Monday, March 8, 2010

The patient... doing well! Surgery was much faster than we anticipated and had a completely different outcome but that's ok because the problem was definitely found.

Turns out that Dave's ACL had healed nicely from the last surgery. The problem was the cartilage under his kneecap. Instead of being smooth and "plush carpet like" his was only smooth on the sides as a giant valley had been worn in the middle. His doctor, who I absolutely adore, pronounced it "absolutely horrible" and indicated that it was one of the worst cases he'd seen.

In addition, the cartilage he still had crumbled as soon as it was touched with the surgical instruments. It was a surprising find but my prayer had been that the problem would be found - and it was!

So how do you fix that? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Dr. Hamilton scraped all of the cartilage out and then pricked holes in the bone with an ice pick-type instrument until the bone began bleeding. This stimulates new cartilage growth. When all is said and done he'll have "something like Berber carpet instead of a plush carpet" but, hey, it's better than no carpet, right?

This injury causes all of the hanging and giving way he'd been experiencing (that can also be caused by the ACL) and is the cause of his chronic swelling and unbearable pain.

Since surgery, he's not really had much knee pain at all. Of course, I guess when you're in that much pain before surgery, the after isn't quite as bad. He did have a TON of soreness - like, to the point he almost couldn't move his upper body - due to the hammering that was done on his knee. That type of movement during surgery causes all of your bones above the impact point to shift.

Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

I thought so too.

So the only bad part is that he's now non-weight bearing for 4 weeks instead of 2 and that was a bit difficult for him to swallow but he'll survive. He will still be able to go back to work in 6 weeks and the recovery process should be much less difficult even though it will be just as long, if not longer. Cartilage regeneration is measured in months instead of weeks but we were expecting quite a long process anyway so that wasn't a big shock.

All in all, we have been incredibly blessed and truly couldn't have asked for better care. My parents were there to see him off and my mom stayed with me while my dad picked Tay up from after school care. We all met back up at our house after he was discharged for pulled pork sandwiches and chicken gumbo, courtesy of my mom.

See? I told you we were blessed!

And very thankful :-)