Knee inury in-mobilizes me

The night after I got home from Florida 6/16 I had been sitting on the couch with my feet propped up because my ankles were still a bit swollen from traveling all day. I didn’t get home until 1:00 AM. I got off the couch and took about three or four steps and my knee twisted and gave out. I ended up on my butt. Then it happened another time that night and a few more since. I did get an appointment but my doctor was out so I saw the nurse practitioner or PA two days later. She told me to see how it was in a two weeks and come back if necessary.
I saw my primary care doc two weeks later. She ordered a MRI and it was scheduled for 4:00 the next day. She thought that I may have dislocated my knee and possibly injured a ligament. The nurse practitioner or PA or whatever she is two weeks before said she only noticed a wee bit (that’s the Irish in me) of swelling in my knee. The doc said she thought it was quite swollen which I said it was two weeks ago. She also commented on how warm my knee was. The doc also was a bit pissed that a MRI wasn’t ordered two weeks before. So her advice was to keep using a crutch when I am out and about, not much those days, take pain meds as needed, elevate as often as possible and keep icing. My knee had gone out a few more times. I landed on my ass on the front porch one day and then another day I turned too quickly in the kitchen but caught myself on the counter.
The MRI wasn’t as bad as I had myself worked up for it to be. I really should have called and asked specific questions so I wouldn’t have lost hours of sleep freaking out. I forgot they don’t put the entire body in the MRI tube when it is for a knee. I was in just up to my waist. I had my clothes on and Tevas. I only had to remove my toe ring which hadn’t been off my toe since the last MRI I had for my tailbone pain 4 ½ years ago. Boy was there a white tan line on that toe. It only took a little over thirty minutes and I had headphones on listening to the radio. I had already taken the Xanex like instructed when I arrived at the hospital to check in but I don’t think it much other than maybe helped me keep my leg still and breathe easier.
My doctor called me the next day and the results of the MRI were not good. I have two torn ligaments, the medial collateral and ACL. Doc said to start using both crutches and basically stop any activity. Not that I have been doing much anyway. My doc couldn’t really say that surgery would be required since she is not an orthopedist but she said it that is most likely what the treatment will be. She referred me to an orthopedist but his first available appointment was not until 7/24. That office gave me another orthopedist to call and no appointment there until 7/23. Finally the third ortho could see me the following Tuesday. My back is already killing me from trying to walk using both crutches.

Well I saw the orthopedist and although I have torn both the ACL and MCL the good news is he said no surgery. There is a big bruise on one bone and fluid and a cyst behind the kneecap. He asked me if my knee had been hurting prior to this incident. Ever since I had surgery on the medial meniscus 8 years ago there has often been some slight pain and I would ice my knee. The doc said that is because I have two areas that are quite arthritic. They grade arthritis on a scale of 1 -5. Where the kneecap comes together mine is rated a 3 -4 and the interior knee area is a 4.
I have a heavy duty brace to help stabilize the knee and was told to continue to take it easy, ice the knee and take my anti-inflammatory and pain meds as needed. Wear the brace for 4 – 5 weeks and come back to see him in 5 weeks. Then if needed he will shoot me with cortisone for the arthritis.

By the way the ortho looked 12 but I am hoping he was a little older and actually had graduated from med school. He couldn’t get the disk to play to see the scan but read the notes. I came home and got it to run but of course other than seeing the bruise on the bone I have no idea what all that stuff is inside my knee.

Just getting to the doctor’s office, walking down the long hall to the examining room had utterly worn me out and I didn’t even drive there. I will play it by ear about going back into the office. Driving has me kind of stressed out if I need to take pain meds and then walk from the parking garage. Tara jokingly told me she could hook me up with the Tri-Met lift. That is the long, painful way she got to and from work for most of the time that she wasn’t allowed to drive.

So now almost a month later I am still taking it easy and working from home.
My next posts though will be about my strenuous weekend finalizing everything for Tara’s wedding 8/2.

5 Responses

  1. Glad you don’t have to have surgery. I had foor ssurgery a few years ago and the recovery time was way too long! Hope everything isn’t too stressful for your daughter’s wedding.

  2. Thanks. We are just about done with the wedding preparations. Tomorrow we have an appointment with the cake lady to finalize the design. I will write about that tomorrow evening.

  3. ahh, i bit the bullet. i FINALLY signed up so i can post!! now i just hope i remember the password. haha
    enjoying all your posts Jackie. hope the wedding goes off WITH a “hitch” :-)) carl

  4. Ouch! That contraption that you have to wear looks painful in itself!

  5. Wayne,
    Not so much fun wearing the brace especially since it has been really hot for the last couple of weeks. 90 – 95 degrees several days making it tough to get out and go anywhere.

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