Knee surgery

posted Oct 12, 2013, 7:24 PM by Kieran Boito
On 3 October I had surgery to repair cartilage in my right knee.  According to the MRI scans, it looked like a 1 cm x 1 cm squarish section of cartilage was flapping around.  It was decided to have the surgery and go in with two possible corrective actions: OATS if possible, and microfracture if OATS wasn't going to work.

When the surgeon got in there the problem piece was actually 2 cm x 0.8 cm and there was no way that OATS would work, so he cleaned up the flapping bit and a few other areas and drilled 8 tiny holes in the bone to stimulate new cartilage growth.  The pictures they took are incredible - very high resolution and showed me for the first time what cartilage looked like.  I was thinking somewhat hard, but pliable, like a thick PVC bag.  But on the pictures you can see that it's actually pretty "cloud-like" and fluffy and soft.  Pretty cool.

So now onto the recovery.  I was sent home with a massive brace on my leg to immobilize the knee - think NFL offensive linemen braces - and crutches.  I also had a cooling system to circulate ice-water around the knee (I think it will work with cool-shirts...).  Of course I got some pain meds, too, but, interestingly, my knee has not provided me with any pain.  I mean it's not even as bad as it was before the surgery.  Of course I'm not putting any weight on it, and won't for another 6-7 weeks, so it will be some time before I know about the ongoing pain.  But I'm pretty happy with the lack of pain so far.

The biggest pains: being stuck at home for 2 months, not being able to drive, spending 12 hours a day on a couch, with my right leg stuck in a continuous passive motion machine for 6-8 hours every day.  Oh, and bugging my neighbors to shuttle me to doctor and physical therapy appointments 2x/week.  I think this week or next I will attempt to drive my truck with my left foot for both gas and brake while keeping my right leg on the transmission tunnel.  That should be interesting and will help me accomplish some of the things I need to accomplish this fall.  There are other things that will just have to wait for spring, though.