Name : Michael Coker

Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida United States

Area(s) of body affected: Left Leg/Left Knee

Personal History:

My name is Michael Coker. I was first diagnosed with Melorheostosis back in September of 2002. Martin Roche M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida diagnosed my condition with a second opinion confirmed by Michael Feanny M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, Total Orthopedic Care, West Memorial Hospital, Pembroke Pines, Florida. This condition came as a result of a total knee replacement surgery with complications. An infection and blood clots that resulted in additional surgeries, plus I could not bend the knee after replacement surgery where four knee manipulation surgeries were performed in April, May, June and July of 2002 by Doctor Roche.

I have had a total of 10 left knee surgeries performed. The first surgery was to repair the torn meniscus cartilage in 1995. The next year I had two additional surgeries to repair the meniscus and medial collateral ligament in March and November of 1996. I had more surgeries in 1997 to reattach the torn meniscus. I had more extensive tears in 1998 that required more surgery to reattach the meniscus, replaced it with a donor cartilage termed as a “Meniscus Allograft transplant” surgery. Bad news occurred in 1999 as I was kicked in the knee which again required more extensive surgery.

After my 1999 surgery, I was in nonstop constant pain with burning sensation in the knee. In 200 I sought relief from the constant nagging pain that prevented me from living a normal life. I wore a knee brace for more that 7 years. The pain was so awful that it was uncomfortable to stand for periods at a time and walking up stairs was too painful as I had to move up one step at a time. Knee replacement surgery was the only option as I was told. Because of the discomfort deteriorating degenerative condition I was diagnosed with. Replacement was the only option. Total knee replacement is for patients that were 50 years of age or older. I was diagnosed as a candidate as this was medically necessary at 42 years old.

Four months after my last surgery in 2002. I was informed that I had a new bone to grow irregularly on top of old bone along the middle and lower thigh and knee of my left leg which prevents me from bending my knee completely. My doctor informed me that I had a condition called “Melorheostosis”. After being diagnosed with Melorheostosis, I was informed that additional surgery could be performed but there is a possibility that the growth will return complicating matters that won’t help. I walk with a total limp today. I cannot bend or run at all. Because of this condition I have gained a massive amount of weight. My forward movement is slow. I strongly believe that this melorheostosis condition was brought on from the four knee manipulation surgeries that were performed. This has altered my life.

I had never heard of melorheostosis until I was informed from my orthopedic doctor in 2002. I thought that I was the only person in the world that had this condition until I read a USA Today article this past October 15, 2008. I cried. I cried because there are others that suffer and the medical world has no cure and surgery is not always an option. This is so rare that it is scary. My leg swells swollen each and everyday. Living in Florida, I used to wear shorts all of the time. Because of the swelling, my leg looks like a tree trunk that I no longer wear shorts. I’m having a lot of difficulties. I hope that no one else in the world gets this disease. The medical world must find a cure.

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