Friday, July 2, 2010

When Your Meniscus is Repaired

My orthopedic surgeon took pictures of his work as he performed surgery a week ago to repair my torn meniscus. I'm sure he did it to satisfy his lawyers should there be a complaint of post-surgical malpractice. There was also the advantage of the pictures being taken to satisfy the curiosity of a patient who is a biologist.

Dr. Oettinger took at least 12 pictures of my meniscus while he was conducting the surgery. He conducted the surgery using an arthroscope.

He gave me the pictures last week and explained what the images showed.

The purpose of the surgery was to "clear away" the torn portions of the meniscus - the "cushion" of cartilage between the femur, and the tibia and fibia below it. In the upper left image you can see the end of the arthroscope and the "knife" part of the scope, and if you look closely you can see the "knife" cutting away portions of the torn cartilage.

In the lower right image you can see a bunch of material that looks almost like angel hair pasta where I ripped the meniscus. That material is the tear along the edge of the meniscus. In the lower left image you can see where the meniscus was cleared away of the stuff "floating" in the lower right image.

Its been a little over a week since the surgery. I still have some pain in the area of the lateral incision and I'm still limping. However in a week or so I hope I don't even remember the pain and discomfort that came from tearing the cartilage in the first place.