ACL, meniscus, patella


April 21, 2012 by drandmrso

On Thursday night, Dr. tore his ACL and something called a “meniscus rear node” (or another variation on location that medical types seem to be so fond of: posterior, anterior, starboard, stage front–whatever). He’s been on this downward spiral of contact-sport related injuries for several years:

2007 – Basketball; ankle. This was shortly after we met. I thought it was kinda cute that he had to use crutches for a few days.

2009 – Basketball; ankle. Great opportunity to be green and reuse the ankle brace from the last injury!

2011, September – Basketball; knee (he was wearing the ankle brace). Keep in mind we got married October 1. You can imagine I did not find the idea of crutches nearly as “cute” at this point.

2012, January – Basketball; knee. Something asymptotic is happening here. Maybe now would be a good time to stop playing basketball quite so aggressively?

2012, March – Basketball; knee. Finally, he makes an appointment to get his knee checked out. The doc thinks he has a misplaced meniscus (which by the way, would be a great Scatergories term and/or band name) so he sets up an MRI for a Thursday night in April at 9pm. Yes, they really do make appointments for MRIs at 9pm. I guess if I could charge $4,000 a pop I would schedule exams at all hours, too.

2012, April 19 – Basketball, knee. The day of his MRI. Really.* He could tell that he had worsened the injury. He hobbled into the radiology department to get the exam done. Later he explained what an engineering marvel the MRI process is. Apparently the magnet gets all the hydrogen in your cells to line up the same way. Then, when the magnet gets turned off and the cells start going back to their normal alignment, the image captures their released energy and makes a picture out of it. No wonder it’s so pricey!

2012, April 20 – Radiologist confirms that Dr. has a fully torn ACL and a madly misplaced mischievous meniscus.

So of course, Dr. wants to see the MRI so he can diagnose himself, too. After wandering around the honeycomb hallways of the hospital (Dr. limping all the while), we retrieved the MRI on a CD and popped it into one of the library computers. I imagined MRIs to be in technicolor like the underneath layer of that paper with the black stuff that you scrape off that you had when you were little. Totally wrong–they’re really just black and white like x-rays. But with WAY more gross detail. Dr. was kind enough to point out various leg muscles and bones (I found the patella!), the meniscus malfunction, the absent ACL, and something to do with blood (that’s when I stopped looking).

Dr. is meeting with an orthopedic surgeon in a week. Treatment will definitely involve surgery. The kicker to the whole situation is that we’re leaving for our European Honeymoon Extravaganza in a month! If he gets the surgery before we leave, he’ll be wearing an immobilizing brace for 6 weeks or more (so, while we’re walking/hiking around Europe). If he gets the surgery after we get back, it would mean negotiating a good time with his residency program so that he doesn’t miss anything. I suppose it will mostly depend on doctor’s orders.

*= After Dr. proofread the post, he asked me to point out that he was “tearing it up on the courts”  that day, and that the injury happened after he attempted a “windmill dunk.”**

**=further clarification, it was a “360 windmill dunk.”


3 thoughts on “ACL, meniscus, patella

    • Doug says:

      Mike “Made of glass” Oldenburg is clearly too old to handle sports anymore. Annie, get him off the court before he breaks his hip.

  1. Leah says:

    ok, so one of my good friends tore her ACL in december of 2007. in january 2008 she had surgery and in march she moved to Africa to study abroad for 3 months (with me). she, too, had to wear an immobilizing brace and travel with weights for rehab, but she did manage quite well. although, i did do less walking there than i did in europe (which was many miles each day)….

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Dr. O is an otorhinolaryngology resident. Mrs. O was an English major and is easily grossed out by blood and guts. This is the blog where Mrs. O documents their adventures in (not bloody) detail. Enjoy!

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