Friday, October 19, 2012

OK, I Get it Now: That's Bad

Question: How can someone snap her anterior cruciate ligament, damage her medial collateral ligament and meniscus and fracture her tibia and walk away saying, “Fortunately, this injury is fairly minor?”

That’s the question that has been rattling in my head since yesterday afternoon, ever since I got the diagnosis from the ortho clinic at the University of Rochester Medical Center.    

I went back and looked at the blog post that mentioned my injury, here, and I’m struck by my blasé reaction to the injury that is now causing me to choose between knee reconstruction surgery or a lifetime in a knee brace.

After the injury, I knew it was bad from the type of pain I was feeling, but a family doctor diagnosed it as a sprain or strain of what turned out to be one of the only two ligaments I didn’t actually damage, and sent me on my way with instructions to ice, wrap and take ibuprofen.  I’m not blaming her, because I obviously was either in denial about the extent of the injury, or I’m so accustomed to injuries and pain that I was unable to tease out the seriousness of this injury in an already sore and fairly abused body.

So, now I have to make a decision.   

I’m using the brace now, to see how it goes, for a few weeks.  I was instructed to wear it for pretty much everything I do, because my unstable knee could go again (and has, which is why I sought additional medical help) and could cause another break in the main support bone of the lower leg.   

Being an otherwise healthy and fit 49, the idea of wearing a brace for the next 40 or 50 years does not sound better than having surgery that will mean six or eight months of rehab.  But, the decision still has to be made, and, in addition to wearing a brace, I’ll be researching outcomes for the surgery.  Reconstructive surgery doesn’t necessarily mean “good as new.” 

If you know of anyone who has been through this surgery, send them my contact info.  We have to talk!


  1. Wow, how could they miss that? Hairline fracture? did the tearing of the ligaments break the bone like in my foot? Well, have never had this surgery but can relate to walking around with a fractured. You may recall that a year ago after 3 xrays and 2 doctors, the diagnosis was that my horse's fall onto my leg just cused a bad sprain. oops, wasn't healing. PT, MRI & CT scan later, oh you have a fractured heel. 5 months kater surgery for 2 screws, a bone graft and 8 weeks in a cast and I'm much better. Go for the surgery. There has been so much advancement and U of R is excellent. My 3 wrist surgeries were done by U of R docs.

    And, if you need farm help, I'm right over the hill.


  2. Yeah, it's a strange situation. I'm glad you're fixed up now! Mine was a compression fracture.
    Thanks for the offer!

    1. Yikes! I guess mine was sort of if you consider the weight of a horse on my leg.

      Yep, I'm always willing to help a fellow horse person. I clean & feed at Lori Kain's place on Thursday eves. I keep telling her I'm kidnapping Wishes, the grey mare.