Recovery Road: Prelude

About six-and-a-half/seven years ago, I injured my knee pretty badly. I slipped and fell with my body and foot going one in direction and my knee going the other. And as I would come to find out later (since I didn’t have health insurance at the time), the popping, crunchy sound that emanated from my knee was that of a piece of my knee cap breaking off. Cane in hand, I slowly recovered from the injury the best that I could to normal-ish activity, but my knee was never the same. Over the next few years, it would lock up on me (often with intense, sharp pains) and, if it happened to be mid-stride, cause me to lose my balance and fall.

About three years ago (after I had health insurance again), I went into the orthopedic surgeon’s office to finally figure out what was going on. That’s when I found out about the knee cap breaking and that a fragment was still lodged in my knee’s tissue. That made sense to me as, by that time, I had also started to feel the sensation of something floating around in my knee as well. You could even see it bulge out of my knee slightly when it moved into the right spot.

So we scheduled my surgery and, on an overcast morning a short time later with Tiffany (and one of our good friends to keep her company) in the waiting room, I had my first arthroscopic surgery. They pulled out the bone fragment, cleaned up some of the scar tissue inside, stitched me up and sent me home.

knee surgery 1

Over the course of the next few weeks, my recovery went fine. The swelling decreased and I started getting back to my normal activities. But as things seemed to get back to normal, I noticed that the small bulge in my knee was still there. I spoke to my doctors, but they said it was probably some inflammation of the fluid in my knee and there wasn’t much to be done about it.

So for the next few years, I’ve just lived with it—trying to be extra careful with my knee. But over the past year or so, I had noticed that the bulge in my knee was getting larger. So I decided to see my new doctor about it. He sent me to get some scans done and found that there’s a “calcified loose body” about half an inch in size (think a marble made out of bone) floating around in my knee. They think that it was possibly missed before because it was both smaller and had likely moved up under my thigh muscle during the previous scans and surgery.

All that said, it’s now just a few days before my next knee surgery. While I’m happy at the prospect of being able to have a more normal physical life after the surgery, I’m not particularly enthused about being sidelined for a while. I’ve been told that I should be able to resume normal activities after about a month, but for someone that trains in Aikido three or four times a week, usually takes long (almost) daily walks and loves being outside, that seems a really long time. Hopefully, the time will go pretty quickly (with some assistance from Netflix, my Steam library and a large stack of comics).

I’ll let you know how it goes!