If you don’t do anything, you could end up bone on bone. You don’t want that; I had years of pain. I didn’t tear my meniscus (sp), but was rather bone on bone, grade IV for the surgeons out there, after 4 dislocations of the patella over 15 years – three times playing soccer, high school and Division I in college, and once playing hockey – freak accident, no contact -- last January. Once the swelling dissipated, I decided to get surgery instead of PT this past June. I started pre-op PT schedule ASAP, which sped my post-op PT. I was actually skiing again before my surgery, I figured if I took a digger, I was going under the knife anyway…The doctors said my legs were strong enough that I couldn’t do any more damage.
From my understanding, they performed a lateral release of my patella, snipped my Plica(?) ligament, “ported and polished” my meniscus and patella. I got some cool pictures, video, and a bunch of scars, too. My leg was locked at zero degrees and absolutely zero weight on the leg for the first six weeks in a brace, but was allowed five degrees of motion during PT. I didn’t regain 100 percent range of motion until mid-September; the last five percent hurt the most.
Seven months later, I’ve moved from early season blue groomers, regaining strength and confidence, to running blacks, on/off piste top to bottom, but not all day. Still avoiding bump days, get half-way down, muscle fatigue sets in, cross my tips, and go OTB. FWIW, I’m 31 years old, ride stationary bike 30 minutes a day five days a week, go to PT twice a week, ski two/three days of the week, and snowshoe in the afternoons of the ski days with our dogs. And I feel about 70%.
I still don’t have the strength to stick a landing, skin a ridge, or rip the zipper line, but that will come back in time. Ironically, two of my ski buddies had the same procedure performed a few years back; they didn’t feel 100% until their second year. Good Luck in your recovery. Get a good surgeon geared toward sports medicine; I was lucky enough to have the Steadman Hawkins Clinic do the work.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 28, 2002 11:52 AM: Message edited 1 time, by woodpile ]</font>