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Thread: Risk other ligaments/tendons or submit to cadaver?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Thanked 36 Times in 22 Posts

    Question Risk other ligaments/tendons or submit to cadaver?

    I had posted a few weeks back about higher risk of ligament & tendon tears related to sle...
    I know I didn't get much feed back on prevention (although I've learned some things since such as strengthening surrounding muscles) needing some advice so here's the deal:

    I had injured my knee (doing nothing really) and after my appointment with the ortho Suregon it turns out I've torn my acl, lcl & meniscus. They're running another MRI today to see if I've since torn another (I believe it's called mcl). I waited a week & change-apparently that's a bad thing & I received a tongue lashing for my stubbornness. Anyways, we'd talked about surgery and they explained that their first choice is to "harvest" (totally disagree with that terminology "-" ) from a cadaver vs my own from another location. I expressed my extreme reluctancy about this-honestly I know it shouldn't but not only does it completely freak me out, I know I'll have a horrible time dealing with the fact, after the fact.
    The reasoning behind the "harvesting" (shudder) is that not only are my existing ligaments & tendons deteriorating, but taking away/disturbing them ups my chances of a new injury in their locations.

    I know the answer should be clear, I know I sound babyish, but the fact remains if we use cadaver parts, I'm not sure if I can psychologically handle it.

    So my questions are:
    If this was you what would you do?
    Has anyone dealt with anything similar?
    If so (and you were hesitant) how did you manage coping?

    Any advice would be great-I follow up next week, but I'm stuck between a rock & a hard place :-/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Dallas, Tx
    Thanked 418 Times in 343 Posts


    I feel for you. This also scares me, because I am having lots of tendon problems myself.
    As for the harvesting ( don't want to use the word cadaver,lol), when I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse 15 years ago, I had so many problems and the cardiologist was thinking of surgery, where he would replace my leaky valve with a pigs valve ( eewww). Luckely, he decided to try meds first and I am much better now and don't have to have surgery as for right now.
    I can see your dilemma, but on the other hand, you really don't have much of a choice.
    BTW, if I would have not gotten better, I would have decided in the pigs valve, because the alternative was a artificial one, which can cause blood clots.
    Just think of it this way, if you would need a heart or kidney, it would also come from a cadaver, but it would safe your live.
    I hope you can get over it and make the right decision.

    I may have been dealt a bad hand, but at least I'm still playing with a full deck. ( most of the time anyway).

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to debbie-b For This Useful Post:

    Saysusie (09-13-2013)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Victorville, California
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    I have just undergone a complete bi-lateral mastectomy and am in the process of reconstruction. Since all muscle, fat and tissue are removed in a complete mastectomy, some of that has to be replaced for reconstruction when using tissue expanders. A tissue expander (temporary spacer) is placed at the time of the mastectomy, and involves the use of an allograft (cadaver skin) to help make the pocket for the implant. Alloderm/Allograft is a collagen matrix that is acellular in nature. That is to say, it is cadaver skin that has had all the cells taken out of it, and just leaves the collagen behind. It is like having a shell of a building there, without all the walls, furniture, and people living inside. This makes it easy for your own body to incorporate your own blood vessels and tissue into the Alloderm/allograft. I have this alloderm/allograft in each breast. Any tissue taken from a cadaver is processed in such a way that it is virtually "sterilized" (for lack of a better term) of anything that would or could be harmful.
    I was given a full explanation of this by my team of doctors and had to sign a consent. One of the things that alleviated my fears/trepidation/repulsion was the fact that I, myself, have donated my body (skin, tissue, muscles, bones, and any viable organs) to be used to preserve someone else's health and/or to save someone else's life. I would hope and pray that someone would honor me by accepting those things that I have donated because my donation was done out of love and care for the health and well being of another human being. I consider this use as a love gift from the donor.
    This is just my take on it, as a donor and as a receiver. I hope that it helps you a bit!

    Peace and Blessings
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Saysusie For This Useful Post:

    Abbyrition (09-14-2013), steve.b (09-14-2013)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Thanked 318 Times in 192 Posts


    I have not had this type of surgery myself, but have two friends who have had knee reconstructions with harvested parts. it kinda weirded them out for a while, but now they never think about it - or if they do, it's just "recycling". Personally, I would be happy if somebody were able to regain health and mobility by using my tendons when I am done with them.

    As for the "gross" factor, we EAT dead things all the time...dead does not equal rotting or gross. It's all just strands of protein, the way wood is strands of cellulose or maple syrup is tree sap or whatever....nature produces things, we use them. No worries!

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    pinjarra, western australia
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    I can understand both sides of the comments. my own idea is that it is a good thing to offer our organs for someone else to use. organ donation saves lives. is there really any difference with tendon donation, or anything else. my belief is that this thing we call a body is a temporary item. when we have finished with it ...... we have finished with it. if someone else can obtain a benefit out of parts of it .... then good. due to my medications, I can no longer donate my organs for transplant. but I would love to be able to offer something to someone ..... even if it was just to cut me open so students can learn. the thought of wasting our bodies ...... is just that a waste. but this is my view, and you must decide yourself what is correct for you.
    When you're stressed, You eat Ice cream, Cake, Chocolate & Sweets. Why? Because stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

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