Thursday, March 5, 2009

ALERT: More knee junk, read at your own risk.

I heard back from my orthopedic surgeon's PA. She basically verified what I already knew which was that I have a large (16x19mm) cartilage defect on my medial femoral condoyle. This basically means that the area where my femur rests on my tibia is bone on bone for a large section. I can feel this because my inner right knee aches when I run, jump, etc. and swells first. See diagram below for illustration.

I plan to head in to talk to the doc on Monday, but he is recommending a knee scope and microfracture surgery. This is pretty much the only way to fix cartlage., there is no miracle cartilage injection...yet. Microfracture is where they drill holes in the bone in the affected defect area in hopes that your yellow marrow (which has the ability to regrow cells) will reform cartilage on top of the holes. The photo below shows the procedure.

I need to discuss with him what happens if I put it off for 5 years, because I don't have time right now. School starts in a couple of months and I don't want to be crutching to class, sitting for 8 hours at a time and studying while trying to go to rehab 5 days a week.

I just don't think I can do a third major knee surgery in 4 years... it is a lot.


Bill said...

I only have 50% of my meniscus in both knees left, so I'm glad I passed up on the running and alpine skiing more than 20+ years ago. I can relate to your issue. Now, at my age, I still have enough left in the knees for long mountain bike rides, long and hard approaches to climbs, and can still climb and go mountaineering. I thank the entities for 800 mg Ibuprophen. I can trail run if I use the orthopedics in my shoes, but it hurts the next day. Plus I have no catiledge in my big left toe, which leaves me with a very noticeable dull ache. I'm glad I was beaten a lot as a kid, as I have a very high pain threashold that allows me to ignore that pain. Good luck with the knee.

Erin said...

That is a bummer Hannel. You should just cut it off.

Anonymous said...

Bummer! It sucks when your body doesn't keep up with what your brain would like to do. It's hard right now, but it could lead to some other interesting adventures. Have you ever tried kayaking? White water for adrenalin and sea kayak for long adventure journeys.

Gary Robbins said...

Shit, sorry to hear that Hannah...maybe the kayaking for a bit ain't a bad idea...doubt that's what you wanna hear though.
Congrats again on school, still some very exciting life changes happening for you right now!