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Recovery time after chondroplasty
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Recovery time after chondroplasty

Six plus weeks ago, I had arthoscopic knee surgery and a chondroplasty procedure. After my six week checkup this week, my knee still had considerable pain in it and I am still unable to walk without crutches. What expectation should I have for a recovery time after which I should be able to walk relatively pain free? I do understand that a chondroplasty does not guaranty that cartilage like material will form. Am I necessarily looking at injections of some type to stave off knee replacement surgery? The doctor put me on "partial weight bearing" status for two more weeks. What is anybody's experience here? My meniscus cartilage was worn out on the inside before surgery. Did the chondroplasty get you to "pain free" for a while?

Thanks for any input you may have.

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Avatar_n_tn
Recovery time for this surgery is highly individual.  Depending on the complications of the surgery, the state the knee was in at the time of the surgery, your overall healh, other conditions (like diabetes, HTN, etc.), age, and level of activity all contribute to healing time.  The "rule of thumb" for recovery is 1-3 months from surgery to "on the feet", but I have known people who are up and walking in a week and some that are still having problems after a year. It is important that you do your exercises and physical therapy and don't procrastinate with them.  I know it hurts to move around and do the exercises, but with movement and exercise the pain and range of motion should get better.  The more you sit around and the less you move along with poor compliance, the longer the recovery time. Remember if any one exercise is really painful and you don't want to do that one, ask the therapist to recommend an alternate exercise that won't be so painful. Since your meniscus is pretty much gone, you are walking bone on bone, which can wear down the joint and cause pain, swelling, inflammation, a shortened leg (resulting in hip and back pain)and other problems. It is probable that if this surgery fails, your ortho will recommend a total knee replacement.  There is a "new" knee out there that is placed orthoscopically and gives the client more range of motion.  I am not sure of the name, but ask your doc about it when the time comes. Recovery is much shorter than full surgery with fewer complications.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Your response on chondroplasty was very helpful. My situation is very similar, the thing is though is was able to walk the sunday morning after my friday surgery and felt great until Thursday morning. I continued walking without krutches until Friday morning (this is the first week mind you)but the sorness, while not at all excruciating, was still a concern and I contacted my surgeon's office, at which time they expressed that I still needed to be on krutches at 25% weight bearing. The next week(2) I used the krutches all the time faithfully participating with my pt routine but learned at the end of the week exactly what 25% weight bearing is that's 40 lbs per step On my bad knee. I certainly am able to walk without krutches and wonder how much damage may have been caused by not using them initially maybe knocking off the scab on the chondroplasty. I still have pain and entering week three donot feel much inprovement.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
How are you feeling?
What expectation should I have for a recovery time after which I should be able to walk relatively pain free?
+ The recovery is highly individualistic and depends on nutritional status, joint mobility and other accompanied symptoms or disease state.
Although chondroplasty may stimulate the area to re-cover itself with new cartilage, the problem is that the new surface is not true hyaline or joint cartilage, but a rather inferior version called ‘fibro-cartilage’.
You can have pain free period for a while but you need to be constantly evolving how your joint doing is.
If you continue to be in pain then you can be trying other procedure like OATS.
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had a chondroplasty done 1 1/2 weeks ago.  I never did use my crutches, and am able to walk relatively pain-free, providing I'm not walking on uneven ground or stairs.  I rode my horse (bareback, at a walk & trot only) 2 days after surgery.  I was told to not put a load on the knee in the bent position, so no jumping my horse for a few more weeks.  Today is the first day that I've been able to bend my knee to almost full range-of-motion, and straighten it after sitting with minimal pain.  I'm happy with the results, but have to admit I was surprised at how sore I was for the first 2-3 days.  Hang in there and don't baby it.  Like I tell my kids...."it's a long way from my heart"!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
If you take example of jlv103, the recovery appears to be fast and also he has made surgery done look so simple.
I think you need to pep up yourself and go ahead with surgery.
The earlier the surgery, faster would be the recovery and sooner would you be able to mobilize yourself.
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Bye.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had chondroplasty surgery on February 15th and though after being on crutches for two weeks, I still had a dulling pain under my knee cap and resorted to using a cane for a couple of weeks. as of today,I can walk with a little bit of pain..but my real concern is a pain I get once in awhile when I go to walk around an object, like a table, where my leg turns to the right? It doesn't hurt when I walk straight?

My physical thereapist said it cpould be the muscle isn't strong enough yet on the inside......can anyone shed some light on this

I hope this is what it is, and I don't need to have an additional surgery!

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a chondroplasty 8 weeks ago, I was on a CPM machine for 6-8 hrs a day since the surgery, and on crutches for the same time. I stopped both last week and have begun to use recumbent bike at the gym (non weight bearing) and added the elyptical machine each day for a few minutes.Still have moderate pain on inside of knee when flexed rht or left. Doctor did agree it is an individual recoup. I am in commercial construction and I think it will be a while until i can return to climbing ladders and stagings etc. Does anybody have an occupation that requires a lot of daily physical activity and how long did it take to get back to it?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a torn meniscus & patella damage.  I had a chondroplasty last August (2008) & they fixed my meniscus. I still can't  walk or stand for more than 10 minutes without severe pain that makes me have to stop doing what I am doing.   I work as a nurse.  I have been out of work since the surgery.  I did the physical therapy until physical therapy made me stop.  I am going to start water therapy soon.
Hope you have better luck than me.
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Avatar_n_tn
It is completely individual. It also depends on whether it is done arthroscopically or through incision.

I had mine done, incisionally, 7 weeks ago.  I was on complete bed rest for three weeks.  I could always put full weight on that leg from day of surgery.  I started physical therapy at week 4.  I started the CPM machine at week 5 and it caused shin splints, which derailed my recovery for a week.  I have been up and doing things (running short errands here and there) using one crutch.  But knee is still very swollen and yesterday they put me back on full bedrest.

Very discouraging.... esp when you read reports about others horseback riding after two days.
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Avatar_n_tn
Had lateral release and chondroplasty done Christmas Eve.  Felt absolutely great for first three weeks, like a new person.  Started Phys Tx and still felt good.  Slowly pain is coming back now (four weeks later) as swelling subsides.    I was told there was no harm in walking on it within comfort levels w/o crutch.   Trying to build inner muscle, and walk on mid-inner arch of feet now (years of pain made me flat footed, stiff legged).   Getting worried as I can't really do my job without being on my feet a lot.  Fear that I may have pushed a wee bit too much, but not so given my instructions.  Surgery was never in question .  It was far too painful before surgery.  Feeling a net loss in the pain department still, but will see what happens in the next few weeks.  I must successfully train the patella to shift to the inside somehow.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a chondroplasty on Feb. 3, 2010 and it still hurts most of the time.  I have pain behind my knee and on the inner top side.  I am starting to worry that it is something else.  I am 63 and perhaps a bit impatient with the healing process.  I know different people heal differently, but do I have need to worry?  My surgeon says there is no swelling and told me to give it more time.  I hope he is correct.
Thanks,
Leslee
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Avatar_n_tn
Follow the doctors orders after surgery! Remain non weight bearing no matter how good your knee feels,  (read this article) : http://*************.com/knee_chondroplasty.htm
To fully recover you MUST stay non weight bearing!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had chondroplasty, meniscal work, and a cyst removed from my ACL of my right knee on 2/26/10.  It is now almost a year later, and I still have pain and soreness.  I also have to work continually to keep my quad from tightening up.  I was on crutches with weight bearing for about 2 weeks, and then moved to the walker.  My balance was not good with the crutches.  I went through PT to strengthen my leg and to get it straight, which I was able to accomplish.

I had the same surgery on my left leg on 11/22/10.  There was no cyst on the ACL of the left leg.  The second surgery went much better.  I am almost completely pain free, although that leg is not as strong yet.  The right leg was very painful for several weeks, however, the left one had almost no pain.  

I am doing water therapy 3 days per week, and try to ride my stationary bicycle at home at least 2 more days per week.  My gait is not great, and I do not pick up my feet very well when walking due to stiffness.  The pain before surgery was a 10, and now it is a 5 in the right leg and a 1 in the left; so the surgery did help in the pain area.  I am not sure why one knee did so well and the other not so great.  The doctor doesn't either.  I will continue to work in the pool and with the bike in hopes that the right leg will eventually improve more.  
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Avatar_n_tn
there is a difference between chondrop;asty and micro chodroplasty. micro takes months longer to heal fron. you should check with your surgeon to find out which procedure he performed. and enter both into your search engine to get all the facts.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a grade 3 tear to my ACL and MCL as well as a torn lateral meniscus 4 1/2 years ago. The surgeon performed an ACL and a subtotal meniscetomy whilst leaving the MCL alone. The pain following the procedure was hell and four years later my knee has never felt the same with clicking and clunking becoming the norm with pain on exercise. I went and saw another ortho surgeon who told me straight away that my knee was unstable and that i needed a further ACL AND MCL reconstruction due to a botched first operation. I reluctantantly had the surgery done on the 14/05/11 having and ACL, MCL reconstruction chondroplasty and removal of existing metal work. i have just found out what a chondroplasty is and i annoyed to learn that the 4 1/2 years prior my first surgery my unstable knee has done considerable damage to my cartilage in which i should need this procedure done. I am 35 years old and face a lifelong battle with knee pain and OA. Following the op. and considering the amount of work that was done i am pleased to report that i have been weightbearing 4 days post surgery pain free. I start physical therapy on Monday and look forward to continue my rehabilitation in that manner. I hope that the damage that has be done can be contained and i can live a relative pain free life and enjoy the joys of fatherhood with my young girls with little inpact on the freedom of many every day activities.
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Avatar_n_tn
Need advice

I had ACL surgery with partial lateral meniscus May 25 ,2010
October 2010 I had a re-scope of the knee and had scar tissue and another cleanup of the lateral meniscus.

I’ve been having nothing but problems since my surgeries.  I have sharp shooting knife stabbing pain in the knee.  I cant squat on the leg at  all and I cant push out on resistance. I have poor quality of life

I just saw a 4th opinion DR who has concern about my ACL. He saw the scope pictures and sees laxity and abnormality to the ACL.  He tells me its possible that could be causing my pain and knee to not glide right. He had a triple phase bone scan tagged with White Blood cell Count to rule out infection. The reason why I had a bone scan was because he took an x-ray of my right leg/knee and there appears to be a moth eaten appearance to the bone and my bone should be white but instead it has blotches of blackness.  He says that can happen when you have an infection.  So we ruled that out.

My moth eaten appearance to the bone can also be caused by non use of the leg which is seen in older adults or RSD.  Although I had a Sympathetic Nerve Block and that didn’t provide relief to RSD.

So as of now I have another surgery (3rd knee surgery) July 13 but I’m nevous about being worse or the same.  I would love to get better.  

Any advice? Anyone have this problem?  Not to mention I still have severe quadriceps atrophy and I ambulate with a limp. So I’m nervous about this procedure.

He also said he might not do anything with the acl if it appears fine.  But he defiantly has concern towards the graft.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had knee surgery 5 weeks ago,including a partial menisectomy and AFC chondroplasty.The consultant said my knee is a mess,and he may need to replace the kneecap as there is a massive gap in the cartilage.

I have had a lot of grief,having been told I should have just had 2 weeks off work,and taking a month off, on doctors orders,is unnecessary.

I do all the exercies,attend physio,swim and walk as much as possible.I do get tired and need to have a crutch for walking any distances.

I am pleased to see that there is no one size fits all in recovery.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am pleased to say I am one of the lucky ones. I had right knee arthroscopy with partial medial meniscectomy as well as femoral and patellar chondroplasty. My recovery was amazing. I no longer ache. I was on crutches for the first day, then went to one crutch do to lack of mobility. That lasted 2 days with minimal assistance and was able to be full weight bearing by the 4th day. I was scheduled off for 2 weeks and was able to return after 1. I still have to be careful to stretch, that way I have full ROM. I am happy to have had this procedure done and hope to have the left knee done this winter. Minus the meniscectomy :o) Cgarrison M.A.

Thank you to The providers and staff at Franciscan Hospital Federal Way, Wa. Day Surgery. And of coarse to Dr. Franceschina for doing such amazing work.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my surgery on April 12, 2012. I am still walking with a walker and found out Thursday that I have absolutely no cartilage left in my right knee. What now? I'm bone on bone now. I'm in more pain than I have ever been in my whole life. I'm constantly falling, my knee buckles and gives out, it locks up and I have no control over it. To let you know how serious this is, I'm only 30 years old.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 22 weeks post chondroplasty and Lateral Meniscus clean up.  I am still in a significant amount of pain.  Not the same as surgical pain, but pain to bike, walk, or exercise.  I work out daily, and take anti-inflammatories daily.  (I know that's not good).  However, I found on MRI that there were metal shavings left in my knee due to the shaver used.  I don't know if this is what is causing my pain and inflammation or not.  My experience may be VERY different than yours though.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi i had partial meniscetomy and condroplasty done on 25th feb2013 i was out and about after 5 days just a short trip to the shop,  i have managed the stairs ok, took the dog to the park..but now 15 days after procedure my knee is clicking and sticking ,still pain on the inside,and pain in the calf muscles. before discharge i was,nt told much the physio just told me to excercise as much as i could. no one mentioned condroplasty or fluid around the knee i only read i had this done on the discharge letter.go back in 4 days to see the consultant which will be week 3 hpoe he will give me an idea how long recovery will be..
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Avatar_f_tn
I had chondroplasty last July had meniscus tear had to have a brace in for 6 weeks still painful and swollen 7 month on I'm now going in for surgery on right 1 same again on 11th February
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