Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dr.'s Visit

** UPDATE** - No Way I am Getting this Procedure!

Today I had an early morning meeting with a client, then some work needed to get done, then I had my doctor's appointment. I went the whole day, until 3:30 without eating a thing! That is why it is so important to stick to your routine. Obviously, breakfast is most important, and when you skip that you are already behind the curve. Then if you skip lunch you become ravenous for the craziest things. I was in the waiting room and on TV they were eating soup dumplings (which used to be my favorite lunch meal). I was dying for soup dumplings!  I think starving yourself, whether on purpose or by circumstance leads to poor food choices just like alcohol!  Well, when I ate lunch I had some clear soup, and yes, I tried three small soup dumplings - I didn't make a meal out of it, just a tiny appetizer. The rest of the day was water and fruit. Not sure what I will be cooking up tonight.

So I went to this Orthopedic Surgeon who was voted one of the best in New York. Not to mention, he is the assistant team doctor for the New York Giants, and the USA Olympic Team in Beijing. He works at the Hospital for Special Surgery, also voted one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the world. So, we are getting a pretty exceptional doctor here. After 4 arthroscopic surgeries on my left knee (2 in the last 3 years), he is actually my third doctor in as many years as well (not counting the doctors/surgeries from High School). The other two most recently were great, but after two surgeries and continued pain, I went to the best of the best.

Bottom line, nothing new. He said my knees are so bad that, "If you were 60, I would have you get both knees replaced tomorrow." What I have is: severe degenerative changes of the patellofemoral compartment. In other words, there is no cartilage under my knee cap, my patella, so it is just bone on grinding bone, thus the intense pain. He said I have three choices (1) suck it up, and hope that continued work on my leg muscles will alleviate the pain somewhat for the next 15 or so years until I get a replacement. (2) replace the patella which has really iffy results and thus not recommended, and (3) get something called Maquet Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy.   What that is is that they cut into a part of the shinbone (tibia) only part way, and then wedge in a piece of a bone from a cadaver. Because of the ligaments that run over the patella and attache to tibia, this operation results in pulling the patella down and out  so it is not rubbing on the bone. Also he would cut away the section of the patella that is rubbing on the knee. I enclosed a diagram.  It is major surgery and I'd be on crutches for 6 weeks. I think I will suck it up and see what progress I make with my trainer!


Naina said...

I am with you on sucking it up!
All of the above options sound terrible.

I believe Dr. Fuhrman has a few testimonies on his site of similar
issues. Perhaps it is not the knees, maybe the back.

Possibly Dr. Fuhrman's site will give you some hope. If you are a member you could ask Dr. Fuhrman himself.

Wishing you to find relief,


Terrence said...

Thanks - yes, as I lost wait my knees did feel less painful. But bone on bone is the same whether you are overweight or not. However, so many ailments and achs are relieved with weight loss.

Vegan Epicurean said...

This is going to sound nuts but I read somewhere recently that knee cartilage was found to regrow with good nutrition and weight loss, much to the surprise of docs. If I find that link I will send it to you.

The Hospital for Special Surgery has a great reputation. I used to be a controller for a ortho rehab hospital.

I think you are right to wait out surgery for a while longer to see what happens. :-)

have a good weekend,

Terrence said...

Thanks Ali - I am defintiely NOT getting that surgery! Sadly, it is impossible to "grow" cartilage, but they are working on creating a synthetic cartilage in the next 5-10 years.

Vegan Epicurean said...

Here is the article I was talking about.

I thought it sounded enouraging.

enjoy your weekend,