Back in 2008 I noticed a funny thing going on with my left knee. Every time I would kneel on it and put pressure on it it felt as if I was kneeling in and grinding my knee in broken glass. It would also burn and hurt when I worked the barn forklift by the end of the day. After delaying for months, hoping it would get better on its own, I went to a fantastic local Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. John Juliano.
He had an MRI done and sure enough, I had a meniscus tear. In late December, when Eve started her break from work, I had arthroscopic surgery done on my knee and within a couple of months, well before the start of the new growing season, I was totally back to normal … or as normal as I typically get.
Fast forward to this year … I’m chasing our one cat around, Bauer, and I go to my knees to try and catch him under the bed and …. YOW!
Once again, once I kneel on it it feels as if I’m kneeling in broken glass.
In October I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Juliano again
(I brought him two red onions)
and he ordered another MRI. In my follow-up visit (which this Thursday will be 2 weeks ago) he said that the MRI was not 100% definitive but it appears I have another tear. He suggested I try a steroid shot in my knee and see how that worked. If after the shot the pain is reduced I could skip the surgery but if not I could get the surgery.
Ever see the size of those needles they use to inject the steroid into your knee? I never had either, until like an idiot I made the mistake of glancing at it as he thrust it into my knee.
Holy crap, that was a needle! I’m not one that gets squeamish around needles, but did I mention, that’s a huge friggen needle?
And my knee actually hurt for 4 days afterward. Even after the shot discomfort subsided my knee still felt weird. So much so I reduced the weight I placed on it all week as I worked the forklift and bundled the boxes as we graded onions.
(like you see demonstrated here)
That compensation, favoring my right leg and side over my left, led to me horribly screwing up my back this week. So much so I had to see my friend at a local therapeutic massage establishment to work on my back and neck this Saturday. She is a wonderful healer, and her work on my back Saturday helped, but it’s still messed up.
So, what do I do? Do I get the surgery or not?
I can stand the pain. That doesn’t bother me. And it isn’t often I am on my knees while doing my various farm tasks over the season.
One exception, when I sit on the back of the planter, as demonstrated this spring when Caleb and I were on the back of the planter as we planted a field of my dad’s onions.
As I told Dr. Juliano, I don’t mind the pain. My concern is this, what happens if I do nothing and then in the middle of my growing next season my knee tears even worse, requiring surgery then? What do I do then? I can’t afford to not be able to work April-October.
It’s now a week and a half after getting the steroid shot and I still feel the “kneeling in glass” sensation when I kneel and put pressure on it. The shot didn’t change that at all. Also now there are times during the day it throbs or I have minor discomfort that I didn’t notice before. And it hurts pretty significantly at the end of the day when I operate the forklift all day.
So what say you? What should I do? Get the surgery or not?
Here are some interesting links on this: