As I mentioned in a previous post, and to my patients, students, family, and friends I was supposed to get knee surgery today but I found out last week that it will be delayed.
- The knee surgery is quite complex as there are a number of factors that need to align in order for us to move forward. One big factor is…
I am waiting for a properly sized donor lateral meniscus (outer knee cartilage). This has to be an exact fit otherwise the knee won’t work properly after the surgery. Currently there are no lateral menisci that are a proper fit for my knee.
- Another factor is that certain tissue banks heavily irradiate their tissue in order to ensure that viruses or pathogens are destroyed. The down side to this is questionable long term viability of the tissue. So, in fact, there was a cartilage match but it was from a bank that irradiates so we are going to hold out for a non-irradiated (or minimally irradiated) cartilage.
- The third factor is cost. The hospital has a budget to follow and different tissue banks charge different prices. We might be able to find a match in the United States but it will likely cost twice as much.
DONOR?! You mean a deceased person?
That is correct – through the amazing process of organ donation I will eventually be the recipient of a newer cartilage. This cartilage will be in cryogenic storage at a tissue bank until I’m matched properly.
So when will the knee surgery take place?
As it stands we will likely try and find another match in the spring once the George Brown College semester ends as I’m teaching 12 hours of class in the fields of microbiology and chemistry (in addition to treating patients at GoodLife Fitness).
Stay tuned in the coming days for Part 2 of my Knee Surgery Cartilage Transplant post explaining exactly what the surgical procedure will be. When the surgery eventually happens you can follow my rehab journey through blogs and videos posted here as well as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Watch as I transform from Doctor to Patient.
This post is also featured on The GoodLife Blog.