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I'll start with a history:
At 13 (2000) I was goofing around before practice for Basketball and a friend hit me in the front of the left knee with a 50lb back pack. My leg snapped back and I face planted. Shortly after, being a sports kid, I got back up and hobbled my butt down to the gym. There I explained to my coach I was in pain and they encouraged me to run through it. I did but not without trouble. At the end of practice I informed my parents, they didn't take it seriously, every day after I complained about the pain and got no response. I was encouraged to continue pushing through it, so I did.
Three months later I broke my ankle on my right leg during a game that injury healed fine but the added pressure to the left knee did not improve the condition. Finally a year later I was taken into the surgeons, after some awfully painful pre-tests he agreed to go in and do arthroscopy even though the MRI showed nothing. When he went in he found that my miniscus was partially peeled off and that I had dime size dents in my bone.
The arthroscopy went as well as could be expected I kept up my mobility and was non-weight bearing for 2 weeks, however at that point I was pushed by my mother to remove the crutches against the doctors 1 month oders and start walking, so I did. The leg managed to heal up enough to gift me 4 years of playing softball during highschool.
During my senior year the knee again gave out. At this point I stopped doing sports but continued a strong excercise regimen including running, stretching, and a generally active lifestyle.
About 3 years ago after running my knee became swollen and remarkably painful, so I empoyed the usual rigamarole of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, however after a week with no relief I went to my doctor. They suggested that I see a new surgeon. I followed through and saw the first surgeon who got MRI's and X-rays of the joint. He then informed me that nothing was wrong with my leg it was all in my head. Knowing that wasn't true I found a new surgeon, he said the same thing. I pushed and went to a third surgeon he came in five minutes after seeing my MRI and said "Well you obviously have that defect that you already knew about..." Turns out all three doctors had used the same MRI and only one located the bone spur in my knee.
The doctor then followed up with physical therapy, Euflexxa shots, Cortizone Shots, and weight loss as due to the now year and a half of constant pain I had gained about 35 lbs. By this point I was getting sick 1-4 times a day due to pain. I passed out several times at work because I couldnt keep enough nutrition in my system. I was going home at night and laying on my couch in the dark, skipping functions I enjoy generally the pain was winning to no end. None of these helped in the least so he finally went in and did arthroscopy. He found that I had a chunk of my cartilage floating around, another piece missing, and the bone spur, he did what he could to fix it, that was September 3, 2013.
I followed through with Physical therapy, supplements, joint and healing enhancing diets, alas in September of 2014 I had to concede that the surgery was not a success.
I went back to surgeon #3 to discuss further options and was informed that he had no further options but would get me a MRI, Brace, and a new doctor who specialize in cartilage issues for younger patients. When I went to see that doctor his assistant informed me that I had Hoffa's syndrom and even showed it to me. When the surgeon came in he told me nothing was wrong with my leg and that I needed to "rethink" how I felt about my injured leg and represcribed physical therapy and that I was to take zero pain relievers.
I did as he told me to knowing that the psychological aspect can make a huge difference, however after 12 weeks I had not had one withdrawal from pain medicine, my very expensive physical therapy had gotten me no where but helping me lose 25lbs to throwing up several times daily, and put onto anxiety medications as the pain was spurring on rolling anxiety attacks.
At the end of the twelve weeks I decided I was done with doctors for the time being so I tried a holistic home approach. I began taking Tumeric, Ginger, Strawberries, Peppermin, Glucosamine & Chondroitin, and Green Tea every day and supplementing it with a healthy dose of St. John's Wort. The swelling improved very slightly but not enough to lower the pain, I managed to rebuild a decent amount of muscle but not without a cost to the rest of my body and mental sanity.
Last week my primary doctor requested I see one more surgeon, begrudgingly I have agreed to try again. I know and have accepted I may never get to play sports again or go to a show and be able to hang out standing with my friends all night without at the least paying for it the next day, but I can't find a way to even manage the pain and I am getting to my wits end about it. I'm a fighter so I definitely won't stop trying, but I don't know how to go about accepting and managing chronic knee pain to get back living my life. I spent the last two nights up way too late getting sick or having so much pain I couldn't relax to sleep, which I know starts a cycle that makes pain worse. In the last few years I have been on meds for my stomach, the pain, sleep, anxiety, and also gone through stints as long as 4 months with none hoping my body would fix itself if I gave it the chance.
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