Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lateral Release:debriefing

When I learned that I needed knee surgery, I obsessively read everything I could about the two procedures I needed: chondroplasty and lateral release. The first involved cleaning up damaged cartilage and the second involved cutting the lateral-something-that-I-can-not-pronounce-so-forget-about-spelling-it part of my knee. I heard very mixed reviews about the latereral release procedure. Apparently, it was often used incorrectly. It's only recommended for those lucky people (like me) who have patellas with an extreme tilt.

I also did research on the various knee surgeons in town. Richmond has several exellent ones - including mine (Dr Higgs) who rocks.

However, even though I knew I needed the surgery (have you seen me walking up and down stair lately? Disturbing) and I knew Dr Higgs was excellent, I was still nervous.

Until I got to the surgical suite. I just have to give a little shout-out to all the nurses in the world (and especially the ones @ advanced orthopaedics). My nurse, Carla, was so kind, patient and funny. She immediately put me at ease. I even took a little nap while waiting for surgery (and I did have to wait and wait and wait). Dr Higgs stopped by to answer my never-ending questions and check out my knee again. Meanwhile, sweet Rick was right there by my side.

Before I knew it, I was being wheeled off to surgery. One minute I was talking to the nurses and the next...I was waking up. I think I asked them something like, "Why didn't you do my knee surgery?" They laughed because my knee was wrapped and braced and iced.

Dr Higgs met with Rick while I was in recovery. He took pictures while operating on me - and showed how he moved my patella (via the lateral release) back in position. Sadly, I can see where I've done some damage to the cartilage. But, I also have a fair amount of healthy cartilage left, too.

For now, I'm on crutches and my leg is in a straight brace. I won't lie and say I have no pain - because my knee is actually quite tender and swollen. I do begin PT on Monday. I think I'll be put through my paces for 6-8 weeks by Jim Miller. But I do see myself biking and running again. Yippee!!!!!!


Fave said...

glad it went so well. i was thinkng about you all day!

Jennifer said...

Ahh...brings back memories of my knee surgery. Especially the waiting and waiting for Nordt to show up :-)

Ceeej said...

So glad it went well. We were all waiting an update with baited breath!

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Glad the medical staff and Rick took good care of you. Hopefully the worst is over and it is now just about healing and recovery. Hope the pain eases up soon.

Kate said...

Happy to hear the surgery is done and all is well. I don't doubt you will be up and running in no time!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I was googling on lateral release..your story sounds exactly like mine. I had the surgery on Friday Jan 23rd here in Richmond, VA but with Dr. Herring. I too had significant cartilage damage but he said I had lots of good cartilage left and the other structures of my knee (ACL) were in excellent shape. I didn't get a brace though. I can walk without crutches but they said not to. I'm doing tons of leg lifts and have the ice machine running non-stop. I'd love to keep in touch with you to see how you progress. I'm very anxious to get back to swimming and running. I was actually planning on joining trigirls training group once I'm recovered. Feel free to email me directly if you want to chat.

Anonymous said...

I had a lateral release in late February

Vanessa said...

HELP....I am a facing chondroplasty and lateral release. I have read good things and bad things...I am planned to have this done before my hip surgery in November. Would love to get in contact with an athlete that has been through it.