Warning: Graphic Content

Let’s call it January of 2007 that some friends and I drove up to Saddleback Mountain in Maine for some skiing and riding. Saddleback is a pretty decent mountain, but there was one strange fact about that place, it had a t-bar lift that dropped you off at the top of a double-black (I happen to disagree with that rating, but that’s besides the point). I just can’t help but to wonder why someone thought it would be a good idea to use a t-bar lift on anything except a bunny slope… Perhaps that’s why it appears as though they’ve recently changed it to a chair lift. I don’t believe that it was entirely the oddly placed t-bar lift’s fault that I tore my meniscus that day but, I think that may have been the straw that broke the camels back. I’ve had knee pain off and on for most of my life, especially when playing sports, but I do believe that it was on that lift where my meniscus finally developed a tear. Either way, the next day my knee was not feeling so swell and a bump began to develop on the lateral side of my knee. I’m not one to make a big deal out of anything, so I ignored it, for about two years (the pain did continue off and on for those two years, but not enough to inspire me to do anything about it).

It eventually got worse and I finally was forced to go see a doctor. The Orthopedic surgeon told me that it was, in fact, a torn meniscus accompanied by a cyst that have developed due to the rush of fluids to the damaged area. He told me that I would need arthroscopic surgery inorder to drain the cyst and clean up the tears. So, what did I do? Again, I ignored it.

Fast forward to May of this year. Japan is a far more walking-friendly place to live then Alabama was, so needless to say, I’ve been doing a lot of walking which resulted in knee pain, once again. This time though, it was far more painful then it had been in the past. I knew I had to do something about it. So again, I got an MRI and Xray to confirm that is was a torn meniscus accompanied by a cyst. The surgeon here told me everything I had already heard a few years ago, but this time I was determined to get this surgery done and over with!

I had my surgery yesterday at Yokota Air Base, which is only about a 1.5 hour drive from our place. I showed up at 6:30am and I was out of there by about 11:30am. I don’t think the surgery could have gone any smoother. I’m fortunately not one of those people who experiences any adverse side-effects from anesthesia, so I come out of it just as easy as I go into it and I therefore don’t require much time in recovery. It’s pretty fabulous actually and I hope my body never decides to react differently. Heck, it’s actually kind of fun when they administer that cocktail of drugs that makes you feel like you just had 10 margaritas! I remember thinking at one point that I should probably shut up because I’m most certain that I’m not making any sense. It makes me wonder what kind of weird things these nurses and doctors hear while patients are all hopped up on these drugs. I would imagine that I may have a hard time remaining ‘professional’ if I was a nurse tending to one of these patients.

Now, here I am, one day post-op and I’m feeling great! I went to my first PT appointment today and the doctor said that my knee looks wonderful! I don’t have much pain, although I’ve been a pretty well behaved patient by icing my knee and elevating it often (plus pain-killers help). This is the easiest surgery I’ve been through! Far less painful then all of the oral surgeries I’ve had in the past! At this point, I’m really kicking myself for not having done this years ago. Oh well.

The tear in my right medial meniscus.

On my way home from the hospital.

TGFD (thank god for drugs)

Post-op: Day 1

20120904-223519.jpgPost-op: Day 4

20120904-223822.jpgMy cleaned up meniscus.