Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The saga of my left knee

Some background,
I fell down some stairs about 5 years ago and landed with my kneecap on the metal edge of the step. I also had other bruises and scrapes and was pretty swollen, so I didn't get it checked out for about a month. I was in an osteology class about a month after falling down the stairs and saw the joint of a man who had walked around on a bad knee and the kneecap ground the front of the femur flat, which must have been agonizing. Anyway, I decided to get it checked out. Two weeks later I saw my doc and got X-rays, she said she'd have sent me for surgery to screw the two halves of my patella back together or take out any splinters if I'd come in right away, but at this point it was too late and that I should go for physio instead. At the time I was actually pleased that I'd wiggled out of the surgery, and relieved that my leg wasn't going to fall off. Not being in any pain, I skipped the physio and gained a bunch of weight.
Fast forward four and a half years,
I decide to start walking more and drop some weight. Last fall, I started walking home 3 or 4 kilometres every day from work. Then I left that job and started putting in some serious treadmill time every day. When it got cold my knee started to ache. It's always made a clicking/grinding kind of noise when I move it, ever since the break, but now with the pain, I was starting to get concerned.
I went to the doc, she refered me to a sports med clinic, the quack at the clinic said that my patella had been in two parts since birth and that I was fine and to buy some new runners.
I went back to my own doc and she was pissed that he jerked me around. And sent me to her colleague, all this refering back and forth has taken until now....
I had my appointment with my doctor's colleague. He sent me for X-rays and had me come back so he could look at them. He also said my kneecap had always been in two parts. I'm starting to think that they are just saying that to yank my chain (I clearly remember having two identical non-mushy kneecaps when I was a kid). Despite the chain yanking, the outcome was what I wanted. The X-ray clearly showed that I don't have arthritis between the back surface of my patella (knee cap) and the fronts of my femur (thigh bone). Anyway, the doctor came to the conclusion that my kneecap is higher (closer to my head) than it should be and as a result, a tendon that connects my patella to my lower leg bones is strained, I'm prepared to accept that, it jives with the location of the pain I've been having.
The knee evaluation showed that my left leg is considerably less strong than my right now, they were equally strong in my previous two evaluations. So that means that with all the dicking back and forth and waiting for appointments, my left leg has atrophied - great.
Anyway, the stellar news is that I was prescribed physiotherapy, so we may actually get some things sorted out. Yay! I'm finally getting some action! Woo!


Princess Pessimism said...

Holy Crap...That was 5 years ago already??? It feels like last year.
I'm glad things are finally starting to get resolved for you. This is exciting news....

Jennifer said...

Yeah, it was a long time ago, that was when I lived with Tokyo Tintin and the Miss America in Chinatown.

The other hilarious thing the doc said was that my left leg is longer than my right. Maybe they'll make me get those shoes where one sole is thicker than the other, and some coke-bottle glasses, perhaps a back brace... and some head gear braces to complete the ensemble.

yrautca said...

I am really sorry to hear that this happened to you. I wonder in Canada whats a cheaper option: haveing an operation or buying new runners.

Anyway, take care of that knee. That BF of yours should be the one doing all the heavy lifting.

yrautca said...

Oh and I was wondering whether those injured knees hinder your head giving capabilities.

Trib said...

Well, it sounds like things are moving in the right direction now. Here's a few pictures of different anatomical variations in the patella:
I have no idea about your knee, but I do know that it's fun to fuck with people with xrays. Sometimes you'll see a congenital hole in the sternum and you can try to convince gullible people that they've been shot. Before you get your 'special' shoes you should have somebody check for a pelvic dysfunction that could make one of your legs appear longer. If one of your legs really is longer a lift in one of your shoes could save you a lot of grief down the road. A long leg can throw your whole body off kilter especially your back. There's nothing to be done for you in the other areas. You'll need those coke bottle glasses and braces or you'll get cancer. I'm sorry, but it's science.

Jennifer said...

Yrautca, keep it clean, my mom could read that!

As for whether it's cheaper to buy new runners or get surgery, do you mean cheaper for me or cheaper for society? Keep in mind that we all pay for our health care in our taxes, and that it's not some kind of free surgery buffet, you have to actually need surgery to get it. Also keep in mind that I don't get paid for days I don't work, I may not have had to pay out of pocket for my doctor visit or my X-rays yesterday, but I also didn't get paid for the morning of work I didn't do.
As for the runners, I don't need new runners, I do most of my exersice in the great outdoors in my street shoes, those runners were practically new, and that diagnosis was bullshit.
I'm actually covered for orthopedic shoes under some extra insurance I get through the BF's employer, so it's free or close to free for me to get properly fitted shoes.
Hey Trib, do you ever watch that terrible show Bones? It's about a forensic anthropologist, and they had an episode recently where she solves the crime by figuring out that people are related based on the fact that they all have those congenital little holes in their sternum. Also, did you hear about the woman who was shot in the chest at a dance club with a small calibre bullet and didn't realize until she got home?
I'm going to head over now and have a look at that website.
I am going to probably get some new runners and new everyday shoes for work. But I refuse to give up my impractical high heeled shoes for saturday night, and nothing and nobody is going to stop me. And I'd rather die of cancer than wear shoes with conspicuous lifts, coke bottle glasses or head gear. Shallow I know, but there you go.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer said...

That website was good, the stacked patella was the weirdest one. I think a lot of people have no idea what's out there in terms of anatomical variation.
Perhaps I shouldn't spend so much time staring at people's anantomies, but it's so darn interesting.
We have a guy who comes into the museum with two full sets of teeth, one in front of the other. In Bangladesh, it's not that uncommn to see men with a third canine tooth in the centre of their incisors. I kept looking for a rickshaw driver that I could pay for a picture of the phenomenon, but everyone I met with the tooth thing was someone I met socially, and I couldn't very well say, "Hey you're freaky, can I take a picture?"
Extra fingers are also not uncommon in Bangladesh. I met a kid who had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on one of his feet. The cool thing was that normally you see people with extra fingers they aren't full fingers but floppy or small or not fully formed or they are fused with another finger, but this kid had 6 full fingers on each hand. You'd never have noticed until you looked closely. The kids little brother was jealous of his big brother's extra fingers. I hope that kid has a great career as a musician or a surgeon ahead of him.

As for my patella, there was no clear view of it straight on in the X-rays so I can't tell you exactly how it's split, I can't remember if it was clearly shown on the X-rays 5 years ago. The one thing that is crystal clear on the X-rays is that there is no arthritis. I'll have to dig up the X-rays from 5 years ago and have another look.

Trib said...

Bones is terrible. My roommate likes it though so sometimes I end up watching anyway. Ugh. We're probably talking about the same hole. I hadn't heard about the woman, but it makes sense. When I'm dancing, I'm in the zone. The room could collapse around me and I wouldn't even notice. And it's so darling how you spell caliber.
The lift shouldn't be too conspicuous because they're usually less than a cm. But I believe in the freedom to do whatever you want.

Trib said...

Freaky people are neat! Did they shoot MRI of your knee too? That's usually the way to go with soft tissue stuff?

Jennifer said...

Yeah, Bones is a really bad show, but every academic discipline needs a hero, right? Archaeology has Indiana Jones, Primatology has Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, Medicine has House....
Physical Anthro is kind of a dorky discipline, that's what we get.

The creator of the main character of the show is actually a well respected forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs, she's board certified and she's the physical anthropologist for the State of North Carolina and the Province of Quebec. She started writing novels several years ago, where her character was also the physical anthropologist for NC and PQ, the novels started out not so good, and have really improved as she's gotten better at writing. But the show took the whole thing to Washington and has her teaming up with the FBI, then they always seem to work on local cases with some weak explanation why the FBI would work on such a case.
It's lame, I know, I wish it was better, but I just can't not watch. If they came out with a new Indiana Jones movie where Harrison Ford was using a walker, I'd probably watch that too.
The possibility of MRIing my knee was mentioned by my own doc, who is excellent and seems truely interested in getting to the bottom of things. If the physio fixes the problem, then I'm fine with no MRI, if it still hurts when my insurance coverage for physio dries up (7 or 8 visits) then I'll start screaming for an MRI.

If you think it's cute how I spell calibre, then you'll just melt when you see how I spell centimetre, neighbour and you'd really love how I pronounce the letter Z. I worked for a US subsidiary of a Canadian company for a while, and my boss was American. I used to send stuff to people with Canadian spellings and terms all the time, it used to make him die laughing. I tried to get them to send a letter to all the clients using the word fortnight, it got nixed.

Jennifer said...

Actually, if I can get any kind of decent scan of the X-rays, I'll post them on the blog, so that you all can admire my sexy mushy knee.

jane said...

mmm, knee-tastic. Do indeed post pics.

Jennifer said...

Here's that article:
Woman didn't know she'd been shot
A Canadian woman who went out dancing did not notice she'd been shot in the chest until she was back home in bed.

Police say the victim, in her 20s, left a club in Oshawa, Ontario, unaware of anything wrong but later had trouble sleeping.

She eventually noticed she was bleeding from the chest and went to hospital, reports the Winnipeg Sun.

Police say she is in good shape and was able to walk in to the hospital.

Investigators are trying to trace back the night's events to pin down where the woman was when she was shot.

"It's not like in the movies where you get shot and you fall down," said Durham police Duty Insp. Dave Morrissey.

"You could get hit by a small-calibre bullet and not know it."

this was from Ananova.com

Trib said...

And I would say that she should think back to when she heard "bang!"
I thought Canada was safe, eh? Maybe she was shot with one of those stolen guns! Or a bullet flew from america and hit her! Where is Bones?!

yrautca said...

i wonder if she had fake boobs.