Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The difference a month makes

OK, so really it's been 33 days since I had my rappelling accident at Gallows Edge in White Rock Canyon but I'm going to round down to a month. As we've all noted, I was very lucky to have only sustained a badly sprained left ankle, a torn meniscus in my left knee and some other minor bruises and scrapes.
The recovery has gone amazingly well and quick--I was walking without the ankle boot after three days and climbing again within four days. I didn't need but one of the pain killer pills they prescribed to me for my ankle.
Then I had an MRI done via the Taos Orthopaedic Institute and it showed a bucket handle tear in my medial meniscus in my left knee. On September 15th, Dr. Lubowitz at Taos Ortho performed a partial mensicectomy on my knee to remove the torn meniscus. He quantified it as a "substantial tear" and removed a good bit of meniscus but said things went very smooth and looked very good.

A partial meniscectomy is a relatively minor knee surgery that's performed arthroscopically involving only a couple holes cut into the knee--one for a camera and one for tools. I was walking without crutches the day after surgery and climbing easier routes five days after the surgery. It's now two weeks since the surgery and I've had the sutures removed and my knee is almost back to complete range of motion. Also, I never experienced any pain in the knee post-surgery. It's safe to say it's been a great recovery.

My ankle sprain is healing well and is mostly pain free all the time. I can walk and jog without discomfort but there are some certain motions that produce an acute, sharp pain deep within the outside of my ankle. I've been visiting a friend, Carl Dickson, who's a physical therapist and he's been working the ankle very well and that's been extremely beneficial.

As for exercise, I haven't ran any appreciable distance since Aug. 26th and I'm itching to. However, I have been hitting the stationary bikes pretty often and just today, after Carl's suggestion, have started elliptical trainer work. My goal that I haven't told many people about is to run the Palo Duro 50k trail run on October 17th. Obviously I won't be setting any personal record but know that it will feel good to get back to trail running. I feel very lucky that I have the potential to return to trail running less than two months after my accident.

Again, I appreciate all the kind words and encouragement from all my friends and family. It's been a very positive experience for me and has kept me motivated to heal strong and quickly.