Monday, April 18, 2011

Let's get it started.

Tomorrow morning I go see an orthopedic surgeon for another opinion who is both on my insurance plan and who's been recommended by a few people. I'm hoping he can give me some more detailed and encouraging information with how to proceed in rehabbing this knee. On Wednesday I start physical therapy and truthfully, I'm really looking forward to it.

I was really happy when I found out that the physical therapy group that I wanted to use is also covered by my insurance. I had great results from them 10 years ago when my left wrist was broken when I was kicked by a horse. When that wrist came out of the cast, I had almost no rotation ability and the physical therapy provided by Pro Sports physical therapy gave me back a good start on full rotation which has since been returned to almost 100% normal.

My hope is that since the MRI report only listed the ligament tears as "moderate", that maybe I can bypass any surgery and the physical therapy will start me back to being myself again. At home, I do get around without the knee brace. My knee will support my full body weight, the feeling that my knee is unstable and could buckle has gone and the joint actually isn't painful as much as it feels very tight.

I also hope this doctor will let me use a less restrictive knee brace. I agree I need support, but this thing I've been harnessed into for the past 2 weeks makes me want to scream.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

It's ridiculous how much I love physical therapy. I wish you good luck and a speedy recovery :).

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Which tendons did you tear? It's a good thing you didn't tear any ligaments. They don't repair themselves and do require surgery. When my horse teleported sideways, I fell of my horse and severed my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (sp?).

What kind of knee brace were you given?

After surgery I was given a Bledsoe Extender Plus Post-op knee brace. I despised that thing. It was so huge and bulky and I looked like a robot.
I was so glad when I didn't have to wear it anymore, but my knee was still weak and my quad muscles even weaker, so on the great advice of another equine blogger, I went and bought a Professional's Choice Miracle Knee Support. It's made with the same neoprene that they use for my Professionals Choice saddle girth. This brace made it possible for me to be able to get back in the saddle again, although I still had to mount from the right side.
I still wear it from time to time when my knee feels a little unstable, and I may end up getting another one for my right knee because I think the meniscus may be wearing out and I've been having some discomfort when walking up and down hills and while hiking.

Here's a link to the product:
http://www.smartpakequine.com/productclass.aspx?productclassid=1686

I hope you don't need surgery and that the physical therapy will do the trick. I spent about 6 months in physical therapy and it really helped me heal faster and become stronger.

~Lisa

SolitaireMare said...

Lisa - my bad, I should have said ligament, not tendon and have since corrected my post.

According to what I read on the MRI report, there is a tear of the ACl and the MCL and there is also some degenerative change to the meniscus but no evidence of a tear extending to the articular surface. Again. all injuries are listed as moderate, whatever that means. I don't know what any of the other information means and hope to gain more insight tomorrow.

The brace is called a Bicro knee immobilizer. It's a foam and velcro bondage tool of you ask me. It has metal bars running along the sides and down the back. It's a pain because it keeps sliding down every time I fix it into place and the only way to prevent that is to make it tight, which is uncomfortable.

Jean said...

I am a victim of two "bad" knees, with full ACL tears in both...no ACL at all. I have been coping with just a bad right knee since I was 15 years old and the left one was blown out when I was probably 50. I've had arthroscopic surgery for meniscus and cartilage repair.

There are treatment that can help the ligaments including something called "prolotherapy." However, insurance companies do not want to pay for it. It really does work by forming scar tissue on the ligaments, strengthening them. There is also something called: PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma therapy which also helps in the healing process. Again, most insurance will not cover it, which is why I cannot afford it at the moment....

I have used both and they definitely worked really well--forestalling my need for knee replacements.

All that being said, I have ridden for over 45 years with one and now two "bad" knees, so it can be done. I was a hunter/jumper rider and I evented with no problems. Then I rode dressage up to FEI. Now my knees are starting to bother me more than I'd like so I may have to take "drastic action," in the near future.

PT helps a lot as building up the muscle surrounding the knee joint will improve stability. Again, I speak from long experience with all of this.

Keep a positive attitude. I think you are going to do better than you might expect.

Kate said...

Good luck with the PT! It can be hard and brutal, but I love the end results. They make it well worth the pain. I do have this irrational fear of cracking joints though, which doesn't go along with the whole PT thing. Better PT than chiropractor though!