You say torn meniscus; I say crunchy knee

It’s official: My crunchy knee requires surgery. It will be minor, outpatient and supposedly quick. I’ll be off work Thursday and Friday (Aug. 11-12) and should be back to my routine by Monday. The doc said I’d need crutches for a few days, and I’ll have to undergo some post-surgery physical therapy, but I should be back to normal (and running!) within a few weeks.

People, I wanted to do the Dance of Joy right there in the doctor’s office! (I didn’t, mainly because I didn’t want to embarrass Bruce. Like it would faze him.)

This means my training for the 2012 Olympic trials won’t be on hold for much longer.* And those running-shoe deals they’ve been after me to sign? Well, the shoe companies will just have to duke it out for my much-sought-after endorsement. There have been so many calls, I’ve had to change my phone number. 🙂

Yes, this is very good news. Penciling in my new training schedule now …

Oh, yeah, you may be wondering about the surgeon’s diagnosis. Of course the official diagnosis by my primary-care physician is Crunchy Knee, but the surgeon came up with his fancy new term from some medical book or something: torn meniscus. Sounds like a made-up term, doesn’t it? I bet he got it off some quack website.

Nevertheless, that’s the term we’re going with, unofficially (I’m humoring him by going along with it). So in three weeks he’ll go in with an arthroscope and clean out the area around the injury. He’ll trim off the torn part of the “meniscus” and take out any floating pieces, if there are any. The surgery is called a “meniscectomy.” Supposedly. According to the surgeon’s alleged medical research.

Apparently this diagnosis and the resulting surgery have gained popularity. You can even read about them on reputable websites such as WebMD. So, rather than trying to ’splain, I’ll just let you click here and read about it for yourself. Some clever person was even commissioned to draw pictures of what the “meniscus” looks like.

So the weeks and months of wondering and fretting are over. My crunchy knee can be fixed, and I will run again (Lord willin’).

Woo hoo!

*Lest you think I’m already under the influence of anesthesia and thus delusional, please be assured that I am merely giddy with excitement that my orthopedic surgeon did not give my burgeoning running career the same death sentence my primary-care doc pronounced two weeks ago. Yes, I am over the top (don’t worry; I’ll come back down to earth tomorrow). I like my orthopedic surgeon! Even if he does make up medical terminology.

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2 thoughts on “You say torn meniscus; I say crunchy knee

  • Monday, July 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Good luck! I had that surgery last July 20th and I’m still not back to normal. One of my colleagues (she’s had it twice) told me to not believe the doctor about the recovery time. She told me that it was six months before her knee was better and at least a year before it was “normal.” My colleague, unlike me, is really very, thin physically fit, and walks everywhere. After my suregery, it was December before I was off a cane and probably February before I could walk and/or stand for any length of time. I’m not writing this to scare you because the surgery did work. However, I’d not be planning on being back to normal by Monday. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Here’s a bit of advice. Make sure you start the pain pills immediately to “stay ahead of the pain.” The first 48 hours are the worst, but then it gets better.

  • Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Nah, you didn’t scare me. I know it’s going to take a long time to heal. My brother has had surgery on both knees, and he has already warned me about the pain. His healing took a lot longer than a few weeks, too. I’m being optimistic but realistic, too. (I wouldn’t be Suzy if I weren’t realistic, despite how I can make it sound sometimes.)

    Thanks for the advice. I’d rather hear the truth, even if it hurts, than some sugar-coated pretty story.

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