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-   -   Knee surgery to repair damaged cartilege - yay or nay? (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=802355)

liquidmx 06-12-2014 1:55 PM

Knee surgery to repair damaged cartilege - yay or nay?
I just got back from the Doc. Long story short I have a small (Sonometer in size?) area of my upper knee joint (femur) that has damaged cartilage. He mentioned three options (but pushed for surgery): 1 - Do nothing, 2 Microfracture surgery, 3 OATS surgery.

100% full recovery is approximately 3 months. No adverse effects were mentioned.

Backstory - they(doctors) are discovering this chronic injury to be pretty common among form ACL injury patients.

My question: Does anyone else have this injury? Did you go under the knife or just elect to do nothing? Any regrets either way?

2013wake 06-12-2014 2:33 PM

Some Input
Not exactly the same situation but tore my ACL and Meniscus about 6 years ago, In Feb this year I had a minor surgery on the same knee to take a chunk of meniscus out that was loose and getting in my knee joint. Only hurt in certain situations so they said I could leave it or take it out with surgery, same recovery time was given, 100% in 3 Months. Long story short it has been almost 4 months and it is no where near 100% still hurts and swells up after I ride or play sports. I would guess its prob about 60%. In hind site I still would have opted for the surgery I probably would have waited till winter or some time when it is easier to do nothing for 4 months as i feel every time I ride or play sports i re injury it a little. Best of luck.

night_hawkps3 06-12-2014 9:01 PM

My knee kept popping out of place and found out the cartlage was tore so had the surgery . thay made three little holes around the knee and cut out all the torn up **** in there.was putting waight on it the next day but three months sounds right for recovery. the knee has never popped again and it never hurts ,it has been three years. do the micro surgery you wont regret it. been boarding ever since. good luck.

unclejessie 06-12-2014 9:04 PM

I had microfracture done Jan of 2013 and was riding full tilt by June of 2013. In hind sight, maybe that was too soon. I would say it was a short term great success as this year it seems to be reverting back slowly. My doc said I could get anywhere from 2 to 5 years of benefit. I am guessing I will get 3 or so. Up until this summer I was telling everyone how good the surgery went, but now that I am riding a lot again, it seems that my knee is sore. I will say that in general it still is not as bad as pre surgery though.

My doc also suggested an osteotomy. This sounds extreme but I might actually go for it. In my case, my damaged area is on the outer part of upper femur. The osteotomy is a procedure where they actually cut my femur in 2... crazy.... and reset it so that the leg alignment will carry more of the weight load on the inner top of the femur. My alignment is such that I am predisposed to carry the load on the outer part... which is why that part of cartilage got damaged.... well that and a massive meniscus tear.

Hope this helps.

I will say that 12 weeks of crutches was tough.... but if I could do microfracture every few years, and get good benefit, I might say yes again... which reminds me that I want to find out if you can do microfracture more than once. I keep wondering that if I had waited 2 months more if that would have let the new cartilage coating get stronger... maybe next time

So I would say to you, wait the 8 months...


jfergus7 06-12-2014 9:30 PM

I would strongly suggest that you get it done. Having had knee problems and going through issues again it will never heal up and get better by itself. I had Meniscus surgery last June and I waited several months before getting it done. Looking back on it now that was a very stupid move and ended up causing me a lot more pain in the end. Good luck with which ever decision you make and hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

buffalow 06-16-2014 7:48 AM

Same with the rest of the group. Had my 5th knee surgery last spring and no pain or swelling since. Minimal down time. I would get second opinion jsut in case, but mostly likely surgery is the best case.

liquidmx 06-16-2014 11:07 AM

Right on, thanks for the replies guys.
Yah my main concern is being 32 yrs old and worrying about keeping my knees in good enough shape to play with my future (someday) kids.
Having already done the ACL drill I am familiar with the procedure(s) for PT, recovery etc. It sounds like this is less weight bearing than ACL allographing though.

I am still riding pain free but definitely "toning it down". I was at Wake Island this weekend and stayed off the kickers (riding like an old man). Otherwise I was able to ride all the rails, gapping the slaughter box, etc. without any issues. I think it's a combination of realizing I shouldnt be "charging" like I used to when we had a boat full of serious riders...and dealing with the effects of getting old(er), and letting go of that desire to progress my riding, etc.

buffalow 06-16-2014 11:54 AM

I am 45 and like I said had (2) surgery's on right and (3) on left. The last was a clean up job and made my life much more bearable.

snowslider76 06-23-2014 2:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I had an acl replaced along with some meniscus removed 5 years ago. One year almost to the date after that I had a micro fracture and more meniscus removed. I would never ever do a micro fracture again. Mine didn't work and it was like walking around on legos all day. I had them go in and clean out the failed micro fracture and this is what they pulled out. I dealt with it for about 18 months after spending 3 of those months on crutches. Besides the arthritis is feels fine now. Just my two cents and personal experience, but when this is floating around in your knee everything besides sitting sucks. Only way I'd ever think of a micro fracture again is if I was to hang the board on the wall permanent, I don't think you can have one and continue to wakeboard.

liquidmx 06-23-2014 3:52 PM

Thanks for the reply Jason!

My other MAJOR "frustration" with this recent MRI/ortho visit was the inability to figure out what is "catching/loose" within in my knee (which is what gave the initial "motivation" to this whole ordeal. I had figured it would be meniscus based on the story below.

Back story: While wearing my CTI knee brace I landed hard off a kicker (cable) and my front (right) knee rolled inward(s) towards my left knee and my momentum carried me over the front of the board. I rode it out (not falling) but heard/felt a bit of a pop/cracking feeling. I walked around, hopped around one legged and found no immediate acute injury (waiting 15+ mins)...so I kept riding...(gingerly just in case). It ended up swelling and limping around for close to 2 weeks before everything started feeling reasonably normal. In that time period I would get the occasional "catching" feeling on either the inside or outside MCL/LCL area (like the ligaments were dragging across/catching on something). I also had a firm jelly ball that I could physically feel with my fingers. The knee felt solid after about two months and I was able to snowboard all winter without any issues, pain etc. Now fast forward to recently: I shorted a trick landing in a similar (but less aggressive) fashion to the initial injury (going over the nose of the board while your knee wants to "buckle" inward). The swelling and catching feeling came back immediately. This is such an odd/weird injury considering I have had an orthopedic, PT and MRI done and NOBODY can figure out/see what is going on. In fact the MRI came back very good other than the cartilage issue. Anybody else had these symptoms of something catching on the MCL/LCL?

snowslider76 06-23-2014 4:12 PM

That jelly ball or knee mouse sounds like it needs to come out. All that stuff pictured above would catch and lock all the time. My ortho credentials are non but I'd find an ortho surgeon who'll just scope that out for you, recovery time should be very minimal. See how that works then consider the micro fracture, do some more research on micro fractures too, the success rate isn't exactly stellar.

liquidmx 06-24-2014 5:04 PM

Agreed Jason. My jaw hit the floor when the jelly ball didnt show up on the MRI (about the size of a small marble).

Yes, I have read a bunch about micro fracture and the OATS procedures. Plus my brother and his inlaws are in the medical field so I get to bounce ideas off of them regularly and hear the "industry info" vs. the patient information.

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