Sports Girl Is Recovering From Knee Surgery

All went well with Sports Girl’s knee surgery on Thursday. Things went so well, in fact, that the doctor said he wished he had been training a resident at the time; it seems she proved to be a textbook case for how and why to do this particular surgery.

I showed the doctor the diagrams I used to explain Sports Girl’s surgery in my previous post. Turns out I was spot on with my explanation — this is exactly what he did to Sports Girls. This and a “lateral release,” or the loosening of the lateral retinaculum, the tissue on the outside of the kneecap.

The surgery was done arthroscopically, so incision size was kept to a minimum. The doctor gave us some nice pictures of the inside of Sports Girl’s knee taken during the surgery. The good news is that her ACL and meniscus are in pristine condition. The bad news is that there was already some cartilage damage on the underside of her kneecap due to her kneecap sliding out of place. The doctor cleaned up the fraying and thankfully there weren’t any big  cartilage chunks floating around.

Besides pain and discomfort at the surgery site, Sports Girl struggles with nausea after taking her pain medications. She had a nerve block in her upper femur just prior to the surgery, and she 3+ days post operative, she is still experiencing some numbness and tingling in her leg and foot.

Sports Girls is wearing a long brace to keep her leg straight. She is to bend her leg 30 degrees during physical therapy exercises, but this isn’t much. She has her first outpatient physical therapy appointment tomorrow, and she has a follow-up doctor’s appointment next Monday.

Hopefully Sports Girl will write about her surgical experience from her point of view sometime soon. I’m sure her Christmas break from school is going to be quite boring as she spends the majority of her time either on the sofa or in bed with her left leg propped up on pillows and ice applied to her knee …

5 thoughts on “Sports Girl Is Recovering From Knee Surgery

  1. hello i am a 15 year old girl that has patella subluxation, because i tore my mpfl. I am going to have to get it surgicaly repaired. i play soccer all year and im on a premier team. I was wondering when your daughter had her surgery done adn what she did to recover so quickly. it would be nice to email her or something.

    • Hello,

      Sportsgirl said she would be happy to visit with you further about her personal experience. She will send an e-mail message directly to your Yahoo account, so be watching for it.

      I did want to note — Sportsgirl didn’t have her MPFL repaired; she actually had a cadaver/donor ligament to replace it. We know of another girl in Sportsgirl’s school that has also been having patellar subluxation issues, and the ortho she first saw wanted to just fix her “stretched” MPFL. I believe she is getting a second opinion from the ortho who worked on Sportsgirl.

      Best of luck with your situation!

      Country Mom

  2. Hi I just had the same surgery done 9-13-2010. Donor ligament and all. Got out of the knee imobilizer last week and am in a brace which allows me to bend my knee ony 30 degrees as well. I can’t lift my leg up yet. Was wondering how long it took you to start lifting your leg and how your recovery has gone. I’ve never heard of this surgery before I had it done and was told that I was basically a guinie pig here in my county. Not even people in hte hospital knew what was going on. My dr said all the nurses where running around wondering what she was going to do next cause they never seen this type done. I was just curious how yours went. It’s been almost a month after surgery.
    Thanks Diane

    • I remember that it took Sports Girl a while before she could lift her leg on her own. Her physical therapist encouraged her to hook her other foot under the leg to move it and this worked for a while. Then she was strongly encouraged to work on lifting it on her own. It probably took her 4 to 6 weeks before she could lift it confidently on her own. But I know she was getting around without her crutches by then, as well. Sports Girl doctor has performed this surgery before, but I do remember that the support staff at the surgery center where the operation was performed were a little less certain as to how to proceed following this surgery than if it were a more typical knee repair. But I am thankful that we found this doctor, and I plan to post an update on Sports Girl’s status soon. Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the step by step process about your daughter. When we were told our daughter needed to have this surgery it was so nerve wrecking. I would go to sleep and wake up worrying if we were making the right decision when it came to surgery. Our 12 year old daughter has suffered 3 dislocations in the last year and has sidelined her from all of her favorite activities. After reading your blog I feel much more at peace with our decision. Thank you again for taking the time to share with all of us your story!

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