Yesterday, I was supposed to be scheduled for 3rd surgery to remove 30% of meniscus from my right knee. I cancelled it a bit over a week ago at doctor’s office. Here is a story: Last February, I signed up for outdoor guided rock climbing last February and I couldn’t climb due to little strength in my right leg. I didn’t noticed it by then because I was able to walk and climb up and down with little difficult. However, to climb vertically was entire different game for my legs. I decided to focus on building strength in my thigh areas.
This past March, I began to experience some swellings and pains in my knee. I think my meniscus may have shifted while doing a deep lunge training. Swellings and pains went away and returned several times between March and April. UGH…..In first two weeks of May, my knee was in constant pain and swelling. That was bad enough that I had to grip on the rail to climb up and down supported. Oh my gosh….I threw in towel and went to see my doctor in mid-May. He wasn’t happy upon seeing my swollen knee. MRI has been ordered.
My MRI results returned and it didn’t look good for my meniscus – it wasn’t healed properly and still in tattered shape. He said that the last option is to have 30% of my meniscus removed which will set my development of arthritis earlier than normal and candidate for total knee replacement earlier than normal. OH MY GOODNESS…..I was in terrible pain that I said ok, let’s do the surgery. I thought about my prior commitments and decided to kept them up to end of August. I sadly told Ad-Cane and his fiancee that I wasn’t able to join them celebrating their wedding in Croatia. I also had to drop attending Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany with my friends once again. :(
I didn’t gave in though. I was continued to work on my knee by doing yoga, stretching, home exercises, applying essential oils and eating more of antiflammatory food. Over the summer, I began to notice pain gradually reduced, swelling went down and flexibility slowly regained. Ohhhhh……I read some articles and spoke to some people. Some of my friends gave me some advices and recommendations. I am grateful for them for their supports. By beginning of August, I began to consider to postpone or cancel my surgery because once part of my meniscus is gone, it is gone FOREVER. I thought to myself that I should try some more options and move surgery as last resort as it is supposed to be. As the appointment of my doctor started to creep up on me, I made a decision that I shall postpone my surgery and request for physical therapy as one of options. I was nervous, but felt comfortable with my decision. My doctor supported my decision.
Yesterday, instead of surgery, I commenced my physical therapy evaluation. My therapist noticed some areas of weaknesses. We discussed and agreed on working on targeted rehabbing my thigh and inside knee. Today, I worked hard at physical therapy. My therapist made comment that it was good thing that I had a break since last physical therapy (last year in September) and I am now in less pain than before. Back then, I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t made much of progress with sessions. The general health insurance companies in USA only care if you are able to get in/out of bathtub and car, climb up/down the stairs and walk, then your sessions are to be ceased. UGH…..So, I am back focusing on building up more strength in my thigh area to help my inside knee to support and stabilize my leg for next 4 weeks. I feel better knowing that my therapist monitors me to make sure I do not injure myself and sees where I need to work within short frame of time before my follow-up appointment with doctor in mid-October to decide if a surgery is necessary.
I plan to gradually add some activities such as cycling at flat terrain, hiking with gentle elevations and swimming during off-day from physical therapy sessions. This month, I plan to remain in New Jersey to invest time into myself. Between October and November, I plan to travel occasionally and continue to work on my knee. Please wish me well on my working toward avoiding a surgery.