To rebuild a knee

17 September 2010

Last Thursday I had reconstructive surgery on my right knee. In April I completely tore the anterior rcuciate ligament (ACL) playing soccer. Once they started the procedure they discovered some damage to the medial and lateral meniscus as well as cartilage damage. Apparently, when I do something I do it good.

It’s very interesting to read the operative report. Some of it I don’t understand, but I understood some things that made me queasy. Like exsanguination. Yup, they tied a tourniquet around my thigh and drained the blood from my leg. I understand why they do it, but it does make me a little dizzy just thinking about it.

On of the cool things was the way they addressed the cartilage damage. Basically there was a 2cm x 1cm section where the cartilage was just gone. To stimulate scar tissue to take the place of the damaged cartilage, they drilled microfractures into the bones 3-4mm apart. It’s really cool and weird at the same time.

I started physical therapy on Wednesday. The main course of action at first is restoring flexibility and mobility. My mobility is actually quite good, but I need to be able to be extended my knee and get back to 130 degree flexion. Right now I’m doing stim-assisted quad sets, leg lifts, ankle flexes and heel slides. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s quite tiring.

If I can stomach it, I’ll write about the graft they did. It’s really cool, but I’m really squirmy when it comes to medical stuff about my own body.