Sunday, March 16, 2008

Knee Surgery

Monday my wife had the cartilage removed from her knee and is now recovering quiet well I might add. She is getting along with the aid of a cane that her grandfather used and it is over 100 years old. Neat! Before I tell you her experience I shall bore you with the details of two other torn cartilage incidents both involving me.

I grew up as a jock and a pretty good one but golfing eluded me somehow. I started out very young playing with a couple of my friends learning on sand greens. I looked promising but In 1961 I gave up the game because the frustration level was too high and I was not a very good scorer. Great form but the ball never went where it was supposed to go. 20 years later [1981] I stood on the number one tee at my old golf course getting ready to hit for the first time in 2 decades. I looked back at the club house as I addressed the ball and to my amazement were three of my old coaches, now retired sucking up mint juleps or something on the veranda and they were watching. I re-addressed the ball by talking to it saying "you had better go straight down the middle of the course or I will cut you in tiny pieces and scatter you in the parking lot". I wound up and hit the ball harder than I ever had in High School, and it went right down the middle of the course and about 300 yards. I was elated as I limpt off towards the card. It seems that as I was elating I was also crying because I had just tore the cartilage in my knee and it hurt like hell. I saw my Dr. and he sent me to a knee surgeon who I met on the following day. He and his father were the best orthopedic surgeons around and they knew what to do. The following week I went in for surgery and they had to cut my knee open on both sides in order to properly remove the cartilage. I was on crutches for 6 weeks afterwards. They sent me home with orders to put two cans of string beans, in water, into an old sock, hang it over my ankle and work out with leg lifts every day. At the end of the six weeks, my muscle tone had returned, the pain went away and I could walk again. It was a miracle.

About 15 years ago I was Foreman on a framing crew and when I walked off of a deck the 2x10 walking plank kicked out on me and I fell about 10 feet on frozen ground and against the foundation. I went to the hospital and they got me over to see an orthopedic surgeon in Springfield who looked over the x-rays and ordered an MRI. A couple of nights later I got the MRI and the next day I visited with the Orthopedic Surgeon again and he told me I had tore the cartilage in my other leg and gave me a cortisone shot and said "if it gets to really hurting you, come on back and we will remove the cartilage". I have had no problems at all with that knee.

Now on too my wife's experience. She goes to her Doc with a sore knee but her Doc is really a PA and refers her to the same Orthopedic surgeon that I had 15 years earlier. The difference is she doesn't see the surgeon but instead she is seen by his PA who gives her a short of Cortisone and sends her home. Soon she tears the cartilage even worse with much more pain as she is now getting around only with the aid of a walker. Her last PA now prescribes a MRI and an appointment with the surgeon. She now has an appointment with another PA to discuss the now impending surgery. Just before the surgery the surgeon meets with her, looks at the knee, the MRI and explains the surgery. This photo is inside the knee showing the tear on the left Monday we go to a hospital extension bright and early and we meet the anesthesiologist and the real Dr comes in and signs her knee. After surgery the Surgeon came in and explained what he did and they gave her a bunch of pictures of the inside of the knee. She immediately was walking with the aid of a cane and she recuperated at home for about 3 days and then back to the orthopedic center for the appointment. There we met with another PA who observed the stitches that the nurse had just removed and he explained what the pictures were all about. It was pretty obvious that this guy could care less how she was doing or anything else. Just putting in his time. It seems that you don't get to really see Drs. anymore as they are blocked by a whole bunch of PA's.
I have been with my regular clinic for 25 years now and have had 3 primary physicians none of whom I have ever met. I just meet the PA's. Something has changed?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well...I am very pleased to hear that our girl is on the mend. Looking forward to seeing you all on Easter....

Love, G.

keewee said...

Glad to hear your wife is making a speedy recovery. It never fails to amaze me how far surgical procedures have come in the way of getting a patient in and out in the shortest time possible, and with less discomfort, over the last few years.

Ted said...

Thanks KeeWee, thanks G. Always great to hear from you gals,