Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Scar Tissue

I met a young woman at the gym today.

She had a fresh 8 inch scar that started two-thirds of the way down her quad muscle on the front of her left leg and stopped at the top third of her shinbone. It looked like a hardened little lava flow.

She was lovely and obviously athletic, and she couldn't have been more than 25. When she noticed my glance at her scar she smiled and invited my question.

I asked her if it was an ACL injury. The ACL is the very tough piece of tightly roped flesh that holds your knee joint together.

My knees are sort of crappy so I'm pretty familiar with the many ways a knee can do you. Women athletes are especially prone to ACL injuries.

She told me she was a serious soccer player but that the injury wasn't an ACL.

She said she played all the cartilage out her knee and that the doctors had to replace it. They cut her three weeks ago.

I loved it that she was already back doing a kind of that beloved thing.

Jesus. She had to go through a knee replacement surgery at 25. I was told at 30 that I'd have to have one of my knees replaced when I was 50. I think the doctors blew that call, but it's something I've had in the back of my mind for many years.

So I guess you could say that the idea of a knee replacement upsets me.

She had such a great spirit about the whole thing that I ended up leaving the interaction feeling stronger. She told me she'd had a "great week" and that in 3 weeks she'd gotten 90% of her full range of motion back.

Sometimes you think you're going to encourage wounded people but mostly I've found that they encourage you.


Blogger bentley92 said...

That is unreal that she is up with all of that motion in three weeks. I have a cartilage replacement for my left knee scheduled in September. That will be the fifth surgery done on my knee and the hopes are to prolong the day I’ll need a knee replacement. I was told I’d be non-weight bearing for eight weeks and looking at about a year of rehab. I would have guessed a full knee replacement would have been a longer recovery time, her age and athletic background I’m had to help with her recovery.

2:22 PM  

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