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Author Topic: Help! So confused & in pain  (Read 1312 times)

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Offline teaweasel

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Help! So confused & in pain
« on: August 23, 2004, 03:19:31 PM »
Hi,
I'm really hoping someone can help me here as I don't knw what else to do.

I damaged my knee at the end of April by turning suddenly and not moving my foot. After 3 weeks of suffering in pain, I finally went to the dr's (had resisted going because I didn't want to find out I'd split my meniscus like I had 5 years ago and it had taken nearly a year to get them to believe me that there was something wrong!). My Dr told me to get myself straight to A&E, where they told me to go back to my GP as I was going to need to see a consultant as they reckoned I had torn my meniscus, they did X-Rays and did usual checks. :-/ They gave me a pair of crutches as I was hardly able to walk on it.

Got the appointment to see someone fairly quickly, was examined - told that they agreed that I was more than likely suffering from torn meniscus and because I was also suffering from Lock Knee I was booked in for an arthroscopy two days after. Went in, had the op and afterwards, just as I was coming back into the land of the living, my consultant came over and explained that it had turned out not to be a torn meniscus but a sprained medial meniscus - which I'd never heard of. He told me to carry on with the crutches, not to over do it as it would set me back and that there was no point in having physio because it would push me too hard and make it worse. He warned me I could be ok in a month or possibly take up to 6 months to fully recover.

Well recovery started to go ok - did the post op exercises and they were ok, started to be able to hobble very short distance round the house without the crutches. Then I had a big set back when someone smacked into the knee - took me back a few weeks in recovery. Went to see the consultant for my 1 month check up - explained I was still unable to walk and bit painful but he was very pleased with my progress and to carry on with crutches - he got me to make an appointment for a 3 month checkup but seemed to be under the impression I wouldn't need it.

Well it's now been about 2 months since the op and the pain is really bad now - the painkillers that I've been put on through out this have never worked. Went to see a GP and he told me he's never heard of what was supposedly wrong with me ??? and was going to refer me back to my Consultant. I can't drive, still can't walk without the crutches - other than very short distances where I'm actually limping, and if I'm lucky I'm getting a few hours sleep a night. The knee itself looks red some of the time and is quite swollen. Plus to top it all off I'm now properly depressed because of all of this. :'(

Has anyone gone through a similar thing or any advice or suggestions for me because I feel at my wits end now.

So sorry I've rambled on but I need help
« Last Edit: August 23, 2004, 03:25:46 PM by teaweasel »

Offline Ron22

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2004, 06:06:55 PM »
hi tea..yes..been there many times..5 time loser with surgeries including med men/acl/mcl/vascular/ptf/arthritis of knee and hip/circulation probs/failed maquet with bone graft and screw..need new knee/hip..currently in a bad flare with no sleep for over 3 wks..2 hrs some nites..waitin to see a pain mgmgt doc and new OS..i feel ya..sounds like you may have a slight tear or possibly some loose bodies with some effusion in the joint..(bleeding inside the joint)..bst you can do is try to be careful..RICE, meds and get to see another OS..prob with knees is once you get one op you may have future flares and need to maintain...pls let me know if i can help..IM me if you want just click on my name and select send private mssg..we all have been there and this is a great place for support and info

cheers

ron
Surgery #1 ACL/LR/Mdl Mesniscus
Surgery #2 Vascular Repair
Surgery#3 ACL/Ltl Mesniscus/MCL
Surgery#4 Vascular Repair
Surgery#5 Maquet/Bone Graft/Screw/LR/ACL
Arthritis/Knee/Hip
Necrosis/Hip
PFS/Chronomalacia
RSD
Vascular Issues
All on Right Leg

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2004, 06:33:03 PM »
Hey there...
Sorry to hear about your situation.
I have to say I have never heard of a meniscal "sprain" and would go as far as saying it "technically" does not exist!!

Meniscii by their very nature are torn in twisting injuries and as a result I would seriously think about getting in touch with your OS and seeing exactly what he meant by this. It could have been a "catchall" term to say he had not found any damage but with your pain this is hard to believe!!
Also, How old are you? What happened the last time you "tore" your meniscus?

Additionally "lock knee" as you called it is caused by bucket handle tears to the lateral (Outer) or medial (Inner) meniscus. This is most definately something that has to have been treated surgically if you were able to straighten your leg on waking up?!! So I think you need to go on a fact finding mission about 1/Your OS>>His experience etc and 2/What he actually found in you knee and did to it in medical terms......

This will help us to offer you much more accurate info......
But from personal experience a repair to a bucket handle tear of the meniscus is debilitating and very painful for a while...

All the best
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline teaweasel

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2004, 06:50:50 PM »
Hi,
had a horrible feeling that someone was going to say that it might technically not exist!!

I'm 25 and last time I did my mensicus, which was the other knee to this one, I spent about a year convincing them that the pain wasn't in my head - my physio at the time seemed to be the only person in the hospital who believed me.  Had an arthroscopy where they tidied it up and got rid of all the floating bone and rubbish in there too.  Afterwards I seemed to recover fairly quickly.

I was able to pretty much straighten my leg after this latest op.  I will definately take your advice and go on a fact finding mission - what's the best way to go about finding my OS's experience?
Thanks

Offline anasta5ia

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2004, 07:38:31 PM »
Hey there!!!

A medial meniscus sprain DOES in fact exist.  It is not nearly as common as a tear, but many people do suffer from them.  I used to work as a PT aide and we saw a few of these patients.

There are some very small ligaments at the anterior and posterior edges of both the medial and lateral menisci that actually help to anchor and stabilize the meniscus to the bone.  In some instances, the meniscus can be moved so forcefully that it is nearly ripped from the tibial plateau and consequently, these little ligaments can be stretched or partially torn.  The locking that often occurs is due to the meniscus coming up from the plateau and sometimes folding which gets in the way of the flexion and extension mechanisms of the joint.  You are then placed in a NWB or partial WB status to take the pressure of the meniscus and allow it time to anchor back to the bone and allow the ligaments to tighten up.

It can be a long painful recovery when this type of injury happens, but rest assured, it is real and the consultant did not make this up.

I never hurts though to get a second opinion.....especially if you are in further pain or think that you may have further damaged you knee.  

Hope this helps....
Hugs-
Heather G.
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline allstardiva2005

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2004, 08:06:44 PM »
i had my 3rd meniscus surgery back in december and my OS was sure he had fixed everything. 2 weeks later while i was doing exercises w/ my trainer at my high school- i felt the same pain reappear.

i was 100% i had torn something again- yet no one believed me. the my surgeon and his office partner- thought it was a range of things: pfs, tendonitis, alignment problems, nerve problems, etc. and didn't believe me.

i went to a much better surgeon who thought it was tendonitis but after 2 months of her treatment and it not working- i finally convinced her to operate last monday. and what did she find? the rest of my medial meniscus was totally shredded. if my first surgeon listened to me right away- i could've had that surgery back in january. instead i had to wait to august to find someone who would listen.

i know that they're quite a few people here who have experienced surgeons who either don't wanna admit you might need another surgery so close together or they really don't think it is that. if you aren't satisfied w/ your surgeon, get a second opinion. i was gonna keep seeing surgeons til i found one who would do an exploratory scope...good luck!

feel free to IM me (sn: allstardiva2005) & i hoped that helped somewhat!
xoxo- Christy
Medial Meniscus Repair- '00,03
Partial Meniscectomy- '03, '04
ACL Reconstruction- '02
Exploratory Scope- '05
Allograft ACL Revision & Neuroma Excision- '06
Hardware Removal & Bone Filing- '06
Scar Tissue Removel- '07

** Medial meniscus transplant is in the near future... **

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2004, 12:30:50 AM »
Hey there!!

Wow...Thanks for that anasta5ia!!
.....as the saying goes...."you learn something new everyday!!"

teaweasel>.....With the useful info from anasta5ia in the picture...it would seem that you may well have sprained your meniscus and judging on her description of the injury...this is why you could not be recovering as soon as you had hoped....

First off, are you from the UK.... or US (or neither!)
This makes a difference in terms of how easy it is to get a second opinion (NHS) but if you are UK based like me you could always pay for a private consult with a knee specialist (120ish) to get a second opinion/perspective on the situation.
I think you certainly need to get them to sort out some suitable pain meds to help your recovery along and also a bit more of a formal recovery plan (pt for example)....
I remember your surgeon said no physio so you didnt push the leg but this is where a second opinion may be useful?? It may be possible for you to do some very gentle mobility exercises and be given some exercises that you can do at home to help your recovery....This would certainly assist in the feeling of helplessness at having no real control or input into your recovery (which is how I felt for nearly three months b4 + after my op)

As for any info on your surgeon....internet searches, ring local private hospitals (if your UK) and see if he practises there and what his reputation is like (nearly ALL NHS surgeons do private work) or even see if he is listed under the "knee surgeons" link at the top of this web page (unlikely because it is a global listing and there are many good but not so renown surgeons not in there!)

Hope this helped a bit....

Bye...
« Last Edit: August 24, 2004, 12:32:20 AM by andrewc »
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline teaweasel

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Re: Help! So confused & in pain
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2004, 04:09:26 PM »
Anasta5ia - thanks for your reply - you have no idea how relieved I feel knowing that my condition really does exist and that I haven't just been fobbed off!  Only downside is the fact you've confirmed that it is a long and painful recovery.  However the pain seems to be getting worse every day now - waiting to hear about another visit to my OS although the way things are going I won't get to see him before I have my 3 month checkup!  >:(

AndrewC - I'm a UK girl!  I dropped BUPA an email yesterday to try and find out some more details about getting a second opinion and the price.  Last time I went to see a GP (as usual seeing mine was out of the question, too busy!) he dismissed everything I had to say and even asked me if I'd been to the hospital about my knee problem (good to see they read your notes!). I've taken various different painkillers and anti inflammatory pills over this time: Co-codamol (think it was the 30/500), Tramadol, Remediene Forte (on now), Diclofenac and Diclomax (on now).  None of these help at all.  When I had my op I discussed with my nurse about the fact that nothing seemed to touch the pain, she mentioned a pain management specialist, has anyone had experience of this in the UK and how would they be able to help me?

Thanks for all the help so far.  This website is so much help - it stops me feeling like I'm alone.

Oh one more thing, I've discovered that since being on crutches a lot of people look at me like I've got something mentally wrong with me as well as the physical thing, they also treat me like that if they have to speak to me. Has anyone else experienced this?















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