Talk to me.

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And answer a question if you can.

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As some of you know, I injured my knee while staining our deck last fall.

It ached for weeks, but when I stepped off our kitchen porch one morning in October… something snapped like a rubber band. The pain was so excruciating I dropped to the ground and may have called for my dead mother. ( This from the woman who had a full abdominal hysterectomy, went home the next morning and took Tylenol for a few days. My pain tolerance is high.)

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So my knee swelled up like a balloon and I couldn’t move my leg without cringing. The pain sent me to the doctor, who sent me to the orthopedist, who sent me for an MRI. I was diagnosed with a deep root meniscal tear and a damaged MCL. Wanting to avoid surgery, I opted for a cortisone shot that didn’t help, rehab exercises that didn’t help, and ice with ibuprofen which reduced the massive swelling but didn’t help the pain.

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It’s now three months later, and while I manage to walk without a limp (sometimes) it still hurts, still feels unstable and still makes walking or standing for long periods of time intolerable. Stairs? Hate them. Treadmill? It’s collecting dust.

My SIL tore her meniscus a few years back and told me it took her almost 12 months to fully heal.

So my question is this: does anyone out there have experience with this? Because while it’s winter in a no travel Covid era, where my main exercise involves popping a top and raising a glass…

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I’m wondering if avoiding the hospital is going to be possible going forward.

Someday we’ll be able to travel again and getting up out of the chair without groaning like a ninety year old would be preferable.

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47 thoughts on “Talk to me.”

  1. I have a dangerous aversion to seeking medical help, especially for injuries, so no one should take advice from me. My experience: In September 2018, I was devastated when I injured my knee by running a long downhill race. I knew it was serious this time. I am a daily runner so I kept testing it trying to run with a limp and finally made a decision to not run until January 1st. I devoured the few stories on the internet where others had resisted recommended medical procedures. I was slightly better by New Years 2019 but not healed. I began running very short distances. It was uncomfortable but not the searing pain you cannot ignore. I had resigned myself to a more limited mobility and was thankful I could at least walk without any pain. But like your SIL, slowly I was able to do more until about a year after the injury I realized I was totally back to normal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I only go to the doctor when I’m dying… and this felt close. When I felt that snap I literally dropped to the ground. Searing hot pain. I couldn’t bend my leg for almost 2 weeks. The swelling was insane. ( Just added a picture for reference) I normally heal quickly so this is odd for me… and I can’t say I’m enjoying it. A year? Geesh.
      😰

      Like

  2. 15 months ago, I suffered a slipped disc and pinched nerve in my neck. I knew immediately it was a “game changer,’ but I (like you) was determined to avoid surgery. Not being sure what my best alternatives were, I first went to an orthopedic clinic, but their exercise regimen didn’t help. I then tried a chiropractor and was showing some improvement, but quit when Covid became rampant (his office personnel didn’t wear masks and neither did most of his patients — go figure). So now I’m just living with it and “cursing the darkness” (literally, because it hurts most in bed).

    Sorry this has no relevance to your knee issue, but for what it’s worth, I thought I’d share and compare my “Live ain’t fair” experience with you(rs),

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a severe ankle sprain last spring. I thought for sure something had broken due to the pain, bruising and swelling – and the loud pop I heard when it happened. Ultrasound said no. It took about 7 months to feel normal and trustworthy again. These things take a lot of time. Not sure if this applies to your case though. I’d get a medical opinion. Mobility is precious.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh River, I am sorry that your going through this. But, in my experience, I have not had such an injury even as a novice runner. (knock on wood, Fake Dolly’s head.) But because I work at a medical school that’s tied to a teaching hospital where I deal with physician’s all damned day long. I would seek medical attention. I’m not a real doctor I only play one on t.v…..lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have MORE important things to think about today–it is SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY!! Play your nemesis may be worth something as red squirrels are RARE!!
    . Potter based Nutkin on the red squirrel, the only native squirrel species in the UK. The red squirrel population saw a steep decline here after humans introduced the larger nonnative Eastern gray squirrel in the late 1800s. But today in the UK, the red squirrel is a protected species, bolstering efforts to keep the gray numbers in check and preserve habitat. Estimates put the red squirrel population in the UK at fewer than 140,000, with the vast majority living in the woods of Scotland, like our little friend here.

    Join us in going nutty for the red squirrel—and squirrels everywhere—for today is Squirrel Appreciation Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Medical people in my family tell me that a surgeon will recommend surgery, a radiologist will recommend burning it out, a medical doctor will proscribe medicine, and a family doctor will tell you to put ice on it, take a couple of Ibuprofens and call him back in a couple of months …

    Doctor Rusty suggests that if the pain has lessoned since the injury, take it easy on the leg until it heals. If it isn’t slowly healing, have it amputated …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oooo … I feel your pain. Years ago, I was walking across campus when my leg went “snap” and I could not put any weight on it. I somehow managed to tear my calf muscle. Went to the ortho guy who put me in a walking boot and suggested crutches. I informed him that if I tried to use crutches that he would be seeing me for more than a torn calf muscle. We agreed to a cane. It took a few months to heal, and today I’m using a cane for different reasons. Call your doctor about a virtual appt. (if you haven’t already done one). Just a suggestion. It’s time to bring in the “big guns.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I already saw my doctor and the orthopedist. They said it’s an injury that will either heal on it’s own… or it won’t. If it doesn’t I’ll need surgery, so I’m trying to figure out how long I should try and let it heal.

      Like

  8. River,
    Give yourself a period of time when you’re willing to let it heal while living with the pain. If it isn’t better by that date and the pain is still intolerable and keeps you from doing what you need to be doing, then make an appointment with the orthopedic specialist and do whatever you have to do to get better. Tell him that you hike and you need it fixed by whenever you plan on going on your next outing. Better to heal while the weather is cold than to miss out because you’re healing when the weather is nice. For whatever that’s worth. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My SIL just had her meniscus surgically repaired. The procedure is routine enough, but I understand anyone’s hesitation at having to go under the knife at the height of a raging pandemic. Maybe hang in there until the vaccine gets more widely available, cuz I’m thinking you’ll want that fixed when it comes to quality of life and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve had no kind of experience with this sort of injury, but I would suggest you get it fixed as soon as you can, because the younger you are, the quicker it will heal. You don’t want it to plague you the rest of your life. Good luck to you, I hope you can get some relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Total ACL and 80% MCL tear here. I went the medical route. My ACL had no hope of healing, and my MCL refused. I understand a meniscus tear is far more painful so I feel for you. As for me, the leg with the surgery is far better than the original (compared to my other leg). The doc even fixed some alignment issues with my knee and foot. Which ever you choose, good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. No knee injuries for me but I had a bad ankle injury a few years back. I heard 2 pops. It took a long time to heal. I could walk somewhat normal after a few months but it wasn’t back to normal for a good 6 to 8 months. That was with regular rehab exercises and test weeks where I would attempt plyometric moves… Then wear an ankle compression sleeve, ice, rest… 6-8 months before I could jump rope maybe 3 more times a week without strain. But my weak leg for lifting changed. That’s a whole different mental hurdle I’ll never get over. My balance and strength switched to my leg with the tricky hip. Give yourself more time. Especially if you’re older…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ooh. Are you better yet? I live in the house of bad knees. We have a knee guy. Icing is good. IB is good. Wrapping is good. Low activity to reduce strain is good. PT is better. Ya need a knee guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m better, but not healed. I iced. I IB’d. I was told not to wrap. If I lowered my activity level any more I’d be comatose. I did the prescribed exercises. I went to a knee guy, who was actually a gal. It still hurts. It still feels unstable.
      🙁

      Liked by 1 person

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