Monday, April 22, 2013

16 month follow-up

Sorry I haven't posted the results of my MRI yet.  I have been pretty busy.  I went in 2 weeks ago since I was having pain.  Things are fine!  The MRI showed some bone growth.  Hopefully, it will still continue to grow and fill completely.  The pain I am having is inflammation on my bone.  So, I am not suppose to exercise for 2 months (only swimming) and have physical therapy to help strengthen my quad's.  We will reassess then if I am still having pain.  I wasn't really exercising a ton before, but I guess my knee can't handle anything now.  If I still am in pain, I could possibly have a scope with some sort of injection in my bone to help with the pain and swelling.  The MRI was not worrisome to my doctor, and did not show a need to do another big surgery.  So, I was very relieved with that!  Hopefully, things will continue to get better, growth, and heal.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Update 16 months post surgery

I have a quick update.  I've been having some knee pain lately.  My doctor wants me to come in and get an MRI.  So, I am a little worried.  I will be getting it this upcoming Wednesday.  Please send some extra prayers my way that my knee still looks okay.  I will be posting the results of that next week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1 year post Chondrofix surgery

Here is my 1 year knee update.  Sorry for the delay in posting.  I've been a little busy....
I had my doctor appointment last month.  It went well. My MRI showed the cadaver plugs are still in place and my body has started to grown into it...just a little. We were hoping more would grow, but it still can continue to grow. It's a long and slow process.  I won't know until next year if it's completely successful.  At my follow up next year, whatever growth is shown will be it.  God has definitely been teaching me patience through the past few years!  The aching is normal and is Adema (or swelling) inside my knee.  Anytime they drill in the bone that's normal and could happen. I don't need another surgery as of right now.  This will be the first Christmas in the past few years I won't be having surgery!  Hopefully, next year my knee will be completely healed and just continue to get better!
My activity level right now is pretty good.  I'm still not at the point I would like to be yet.  I do the elliptical several times a week and swim.  I was walking an hour every other day, but now that it's cold out I am not.  I still have some pain and aching occasionally.  If any has any questions, feel free to post here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Update 10/23/12

I haven't posted an update in forever!  It's been almost 11 months post surgery.  I'm doing well, but still have occasional aching.  I find out Monday (10/29) if the Chondrofix surgery worked!!  So, keep me in your prayers!  I will update my status then, so be looking out for a blog post next week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

7 weeks

It's been 7 weeks post the Chondrofix surgery.  Surprisingly, I have been doing SO much better than my other surgeries---pain wise, rehab, mobility, etc.  I'm not saying it hasn't been tough and still is, but it's definitely been better than my other surgeries.  It has probably the easiest so far for how invasive the surgery is.  So, I will try to recap on how I've been doing the past 7 weeks.

1st week:

I don't really remember much from the surgery day in the hospital.  I did have to stay overnight at the hospital for one night.  I do remember when I left the surgery I was able to move my foot.  Normally, it would take me about a week until I could do that.  Before I left the hospital, I was throwing up.  I started the CPM machine in the hospital.  The pain kicked in when I got home since I wasn't numb anymore or having an IV pumping me the painkillers.  The first 5-6 days of surgery was horrible---just like how it has been in the past.  I was taking a ton of painkillers throughout the first 5 days.  I couldn't even keep count of how many pills I was taking.  I was in an incredible amount of pain, nauseous, dizzy, and threw up several times as well.  The 5th day of the surgery I only took one painkiller at night.  I was still in a lot of pain, but the pain was not excruciating so I tried to only take medicine if necessary.  The 6th day I again only took a painkiller at night.  That was the last day I took a painkiller.  In the past, I would take painkillers for about 3 weeks and really, really sick for about 3 weeks.  This time, I stopped taking painkillers at a week and wasn't as sick like before.  I still was nauseous for a few more days after than.  I probably was at 90 degrees on the CPM one week post surgery, which is high compared to before.  I had a 1 week follow up post surgery too.

2nd week:
I continued to work on the CPM.  I reached the max degrees  (110) of the CPM at 1 1/2 weeks.  At 2 weeks the CPM was gone.  I started going to the gym to do the bike.  Since I am non weight bearing for 6 weeks, I used the bike that has handles so I can push with my arms to move my legs around.  I am working on getting range of motion.  It is not exercise at all.  I've done this in the past with my other surgeries too.  I started going 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes and worked my way up.

3-6 weeks:
I just continued doing the bike for ROM.  I worked up to 45-50 minutes.  Nothing really exciting here.  Just sitting in bed all day and waiting until I could start walking.  At my doctor appointment, he did say I could put 50% of my weight down.  I have never done that in the past before, even though they said you could.  It's really hard to determine what 50% is.  So, at 4 1/2 weeks I started gradually putting a little weight down.  It could have been just putting my leg down when I was standing for awhile or I tried walking just a little with very little weight down. 

I had a lot of pain/aching around my kneecap area.  That stopped around 4 weeks.  That was normal though since he took off my kneecap during surgery.

6 weeks:
I had a 6 week follow up with the doctor and an MRI.  I have never had an MRI this early after a surgery before.  I think it is because since this is a study, they have to document everything and do extra tests throughout the year.  The MRI looked good for being 6 weeks.  You could see the 2 cadaver plugs in place, and I think the edge of my bone looked even out.  For being 6 weeks, the MRI looked good.  Now, the cadaver bone and cartilage and my bone and cartilage needs to interface-or grow together.  That takes a year, so we won't know until a year if it worked.  Please continue to pray for me and that the bone grows together and interfaces!!!

Exercise wise, they told me I basically can do whatever my knee allowed me to do.  Obviously no running, high impact activities, lunges, etc.  But I can work my way up to walking, spinning, elliptical, and other non-weight bearing leg exercise.  Obviously, I will not be doing those things for awhile since I just started walking, but it's good to know I have sometime to work towards.  I don't have to be quite so neurotic with activity like last year with the ACI surgery.  I still cannot go up stairs for 6 months.

My knee has been popping a lot, but that's normal at this point.

So, when I came home from my doctor appointment I tried walking.  Basically, when I came home I could walk with 1 crutch!  I'm surprised I was able to do that so soon.  I think since I started putting 50% of weight down that helped.  Normally, I didn't put any weight down until 6 weeks.  So then, I had 2 weeks of a little weight down until I could eliminate 1 crutch.  I also have not had as much pain at the site of the bone as I have before.  Last year when I started walking, there was a lot of pain at the cartilage site.  This time I don't have as much of it.  I still have aching at the end of the day, but I'm sure that's normal since I'm not used to walking and have no muscle in my leg.

7 weeks:
Right now, I am walking around with 1 crutch.  I started doing the regular stationary bike and using my leg a few times a week for 30-45 minutes.  I just started walking around the house a little without the crutch, but I still need it.  I am able to do a little more around the house now too--getting myself food, carrying things, etc.  So, I am doing well and getting better.  I hope my strength comes back quickly.  It's nice to be walking again and a little more "normal."  I want to start swimming sometime soon.  I still am not driving.  I think it will be a few more weeks until I feel comfortable to do that.

So there is the past 7 weeks summed up as best as I can.  I've been making good improvements and not been as sick as in the past.  Please continue to pray for me!  Pray that the cadaver and my bone grows together and becomes solidified.  AND that this surgery will work and be my last surgery!  I'll post again in a few weeks.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chondrofix surgery

Well, I've decided what surgery to get.  I am getting the Chondrofix (cadaver) surgery.  After research and talking to the doctor some more, microfracture probably will not work because the defect is to large.  Microfracture would probably only work for 2 years, and then I would be in this same situation 2 years from now.  So, I decided to do the Chodrofix surgery since I have no other options.  I sure hope and pray that this one works and will be the last surgery!  I still don't completely understand the details of what is exactly wrong with my knee, and I probably won't really until after surgery.  My surgery is on Tuesday (4 days)!!!  It's so soon!  I'm not really to start all the rehab, pain, and recovery again but I just want to get it done with.

Please pray for me that I don't have any complications, surgery goes smoothly, and this will be the last surgery I need!  I definitely am scared!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Year follow-up

I had my year follow-up yesterday.  My MRI did not look as good as we anticipated..... :(  Basically, from what I understand, I am having issues with the bone again.  There is a part of the bone which as overgrown and also a defect.  Where the defected area is the cartilage did not grow there.  There is some cartilage growth, but it is not all grown because of the defect in the bone.  That is a bigger issue than cartilage.  We don't know why this has happened, so now we are figuring out what surgery to do.  Since I am having pain and the MRI was bad, I need to do surgery.  Exposed bone is not good, and I don't want the hole in the bone to get bigger.  Even though my knee is not 100% successful from all of the surgeries, the surgeries still did help.  The condition of my knee is significantly better than it was 6 years ago.  Some of the hole in the bone did fill and there is some cartilage growth.  Before, I had about a tablespoon of my bone in my knee missing.  If I did not do anything and have that improvement I probably would barely be able to walk now.

My doctor recommended me getting a scope and him cleaning it out and doing microfracture on the bone.   It could be better than what he anticipated and that may be all he needs to do (please, please pray that that is the case!), or if not I would have to do more.  Another thing he suggested is for me to be part of a study.  This surgery is experimental and there is no scientific evidence if it works.  I basically will be one of the first people they are testing this surgery on.  What this surgery entails is getting a cadaver knee bone with cartilage attached to it and inserting it in the defected bone area in my knee.  I know I need to do something with my knee, but I am very torn with what to do.  I don't really want to do a surgery that there is no evidence it works.  Plus, the recovery is like the Carticel surgery.  I basically can't do anything for 6 months and is a 1+ year recovery.  It's risky to go through all of that recovery time and it might not even work.  I can't get that year back.  I wonder if I could just wait a few years when they know if this surgery works.  So, I don't know what to do!!  This will be my 6th surgery.  Part of me does not want to do the cadaver surgery because I am just so sick of getting all of these surgeries.  I can't just keep getting these major knee surgeries every 1-2 years that are year long recoveries.  I just need to get on with my life.  So, I have a lot of things to figure out and soon.  What would you do in my situation? 

 Right now, since I am unemployed I figure I might as well get surgery as soon as possible.  My doctor recommended I get the scope, but there is no urgency and it's my decision if I want to get the cadaver.  I will be on crutches again for 6 weeks.  Which really stinks since I won't be able to walk or do anything and then all my muscles will atrophy again.  I just spent this past year working on gaining my muscle strength back.  I am planning on getting the next surgery in almost 2 weeks, I just have to decide what procedure I am going to have done.  Right now, I am leaning towards just getting the scope and microfracture.  If I need to have more surgery, then I may get the cadaver one after that.  I hate to have yet another surgery, but I don't know.  I know I need to get this bone fixed.  Or, we may just say do whatever you recommend.  I just don't know yet.

Please, please pray for me that this scope will be the last surgery!!  Please pray that my knee is not as bad as what we think, that he will just be able to clean up my knee and do the microfracture if needed.  I am just so bummed and lost now with really what to do.  Since I have found out the news, I have physically felt sick.  I felt nauseous all day yesterday and have had a pounding headache all day today.  Please just keep praying for me.  I really hope that the scope is all I need.

I'll post again after I have my surgery of what I ended up doing, and how I am feeling.