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Surgery or ride it out?
I've had knee problems since I was around 10, with the first of 5 dislocations occurring when I was 10. The first time my knee buckled while I was standing and I just fell, no pain or swelling afterward, just a loud pop and I fell to the ground. The second time is a bit hard to explain, but someone jumped on my leg, not hard, but enough to slip my kneecap to the outside. The third time was a wrong twist, the fourth time was wrestling and the 5th and most recent time were walking into an object that hit the inside of my leg, pushing my kneecap to the outside. So my issue is that with all of these dislocations, I haven't ever had apparent swelling, only bruised once behind the knee. I've had 2 MRIs done, first, one after the wrestling event came back with a very small hairline fracture of the patella and a bone bruise. The second MRI was done last month about 1 year after the most recent dislocation and showed no change between the 2 injuries and only a very small change in cartilage, nothing significant enough to freak out about. I have tried physical therapy twice now. The first time I saw some improvement, the second time after the most recent injury I found no improvement and more lingering pain than before. I ran out of sessions covered by insurance so I stopped physical therapy and kept doing my exercises at home which I ended up stopping due to working two jobs and going to school full time. Now I am stuck with deciding between surgery or dealing with the issue and possible damage?
My current state of injury is a lingering pain when the weather changes, climbing steep stairs, random stabbing pains behind the kneecap and lingering soreness after any movement of the kneecap itself. I recently was sent to an orthopedic surgeon that has given me the option of MPFL surgery to basically tether the kneecap to lessen the likelihood of future excessive movement of the kneecap. He told me I have loose joints in my knees, not excessive but enough to possibly be the cause of the issue. I have only had the problem in my left knee though. I am so conflicted on getting the surgery or living with the issue.
I am a 20-year-old female, would it be better to get the surgery now when I'm younger or wait to see if I need the surgery in the future but possibly risk more damage???
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