For the last few weeks, I have had my fair share of advice on whether or not I should have surgery following my injury. (A Bit Kaput) According to one of the consultant specialists here, I am in ‘no man’s land’, which suggests that if I was 10 years older, I would not be considering surgery and if I was 10 years younger, he would strongly advocate that I have an ACL reconstruction. So what do I do?…
Most of the pro surgery opinions come from other Americans and sport enthusiasts. The against surgery opinions come from some of my rather laid back and more holistic friends here, who think I can meditate my way out of needing the surgery. Seriously… one friend suggested ‘sitting’ with my injury and breathing through it. I’m not ruling out any possibilities…except I can’t bend my knee…hmmm…
ACL reconstruction is apparently a 55 minute ‘routine’ surgery. If you’re still reading this…bear with me. During that 55 minutes, a hole is drilled through my shin bone, another hole through my thigh bone and a tissue graft is draped through the holes to form a scaffolding, whereby new tissue apparently grows to form the new ACL.
Where does the tissue come from? YES! Good question. Some of it is cut from my own hamstring – HUH? and then if there is not enough (WHA???) it is mixed with ‘synthetic’, ie. CADAVEROUS tissue. That’s right people – DEAD tissue.
Okay then. Not exactly routine now is it? Oh, and then rehab takes just oh, just about 6 months. For 10 !*$!%! minutes on skis.
But since I’m in ‘no man’s land’ in terms of my age and/or fitness level, I’m also on the fence when it comes to making these decisions. It’s uncomfortable not knowing EXACTLY what to do.
Since I am not an elite athlete, I don’t really need the ACL but since I am fairly active and fairly fit but more importantly have 2 VERY active young children, I might sort of need the ACL to keep up with them. I’m not trying to launch a football career (even with THAT DAD around). I just want to kick my kids’ *** at bowling without tumbling down the alley.
So as a result of being in my own unfit shade of gray, I have seen a GP (general practitioner), an orthopaedic surgeon, two different physio therapists (physical therapists), a homeopath, an osteopath and an acupuncturist.
I know I know…really? Yes. Why not?!? I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the best medical as well as practical, and even slightly alternative, holistic practitioners in the country…I think…at least I hope, although one never knows unless of course one IS an elite athlete and has a team of staff standing by…which would be nice come to think of it but I digress…
The ONLY one that has given me any advice that makes sense to me is my French osteopath guru (FOG). Okay, not the most reassuring acronym I could have given him given my current mental state but try and stick with it. I’ve been going to FOG (as opposed to walking around in a state of…sorry couldn’t resist)…on and off for the last few years and I could not recommend him highly enough.
FOG is medically competent, has incredible awareness and sensitivity to the human body but also treats the person and not just the ailment. FOG spends a lot of time in London working with professional footballers as well as people stuck in no man’s land such as myself and I believe he is one of those rare gifted practitioners.
Without even reading my MRI or asking what my doctors have said, FOG found other problems surrounding the torn ACL. Of course you cynics might say, ‘of course – FOG knows the problem so has a pretty good chance of working out what else could be wrong’.
BUT would ANY ol’ osteo know exactly WHERE a slightly torn miniscus was or HOW a pinched nerve down the side of your calf was preventing the swelling to subside, or WHY your hip was out of joint from the way you’ve been dragging your peg leg around. I don’t think so.
When I walked in with my crutch, and told FOG about skiing and the torn ACL, the first thing FOG said was ‘Good. It’s not your brain. It’s just your knee.’
JUST my knee???!!!
But FOG is right. It’s not my brain. It’s not my heart, and it’s not the Big C. It’s just my knee. It is not ideal and it is not what I planned but as another gifted person would say ‘it is what it is‘ (MOM). So whether I continue reading that meditation book or whether I get down to the gym now for some proper physio, I don’t need any more advice. I’ll strengthen that knee and worry about surgery another day.
Unless of course you think…
Any more advice?
On second thought…nah, I’ll just sit with it for a bit longer.