Monday, March 14, 2016

ACL Surgery - Deja Vu

On Friday, I returned to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles to undergo my second ACL surgery.  Since January 7th in Niseko, I've been wearing the BREG brace below, angled at 30 degrees to allow my MCL to heal naturally after a grade 2 tear.  My ACL displayed a complete tear after the fall that afternoon, after we had skiied in Annupuri and finished our lunch at PIC Burger.  

That afternoon, I was taken down the mountain by Ski Patrol on a sled to the Kutchan Hospital where I was seen by the orthopedist, given an XRay and MRI and released within 3 hours.  When I heard the two pops on the fall, I knew that it was seroius. That sinking feeling left me feeling disappointed.

My Niseko Physio Therapist, Wennie, was fantastic! She gave me exercises to perform and recommended the BREG brace to wear for at least 6 weeks.  I wore it for a little over 8 weeks and completed the exercises religiously to maintain leg strength.
We arrived early and registered at 5:30am and taken to the Short Stay area on the third floor. The nurses inserted an IV into my right arm, took my blood pressure and asked me multiple questions. The anesthesiologist, OR nurse, Dr. Samson and others came to my bedside to ask more questions and prep me on the surgery. I changed into my hospital gown and cap. Dr. Samson, who repaired my left ACL five years ago and left shoulder four years ago, marked my right knee with a pen to indicate the correct knee.
After being wheeled into the OR, I met one old OR nurse from my previous surgeries.  Dr. Pham said that he was going to relax me and I don't remember anything afterwards. I awoke at 10:08am in the OR recovery room and realized that the surgery had finished. I lost two hours of time due to anesthesia and didn't realize that it was done.  
Dr. Samson came by my bedside to inform me that the ACL was completely ruptured and he repaired with an allograft (cadaver patellar tendon). He also repaired a slight tear in the meniscus while the MCL had healed naturally. I was discharged around 1:30pm after a PT session. I walked around and learned how to climb and descend stairs. I got a little car sick on the ride home but made it throught the rainy 2.5 hour drive back.  We visited 4 pharmacies but they didn't carry Norco so we went home without the presciption. That everning, I drank Mama's miso soup and went to bed. My knee felt heavy with a pain pump bag connected by a IV line which is inserted into my leg.

Surgery day went well and I was happy to return home for rest.

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