Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doctor Visit, Day 141 Of My PCL Surgery And Recovery

See where he made that injection? Ouchie for a couple days but it'll help. I thought the flag band aid was cute. Closed Kinetic Chain exercises. Hip kicks done in all directions. Forwards backward and both sides. I have to use the chair sometimes for balance but it's getting better. Yet another mile stone! In the second picture you can see where my knee is a little bit swollen. It felt pretty tender too. Ice, Ice, and more ice.

Wow, what news I have! I hope I can remember it all.
Let's first run down the list I have from my doctor.
Yesterday was day 141 post op!
Continue using CPM device three hours a day increasing 5 degrees ROM each week for the next six weeks. I just bumped it up to 115 degrees *range of motion* ROM (felt tight but that is to be expected) so in six weeks that puts me at 140 degrees. My goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just six more weeks. Should be Oct 15 or so.
One injection of xylocaine,macrcaine,depo-medrol and steroids. Whoa, the night and day after is big time ouchie.
Getting authorization for Orthovisc which will help with ROM/Pain. Pretty expensive stuff. 400.00 for each injection and I'll need three injections for the first round but hey, lasts for six months!
Continue rehab and concentrate on strengthening my quad muscles. I'm lagging behind here. I'll tell you what! My muscles are really getting worked these days. Lactic acid is back! LOL Sore, sore, sore!!! Feels good though. Well, lol, kind of!
Getting authorization for a TENS Unit to be used for pain management. Not to sure what to think about that. For those of you that don't want to click on the link. It's electric current. Ick, nevermind. just click the link to see, please!
I'm walking up 4 inch stairs and struggling to get up 6 inchers but progress is progress. I still have to get to where I can go down a stair. That will be a day for much celebration! I simply can not wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for more PCL fun. LOL, yes, I still have my sense of humor! No one can take that away!!
I found the coolest web page while looking something up for our blog. Yes readers. This is becoming a place for us to share stories and ask questions. I'm am thrilled so many people have joined in. Please feel welcome to post.
So here is the page.PCL Reconstruction Protocol . This is a very interesting, explaining what you can expect regarding healing and milestones. Give it a read, you'll be glad you did.


Anonymous said...

I've had two of the medrol/marcaine injections (one last summer and one this summer)and didn't experience any pain from them. You might want to mention your pain to your doc. Those injections really helped me - the swelling and pain were quickly eliminated and the effects lasted for about 6 weeks.

I had the series of three Synvisc injections ending about a month prior to the rapid onset of my arthrofibrosis (last Spring). The Synvisc injections didn't contain any analgesic, so I didn't get the immediate numbing (as I did with the medrol injections). I guess what I'm saying is that the Synvisc injections hurt more than the medrol injections, but none of them hurt much. The freezing spray applied to the skin just prior to the injection took care of any injection pain. In retrospect, I don't believe the Synvisc injections did much for me. I have no idea if the Synvisc contributed to the inflammatory cascade that resulted in a knee full of scar tissue, and my OS has not expressed an opinion, but I've decided not to risk it again. No more Synvisc for me.

Linda said...

Molly, how long after your surgery did you experience arthrofibrosis? Is it basically excess scaring in the joint?

Dan reached a big milestone . . . the beginning of PT. He has about 8 exercises and can now put up to 50% weight on his leg when using his crutches. His joint feels pretty tight, but it's a huge relief to start using his leg again.

Skinnygurl, I hope your injections do their job. Keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Dan (and you, too, Linda). Do what your therapists tell you to do, be careful, and take it easy. It will all come back, but it will take time. The early days are much slower than later on.

There is a great explanation of arthrofibrosis by Dr. Noyes on the Kneeguru website:

It's an abnormal reaction, and not typical. I am a fast healer (who knew?) who lays down scar tissue quickly. I have no idea (nor does my OS) what triggered the arthrofibrosis, but I have a few odd allergies (bee stings, aspirin, silk, etc.), so I suspect I have a hair-trigger immune system.

I had slow ROM gain in my initial post-op rehab, and then after the Synvisc injections (which may have been completely unrelated and merely coincidental), I quickly lost the ROM I had gained and my knee filled with scar tissue. Just prior to the MUA, I lost ROM from 110 degrees to 76 degrees. It only took about two weeks! I had a thick cord of scar tissue spanning the open space in my knee, thin wispy veils of scar tissue covering all interior surfaces, scar tissue in the bursa, and the ACL/PCL started to adhere. But, the MUA and lysis of adhesions took care of it quickly. That cleanup surgery was no big deal and I am practically healed at 10 months post-op.

Once again, I'm told it's a atypical occurrence, so no one should be unreasonably concerned.

Anonymous said...

My arthrofibrosis set in about 4 months post-op. My MUA and lysis of adhesions was performed at almost 5 months post-op.

Sorry, skinnygurl, I don't mean to monopolize your excellent blog. I'm just a chatterbox.

Skinnygurl said...

Please, please, be my guest!
This blog is for everyone!!!
I welcome you all and am thrilled to know we can all come here.

DW_TEX said...


Glad to you making progress. I have had the steroid injections and the synvisc injections. In both cases they numbed it with the freezing spray and then a local injection prior to the "big" injection. I know that they also inject a numbing medicine after the synvisc. All that being said, I had pain in a few cases for no more than a day. I did not see any long term benefit from the injections.

I went for a 15 mile ride Monday followed by PT on Tues, and severe pain on Wed. I had my knee give out a couple of times on Wed as well.My PT commented that it was probably muscle fatigue.

I am seriously considering getting a second opinion, however, I want to make sure I get great Dr. Any suggestions on how to find the "best" in your own town???

Skinnygurl said...

Hmm, Finding a great doctor. Boy, you got me on that one. I stumbled onto my surgeon by just dumb luck. He happened to be doing clinic here on my side of town and just happened to have an open slot. I thank my lucky stars daily that he was willing and able to do this tricky surgery. I am one lucky girl. I guess if you can't come to my city then local word of mouth would be a good option. Truly though, I just don't know where to point you for such important advice. Thoughts anyone??

Thanks for all the support and help, especially these injections. All of this is so new and I'm growing weary with it all. Like everyone here, want this behind me as quickly as possible to run, jump and play!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your ongoing problems, dw_tex. My OS fellowed under Dr. Paulos and had Dr. Lowe as his mentor. These guys are in Houston. Perhaps you could start your search by contacting one of these docs to see if one of their proteges practices near you?

momofsprinter said...

When my son needed PCL surgery (3 months ago now) I researched who the orthopedic docs invite to speak at their national conferences and who was publishing on this topic. We actually traveled 800 miles to a specialist -
Dr. Frank Noyes is a well known expert in repair and revision of failed PCL surgery.

Another name that comes up is Dr. Harner at U of Pittsburgh. I am sure there are others.

Skinnygurl said...

Good stuff, give that link a try.

crowbird said...

Hi Knee Goddess! I just read your blog and think your strength is amazing. Not only the strength that you've gained through all of your hard work w/PT, but your strong, positive attitude as well. I'm sure there were tears, but the positive outlook is inspiring. Reading your blog is also a good reminder to enjoy every day and the things that you are able to do. Don't take anything for granted!! I can't wait to hear about your runs and maybe even do some road races w/you next summer! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your fellow "gym rat" at Aspen,

Skinnygurl said...

Hello Christine Gym Rat! I love it! ha ha ha. Thank you for such a great post girl. I too look forward to the day we can join up and do a road race or even keep pace with each other on the treadmill! Winter is coming so I betcha that'll be first!
I'll see you at the gym soon, until then keep smiling and have lovely days!