In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Partially Torn Acronyms

A week after getting my MRI I was finally able to get ahold of the doctor today to get the results. Between being out of the country for a few days and constantly going in and out of cell service I've been a tough guy to get ahold of. The results show nothing serious that requires immediate action but there are some issues that will need to be watched.

#1 is a partial tear of the ACL. It's still intact and functional but there is a partial tear in it. It sounds like repairing the ACL (replacing actually) is a pretty big deal.

#2 is a small tear in the Medial Meniscus. Again, it's still intact put there is a tear in it. This and the ACL problem could cause the knee to be unstable.

#3 A diffuse tear in the rear MCL which should heal on its own.

#4 A diffuse tear on some big complicated word that I didn't write down in time that should also heal on its own.

He said none of these things need to be taken care of right now and that they might not need to have anything done at all.

My knee has been making big improvements as far as mobility goes the last 4 or 5 days and is feeling much better. I'm walking normally and have been getting out on easy hikes once or twice I day. I even went kayaking yesterday without too much trouble getting in or out of the kayak. My knee does feel like it wants to go out again at times when I try to pivot on my left foot but I don't know if it's just the tenderness from the injury or if it really does want to pop out again.

This is what the doctor is somewhat concerned about and what he said the symptoms would be if there were to be continuing issues with the knee as a result of these injuries. He recommended taking it a little easy and leaving it be for the rest of the summer to let the knee heal some more from the injury. Then we'll better be able to tell if anything I'm feeling now is just soreness from the injury or a sign of problems that will need to be fixed.

That sounds good to me but I have some tentative plans for this fall/winter that would require a stable knee and I might be someplace that I really don't want it to give me any problems (more about that another time if it comes through). He said in that case he'd recommend repairing the Medial Meniscus, which doesn't sound like too serious of an operation or recovery, and then bracing the knee for the ACL to give it a little more support and to actually replace the ACL at a later date.

I've got a lot to think about now. It's complicated even more by the fact that I got a letter from my insurance company saying they weren't going to cover my knee injury. This after they received the first bill from the hospital in Baker City, Oregon where I first hurt my knee. I'm assuming that means they're going to deny the claims for seeing a joint specialist and getting an MRI too. They said I have 180 days to send in a written appeal to try and get it covered so I put my grandmother on the case since she's really good at stuff like that. If anyone can get it covered she can.

I'm an active guy and I don't like the thought of my knee just giving out on me again in the mountains so chances are I'll be getting some surgery sometime in the not too distant future. At least I can do it on my own time when it works out best for me. I need to get it straightened out with the insurance company first though because I don't really want to pay for it out of pocket.

Wish me luck on both counts!


Anonymous said...

Ok, listen to Dr. Knee (Greg) he knows his business. As soon as you have made a decision, let us know so we can "swing into action" too.

Hope you are enjoying the Olympics. Have you seen Chip and Linda?


Edith said...

Al - Good luck with this. Insurance companies really are the biggest rip offs of all. I hope Lavonne can get somewhere with them.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.