I recall my sister‘s knee would go out of joint frequently when we were young. It seems to me she had it drained a couple times. For me, I recall once during football practice my knee went out, but I think that was the only time.
Fast forward a few decades. On 31 May of this year, we had field day at my school. Like every year, I competed with my students. I love showing them that the old man can whoop them! It’s one of the pleasures of teaching. 🙂
Then came the 40-yard dash. I have won every year. Not so this year. I placed third. I was shamed.
Two, perhaps three, days later I noticed swelling on my knee. The fluid would rise and then fall through the course of the day depending on how much stress the knee had. Initially, the knee behaved much as I would expect. By the end of the day, the knee would swell. I would raise the knee (recliner) or sleep and the swelling would disappear. The following day, it would slowly swell as I walked on it.
On 17 July, I went to an orthopedist. The doctor was recommended by a friend who had used her to recover from injuries during a car accident. At that appointment, the doctor drained the knee (~50cc) and administered a cortisone shot. Things seemed better, although my knee still felt tight. I knew things weren’t 100%, but it was much improved.
That lasted three weeks. On 4 August, I heard things. At first I thought it was the velcro on my shorts. A day later, I still heard a “ripping” sound. I realized it was my knee, not the shorts. I also began having twinges of pain. Up until now, there had been no pain. I made an appointment to return to the orthopedist.
On Thursday, 7 August I met again with the doctor. My knee had swollen much worse than it had ever been. The doctor drained it. It really hurt when she did. There was no shot. She ordered an MRI. She suggested that the meniscus was torn. The MRI would say for certain. The thinking was that if it was torn, she would go in and remove the loose stuff. That would put me out of work at the beginning of the school year.
Meanwhile, I went to Florida. A funny thing happened there; my knee didn’t hurt. I walked much better there too. Only getting into Mom‘s car and sliding my leg under the steering wheel caused discomfort. I returned and went to work. Up and down I climbed on chairs and desks. The swelling has begun to return. 🙁
On Tuesday, 19 August, I had an MRI. A little background. My orthopedist is in a complex with MRI and physical therapy attached. I made the MRI appointment there. It is billed through the hospital, but all under the same roof. After I did that, Aetna, my insurance, called and asked if I would be willing to have the MRI somewhere that cost less. I concurred. It turns out it was directly across the street. No biggy.
But it was. This “discount MRI” was not read on time for my appointment. My doctor indicated where I had it done had an inferior machine. I’ll never agree to do that again.
Today I had my appointment with the orthopedist. I took her the disc of the MRI since the discount house had forwarded her nothing. The report is really what is needed and I hadn’t been given that either. Apparently, this afternoon it will be completed.
The good news is that the meniscus is not torn. The bad news is that the kneecap is out of whack. Hmmm . . . I mentioned that my sister had had that issue 25 years ago and had surgery to correct it. The doctor said that very well may be in my future. I asked if the procedure has improved in the intervening years. Apparently not. Cut ligaments is the cure.
But before we go that route, she put on a knee brace that I have to wear. In addition, I have to complete physical therapy to see if I can strengthen the interior knee muscle. While it doesn’t seem like that will fix it, the doctor is hopeful. All this means I will not miss the beginning of the school year. As for what the future holds, she said six to 12 weeks is the normal out time for the surgery. Yikes!
So, that is what is up with the knee. Fun stuff . . . not!