I had a microfracture surgery in early 2009 to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee and that was the worst decision of my life. I have more pain now than I did before the surgery and it seems like the microfracture was a complete failure.
The surgery was supposed to regenerate tissue or ligaments by causing bleeding under the kneecap but it failed to do so. As a result of this, I now have clicking and grinding in my knee and it feels like all the ligaments are gone and there is friction from bones rubbing against bones; the tibia is rubbing against the femur without the cushion of ligaments. This condition has caused my quads and my upper thigh muscles to atrophy and I am in constant pain. Furthermore, this condition has weakened my whole left leg and I cannot run, jump rope, practice martial arts and most of all play soccer, the only sport that I have played consistently since I was a kid.
I am only 44 years young and I cannot live like this anymore. I cannot play with my three year old son, I cannot go to the mall with my wife and walk around without feeling excruciating pain. I have looked into ACI and OATS procedures but I am not sure how successful those procedures are and I am wondering if I would be a good candidate for a partial or total knee replacement and get this over with once and for all.
It is impossible to comment on the specifics of your knee, but perhaps I can give you some general information. First, the microfracture surgery that you had, had NOTHING to do with your meniscus. It was to attempt to regenerate the articular cartilage in your patellafemoral joint. In general, microfacture has about80% success rate after 2 years, and the results deteriorate over time. In general, cartilage restoration procedures have better outcomes if the algnment issues that caused the problems are corrected as well. This istrue for MF, ACI and OATS. It sounds as if this has not been done for you. On option then, is a patella realignment procedure. I favor the procedure known as Fulkerson Procedure or anteromedialization of the tibial tubercle.
While joint replacement procedures are definitive, we like to avoid them in young patients when possible, because of the limitted longevity of the components. However, if your quality of life is poor and all other options have been exhausted. Knee replacement can be extremely effective. Whether, total knee, partial knee, or patellafemoral replacement is best can only be determined ny examining you and reviewing your xrays.
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