Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Report card

1 Comment

Yesterday marked six months since surgery. Woo woo! That’s a big milestone.

Lately, I’ve been lamenting about the things that aren’t going well, but I haven’t lost track of the things that ARE going well. So I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there… and now I’m quoting the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. Don’t pretend you don’t know that song. (But in case you don’t, you can find it on YouTube here.) I can still rap this theme song, despite not having seen an episode for nearly a decade.

Focus! The point! The point is that, while I’ve been a little worried the title of Valedictorian of Knee Surgery may be slipping out of reach, it doesn’t mean I haven’t achieved a few high marks. If I were a kid bringing home a report card, I’d still be getting some dollar bills. Lemme break it down for you.

During my second post-op visit with my surgeon, he said that he could tell I’d been working really hard. He gave me an A+ for effort. There’s one.

On the most recent MRI, it was noted there was no joint effusion (swelling). There’s two.

It was also noted that the cartilage graft behind my knee cap looks pretty good. Three.

The only scar tissue noted was in the infra patellar (Hoffa’s) fat pad and might not even be from this surgery (first surgery in 2011 included a resection of the fat pad). There’s number four.

My scar is flat and mobile (meaning there is no build-up or adhesions in the deeper layers). Cinco.

I definitely get an A for all the pain, sweat and tears I endured and continue to pour into physical therapy. You can ask my PT; he’ll tell you about having to hold me back because I’d constantly try to do too much.

I’m adding in some extra credit for all the leg extensions I did that clearly helped mold the new cartilage. Clearly. I’m also adding in extra credit points for all the icing and elevating I did. And one more extra credit point for actually following doctor’s orders and spending the first 10 days in the CPM nearly 24 hours a day.

Pain is the only thing still causing problems. And we’re tackling that. In fact, I’m taking one more new drug that is actually working. I hesitate to even mention it because I just started taking it a few days ago, but yesterday was the best day that I’ve had in more than eight weeks. I have hope that this will allow me to work on strengthening my leg muscles to correct the slight lateral tilt to my patella. On a related note, I’m heading to the gym tomorrow morning for my first swimming session. I splurged on a new suit and goggles, so I’m all set to make a splash. Pun intended.

Let me go back to the scar. I put up a picture of the fresh scar in October and said I’d follow with my progress; I haven’t done that. No reason. I just forgot to post a picture. It’s taken a lot of massage, some of it painful, to keep the scar from becoming an unsightly mess and a hinderance to ROM. But it’s all been worth it. I used cross friction massage every other day for about two months straight, and the scar looks pretty good. It’s slightly wider than I’d hoped, but it is almost perfectly flat, and it’s continuing to look better every week.

Scar after DeNovo NT cartilage graft and tibial tubercle osteotomy.

Scar six months after open knee surgery.

So all of this to say, while I think the journey is far from over and there have been speed bumps and road blocks along the way, there are some things that are going exactly right. I need to do a better job reminding myself of these things when I get grumpy about the pain or immobility. This world only has room for one grumpy cat.


Author: Laura

I have a fern I named Frankenstein. I like leprechauns, practicing kung fu moves on my dining room furniture, and pretending that one day I will move to Fiji. I dislike my neighbors' kids, anything that is chartreuse, and Ben Roethlisberger.

One thought on “Report card

  1. OK, I’m going to force myself to do this…instead of subtracting points down from total perfection for every mistake I’ve made, add points up from total failure for everything I’ve done right.

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