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the story of an invisible girl
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.


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pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: April 1st, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I had the tophus 'scoped out of my knee last fall, the surgeon also went ahead and "cleaned up" my knee.

It worked out really well. That knee persists in feeling and working significantly better than it used to. I don't know about this microfracture thing, but I highly recommend at least getting your knee roto-rooted.

Oh, and my recovery went really fast, partly because apparently my surgeon shot a lot of steroids into the knee after surgery. She was worried that the surgery would trigger a gout attack. Anyway, my knee never even swelled. I was putting weight on it the next day. I'd recommend talking with your doctor about "reducing recovery time" with steroids.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That's really encouraging to hear, that you're noticing significant improvement! My biggest fear is that I'll go through all of this and still not feel any better.
geekjul From: geekjul Date: April 1st, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is this the same knee you had surgery on a couple of years ago? You need a refund or something!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
No, this is my "old bad knee", the left one, which I had surgery on but not since 1992. It had a worse injury I think, plus technology was less advanced then.

The right knee (which was actually back in 2004 if you can believe it!) is doing pretty well.
sherdeb From: sherdeb Date: April 1st, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't chicken out! Let me know if you need a ride or anything!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!! I didn't. (: It'll be thursday May 7th. M is going to take me to the hospital and stuff, but if you'll be around I'll definitely keep you in mind if I need anything friday, as he'll be going to work.
From: writerwench Date: April 1st, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
This sounds very worth doing - think of how much more fun skiing, ice-skating, and biking will be with a knee that can cope with the stress.

Good luck with it, sweetie!

(Thoughtfully considers own left knee, that has taken to being achey and niggly of late)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Very very true.... thank you so much!
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: April 1st, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do it, even if you need to take it easy for a longer period of time. You've done the crutch thing, you can make it through 6 weeks. Go in figuring and planning that it'll go that way, and you'll be fine.

Good thing you have a personal PA. Sounds like this microfracture thing works quite well, but you have to be very careful and keep activity closely monitored and controlled for a while -- don't get all crazy sports-girl until it is good and healed!

(Rooster injections?)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, rooster injections. Well, the stuff is made from the comb of a rooster (weird!).

Yep, I'm going to do it. May 7th! I'm cautiously hopeful (:
nishar From: nishar Date: April 2nd, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope they can fix your knee this time so it doesn't keep bothering you.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 9th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. (:
mbumby From: mbumby Date: April 10th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can believe it was 2004... I remember we were kind of gimpy together... and I was at my gimpiest in 2004.

Best of fortune -- I hope it all goes well -- and do call/email/whatever if you need anything.
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