03 October 2010

That Horrible Ripping Sound

I didn't hear it, to be truthful. I felt it . . . for the second time in my life. Nonetheless, when I look back on these two incidents, I always believe I heard the rending. On both occasions, I immediately thought I'd injured an already compromised joint.

The sensation is more like that of velcro being pulled apart. There is pain. There is also the perceptible feeling of bodily fibers pulling taut and then giving way.

What am I talking about? Scar tissue, of course. After my second knee surgery, I was riding around campus when I felt several noticeable pops in the joint. I was certain I'd done more damage to the knee. I somehow learned that what I'd done was tear some of the adhesions. Well, it happened again recently. This surprised me because it's been over a year since the knee replacement. I'd gone through many brutal massage sessions in an effort to break up scar tissue. I've forced myself to bend the joint to its max and hold it there for minutes at a time, on an almost daily basis, to help increase my range of motion. It's all helped, but the gains have been hard fought.

Then I surfed with my buddy Adele on her birthday awhile back at San O. I remember being on a left that started to crumble in front of me. I crouched as best I could and grabbed my outside rail. I was intent on racing back to the open face. As I was doing this, I felt the board forcing my knee to bend. Completely intent on finishing this wave, it never occurred to me to simply let go of the board. No, I had to see if I could make the board speed up. As my knee continued to bend, I wondered how this was all going to play out. This can't possibly end well, I thought. It was right about then that I felt something in my knee slowly ripping apart.

I don't know if that made me let go of the rail. Something tells me it didn't. I remember thinking I'd just ripped the implant out of the bone. One thing that is typical of most people with knee replacements is that they believe they can easily damage the prosthesis. The truth is that, barring complications, these knees are almost bomb-proof. Once the wave ended, I moved my knee just to ensure that everything was in place. I could still bend and straighten it. But something was different. The knee felt different. Since surgery, my knee has felt like it was stuffed with cotton. I don't know how else to describe the feeling. It's always felt like I got the titanium joint as well as some stuffing to go with it. Well, that feeling is gone. That horrible ripping sound resulted in a joint that feels like it was freed up in many ways. It took awhile for the soreness to subside though. That was over 16 months' worth of scar tissue that tore apart in under a minute. It hurt for over a week. Now? This knee is good to go. Whatever I did, I'm glad it happened and I've had no ill effects as a result.


At 10/3/10, 5:23 PM, Anonymous TG said...


At 10/3/10, 7:11 PM, Blogger Ramsnake said...

Whew! When I started reading this post, I though this is not going to end well? But it did - Awesome!

At 10/4/10, 5:34 AM, Blogger pranaglider said...

You had me on pins and needles too! Sound like you are fine though.

At 10/13/10, 10:46 PM, Blogger SlowPolk said...



Post a Comment

<< Home