Today was my last appointment before surgery. At my pre-op appointment, the doctor reviewed the procedure with me and answered my final questions, although even going into surgery there is one major question: which surgery will I be having? The answer to this big question, unfortunately, cannot be answered until I am under anesthetic and the surgery starts. The surgery is on Wednesday, June 15. For sure, I know that I am having knee arthroscopy surgery. In this procedure the doctor will remove the protruding screw from my tibia, clear out scar tissue from my two prior surgeries, and fix the ACL graft impingement. He will also check the stability and intactness of my ACL graft because my right knee is not as stable as it should be; furthermore, he will check my medial meniscus. If my medial meniscus is in bad shape, which he thinks it very well could be, he will perform an opening wedge osteotomy on my tibia. This is a preventative procedure which will significantly help alleviate the stress placed on what is left, if anything is left, of my medial meniscus. If the doctor decides that this procedure needs to be performed for the betterment of my health in the future, and he told me that he will do to me what he would want someone to do to him, this procedure changes my rehab significantly. During an opening wedge osteotomy, a doctor opens up the patient’s leg just below the knee and clears away all of the tissue and muscle to expose the bone. The doctor then saws the bone in half and inserts a small, wedge-shaped bone graft to open up the space where the meniscus is supposed to be. The procedure is completed by placing a plate over the broken tibia and securing it with several pins. If my meniscus is in bad shape and I end up needing this procedure, I will most likely stay in the hospital for one night rather than leaving shortly after the procedure.
The worst thing about this whole surgery is going into the operating room not knowing what will happen. I will not know what procedure I had until I awake from anesthesia. I am preparing for the osteotomy and hoping to just have the arthroscopy. My doctor told me that just the arthroscopy will help alleviate the pain and restricted motion I currently face on a daily basis, but that if my meniscus is in bad repair, I will only experience more pain down the road if the preventative osteotomy isn’t performed. The goal is to avoid osteoarthritis and total knee replacement, both of which are strong contenders in my future.