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Anybody ever had PLICA surgery?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The knee surgery my wife had last week included removal of two areas of "plica" in her knee.

As Steadman explained it to us, plica is some kind of tissue that forms compartments in the knee during the fetus stage. Apparently, with most of us (like 85%) the tissue disappears during childhood or adolescence. With a lucky few like my wife, however, it stays there taking up space in the knee. This results in a sort of crowding of the surfaces in the joint and can result in pain or bruising or whatever.

So, in addition to having some thankfully minor meniscus repair, she also had what the doc described as "very large" areas of plica removed.

I thought I knew a fair amount about knees (from personal experience), but I had never even heard of plica before last week.

Has anybody else on this board had plica removal and how did you fare?
post #2 of 9
post #3 of 9
Plica are congenital folds of the synovium or joint lining. They are very common--very-- but only the minority are symptomatic in some patients. It depends on the size and location of the plica.

The are most common in the knee but occasionally be found in other joints like the elbow.
post #4 of 9

I had plica removed from my knee when I had my lateral release (cutting of the retinacular band) done. I was getting pain from my kneecap pinching nerves and "locking". Between the release and the plica removal, the problem was resolved. I was told that there would be some minor loss of cushioning effect, but that basically plica served no useful purpose.

Hmmm - sounds like plica=packing foam!
post #5 of 9

I had 2 plica removed after a car accident. I was told everyone has it and it only causes a problem usually due to some trauma to the knee. I was driving 55mph one night when a tree landed on top of and in front of my car!!! It was a huge tree!! That caused my knee to hit something...I was driving. Anyway, ever since then knee hasnt been the same. I was young 30's when that happened. Now Im 43 and during Zumba felt it immediately & practically put me on the floor!! I kept going and hurt my other knee too but continued going to zumba knowing I need to exercise my knees!! Well, my knee keeps locking now. Sometimes I can rotate it just right to unlock but, sometimes, no matter what, it makes a HUGE cracking sound and is very painfull unlocking... I will find out later today what's going on. I know there is something floating around. I just want it out!!

post #6 of 9

What was your outcome following further f/u with your knee locking up following plica surgery??

post #7 of 9

I'm not a skier, but I wanted to reply, since I just had plica removal surgery two days ago.  The surgeon didn't know that was the problem (thought it was a torn meniscus) until he got the scope in there.  Being only two days post-op, it's too early to report on the success (or failure) of this surgery.  But the pain for the last few months has been excruciating, and I would have been willing to try anything.  My surgeon, who is over  70 and has done thousands of knees, said mine was the worst case of plica syndrome he'd ever seen.  I guess that would explain the pain.  I now have the same thing going on in the other knee (not yet diagnosed), so, depending on how this surgery turns out, I may be having it done again on the second knee.  Right now the pain is about the same as it was pre-surgery, but of course I'm still healing from the incision and cutting.  I'll try to follow up on this post when I have more to report.

post #8 of 9

I had plica removed during micro fracture surgery in my knee. It was an incidental finding removed prophylactically.

post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

I had plica removed during micro fracture surgery in my knee. It was an incidental finding removed prophylactically.

I had an excision of the Plica in my right knee along with a number other things (lateral release, removing some damaged meniscus pieces, microfracture chondroplasty etc.). As far as I know it wasn't the cause of the pain I had been feeling. The surgeon did it to prevent future problems. My understanding is its thought to perform no function in adult knees. There was no pain whatsoever after surgery, but quite a bit of pain after getting off the crutches (8 weeks or so). As far as I know none of the discomfort is due to the removal of the Plica though. I gather its done pretty routinely in the course of knee surgery..

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