Yasmin’s Recovery Diary 4 – A torn ACL and an operation

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Results of My Knee

So it’s time to give you the news. On Monday I had an appointment at the hospital in Aberdeen. I had never been so excited for a hospital appointment in my life! Finally I’d get an answer to the question: why do I have a gammy leg that won’t straighten past 90 degrees?

I was thankful to see my surgeon, who I have seen on several occasions over the years, pop his head through the door. He told me I couldn’t straighten my leg because the meniscal cartilage was torn and was blocking my pathway of movement.

First, I would need an operation to remove or repair the cartilage to get my leg straight, and then I could decide if I wanted to repair the ACL. He told me it would be a 6-8 week recovery if he could repair the cartilage, less if he had to remove it.  But, he said the repair of the ACL, which is the on-going problem, would be a 10-12 month recovery.  I just about fell off my chair!

All that was going through my mind was I need to be on the snow in December! Anyway, the conclusion of this appointment was they would operate on my cartilage.

I’ve never had an operation before.  It’s not the operation that scares me, it’s going under anaesthetic. My mum had a problem once where she took a reaction to the anaesthetic. She didn’t come out of it for such a long time, the medical staff were in a flap. However, that was not in this country where medical care can be beyond amazing!

Mum and I had been up late at night discussing the ACL. I know it seems straight forward. I don’t have an ACL and I want to ski as a career  – so go and get your ACL repaired you silly girl. But if I repair it and then it ruptures again the following season, I’ve wasted 10 months of rehabilitation only to miss out on another season.

My head was saying I needed to get the ACL done. I might as well try and if it ruptures at least I have done everything I can.

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Slowly I begin to come around. I realise it has actually happened as my knee begins to ache under the sheets. Well, this isn’t so bad Yaz.  I’m being fed water through a straw. As I become more conscious my surgeon pops up in my face and explains what’s going on inside my knee. I only pick up a few words – ‘removed  cartilage, not repairable, no ACL left! So, in my head I’m thinking all the more reason to repair my ACL in 6 weeks.

Finally, I’m wheeled back to the room full of patients. My mum dashes out to see me but is shooed back in until the nurses know I am okay. After a few hours, I was allowed to go home. I have been given some physio exercises to do on my own for the next couple of weeks.

My plan of action before the next op is to crack on with whatever physio I can do on my own, and spend time with my family and the people that never fail to put a smile on my face. In a few days I will be able to potter around and go for light walks. The weather is lovely today, so I’m sitting in the garden on a deck chair. I am in paradise and I am happy.

Follow Yasmin’s blogs at Tortoise Tactics for more on Yasmin’s recovery.