Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Knee Bites the Dust

On the 12 week anniversary of knee surgery on the left knee, Jazz tore the right knee.  This time the ACL was completely torn (only partial last time) and the miniscus (sp?) is intact (torn but left in last time.)  I just don't have the heart to get too dramatic about all this.  As my husband said when I asked for a divorce - I'm pretty disappointed.

The knee tore on Wednesday and I had him in to the surgeon and my vet on Wednesday afternoon.  I scheduled surgery for Thursday morning.  I felt like the longer we waited, the more muscle mass he would lose.  He still hasn't built his left leg up to strength and I just didn't want him to lose any more muscle than absolutely necessary.  We met with Dr Aper (the regular surgeon at Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Clinic) who was on maternity leave for the last surgery.  She discussed a new procedure called a tightrope surgery.  This one does not involve breaking or cutting the bone.  I think it is similar to an older surgery that didn't work because they didn't have strong enough material.  Now they have a material that is used to replace human tendons.  They drill into the bone and tie this stuff around the joint to hold it in place.  It doesn't stretch or break like the old fishing line did, so it is a great answer.  Dr Aper has been doing these for a year or two I think.  Anyway - we had that one done.

Meanwhile, the left knee had opened a small hole and was draining fluid again.  It has been a problem since the original surgery and drove me crazy because the incision didn't want to heal.  Dr Aper looked at it and said it appeared that the implant was infected and might need to come out at some point.  I decided that "some point" is now.  Our luck has not been good and I don't want to see him almost healed and then have another surgery with another two weeks of restricted activity.  So the implant was removed at the same time as the tightrope surgery was done.  They tell me he no longer needs it in there since the knee is so thoroughly healed.  This is the hardware they removed - cool huh?
So we start over with rehab.  The amazing thing is how different this surgery has gone so far.  He is walking on both legs and has been since the day of surgery.  He wants to get out and walk and I have to restrain him.  Last time he basically slept for seven weeks.  The incision is clean and has never drained at all.  It is healing so quickly and nicely I am afraid I will jinx it by talking about it.  He is also eating well.  His overall appearance and attitude are great.  I hope and pray it stays that way.  I know that one reason for walking on both legs is that the left one is still weak so he really has to use both.  Last time he could do fine on three legs and didn't need to try to use the left one.

I talked with the animal communicator that Melinda talked about in her blog on Wednesday night before the surgery.  I will tell you more about that next time.  She was so terrific and I really learned a lot.  Anyway- she said Jazz didn't think there was anything wrong with him.  He said the problem was with the stairs.  He said he did just fine if he could go somewhere straight and flat!  I'm not positive he really knew he had hurt his knee permanently since he had been sleeping ever since it was hurt.  Anyway - I asked her to try to tell him about the surgery and tell him that he should be good and he would get well soon.  Who knows what he heard, but she tried and he has been great.

I think both vets and all the vet techs have pointed out that he can't tear his knee again because both knees are done.  I guess that's a positive thing.  This twelve weeks is up on December 30.  I am really looking forward to New Year's Eve!


  1. Thanks for explaining "tightrope" surgery. Glad he is doing well. So nice to know he is so much more alert. We are all rooting for you. Girls send love to Jazz.

  2. Glad to hear the surgery went well - here's to a very happy new year's eve!!!!

  3. Glad everything went so well. Give the big furball a cookie from me. Better give Coach one, too. Thanks for including the pic of his hardware, wow. You've had a rocky 2010, look out on New Year's Eve!

  4. Glad the surgery went well. That's really interesting about the animal communicator, I can't wait to hear what else she said. Good luck keeping him rested.

  5. awwwww RATS

    I was so SO hoping to see a post about back to normal life :(

    glad this one is going ok - hang in there

    I look forward to the communicator post :)