Archive for the ‘Surgery’ Category

Kaitie’s Knee Update

February 25th, 2011 Comments off

Kaitie’s surgery went well last week. In and Out of the DHMC Outpatient Surgical Center in 6 hours. We spent a night in White River after Kaitie’s surgery as we had to return to DHMC the next day. She has some cool tech in her knee. Two devices hold her harvested hamstring tendons (2). Folded up for grafting, the hamstrings are 9mm in diameter. As large as a graft for a full grown man. Holding the top in the Femur is a Stratis Femoral Fixation Device. In the Tibia, a BioIntrafix Tapered Screw holds the 4 hamstring ends tight. Both devices are made of bioabsorbable polymers.  Dr. Carr used two stitches to repair Kaitie’s torn medial meniscus near the outer edge of the posterior horn.

Kaitie’s on crutches, which she hates more than anything.  Probably 3.5 weeks left on them.  She’s actively working at her physical therapy.  We take her to DHMC Rehab Medicine Center two times a week.  Daily, she goes to the trainers office at KUA for supervised physical therapy.  The training staff at KUA has been excellent.  Kaitie’s path to return to full sports activity will take six months.  A guide to what takes place during that time frame can be found here.  Dr. Carr performed the repair on Kaitie’s knee last winter and he was engaged to do this work as well.  Kaitie’s in good company when you look at some of Dr. Carr’s patients.

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Kaitie’s MRI Results and Images

January 25th, 2011 Comments off
MRI ACL view

This MRI view shows the abscence of a solid black band that would indicate an intact ACL.


To the left you can see an MRI image of Kaitie’s right knee with a red outline indicating the area of the ACL. Not much left to show. There should be a solid black band inside the outline. What we have here is fully torn ACL that has retracted and folded down. Fortunately, it doesn’t hamper the action of her knee. This is important as she needs to regain full motion of her knee prior to her surgery. All of the photos are “clickable” for larger images.

Damaged Meniscus

The grey area inside the outline, indicates a meniscus with significant damage

To the right you can see a red outline that encompasses the area of Kaitie’s meniscus injury. Meniscus injuries commonly occur in conjunction with ACL tears. What should be a solid black wedge has uneven grey areas in it. These grey areas are where damage has occurred. Dr. Carr advises that it is difficult to identify if the cartilage can or should be repaired until it is examined during arthroscopy.

A meniscus repair will be considered because the recovery and rehab process will mirror that of the ACL graft. Given Kaitie’s age it would be best to keep as much cartilage as possible but that desire is offset by the frequency of repaired areas being reinjured. That will be a difficult choice to make.

The decision to repair the ACL is pretty straight forward. Without the repair, Kaitie would not be able to return to full speed athletics that include cutting and pivoting. In the next few days, we’ll consider the different types of ACL grafts that are available. Each has it’s pros and cons. More on that later.

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