The Operation

Andy Luke
Tuesday, 13 November , 2012

A week before the operation I had visited the hospital for my pre-operation assessment.  The letter stated that the assessment would last between 2 – 3 hours.  A nurse introduced herself, took me to a room and fired a dozen health-related questions at me.  My blood pressure was then taken and I was swabbed for MRSA.  I was then told I was free to go - still none the wiser about what my operation may consist of. So November 1st finally arrived and I was at the hospital for 7am sharp.  After registering at reception I was escorted down the ward to my bed for the day and then the waiting began.  The registrar came to see me at 09:30 and finally explained to me what procedures they would be performing on my knee. According to the MRI scan the cartilage on the left hand side of my knee (the medial meniscus) was badly worn away and there was also minor tear in the tissue on the right (the lateral meniscus).  Much to my surprise the Registrar stated it was looking bleak.  I was booked in for an arthroscopy (the keyhole procedure).  Once inside they’d be able to gauge the extent of the damage and see if a third procedure was necessary.  Micro fracturing is when they “stab” the end of the bone so that it bleeds and hopefully stimulates stem cells into regenerating the damaged tissue.  I was second on the list to be seen that day but they would not be able to confirm what they would be doing until they’d “had a good look inside” my knee. I’d dozed off for a short while and was woken by a nurse who told me I’d be going down to the operating theatre very soon.  It was now 11:40am.  Still in my bed I was pushed along a maze of corridors and eventually parked up just outside the theatre.  Another nurse appeared and asked me to confirm my details and then I was in.  They hooked me up with the relative heart rate monitors and stuck a cannula in the back of my hand.  The anesthetist introduced himself and quickly talked me through what he would be doing.  Once he’d injected me he advised I’d start to feel woozy as the anesthetic took effect.  I very quickly drifted off... I woke up feeling pretty sick and groggy.  It was 14:30pm now and I was back on the ward.  A nurse appeared and asked how I was and offered me some tea and toast.  Eventually the registrar reappeared and explained that they’d had to do all the aforementioned procedures and since I’d had the micro fracturing done I was told I’d be on crutches for the next 3 weeks.  She went on to say that even after the crutches I would be healing for a good number of weeks depending on my body’s recovery rate.  When I asked when I could run again she told me it’d be anything between 3 and 6 months. I attempted to eat some toast but my mouth was so dry I had to spit it back into a napkin.  The tea still hadn’t turned up.  Eventually a guy from the physiotherapy department arrived and signed my crutches over to me and provided a brief crash course on how to use them correctly.  Dom came to collect me and walked slowly ahead of me as I clinked across the car park on my crutches.  It’s definitely going to be a long road to recovery. MR would like to note that Andy sustained his injury before taking part in Operation Ultra and was given the all clear to run by his doctor.


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