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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Surgery Results

Friday I had surgery on my knee.  Two experienced doctors concluded that based on my symptoms I had a torn meniscus.  The surgery was successful.  But it wasn't my meniscus.  "What?"  That's what I asked when David told me the news in recovery.  The culprit?  Rhuemetoid Arthritis.

It's actually really sobering.  I've been good at playing the denial game.  Afterall, I haven't been to a rhuemetologist is 7 years, I'm not medicated, and until fall of 2010 I really hadn't experienced any debilitating effects of RA.  But it is hard to argue with the evidence.  This is what the doctor saw...

The grey tube-looking thing is my meniscus in good shape.  On the top right of the meniscus you can see a little of the cartilage damage due to the inflammation of the RA.

These pictures show more cartilage damage.  The doctor describes it as feather-like.  If you look closely in the picture on the right, you can see the cartilage starting to peel.  The doctor said it is like a peeling
 orange.  It was probably this peeling cartilage that was "catching" and giving me the sensation similar to a meniscus tear.

Here is a picture of the Rhumetoid Arthritis.  The red, and swollen patches are the inflammation.

More RA inflammation and cartilage damage, above.

Once I get beyond the gross and kind of scary aspect of it all, it is really quite remarkable that we have doctors and technology that can see, fix, and take pictures of all of this!

Above is the "after" picture with everything cleaned up.
The day after the surgery I felt great.  I could walk down the stairs, bending my knee at a 90 degree angle, putting weight on my leg, and even walking without  crutches.  It felt like I was healed!

Then, in the middle of the night, I went to stand up and I couldn't move a thing!  My knee was completely stiff.  I had no mobility.  David had to get me my crutches from the other room and all I could do was hobble around.  By now all the anesthesia has worn off and everything hurts.  No more walking for me.

Here's the bandaged knee...

Today I spent the entire day like this...

If there is any silver lining it would be the following:

1) The doctor removed the inflammation,
2) He didn't have to repair a meniscus,
3) I've been able to sit down and spend quality time with the family,
4) My Mom is here to help,
5) I have amazing neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family who are taking care of me and sharing their support.



  1. No way! I'm sorry to hear that Megan! But at the same time I think it's amazing that the doctors were able to fix everything. Now it's healing time- definitely the hard part. I'm glad you have so much support and help! We're praying for you!

  2. Wow! Good Luck with all that craziness. I wish you a speedy recovery:)