My orthopedic physician -- the guy who fixed my knee a decade ago -- has a first-rate assistant, essentially a specialist Nurse Practitioner,* who handles much of the intake and routine work (surgeons are better off spending their time in surgery and he's a particularly good one). My blowed-up knee is pretty much the usual thing in her line of work. They got me in promptly and took a set of X-rays showing all the standard angles (and the three remaining screws that hold the end of my thighbone together in a pattern that shows the path of the original spiral fracture). She looked them over, then talked me through them, with a likely prognosis and conservative treatment plan.
The cartilage on the distal condyle continues to wear. There's a visibly smaller gap there (cartilage is largely radiotransparent) compared to the other three bearing surfaces of my knees. It's now officially both "arthritis" and "internal derangement."
She gave me a steroid shot right in the knee: "Try to relax."
She's also sentenced me to four weeks of physical therapy, twice a week. Like I have time for it? But I can't not have time for it, so I'm off to see if there's anything nearby or, failing that, anything near work.
Also, I'd switched from ibuprofen to aspirin for my 3x/day routine of acetaminophen and an NSAID, on the notion that aspirin has some hearth-health benefits and "vitamin I" is very much the other way. Bad idea, she tells me -- ibuprofen is a much better anti-inflammatory, if you maintain a steady level. So I'm back on that, three of 'em, three times a day.
* Unless there's something in between N-P and M.D.; she's got that kind of no-nonsense competence and manner that bespeaks a great depth of knowledge and experience. People who don't blink at my vocabulary or hold their own back are a delight to converse with and she's one.
9 months ago