Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What should I do about my knee?

OK, here is the story with my right knee, and I will need some pros and cons: The ACL is completely torn, disconnected. There is a little tear in the rear meniscus, and some arthritis beginning to kick in. I am a perfect candidate for ACL repair, which would take one day, outpatient, have me on crutches for a couple of weeks, and then therapy, and I would be back to full strength in about 9-12 months. I have insurance that will cover it, with Dr. David Pereira, one of the best-reviewed doctors specializing in ACL repair at NYU-Langone, doing the work.

Here is the video that shows the original injury:
If I don't get this work done, I could spend the rest of my life simply doing things that do not require any twisting or pivoting at the knee, like elliptical machines and bicycles, and I could wear a knee brace at any time that I feel risk. So no more swing dancing, basketball, soccer, BJJ, sword fighting, armored combat, and even stage combat would be limited.

I am currently unemployed, and will start receiving benefits this week. I have some part-time work opportunities that will help me extend the benefits (performing at birthday parties, working for a comic convention, etc). I have a plan to use my unemployment period to train for work in film production that (if all goes will) will start early next year. If that falls through, my back-up plan is to go back to work in an office job in the insurance industry when the open enrollment season begins.

Of course no surgery is without risk, so I have to consider these risks before jumping into the surgery.

Some options being presented to me are:
1. Get the surgery done right away. This would limit my birthday party work for a few months, so I would be living mostly on Unemployment, but the work would be done sooner.
2. Wait until I get a "real" job, so I can take sick leave to get the surgery and recover (at one hour of sick leave earned for 30 hours of work, it would take me 1200 hours of work to earn one week off. That's 30 weeks of full time work).
3. Never get the surgery and live a careful life, using a knee brace for anything risky, and changing my physical activity to those that don't twist or pivot at the knee.

So what do you think I should do? My Facebook friends have never been shy about sharing opinions and I have found a wealth of new information that I would never have found on my own without you. So now I need to hear some pros and cons so I can make the best decision.

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