Over the course of the last 18 months, I have taken you on my journey with my knee issues, the surgery, and then the surgery recovery. When I set out to have the Maci Procedure with the MPFL Reconstruction, I knew I was looking at a full 18 month recovery. I’m finally past the 18 month part and I thought I owed you an 18 month post knee surgery update.
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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
What Knee Surgery Did I Have?
Due to my kneecap dislocating multiple times and a significant amount of damage to the cartilage in my knee, I needed to have the Maci Procedure and a MPFL Reconstruction. You’re probably wondering what the Maci Procedure is. Simply put, it is a two part surgery process where my surgeon went in laparoscopically and took a sample of my damaged cartilage. That damaged cartilage was then sent to a lab on the east coast where they grew new cartilage from my sample. In the second surgery, the surgeon removed the damaged portion of cartilage and replaced it with my new cartilage. The second part of that surgery, the MPFL Reconstruction, the surgeon removed my MPFL tendon and replaced it with a donor tendon.
Universal Crutch Underarm Pad and Hand Grip Covers – Luxurious Soft Fleece with Sculpted Memory Foam Cores (Playful Purple)DMI Crutches, Push Button Adjustable Crutches, Aluminum Crutches with Pads, Tips, and Handgrips Accessories, Adult 5 Foot 2 to 5 Foot 10, Silver and GrayFunCee Crutch Pouch Bag, Lightweight Washable Crutch Storage Bag with 2 Pockets for Phones, Keys, pens, Water Bottle and Even Food Bag
Why Such a Long Recovery?
Going into this surgery plan, my surgeon was very frank with me…recovery was going to be difficult. Since I had been living so much of my life in pain and fear of my knee dislocating on me, I was ready to take on this recovery period. I’m not going to lie. It was rough. If you ask my husband, he will tell you I had many moments where I broke down because I didn’t think I would ever get out of the brace or off the crutches and do things normally again. But, despite those breakdowns, I never gave up. You can read my previous updates here, and here. The recovery is the way it is because the new cartilage needs time to harden and thicken up. It takes about 18 months to do that. And now I’m finally able to give you my post knee surgery update!
Milliard Foam Leg Elevator Cushion with Washable Cover, Support and Elevation Pillow for Surgery, Injury, or RestOssur Cold Rush Therapy Machine System With Knee Pad- Ergonomic, adjustable Wrap Pad Included- Quiet, Lightweight and Strong Cryotherapy Freeze Kit Pump
Soooo…Post Knee Surgery Update
Everything is excellent! While it was a rough recovery, I would do it over again in a heartbeat. Not only does my knee feel stable from the MPFL Reconstruction, but just walking in general feels better, thanks to the nice little cushion the new cartilage is providing me. I am kind of lucky (sort of) because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this surgery was successful for me. In August of this year, I stood up and felt something pop on the outside of my knee. I couldn’t put weight on it or straighten it very well. To say I freaked out was an understatement. I thought for sure I damaged the area I had surgery on. My surgeon got me in for an MRI right away. Everything I had surgery on was perfect and exactly the way it should be. The pain I was feeling was the the knot from the MPFL Reconstruction. If I have an issue again, it can be removed in the office, as it is not needed any longer.
Knee Surgery Tips
My biggest tip…research your surgeon. I had a really good orthopedic doctor and when he recommended I meet with the surgeon, I asked him point blank who he would send his wife to. He gave me a name and I looked the surgeon up. I liked what I saw and made an appointment. You have to be comfortable with the surgeon. Especially with a procedure like this one. I saw my surgeon so many times over the course of the 18 month recovery, and remember, I had a surgery before this one. If I didn’t like the doctor, that would make for a very miserable couple of years!
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My other main tip…be prepared with your “things”. Everything I linked to in this post are things that I found very important to have. Most importantly would be the leg elevator, the water bottle, and coloring book (or reading book). During the recovery from my first surgery, I tried elevating my leg with pillows. It was terrible. As soon as I got the leg elevator, everything changed for the better. I got better sleep, which meant my husband got better sleep. It was just better all around.
Reach Out with Any Questions
While I am not a doctor, and I will always tell you to check with your doctor, if you have basic questions regarding my surgery or what helped me recover, I am more than happy to answer them! I hope my post knee surgery updates have been helpful.
I’m so glad you posted that your surgery was a success! Most blogs that are out there on MACI discuss the failures. I was so discouraged. I get my MACI surgery next week. I wish the timing had been better (I will hate to miss out on Spring and Summer), but I’ve had enough of living a diminished life since my car accident 7 years ago.
So glad yours has a good ending! It gives me hope that my life will be bigger and better than it is now.
Leah Kanaan says
I’m so glad it’s been helpful. I am actually working on a 2 year post operative post. So please check back!