Oh Woe is Knee, Part 2

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When you have a knee injury, all kinds of people come out of the woodwork with horror stories to tell about their own knee injuries. Most people I have talked to since my knee swelled up like a balloon one day two weeks ago have debated whether it was my ligaments that were torn or stretched or a meniscus tear. If I had to pick between the two, the feeling was unanimous that the meniscus tear was preferable because the recovery time from the surgery is shorter.

I showed up yesterday at the sports medicine doctor to get the results of my knee x-ray from the week before. I expected he would see nothing and I would be sent for an MRI of my knee to see if it was the meniscus or the ligaments, and that he would prescribe physiotherapy.

Imagine my surprise then when he told me that my knee was badly damaged to the point that he guarantees I will need a knee replacement "probably by the time you're 60" and that I have osteoarthritis of my knee to a degree he has never seen in someone my age. He asked my age three different times during the examination, confused at the degree of cartilage damage which showed up on my x-ray. In fact, he said I have very little cartilage left in my knee and that is irreversibly damaged.

To describe myself as shocked would be an understatement. As expected, he did send in a request for an MRI and did prescribe physio, but I was not prepared for him to tell me that my knee was severely damaged and it was beyond repair. I grieved for my knee and my old lifestyle all day. I got pretty low, then angry that I never knew that my knee was in such bad shape that with every soccer game I played even every step I took, I was causing more and more damage.

I likely have a meniscus tear, but my ligaments are fine. I may still need surgery because the cartilage wouldn't be so badly damaged if my meniscus were intact. I will definitely need to lose those last 18 pounds, switch to low impact activities and avoid more knee damage at all costs. I'll probably be hobbling like an old lady in no time.

I'm still coming to terms with this news. Much of my persona is wrapped up in being 'sporty', but I need to keep my knee safe as long as possible so I can do the important things in life like dance around the living room with the kids and go for walks with DH.


Christine April 1, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

I'm so sorry to hear the bad news!! Don't get down though, you can still be sporty and enjoy lots of stuff... just have to change your focus a little. Plus I'll be right by your side in the hospital when we both have our knees replaced!!

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