A hole in the space-time continuum. (Notes by M.C. O'Connor.)
25 April 2007
A "partial" meniscectomy, that is. I hate words that end in "ectomy" as you know something of yours is getting sliced off. My visit to the orthopedic surgeon started badly with a nearly hour-long wait (make appointments in the morning if you want doctors to be on time), but improved as time went on. He and his assistant left me with a good impression. They were confident, knowledgable, and understanding. The doc very patiently answered my many detailed questions with no hint of annoyance. Both the doc and the P.A. spoke to me as if I were capable of understanding polysyllables, and both treated me with courtesy and professionalism. If I'm going to get sliced, I'm OK with this outfit. The fact that they are less than a mile from my house is a big plus. The surgeon had a great line: "If this were my knee, I'd be here for surgery tomorrow at 8:00 a.m." The surgical "fix" is the quickest and probably safest choice, and if I make that choice, sooner is better. But the surgeon admitted that shaving the meniscus changes the physics of the knee joint. Like a road cut, the bank eventually erodes. The shaved slope of the meniscus will wear down again, and guess where I'll be? Back under the 'scope! The doc said he'd see me again in "seven years." I don't like that. But non-surgical therapies will take too long--the lack of functionality will be hell on me mentally. And they will have there own set of potential complications. Cartilage does not "heal" like skin or muscle. Really, I have a choice between various types of adaptation. I guess that is what being XLVII is all about--adjustments. I finally have the athletic confidence and skill that I lacked as a youngster, but the body is breaking down. So it goes.