Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Should I be embarrassed?


My previous suspicions were right; I wasn’t all the way out in the OR. Color me embarrassed to find out yesterday from the PA that I’d started “moaning, moving [my] arms, and kicking a bit once the tourniquet was inflated.” Um, moaning? Great.

Perhaps even more embarrassing is the fact that I was apparently still arguing about having any anesthetic, even after I’d had the first dose of Versed. The PA told me she was trying to reason with me (once I started moving) and tell me it would be ok to have the sedation, but I was refusing to give in and kept telling them no. Until they just shot me full of Propofol anyway.

If they’d just let me keep my faculties about myself, instead of giving me the Versed, I would have been able to handle the whole situation a bit better. Maybe. I probably would have cussed a bit. But I guarantee I wouldn’t have flailed and moaned.

Should I be embarrassed by this? I am, but I don’t know if I should be. I mean… I was under the influence. The PA said, “It was kind of funny” when I was shocked to hear that I was arguing with them while strapped to the OR table. I was all, “Maybe for you!” I hate that I can’t remember any of it.

DeNovo NT Cartilage Graft Update

The good news from the PA is that the DeNovo NT cartilage graft that was implanted behind my kneecap (patella) has grown into some kind of cartilage cover (don’t know that it’s actually hyaline cartilage, but it’s something). That’s good because it’s what’s now covering over half of my patella. You can see on the picture that it’s not the same, but it’s grown into a decent cover, and she said that it should continue to smooth out over time (they did shave it a bit because it was frayed).

DeNovo NT cartilage graft on the undersurface of the patella.

The DeNovo graft is the choppy, white cartilage that you can see in the upper left corner.

This was the first time they’d gone back to scope one of their DeNovo patients, so she said they were kind of excited to see what was there. I said, “You’re welcome.” What I should have said was, “Does that mean this surgery is free?” The video below shows the surgeon poking at the graft a bit and then smoothing things out. It’s kind of cool that I at least have a video since I didn’t get to watch the surgery.

So far, everyone has been impressed with how well I am recovering from this surgery. PA said today that my surgeon, after seeing me following PT last week, had told her I looked amazing. Both she and the PT were also impressed that I’m not crutchin’ it. PT helped me strengthen the leg and get in better shape in the six months prior to this surgery (I also owe a shout out to LG, my friend who helped me figure out how to strengthen the rest of my body without angering the knee), and I think that’s all helped. Hard work pays off. Hard work and compulsive use of a cryo cuff.


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.

2 thoughts on “Should I be embarrassed?

  1. Hmmmm…I know you gave consent while you were lucid, but I’m still a little alarmed that they gave you Propofol while you were saying no. Does that bother you at all?

    Glad your cartilage grew and is still growing! (Three years is the growth period, I think, right?) I remember from an earlier post that there was an unfilled region at one point…how’s that part looking now?

    • Hey Skole!

      Getting the Propofol in the OR after I’d started moving doesn’t really bother me (not much else they could do at that point because it’s too dangerous to have me moving). I trust my healthcare team implicitly, and I know they did what they needed to do. I still wish that they’d let me give it a try without any sedation (just the block), but I don’t know if that really would have had a different result. In the end, it turned out ok, and I didn’t get sick from the anesthesia. Just embarrassed. :)

      I’m super excited about the cartilage graft! My understanding is that it’s not a complete, even fill (meaning that some spots have more cartilage growth than others). But there is no exposed bone on the patella, so that’s an improvement. I honestly don’t recall the growth period for the DeNovo, but the surgeon and PA did indicate that it should continue to smooth out and mold itself at least over the next year.

      I asked the PA this week whether they thought this would be the last surgery and I wouldn’t have to consider the big one we’ve been pondering since last June. She said that they hoped what they did this time would be enough to get me to a place where I can function in my daily activities and be able to exercise (we’re working toward the riding again, but they will consider biking and daily activities successful). No one is promising pain free, but I would embrace just functional. Of course, it’s still very early, so only time and PT will tell if third time was a charm!

      Hope you’re doing well!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s