It is not the first time I have had surgery, and it is certainly not the first time that I have had knee surgery (the fourth to be exact). However, knee surgery is in a category by itself. In many ways it is one of the most difficult kinds of surgeries that I know of. It is more difficult than heart surgery. Yes, you read that correctly. Before you start calling me crazy, think about it a little bit. First, I am talking about my own circumstances, as that is all I know. When I had my open heart surgery, I (like most heart patients) was told to get up and walk around. There is a fear that if you lie flat for too long you are at a greater risk for pneumonia. Knee surgery? Forget it. I was told and am presently being told to stay off my fee, or more specifically, my foot. You see for the next 6 wks I cannot not any weight on my right leg. No weight AT ALL. People have had this surgery done - NBA players Jason Kidd and Chris Webber and Olympic Skier Bode Miller.
I challenge you to do this for 24 hrs. Take a shower and put no weight on one of your legs. Try walking around on crutches and carrying a cup of coffee at the same time. Well, let's just say it doesn't really work. Now with heart surgery, I could not really carry heavy things, but I could at least bring a cup of coffee from the kitchen to the living room.
So back to the knee... microfracture surgery is a procedure where tiny holes are drilled into the bone closest to where cartilage is missing from the knee. The goal is for the bone marrow to drain out of the hole and form a blood clot. This clot along with your own stem cells is supposed to create new cartilage. Yes, I said your OWN STEM CELLS PEOPLE so do not go running around crazy bent out of shape about the stem cell thing - it is an amazing scientific achievement developed by Dr. Richard Steadman who is a knee surgeon in the Southwest.
So after 6 weeks of not being able to put any weight on my leg, things should be sorted out (we hope...) However it will be a while before I know anything, months in fact. 5 weeks to go, and I am sure that there will be ups and downs. The downs happen when I (or the crutches slip) and fear runs through my entire body and I start to wonder if I have just messed everything up. Or when I am lying still with the hip to ankle Bledsoe brace on my leg and I turn on my side and hear a small crunch in my knee and start to wonder if the clot is dissolving. It is not a stress-free recovery. We will see happens several months from now.