Well, at least they didn’t have to amputate…

Two years ago, I had surgery on my right knee to correct a tracking problem I was having that made it extremely painful to do some of the things I loved to do such as hike, bike, swim, and run. There were a couple of months following the initial surgery in which all seemed right with the world and I thought my troubles were behind me…then my left knee got a bit jealous of the right knee and decided to give out on me too.

I have been battling with this for a year and a half now, all the while I kept thinking it would correct itself if I simply reduced the amount of strain I put it through. So, I decided to back away from almost all physical activity to give it a rest. I stayed out of the gym more times than I went, and in the process – I gained 30 pounds which actually compounded the knee problem as it put more pressure on the kneecap.

It seems I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones who suffer from chondromalacia which is part genetics (thanks mom) and part the wear and tear I put on my body when I was younger (can’t tell now, but I was a runner way back when and very active in sports – softball, volleyball, swimming).

In my case – ignoring it was not going to make it go away.

So last Friday I finally conceded it would not heal on its own and let my doctor hack into my left knee in the hopes we could correct the problem and get me back into walking up stairs, swimming, and even walking long distances without crying like a little girl. It was also imperative to do this sooner rather than later as we are trying to eliminate the possibility of arthritis setting in which is a major side effect of this funky ‘disease’ I have.

It is an arthroscopic surgery, so thankfully the trauma is minimal compared to other surgeries (like ACL). The doctor goes in through little keyhole incisions and performs a lateral release, where s/he divides the vastus lateralis muscle which weakens it, restoring balance to the Quadriceps muscle which allows the kneecap to track correctly. The surgery takes about 1/2 hour to complete, and I am home in two hours.

Four days later and I am feeling pretty darn good. I actually walked up and down our three flights of stairs today which was very liberating as I was getting a bout of cabin fever that needed to be tended to as there are only so many movies one can watch in a day. If all goes well, I should be in physical therapy for two-three months and skiing in three-four months. **keeping fingers crossed**

3 thoughts on “Well, at least they didn’t have to amputate…

  • December 13, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks Lin. When I think back on all the things I gave up waiting for it to heal naturally, I could kick myself for the lost opportunities. But you can’t live in the woulda – shoulda – coulda mode. Today is a new day.

    Glad to hear your recovery is going well Matt! I think in all of the knee surgeries performed, our recovery time is one of the quickest so I am truly thankful for that. Keep doing your PT and be good to your knees!

  • December 13, 2006 at 7:01 am

    I had this surgery done about 3 months ago, and my knee feels fine now! Its like nothing ever happened! The only time I notice something is when I kneel directly on it, still a bit tender, but getting better all the time 🙂

  • November 27, 2006 at 6:58 am

    Good for you, Miz K. It’s hard to make that commitment to surgery, knowing full well the work you’ll have to do to get back to full health, but you did it!

    Hope this does the trick and you can feel like the young woman you are once again. What a waste of youth, all that pain.


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