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  • #53627

    Hi, following on from my previous post about cartilage replacement (though I feel I’ve used up my quota of replies from Pete & Thomas!).

    I was feeling good, able to work on strength, not pushing hard or overdoing it.

    Then gradually last Sunday it went downhill. I couldn’t stand on my leg without pain. The next day I limped around, the day after I switched to crutches. I didn’t feel any pop r tear or anything to suggest I had hurt myself.

    This is 5 months since my Op, and over 2 months since I put down crutches and started walking again.

    Physio said I had possibly overdone it, so rest and wait and see. On Saturday it felt a bit better, on Sunday it felt worse again. Today I’m heading to the doctor to get it checked out.

    Has anyone else experienced such a dramatic relapse? Any tips on how to deal with the setback?

    Thanks, Sam

Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Moderator
    Thomas Summer, MD on #53634

    Hi Sam!

    Sorry to read that.
    Report back after you saw your doctor if you want.


    samtugwell on #53636

    Hi Thomas,

    The doctor was inconclusive – looks ok, feels ok, isn’t ok…

    MRI scan in 2 weeks. Until then I will get outside on crutches to avoid going insane, and keep indoor biking (or e-biking to pick up my kids from kindergarten).

    Maybe crutches for 2 weeks is what it needs to rest a bit. I will find out!

    Thomas Summer, MD on #53637

    Hi Sam!

    difficult to make any suggestions without examining the knee.
    But it’s always better to be cautious. Give it some rest. Do nothing that hurts. But get some light, non-weight-bearing movement. Just for blood flow. Biking is perfect.
    And don’t forget the blood thinners, if you use the crutches and don’t put all the weight on the leg.

    Most important: try to relax and take every moment as it is.


    samtugwell on #54284


    the MRI came back relatively clear (no new major damage, maybe a couple of new meniscus tears, and something about hoffa’s fat pad. There was also some cartilage damage though my Orthopaedic surgeon thinks that is related to the damage previously fixed with novocart).

    My physio is pretty optimistic that there is no structural damage based on the range of movement, but that I need to come to some inner peace to let my autonomous system get to work. Also that some of the problem is neurological and my system is being overprotective of the knee.

    I’m currently still using a crutch as a walking stick. When I weight the knee it collapses / leans inwards, causing a limp. Cycling is still good.

    I am hopefuly that I can strengthen up ove rthe next few weeks and get back to walking properly at least. Next year will be for some bigger goals 🙂

    Thanks for your replies Thomas, I can’t stress how helpful it is to be able to “talk” to someone else about it.

    Onwards and upwards,

    Thomas Summer, MD on #54367

    Hi Sam!

    Good that the MRI showed no new damage. It’s often not a gradual recovery, but ups and downs. Your physio is probably right. Let him guide you with the right exercises. It’s also a good opportunity to train your core and upper body. This will not only make you stronger but If you do some heavy upper body work that will give you a good hormonal response which helps with recovery. And you can let go of some stress;-)
    Do you meditate? Now would be a great time to get into this. You can do a lot with your breath. Breath in gratitude and let go of all the pain and expectations on the out-breath.
    Next year will be for bigger goals in the mountains. But this year you have the biggest goal;-) We learn the most from our biggest struggles. That is what makes us grow.


    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #54527

    Just to echo Thomas…. Time is your friend here as a treatment, these cartilage and other surface injuries can improve given A LOT of time. Consider it like polishing a glass surface, a lot of painfree repetitions can help smooth it out. When I couldn’t bike or hike due to an injury (for 5 years!) I would go to a local lake and do some deep water running with a shorty wet suit. I gradually returned to all activity. Your Physio can help return normal walking mechanics, and at least you have cycling still available. All things change…impermanence, and this will too eventually.

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