Coincidence?: Part 3

This is slowing becoming a replay of 2009! After the doctor’s office FORGOT to forward my request for a referral to an orthopedic surgeon last Friday before closing, I was forced to wait until Monday to call and see if that requested had been filled. This morning I called and since the nurse practitioner who saw me wasn’t in the request had been passed to the doctor. I was told to call back after lunch time.

After waiting another 3 hours I finally put in a call to the office. I got lucky and got the nurse’s assistant. I explained the situation and then wanted to know the update on my referral request. She told me that the nurse practitioner wanted me to go for physical therapy for 2-3 weeks BEFORE seeing an orthopedic surgeon. Huh?

So let me get this straight, neither the doctor or the nurse practitioner can confirm what the problem with my left knee is, either a sprain or tear of the MCL. This was the same condition 3 years ago when I was told by my doctor, consequently I fell down the stairs a few days later and got a referral to see the orthopedic surgeon. Instead I was “pre-authorized” to go to physical therapy for a condition that CANNOT be verified!

As of today, now 8 days after injuring my left knee the only symptom that has improved to a degree has been the swelling. Quickly perusing the Internet for a few signs of a possibly MCL tear, I found this from Cedars-Sinai:

  • Pain, which can range from mild to severe, depending on how serious your injury is
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness along the inside of the knee
  • A feeling that your knee may give way under stress or may lock or catch.

Let’s take the list from the top. Pain, yup! I have it, but it does range from sever to mild, depending on what I am doing. If I am standing for any period of time, the pain becomes too much. Sitting at work, it’s not bad, it doesn’t go away.

Stiffness. Sure thing. If the knee is bent too long it’s sore and stiff on the back of the knee. Conversely if I have been laying in bed and try to get up, it takes a bit to get the knee to bend, but the pain is always there.

The swelling comes and goes with the amount of time I am on my feet. The longer I am standing, the knee will start to swell. If I am sitting, such as at work, the swelling does decrease. I have also notice an odd bulge that pushes out from the left side of my knee. I figure that is probably just fluids, but I can’t confirm that.

The MCL region of the left knee is still tender, has been since last Sunday evening when something popped and the pain flared up. Even to the tough, the region is warm and very tender. Pushing or probing the area is quite sore.

Finally what concerns me most, having a feeling my knee will give away. I had it happening once and I fear it will happen again, unannounced without warning. I take extra care in walking up and especially down the stairs. Last thing I want is another fall on the stairs as I had in 2009. It was also be the quickest way to get that referral I should of had last Monday!

Now I probably could have pushed the issue and might do so tomorrow. I know my body better than my doctor. All the signs of a possible tear are evident, but WHY they won’t give me a referral is anyone’s guess. This is just one more situation in which my doctor isn’t out for my best interest. His office has been on my shit list since January I met with the doctor to compare my blood tests (July, 2011 vs December, 2011) and he didn’t think I could sustain a plant-based, whole food diet. That same appointment saw him prescribe 50,000IU/weekly of Vitamin D for a reported “deficiency.” He has been wrong too many time recently and I am not happy.

Coincidence?: Part 2

It really comes as no surprise that the nurse practitioner said I injured my left MCL. I knew that before I made the call to get an appointment. Unfortunately this situation is like watching a rerun of what happened in 2009. The same diagnosis, “nothing damage” but take some anti-inflammatory medication, ice and heat. That didn’t do much back in 2009 when 5 days later I fell down the stairs. There WAS something wrong. This time around the knee feels just as sore, if not more and I can’t walk with support of a very nasty hobble.

Today in addition to the ice and heat I have been wearing a knee brace for a little extra support. My main fear is the knee giving out without any notice Not that knowing this ahead of time in 2009 would have prevented the inevitable. So I am going to give this MCL injury a week or so and then request to see the orthopedic or at least get x-rays or an MRI. I believe the first time around the x-rays couldn’t tell anything, while the MRI did reveal the tear in the right ACL.

So until that time I will deal with the pain that I am having regardless what I am doing, sitting, standing, walking, lying down as it makes no difference. I cannot put much pressure on my left leg because of the MCL. While I am hoping for the best, I don’t believe I will return to the soccer field, even if things turn out for the best and there is no damage, just a strain. If it is the worse and it’s torn there is a good chance I will miss out on the family vacation that starts on March 18.I can’t continue to batter and bruise my body at age 42. Time to pass the ball to my son regardless of how this situation turns out.

Coincidence?

How weird is this? On March 4, 2009 (read the post) I received confirmation I had torn my right ACL playing indoor soccer when I hyper-extended the knee. Now 3 years later to the day, I injured my left knee. Depending on who you ask (me or my wife) you will get a different cause. My wife believes I injured it on Sunday playing outdoor soccer (on another artificial surface). If you ask me, I believe the injury was caused last night while on my hands and knees working on a surround sound system for a friend. I guess the actual cause is irrelevant, but what are the chances of another knee injury exactly 3 years later?

Unlike last time I am not waiting to see if the knee gets better. This time around the pain is more excruciating, but similar in feel and location when it comes to how the torn ACL in the right knee felt. Worst case I torn something, like an MCL or an ACL, while the best case is a sprained knee. Regardless of what the result turns out to be I have played my final soccer game. It’s time to pass on the sport to my son, who at age 6 is ready to play.

I will have to post an update later today when it comes to the result of the appointment with the family nurse practitioner. Chances are slim she will be able to tell me much and probably require and MRI with a referral to the orthopedic surgeon.

Injuries: Act Now or Pay Later

In reviewing and rating fantasy football teams over on the Fantasy Football Starters Forums I am in awe at the number of owners who failed to draft players to occupy a back up role. It’s difficult to make a generalization about a given fantasy league. So far this year I have drafted three separate teams, two drafts have been 16 rounds and select 9 starters. The other league (TFL, which I own and manage) we draft 18 and play 10 starters. I would venture a guess that these numbers are probably pretty standard through the hobby.

Many owner draft depth in the middle rounds, stockpiling running backs and wide receivers, for good reason to. As happens many times players get injured or just don’t perform and as an owner you are left with a decision. Many owners that I have spoke with will typically draft one kicker and one defense, including your remaining starters that’s a total of 9 players, leaving you with 7 bench spots to draft.

Typically you will draft a back up QB, because the last place you want to be is in the heat of the playoffs scrambling for a free agent when your #1 QB, Aaron Rodgers goes down. Think it won’t happen? It did last year. Today in a thread with calinucrew_119705, he questioned picking up a back up QB, “why do i need a back up qb is there any 2nd qb i would start over rivers?” He went on to add, “i have a safe game plan most of my player are bye week 6 so i lose one week i am ok with that also i picked rivers because he has not missed a game since 2006.” That is a very bold move in my opinion, so you are giving up drafting a back up and going to take a zero for one week. Okay, I can understand that…sort of. Bu what if Rivers gets injured? This is the NFL, they hit. Hard, it can happen. Even with limited bench space a back up QB is a vital component to a fantasy team. This leaves a total of 6 spots for depth at RB and WR.

Even before the NFL season has officially kicked off we are already seeing a rash of injuries, led by the “hammy hoax” as I dub it, as well a number of season ending ACL injuries. The most notable injury is that of Arian Foster (hamstring) and Peyton Manning (neck). Both players have seen a bit of a drop in many fantasy drafts because of their injuries. This doesn’t mean you pass on them altogether, it means you might be able to get very good value a bit later than expected. For example at 3.03 in my Yahoo league I was able to draft Manning, knowing he might not start the season. That is a chance I am willing to take. There was no way I was going to pass on a perennial first rounder, but I knew I would need another QB, not only for the bye week cover but on the possibility Peyton Manning doesn’t play in the first week of the NFL season.

The lock out and CBA negotiations, free agency and training camp were fast and furious this off season. This means players might not be completely ready when the NFL season kicks off on September 11. It a typical season it take players a few weeks to get up to “game speed” but now with a drastic reduction in training and practice, injuries are a bigger concern. As mentioned previously, owners are scrambling for Derrick Ward and Ben Tate in Houston with some question surround the severity of the hamstring injury to Arian Foster. Take Chris Johnson, he held out for a new contract. He now has just about a week to get into “game shape” and get up to speed. Will it happen? Probably not. While he is a “professional” it will still take time. Add to that a new QB in Matt Hasselbeck under center. My concern for CJ2K, possibly injury, something along the lines of a hamstring.

So while we don’t like “wasting” our selection on bench players such as kickers and tight ends, these players are an integral part of your fantasy team. Only you are left to decide how you are going to round out those 7-9 selections. In recent years WRs have been rather plentiful through free agency (again depending on league size), but it’s the proverbial “diamonds in the rough” we are draft and speculating on for later in the season. Some of these players may or may not make a contribution, just give it a second thought before you decide to use the wire as your alternative to drafting a competent back up when you have the chance during a fantasy draft.

ACL: Game Over

While my wife has already said, “I told you so.” I got the official word today from the orthopedic surgeon regarding my knee. Last week he sent me for an MRI on my right knee, which was injured back in October, 2008. I still remember how and when I did it, during an indoor soccer match.

The doctor wasted little time when he walked into the exam room today and said, “Hey Champ, bad news.” Right then I knew there were problems. He asked how and what I did to injure the knee and then confirmed the worse case scenario. I have a torn ACL and a tear to the meniscus in the right knee.

After going over the ligaments and how they connect to the knee and going over the MRI, he gave me my options at this point. Since I cannot function daily without problems I have chosen to have the “elective” surgery. If it were a case of being able to go about and do things without the worry of the ACL I probably would have selected no surgery.

Since I continue to have the knee give out, for example, my tumble down the last few stairs a few weeks ago, I don’t see any other option for me. So after talking it over with him, he gave me a timeline as to what would happen. It could be upwards of 18 months before the knee is fully rehabbed. This means soccer as I know it is most likely over for me at age 39. I am not sure I want to take the chance of reinjurying it.

Outside of selecting a date is rather I want to use tissue from a cadaver or my own tissue. Of course I talked it over with my wife and she wants my own tissue used, which means they will use a piece of tendon from my right knee to replace the ACL.

So before this week is up I am guessing I will be working on scheduling surgery for my right knee. At this point in time, it really is the only option. I cannot continue on with the pain I feel, daily as well as the possibility of it going out when I least expect it.