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Author Topic: In desperate need of support and advice!  (Read 2071 times)

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Offline Louise

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In desperate need of support and advice!
« on: October 27, 2002, 06:22:22 AM »
At the age of ten I managed to twist my knee whilst doing athletics at school.  The teacher at the time tok a quick look at the knee and said she could see nothing wrong and instructed me to carry on with the class.  At the time of injury there was a loud snapping noise and my knee gave way, this was followed by swelling and weakness in the knee lasting for approx. 2 weeks. The next day I visited my GP who referred me to the orthapaedic consultant at my local hospital.  X-Rays were taken of the joint and nothing was found to be wrong.  The consultant put the continuing problem down to "growing pains" completely ignoring the fact that the problem was triggered by a sporting injury.

Over the following months the knee continued to be painful, give way when put under strain (i.e. cycling, walking down stairs etc) and would occasionally lock in a bent position.

I made another appointment to see the consultant who was still adamant that the problem was nothing more than growing pains.  However he did send me to see a physiotherapist who for 6 months used a programme of home excersise and EMS 3 times a week in order to build up the muscles surrounding the joint and suggested daily strapping of the kneecap.  The excersises went a small way towards helping the problem of weakness and the knee giving way but the problems still persisted.  

After the 6 months of treatment I was told there was nothing more that could be done, the problem was definately growing pains and "here is a pair of crutches, if you have any more problems just rest the knee until the pain subsides".

Over the past 10 years the knee has continued to be painful, give way and lock.  This was causing many problems for me as I am a trained dancer and could prove especially dangerous as the knee often threatens to lock whilst driving. So I went back to my GP who referred me to a "knee specialist".  Again, X-Rays were taken and no problems could be seen. This time the problem was put down to "a slight weakness of the quad".  The specialist suggested excersise to build the quad up and and told me to come back and visit him in 6 months time.  In the meantime he also sent me for a consultation with a physiotherapist.

The physiotherapist was absoutely horrified by the treatment I had received from the specialist.  She said the excersises he had suggested were going to cause more harm in the long run and would be impossible to do as they were the exact range of movements that actually triggered the pain, weakness and locking.  She suggested that I should be sent for an MRI scan as from the symptoms I described and the initially injury it sounded as though I was suffering from a torn meniscus.  The specialist disagrees and says no further treatment is necesssary.

My problem is where do I go from here?  The specialist I was referred to was supposed to be the best in the area but isn't willing to investigate my case any further. At the moment I cannot seem to find a way out of this situation as I'm not able to afford private treatment.  I've suffered with this problem for over 10 years now and have been pushed from pillar to post with no real explanation.  I've given up my career as a dancer due to the problems I'm experiencing and am determined not to let this take control over other areas of my life. :'(

Can anyone offer any advice?

Offline Rich_NYC

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2002, 07:48:02 AM »
I am not sure what to say, except that you definitely need a second opinion. Growing pains is NOT a satisfactory diagnosis >:(. here are you located? There are people here who can help but different countries have different medical systems :P  No matter what, you need to find a doctor who will take your problem seriously.  While I don't have anything concrete to suggest, I can tell you that this is the place to find support no matter what.  Welcome :D
scope to repair 2 meniscal tears (didn't help the pain]; post-patellar osteoarthritis

Offline Louise

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2002, 08:04:27 AM »
Thank you for the warm welcome! :) And thank you for taking the time to read my extremely long post!

I'm from England.   Unfortunately the medical system here doesn't seem to be very helpful, especially locally.  I've been back to my GP who referred me to the "specialist" and all he would say was that the specialist is the best in the area and he trusts his opinion.  He really doesn't think it necessary for me to get a second opinion and seems very reluctant to refer me elsewhere.  I can push for a second opinion but only in the local area, which means I can't visit another knee specialist without paying to go private as there are apparantly no other National Health Service specialists in the area.  I just seem to be banging my head against a brick wall!

I thought that by living with the problem for 9 years before going back for advice they might take me seriously.  But it would seem that the fact I am a 21 year old dancer with her whole life and career ahead of her once the problem is sorted just isn't that important! >:(

Offline Stevejw

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2002, 08:27:31 AM »
I'm sorry to read about your predicament, Louise. I agree with the physio in that you probably have a meniscus tear (cartilage) or possibly some ligament damage. The issue with these "soft tissue" injuries is that they do appear on x  rays - either an MRI or an arthroscopic inspection are probably needed to determine the precise nature of your injury.

I too am British and have many long years of bouncing between the NHS and the independent sector for treatment. I suggest you return to your GP with the info provided by your physio (perhaps they could drop your GP a note for you) and seek a second opinion, even if means travelling.

Keep at it and good luck.

Steve
ACL carbo fibre repair and three revisions. 12 scopes, Primary TKR November 02, revision TKR August 07. Post surgery staph infection, debridement, MUA.

Offline Leentje

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2002, 09:12:22 PM »
Hey Louise,


Go back to your GP and try to get a referral for a 2nd opinion OS. It is important that you know what's going on in your knee and IF it's a torn meniscus (or something else) something can and should be done about it to get it fixed. Believe me, I know. I was 14 when I first dislocated my kneecap. The OS I had back then looked at my knee, said 'maybe your kneecap jumped out', put me in cast and said to rest. No problem, but every time my kneecap dislocated he said that it was just a matter of time, it would 'go away when you're older'. Well, it didn't, it got worse and worse and I finally (9 years later) saw another OS who diagnosed me with chondromalacia grade IV, cartilage damage on femur, subluxed patella, patella alta,... Major problems from years of maltracking.

If this was seen sooner, maybe I wouldn't be in so much pain now. After my last surgery the knee is better, but there's so much damage done I will have to deal with the pain all my life and I will need more surgery in the future (R knee also). Nothing you want to hear when you're 25. But I have a good OS now who really believes me, he will do everything to keep me as active as can be and who will help me so I don't have to give up my job.

Get it checked out again, even if you have to pay for it yourself or if it is outside your area, but you need your knees.

Good luck ;)
Helena

I hope  
Bilat patellar malalignment/PFdysplasia
00/06/83 L wrist #
11/12/00 L knee LR + chondroplasty
21/08/02 L knee TTT
02/03/04 L knee stretched PCL
11/09/07 L ankle dislocation/medial avulsion #
25/05/09 L ankle medial avulsion # AGAIN!
05/06/13 R ankle dislocation

Offline Linds

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2002, 02:45:43 PM »
GET a second opinion and a third and a fourth, as many as it takes until someone will help you. There is no reason for this circle of pain they are putting you through. I totally understand. The same thing happened for me the first 10 years of my knee problems. I did stay with the same OS however, and now he admits there was a problem I have alignment problems and they are finally startnig to be addressed. dont' give up, you will end up worse off than you are now.
Take care and good luck, don't let them turn you away.
Hugs
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline Louise

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2002, 10:57:47 PM »
Thanks to all of you for replying.  It's such a relief to finally find someone who understands.

I've had some fantastic news though.  After trying to make an appointment with my GP for a referal and finding out it would take two weeks just to see him, my father was completely disgusted and has agreed to pay for private treatment.  So hopefully things will be a little easier from now on.  ;D

Thanks again, I shall keep you updated!

Louise

Offline The KNEEguru

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2002, 12:22:36 AM »
I agree with all that has been said.  You seem like a 'good historian' - a loud snapping noise and giving way with swelling at first injury, followed by locking is highly suggestive of a torn meniscus.  Of course, some menisci heal themselves, but your knee has continued to be symptomatic.  Cruciates also break with a loud noise, but the overriding continued symptoms are usually those of instability.  A plica can sometimes mimic a meniscus tear, but the 'locking' is generally 'pseudo-locking' and it is quite easy to unlock the knee, whereas a meniscus tear like a displaced bucket handle generally locks it up so that a doctor needs to unlock it, sometimes with anaesthetic. Plicae can be injured and subsequently make snapping noises quite often - but not really at first injury.
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Iona_-Uk

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2002, 11:24:15 AM »
Hi Louise

I am in the UK too, and have had various problems with the NHS doctors.

Where in the UK are you?. I have an absolutely wonderful OS here in Cardiff and he is one of the very few that actually listen to you and doesn't make judgements based on what other dr's have said.

I did have to pay to see him privately which was £100, but I had 40 mins of consultation with him in which time, he was toally non judgemental and very helpful. He is also a surgeon for the Welsh rugby team and is used to old injuries which have becomesowrse over time and his speciality is Knee surgery for old injury.

I would definately recommend him highly.

I also recommend that you do pay and get the kind of treatment that they offer privately, the consultations is much better and they can put you back on the NHS for any treatment you need.

Try looking at the surgeons on Bupa's website
http://www.bupahospitals.co.uk as they have proformas of their surgeons in your area, but do look at all the hospitals that you could get to, even if it means travelling, because there maybe just someone who can help.

Please do consider this, I wish I had done it earlier.

Are you sponserred by any of the dancing organisations who may be able to pay for you to be seen?, it's worth a try to ask, especially if you have got a dazzling career in front of you, it's money well spent.

Love Iona x

Iona_-Uk

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2002, 03:56:10 PM »
What I find very disturbing though, is that how much better the standard and quality of care is privately.

For instance, in my first 2 LR's on the NHS I had the retinculum cut with a blade and one led to a bleed into the knee.

My most recent LR, which was done privately, they did it with a laser, my OS said they only use this privately, but they can't use it on the NHS because of cost.

Yet my OS says cutting it with a blade provides much more of a risk that using the laser.

I personally would not use the NHS again for knee surgery, it was as much as cock up as I could take over 5 years!

Iona

Offline Louise

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2002, 04:31:56 AM »
I live in near Norwich in Norfolk.  I've just been searching through the BUPA site and it turns out that the last "specialist" I went to see also works at my local BUPA hospital.  He is also President of [a professional knee organisation in the UK].  Mr [M G] [altered by the KNEEguru for legal reasons - please use private messaging if you want to discuss this surgeon].  Just reading his profile you can tell he's the kind of person who won't listen to a word you say.

It looks as though all the knee surgeons at my local BUPA also work at my local NHS hospital so I think I might push my GP into referring me to one of them.

Once again, thank you to all of you, and I hope you are all doing well.

Louise
« Last Edit: November 01, 2002, 11:26:55 AM by admin »

Offline robert

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Re: In desperate need of support and advice!
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2002, 07:44:07 AM »
It might be worth visiting a Podiatrist to see if orthotics may be of benefit. If you have an underlying biomechanical problem, orthotics would stabilise the joint and might ease your pain