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Author Topic: MPFL Reconstruction Recovery  (Read 1613 times)

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Offline mx_girl

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MPFL Reconstruction Recovery
« on: December 08, 2015, 12:30:50 AM »
So Im new here, but not new to knee injuries. So here's my thing. I dislocated my knee a couple years ago. Went around with a couple doctors and I finally got a good doctor who discussed options with me. As of right now, I decided to go with MPFL reconstruction in the hopes that it will help with both instability and pain.

So right now I have a dull pain in my knee all the time. Very frequently throughout the day I will get stabbing sharp pains on the inside of my knee. He is fairly confident that its a MPFL tear based on what I was saying and an MRI from last august. But I think I may have done more damage to it. During surgery he is also going to scope my knee to see if anything else looks unusual that may have to be fixed.

Im an 18 yr old female and I have been riding dirtbikes for about 6 months now with some crashes. Im going to go ahead with the MPFL surgery to see if it can stop any of the pain.

What are your guys' thoughts on this helping solve the pain? Im still young so I dont have to have this pain for the 60 years.

What is the recovery time on MPFL surgery? My dr said 2 months until I can be back on my bike but from what Ive been reading its a much longer recovery time. Sorry about all this rambling haha. Thank you so much!!!

Offline JamieDeanne

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Re: MPFL Reconstruction Recovery
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 07:45:43 AM »
Dude, you sound like me at your age. Exactly the same symptoms. Except I rode horses, not dirtbikes..and I waited 5 years until I had the surgery, my original injury was at age 17, and I waited until age 23. I also had a dislocation (subluxation actually, a plant and twist, fall to the ground, kneecap went back into place, hobbled around for a couple days, and then back to normal but kneecap kept popping out randomly after that)

It would swell up, and ache deep inside the joint, on the medial (towards the centre of the body) at the MPFL area. Just like you.

I wish I could tell you its an easy surgery and the recovery is not bad. I wish I could have comforting words. I don't.

Surgery itself is ok, if you stay asleep. I woke up halfway through the surgery. it kinda sucked.  But they put me back under pretty quickly. lol. When you wake up in recovery, you will literally feel like your leg was run over by a loaded UHaul van. Ask for more meds. You need them.

Once you get home, do not wait for your pain meds to start to wear off before you take the next dose. by the time they kick in, you will be in agony. Trust me on this. Set your alarm for every 3.5 hours and keep your meds where you can reach them.DO NOT FORGET TO USE ADVIL. This is the best painkiller of them all. I promise this.

Drink water, but not too much. Going to the bathroom all the time is not easy with an immobilizer.

Sleeping is difficult because if you push down against your bandages and immobilizer, it will set your leg on fire. make sure you have a pillow to prop your calf up on, and then pull your body up and away from  the weight of your leg. Just trust me on this. You're going to want to set up a "command centre" next to your "station". be it your bedroom or whatever bed you commandeer.  Make sure you have everything you need.

Learn to knit or crochet. Get a library card before surgery and rent a bunch of books. Start making a movie list to go through. Anything to keep you entertained.

Line up your physio before surgery. You need it. and meet your physiotherapist before your surgery. make sure you like them a LOT because you need to remember the good times to get you through the bad times. Remember this.

Physio - The doctors don't tell you this, but that immobilizer they place your leg in after MPFL repair or reconstruction? they lock it at about 15 degrees. So, almost straight. and then they leave from anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks. and you're not allowed to put weight on your leg for the first 4 weeks. Surgical wounds on the inside create scar tissue and adhesions, as well, wherever the ligaments have been attached or manipulated or anything, they heal exactly as your leg has healed. Another thing, not using your muscles for this long means they have atrophied to the point of literal uselessness. So this all means, that you have a non-responsive muscle group (you won't even be able to make the muscle fibres FIRE to even clench your knee, let alone bend your leg if you could, without considering the scar tissue.)

So that brings us to the scar tissue. Your leg has healed straight. (Your leg has HEALED STRAIGHT) you will physically not be able to bend it. The physiotherapist will assist you with this. He or she will place one hand on the top of your quadriceps, just above your atrophied knee, and then they will place one hand near the bottom of your calf, about at your ankle. they'll ask you to "relax". then they will slowly lift your ankle and bend it towards your butt, tearing the scar tissue apart within the joint as they apply pressure. They get only a few degrees each day, but little by little they will break all the scar tissue up and you will be able to bend your knee again :)

This is the most painful thing you will ever endure. But you can do it. It takes about 8 sessions to get full range of motion back into your knee. They don't mind if you cry or swear. It helps with the pain, trust me. I wore earbuds and blasted music the whole time. Whatever gives you strength, do it. You have to.

At the end of all this, You will not regret it. The MPFL repair is a wonderful procedure and you should be thrilled with the results. I was ecstatic with the results of mine, for years and years. Once recovered, my knee never hurt again and I never had a problem! (until now)
Don't Forget What Makes You Strong