Worse than expected

Today, we met with the surgeon to discuss Sam's knee.  All day yesterday, I kept feeling like Sam would not need surgery and the doctor would tell us that it would heal fine on it's own.  All through the night, I kept having the same recurring dream that Sam did not need surgery.

Well, I don't know what all that was about but Sam needs surgery!  The doctor looked at his knee, tugged on it, moved it around and said, "We will schedule surgery, there's nothing left to this knee."  THEN...he looked a the MRI and confirmed that the inside of his knee is shredded!  Shredded!!!, not just torn!

He went on to tell us that not only will he need surgery but his knee will have to be rebuilt.  Yes, rebuilt!  Not just stitched up a bit here and there but rebuilt!  (Do you love all the exclamation marks?)  We discussed two different methods of fixing it but they each require some spare parts like ligaments and tendons.  We could use cadaver parts but in the end, we decided it would be better for Sam to use his own parts.  There is less chance of the tendons failing if we harvest what we need from him but that means more pain for him.  It was really hard for me to decide, really hard!!!  I wish it didn't have to come to this.

The plan for now is to use parts of his hamstring and a portion of his patella to use as a bone graph.  They will be drilling holes in his tibia and femur and looping tendons through and attaching with pins and screws.  The doctor said it's a 6 month recovery time and after 12 months, he should be good as new.  Part of the trick to this surgery is that he still has a lot of space in his growth plates which means he is due for a growth spurt, whatever they do to his knee has to be able to grow with him or else one leg will be significantly shorter than the other.  Because of that, he will have to do the more extreme surgery which takes longer to heal.

I kept looking at Sam trying to read what was going through his mind and I wasn't even sure he was processing it all.  I was preparing for an emotional disaster the second we walked out of the room but he did fine.  Well, he did fine until we got home and I asked him to start his homework, then, he melted to pieces.  Poor kid.  I know he is scared and angry and all that.  The doctor let him know that this is going to be a slow and very painful procedure!  Ugh.

We don't have an exact date for surgery yet, we are waiting on pre-authorization but the doctor is hoping that will come through by the middle of next week and then he will get him in as soon as he can.  He will be laid up for at least 6 weeks and then start physical therapy.  He might be able to do a slow jog at 3 months but nothing else.  At 6 months, he will evaluate him to see if he can get back to gym and parkour but it will be limited and he will be in a brace for a full 12 months!  It's pretty shocking because my head had already convinced myself that surgery wasn't going to happen.   There is a miracle in all this though, Sam has only had one pain pill since this happened just over three weeks ago!  Amazing!  He is amazing.   I have some serious worries about surgery but I will save that post for another day.


  1. oh gosh, I feel so bad for him! When my brother had his surgery it took about 8 months to fully heal. he tore his acl and shredded his meniscus. I think that's about when he started to play basketball again. It took about a year for him to be able to fully straighten his knee. it is a very long process and he was miserable. I'm so sorry you guys have to go through this.

  2. That really is terrible! I'm sorry to hear it.


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