Well it has been a long time coming and I’ve needed this procedure for awhile now. I started having dislocations from an early age. My ankles first, then my knees, then my hips. My knees have always been the worst. My right knee, in particular, has had at least over 100 dislocations, each fall worse and worse. The fear was that with each fall I could break a bone and do permanent damage to my cartilage and knee.
I decided enough was enough when I fell at a wedding reception. I was having a great time dancing with my husband when I tried to twirl and my knee gave out. I was humiliated to fall in front of all these people and knew that I had hurt myself pretty bad. The pain was excruciating. Luckily I ended up with just bruising this time, but I knew the MPFL surgery that was recommended to me back in 2019 was the only way to prevent this from further happening.
The first step was finding a surgeon. You do have a choice in your care and deciding who operates on you. I had narrowed it down to two orthopedic surgeons. I originally went to UT Health. I actually had gone here two years prior, but was too scared to proceed. I liked the doctor I saw, but ultimately chose Dr. Rodriguez because he actually broke down how I could feel better and what my goals were for this procedure. He was confident in his ability to fix my problem and explained everything I would go through.
The day was scheduled originally on 5/19, but due to some last minute concerns (on my apart, I’ll explain this) we switched to the hospital instead of the surgery center. The surgery was rescheduled for the following Wednesday which came soon enough. Personally, I am thankful I had that extra week because it meant another week of Peloton training and more time to complete chores and work that I had put off.
I had everything set to have surgery scheduled on 5/19 and the weekend before the procedure, my dad called and said he was worried about the anesthesia and me going under due to my increasing mast cell issues. Over the past month or so, I have had three “attacks” where my body has overreacted to unknown stimuli causing urticaria rashes and severe stomach cramping and pain. I hadn’t really thought of this being an issue with surgery because my MCAS symptoms had been mostly related to food related.
I ended up talking to the anesthesiologist and we ultimately decided to go ahead with the surgery, but the day before anesthesiology decided the hospital would be the safest route given my history. The procedure was postponed for a week and I felt better, along with my dad and husband. Having the operation in a hospital meant being able to have a team of doctors to help if I needed them; peace of mind.
My MPFL repair was done via arthroscopy using an allograft and reinforcement meaning I have a cadaver’s ligament inside my knee. Whoever this person was they are giving me new hope; a future without dislocations. I am truly grateful for this gift and the person that contributed it to me. For pain management I have an On-Q Pain Relief Management System which is a catheter placed in my leg and is slowly administering a lidocaine-like drug into my right leg essentially numbing my knee and leg for a projected 82 hours. After the pressure released pain pack is empty, I remove the catheter from my leg. I also am taking a prescription alongside to ease the pain as the nerve block is good, but not 100%.
My bandage comes off in three to five days and my stabilizer will be on for six weeks. Crutches will be my go to for the next several weeks alongside help from my family. I prepared for surgery by purchasing a few necessities that I will share with you in a later post and for now I am focusing on giving myself grace and self love.
I have a long road ahead with physical therapy and getting back to my “normal,” but I am hopeful this will be an end to my chronic dislocations and knee pain. My surgeon is highly confident in the surgery and it’s outcome, so I can’t help but be optimistic that this may be the end of my knee troubles (at least for the right side).