Hopalong

It’s surgery season again.

A month ago, while we were on holiday, I slid down out of the car and landed rather hard on my left leg. There was a sting of pain through the joint, and that was it…until that evening, when I looked at my knee again and it was a football. It got stiff and painful, and I strapped it as I’d been taught to do for my eternally wonky, non-tracking kneecaps. Only this time, it didn’t get better in the usual 3 0r 4 days. After a week, I went to a doctor. I explained what had happened, he wiggled my leg and the knee obligingly produced some gross clunking and grinding noises. Yup, that definitely doesn’t sound right. Here are some nice anti-inflammatories, you’ll need an MRI.

Once home, I saw an orthopaedic specialist, had the MRI. O happy day. I have comprehensively torn the meniscus at the back right hand side of my knee. The cartilage on the back of my kneecap is ragged and fluffy and there are floaty bits. Who knew getting out of the car could be so dangerous?

That thin white line in the meniscus is the tear, which runs all the way across

So, I’ve been in a knee brace for a month, the kind with metal bars down either side of the knee to stop it wonking sideways. I’ve been taking the Brufen religiously, but now, I’ve had to stop because surgery’s in 7 days, so the knee’s a football again. It’s going to be an arthroscopy: two small holes, one for a camera, one for the tools. They pump water into the joint space to expand everything, stitch the tear together, trim off the raggedy bits, remove the floaters, drain the water and close you up again.

Then the fun starts. 3-5 days on crutches, 2 weeks of restricted movement and probably no driving (gasp!), and then about a month of physio. It does very slightly increase the likelihood of arthritis in that knee. But I’m wagering real pain now against possible pain in the future, and I think it’s a good bargain. If the net result is a working and non-painful knee, I’m all for it.

The only question is, how long will it take me to get back behind the sewing machine?