Back in 2002, I tore my right medial meniscus while doing something completely ridiculous. (In fact, it’s so ridiculous I’m not going to mention it here…I may have mentioned it earlier, but if you really wanna know you can do a blog search.) I went to The Stone Clinic in San Francisco where Dr. Stone repaired the tear. (Now people, I may have been very, very drugged but Dr. Stone reminded me of a young Richard Gere.)(I had a great experience…minus the pain and the vomiting in his office trash bin post-surgery…so embarrassing.) (He’s also the inventor of Joint Juice if you’ve ever had any.) Anyway, time to get back on track after my parenthesis attack! Dr. Stone was the surgeon for the US Olympic Ski Team once upon a time. He repaired major, hard-core athletes (which I was totally not). Because of his background, he repaired my meniscus through arthroscopic surgery instead of shaving the torn part off so I could “get back out there”. He must’ve meant to my classroom where I was teaching because I sure as hell wasn’t hitting the moguls any time soon.
I’ve read 20-40% of medial meniscus repairs don’t work because blood flow reaches the outer knee, but not the inner.
Sadly, I’m one of the 20-40%. Every six months or so, usually when I get back on a steady work-out program, my knee acts up. It locks, twinges, hurts, aches, swells, and does every other thing a knee can do to hinder normal everyday activities. But having such an excruciating experience the first go round, I’ve put off surgery and invested in Ibuprofen and ice packs.
Yesterday I went snowboarding again. Sierra at Tahoe was BEAUTIFUL. No wind, people, no wind. And the slopes were empty because it was a school day. Fantastic. I made it through the afternoon with minimal pain…and that’s when it happened.
I was coming to a trail merge and I was going fast. There was a group of people binding up who had just gotten off the lower lift. I slowed, then went down to the ground so as not to take them out. And I refuse to weave in and out like those teenage-snowboarding-jackasses who hate to share the mountain with beginners. Yeah, you know who I’m referring to. Once I was down, I brought the board horizontal in front of me, tucked me knees to my chest, grabbed the front of the board, and tried to muscle myself up (even though I was pulling a tad up hill).
And it twinged. Swelled. Pain shot through it. Just like that I was done boarding for the day. (I made it down the rest of the mountain on my own though. The hubby pulled me up, and I falling-leafed it the rest of the way. It was the falling-leaf of shame.)
What comes next, you ask? Since it’s already been repaired, I’m assuming partial meniscus removal where they shave off the part that’s flapping up causing all the ruckus. I’ve already scheduled my appointment. I can’t walk. But I’m thanking my lucky stars that it’s not locked because then I’d be in a much worse situation; very much like the one I was in before.