Right knee reconstructive surgery. TTT, lateral release, chondroplasty and MPFL all at once! I am aged 24
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My story so far
- Jul 23
I have read alot of bloggs abd forums and contemplated commenting, decided I will not have a lot of time on my hands and my experiences my help otherbpeopl. I am now 24 years ... more
I have read alot of bloggs abd forums and contemplated commenting, decided I will not have a lot of time on my hands and my experiences my help otherbpeopl. I am now 24 years old and my knee saga began just aged 3. Whilst at nursery a mean boy whose name I still remember pushed my off a stage. I had a arthroscopic surgery and wore a pot for 6 months, a nightmare for my mum. My mum and I are both nurses. I recovered well and never had any problems until I dislocated my knee at age 13, had a pot for about a month this time and physio and pretty much got back to normal again. Was told that I should always be careful as my bones are still growing and there will be a weakness.
So again my life carriers on and I get back to normal. Until age 22 Christmas eve 2010 I fell over whilst wearing very high heels and walking on the ice. Here came my third dislocation!! Saw Christmas day in in A&E, sent home with crutches and a splint. By now I had been qualified as a nurse for about 9 months. I had just over 2 months off work with physio exercises and returned on light duties.
My orthopaedic consultant sugggested I would need some sort of surgery at some point but the aim was for me to recover from the dislocation as much as possible and see how I got on as surgery is serious and can go wrong. By the following Christmas I was struggling. I was back working full time 12 hour shifts on a busy ward but was restricted in things I could do. Nursing is a manual job and I was putting a lot of pressure on my back and other leg due to compensating. I took many pain killers on a daily basis. Surgery was looking much like it needed to be sooner rather than later. I had many different X-rays of my knee and 3 MRI scans in total but still my consultant said until he sees inside my knee he won't know for sure what he will do. By now I had developed bursitis in my left hip which if any knows is very painful!!
I was getting desperate for something to be done however my consultant was in very high demand. Whilst at work on the 11th July 2012 I got a phone call from the waiting list department saying they had a cancellation and they could fit me in for surgery on the 19th July. I was glad that I didn't have a long time to worry about the operation, I was busy with work, getting organised and attending pre assessment appointments and getting more X-rays!!
The day of the operation I had to get to the hospital at 11:30 with my operation being about 13:30. Per-op you have to be admitted by a nurse and seen by the anaesthetist and your surgeon. I was also seen by a physiotherapist to be measured up for a machine that I would wear for about 24 hours post op that would continuously bend my knee to 90*. I was already really nervous so this just added to my anxiety which is of course completely normal. I was put to sleep with gas which was good as I don't really like needles even being a nurse, I do my best to avoid thm!! Before you know it you are working up in recovery. I knew all the staff in the recovery department which was actually comforting hearing familiar voices. The physiotherapist came into recovery and fitted the continuous movement machine which I struggled with at first but once I got used to it I was glad to have it as it stopped me feeling so stiff and uncomfortable.
The following morning after a night of interrupted sleep but feeling exhausted my consultant came to see me and half explained what he did but I was so tired I couldn't take in what he was saying. It turns out I had a lot done, TTT, lateral release, chondroplasty (this is shaving of the bone to make to move more smoothly) and I think I also had MPFL. Also bone sent for biopsy to check the quality of it, apparently this is standard practice.
So now to the present . I am 4 days post op. I had to spend 2 nights in hospital as the morphine had made me really dizzy. Also had to have intravenous antibiotics as a TTT involves 2 screws being put into the tibia. Antibiotics have to be given prophylacticly to prevent infection. I was shocked after the operation when my dressing was took down as I was expecting arthroscopic surgery meaning just a few small incisions, instead I was faced with a 10cm incision as well as a 1 small incision and also a drain.
I work on an ward that specialities in abdominal surgery and so I deal with large wounds on a daily basis but seeing the wound on my own leg was a big shock!! Having a large wound apposed to key hole wounds adds to recovery time and has hindered my mobility due to pain. I wanted to try not taking codiene and just sticking to ibrufen and paracetamol as they make me feel dizzy but the pain is still too much.
I am spending most of the day with my leg elevated on to the sofa with frozen peas on my knee to help the swelling. It is important to take to ice off after about 20 to avoid cold burns. Before discharge the only physio I had been given was Ankle pumps and tensing my thigh and holding it to try and start building up my muscle. My ankle has no started to swell highlighting the importance of moving my anke and elevation to assist fluid return back up my leg.
Think I have so far covered everything, sure there will be lots more to come. I have an appointment in 2 weeks for clip removal and wound check then see my consultant in 6 weeks. My brace is currently locked to 30* which will be for 2 weeks then the plan is for it to be locked to 60* for 2 weeks then 90*. I am weight bearing as tolerated, which in the morning I don't tolerate very well.