I ended up choosing to have Dr. Polousky perform the modified adult ACL repair. This involved drilling two tunnels through Jaeda’s growth plates. HUGE decision and one I hope was the right one. Ultimately I made this decision for a few reasons that all added up to this seeming like the best choice :
- Her bone age was 13 which is older than the age Dr. Kocher in Boston recommends the modified adult surgery.
- She hasn’t grown in the past 6 months seeming to indicate she’s slowing down.
- Her Dad didn’t want me to take her to Boston.
- The sooner we can get it done, the sooner she can start recovering.
- She could have it done before school started.
- Dr. Polousky has done this procedure 100’s of times and never seen growth issues.
ACL Surgery Day – Lessons Learned
In case you are reading this in preparation for your own surgery or a family member’s, I thought I’d share some lessons learned:
- You can ask to have her IVs done after she’s asleep. This was a tip from a friend and was a huge blessing for reducing her anxiety pre-surgery.
- They have fabulous anti-nerves drugs that ease the anxiety and cause the patient to feel kinda like a happy drunk. This helped IMMENSELY.
- They asked which parent she wanted to have go to the operating room with her. Ultimately Jaeda decided to go by herself rather than have to choose between us. It’s just too close to the divorce for her to feel comfortable making that choice. But if we had known ahead of time we could have made the decision for her and taken the pressure off of her.
- She was out of surgery at 11:30 and leaving to go home at 2 pm. So fast!
- Surgery took a little over an hour.
- Get the brace and ice machine delivered to your house the day before rather than the hospital for the surgery. This will reduce anxiety (and pissed off facebook posts) when they are almost done with surgery and the equipment still hasn’t arrived.
- The ice machine may not be covered by your insurance. Aetna says it’s “experimental”. Seriously? The ice machine ALL surgeons prescribe after knee surgery? Yes, I’ll be fighting this, but check before hand and borrow one from a friend if it’s not covered.
- Fill the prescriptions in the hospital pharmacy if possible. Even better ask for the prescription before the surgery and fill it ahead of time. Once you get home from the ACL surgery you’ll not want to leave her alone for how long it takes to get the prescription filled at your regular place.
- Make sure she has enough room to drive home with her leg straight. They will set the brace at 0 degrees meaning perfectly straight for the first few weeks. A teeny tiny car or a smushed back seat without the ability to lay her leg across the other seats won’t work.
- Pick your physical therapist prior to surgery and if you are sure you like them, go ahead and make your appointment for 3 days post surgery. PT starts 3 days after surgery, so you have to have that lined up if your chosen therapist is booked up pretty tightly. Choose one that is conveniently located as you’ll be going there 2 to 3 times a week for a few months.
After all is said and done, the above suggestions are bonus tips for ACL surgery. The most important thing you want to hear is her surgeon come out and say:
Everything went well. She’s doing fine