I just had surgery on my knee 2 1/2 weeks ago. I got injured in May, 2009 and have only ridden a handful of times since then, to test it out. I haven't been on a horse since September, when I re-injured the knee - I'm going absolutely up the wall.
Since my case is extremely a-typical (surgery was exploratory to begin with, they didn't know what was wrong with my knee) I may have gotten fast-tracked into surgery that way, but in any case, here is my story, and advice:
I started with physio very soon after I first became injured, though it was soon evident that physio wasn't helping as much as it should be. By September I had to consider putting my horse up for lease because I wasn't able to do much with him. By October, I was getting really frustrated with my knee, and nobody could tell me what was wrong with it. I took matters into my own hands and spoke with a physiotherapist that I knew was associated with the University's Sports Med team. He became very interested in my case, and examined my knee himself. He spoke directly with a Sports Med doc/surgeon, and within a couple of weeks, I had an appointment booked to see the surgeon. That day (December 3, 2009) I walked out with a few answers and a surgery date of Feb 1, 2010, and an appointment the next week for a bone scan. I met with the surgeon again on January 14, 2010, and we discussed the results of the bone scan. Based on the results (fairly inconclusive) we bumped the surgery date up for January 18.
Now again you have to keep in mind that my case was, as they call it, A-typical, and as far as I understand it, they still don't know if the surgery was a success.
So, my advice:
- When you meet with your doctors, don't put on a brave face. If your knee is keeping you from everyday things, it is a BIG deal. For example, I haven't been able to sit in a saddle comfortably since before the injury, walking up stairs bothered me, I couldn't squat, I couldn't run, etc. Make it known if your injury is hindering your everyday life, that is a big deal.
- If you haven't already, see a sports med doc. If you can afford it (or write it off later) see one of your city's best physiotherapists, as they have connections. There are doors, and ways to get surgery sooner. When I first saw my GP about my knee, he put my name in with an orthopedic surgeon, and I was told I would be contacted within a couple of months (!) to set a date for a consult. Well, I waited, and still wasn't contacted, and that's when I took matters into my own hands. Now, since your injury is known, and is considered by some docs to be a fairly 'minor' (not trying to dismiss your pain at all) injury compared to some, they will put you to the bottom of the list, so explore your options. If your injury is causing your life to go on hold (mine was) then get in to see someone about it. My GP was very very unsympathetic, but then again my diagnostic images didn't show anything wrong with my knee. (Again, a-typical case)
- Keep up with your physio!!!!
Please feel free to PM me with any questions at all - I'd be glad to answer! This was my first surgery and I was so scared going into it that I actually gave myself a headcold, but if I had known what it was like, I wouldn't have been so terrified :)