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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
14
2008
8:08 pm
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Warning: if bones moving under skin makes your skin crawl or creates a sense of nausea in you, you might want to skip the rest of this post.

The last 5 days of my life have been impacted by a dislocated patella.  For those of you who aren’t up on all the medical jargon, “patella” means “the knee cap”.  And dislocated means “not where I last left it.”  And also, before people shower me with cards, flowers, fake knees and letting me borrow their insurance cards, you should know it’s not MY dislocated patella.  It’s my wife’s.   And it was forcefully ejected from it’s normal home by a pair of lovable ~50lb dogs just trying to play with each other and running about bazillion miles per hour in our back yard, and performing a tackling move that a first-round draft pick would sell his soul to Satan to be able to duplicate on a weekly basis.

Generally, I keep my spouse out of the blogging limelight.  She doesn’t get on ‘teh internetz’ very much, barely does email now and again, and prefers her privacy.  I respect that.  Therefore, I don’t write about her; I don’t post photos; I hardly even refer to her unless I’m saying “the wife and I” or something generic like that.

But when the opportunity came to show off some of the bad-ass-est xrays I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes, I struggled with whether or not I should ask permission.  I mean, I understand not wanting your photo blasted across the Internet.  But these aren’t technically photos.  They’re sketchy impressions of bone.  But still, she hasn’t given her full permission (yet) so even though I scanned them in, I’ll continue to respect the wish for privacy.

You can search the web for a complete description and anatomic set of photos for the patella, it’s purpose, and common issues associated with it.  But that would be boring.  Instead, I give you an artist’s conception of what her X-rays look like.

First, here’s what a normal patella would look like, if someone drew a red ring around it with sketch chalk.

patella normal

The above is a frontal view of a typical knee.  You have the upper bone (I call it toppeleggus biggus), then the lower bone of the leg (puntus futbollus), and semi-floating above where they join is the patella.  It’s the kneecap, and you can kind of move it a little with your fingers when your leg is relaxed.  Some people are TREMENDOUSLY ticklish in this area, and its fun to just randomly try to find out who in your immediate area is ticklish.  However, if you’re not careful in your choices, you might get a dislocated jaw.

The following graphic is NOT an exaggeration.  I literally traced the actual X-Rays to show the position of the dislocated patella.

crazy patella

I mean, that thing was almost in another zip code.

Now, some people can dislocate their patella and it pops back without much fuss, and nestles in nice and cozy, pretty confident that it doesn’t feel like leaving home again any time soon, so go ahead and use your knee because its safe and glad to be back home, and for those people, walking in a day or two and resuming normal activities within a week are totally within the norm.

And then there are others whose patella gets around more than Bill Clinton, and doesn’t feel safe and secure, and really needs some assurance and help staying put, otherwise if you do too much, it’s going to pack its bags and get the heck out of Dodge again.  That’s where we are now, working with braces, sleeves, anti-inflammatories, ice and therapy so it gets the support it needs to feel comfortable enough to walk w/crutches and heal.

Without going into too much detail, we feel the ER/Hospital we went to was less than stellar.  The paramedics and ambulance crew, on the other hand were ABSOLUTELY GREAT.  I think the hospital can take some tips from those guys on how to handle the injured, and they really need to take a lesson on ICE.  They didn’t ice her knee for 4-5 hours, and we only got ice on her knee when a relative showed up who knows what they’re doing and insisted.  Sometimes I think they intentionally didn’t ice her knee because without ice, she gets admitted to the hospital.  With ice, she improves and gets discharged.  Hmm, conflict of interest, maybe?  Ice is free and the maker of ice doesn’t get any kickbacks.  The doctors don’t get Hawaii conference trips and an average of $43,000 yearly in pharmaceutical bonuses if the patient actually gets BETTER and walks away healthy.

Is the quality of traditional doctor / hospital / surgeon / physician care going down the tubes?  It seems EVERY decision is about money FIRST, convenience for the doctor SECOND and actual good care THIRD.


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