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Bone tumor removal and bone graft

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Old 11-05-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: san jose, ca
Posts: 8
berlinathena HB User
Exclamation Bone tumor removal and bone graft

Hello...I came to this site to get information from anyone who has dealt, or is dealing with my current situation. I see a lot of entries, but some are quite old. I've decided to post my current experience and hope others can share insight, or perhaps it can help someone else.

I was diagnosed with a bone tumor. This was found after a fall and after a few months, I was still having knee pain and went to the Dr. An xray did not show anything and I preceeded with PT. After therapy, cortizone shot and another series of shots (3 in a row, one a week), I had an MRI on my knee.

The MRI showed a bone tumor, which the Dr. felt was possibly an Enchondroma. Typically, they are watched, but since I had pain and with the MRI it was difficult to tell if I had cortical breakthrough. I had a CT scan, which appeared to show slight cortical breakthrough. Cortical breakthrough is a sign of aggressiveness and I had pain, both which could indicate cancer.

Unfortunately, with an Enchondroma, biopsies are not very helpful. It is very difficult to distinguish between a benign Enchondroma or a low grade cancer. In cases such as this, the tumor is usually removed. With cortical breakthrough, this could weaken the knee cap and eventually the knee could collapse (Dr. described it as a cracked eggshell, which would crumble after a while).

I had my surgery on 10/10/12, curettage (scraping out the tumor) and a bone graft placed. I have been non-weight bearing since the surgery, and wear a hinged knee brace. Initially, the Dr. felt I would be non-weight bearing for approx. 8 weeks, but after the surgery, he said it could be shorter because I had a lot of hard bone in the area. The biopsy did come back as an Enchondroma.

The pain has been very difficult and the pain meds were a must for me. At night, I sleep 2 hrs at the most (recently, there are times I get almost 3, but mostly just the 2) before I wake up in pain. Feels like my knee is soo tight and just burning. I do still have some swelling.

To complicate things just a bit, 2 weeks after surgery, I had a hard fall at home (crutches caught up on carpet)...ohhh, the pain! Straight onto the foot/leg that I'm not suppose to bear weight, then followed the fall directly onto the knee. We will skip all the pain and drama and cut to my trip to the Dr. after the fall. I was so afraid that I messed up the graft and would have to go back to surgery. An xray did show that I cracked my knee cap. After the Dr. looked at this for a bit, he decided to just leave it. *whew* Not sure if this is going to extend my non-weight bearing time...we will see.

I have started PT, only 3 visits so far, but do have exercises to do at home. I know everyone is diffierent and heals differently. I'm concerned because I still have quite a bit of pain and the knee really isn't budging much at all! I know the Dr. said we have to get it moving, otherwise he would have to do a surgical manipulation..ugh.

After my fall, I really hurt my shoulder and using the crutches is sooo painful, I'm afraid I may fall agian, because I do not use them properly because of the pain..I truly avoid them. If we go outside the house, I'm using a wheelchair, which has been exremely helpful!

I'm looking for any input/experience from anyone who has had this type of surgery. I would like to know your experience. I feel the Dr. stays on the conservative side of how long of a recovery this truly will be.

Please, I'd appreciate any input, or if you have any questions, feel free to ask!


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Old 11-05-2012, 03:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 23
Rhoda452 HB User
Re: Bone tumor removal and bone graft

Nice Post.

Old 11-06-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: san jose, ca
Posts: 8
berlinathena HB User
Re: Bone tumor removal and bone graft

Just an update..still hoping someone with my experience can share their recovery with me.

I still sleep at 2hr intervals (1 1/2 to 3 hrs, rarely 3 hrs) before I wake up in pain. The knee area feels soo tight and hot, but the pain will ache from my foot to my hip.

I have been staying off the pain meds during the daytime, but if I have an outting that is extensive, I will take a pain med-- I guess the bumping around sets off the discomfort. During the night when I wake up, I do some stretches, foot flex and massage and will take 1 pill (pain med). I again, will wake up 2 hrs after this. I have forced myself to not get up right away when I wake up in 2 hrs, but the pain is worse when I do that.

Sooo tired of broken sleep...lack of sleep.

I do my exercises at home and PT twice a week. The knee is still very tight and I don't have much movement. I'm concerned about the lack of movement, because eventually, the Dr. would want to do a surgical manipulation. I'm trying to avoid this.

I'm tired of sitting...things get sore when you are sitting all the time! Again, I stand on one leg and stretch, do flex with the foot, etc., but still, most of the time I'm sitting on my butt!!

Old 12-08-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Re: Bone tumor removal and bone graft

Belated well wishes to you. How is your recovery going at this point?

Old 12-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: san jose, ca
Posts: 8
berlinathena HB User
Re: Bone tumor removal and bone graft

Hello...thanks for asking. I am still of work and am doing PT 3 x's a week. My ROM sucks, the leg is weak. I can put weight as tolerated, but cannot walk do to the ROM issue and weakness. I "may" end of doing a surgical manipulation.

It is uncomfortable and is uncomfortable throughout the day. I still wake up about every 2 hours because of discomfort-burning sensation still present. After waking up, I stretch, massage my leg a bit, take pain pill if necessary and am trying to lay back down right away..instead of staying up for two hours! I'm doing pretty good at falling back to sleep, but I still have the broken sleep

Overall, the pain is "much" better, but I'm frustrated with my ROM and the uncomfortable pain I still have.

Funny, when people have no idea what kind of surgery you have had or they just think it's been long enough, you should be walking. My brother told me it would have been easier to just have a knee replacement. I didn't need a knee replacement. As my doctor said, we are dealing with bone not a joint here (although it can affect my joint now).

Thank you soo much for asking and I hope you have a great weekend!

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