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Old 07-20-2008, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Independence, MO
544 posts, read 1,990,976 times
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DH had this surgery a year ago. He did great although the surgeon told me within 10 years he will be facing knee replacement. He followed the surgeons instructions and his therapists. When in the car for a long time driving like we did last week, he complains that it gets stiff on him. But that is his only complaint.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:01 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,569 posts, read 17,918,737 times
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Well I'm back. Got a phone call this AM from the VA hospital making a PRE-OP apptmt for Aug 5th on my up coming back surgery. After two yrs maybe will finally get some relief. Steve
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,139,983 times
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Update: I had a partial meniscectomy on my left knee on June 17, 2008. As of today July 23rd I am 36 days post-op.

Yesterday on July 22, 2008 I started week three of physical therapy. On July 17, week two of PT, my physical therapist presented me with a brand new excercise that I found remarkably enjoyable. Upon presentation and almost as soon as I performed the first set, I felt deep down inside that this new excercise was going to be a major ally in my fight to regain normal functionality. I felt this new excercise was going to help speed up the recovery process. I really had nothing concrete to base that on, other than a gut feeling that I derived whenever I performed the excercise and the fact that I enjoyed the tangible feeling the new excercise provided to my knee and leg whenever I performed it. I was truly infatuated with the new excercise as much as a love struck high school freshman is with a senior cheerleader.

The next day on July 18 I started to notice both a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of the electric shocks. Now the electric shocks were no stronger than a 4 or 5, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being unbearable and 1 being faint. I even had one day where I did not experience any electric shocks whatsoever, which was a first for me, though I really couldn't put a whole lot of stock into that particular day as I was not very active and I had only eight hours of wake time. Despite that, because of the sudden drop off in the severity and frequency of the electric shocks over a five day period of time, I was elated by the new and sudden turn of events. I thought that I had turned a corner or that, quite possibly, the worst was behind me. I thought that I had leapfrogged forward and made a huge surge upward in my recovery. Adding to the heightened optimism was the fact that right around July 20th it appeared as if my gait was almost back to normal and that my limp was approximately 75% gone.

Overall, the feeling was exhilarating. I felt like I was on the verge of getting my freedom back. Keep in mind that since the onset of this injury in March of 2008, I have been limited to staying at home with the exception of an occasional jaunt to the store to aquire food. Due to the unexpected positve change, I soon expected to be running the streets again, taking pictures with my camera of this and that, and riding a bicycle up steep hills like I used to do. Most of those good feelings, and the improved state of physcial condition, lasted a full five days or all the way up to the beginning of a session I had with my physical therapist in week three of PT. And then just like that those good feelings disappeared and were replaced with dejection.

Yesterday on July 22 I started week three of PT. The therapist hammered away at my knee during that session, especially on one excercise I call 'mashdowns'. That's when he has me lie flat on my back with both legs straight out. He rolls a towel up and places it under my ankle. This props my lower thigh, knee, calf and ankle up in the air, a couple of inches up off of the table. He then puts both of his hands and a good portion of his bodyweight directly over the center of my surgically repaired knee and presses down as hard as I can stand it. Sometimes he uses a slight pumping motion, up and down - up and down. If you visualize someone rendering CPR to a person in distress then you've got a good idea of what a mashdown looks like. This excercise is a hyperextender that is supposed to make the injured leg as straight as a long rifle or as straight as it was before surgery. In yesterdays session he put a lot of work, time, energy and effort into the mashdown excercise. I'll note that up until that point in time I had been religously doing my battery of excercises at home as prescribed by the physical therapist.

During that session and after that session the electric shocks came back in severity at a pain level of 8 or 9. And when I walked out of that session I started to limp again. All of this ocurred yesterday in week three of PT. A day later I still limp. Despite the dutiful effort the PT applied to my knee while doing the mashdowns, I feel that I may have taken a step backward in my road to recovery. I have a feeling my physical therapist will disagree with that opinion when I go back and see him on Friday July 25, 2008. Because of the disappointing turn of events, I am not motivated to do any of the core home excercises this week. Except for my appointment with my physical therapist later this week, I feel like I just want to back off 100% and not do any excercises at home.

My unwillingness to perform any rehabilitation excercises is limited to the next few days, but not beyond as I am inclined to being involved with physical activity, it makes up a major portion of my lifestyle, and I want to do whatever it takes to get my knee 100% healthy, if possible. My unwillingness also stems from the idea that it appears as if the heavy labor that was dealt my knee yesterday, on the surface, appears to have reinstituted both the severity and frequency of the electric shocks, along with resurrecting the limp. And so my gut is telling me to treat it not like a newborn but like a little child: back off on physical activity including the rehab excercises at least for the next few days. Or in other words, less is more.

Last edited by hotornot; 07-23-2008 at 05:09 PM..
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,799,363 times
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That sounds like it was a really rough therapy session. Did the PT know how much the session hurt? Have you iced the knee since then to help reduce the pain and swelling? I think you have made a good decision to follow your gut instincts and back off a bit on the exercise for a day or two; but do try to use good body positioning and try not to limp if it's at all possible.

I hope it feels better tomorrow.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:43 PM
 
12 posts, read 57,333 times
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Hotornot,

I had the exact same surgery you did, but on July 15th. I haven't had my post-op yet, and I believe he said he took out 20% of my medial meniscus. He also said he took out some other cartilidge that was floating around my knee... that was the size of a jellybean. Your story makes me worried a lot regarding my own recover, and I am very interested to see how you are doing. I myself right now am still walking with a limp, it's hard not to with the pain of trying to walk normally. I have the stiffness in my leg that almost prevents me from walking normally because the surgical knee obviously doesn't like bending.

I haven't experienced the electrical feelings you are describing yet and I hope I never will, they sound just awful. I did however want to share with you a website I found for PT @ Home that might help you, and or I wanted to get your thoughts on them as well. They website can be found here:

http://www.healthbanks.com/PatientPo...leID=HW5uh2071

Go down to the bottom of the page and you can see the exercises as they give you a nice professional picture and description of each one.

If you have time I'd love another report from your situation. Also, how old are you? I'm not sure if it matters, but I would like to think only being 28 myself that my knee could heal and get better. I had not idea the chances were 50/50!! My doctor told m 95% chance of full recovery.... so I'm not sure if it's because of the location of your tear vs. mine... but I am along the same lines you were giving the duration since my surgery.

I hope you are recoverying brilliantly!

hope to hear more from you all soon,

P
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,139,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenLee View Post
That sounds like it was a really rough therapy session. Did the PT know how much the session hurt? Have you iced the knee since then to help reduce the pain and swelling? I think you have made a good decision to follow your gut instincts and back off a bit on the exercise for a day or two; but do try to use good body positioning and try not to limp if it's at all possible.

I hope it feels better tomorrow.
No, he doesn't know 'cause I never went back to see him again. The knee is still a tad swollen from the surgery on June 17, but several weeks ago my PT said don't bother icing it.

The last time I saw the PT was approximately nine days ago, on July 22. It feels a lot longer than that. In retrospect it was a tuff session, though I never complained. I walked into that session having lost a good portion of my limp, and with most of the electric shocks gone, too. Which of course made me feel fantastic. I walked out of that session with a limp and with a significant number of level 8 or 9 rated electric shocks. The next day the shocks dropped off and dissipated, though I was still limping (oh no, not again!) and because of all of that I hit a deep deep all day depression that carried over into July 24th.

I decided on that very day to not go back to that PT ever again. Soon I'll be seeing another physical therapist. I have no animosity towards him. He just made a mistake, and in my state of depression I decided to get him out of the picture for good. Which may have been an over reaction on my part, because we all make mistakes. But so be it. I didn't care for their office staff all that much, anyway. (I got on well with the PT, though their office staff rubbed me the wrong way).

IMO, the July 22nd session, the one where he resurrected the limp and electric shocks, was not diversified enuff. I rode the stationary bike for about 6 minutes and the rest of the time, a good 45 minutes or so, appeared to be limited to one excercise, the 'mashdown'. In that session he placed too much of an emphasis on the mashdown. Volume wise, it was just too many of 'em packed into one session. He should have included a variety of excercises in that session.

Last week I started to ride my bike up steep hills (spin the cranks up steep hills with surgically repaired knees, never mash down on 'em!) and on grass too. Grass rides stimulate the leg muscles better than hard surface rides do, though that's for another thread. Even better would be to ride in sand, down near the water line, but expect your bike to wear out faster due to sand that eats bearings and whatnot. Use a throw away, beater bike for hardcore sand riding. Anyway, the first time out on a bike post-op felt wonderful. And yesterday I went out for my first long walk, about 30 minutes worth. Today I rode my bike for one hour and walked in the sand and on concrete for about 45 minutes. After the walk and bike session I experienced two level 6 or 7 rated electric shocks but I didn't freak like I would've in the past. So I didn't say to myself, "Oh no, here they come again", like I surely would have in the past. Since most of the electric shocks pretty much disappeared several weeks ago (wow, that long ago?), I figured todays reappearance of two mid-level rated shocks were due to the, for me, unusual amount high volume of work that I had just put in biking and walking. I'm training my brain to learn how to walk correctly. I say training my brain because my inability to walk perfectly is more psychological, I think, than it is due to anything physically restrictive.

Where I stand at this point, roughly 40 some-days post op:

>the electric shocks seem to be a thing of the past, thank god, though of course I wonder if they might reappear. Time will tell. I'll know for sure around Halloween or Christmas time

>the limp is mostly gone, though it's still stiff in that I need to get more extension out of my leg when I step forward. That's probrably why the PT overdosed me with mashdowns on July 22nd, because I can't yet extend it all of the way out. He had the right idea, though it kinda backfired

>now that might all sound great, but it's not. My knee is still not back to normal as I feel a hard to describe discomfort when I walk. It's not painful, just uncomfortable. That discomfort might never go away. Or will it? Only time will tell. Today when I went for that long walk in the sand I felt that the discomfort had just been given a serious butt whippin'. After walking in the sand I then went back to walking on hard surface. It was then, after the sand walk, that I felt that the discomfort in my knee was significantly minimized and cut down in severity. Because of that, I felt that the sand walk was very therapeutic, almost a little magical. A false placebo like effect? Time will tell. Remember, 10 days post-op my doctor told me that my knee cannot be repaired surgically, not anymore. He said that after a surgery like mine, with a knee that's in my condition, 50% of the people out there with a similar knee profile go on to achieve a state of total functionality while the other 50% have issues with pain and discomfort for a very long, long time, if not forever. (Those worst case scenario types are the ones headed for a partial or total knee replacement PRONTO like tomorrow or the day after). Really, my doctors tone was more pessimistic than it was optimistic. Of course I'm waiting to see which 50% category I'll fall into. If the discomfort never goes away, I think I'll be able to live with it. And even then Adequan is an option. But even w/o Adequan, I don't think I'll have to make any radical changes in my lifestyle the way I would have had the electric shocks never gone away

>in the next few days and weeks I'll be going out for long walks, 45 to 60 minutes worth, every day seven days a week to try and gauge whether or not the discomfort will go away or whether it intends to stick around for good. The walks will be performed in deep sand and on hard surfaces

>in case anyones wondering: no, my knee doesn't hurt or feel uncomfortable when I bike it

Sure wish I would have kept a daily journal of this journey. I would've then made a website catered towards helping others with this disease, but only if I make a complete comeback, a comeback without discomfort. And yes, it's a disease, that's exactly what osteo-arthritis is, a disease. During this 40 some day journey there have been a few I won the lotto like euphoric highs along with an assortment of days of real deep dark depression that felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Excuse the language, but this meniscectomy thing really has been a complete mindf$%k.

Thanks for your post and kind words.

Last edited by hotornot; 07-31-2008 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,139,983 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavarotti View Post
Hotornot,

I had the exact same surgery you did, but on July 15th. I haven't had my post-op yet, and I believe he said he took out 20% of my medial meniscus.
I go back and see my doctor on August 8, 2008 for post-op appointment number two. I'm gonna try and get him to tell me percentage wise how much cartilage he cut out. And to find out what grade osteoarthritis I have. From what he's told me thus far I figure he'll rate me somewhere between a grade 1 and 3, since I'm not yet bone on bone. For the last several weeks I thought I was a grade 4 but then I took a closer look at the definitions and now I don't think I'd qualify for a grade 4 rating.

Grade levels: http://www.wsm.ca/osteo05.htm (broken link)

Last edited by hotornot; 07-31-2008 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,139,983 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavarotti View Post
Hotornot,
I myself right now am still walking with a limp, it's hard not to with the pain of trying to walk normally. I have the stiffness in my leg that almost prevents me from walking normally because the surgical knee obviously doesn't like bending.
Walking normally:

I came up with an excercise, or a technique, that will help get you over the hump and back to walking at least somewhat normally. Several weeks ago I looked at my PT and said, "Hey, look at me, boss, I finally have equal weight distributuion over both legs!"

Meaning that I could stand on both legs with my weight being distributed evenly. But...I still had a limp. Why? That confounded me. In my case, some of it had to due with the electric shocks. I was always 'bracing' myself for the next earthquake, I mean, electric shock, which is why I preferred to keep the majority of my weight on my good, non-injured leg whenever and wherever I walked. Cause it felt 'safe'.

In addition to that, I had become used to walking with a limp. It was now a part of who I was. I once read somewhere that the Farmer's Almanac states that if you do something 22 days in a row it will then become an automatic condition. Sounds plausible to me. So, I just figured my limp was due to something psychosomatic. I had to come up with a technique to correct that, to retrain my brain.

I'll come back later and post the technique that helped me get rid of the psychosomatic monkey on my back that followed me around wherever I went. For now, I'll tell you that it involved incorporating the mannerisms of a cheap hooker. Or the mannerisms of a flamboyant homosexual who prefers to take it up the you know what as opposed to shoving it up the you know where. Anyone care to guess what my technique has in common with those two human entitites? Ahh...I bet someone out there knows!
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,139,983 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavarotti View Post
Hotornot,
I haven't experienced the electrical feelings you are describing yet and I hope I never will, they sound just awful.
P
I never felt them the first 9 days post-op. On day 10 I went out into the world for the first time. Up until then I was house bound under virtual house arrest living in a bubble lying in bed or sitting in a chair. But on day 10 I got in my car, went to see my doctor, went to the store, and bingo bango the shocks reared their ugly head and stayed with me for many days afterward.

I asked my PT, "Do they ever go away, completely, for good?"

He said for some people they do and for others they don't. I asked him if he was bee-essing me and he said NO.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:17 PM
 
12 posts, read 57,333 times
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Hotornot,

I'm now 15 days out from surgery, I had thought my surgery was on the 15th, but it was actually on the 17th. I just got finished with three straight days of pretty hardcore PT. I have some amazing improvements to report. My ability to bend my surgically repaired knee in 3 days went from 94 degrees to 124. I still have a long ways to go as my normal leg is 150. But, I have exercises to do now that will get me there..very painful ones, but I gotta work through it because the "cobwebs" get to permanent. I can walk without a limp now, it is uncomfortable as you describe still 85% of the time, but I just have to concentrate and think heel toe, heel toe, etc... because I just can't walk with a limp... not good for me.... I have started to get a very sore hip on my other leg due to my bad walking/everything else technique.. so hopefully that gets better.... also I am now up and doing the stationary bike, and elliptial.... I am very hopeful, that I will have a speedy recovery, although I can't go back to the same PT guy, as I am now back home, and was visiting my parents, so I need to go in search of another Doc.

I have my Post op next Tuesday, and will report back. I still have some swelling, but it is down considerably from the last time I posted. I haven't experienced any real electrical shock as you describe it as yet... maybe a few but only after intense workouts and even still it is maybe a 1-2 on the 10 scale. However, I do have a slight catch in my surgical knee, it's always in the same place, and it doesn't hurt a lot... but when I'm doing an activity over and over and over like biking, or exercises that move it past a certain degree angle over and over it just starts kinda feeling a bit like a meat grinder. I'm hoping this goes away after the swelling goes down and I regain more muscle... as it really isn't pleasant at all.

BTW, has anyone done lap swimming exercises? Or what kind of exercises in the pool do you find helpful after surgery? or to strengthen?

Hope everyone is doing well.
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