Sunday, 15 May 2011

Will I Run Again ??

It's So Far Away.

It is now 26 weeks since my knee was drilled to pieces by a couple of doctors who carried out a procedure with no warning or discussion of what they were about to do.

The MRI scan clearly showed the damage, but due to total incompetence of the surgeon's senior registrar, I was not informed of the possible outcome prior to surgery. I have met with the surgeon since and they have apologised for this happening and have admitted there was a complete break down in communication. I have been asked if I want to proceed with an official complaint. I have refused to go down this route as that will not help my knee.

Do I sound bitter?

I have got a knee that is, after 6 months, in constant pain and I couldn't run 10 yards if my life depended on it!

I went into hospital for a small meniscus tear and was told I would be running, working etc in 2 weeks. I ended up on crutches for 8 weeks !

After the surgery, I was told that I would possibly have needed something done within the next 10 years or so and they decided to do this procedure while doing the small repair. I would have rather continued along with my knee the way it was and, when I was unable to do activities, then get treatment to it. I wasn't given that option and the doctors went ahead and carried out a procedure with devastating results.

Having now explored the outcome of micro fractures to the bone, the success rate is very poor and in a lot of cases the patient ends up worse off. The internet is full of people saying don't get this done unless you really have to and some of the stories are pretty horrific. Why do such hit and miss procedures?

That is what has certainly happened to me and I am very bitter at the service I have received from all concerned from start to finish. What will happen now? More surgery to repair the damage that has been caused? Probably sometime in the future, but I am very reluctant to go down this route due to the situation I now find myself in.

Where am I with exercise?

Cycling is now my main means of exercising and it is now only in the last 2 months that it is mainly pain free. I have been cycling up to 25/30 miles sometimes but my main routes are about 10/15 miles and I do this between 3/4 times a week. I am also walking 4 miles a few times a week.

Running is just a memory at this moment and I really mean I couldn't run 10 yards without severe pain in my knee at the compacting motion. Walking some days is terrible but I am getting better days with the walking and if I look back to January it has improved vastly.

I now walk with a limp but I am working hard not to do this and a lot of people have said recently that I am not limping as bad.

The day before I went into hospital I ran 5 miles and only went ahead to get the small niggling repair done as the doctor said it was a basic 20 minute procedure and I would benefit from the repair and it would allow me to run pain free again.

Will I ever run again ?

At this moment in time, I very much doubt it.

I have been running since 1975 and I am missing it greatly.

At this moment, I can do no sports that involve moving quick or running with my family and couldn't even contemplate a game of tennis with my daughter.

Yes, I am very bitter at the way I have been treated and I am now left with a knee that is 100 times worse than before I went into hospital.

"It's going to take time" is the standard answer from anyone in the health service.

Anyway it certainly is a long road back now!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Knee Update

Walking off the beach
2011 with crutches
Sunset New Years Day
from front balcony
Saltire in the sky from poolside

Brief Diary

November 15th
Operation to knee resulting in at least 6 weeks in crutches.

November 19th
Use crutches to get to the end of our street but have to stop and rest at the turn as arms and hands aching. It's only 300 yards there and back !!

November 22nd
Start physio twice a week.

November 24th
Use crutches to get to parents' house, covered about 1 mile with lots of stops.

November 26th
Snow arrives so no more exercising with crutches for the next month - treacherous outside due to snow and ice.

November 28th
Decide to drive as I have an automatic and don't have to use my left leg.
Our driveway was kept clear of snow and ice so as I could get in and out to my car.

December 15th
Attend knee clinic for check up. Get to see my MRI report and it clearly states
that my knee has extensive damage which will require repair. This was not explained to me at pre-op appointment as the register said I only had a small tear and he said that was all to be repaired.

Not happy at this being missed and only picked up prior to going into theatre.

December 20th
Getting around no problem on crutches, although cannot go outside onto pavements or in car parks due to snow and ice. Did manage into Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow to do some Christmas shopping as parking and shops all indoors. I could not believe how discourteous other people were to me as I tried to get around on crutches and it must be very difficult and frustating for people with a disability.

December 22th
Leave the snow behind and off to Florida on crutches. Minus 12 degrees as we travel to Glasgow airport. Managed the 2 flights ok and got sent through the wheelchair line at Newark security, avoiding a long queue. Crutches x-rayed twice! Arrived to 70 degrees.

December 24th
Using gym every morning and on bike for 30 mins now.

December 25th
Walking along beach for 2 miles with crutches and it is great to get out without worrying about slipping on the ice or snow.

December 27th
6 weeks are over but knee too sore, felt sick with pain trying to put full weight on it . Can't walk without crutches as leg very weak and hardly any co-ordination.

December 29th
Keep using crutches as I need to due to pain and lack of co-ordination in leg.

January 1st
Into the New Year and still on full crutches as inside of knee is very painful.

January 2nd
Only using 1 crutch around house and putting a bit more weight on left leg.

January 4th
Fly home with no problems until we reach Glasgow airport with ice all the way to the car park.

January 5th
7 and a half weeks and still using crutches to go any distance but only 1 in house and have even stopped using them sometimes indoors.

January 8th
8 weeks and walked to end of road and struggled to get back. I had to hold onto wall to make it home.

January 9th
Went to swimming pool and walked in water and treaded water for an hour. In the afternoon I walked along road twice with lots of rests.

January 12th
Walked 50 yards along road and knee was very very sore, just painful to try and walk without limping. Fed up with knee being so painful.

January 13th
Decided to phone Consultant and discuss the way things currently are and also my dissatisfaction at not being told correctly about the extent of the damage, what the surgery would entail and the long rehabilitation that this procedure incurs.

January 14th
Doctor's secretary returns my phone call and wants to see me next Tuesday rather than discuss over the phone.

January 15
Have decided to restrict exercises to just one with the bands and hamstring stretches. Walking all the time without crutches now but with a severe limp and only short distances, mostly indoors. Knee is unable to accept natural gait and weight without severe pain. I have no pain at all and great flexibility as long as I don't put too much weight on it.

My main disappointment about all this is the lack of communication from the doctors who performed this procedure. I was not told of the damage at my pre-op visit and no information was given to me about the lengthy rehabilitation. I was informed by the knee clinic that I attend twice weekly for physio that most people refuse this procedure due to the length of time that they have to be off work. I have been off work now for 9 weeks and I am possibly months away from this resolving.