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The Go-Go dancer’s knee by Dr.Iain Corness

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I have been laid up with an ambulatory problem for the past three weeks. What is this affliction, I hear you ask. Well, it is a tear of the meniscus cartilage in my right knee, which has needed me to use a walking stick to get around!

Those of you who have had a torn meniscus cartilage, will attest that it is damn painful. The cartilage works like a shock absorbing cushion and load-bearing surface between the thigh bone (the femur) and the lower shin bone (the tibia). And quite honestly it finally laid me up!

Most sufferers will remember a slip, or a twisting of the knee under load, which makes this very common with sportsmen, especially rugby and soccer players. My days as a sporting hero on the field are long since gone (in fact never started) and I only remember a very mildly twisted knee going up some steps, the day before I began to notice a problem.

What happens, is that while asleep the torn cartilage provokes some swelling in the knee and you only know there is something wrong the following morning. And by that stage you can hardly stand, and the range of movement in the knee joint becomes limited.

That reminds me of the wonderful joke about the orthopedic surgeon and the go-go dancer, where the doctor addresses the go-go dancer’s knee, saying, “What’s a nice joint like you, doing in a girl like this?” (A parody on the title “What’s a Nice Girl Like You, Doing in a Place Like This?” the 1963 short film by Martin Scorsese.)

But back to my acute knee (acute as opposed to cute), my orthopod, Dr. Suradej, made the diagnosis from the clinical examination and symptoms, but suggested that an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) was needed to see the extent of the damage inside the knee. I said I would postpone that test to see if the knee would get better on its own, and Dr Suradej suggested a hydrocortisone injection into the knee joint for the time being.

Let me tell you that hydrocortisone is wonderful. All symptoms gone – but it only lasts around two days and it is back to square one – and you cannot have repeated injections either! Damn!

So, despite speaking severely to my knee, it has got worse. Double Damn!! So I am booked in for operation on Saturday 13th, and in the next e-news I will tell you how I got on.

 

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