March 31st, 2009

duke-injured

Knees and Knives

This afternoon I went to see my knee doctor again. My left knee has been troublesome for quite some time now, and it keeps me from doing things I want to do. I visited him last fall and tried his suggested non-surgical suggestions -- rooster injections, creams, and therapy. I did not find much relief.

Anyway, long story short, it was his opinion (and the opinion of my Personal Physician's Assistant, who accompanied me) that the best solution is to scope it.

Specifically, arthroscopic surgery. At a minimum, he will go in there and clean it up. He said there is plenty on my MRI to clean up, from torn meniscus, bone spurs, a bursa cyst, loose cartilage, and all kinds of fun stuff. They both think that a cleanup could improve my knee and make me feel better.

While he's in there, he'll check to see if I'm a candidate for microfracture, and if so he'll do that. He'll also hopefully (if possible) harvest some cartilage to be regrown and reattached later if I need/want it. Those things sound pretty cool and high-tech!

A basic cleanup would be a pretty quick recovery time, only 3 or 4 days on crutches, around a month total recovery. The bummer is that if he does the microfracture thing, I'd need to be on crutches for 4 to 6 weeks. If he doesn't do that, it's a different kind of bummer because it kind of sounds like it'd be the surgery with the highest chance of significant improvement. So I don't know what to hope for. I don't really get to choose; he'll decide once he's in there and looks around. The weird thing is I won't know until after the surgery, which I'll end up with.

So it's not scheduled yet, but I think if I'm going to do it, I should try to get it over with quickly -- like early May. The sooner I can get recovered and start having fun with my summer, the better. Presuming I don't chicken out, I'll call tomorrow and see what days are available to me.