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If you'll remember our June of Doom, I tore my right ACL. On August 10, I had surgery to repair the damage. Kelly sacrificed her first day back to school, and my mom flew in from Dallas to sit in the flourescent sterility of a hospital waiting room, and further take care of me post-surgery.
Before surgery began, I had a large patch of my leg shaved smooth and was given an IV to administer the anesthesia. I was pretty optimistic about the surgery, but was worried that the IV might hurt, and even worse, that the anesthesia might not work. (Remnants of the youthful feeling of invincibility). Luckily, the nurse gave me a small shot that completely numbed the area for the IV and I didn't even notice when the IV was inserted. Even better, the anesthesia worked. I don't remember being taken to surgery, but Kelly and my mom say that I had a huge grin and said "I feel gooooooood..." I do remember the arriving in the operating room. They were listening to The Doors. Then I was out for good for 3 hours.
In surgery, part of my hamstring was harvested and restrung through holes drilled in my knee to replace the torn ACL. During the arthroscopy, the surgeon determined that not only was the ACL torn, but I also tore the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus. They stitched the medial back together and trimmed the damaged piece of the lateral, but torn cartilage meant that I had to be on crutches for three weeks instead of one, to allow the menisci to heal.
I left the hospital with my leg bandaged up, but no pain due to a femoral nerve block shot in my thigh that numbed the nerve that traffics pain and control of the quadriceps. Recovery went well at first, until the nerve block started to wear off about 36 hours later. The shot location was really sore, and I basically had to manually move the leg around for a day or so.
Recovery has been right on schedule. The knee really hasn't hurt too bad. What has hurt is my shin. The inside of my knee bled from the holes drilled in the bones, and the blood gathered in my shin area, making it real red and tender and painful to stand or even move my foot around. By now though, it is almost better.
Wednesday was the first day that I have been allowed to bear weight on my right leg. In the span of three weeks, the leg muscles have atrophied an unbelievable amount. My thigh has decreased at least 2 inches in circumference (see pictures). I also briefly forgot the mechanics of walking, and had to rehearse with the therapist to not look like a complete fool. But now that I am getting around better (still with crutches, until Monday), the bus ride to school will go smoother, as will the ascent to our third floor apartment.
I have uploaded pictures of my leg to Flickr, if you care to see. Click here.