Life with Chronic Pain, written by a nurse.
Pain is what I live with, not who I am.
The mission of this site is to share my life; and through this, educate and support others who live with chronic pain.
"It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it." Lena Horne
The knee joint is the largest joint in the body. An incredible blend of many types of connective tissue, muscles, bone, synovial fluid, all coming together to form a joint strong enough to act as a shock absorber, among other things, for our body in motion.
Think of all the requirements we ask of our knees every day. Simply the act of squatting is such a ballet for everything to come together just so; then enabling us to lift our body weight by rising up from that position. Pretty amazing!
I injured my knee in January 2012, simply by stepping up from the floor, using my right knee to take my weight. I do not remember any twisting while pulling myself up, but I will never forget the POP that happened when I was 2/3 up. It was very loud, and it also had that feeling of something absolutely breaking in the knee.
By that simple act of stepping up, I tore a meniscus. And possibly cracked off a piece of bone, seen in the Xrays I previously published, shown here again. Since my last surgery on this knee, there hasn't been any reason for studies, so the bone fragment seen in the Xray could have been there since 2002. Either way, I was lead astray by an incompetent physician, an Orthopedic Surgeon to be specific.
Sent to see this specialist in March of this year, for an answer of what happened, how to get off the crutches and out of the brace asap, etc. I showed up with my Xrays in hand (required or he wouldn't see the patient) the MRI had been done in February, and the report was there (also required for the appointment) and I brought an MRI of this knee-- post-op 2nd surgery in '02 for comparison. I like to come as prepared as possible to doctors, bringing anything I can to assist them in my care.
The Orthopedist bustled in the exam room, looking at my chart instead of me most of the visit, writing, he was hard to understand as his accent is quite thick, he did not give me any information about the results of my studies. He didn't initiate any conversation about the results that were so important to bring to him. So, I asked what the MRI showed.
"Osteoarthritis" was the automatic answer to every question. "What about that alien piece of bone on the lateral side?", I asked. I got the blanket answer again. OA. I know that OA doesn't cause sudden, scary loud POPS followed by a locked knee, severe pain, inability to bear any weight, worsening effusion readily apparent, basically all the classic S/S (Signs/symptoms) of an acute injury, ending with an ER doc putting me in a brace and on crutches after the Xray results and examination of the knee. I then wanted to go over the MRI report with him, but he was one of 'those' docs that are in a hurry, they let you know it, how busy they are, no time, no time, surgeries are waiting you know, and before I knew it I was offered a shot in the knee joint to help relieve the pain, and a 'see me again if you have any more pain'. I left thinking: well at least I don't have any acute injuries, as I crutched my way down to the car. The Marcaine shot helped of course, and I felt better and eventually got off crutches feeling stronger as I healed from whatever POP I had heard.
9 months go by.....I do a little weeding, some deep squatting (with the right leg out in front of me) some acrobatics here and there, and this month, it all came back. And hard. I knew in my heart that something was still wrong, and I had to find out.
I have a torn meniscus, I finally found that out when I asked my primary doc to read me the MRI report. I went in to him, for one reason. To get the full scoop on my knee, and to ask/demand another specialist to evaluate it. A '2nd opinion' was requested with another Orthopedic surgeon, which made me giggle, as I never had a 1st opinion.
Ahhhhh modern healthcare. The Era of do-it-yourself-medicine.
I am seeing the Orthopedic Surgeon in a week, and I am not leaving that office until every single one of my questions have been answered, I have gone over both my Xray and MRI with the Dr, and I know that this physician has formulated some sort of treatment plan.
Time for some RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation