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Knee realignment surgery (Page 1)

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Hi three years ago i had surgery on both my knees. Over the last few months been having problems with my right knee had an MRI and the surgeon this morning told me he has to operate again and the likely outcome is i will have to have my knee realigned. I am very scared and don't know what the recovery time is going to be like.
Had anyone been through this and what was there experience like.
I appreciate any advise and words of wisdom
Thank you
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied January 30th, 2008
Experienced User
Ouuuch! You have all of my sympathy. I haven't had any surgery on my knees but man am I glad I persuaded the specialist otherwise. I was stuck in a closed reduction cast for two month's last year to reallign my left knee after a dislocation and even after that, the recovery time was 6 months before the chondromalatial pain went back to normal and my knee felt stable again.

I can't imagine what the recovery is like for surgery.

What is the problem with your knees?

I have bilatteral patella alta from Osgood-Schlatters when I was a child. So far, even though I have dislocated my knee's easily 10-12 times during my life, I have been able to persuade doctors not to opperate as I have heard things about people having had surgery and never being the same and having to go back again and again and again...

Let me know how things turn out and feel free to send me a pm if you want to talk...I know how painfull it is and I know how much support one needs when going through something like this.
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replied January 31st, 2008
Knee realignment surgery-VERY WORRIED and SCARED
Hi Nina,

You need to ask your OS what procedure he/she intends to do. You don't say what your symptoms are. Is your patella grinding, subluxing, or dislocating? Or, is there an issue with the Q angle?

There are a number of realignment procedures currently being performed, and many with good results.

Proximal realignment procedures include -
lateral release, medial reefing, medial plication, Galleazzi procedure (hamstrings tenodesis). The most common of these proximal realignment procedures is the 'lateral release' (also called 'lateral retinacular release'). Lateral release, done for the right indications, and done in the correct way, may offer patients a significant improvement in their symptoms. But done the wrong way or, more importantly, for the wrong reasons - and the procedure can be the beginning of a nightmare scenario for the patient, the physiotherapist and the surgeon.

If proximal realignment procedures such as lateral release and medial reefing fail to correct the alignment of the patella, the surgeon may progress to a distal realignment procedure. A word of warning here - distal realignment is a specialist area. Be sure that your surgeon is experienced in this field.

There are a number of different procedures - some involve moving the tibial tubercle (the bony lump on the shinbone (tibia) a couple of inches below the kneecap - the bony point at which the kneecap tendon (patellar tendon) joins onto the tibia) and some involve pulling the kneecap itself by changing the forces through the patellar tendon.

The different procedures generally carry the names of the surgeons who first described and promoted them:
Maquet procedure, Elmslie-Trillat procedure, Fulkerson procedure, Hauser procedure, Roux-Goldthwait procedure, many variants and modifications (mostly involving 'tibial tuberosity transfer').

Derotation osteotomy
This procedure is rarely performed, and only in those rare cases where the tibial tubercle is in a bad position and the patient dislocates or subluxes because of the tibia bone (or even the femur) being rotated (see 'malignant malalignment').

In this procedure the bone is cut through and rotated, and fixed into a new position, in order to properly realign the tibial tubercle.

Please keep in mind, each situation is unique, and a well-qualified patellofemoral specialist should be able to explain how/why a procedure will benefit you.

Please be certain to ask your OS about your concerns, and be sure you feel confident about his/her surgical decisions before A second and third opinion is nearly always in order.

Wishing you the best.

L1zz1e
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replied January 31st, 2008
Experienced User
Sorry to butt into your post nina0706 Wink but seeing as we are allready on topic.

L1zz1e, seeing as you seem to know quite a bit about these kind of procedures, would you mind answering a question?

What are the options in relation to patella-alta?

Is maintaining my muscles, by regular visits to the biokineticist, sufficient or should I at some stage consider surgery? If so, when would be the best time to do so?

I allready have some degree of chondromalatial-osteoarthritis...espetiall y in my left knee. Picking up heavy objects...and sometimes even lightish abnormally sized objects...is an absolute no no but at least climbing stairs is much less painfull now that my leg muscles is coping with my ligaments job. I have also been informed to avoid cycling like the plague.

Would surgery make my situation bettor or worste and best kept for when mobility in my knee fails due to osteoarthritis?
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replied February 9th, 2009
Maggie's Lateral release
Just noticed this while doing some research for my hopefully soon bilateral knee replacements...

I had a lateral release on my left knee four years ago as my knee cap was maltracking....apart from being black and blue from thigh down for a couple of weeks...it was fine...very tiny scar, although I was told that the inner incisions was approx 12 inches...But it did help at the time...now it needs attention due to arthritis..
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replied May 28th, 2011
Dear Maggie:
Sorry to hear that you have had so much trouble with your knees. Wow! Do you mind if I ask your age? The reason why I am asking your age, is I wonder if I might be a candidate for a knee replacement, instead of a distal realignment. How severe is the arthritis in your patella (both, I'm assuming)? Can you tell me about the knee replacement surgery, or what you know of it? I'd like to have some info. on it, and get a second opinion, and see if this might work for me...

I see that your original post was back in 2009. Have you had the knee replacements yet? If so, pleaase let me know how you are doing; if not, please let me know how you come out with the surgeries...

Wishing you all the best,
keene1
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replied June 30th, 2009
I Just had a knee realignment done on May 6. I was in the hspital for a week and was in rehab for a month. my leg is getting much stronger now but it has been very tough. The operation hurts but therapy is even worse I can tell you. I am still trying to get my knee to bend properly. The Dr. says I should be somewhat back to normal by six months or so. I tell you its not easy . I hope in the end its worth it.
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replied July 5th, 2009
Knee realignment surgery
Hi, I have to have knee realignment surgery and I am scared to death. My knee cap tilts all the way out to the side and grinds against the bone, causing so much pain. I never had surgery before so I guess that's where some of the fear comes from but most of all it's the unknown. My doctor tells me I'll be in a brace for six weeks and then I will have to undergo physical therapy for six weeks. I'm so afraid that the surgery is going to make me worse. Has anyone else had this surgery?
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replied May 27th, 2011
Dear KayLyn09:
I can FEEl your fear...I don't have many answers, as I have not had the surgery (yet), but I am in the medical field (a pharmacist), and have had other surgeries. You will not be aware of the surgery. Before you know it, they will give you some IV medicine, and you will start to feel very, very relaxed. They will then put a mask on your mouth and ask you to inhale, and count backwards from 10. You will probably be out by the time you get to "7 or 8." When you wake up, make sure you tell them if you feel that you have an upset stomach or your are in pain. You will wake up in a recovery room, and they will monitor your blood pressure, etc, for an hour or longer - depending on how you are doing. After that, you will go up to your hospital room.

I am sorry I cannot answer specific questions about the actual realignment surgery. I need it on my right knee, which is killing me with pain. But I am fighting another disease, and the surgeons don't know if I can make it through rehab or not, which of course, means they couldn't do the surgery. My disease involves spending about 2/3 of my life in a fetal position in bed, unable to move, especially my head. So you can see where the rehad part would be difficult.

But this message is about YOU not me. I would suggest "googling" some orthopedic sites, but you may not understand the technical terms, and if there are pictures, that may be frightening even more. THE BEST PLACE FOR INFORMATION IS FROM YOUR SURGEON. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the surgery, the recovery, the rehab, etc. Ask, ask, ask. It's YOUR body. I'sm sure he/she feels that the benefits of the surgery outweigh any possible negatives.

I don't know if I have been much help, and I must admit that the thought of the surgery scares me too, but if it helps with the chronic horrible pain, it's probably worth it.

A concerned friend,
keene1
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replied May 27th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
keene,

That was a very nice post. I noticed that you are new to the eHealth forum. However, I don't think KayLyn will be reading your post, because she has probably had her surgery two years ago. That post is dated July 2009. But, again, that was a great post.
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replied May 28th, 2011
Gaelic:
Thank you so much for your very kind comments. You are correct - I am new to the eHealth forum and did not notice the date of her post. I appreciate the "heads up" on that. Again, thanks for taking the time to acknowledge my reply to her, and your thoughtful words to me.
keene1
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replied July 5th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Our son had two of his three smaller knee caps taken out...I really think it does sound worse then it is...The brace keeps your knee straight and the physical therapy builds the muscles back up...I think you will be more than pleased...Good luck...

Caroline
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replied July 5th, 2009
Thankyou for the message. I hope the surgery helps me. I'm going to a really well known great surgeon so I know I'm in good hands but I guess anything could go wrong. I'm only 37 years old and have lived with this pain since I was 19. I also have arthritis so the surgery isn't going to be a 100% cure but they say it will relieve some of the pain until I have to have knee replacements in 10-15 years. Something to look forward to. Ha. Thanx again. Glad surgery helped your son! Karen
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replied August 22nd, 2011
Thanks KayLyn09 for your information...my story is exactly the same, but I'm 39 and also need the re-alignment surgery to give me 10-15 more years before the replacement. I will not be 100% due to the arthritis as well, but I hoping 90-80% will be better than now. Will keep you posted once I'm done. Question? How long did it take you to recover? What was your rehab time per week and for how long?
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replied August 23rd, 2011
Especially eHealthy
angiedott,

Welcome to ehealth. Unfortunately, I doubt that KayLyn09 will answer you, as she has not posted in over 2 years. You can see the date of posting, just under the name.

But, as you how long it takes to recover after a surgery like this depends upon several factors and of course everyone is different.

The best thing to do is ask your surgeon how long it usually takes. He/she knows what exact procedure you will be having done and what his/her post-op protocol is, because every surgeon has his/her own protocols.

Again, welcome to eHealth. Good luck.
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replied November 23rd, 2009
I;m haveing patteller realignment surgery tommro acutally yeah i am scared but i was also in a car accident and suffered from 5 fractures to my pelvis(both sockets,pubic and sacral) so i know that that was EXCRUSIATING pain that still to this day bother me but do you think the pain from the accident will be relatable to the surgery?
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replied November 23rd, 2009
Community Volunteer
I think compared to the pain that you have already gone through that this should not be bad...Sure the knee will be sore, but not like the other injury...Good luck and take care...

Caroline
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replied February 14th, 2010
Just over a year ago i had trouble with my right knee. I have been an active sportsman all my life and having had both my knees done with an arthroscope, thought that again would fix my problem. When I went to the specialist to my surprise I was told I would need a knee realignment. I could not except this news but as I had been on crutches twice over the previous 2 months and I was in chronic pain did not know what alternative there was. As luck would have it I had been to a Podiatrist and a Naturopath and the Podiatrist told me that I was very fixable. I did the injury in the first week of November �08 and and got the Athodics ( molded insoles ) in the middle of January and with immediate results, the pain started to subside and my knees became stronger. As I work on a cattle and grain property my knees are my life and I can say they have never been better. That 12 months till now has been an amazing journey, and this comment has just touched the surface of what I have been through, but it scares me to think that the �system� would have allowed me to go through surgery without trying some other way to fix my problem ( which was only one knee, when both my knees were weak ) and sometimes the first advice is not the best advice.

Lucky Escape.
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replied March 24th, 2010
KayLyn09 - I am 37 also and my surgeon has recommended this for me too. I have tried physio, acupuncture and orthotics.

Have you had your operation and did it help?
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replied March 25th, 2010
KayLyn i havn't had the op and my knees have never been better.
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replied November 16th, 2010
Knee realignment/ reconstruction
hi i actually just had the knee realignment surgery along wit a few other things to the knee last tuesday.......it isnt so bad the first couple days after surgery but make sure to stay on top the pain cause after numbness goes away it will be painful....when elevating leg for hours and then getting up to walk all the blood rushes back down your leg and causes it to throb bad....just stay on top the pain....you have to wear a brace for three to four weeks and is suppose to be fully healed in four to six months...will heal double in time if you dont smoke cigarettes,
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replied November 24th, 2010
hi me again..........it has been two weeks since i had my second knee surgery on my knee...i had knee scope lat. retinaclar release an PF compartment chondroplasty, and also tibial tuberle asteotomy....i had it on nov.9th and the scar is almost not even visible no more and is still swelled a bit and some bruising but am already bearing full weight which i am 260 pounds six foot 5, i am able to bend it to 90 degrees, all i say is any meds your on make sure to take asprin and stool softeners when taking the meds....it helps...i am starting physical therapy next week and it was to get motion and to bend my knee to ninety degrees and get full mobility...i am already bending further than that but elevate and ice every night and when walking wearing a brace...can walk good tho....it all depends on the person if you heal fast metabolism and lots of other factors....
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replied February 1st, 2011
petallar realignment
I am in the same boat of considering surgery. I have lived with an unstable knee after a bilateral release almost 20 years ago and I have finally had enough pain and restriction. I just finished 6 weeks of PT and I feel like I just got a rest out of it. My PT told me I could not exercise at all except for the exercises they gave me. So here I am 6 weeks later and I still can't walk up and down stairs without great pain. My orthopedist is suggesting a patellar realignment? I am still unsure, I just want to be active and not be in pain !!! Help !
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replied February 22nd, 2011
B.J.H.S.
I have this syndrome called B.H.J.S. (benign joint hyper-mobility syndrome). Basically my connective tissues and joints aren't working properly, so my joints don't stay where they're supposed to.
I had surgery on my right knee last year, though they didn't know I had this condition. The surgery seems to have helped... a little. I think they could have done a better job, especially if they had known what I had. I think the best doctor to go to about knee problems is a sports medicine doctor. They specialize in knees because they're always helping athletes with joint problems.
A few weeks ago, my left leg dislocated. All I was doing was walking down the hall at my house and it popped out. Luckily, it went back into place by its self. I've been having these problems since I was really young. I thought it wasn't very serious because I was used to it happening. When I was younger I thought everyone's knee dislocated every once and a while!
It's VERY smart to talk to your doctor if you think you are having any symptoms.
My outlook for my future is a lot better now that I've talked to my sports medicine doctor! I really feel like he knows what he's doing! Surgery can be VERY scary. Especially if no one really tells you whats going to happen. Be sure to ask LOTS of questions before. Hope everything works out well for you! Smile
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replied April 24th, 2011
hi , i am 15 and awaiting patella realignment surgery after repeated patella dislocations, has anyone had similar surgery? i was wondering how long it takes to recovery from the op and be able to take part in sports again, also what type of cast/brace do you wear following the op and how long until you can walk following the op?
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replied April 24th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
jaffacake10,

All of this depends upon exactly what procedure is done. There are many different realignment procedures for patellar maltracking. The more structures that have to be reconstructed, the more immobilization and time it will take to get back.

You need to ask your surgeon these questions. Only he/she can tell you. Before you have any surgery, you (not just your parents) need to understand exactly what is going to be done to your knee. Also, what should you expect after surgery? What type of medicine and therapies are you going to be given to control your post-operative pain? Are you going to be in an immobilizer, cast, brace, or nothing at all? How long will you have to be in the immobilization? Will you be doing physical therapy on the same day of surgery or will they let you wait till the next day? How long will you be on crutches? When can you start bending your knee? Approximately, how many months will it be till you can expect to get back to pivoting sports?

And any other questions you may have. Make a list and write it down. That way you won't forget anything when you see your surgeon for your pre-op visit.

Be sure to follow your surgeon's recommendations, both before and after surgery. Often, before surgery, your surgeon will want you to have as good of a range of motion (ROM) as you can and to be as strong as you can. The better the ROM and strength, the easier it will be to do your post-op rehabilitation. Often, patients are placed in the same rehab, before surgery, that they will be doing after surgery. That way the patient knows what to expect.

So, ask your surgeon all the questions you need answered. It's part of the "informed consent" process. Good luck on your upcoming surgery.
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replied September 9th, 2011
Osteoarthritis
Hi, I'm 41 and have osteoarthritis in both knees; left one being the worst. Surgeon has told me I need a replacement but I'm too young! Only option is realignment but I'm afraid it will make it worse, can't afford to be off work; Is there any alternative? My left knee is now crackling everytime I bend it, it's getting deteriorating at an alarming speed.
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