- 8 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
Helloooo Bees! Sorry, this may be kind of long by the time I get through with it
(You’re welcome to read the ‘history’ or just skip to the end with the question! 🙂 heh)
Soo, needless to say i’ve had my fair share of health issues and I am now just at the ripe young age of 23 (last week, actually!) and I have yet another dilemma. When I was 15 I tore my ACL and meniscus playing HS soccer and had it reconstructed, fixed, etc. However, it has never stayed ‘fixed’ and since then I have had 4 surgeries in an attempt to get it right. Each doctor has thought they knew what was wrong, but that’s never been the case. I live in NC and have gone to the ‘best’ following that first surgery (oh, if I had only known better) that is around here. My most recent knee surgery was in the spring of 2009, but after knowing that my knee has gone bad again, I tried to ask my doctor about it but he kept telling me that it was fine. As a side note, I have connective tissue ‘problems’ and am just much ‘looser’ than the average person, so he kept attributing the looseness in my knee to just how my body normally is.
Okay, back to the story…I finally threw in the towel with my most recent doctor and sent my stuff to the Mayo Clinic in MN to be accepted as a patient. I went to the Mayo last year for a pituitary tumor and I’ll never be able to express how wonderful they are, but I figured that they would be able to help me with my knee if anybody can. I was finally accepted as a patient and I went to go see them this August and they even went ahead and tentatively scheduled surgery for me ‘just in case.’
When I got there everything worked like clockwork…we had a barrage of imaging tests done, and when we finally met the doctor, she sat us down and slowly went through my history and we figured out what had been ‘wrong’ all along. It feels a little ridiculous that it came that ‘easy’ for them, and yet the three other doctors I have been to never figured it out. Anyhow, we found out that for my first surgery when they used an autograft (my own patellar tendon) it would have worked, except for the fact that my surgeon had put the screws in the ‘wrong’ place that caused the screws to essentially come loose and the graft to fall out. For all other surgeries I had a donor graft (allograft) tendon, but they had all messed up, so the Mayo folks said it’s because they think my body is rejecting the donor tendon. And there you have it, i’m not accepting other people’s tendons. Nice.
Now here is my dilemma…in order to ‘fix’ my knee, they would like to use my hamstring from my good leg, not the ‘bad’ one that has already had everything done to it. So, i’ve researched a bit about this and it really just seems to depend honestly on everyone’s situation and experience.
I held off on surgery because I didn’t feel comfortable at the time messing with my good knee. It might seem silly, but idk, I just did. They told me that I already have arthritis in my knee and that my meniscus is torn again, most likely because i’ve had no ACL, and my knee will just continue to get worse as I get older but it’s not a 100% given though. I know i’m young, but all of this has made me really depressed about getting older…I just want what will be best for me in the long run. Right now I am leaning towards getting my knee fixed and using the hamstring graft because I know that something needs to change with my knee and they have said that unless i’m an “extreme” athlete (and i’m obviously not) then I won’t be able to tell a difference at all in my ‘good’ leg. But, i’m just hesitant after reading about other people’s experiences who have had things go horribly wrong after a simple hamstring graft.
So yes…all of this rambling comes down to me just wanting to know – have any of you have ever had a hamstring graft? And if you have, what was your recovery, long-term prognosis, etc., with it like?
I’m sorry that this was so long and most likely very confusing! Thank you so much in advance for any insight, opinions, annyyything! 🙂