Thursday, June 03, 2004

My warranty has expired

My knee's been hurting for a couple weeks. I can tell that it's a little swollen, and it's warmer than my other knee. It hasn't been too bad, really — just unpleasant. In the past few days, however, the pain has increased significantly. It's been catching in the sense that when I bend it, I have trouble unbending it. The best I can explain is that it's like having a ball bearing stuck inside a hinge. The hinge will still swing, but not without popping over the ball bearing first.

I've had crepitus in my knees for years, and several years back, I sprained the one that's hurting now. A few months ago, I slammed it into the center console in Misty's car when I was climbing into the back seat. I think that may have caused whatever's bothering me now.

I finally went to the doctor yesterday to get it checked out. He twisted my leg around different ways and poked at my knee, asking "does this hurt?" It was obvious when he found the right spot. He marked on my knee where it was and pulled out a model to show me what was going on. He thinks I've got a meniscul tear (I don't know if I'm spelling that correctly, but he pronounced it like "meniscus," not "miniscule.") in a ligament. The tear is swelling, causing my knee to have to dislocate in order to bend.

The doctor gave me some anti-inflamitory drug called Bextra that's supposedly 10 times the strength of Motrin. It doesn't seem to be doing anything, though.

I've got an MRI scheduled for Friday to see whether my doctor's guess about the problem is correct. Then Wednesday, I meet with an orthropedic specalist to determine whether I'll have to have surgery. My doctor says that surgery is the likely route. What that would entail would be cutting into the knee in two spots, sanding something down, and suctioning out the debris.

Oh, what fun that's going to be.

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