Wednesday, October 01, 2008

News Update

I want to post this once so I don't have to recount the story in untold numbers of emails.

In late August I was attending a Monday night class at the dojo. We were warming up and doing wind sprints across the mats. On the last length of the mat, I turned on my right leg and my knee gave out. I dropped like a sack of wet gi. It took all my determination to get up and hobble off the mat to get out of the way.

This was not the first time I'd hurt this knee. My first injury was nearly two years ago. I was working a throwing drill. Most throwing drills -- for better or worse -- involve a cooperative partner. This is done for safety's sake. Judo and MMA sometimes use antagonistic throwing drills -- and the injuries do mount up. This is the main reason why BJJ sparring usually starts on the ground -- hence the term: "rolling."

During this drill I went to throw my partner with Osoto Gake, a rear sweep. I made the cardinal mistake of not taking his balance at the head first; and instead he shifted and threw me. Most of my body went one way, but my right leg was stopped in place for the throw. I felt a pop in my knee. It hurt for a couple of days, but went away. I decided to be a tough guy and didn't go to a doctor.

Between these two events, I could feel shifting in my knee. Some of these shifts were minor, and some were more... impressive.

After my last injury, I had an MRI done. It should a torn Anterior Cruciate ligament, or ACL, and a couple of tears in the meniscus. I went to an orthopedist two weeks ago, but I wasn't pleased with the visit. I won't give too much detail, but I didn't like that the doctor kept hinting I should find a different hobby. Maybe something safe, like golf.

So I got a second opinion this week. I went to see a doctor a little further away, but he was in my high school graduating class, and I hoped he'd be more sympathetic. He was.

He believes my ACL probably tore during the first injury. The things I felt were pivotal shifts in the joint the ACL is suppossed to prevent. The twist during the last wind sprint was a time bomb waiting to happen. Fortunately, he can reconstruct the ACL very easily, and its a surgery he performs all the time. He recommended the surgery if I intend to keep the same level of activity up and said it is what he'd do if it was his knee.

So I'll be getting the surgery done in November. We haven't set the date just yet. The recovery is fairly long, but he was optimistic about the progress. I'd be down initially about two weeks. Then I'd go for physical therapy. The doc said I could be reintroduced gradually into martial arts as part of my PT. I'll probably be running again, short distances, in about three months, and possibly back to nearly normal class participation at 7 to 9 months. I'd be fully cleared in a year. The first doctor had said I'd be off the mat completely for a year.

So is this what's kept me from blogging all this time? No, not really. But my mind has been on many other things lately. Not to mention that I've been executing my master plan for world domination by destabilizing the US economy.


anonymouser said...

Sorry to hear about the reinjursy to your knee, jrf. Make sure you are healed before you hit the mats again. No tough guy here, only the smart guy, jrf.

Sarah Palin said...

You are wise to address this before B. Hussein gets the American Health Care System all screwed up.

Stay safe and get well soon!

Sky Ninja said...

Glad you are getting the knee fixed old friend. I know how bad it sucks to be limping around on an injury.

The only thing is..... that when you are all healed up, there are no excuses anymore you know. Later bro.

jrf said...

Och! I've never needed an excuse for being as bad as I am...

Strangely, I am looking forward to re-training myself over the course of my rehab. Lots of basics in all areas... punches, kicks, weapons, fitness. I think it will be fun!