So I had my appointment with the sports medicine specialist today. Before I got there, I went to the hospital to pick up my MRI scans on CD. The disk is pretty cool. It runs an application that lets you step through all the “slices” of the MRI like a movie. There’s no doubt about it. My ACL is wrecked, and I’ve got a torn miniscus too. I think you can see the damage in this picture.
It’s a slice, side view. You can see where the two leg bones connect at the knee. The bones are the light grey phallic looking things from the top and bottom. The famous Thom calf muscle is darker grey, bottom right. The knee cap (patella) is the rectangle sort of in the top left. You should be able to see the ligament as a dark line connecting the two leg bones. Mine has given up and let go. Well, not so much “given up” as much as “wrenched from its moorings with a rather vile popping sound.”
Here’s another scan. This one is a cross section. I think it’s cool to see those veins and bones and muscles. It reminds me of osso bucco (Italian braised veal shank recipe). Yum.
Of course, the doctor was too cool to need these scans. He didn’t even look. He could tell that the ligament was missing by wiggling and prodding my knee for a while, explaining that he should be able to feel it stopping the motion of the knee. Since it wasn’t there, the knee is extremely unstable, prevented from twisting only by the skin around it. He said I have three options. I can stop doing physical activities (not an option), I can wear a brace (“Run, Forrest, run!”), or I can have a surgery. It seems like surgery is my best option. The surgery involves taking a piece of ligament from the hamstring or patella and grafting it into place as a replacement ACL. Alternatively, the surgeon can use a bit of “previously enjoyed” ligament from a cadaver. In that case, I’ll have a zombie knee. If I start craving braaaaaiiiinnnnnssss I’ll be ticked.
My next step is to see the surgeon. I have an appointment on July 10.