major problems - PLEASE HELP!

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Topic Title: major problems - PLEASE HELP!
Created On: 05/21/2005 10:40 AM

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 05/21/2005 10:40 AM

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AngelicNikki

Posts: 54

I am 19 and have had four knee surgeries to date and am on the third surgeon as each ones feels that can't do anything more and suggest someone who is more advanced (yet further from home)! My current OS is Dr. Frederick from Philadephia, PA. He is very good and is the surgeon for the US Nat'l Gymnastics team. As for my knee, it all started when I tore my ACL the summer before 8th grade (I was 13). Ever since then my knee has continually degraded. My surgeons have all told me it's the worst knee they've ever seen - worse than any 80-year-old man's that they take care of. I have no lateral or medial meniscus left, my ACL is lax and not intact (it's held to the bone by scar tissue fibers, but is not helping me at all), my MCL and PCL are both lax and have small tears, my patella is wearing away and has Grade IV arthritis on the underside (arthritis is graded I - IV, IV being worst), my femur has a range of Grade II - Grade IV arthritis on it, as does my tibia, and the groove in the femur (between the two 'balls' at the end) has Grade IV arthritis. Basically, my entire knee is falling apart! And I'm only 19... I am in desperate need of a knee replacement, but cannot have one, as I am too young and only a few can be done (I'd run out before I turned 65!)... My current surgeon has just cleaned out my knee again (my fourth surgery so far) and has told me that I need to do something fast. He said I can try ACL reconstruction again, a medial meniscus transplant (he said lateral isn't as common and not as necessary), or a procedure where the arthritis on the femur groove and patella is scraped off and then when it's bloody holes are drilled to the blood supply to form scar cartilage. Right now, I can usually walk, but some days have trouble with that. Stairs are excruciating and I just can't do it. I am not allowed to bend my knee excessively and restricted to upper body weight lifting and swimming only. I'm not even allowed to walk on a treadmill. The possibility of being stuck in a wheelchair is terrifying, but ever present... I don't know what to do... The doctor said I need to start having at least one of the above procedures done so that I can hopefully start to be a little more painfree. I have always been tough but the pain's starting to get too much. My ACL doesn't seem too unstabile, so we were thinking of putting that off, but if I don't do it, my knee isn't fully aligned and could cause other problems. Yet if we don't take care of the meniscus, that arthritis could get worse and the same with the femur/patella! I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or opinions. If you've had any similiar surgeries, please share your experience (both pros and cons!).
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