Yesterday I anxiously waited in the little sterile room at my doctor’s office to hear what he thought should be the next move in my treatment. After little improvement from physical therapy and continued pain 1 year after my last surgery, I knew the news wasn’t going to be good. He told me that my kneecap pain was most likely the result of a misaligned knee, possibly occurring from a whole separate injury, or bad knees, or a bit of both. The best option, he says, is another athroscopic procedure to move my knee back into position. The recovery process for this procedure is more painful and difficult than the meniscal saucerization I had done last January, but my doctor has performed over 50 of these procedures with consistent positive results.
I really struggled with what to do. On one side I think surgery is a bad idea. It’s less than a year later and my last surgery wasn’t 100% successful. I’m worried it won’t work. Also, I tend to minimize my pain and disruption the injury has caused me and think that it isn’t too bad. Yes my knee is painful and restricts what I do, but the pain isn’t so excruciating that I have to turn to strong medication. I can walk (not for prolonged lengths of time) and enjoy life. Maybe I just need to manage the pain and accept that I can’t live life as actively anymore and that I have a damaged joint.
On the other hand, surgery is a good idea. I’m young and healthy, and if a surgery could potentially alleviate my pain and allow me to continue with the activities that I want to do then it’s worth it. I still have 50-60+ years, so I have a lot of time to benefit from a 100% recovered knee. Maybe in 3 months time I will be feeling fabulous and able to do more. Also, though my pain isn’t consistently excruciating, a small pain over time becomes unbearable. I have an entire month off of school starting Thursday, and I graduate in May and will be busy with a new job or internship. I have the time now and decided it makes sense, even if it means another holiday season laying in bed. I have my family and friends that will be by my side to keep my mood up during recovery.
I have just over a week before I go under the knife to get everything figured out for my surgery and recovery. I’ve got a house to clean and a guest bed to make for my lovely caretakers (sisters and friends).