Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Doctor Visit ~ Diagnosis & Treatment Plan

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We finally got in to see an Orthopedic Surgeon today, Dr. Karzel from the Southern California Orthopedic Institute SCOI, and got an official diagnosis on Whitney's knee injury.
Patella Femoral Syndrome, as previously diagnosed by the Guatemalan doctor. Only this time x-ray's were taken to rule out any bone damage, and now Whit is scheduled to get an MRI to see the full extent of damage to the soft tissue; cartilage and tendons. Both Dr. Karzel and Debbie, his Nurse Practitioner, did say that she will need surgery on both knees followed up with physical therapy. Her right knee will be operated on first, and then approximately two months later (depending on her own personal recovery time) her left knee will be operated on. The operation in tells using hardware such as pins and screws to reattach the soft tissue back to her patella and tibia. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but spare us the nitty gritty details. There didn't seem to be any broken bone fragments floating around in the x-ray, but the pad between the bones showed some ware and tare due to her active lifestyle with dancing and swimming; nothing to be alarmed of though.
They said that this type of knee problem is common among young active individuals and that she will be fully recovered after the surgery and physical therapy; well enough to return to the mission field if she so chooses. She is to begin gentle knee Pre-OP exercises tomorrow to strengthen her quads, hamstrings, and gluts so that she doesn't lose strength in her legs and assists in the Post-OP rehabilitation. She's also to use crutches at home and a wheelchair when going out so that she doesn't put anymore pressure on her knee joint.
We will keep you posted on what her MRI tells us coming up in about two weeks, unless we get Pre-Authorization from our Medical Insurance Company and can have the MRI done sooner than whats currently scheduled.
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