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Old 07-13-2008, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,132,517 times
Reputation: 128

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Tore my knees up pretty good over the years racing motorcycles. Prior to surgery, my knees, for weeks on end, were feeling fantastic, almost bullet proof. Before getting hurt I had been riding bicycles up steep hills on a weekly basis as a form of preventive therapy. Does that sound dumb? Not really. Hillclimbing is not brutal on the knees just as long as you make sure you spin the cranks as opposed to mashing down on them. Huge difference between a spinner and a masher. I developed a problem to my knee in March, 2008. The doctor cut my cartilage on June 17, 2008 (no stitches, just a trim job), making me as of today approximately 23 days post-op. The procedure as stated word for word in the O.R. report (brace yourself for some big words that are foreign to everyday normal people): "Arthroscopic guided chondroplasty of medial femoral condyle of left knee, removal of multiple chondral loose bodies of left knee, and partial medial meniscectomy of left knee."

>10 days post-op I met with the the doctor for the first time since surgery. Here are some things he stated: "Here's a picture of the inside of your knee. (He hands me a picture taken during the surgery. It shows the dreaded bucket handle.) You can take that with you. And the reason for that is there are some changes in your knee that we can't make better with arthroscopic surgery. If you look at the picture you can see underneath your kneecap where the kneecap and thighbone...it looks pretty good...normal cartilage. As we come around to the inside part, medial condlye, inside part...you have both cartilage and exposed bone. The area at the end of your thigh bone, that cartilage is gone. You do not have bone on bone. There's still cartilage left on the other side and on the top of your shinbone. There's a meniscus partially left inbetween, and then, unfortunately, the exposed bone under your thigh bone."

>bad news: He went on to say that the chances for a complete recovery are only 50/50, thanks to the dreaded bucket handle. As bad as a bucket handle is, the doctor said I'm not bone-on-bone, which is good, I guess. But what I do have is a hole in my cartilage with bone that is forever exposed. You can't put a patch on it. That's essentially what a bucket handle type tear is.

>i do not yet have my natural walk or gait back yet. My leg is stiff and I still walk with a very noticeable limp. I started PT last week. I'm making improvements in nice, small, daily chunks, thankfully. On days like that the sky is blue and I see a light at the end of the tunnel. The PT allows me to ride the stationary bicycle, but not a road bike. He started me with isometrics but we have yet to use any ankle weights. Right now we're focusing on getting my range of motion back and flexing my quad muscle

>i was full weight bearing on post-op day two or three. I got rid of the crutches around day three post op

>up until post-op day ten I stayed at home and was completely sedentary. Nine days post-op presented nothing unusual in the pain department. Note that I was either in bed, sitting on a chair or up and about hobbling around fixing something to eat but I never once left my apartment. I was prescribed Vicodin for pain, but I never took any. On post-op day ten I started to go outside as it was time for me to go see my surgeon. All I did that day was go see him and then later go to the supermarket. It was then later that day that I started to experience for the first time what I call "electric shocks" to my injured knee. On a scale of 1 to 10 the electric shock produces a level 9 feeling of pain. You definitely don't want to be carrying a carton of eggs or step in the shower or fire a gun at a target when you get one of these electric shocks. The shock lasts for only a split second and is gone as quickly as it appeared but make no mistake, it's painful. Guess you could say that it feels like a very quick and hard bee sting. Only once did I get an electric shock in a public place and it was kinda embarrassing. You grimace a little and you might say 'ouch' out loud and then you are just as quickly composed and feeling fine leaving people wondering what the heck that little display of pain was all about

>ever since day 10 post-op I average anywhere between 2 and 5 electric shocks a day, with a rare day when they are not felt. (I don't take any OTC or prescription meds, it's too soon for that, gotta give PT a chance). The $100 question is whether or not the electric shocks will go away once all the swelling goes down and once I get my full range of motion along with my strength back. (yes, knee still a little swollen 20+ days post-op!) Then again maybe the electric shock is something that'll never go away and is due to the dreaded buckethandle. Which means they'll have to either shoot some lubricants in my knee (Synvisc, hyaluronic acid or corticosteroids) or give me either a full or partial knee replacement. Ultimately the question might come down to whether or not I want to live with the electrical shocks 0-5 times a day on a daily basis and become a fanatical day-in, day-out gum chewer. I guess I can always bite down on chewing gum whenever I get an electric shock. I do know that the more I stay in bed off my feet, the less the shocks materialize. When I get on my high horse and start moving around, i.e, to go swimming, to go ride the stationary bicycle, to go do my PT excercises, to go to the store, or any day that combines all of that stuff along with a lot of limping around, I can expect to feel more shocks either on that day or the day after, which is a residual effect, I believe

>all in all if it wasn't for the electric shocks I'd say that my rate of progress has been very good and that I'm very pleased and pleasantly surprised with how well things are going in my first week of physical therapy, 20+ days post-op. Specifically, though my leg is still stiff and I walk with a limp, I have equal weight distribution over both of my legs. However, the electric shock matter leaves a huge question mark hanging over my head and I have no idea when, or if, the electric shock issue will ever be resolved. Yesterday was a very bad day as I had a record 7 or 8 electric shocks all in just one day. On days like that there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. If the shocks don't go away, I'll have to make a radical change in lifestyle. I'll have to avoid going down a stairway, avoid going to certain public venues, avoid being in an area where I'm surrounded by people and give up my hobby of taking pictures in urban areas a.k.a. street photography.

I hope this helps anyone out there who is slated for the same type of surgery. Please leave a comment if you have anything to share, especially if you've been in my shoes and have experience with the same type of surgery.

Last edited by hotornot; 07-13-2008 at 06:41 PM..
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
11,990 posts, read 29,387,243 times
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Had my operation in 1999..and within 2 weeks off & running!! Once in awhile it "slips" to the one side & goes bone on bone Hurts like heck. But when it slides back its great..no pain!! Hope you feel better soon....
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:32 PM
 
3,758 posts, read 7,466,434 times
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In 2002, I had three shots in each knee "chicken shots" as they call them and they helped for a couple of years. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, little or no cartilage and was told I needed knee replacements but because of my age they did not want to do them. The end of last year, my knees had gotten worse. I went to the doctor and got five more shots in each knee which did not help at all. He said that my knees were Grade 4 osteoarthritis and I had little or no cartilage, torn menicus in both knees and I had a choice between this arthroscopic surgery and knee replacements. As I had no financial means to do knee replacements or anyone to help me out after the surgery, I opted for the arthroscopic surgery which has done little to help me. I, too, was on crutches for awhile. Didn't need much pain medication at all and didn't take it also because it messes up my head. I had surgery in January and February of this year, respectively. I am in no better shape than I was before. Actually, I think the arthritis has worsened. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes nor walk for any distance. I crawl up stairs. I can barely put on my socks. My legs and feet are swollen. My left foot is now killing me. Just wanted you to know that I have been there done that.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:46 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
11,990 posts, read 29,387,243 times
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Most likely the pain you feel is from bone on bone rubbing... ITS horrible! Pain pills are like drinking water...ugh!

Sorry I was refering to PG77 post

Last edited by Katie1; 07-13-2008 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,132,517 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG77 View Post
In 2002, I had three shots in each knee "chicken shots" as they call them and they helped for a couple of years. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, little or no cartilage and was told I needed knee replacements but because of my age they did not want to do them. The end of last year, my knees had gotten worse. I went to the doctor and got five more shots in each knee which did not help at all. He said that my knees were Grade 4 osteoarthritis and I had little or no cartilage, torn menicus in both knees and I had a choice between this arthroscopic surgery and knee replacements. As I had no financial means to do knee replacements or anyone to help me out after the surgery, I opted for the arthroscopic surgery which has done little to help me. I, too, was on crutches for awhile. Didn't need much pain medication at all and didn't take it also because it messes up my head. I had surgery in January and February of this year, respectively. I am in no better shape than I was before. Actually, I think the arthritis has worsened. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes nor walk for any distance. I crawl up stairs. I can barely put on my socks. My legs and feet are swollen. My left foot is now killing me. Just wanted you to know that I have been there done that.
You should try Adequan. Got a pet? You'll need to go see a veternarian to obtain it. For dogs and horses it's a wonder drug. Plenty of info on it in Googles database. Aquedan is legal for humans in Europe. American vets with joint problems inject it on themselves. The FDA should make it legal for U.S. citizens. It's too soon for me to press the panic button but when that time comes I'm gonna try Aquedan. You're in a tough spot. I'm sorry to hear that. I would give Aquedan a try. Good luck.

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Old 07-13-2008, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,132,517 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Most likely the pain you feel is from bone on bone rubbing... ITS horrible! Pain pills are like drinking water...ugh!
No, I'm not bone on bone. I have bone exposed, showing on one side, but the other side is covered with cartilage:

"The doctor went on to say that the chances for a complete recovery are only 50/50, thanks to the dreaded bucket handle. As bad as a bucket handle is, the doctor said I'm not bone-on-bone, which is good, I guess. But what I do have is a hole in my cartilage with bone that is forever exposed. You can't put a patch on it. That's essentially what a bucket handle type tear is."
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:55 PM
 
3,758 posts, read 7,466,434 times
Reputation: 850
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotornot View Post
You should try Aquedan. Got a pet? You'll need to go see a veternarian to obtain it. For dogs and horses it's a wonder drug. Plenty of info on it in Googles database. Aquedan is legal for humans in Europe. American vets with joint problems inject it on themselves. The FDA should make it legal for U.S. citizens. It's too soon for me to press the panic button but when that time comes I'm gonna try Aquedan. You're in a tough spot. I'm sorry to hear that. I would give Aquedan a try. Good luck.

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Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,132,517 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG77 View Post
Thanks for the info!
You're welcome

I've got a few weeks of physical therapy ahead of me. If the electric shocks don't go away by Labor Day or Halloween 2008, I'm gonna try my hardest to aquire Adequan on my own. That might be kinda hard to do as I don't have a pet, so we'll see what happens. I live near Tijuana so maybe it's legal in Mexico.

Are you gonna try Adequan? Then please let us know whether or not it worked for you. I can't wait to hear what happened. Good luck

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Old 07-14-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Pacific Beach in San Diego, California
267 posts, read 1,132,517 times
Reputation: 128
I go back to the doctor on August 8, 2008. Which reminds me that when I go back to see him I need him to quantify the amount of missing cartilage in percentage form. Am I missing 10%? 20%? More or less? When I saw him the first time post-op on June 27, 2008, I asked him, "Am I missing a lot of cartilage, a little, or somewhere inbetween?" He answered by saying that it really doesn't matter, that the main thing is that I'm missing some cartilage, have bone that's exposed (though not bone to bone) and that all of that means trouble down the road.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,782,524 times
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I had an arthroscoptic medial meniscectomy on my left knee in 1996 and one on my right knee in 1998 (thanks to a fall off a ladder while cleaning gutters in '96). I was on crutches post op after both of those surgeries for 2-3 weeks, and in PT for about 6 weeks each time.

I did have the "electric shock" sensations after surgery on the right knee (which does have exposed bone); but I've learned that there are things that cause problems for me and I try to avoid them. Walking on cement floors any length of time can bring on pain; but having good orthotics and proper shoes helps. So does good posture and good body alignment. Walking with a limp will only aggravate your other knee (and possibly your hip), but it also distorts the muscle function and strength of the operative leg.

Check with your doctor about the electric shocks: is there a nerve pinched, is that what is causing some of it? I can't do pain pills or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds (NSAIDS like ibuprofen and naproxen); but if you are able to take them, they may reduce any joint swelling (including inside the joint) and help prevent those shocks. trying to suffer through pain doesn't make you stronger, it actually ends up lowering your pain threshold and weakens your body's immune system, so use the OTCs when necessary.

Concerning medications, I would try all of the meds for humans before I'd ever try something for animals. But then again, I'm a nurse. I do use complimentary and alternative medicine; but I would never use something approved only for animals. My sister is a vet and she doesn't use animal drugs for herself or anyone else either.

Hotornot, from the sounds of it you're just 20 days out of surgery on a joint that has to bear weight and you are expecting your body to be healed already. It takes about 6 weeks for a badly sprained wrist or a broken wrist to heal; maybe you are expecting too much too soon? What do your post-op instructions from the surgeon say? What does the Physical Therapist say? ASK them and follow their recommendations about these shocks.

One more thing: if your knees felt fantastic before surgery, why did you have the surgery in the first place? My knees hurt like crazy pre-op and I tried putting the surgeries off as long as possible.
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