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!!!!!!