X-ray

It’s afternoon now, the day after the injury. My knee is full and swollen, but not very painful; just uncomfortable. I can’t straighten it completely.

Even though my primary doctor is on vacation, she still sends me a reply through the insurance app.

“Hey, go to Radiology. I already put you in for X-rays. They’re open until 9pm.”

That’s just efficient.

So we get over there, and very quickly got the X-rays done after changing into the very complicated wraparound gown that seems to have 13 flaps. The technician says this is just to rule out any immediate problems like fractures. The films are going to be read within 20 minutes remotely, so just hang tight.

As expected, no fractures or dislocations. Just effusion. Fancy word for swelling.

We go home. It’s well past dinner time. Another message arrives in my app. Primary doc again.

“Hey, the only Ortho appointment I can get is tomorrow at 3:30pm. Can you make it?”

I love this woman.

“Of course I’ll take it. I want this diagnosed right now!”

More waiting. I try to sleep, with my leg propped up.

I jammed my knee… hard

I’m playing central defense. I’m quite mobile and I do this a lot – I nip in front an attacker to win the ball with my body position. I slip in front of him, leading with my right leg, step over the ball, and I’ve got it.

I’m going to poke it back to the goalkeeper with my left, and the attack is halted.

Except my right foot plants and my body keeps going. Because my leg buckles. I both feel and hear a coarse “pop.” I swing my left leg in desperation now to poke the ball back to the goalkeeper as I planned but it flails wildly and catches nothing but air. The attacker takes the ball, advances, and scores.

I’m still down on the grass.

It doesn’t really hurt. But it feels very “full” and swollen. And I can’t really bend my knee all the way.

I know I fucked my knee up because this type of non-contact pivot shift injury is not going to turn out good.

I eventually get up with some help and limp off the field. I can feel something similar to my fibula popping out laterally, but I only make this happen twice before the swelling keeps me from replicating this. The knee even starts to feel better. Like many players before me with a knee injury – and you see this all the time – I start thinking I can return to play already.

I choose the smarter route and take off my boots. I feel more pain on the lateral side, and I think I probably hurt my LCL, which is, obviously and correspondingly, on the outside of the knee.

I get home and contact my primary doctor on the insurance company app. What a great tool. I tell her I jammed my knee really hard and ask if she can refer me to an orthopedic specialist. Thank goodness this is not like my old insurance company, which does not have an app, and where I would have to physically go see the primary doctor in person just to be told I need to see an orthopedic specialist. It also helps that I only ever contact her for actual medical needs, and she knows when she hears from me I am truly in need of some assistance.

Now I wait.