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Author Topic: Fissures in cartilage of both knees - 26 years old  (Read 686 times)

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Offline JohnnyG123

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Fissures in cartilage of both knees - 26 years old
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:18:22 PM »
Good day all.

I've been having issues with both my knees for roughly 2 years now. No need to go into detail about how I injured my knees, because honestly I'm not sure myself. I was a bit obsessed with exercise and generally guess I was being over active on my knees and I'll admit - a bit reckless. Additionally, when the injury occurred, I didn't allow a proper amount of healing time and kept pushing through as I never expected it to be anything this serious. I was in all honesty an idiot on the whole matter.

Anyhoo, long story short - I had 2 MRI scans showing no damage, I had constant clicking and discomfort in my knees and knew something to be wrong. I did lots of physio / biokinetics work. Whilst it got better, the problem never went away. I knew there was something the scans were missing and after a second opinion at a well respected Ortho, I went through with a bilateral Arthroscopy for both knees. Sure enough, I have grade 1-2 cartilage damage which went undetected by the MRI scans.

And as the title subject reads.. I'm only 26 years old  :-\

Seems the layer of my cartilage is still well in tact, except I have deep fissures on the lateral sides of both my knees going. Believe the Ortho wrote "Bilateral lateral, followed by a word I can't read (doctor's handwriting), "fissuring of the Tibia".

I've been to rehab after the surgery and 3 months later now I'm not quite where I was before. In all honesty it feels slightly worse after the surgery, but I suppose there's still time for improvement.

I went through a strong period of depression regarding the issue along with some anxiety attacks, as being active was a huge part of my life. In 2 years there hasn't been a single day I haven't thought about my knees. I'm constantly reminded of pains and discomforts and activities I can no longer do (or at least do and enjoy without constant hindrance). I'm no longer depressed about it, but rather have accepted it. Though it still makes me feel hopeless or irritable from time to time.

My Ortho said he could refer me to someone else for another type of surgery - of which I have forgotten the name. Essentially, I believe they will fracture or alter a specific area in my knee to unload and shift the weight off the lateral sides. Ultimately, could potentially preserve my knees for longer and result in less discomfort.

Does anyone know what this surgery is called? And if so anyone gone through anything similar and or have advice?

I honestly don't think I'd go through with it. The way I see it - regardless of whether I get the surgery, continue physio rehab etc. my knees my get a little bit better - but they will still be damaged. I'd still be prohibited from doing activities to the fullest. I'd still need to avoid certain activities due to deterioration of my cartilage. I'd still probably not be able to do a non-desk job which involves a lot of standing or manual labor.

I was hopeful about the new cartilage repair stim cell surgeries they've been working on - but my Ortho explained he's done them before and after 2 years his patients were always back.

Does anyone have any advice or know about any new surgeries or techniques being worked on which would be worth following for me? Let's assume money wasn't an issue (which isn't the case but hypothetically) - are there any options. If there's no miracle surgery, does anyone have tips maybe regarding exercises, nutrition etc? My Ortho said as long as I am a healthy weight and follow a moderately healthy diet, nutrition can't do much more.

I don't know. My situation is I'm at in inevitable road to accepting my situation and eventually getting knee replacement surgery in 20-30 years probably. At this point I'm at a loss.

Offline mulberrysdream

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Re: Fissures in cartilage of both knees - 26 years old
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 04:43:25 PM »
I would avoid the Osteotimy at all costs. It might preserve that area that they're unloading...but it's going to wear extra hard on the opposite side. It also may rule out other treatments down the line, because your allignment has been changed.

My advice- Consult with Dr. Laprade out of the Steadman Clinic here in Vail CO.

I'm 25, and have grade 1-4 chondromalacia throuout my knee. I am 11 months post OATs and Meniscus Transplant. The OATs was done where i had grade 4.

Check out BMAC injections? With grade 1-2, maybe BMAC could solve things for you...or at least offer a major major improvement. I'm waiting results of an MRI today to find out whether to proceed with a BMAC injection tomorrow, or hold off until i have my knee scoped again first.

Best of luck! Let me know how things go...

Right Knee-
MT Menisectomy, Chondroplasty, 10/16
MT Repair, Chondroplasty, Clean out+ BMAC/PRP7/16
Meniscus Transplant & OATs 8/15
Notchplasty,Osteophyte Removal,Prep for MT/OATs 7/15
loose body removal, menisectomy- 4/15
Menisctomy, loose body removal1/14
Lateral Release08
Meniscus Repar 07

Offline JohnnyG123

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Re: Fissures in cartilage of both knees - 26 years old
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 09:40:00 AM »
Hi Ben,

I really appreciate your reply.

Did you go through with the injections, and if so, how did it go?

I've never heard of BMAC injections and assume this is a relatively new practice? Then again I'm from South Africa and believe our practices may be somewhat dated compared to the US, EU etc.

I haven't given up though. I'm going to see the best specialists I can find in my main city. While my current Ortho has a respectable reputation and I trust him - he's pretty much admitted he can't help me anymore and I'm on my own, except for the Osteotimy which I'm not going through with. He completely shut down the idea of any regenerative methods to the cartilage, particularly cartilage transplants.

I'm grateful that you've shown me that there are still practices being done which I haven't been informed of. To your knowledge and what you were explained - do BMAC injections provide a relatively high success rate and is sustainable in the long term? Or do some people experience finding themselves back to where they were - making it a hit and miss procedure?

Thanks again,