Author Topic: Left knee arthroscopy w/ chondroplasty of the patella  (Read 1193 times)

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Offline Wombatt09

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Left knee arthroscopy w/ chondroplasty of the patella
« on: July 01, 2015, 07:59:53 PM »
Hey there,

I'm new here but my mom told me about this site. I have some questions about the arthroscopy I had two weeks ago.

As I said, I am two weeks post op. I was suppose to see my surgeon today for a follow up but the central scheduling people screwed it up. Now I can't see my surgeon until next Thursday. I'm experiencing a decent amount of pain with the healing process. It's all around my knee cap area. Which I guess is understandable due to shaving away the shredded cartilage! I'll attach pictures.

A little background is that my knee cap is lateral. My mom's knee cap was also lateral but they did a Fulkerson (spelling) on her. She absolutely refused to let them do that to me and experience that. We discussed a lateral release but my surgeon opted out of that one. She believed it wouldn't help since my knee cap has always been lateral. Leading up to the arthroscopy, I had been doing 6 weeks of PT. As of 5 days post OP I was back at PT. My therapist says that my knee is moving much smoother now, it's not catching, or anything like that! So that's awesome news!

So here are my questions... I understand that getting a chondroplasty is very individualistic when coming to the healing process. I've read it can take weeks to months or even years to feel better, is that true? I'm a 26 year old female, great health besides being overweight (I was in the process of losing weight as my knee started to experience too much pain and has kept me away from the gym. I have EVERY intention of returning to the gym as soon as I get pain under control!).

Next question... I'm going away for the holiday weekend. Since I thought I'd see my surgeon today, I would be able to ask about them! I really want to go swimming! On my post OP papers it says no soaking incision area for 4 weeks. They're also sticking out really far... it really looks like fishing line is sticking out of my flesh! Kinda cool! Should I trim those strings and do you think I could go swimming? I'll provide photo of them.

Third and lastly, pain. What in God's name do I do about the pain? I am out of my narcotic and OTC pain relievers aren't even remotely making a dent in the pain. I ice and I elevate for a couple hours every night to help with swelling. I feel at a real loss. Since I can't seem to get ahold of anyone with a damn medical degree and my medical records... I'm not sure what to do. It's not severe enough for the ER. That's just ridiculous but it's enough that I'm super uncomfortable and finding absolutely no relief.

Thank you all in advance that read this and answer my questions!

Offline mmrocker13

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Re: Left knee arthroscopy w/ chondroplasty of the patella
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 02:51:45 PM »
For all of my scopes, it's been no soaking until the stitches are out/incisions heal...10-14 days. The incisions are small, so they really don't take too long. Typically, the nurse or PA takes them out at that 10-14 day follow up apt.

When are you having your sutures removed? Or are you just doing it yourself? And yes, if the ends are really long, trim them. That would drive me nuts. I'd feel like a bug with antennae.

Are you walking/doing PT/etc.? Some of the pain could be from doing too much...or, it could be b/c your not doing enough. Also, the more swelling you have, the worse it will hurt. I'd ice all day, as much as you can. On for 15-20 mins., off; on for 20 mins, off...wash, rinse, repeat. Also, even you're still taking a narcotic, make sure you're taking an antinflammatory, as well.

It's not unusual to take a few months to get back into full shape, no. I've had quicker ones than others, but I've always needed a couple weeks to get back on the bike (easy spin), then 6-12 weeks to try out running again. It's usually at least several months, if not more, for me before I'm 100% (or what passes for it anymore).

That being said, I think it IS unusual (or it seems that way based on personal exp., I guess) to still be having pain two weeks post-op that is so severe narcotics (are you on something like oxycontin, or a lower form like vicodin or percoset?) don't touch it. If it's truly that excruciating, I'd call the nurse line, at the very least.

Stiffness and swelling, scar tissue build up/breaking thru it...all that's normal, and can be painful--but shouldn't be at a level narcotics don't help at all.

89: Pat. dislocation, lat. meniscus tear, femoral OCD lesion
89: debridement, chondroplasty, lateral partial menisectomy
02: partial lat. menisc., debride
02: mfx
09: subtotal menisc., debride, c'plasty
10: scope/debride
10: varus DFO
13: HWR
15: total menisc., debride, c'plasty, notchplasty

Offline Wombatt09

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Re: Left knee arthroscopy w/ chondroplasty of the patella
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 12:26:45 PM »
Thank you for you reply!

Firstly, I won't be seeing my surgeon for another week due to the scheduling error. I was able to get ahold of her PA though. She told me to leave the stitches alone completely. No swimming. No trimming and if it bothers me that much put bandaids over them. :(

As for the pain, I'm not on any narcotic at this point in time. Which probably why I'm feeling so much of the pain. I have been taking over the counter pain relievers like Tylanol. She also has me on aspirin to help avoid blood clots. However I could stop that now. I have also been taking Advil for an anti-inflammatory. Since I was able to get ahold of her PA, they called me in a prescription for Tramadol to take to help aleviate any pain I'm having. Since she can't call in or fax narcotic prescriptions... it's the next best thing.

Swelling is touch and go. Currently as I type this my leg is up and elevated. it was swollen up like a baseball and the pain woke me up from a dead sleep. I generally keep ice on my leg often. Much like you said the whole rinse and repeat thing. I do it. I think what associates my pain is me doing TOO much right now. I am moving away to college this month and I have tons of things to get done. Between that and physical therapy... could be why.

I'll keep the individualistic stuff in mind. I'm doing the best I can. I just want to be able to do things like walk on my dog and just normal stuff! At Physical Therapy they have me on the bike. I was back in physical therapy 5 days post op and on the bike then. He says my knee moves so much smoother than before and he's right. It doesn't sound like crunching into an ear of corn in my knee!

Once again, thank you for your reply. It did help shed some light on to the situation for me. I think my pain is mostly just because I can feel it! lol I'm not medicated. I'm feeling the healing going on and it's just OUCH!!! Not a very nice feelings I do say so myself.