*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and the information I relay is purely based on memory. I may have gotten some of the facts wrong but it’s based on what I understood and remember. This post is not intended to promote or demote any doctor or medical centre and purely reflects my own experience and assessment.*
Dear loyal readers of dianadiadia,
This is not Nadia but instead it’s Bazil, brother in law to Nadia. I am not a blogger but I wanted to share my experience as I was not going to start my own blog so this is me menumpang blog Nadia.
I have been unfortunate to have damaged my knee to the extent where surgery is my only option. When the diagnosis was shared with me, I was overwhelmed by a sense of fear and anxiety. Naturally I turned to the internet to better understand what ordeal I had gotten myself into and thankfully for the internet, there were plenty of information out there for my apprehension to digest on. There were however very little information that was Malaysia centric and every case was unique in nature, so I thought I would contribute to the world by sharing my experience.
What I felt intriguing about my injury was the nature I injured myself and how it was not until almost a week later did I realise I had a problem. Now, let’s go through the timeline:
- Friday, 19 June: It was Friday night futsal and I was running for the ball when I felt my right knee go limp. I wasn’t in pain but I was struggling to run and decided to hobble off to the side-line and rest it out.
Couple years back something similar happened when I was jogging up a hill and after a couple days I was back to normal so I didn’t think too much of this incident.
- Wednesday, 24 June: I had a long meeting where I seated for the entire 2 hours. When the meeting adjourned and I stood up, I felt a sharp pain in my knee and I struggled to put any pressure on knee. I tried to walk it off but any attempt to straighten my knee the sharp pain returned. I knew this was not normal so I hobbled my way to the GP that was in the same building.
The GP said there was slight bruising and told me to come back in two weeks’ time. If I was still in pain then she would refer me to a specialist. She gave me some ibuprofen tablets and a knee guard and send me packing.
Hobbled back to office wore the knee guard and the sharp pain was back. I could not stand up with this knee guard on. So I called the GP and told her of this and she said I better see the specialist. She recommended I visit Kuala Lumpur Sports Medical Centre (“KLSMC”) as they were good with futsal injuries.
- Friday, 26 June: I had my appointment to meet the orthopaedic consultant, Dr. Reza Ng. He inspected my knee asking if I felt any pain each time he put pressure on the knee but to be honest, other than Wedneday’s episode I felt fine. He recommended I carry out an MRI and X-ray to ensure there was no meniscus tear.
The great selling point of KLSMC I must say is they are as good as a hospital without the long wait. I had to head down to level 2 and within 10mins wait; I was getting my X-ray done. The MRI scan took just over half an hour and within 15 mins of completing my scan I was back in the consultant’s room.
Dr Reza Ng looked at my scan and said it looks like I have a slight meniscus tear and I also have a cartilage lesion. Dr Reza suggested that they remove the liquid that has built up in my knee due to the bruising and to also inject me with Hyaluronic Acid. He suggested a follow up in two week’s time to asses my meniscus. Dear readers, based on my reading, a meniscus can heal it depending on where the tear is. The outer rims of our meniscus have blood supply therefore it is able to self-regenerate where as if the tear is elsewhere surgery would be required.
After my injection I was in tremendous pain. I could not stand up let alone walk. They had to put me on a Knee Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) Machine to help straighten my knee and to ease my suffering. Dr Reza at this point said my condition looks bad and I should get a surgery done within the next one week.
- Saturday, 27 June: I’ve never gone under the knife and the thought of surgery scared me. I had spent the previous night reading up on meniscus tear and what the surgery entails. I thought it would be best for me to get a second opinion and I turned to my mother’s orthopaedic doctor Dr. Tai Cheh Chin of Subang Jaya Medical Centre (“SJMC”). Now SJMC is a full fledge hospital and like all hospitals it was busy and hectic. I registered at 11am and only met with Dr Tai at 3.30pm…
Okay, so I had made the mistake of taking pain killers on the same day so when I met with Dr Tai, I was in near perfect condition. He ran his test on my knee and I felt no pain. When he asked if I was confident in my knee, I said 100%. He inspected my MRI scan and he said while the MRI scan showed some lesion but at the same time we need to be aware that it’s possible that it may be a false positive. An MRI scan is reliant on the patient being still during the scan, any slight movement could trigger markers creating a false positive where there is something shown on the scan and there is nothing in reality. He also said based on the pain I’ve had, I most likely have had a meniscus tear and I should wait two weeks. Dr Tai also told me to lay off the pain killers as it could be masking my symptoms.
- Sunday 28 June: No pain killers for today and guess what….I was struggling to walk!!! I called up my good sister in law Nadia and told her to buy me some crutches on her way to my place for board meeting with the team including her kakak. This was clearly not a good sign 🙁
Thanks for the crutches SIL
- Monday 29 June: I had my follow up appointment with Dr Reza and he shared with me the radiologist report. It said I have a grade 4 cartilage lesion and suspected meniscus tear. This is bad news and the fact I was struggling to walk only confirmed this. He suggested I go in for surgery on Thursday and shared how he would be fixing me. First there would be cartilage shaving followed with drilling into my bone to release my stem cell from my bone marrow. This will be followed with harvesting stem cell from my blood cell and then injecting back into my knee to promote the growth of a new cartilage. KLSMC is really at the forefront of sport medicine. There are not many other medical centre in Malaysia that will carry out this procedure.
Scary stuff and I wanted my second opinion again. So I called Dr Tai and booked at appointment for 5pm. Again being a hospital and due to Dr Tai’s popularity, I had to wait a good 3.5 hours before I got meet with Dr Tai. He read my report and said seeing how I was in pain he agreed with the report but maintain that until he does arthroscopy, he would be ready to judge the extend of the damage. He explained to me the surgery procedure which was very similar to Dr Reza’s but one difference in terms of procedure is he instead of harvesting stem cells from the blood, he will instead harvest platelet rich plasma from my blood and inject it in my knee to assist the stem cells from my bone marrow to grow into cartilage.
While Dr Reza was the modern doctor with the latest procedures, Dr Tai was the conservative doctor with the more generic procedure. I deliberated for some time what would be my best option and I took into consideration the following factors:
- My age: I am just 28 yrs old and should avoid taking risk as I have my whole future ahead of me.
- Location: KLSMC is located in Damansara Heights while Dr Tai is located at both SJMC and Ara Medical Centre which is located next to my parents’ house.
- Reference: A close family friend of ours Dr Vijay knew of Dr Tai and had good things to share of Dr Tai.
So I made the call that I will proceed with Dr Tai to operate on me. Today is Thursday 2 July 2015 and I am due for surgery tomorrow at Ara Damansara Specialist Centre. I hope to share with the readers out there bout my experience as well as my road to recovery. Wish me luck!
Grade 4 doesn’t look good….