Friday, January 29, 2021

Oops I Did It Again

Second Verse, Same as the First (sort of)... 

So I went and had me  another one of those knee surgeries. This time, I got the right knee taken care of pretty much the same as my previous surgery that I had on my left knee this past summer.

So to answer the question that I am sure most have - Why again? Well basically, my knees, both knees, are/were just not ever right. It wasn't because of running, in fact the first time I ever went to a doctor about knee pain was a good decade before I started running.
As you can see from my posted X-ray, (taken before either was fixed up) my knee caps actually were not located in the correct place which ground down the cartilage leaving the sides of my knee caps grinding bone on bone. As you can imagine, this hurt basically most of the time I moved, let alone ran. I'd just gotten accustomed to it and did things like taped them or wore support braces to mitigate it.

Apparently knee caps belong in the middle, huh!

What started the whole knee-fixing process was I did actually injure the left on top of the underlying misaligned knee cap and no cartilage thing (that was from running, my bad - torn meniscus training for an Ultra). I got referred to an ortho that specializes in athletes (ha ha, me an athlete) and his assessment was if he was going in to fix the injury, he might as well fix everything. 5 procedures and 6 months later, my left knee is pretty darn "normal" and totally pain-free, something I'd never really experienced.

Since the procedure was so successful in fixing the left knee, he recommended that I do the other one too. Luckily all this knee needed was the correction to the degenerative issues - a lateral release to properly align the knee cap and microfracture drilling to create new cartilage. My left had 5 total procedures due to surrounding injury, the right only needed 2, so I am hoping for a quicker recover, though I will still be non-weight bearing and in a locked brace for up to 4 weeks. Turns out things were again, just a bit worse on the inside than the scans showed, and I had several bone spurs all up in there as well which had to be removed, but overall, still less work was done on the right.

But... after this recovery period, that should be it. I should be good to go with two properly aligned knee caps and brand new cartilage. Which means when I am cleared to be back up to running again after surgery, I should, conceivably be able to run pain-free and work my way back up to where I was or even faster.

Part of the decision to go ahead and do this now is that race events are still not going to be happening for a while, so the hope is that I can recover without missing out on too much. That by the time events are up and running again, so will I be. And, if I am being totally 100% honest, I am not terribly sad to be missing cold weather runs. (You may have heard this on a blog post or 12, but I really hate being cold).

One Week Down
Looking a bit better already
It has been a week since my procedure, and overall, it’s feeling really good. The pain is mostly just soreness and it feels pretty sturdy, but I’m listening to doc’s orders and not putting any weight on it and keeping it in the locked brace like a good girl. There's still substantial swelling, but about the same as the left knee was at this stage. When I first unwrapped the bandage at day 4, there was a lot more post-surgery bleeding than the last time, and so much bruising, but all of that has mostly cleared up after a week. It still looks a little yellowish, but in the inside, the pain is much much less than the left knee was at this stage. Either that or I just don't remember clearly. I go in on Tuesday (Feb. 2nd) for my 10 day follow up with the surgeon and I am confident I will be given the clear to unlock my brace then. 

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