My husband went with me to see the surgeon today. He tugged and bent my knee every-which-way and carefully showed us the MRI results again. His opinion is that I have to get the MCL in shape before I have surgery on the other two injuries. The MCL is a "Class 2" tear, meaning more than 50% is torn off. He said that the location of the tear is the best possible spot, and that the ligament will try to heal itself. Unfortunately, when it tears, the ligament contracts, or gets very tight, limiting the movement of the knee. My knee was very stiff and sore when he tried to manipulate it. So, I am starting 4 weeks of physical therapy starting on Monday to get the MCL a bit more healed and flexible.
Surgery on the meniscus and ACL replacement will be on Aug. 25. The meniscus break is right at the border of where suturing is a possibility. He won't know if he can try to stitch it back together until he gets in there to see if there is blood flow at the break point. I have chosen to use a replacement ligament from a cadaver rather than taking a portion of my hamstring for the ACL repair.
I still cannot plan on working until October, and I contacted the Superintendent with that piece of cheery news today. I will be starting post-operative physical therapy on the Monday following my surgery. I will be receiving therapy 2-3 times per week, probably until the end of Sept. Depending upon my progress, the therapy sessions will be fewer after that time.
The surgeon said that I can expect to be fully released 7 months from now. It's a long road.
He put me in a new flexible brace today. I had a bit of difficulty with the fit. It seems my cute little leg is wedge shaped and the brace wants to slip down, no matter how tight we make it. My brother, husband and I put our thinking caps on, and we may have solved the problem by making the brace long enough that it sits on top of my foot, hence it can not longer slide down. I drove the car home (YAY!) which means I have a lot of my mobility back. I have three different exercises to do to strengthen my thigh muscles and stretch the MCL.
I am still sticking to my target range on my food plan, and looking forward to being more active with the new leg brace. I plan on inquiring at the therapy center about having a personal trainer work with me to set up an exercise plan at the adjacent gym. I'm not sure I can afford gym, trainer, and all the co-pays for therapy; but I would sure like to make the best use of this time as I am able.
I am determined to keep a positive attitude about this time, and hope to come out the other side of the tunnel in better shape and lighter!