January 21st, 2011
12:07 PM ET
Soledad O'Brien: ACL is doing fine, thanks
Watch as CNN's Soledad O'Brien undergoes surgery to repair her torn knee ligments, as Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains this and other types of knee surgery on a special edition of "SGMD," Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. ET
I’m limping today—that’s typical I am discovering, on the days when it’s cloudy and dreary. My knee swells and all the progress I think I’ve been making since my knee surgery back on October 22 seems to evaporate. I hobble up and down stairs like an old lady.
For the most part, though, my surgery has been an unqualified success. I have five scars that run across my knee. One of them is a tiny incision where the doctors put a camera in so that I could view the damage to my mangled ligaments: a completely torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and damaged MCL and LCL as well (As you can see, I’ve become a bit of an expert in knee acronyms). My meniscus (knee cartilage) also has a major tear in it, and is now held together with two stitches.
There’s a two-inch vertical slash where Dr. Laith Jazrawi re-inserted cadaver tissue that now serves my new ACL. The other scars are smaller, but still visible. But considering the pretty monumental damage I suffered when I fell off my horse in early October, I’m happy with the incisions, which people barely notice.
How to give your knees some TLC
The surgery was fast—and I was so sedated doctors had to keep poking me to wake up and pay attention as they scoped my knee. Friends think I’m strange for wanting to see what the inside of my knee looked like, but I was a pre-med student long ago, and gross medical procedures intrigue me—especially in my own body. And ultimately, it wasn’t that gross. My damaged knee looked like shredded pasta.
What surprised me the most was the lack of blood and gore. It looked downright sterile. Immediately after the surgery my doctor put me in the greatest contraption known to mankind—the Game Ready. It’s an electric ice pack-slash-compression machine that was the only way to manage the pain and bring down the swelling that stretched from my ankle to my thigh. I had a giant bottle of Percocet too, but stopped taking drugs within a day—I hated the feeling of drowsiness.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What you need to know about knee replacement
My biggest problem—managing the crutches, since I couldn’t put any pressure at all on my left foot. The crutches chafed me under my arms, and meant my days sprinting through airports en route to shoots were over. I kept traveling, but at a snail’s pace. TSA employees patted me down, head to toe, every leg of my trip. I was advised (thank you, Sanjay) to take physical therapy seriously, and I did. That meant I was off crutches after four weeks, and off my cane two weeks later. I’m still clunking slowly as I go up and down stairs, but my physical therapist swears I will be running in February and back on the horse that threw me, in April.
The upsides-seven weeks total on crutches gave me amazing arm muscles! And I’ve gotten more aggressive about working out. I’m signing up for a sprint distance triathlon this summer (early June), mostly to motivate myself to get through physical therapy and not give up.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
I was very happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to see new information on your site.
Great info. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!
There is certainly a lot to learn about this issue. I love all the points you have made.
Very nice blog post. I absolutely love this website. Stick with it!
I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own personal site and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!
I used to be able to find good advice from your blog posts.
You made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
I was extremely pleased to find this website. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at new information in your web site.
Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.
Good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Very good article. I'm facing many of these issues as well..
You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the web. I'm going to highly recommend this site!
I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and the rest of the website is very good.
Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
Hi! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.
Hi, I think your blog could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent site!
Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.
I really like it when people come together and share ideas. Great blog, keep it up!
This is a topic which is close to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?
You have made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
You have made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
I used to be able to find good info from your articles.
Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search
Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good gains.
If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!
I really like looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!
Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!