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Pain & function worse following surgery?
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Pain & function worse following surgery?

I am a 21y/o F. I am a yogi, practicing Bikram (hot) yoga daily and a former multi-sport athlete.

On 4/13/09 I had arthroscopic surgery on L knee to repair what we thought was an anterior bucket handle tear of the lateral meniscus. When they went in they realized although there was minor fraying of lateral meniscus, there was no huge tear. I did have pretty bad chondromalacia which they had to clean up and also osgood-schlatter (which I have had my whole life). They found a 2-3cm piece of bone lodged in my patellar tendon, so they cut the tendon to take it out and sutured it up after (this was not done arthroscopically, of course).

I wore a hinged brace starting a few weeks after surgery because my knee kept giving out on me. I started PT 3x/wk and weaned off of that brace. I was doing very well and starting closed-chain exercises 3 weeks into PT, doing great with wall squats, etc. Out of nowhere I had a terrible setback and haven't made any progress since late May. In fact, I have backtracked. My patellar tendon hurts almost all the time... feels like shards of glass are in there. If I bend it for more than a minute or so it starts to feel like someone is cutting it, and I still can't fully straighten it after 15 weeks. I now wear a patellar strap which provides some relief, but not great. I don't have any of the pain I did from mensicus/chondromalacia stuff, but the patellar tendon pain is starting to get ridiculous. There is a pocket of swelling where the tendon attaches to the tibia, too. Any ideas? Could it be partially torn? Just doesn't make sense that I was doing so well in PT and progressing so quickly without problems and then all of the sudden everything turned around. I don't know if I should try a cast or immobilizing brace or what. I am going to see a surgeon (I moved from the state I had my surgery in) sometime soon but it's been hard to get an appointment. Any thoughta?
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It definitely sounds like a problem with your patella tendon.  It could be anything from residual inflammation and scarring, to a partial tear at the surgical site.  I doubt there is a complete tear.
I agree you need to see an orthopedist as soon as possible.  Your work-up will probably include an MRI to assess the patella tendon.  In the mean time, I would take it easy. You certainly dont want to change a partial tear to a complete tear.
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