I am a Registered Nurse from upstate NY. I also train and compete in a police dog sport called IPO. While at a US World Team Qualifier I had a large German Shepherd run into me, while chasing a ball. He tried to stop in time, but ended up taking me out at the knees. I heard a pop and had immediate pain in the back of my knee. I went to an orthopaedic surgeon in my town who did a MRI, which diagnosed posterior horn medial meniscus root tear. He offered to remove my meniscus saying that the recovery from repairing it would be to hard. That didn’t really sound like a good plan as I know how important the meniscus is to joint health, so I went to an expert at The Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. The doctor there thought that there might be a root tear, but didn’t think it needed surgery, and thought PT would take care of the symptoms. It did not. Which brought me to a third doctor who decided to repair the root tear. During the surgery, I also suffered a grade 3 MCL tear, when the surgeon tried to bend my knee. After surgery, my knee still hurt and in fact was more painful than before. For months we tried PT, until the surgeon finally said that there wasn’t really anything else he could do for me. That’s when I decided to contact The Steadman Clinic and Dr. Robert LaPrade. Arguably one of the, if not THE best complex knee surgeon in the world. I flew from NY to Colorado to see him. He did x-rays and another MRI which showed that my repair had healed, but unfortunately it healed in a non-anatomic position. Simply put, the meniscus wasn’t where it was supposed to be inside the knee joint. He went in and did a very complex revision of this surgery I stayed in Colorado for a couple weeks after the surgery as Dr. LaPrade has a very specific rehab protocol that he likes his patients to follow. While there I received physical therapy twice a day, every day, at Howard Head Sports Medicine. Needless to say, Dr. LaPrade’s skill and expertise coupled with his specific rehab protocols helped me to be pain free for the first time in over a year!!!
My treatment and recovery
The surgery was difficult. It left me using crutches, in full extension and non-weight bearing for 6+ weeks. Physical therapy was started within hours of getting discharged from the hospital and I really believe that along with Dr. LaPrade’s skill as a surgeon, his strict rehab protocols are what helped this surgery to be successful. Twice each day I would have about an hour long physical therapy session where we worked on passive range of motion within the “safe zone” of my repair (for me it was 0° to 90°), quad strength, and patella mobilization. The work was hard, but I was committed to do whatever Dr. LaPrade thought I needed to do, in order to get back to doing the things I loved (train dogs competitively, run, mountain bike, SKI!!). It took about 4 months before it really started to feel good and by six months I was back out on the mountain skiing hard! I was also back to training and competing with my dogs at the national level.