Well, it’s been 3 months and 2 days since my last surgery, which means it’s about damn time for another one. So tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m. I’m going to roll out of bed, head to the surgery center, and get a shiny new anterior cruciate ligament installed in my left knee. This one’s been a long time coming, since I tore my left ACL about 2 and half years ago and have just been putting off surgery ever since. In reality, I could probably forgo this procedure and still lead a fairly normal life, but I’d also never be able to play sports like basketball or football without using a brace, and even then my knee would slip around a little bit, which could hook me up with some sweet arthritis and joint pain later in life. So, I’ve opted to choose the lesser of two evils and suffer through a few weeks of relatively slight discomfort rather than debilitating, chronic pain upon reaching old age.
The last time I had surgery my right ACL and PCL were both replaced, and a piece of my lateral meniscus was removed. To give you an idea of how serious an injury that is, I’ve taken a diagram of a healthy knee and used my formidable Photoshop skills to alter it to resemble my right knee before surgery.
All tomfoolery aside, it really is bad news to be missing both cruciate ligaments in your knee. I mean, look at that diagram. Without those little pieces of sinew, there isn’t a damn thing to stop your leg bones from sliding all over the place like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
Fortunately for me, tomorrow’s surgery will only consist of ACL replacement, which should be a walk in the park for both me and my surgeon compared to the last procedure. I’m going to be receiving an “autograft”, which is when part of a tendon (usually the patellar or hamstrings tendon for an ACL graft) is harvested from your own body and is used to replace your old ligament. My new ACL is going to be made of a strip of my patellar tendon, which doesn’t need to be fully intact to function well.
So no zombie knee this time, but I think having tissue from one complete stranger is enough for me. I also don’t want to become a walking example of the Ship of Theseus Paradox, but then again I guess I already am to an extent. The Ship of Theseus Paradox is a really interesting philosophical idea, and I would like to write more about it, but I need to rest up for tomorrow, since it’s already 12:21 and my surgery is supposed to start at 7:15 sharp. Maybe I’ll write about it tomorrow when I’m completed zonked out on Percocet. That should make for interesting reading…