Monday, January 23, 2006

Enough to make you weak in the knees

Knee repairs
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Along with the neat bandages, high tech ice bag, and photos of my knee operation Friday, I was handed a disc as I got ready to leave the hospital after my knee operation which I assumed had copies of the photos of the inside of my knee.


It was a DVD of the actual operation of the inside of my knee, shot in real time while the doctor was doing the work.

Yup, about a half-hour of slicing and dicing, just like the old Veg-o-matic on the inside of my knee, repairing that pesky meniscus that had torn while I was twisting the night away last July 3 at an annual party thrown at Seneca Lake by Mike and Karen Schamel, mom and dad to Kathleen Schamel, a regular crew member of Sabbatical and a founding member of Team Sabbatical.

The footage is eerie to watch. There's these little tools cutting away this fuzzy stuff, then another tool starts chomping at some hard tissue to make the entire area smooth. After a few minutes, I actually felt faint and my stomach started rolling like I was in a bi-plane doing aerial acrobatics. But I now have a much greater appreciation for why I'm limping around the house like Chester from Gunsmoke and the dealing with more than a little pain.

I'm also glad that I got this operation in 2006 and not, say, 1966 when I graduated from high school. I hurt my knee my senior year in high school - a torn ACL my current orthopedic surgeon tells me from looking at recent MRI results. But somehow that injury just healed without intervention (Ah, youth!). The surgery to fix it in 1966 would not have used tiny tools and quarter-inch incisions, I'm sure. I've seen some impressive knee scars from surgeries performed before arthroscopics.

The video was just one more piece of evidence about the excellence of the surgical group and hospital I used for this knee tuneup. A set of photos and actual video of the work given to the patient even before you leave the hospital!

That's confidence in your product.

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