Monday, October 26, 2009

Definitely not WoW Related

For those who don't know me, I've had knee problems for over 5 years now. I get heavy pain and aches in my knee just from standing, sitting, sleeping, hell..anything. If I go to bed, I can't sleep on my right side most of the time, and other times I have to have a pillow between my legs.

Well, I decided to finally get myself looked at. After seeing my first doctor, he sent me to a specialist who has a strong feeling they know what the problem is, but wants to wait until I get an MRI before making any calls.  This is what my doctor feels I have:

The plica on the inner side of the knee, called the "medial plica," is the synovial tissue most prone to irritation and injury. When the knee is bent, the plica is exposed to direct injury, and it may also be injured in overuse syndromes. When the plica becomes irritated and inflamed, the condition called "plica syndrome" results.

How is plica syndrome diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made by physical examination or at the time of arthroscopic surgery. Plica syndrome has similar characteristics to meniscal tears and patellar tendonitis, and these may be confused. A MRI may be done, but it is often not terribly helpful in the diagnosis of plica syndrome.

Now, it hurts to drive my car, hitting the gas, hitting the break..even holding the gas down to go a steady speed. My cruise control is my best friend and whenever I go out, I always have Azamath drive. But I really can't deal with the pain anymore, especially since I'm Military. But after talking with this specialist, I have two options and if one fails, I only have one.

1) Get a shot of Cortisone in my knee

My doctor feels this will help if it is found to be the problem, but also feels with how long this problem has been going on, the plica is more than likely damaged and it wont help.

2) Surgery

I don't like the idea, I actually feel like crying. I don't want to go under a knife cause so many things can go wrong. My Grandmother had surgery before and hasn't been able to walk right since. She had laser eye surgery done too and is blind in that eye now. But, I want this pain to go away, but I will still have pain if I go into surgery just because I had my knee worked on and there are usually after effects. But it would still be alot less pain then what I have now.

So, I'm at a crossroad and now just waiting to get the MRI done and see how it goes from there.


Lissanna said...

When considering surgery, keep a couple things in mind when comparing yours to your grandmother's:
A) Younger bodies heal better than older bodies. Your grandmother (if she had surgeries at an older age) would have been more at risk for complications than you are.
B) Advances in science and medicine usually make surgeries have fewer risks now compared to a long time ago. The procedures are probably different for surgeries now, but your doctor could help to better explain what your particular risks are for a particular surgery.

You may want to try the less invasive treatments first before surgery...

wendy said...

Random opinions of a stranger on the internet:

1) Cortizone injections are very damaging to the joint, and do not last forever, let alone very long. They don't fix anything, they just make it so you don't notice a problem. As a person in the veterinary industry, I can tell you they won't even do this to horses.

2) If you are very worried about having anesthesia, it may be possible to have local anesthesia for the procedure and not have to be fully "under". You'd have to talk to your doctor about that.

3) Even if you do still have limitations in movement/discomfort in your knee after surgery, it will be an improvement over your quality of life now. Chronic pain can have a very bad impact on a person over a long time, and you're already five years in.

Matt said...

My roommate actually just got knee surgery 3 days ago, he is gone all week. My mom also just left today to get lasik eye surgery. Personally, I've never had to have any surgery done. Don't know what you'll get out of this comment, though :/

Randomsmo said...

Random Knee Surgery comment:

My mom had knee surgery when she was in her 30s. Being a medical-type person herself, she used only local anesthesia and had them do live video of it so she could see.

So yeah, she watched the doctors cut open her knee and do surgery on herself. So: 1) My mom is insane. And 2) surgery is generally pretty safe. Knees are common, doctors work on them a lot - it's not like Lasik which is relatively new.

Kristin said...

Well my mother has had multiple corto shots in her knee. They only last so long and can damage. I had cervical fusion, joints C3-C6 in my neck. I was terrified, but I was desperate to make the pain stop. I was also loosing function in my right hand and now game left handed. Research the procedure and the doctors well, it will help you gain confidence.
Good Luck
Besheke of Malfurion