Knee arthroscopy surgery – my personal experience
Knee arthroscopy surgery – my personal experience
Today I decided to write an article about knee arthroscopy, an operation I recently went through, and I’d like to share this experience with you, and maybe it will help you in case you ever need this medical intervention (hopefully it won’t be needed).
I’m sorry I have to share these graphic images, but I like to show thinks exactly how they were.
Some of you know about my arthroscopy surgery from social media, I did that post to help other people interested to know more about this surgery.
The encouragement and messages I received have helped me a lot, and I want to thank you once again for all the positive energy I have received from all of you.
How on Earth I broke my knee meniscus and cruciate ligaments I still don’t know
So, I decided to investigate my knee pain, following the MRI scan, the diagnostic was meniscus rupture and 2nd-degree degenerative cruciate ligaments. This result was enough for the orthopaedic doctor to suggest knee operation which is otherwise the only solution to solve this medical problem.
I have to admit, I was scared just thinking about the operation, (I’m the kind of person who automatically imagines different things about the subject in question). I was already making different films in my mind, but I encouraged myself and decided that everything is for my good, for the mobility of my leg.
First I will explain how the knee pain started.
The pain on my knee started gradually, everything begins in winter 2018, when I was going out in the cold, the pain become worse, and as time went on, it advanced so much that I had moments when my knee was locked for 10 minutes ( basically I could neither bend it nor stretch the knee because of the pain).
This pain was caused by several reasons, the furniture in the house is the main cause for injuring my knee (after redecorating an apartment, I decided that I am quite capable of moving the furniture alone, and in a hurry, I hit the knees very often, the result is in the picture).
The next cause of meniscus and ligament rupture could be bad posture when I exercice. Deep squats, which many fitness gurus are doing on Instagram are a big mistake and this cost the health of my legs. Any fitness instructor and physiotherapist will tell you that squats shouldn’t be done deeper than the 90 degrees. You force the ligaments to the maximum and by performing many repetitions, they give way. The first sign of this knee problem was some clicks /popping noise around the knee, each time I was doing physical exercises and I heard that noise and I simply ignored it.
Another cause could be holding the laptop on my knees, driving the car for long hours or in my case poor blood circulation. One by one, I also fell on my knees, being in Ibiza at the beach, after a summer rain, going down a slightly inclined slope I slipped and I landed exactly on the injured knee.
Was it karma? I have no idea, of course, I swallowed dry, I got up and tried to ignore the pain. I ignored but the bruising and inflammation were present and even very visible.
Physiotherapy can help you if you have knee problems
During the following year, I did some physiotherapy sessions, which helped me a lot, but the results didn’t last. My GP suggested to wear a sport elastic band and that’s it, it didn’t matter that I could barely walk. So the problem was serious and it affected my life from all points of view. I would like to mention that in winter the knee pain is getting amplified and this made take the decision to go ahead with the arthroscopy surgery.
I decided to have the operation in a private clinic in Iasi Romania and more specifically at Arcadia. For those who do not know, Arcadia is a private clinic in Iasi, it is the largest private health system in the northern region of Romania, with health centres in different areas of the city. Every time I go to this clinic, I know that I’m in good hands, and treated by specialists.
How the arthroscopy operation went
The day before the operation, I met with the anaesthetist who explained how everything would turn out. He suggested local anaesthesia, which I didn’t even want to consider and the orthopaedic doctor didn’t agree with it, then asked me what medicines I use and if I have heart implants or other diseases that I am aware of. Being the first surgery of my life, I was a little confused, and that made me forget about the painkillers I had taken for period pain, 3 days before the operation.
Here I want to insist a little, and remember, it is very important to write all these details somewhere and when the anesthesiologist asks you what, you need to know exactly what to answer. In my case it was a bit complicated, why do I say that, because analgesics (nurofen, panadol) thicken the blood. Normally during the operation bleeding is stopped due to the physiological serum that is inserted in the incision, but in my case, the doctor had to tighten so hard my leg with a medical garment which turned into something like a burn around my thigh.
I remembered about painkillers few weeks after the surgery, but it was already too late, I still have the burning sign on my thigh, but I hope it will disappear over the time, otherwise, I will have to get a nice tattoo to cover the area.
When I woke up from anaesthesia, I didn’t feel anything, my knee was bandaged, but I had nausea due to strong pain relievers. In next day, the doctor visited me and explained the procedure he did and I had to return to for consultation after 10 days.
I had to use crutches for 10 days because is difficult to move without relying on something, or someone, so ask at the hospital or buy them early because they will be useful.
Don’t make the same mistakes as I did by keeping your leg suspended on a pillow after you had arthroscopy
The next 15 days I had to do every day an injection to prevent the formation of blood clots, to be honest, I had a hard time, both physically and mentally. In addition to daily injections, I had to take painkillers prescribed by the doctor because the pain was unbearable, along with ice packs.
At night I only slept on my back with my leg raised on a pillow for a week, and this is a mistake that many patients make. When the orthopaedic doctor saw me after 10 days, he explained why is wrong to keep the leg bent on a pillow.
By keeping your operated knee bent on a pillow for many days, it will scrutinize the ligaments. Well, I didn’t know that, and another important thing about the arthroscopic operation is the movement. The faster you start to move, do exercises and contractions of the muscles the better. In my case the quadriceps muscle from the operated knee began to melt and shrink due to the fact that I held the leg bent (with the pillow under the knee) for a week, I had no idea that the quadriceps muscles would melt within a few hours after a medical intervention, and surely many people don’t know this yet, that’s why I decided to write this article in the hope that you will learn from my mistakes.
When showering, wrap the bandaged leg with plastic wrap (kitchen foil will do it). Wrap the area properly to avoid getting wet, this is very important because water can infect the wounded area and lead to complications.
So, after the visit to the orthopaedic doctor, he assures me that everything was going normal and I should start the exercises to recover the muscles as quickly as possible and repeat countless times a day until my quadriceps muscle recovers properly.
A week after the surgery I had a small complication, namely accumulation of blood in the knee. This happened after standing a long time and a long walk in Iasi Botanical Garden. Due to this complication, I could not have the hyaluronic acid injection to lubricate the operated area (many orthopaedic doctors recommend this injection for good lubrication of the ligaments and meniscus) so I had to return for that injection after 8 weeks.
Usually, I’m very positive, but this experience hit me on the ground, psychological speaking. Day by day I was expecting my quadricep muscles to grow back, but without results, I was already beginning to lose my patience and the frustration was accumulating day by day.
Once I arrived in UK I immediately started physiotherapy sessions and after a few visits to my physiotherapist, my quadricep muscle started to come back to life, it started to grow again. Why is important to have physiotherapy, is because you are under the supervision of a specialist who will help you overcome your limits, will explain step by step how to start with light exercises first, then you will increase the difficulty until you regain leg mobility and strength.
After 9 weeks from the knee arthroscopy I felt better, I had pain when climbing stairs or doing intense physiotherapy exercises. Due to the fact that I left my weight more on the other leg, it started to hurt. The physiotherapist explained to me that it is normal and that I should not worry and get acquainted with the exercises as much as I can.
I’m not sure if Hyaluronic acid injections are improving your knee movement
I also made the injection with hyaluronic acid. I chose to do it on both knees as a prevention for the cold season. Well, this injection did not help me as much as I expected, but on the contrary, my knee hurts more than before. Each body is different and reacts differently, these events are strictly related to my person and my body. I’m sensitive and I do not tolerate pain at all, other people may not have felt this experience as deeply as I, so it is not necessary to scare you, as I said before, each body reacts differently.
Currently, it’s almost 4 months after the knee arthroscopy operation and I still feel slight pain when climbing the stairs but also at temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. I still have the burning sign on my thigh, it is visible and I seriously think about covering that area with a cute tattoo, something like a stockings band.
I have noticed that quadriceps muscle is getting soft if I’m not keeping the pace with physiotherapy exercises, so this indicates to me that I will have to work many years from now to maintain my leg shape.
I would like to add one last thing, as much as I love heeled shoes, at the moment I no longer wear high heels. I am disappointed by this and I look forward to seeing my orthopaedic doctor office for an MRI repeat.
I feel that something is still not right with my knee, either the doctor has omitted something, or the operation for the cruciate ligaments has not caught properly, given that I had the complication. I will come back with details about this medical problem next year.
I tried to include in this article almost all the details but if I omitted something, you can ask me by leaving a comment and I will reply as soon as possible. If you have gone through a similar operation, you can leave your opinion in the comments to help others. people.