Surgeon Visit

Well, I saw the surgeon this morning and he pretty much had all bad news for me.  Even though the news is worse this time around, the appt went more smoothly than my appt with my surgeon 5 years ago.  I thought my life was over when that surgeon told me I would be out the rest of the season (my last season since I was a Senior).  I cried my eyes out.  This time I pretty much knew what was coming and was so much more prepared.  Not to mention it's not as dramatic (or as life-ending, as I thought) as when you're in high school.  I actually found something I had written about "being out of the game" when this happened the first time.  See below:.

terrible news. i was injured within the first 10 minutes of my first league soccer game last week. i paid a visit to the doctor and was referred on to a specialist. i had an MRI done and then went to a sports medicine doctor. unfortunately, the news was not good. my ACL is torn as is my meniscus. my bones are a little messed up from smashing together when my knee twisted. unfortunately, the bones are the only things that will heal by itself. surgery is necessary to fix my torn ACL and my torn meniscus. :( doctor said im out of soccer (my passion, my LOVEEE, my addiction) for a good year. it takes nine months to recover completely from this surgery. this means no sports or running or physical activity at all until full recovery. i have to be back on dumb crutches for 6-9 weeks after my surgery, which means crutches during the holidays [my 18th birthday as well.] :( my hopes of playing varsity soccer this year are pretty much smashed. first 10 minutes of league and im out for the season. only took one awkward pivot...
...way to start out my senior year, huh?

Yeah, I was a little bit dramatic.

Anyway, here are some good quotes from the surgeon today:

"You really shredded your knee, "This is really quite complex," "This is going to be a really complex surgery," "You really have no support left in your knee," "this just feels really loose.  You are really, very loose in this knee," "this does not look good," and "We have a lot of talking and discussing and deciding to do."

Those are not things you want to hear.  Basically from what he saw on the MRI images I've torn my ACL again but he said that the image really isn't very good and he is going to call the hospital to see if they can just do an image of the ACL only (free of charge to me) since they didn't really get it good enough the first time.  Another MRI? Blah.  He thinks it is totally ruptured but he can't say for sure from the image.  I've really shredded my medial meniscus which I already had torn last time.  There is a piece displaced that they will need to remove and he is not quite sure what they will do about fixing the meniscus.  He said that normally they like to just stitch it together or shave it.  The thing is it's pretty shredded so he doesn't even know if he can stitch it.  Even if he can it only heals about 20%.  That doesn't sound like a lot of healing to me!  The other option is to replace the meniscus.  He said I am probably a good candidate for replacement but that meniscus replacements have a lifespan of 3-5 years.  Guess what that means?  I would have to have surgery again to replace it in 3-5 years.  No thanks.  I don't really think I'm very interested in that option.  Although it doesn't sound like there are many good options for that part of the knee.  Total bummer.  The "sprain" of my MCL is actually a tear.  He said sprain is just another word for tear.  He said that it will probably scar over and heal on its own (that was one piece of actual good news!!).  The lateral meniscus has a small tear so he isn't quite sure what they would do with that yet either.  A lot of the deciding apparently happens during the actual surgery when they can better see all the ligaments.

We decided against operating while I'm still pregnant which I'm happy about.  I was really worried about it anyway.  Dr. Ritchie said his opinion is that it's just too risky to operate on a pregnant woman.  He said if I really pushed it we might be able to get it worked out but he doesn't even know if he would be able to find an anesthesiologist willing to sedate me.  That's okay because I do not plan to "really push it."  However, he did say that I don't have a lot of support left and my knee could give out with the weight of the baby.  The only option is to brace my knee.  I hate wearing a brace so that stinks but I already knew that would be the other option so I've come to terms.  It sounds like I'll be put in a post-op brace which does not thrill me because they are HUGE! They go from the top of your thigh all the way down to your ankle.  I think I have a picture of me wearing mine somewhere.  I'll try to find it.  He says that will give me the best support.  He is going to have a bracing specialist meet with me today or tomorrow to figure out how best to support the knee.

I'm glad to know what's wrong and I'm glad to have strict doctor's orders of "absolutely no more soccer" since I obviously couldn't restrict myself.  But I'm still a little bummed about all the bad news.

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