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Hole in knee after surgery?!?

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Calif., USA
Posts: 6
Octiceps HB User
Hole in knee after surgery?!?

Hi everybody! This is my first post here and I would really appreciate any advice or recommendations I can get regarding a major problem I'm having right now with my knee.

I'm 17 years old and used to be a very active and competitive runner, basketball player, and cyclist. An injury I sustained to my left knee 4 years ago left me unable to continue my sports due to chronic severe knee pain and swelling. I saw many, many different orthopedic surgeons during those 4 years and even had surgery once, but nothing seemed to resolve my problems.

I had my first arthroscopic surgery in this knee in January 2009. The surgeon performed a chondroplasty of a Grade II chondral injury on the lateral femoral condyle and debrided a small strand of my ACL that had been caught on the chondral injury. There were no complications, but this surgery didn't do a damn thing for my pain and swelling and I still wasn't able to return to my pre-injury levels of athletic ability.

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to get in contact with a world-renowned knee surgeon. His diagnosis was completely different from that of my first surgeon and he assured me that, if successful, a knee surgery performed by him could get me back playing again at my pre-injury levels.

Therefore, I had a second arthroscopic surgery a little over a month ago. This knee surgeon performed an anterior interval release, synovectomy in all compartments, resection of the infrpatellar inflamed bursa, denervation of the inferior pole of the patella, and a modified lateral release. My knee remained pretty swollen for the next few weeks, but he assured me that it would gradually go down.

About 3 weeks post-op, I started getting a little draining of fluid from a black, nickel-sized mark near the top of my patella on the lateral side. This black mark looked like a burn mark and was never mentioned by my surgeon or his physician's assistant during any of my follow-up visits. I know for a fact that it wasn't one of the arthroscopic incisions made for the surgery because there were only 2 of them and they were both underneath my kneecap.

A few days after the draining started, I woke up in the middle of the night and the black mark had completely opened up and there was a dime-sized hole in my knee!!! Clear yellowish-red seroma was draining non-stop from the hole and I was rushed to the emergency room. I found out that the hole led directly into the inside of my knee and, therefore, I had an "open joint." To prevent an infection, my knee surgeon operated on me again later that day to wash out the inside of my knee while a team of plastic surgeons stitched up the hole on the outside. I stayed in the hospital for a week while they monitored me and figured out what kinds of antibiotics to give me when I went home.

Now, it's been a week since I've been out of the hospital and I still haven't been given any definitive answers as to how I suddenly, out of the blue, got a hole in my knee. My knee surgeon tells me that something like this has never happened to him before even though he's been doing these kinds of knee surgeries for many years.

Now, I'm much worse off than I was when I had my original surgery done a little over a month ago. Now, I have to keep my knee in a huge brace that locks it at full extension to prevent any bending whatsoever lest I rip my stitches open. I have virtually no mobility and must use a wheelchair to get around when I'm not at home.

I would really like to get to the bottom of this because not only has it delayed the recovery of my knee, but it has also greatly disrupted my life, my schooling, and my family. Anything you guys have to contribute is greatly appreciated.

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