Monday, December 17, 2007

Tales from the Orthopedist's Office

  1. Bad sign: I got out my phone and it said, "Do you want to join the open wireless network: Orthopedic Clinic Free Internet?" Much like at the service department of the car dealership, free internet means that you have to wait a while.

  2. I finally saw the orthopedist about 85 minutes after my scheduled appointment.

  3. He discussed the results of the MRI of my knee. Clearly he deals with stupid people all the time.

    He says to me, "You have a bone bruise."

    I ask, "Which bone?"

    "The leg bone," he replies.

    I'm silently wondering what other types of bones could possibly be shown on an MRI of my knee? I asked, "Which leg bone?"

    He is impressed that I know that the tibia is.

    Below we have illustrated my tibia (lower) and my femur (upper), coronal view.

  4. No torn cartilage, which makes him sad. Were there torn cartilage, he could schedule surgery, go in there with small tools, and fix it! My pain would be gone! Score one for the orthopedists! Alas, it was not to be.

  5. Rather, it seems that the entire problem is based on my poorly tracking patella. I ask if my poorly tracking patella is wearing away the articular cartilage. Now that I know both what the tibia is and what articular cartilage is, he starts giving me answers that make sense. Which is to say that he has stopped dumbing everything down.

  6. The gist: my poorly tracking patella will continue to cause pain and probably wear away at my cartilage. No one knows what the source is of the tender spot on the medial side of my kneecap. I can try taking glucosamine and chondroitin, even though he believes they are worthless. (Some of his patients swear by them.) I should continue my physical therapy exercises. I should avoid doing any serious exercises that involve the knee (ever). I can take Aleve when it hurts.