Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Making Sense Now

Before Dr. Young Guy injected my knee earlier in the week, he asked if I had a chance to see my knee x-rays. I said that I hadn't, so he pulled the computer screen closer to me, clicked on a few places, and bingo! There it was. My right knee. Larger than life. In crisp black and white.

As he pointed out various landmarks on the x-ray, the pain and limited mobility of my knee began to make more sense. I could see why certain movements of the joint are really difficult. I'm a visual learner, I guess. Once I see something in a picture or diagram, I have a much easier time remembering and understanding it.

Here's how Dr. YG explained my cranky knee to me. Although, since I don't have a copy of my x-rays, y'all will have to imagine everything.

Oh, wait. Here's an idea! I'll DRAW a picture of a normal knee and my knee!  .::scribble scribble scribble erase erase erase scribble scribble::.

So here's what a normal knee joint should (roughly, very very roughly) look like.

Meh. Don't look too closely at my rendering especially of the femur lateral condyle and epicondyle. I never was any good at drawing those....

See the space indicated by the arrow? That's normal.

This is what my knee looks like:

...And don't even get me started on how hard it is to replicate an intercondyloid eminence. 

As you can tell by the exquisite detail on these drawings (pffffttt), the space between the femur and the tibia is much smaller than it should be, and as the arrow indicates, in places there is NO space between the bones. Which is why he injected Synvisc. I asked Dr. Young Guy what he thought about the success rate of these type of injections, and he shrugged.

"For some people, they work amazingly well. Others, not so much. And for a few, they have some kind of a reaction to the gel. So we'll have to see how this works for you."

He advised me to take it easy on that knee for the next several days, ice the injection site, and avoid the movements that cause me the greatest pain. Which would be stairs, in my case. Going down stairs. OR any kind of twisting motion of my knee.

I can do that. I have already noticed that nasty aching pain at night has disappeared. Yessssssss!

I have acquired a new sense of respect for those that get around with long-term bone issues after this little experience, I really have. Since Greg and I formed the B.O.B. club (Bone On Bone) our membership has grown exponentially. And everyone that joins says basically the same thing:

So how come YOU'RE the president? I've got it much worse than you do....(and actually they're right).

Ah. Valid point. However. It was MY IDEA. And I NAMED this club. So there.

Madame B.O.B. President acknowledges freely that she has far less serious issues than many folks do. However, since Madame President is also Queen Whiney-Butt, this attribute takes precedence over length of bone on bone experience.

I think we need matching jackets. Or bowling shirts.


annie said...

It must be so painful as it looks like bone is rubbing on bone. Although I do have some problems with my knees (sometimes they feel like they lock and I can't do stairs, or I can't bend down too much) I'm okay so far.

Shannon Hutcheson said...

I have had no cartilage in my right knee since, oh.. I was a teenager. I teared it at some point. After a year of it slipping between the joint and putting me on crutches on and off, they removed the tear via day surgery.

25+ years later, I have every expectation that my knee is going to give me major problems sooner than later.

I just think that there are other issues that are worse at the moment. So I don't notice my poor knee, not all the time anyway.

So do I get to join the B.O.B club?!