Image(ining) the possibilities

Well, so I met with the orthopedic on Tuesday to discuss the results of my MRI. The emergency room doctor had said that the probable issue was a dislocated kneecap with accompanying effusion (swelling), and the physician’s assistant out here in W2 said it was a likely meniscus tear. Turns out . . . drumroll, please, that I . . .


ACL tear on MRI scan

ACL tear on MRI scan

tore my ACL and my meniscus! So thoughtful of me to really go all the way and injure myself multiply in one fell swoop. Further, the fact that I’ve injured myself in two areas of the knee as seen on the MRI scan concerns the doc that there’s even more damage not evident until they see inside the knee during surgery. In any case, they can fix it. Because I tore clean through the ACL, it balled up in two places where it was attached to the bone, which is why it was immediately unstable — it was like trying to stand on two rubber balls stacked on top of each other. A totally torn ACL, however, tends to shrivel and dissolve inside the knee joint, leaving no remnant of itself, which explains why it’s actually been easier to walk, but sometimes feels unstable. The good news is I’m not in a lot of pain; the bad news is that now I’m asking more of all the remaining ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones on that side, and I’m slowly wearing out my healthy knee on the other side.

We decided that I would work out in the pool at the local YMCA and on a stationary bicycle, dropping 10-20 pounds before having surgery in late November. And then I should be on the road to getting back to my old self! Except I’ll watch the crazy dance moves from my early 20s.

And now that I think of it, it’s really annoying that in all these years of avoiding skiing in order to protect my knees (seriously, does anyone give me more than 10 minutes before I go crashing down the side of a mountain), I still broke my knee! Sheesh!

The option we’re going to take is to use conditioned cadaver ligament for the replacement, since my other alternatives are to take ligaments from other parts of my body, which would limit me where we’ve taken it for this reconstruction. One of my friends worries that I’ll get ligament from a formerly “evil” person, and I have tried to tell her that I don’t think Cheney is officially dead yet. Let’s leave the Buffy subplots to the terrain of Joss Whedon’s mind, shall we?

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Categories: transplanted


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One Comment on “Image(ining) the possibilities”

  1. Ami
    October 8, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    I’ll be so happy and relieved for you once the knee is no longer an issue. I’m glad we’re talking Nov for surgery and not February (I don’t know where I got that). Hang in there….and not like that kitten hanging from a branch or anything either…

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