Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Knee Surgery

Remember back in August when I was looking for a gym?  I said I had a nagging knee injury?  It just wouldn't go away.  It prevented me from fully flexing my knee, and would POP very loudly when forced to fully flex.  After it would pop, which would happen in just about every class I would go to, it would swell up and be very sore for about a week.  I could only show up to about one class a week because of the problems.  So...  I went to the doctor.  I thought that I might have a torn meniscus, and that was the case.

He sent me to get an MRI.  That confirmed a significant tear in my left medial meniscus.

Only one way to fix it, so under the knife I went.

When he got in there he saw that the meniscus was not just torn.  It was "shredded." What was causing the problem of me not being able to flex the knee fully was because the meniscus was bunching up under the femur, and the popping sound came from the femur riding over the bunch, and slamming down on the other side.  Instead of a meniscus repair, I underwent a meniscectomy.  The cut most of the medial meniscus out of my knee.

I ended up with good news and bad news.    The good news was that recovery would be easier, because...  well...  There wasn't anything there anymore.  The bad news was that I would DEFINITELY develop arthritis in this knee that would eventually lead to a total knee replacement later on.  Unless medical science can figure out how to regrow me a meniscus and other cartilage between now and then.

So, while recovery was easy, after the swelling went down, I regained full strength in my left leg within 3 weeks, I still needed to give it time to heal fully.  My wife and I agreed that I would not go back to the gym until January 2014, giving me three full months of recovery.
The only think I found strange about the whole procedure was that my knee "squished" right after surgery.  My wife said that it was a combination of all of the fluid that the body produces normally (swelling), and the fluid that the surgeons used to flush out my knee after surgery.  It was yucky.

So, I am ready to head back to the gym.  I have to wait just a bit for the gym to open, the black belt went to Brazil for the holidays.  It will be about two weeks before I can go back.  I am very anxious to come back to training, because I really want the surgery to have been successful.  I think that it was, as I am now able to sit cross legged (Indian style) and sit on my heels again.  I couldn't before the surgery.  But, I also know that I haven't been able to really test the knee out fully since the surgery.  I hope that I can go back to training.

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