Pain after Chondroplasty

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After reading many of the discussions here, I figured I'd post my story and hopefully get some feedback!  A little about me, I'm 37, and moderately active.  I never had any knee problems prior to my incident. 

Back in March, I was pushing a 1,000lbs pallet and felt something pop in my RT knee.  I was in a good amount of pain, but not where I couldn't walk.  An MRI confirmed I had torn cartilage on my kneecap and femur.  I saw an Ortho doc, and we started with 6 weeks of PT.  It didn't help.

In June, I had arthoscopic Chondroplasty, where they smoothed out the cartilage on my kneecap and femur.  Surgery was at 8am.  By 11am, I was dressed and walking without crutches, begging to go home.  There was moderate swelling, and of course moderate pain, but nothing unbareable.  I started PT 2-3 days later.

This is where the problem comes in.  The first 3-4 weeks of PT post surgery went well.  Then, all of a sudden I developed pain in my knee.  It wasn't muscular, the pain was in the joint, behind the kneecap.  After another MRI, the Ortho doc said that I have some inflamation of the bone where the surgery was done.  He did a cortisone shot 3 days ago, and I don't notice any change at all.  On Monday, I start another round of PT, (my third 6 week stint).

Here's my questions:  Has anyone else experienced symptoms like this?  If you have, how long does the pain last?  Has anyone experienced this long-term?

My concerns are that I'll have this pain the rest of my life.  Also, I'm concerned that the next step the doc might recommend is a TKR, and at 37, that is a scary thought!

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey how are you. I'm 23 an I actually had double arthroscopic surgery 1 in each knee. I'm not 8 weeks post op am still in pain to be honest with you. I'll be honest with you some days are better then others an I was very athletic before my surgery. I'm going to see the doctor on Monday to do a follow up but I almost have a similar story to you. Around 2 weeks ago I started having extreme pain by my meniscus which is really weird bc I didn't have that pain right after surgery or few weeks after. I'm defiantly gong to mention that to the op but don't get me wrong this surgery is defiantly a lot harder then the doc makes it seem. My knee still gets stiff an hurts but I just keep doing excerises an keep icing an hoping that it gets better day by day. But I will defiantly keep you posted doc told me it could take up to 6 months to fully heal so we'll see. I'm just trying to keep a positive attuited bc I am only 23. But I truly hope you do better an God bless this forum is awesome wth a lot of ppl who know there stuff. Good luck to you jay
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    • Posted

      After I had surgery, I was in pain too for about 4 weeks.  After that, the pain was tolerable.  But I'm probably a bad example for pain comparison.  When I was 23, I herniated 3 discs at the base of my spine.  Since then, I've been in pain more days than not.  But, after being in pain so long, it just sort of fades into the background.  It's still there if I think about it, but otherwise, I don't notice it all that much.

      The key thing to remember is to keep telling your doc if you're in pain.  It's like the old adage, the squeeky wheel gets the grease.  There might be something more going on that might have been overlooked initially.  Good luck to you too!

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  • Posted

    I am very interested to know more, as both my husband and I have torn meniscus, mine is frayed due to wear and tear, his is a complete full thickness tear due to an injury at work.

    The ortho surgeon here wanted to do arthroscopic surgery,  but we were due to go on holiday in 2 weeks, and it was for a wedding so we put it off. Now during the month we were away my husband walked every where for miles up and down steps to pagodas etc. So I was very sceptical about doing something when you clearly can still walk well. I couldn't walk without pain, so I had a cortisone shot just before going and it worked like magic..

    since coming home, I had to see my orthopaedic surgeon in another town that did a hip replacement on me, and I chatted to him about it, and his very words to me were.

    " I can give you 50 good but different reasons for not doing arthroscopic surgery on your knee. ".. So that kind of put me off coming from a knee and hip specialist....it seems to me that doing arthroscopic surgery on your knee just fast tracks you for a total knee replacement. I've already got 5 fake joints I don't need any more....so I am playing it conservative for now..

    I haven't heard a good thing about them yet.

     

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    • Posted

      I don't have a torn meniscus, so I really can't comment much on that.  What I can comment on is your doc saying arthroscopic surgery isn't good.  When my doc had suggested surgery, he told me that it may work completely, may not work at all, or may work somewhere in the middle. 

      From the research I've done regarding knee arthroscopy, it seems like it's slowly being phased out.  It looks like it's beneficial for torn meniscus that's doubled over, locking the knee.  But more than that, it's been shown to have little to no effect.  I did it because of the chance it could help.

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    • Posted

      Yea I didn't have a torn meniscus either I had to remove synovial tissue from both knees from a car accident. My knees would swell up like crazy and constantly have to go and get them drained. It didn't make it easier that I'm a server so I am always on my feet. They were taking 110ccs of fluid out from both of my knees 5 weeks in a row. The pain was awful an I was still forced to work bc I have to pay for school. The average knee only has about 5ccs of fluid in it. After taking off surgery for a whole year I finally decided to do it to help. Like I said tho I have my good days and my bad days 8 weeks post op but I would say so far fheres been a lot of bad days. I'm shocked that your doctor told you that about the surgery but my op told me that I was young an athletic I would recover quickly but still get pain
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  • Posted

    No that's right no surgery is  always 100% but my husband is 60 a self employed plumber, so we can't afford for things to go wrong.

    up to now, he is able to work, walk, do everything , so why would you take the option of fast  tracking  to a knee replacement, I have one of those and they are really hard to recover from, he would never be able to go back to work with a knee replacement as you can't kneel on them....everyone I've.

    spoken to on a knee replacement group ALL have said the arthroscopy just   fast  tracked them to a total knee. 

    Obviously young age helps your recovery from any surgery,..

    i speciffically asked for arthroscopic patients who had success to let me know, and I never got one response.

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    • Posted

      Mary, I was able to walk for miles too, before my arthroscopy and have a job where I'm on my feet all day.

      Tell your husband not to bother.

      The conclusion I've come to with the arthroscopy operations is if there's any arthritis they just don't work.

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    • Posted

      One reason that you never got a response regarding success stories is that people who have successful treatment usually don't come to the forums looking for answers to problems they don't have. 

      As far as kneeling with a TKR, you can.  I had to Google this, and every site said that you can kneel as it doesn't damage the implant.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the better it feels.  I'm not sure what the link policy here is, but if you Google, "can you kneel after a total knee replacement" you'll see the same results I found.

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    • Posted

      I've had my knee replacement for 16 years, and I can kneel for short periods like on a bed carpet etc but for gardening forget it,

      so in terms of my husband being able to do it as a plumber is close to impossible, I'm on both hips knees and shoulder forums and no one I know can kneel comfortably for very long. 

      Just my experience and friends also.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Larry, that's exactly what I think, if you can do what you want why would you interfere with it ? With the possibility of ending up worse.

      obviuosly if he was in agony and awake all night and can't work then you have nothing to loose, and you go for it. He has also got some arthritis as he's been a plumber for 40 years. Thanks again..

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    • Posted

      Your absolutely right. If he's doing fine Mary then I wouldn't push it bc he would knock himself on the head if he did do surgery an it didn't go as good as planned. I would delay as long as possible I didn't do surgery until my pain was execruating and I still didn't want to do it lol. But with what ever descion you decide to do good luck and God bless
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Fadi, I think I am probably over cautious as I've had 14 total joint replacements, and some of those have gone horribly wrong and others have gone really well. But there is no knowing until after it's done which way it's going to go....thanks for your input...x
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    • Posted

      Mary, what joint replacements have you had??

      I had a hip replacement in 2008 when I was 50 and will need a knee replacement at some stage.

      I wouldn't be surprised if I need both knees and hips doing.

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    • Posted

      I had the first five joints done at 37 L hip ...38  L shoulder 39 R shoulder 40 R hip and 42...R knee. And I hit 60 this year and have had a total of 14 joints... 

      L hip x4 R hip x 2. Right shoulder x 4 left shoulde x3 and one knee, pretty horrible isn't it.

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    • Posted

      That sounds awful and the first one at 37, obviously you'd been in pain for a while beforehand.

      Whats been the cause of it??

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    • Posted

      Larry I was as fit as a fiddle, I had a scuba diving accident where I got the Bends from a faulty dive computer, it was 18 months from  time of accident to my first joint. They all collapsed from Avascular necrosis.
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