We got the MRI results earlier this week and her ACL isn’t all she injured.
- Torn ACL
- Torn Meniscus
- Bone Bruise
That’s the question of the hour. But it’s not the only one. That one little question spawns all sorts of questions that buzz around in my brain at odd hours of the day – maybe it’s during a marketing meeting or at 3am – that cappuccino or the shadowed ceiling of my bedroom? Not quite sure how they make me think of my daughter’s knee, but I find myself looking at them and thinking:
- What do we do?
- How do we fix this?
- What are the implications of each option?
- How do I pick a doctor?
- How many doctors should I talk to before pulling the trigger?
- How long before she’s “back to normal”?
- Should I let her brother play soccer and risk getting injured?
- And dozens more…
Preliminary ACL Answers
I don’t have many answers yet, but will keep you posted on what I learn about the ACL surgery itself in the coming weeks.
What I have learned so far?
1) Reach out – you are not in this alone.
- My friends have researched orthopedic surgeons and their reputations with ACL surgery.
- Others have asked their husbands and doctors who they’d take their child to if they tore an ACL.
- A woman I have never met emailed me back and called me to talk about the physeal sparing ACL surgery her son had to correct this same thing earlier this year. She had all kinds of great tips and resources to share. More than an hour all told of her life given freely to help me.
2) You have choices.
- Because it was a Children’s Hospital doctor that diagnosed Jaeda’s ACL on the field, the numbers they gave us to call were for Children’s facilities and staff – makes sense right? But the surgeon we were referred to can’t even TALK to us until July because his schedule is so booked.
- A very well recommended surgeon not affiliated with Children’s is seeing us within three days of me calling.
3) Get along with your ex.
- There are big decisions to make in the next few weeks. Decisions that will affect my daughter for the rest of her life – her sports future, as well as, long term joint health. Her Dad needs to be involved in these decisions. It’s his right and responsibility to have a voice. Which means we have to be able to talk to each other reasonably well to hash out the options and pick the one that’s best for this gorgeous girl we created.
- There are a TON of doctor appointments and physical therapy appointments in our future. That means lots of time together. Sitting on one side of the waiting room while he’s on the other is no fun for us or our daughter. Trust me I’ve done it. We are working on it.
4) Too much information.
- Realize when it’s too much information to share with your child. I’m churning decisions and options in my mind. In hers? The person having it actually done to her? It causes anxiety. Anxiety she doesn’t need amplified by me confiding every detail and decision and implication. Keep her informed and involved – yes. Overload her and stress her out – no. Each person has to know their child and what they can handle. I know for my daughter, you have to decide for yours. (I have a whole other post about this topic and other parents coming later.)
- There are a lot of videos on youtube showing the actual ACL surgery. It’s a great resource to understand what’s going to happen but it’s not for those with weak stomachs. I am usually pretty good about being able to watch that kind of stuff. Looking at it through the lens of they are going to do that to my daughter? I’m not going to lie. I’m a little nauseated right now.
That’s all for now. There are tons of other things I’m learning about the actual surgery options:
- harvest site
- anatomical vs. non-anatomical
- physeal sparing (avoiding the growth plates)
- growth issues with traditional ACL repair techniques in prepubescent kids
- surgeon selection
- physical therapy
I’ll save those for another day…gotta run to meet the first surgeon I’m interviewing.