Doctor: I’ve seen worse cartilage in knees.
Bruce Wayne: That’s good.
Doctor: No, that’s because there is NO cartilage in your knee, and not much of any use in your elbows or your shoulders. Between that and the scar tissue on your kidneys, the residual concussive damage to your brain tissue, and the general scarred-over quality of your body, I cannot recommend that you go heliskiing, Mr. Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: Right.
Last June, shortly after my previous post, I was texting as I was walking home and tripped as I was coming down some cement steps near my house. I recovered and planted my left foot firmly down, taking my entire bodyweight and momentum. My knee did not like that very much. I felt/heard a pop as if my knee briefly dislocated, and could not support any weight on my left leg, so I sat down for a few minutes. The pain slowly subsided and I managed to hobble home.
This was not the first time I hurt my knee, so I did the same thing I always did in the past – RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) until it goes away. The first time I hurt myself, it took about a month to get better. After that, I have had some minor aggravations that clear up within a few days, a week or so at most. That was not the case this time. I was still feeling unstable as well as having random jolts of pain every so often, so I decided to take advantage of my health insurance and finally get professional help.
I talked to my primary treating physician, who quickly gave me a referral to a sports medicine specialist. I had some X-rays taken before I saw him, only to be told the X-rays looked fine (except for hints of the beginning of arthritis) and I would need to get an MRI. The MRI, however, showed damage to the meniscus and a torn ACL. The sports medicine specialist put me a program of rehab exercises and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for two weeks, which helped but did not fix the deeper issues, so I got a referral to a surgeon. The surgeon told me I should definitely get the meniscus fixed and it was my choice if I wanted ACL repair, but I figured if I was going to get cut, I might as well take care of everything. Because of existing travel plans, I did not have the surgery until December.
I lost count of how many times the hospital staff asked me what procedure I was having done and which side it was going to be on, but I suppose all the double-checks was a good thing because everything went as predicted from the MRI. My lateral meniscus had actually folded up away from where it should have been laying and had to be removed but the medial meniscus was successfully repaired and my ACL was replaced with a cadaver tendon. They had to drill holes into my femur and tibia in order to set that last one up! Now I’m in the long process of recovery. On the bright side, I now have one more thing in common with Batman, specifically the Nolan version.
Sadly, my brace does not allow me to kick through brick walls, but if all goes according to plan, my brace comes off at the end of the month and I can start training to kick walls with purely with my own power.