I have been having issues with my knees for YEARS. About 10 years ago, I dislocated my kneecap (read how here…it’s a really funny/embarrassing story). Ever since then, I have had issue after issue with my knee. A month ago, I stepped into the garage and my leg gave out and I literally felt my lower part of my leg go one way and the upper part of my leg go the other way. It was as gross as it sounds. I now needed to figure something out.
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What Have I Done for my Knee So Far?
Last summer I met with my knee doctor and we went over options for my knee. My MRI wasn’t terrible in that I needed surgery immediately, but it wasn’t great either. One part of my issue is that I have a lot of damage to the cartilage. The doctor recommended that I looking into gel injections. Basically, they inject gel in and that acts as the “cartilage”. They typically last 6-8 months before you need to redo the gel injection.
In addition to the gel injections, the doctor also recommended I met with the surgeon to get his take on things. That meeting was really good. My surgeon and I decided that I will exhaust every possibility before resorting to surgery. So I met with a physical therapist to get a program that I can do at home and the gym and I did the gel injections. I religiously did my exercises over the course of the year. Things were going well, until they weren’t. When I started getting a lot of pain again, I made an appointment with the doctor and we set up another round of gel injections. Just after the third injection was when I had the incidence in my garage. Back to the doctor and surgeon I went.
Meeting with the Surgeon
After talking things over with the surgeon and having him evaluate my knee and compare those results with the evaluation from last year, it was apparent that things have gotten a lot worse. He recommended two surgeries. The first surgery, called the MACI Procedure is a scope procedure where he will go in, look around, clean up the backside of my kneecap and take a biopsy of my cartilage. That biopsy will be sent to a lab and more of my cartilage will be grown in that lab so it can be implanted back into my knee.
The second surgery will be where he takes my cartilage and replaces it back in my knee. In addition to that, he will also perform a MPFL reconstruction to reconstruct the ligaments and give me better patellar stability. After reading up on both surgeries, I feel it is a good plan of action. I can’t continue on with the pain and instability. Getting the surgery scheduled will happen this coming Tuesday, as the scheduler is out of town.
Best Way to Stabilize the Knee for Support
So, as you can imagine, I have had my fair share of braces over the years. My favorite brace is the DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace. If you are looking for good knee support, this is your brace. It’s well worth the money and right now it’s on sale for $40 off!! While I like the support of the knee brace, and have been wearing religiously every day for the last month or more, it’s sometimes hot or it doesn’t fit well under my clothes if I’m wearing long pants. Someone mentioned that I should try KT Tape. I know a lot of people swear by KT Tape, but I was always skeptical. However, after watching a bunch of videos on YouTube, decided to give the KT Tape a chance.
Again, I will say, I was SUPER skeptical, but I picked up some KT Tape and tried it out all day yesterday. Within minutes of having it on, I was amazed at how stable my knee felt. The true test came when I had to walk down some stairs. I felt just as stable walking down the stairs as I do when I am wearing my brace. As the day went on, I really felt this was a good option for those times that I either couldn’t fit my brace under my clothes (or didn’t want a super bulky look) and when it decides to be triple digits outside! Things were going great until my leg (hours and hours after putting it on…it’s meant to stay on for multiple days) started itching really bad. It became unbearable. I took the tape off and I had a rash where the tape was. Unfortunately, it looks like I am allergic to the adhesive.
While I had a reaction to the adhesive, many people do not and they swear by this product. I will need to do some research to see if there is another product I can use that may use a different adhesive. Hopefully after surgery (whenever that will be) I won’t need a knee brace or the tape! Fingers crossed!