The rooster comb lasted about 6-7 weeks. It was then my doctor first mentioned additional surgery as an option. Sounded like fun, but I said “no way, Jose.” I kept plugging away with physical therapy, even though it wasn’t really doing anything to help Hank (my right knee). About 8 months after the arthroscopy, after another MRI that showed full-thickness wear on my patella and a new lesion on my medial femoral condyle, my OS sat me down for a serious talk about surgery, and he explained exactly what he was suggesting–tibial tubercle transfer (say that 3 times fast!) with De Novo transplant on the back of my patella. Surgery scares me (actually, it’s the general anesthesia; I hate it), so I asked if there were any other options. Duck tape, perhaps? He said I was grasping at straws, but I think he understood that I seriously wanted to avoid surgery. Plus, he wanted me to be comfortable with the decision, no matter what the decision. He told me to get a second opinion and gave me a referral to another OS more practiced in cartilage restoration, and he referred me to the head of the physical therapy group because “if anyone can think of something new, it’s him.”
I was hugely disappointed when the second opinion agreed with my surgeon. And it was very quickly clear to the new PT that he couldn’t really help me with the amount of pain I was experiencing, despite his best efforts with taping, bracing and orthotics. Enter the pain doctor. He prescribed some narcotics that, when taken in large amounts, did actually help my pain. But they also left me curled up in a ball with my head in a bowl. Oh, the nausea! So then he kindly prescribed anti-nausea medicine, and I was set. I also had a series of 3 Euflexxa injections, despite the fact that the Synvisc didn’t last all that long. I started up again with PT about 4 weeks ago to strengthen the muscles around my knee, especially the VMO. I have done things in the last 4 weeks that I haven’t done in two years! Squats! Leg extensions! Biking! But everything I’ve done has really been to prepare me and Hank for surgery. There’s just no getting around it now because my OS refuses to discuss my becoming a long-term drug addict as a viable treatment option.
In a nutshell, that’s everything that led me down this path and landed me at the front door of the OR. I am currently just this side of terrified, and I’m not sure how my blood pressure is going to take my being so nervous for the next two weeks. I think/hope the anticipation of it will be worse than the actual surgery and recovery. Maybe?