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     The Rockwood ACL Repair Fun Page!: 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005
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Because sometime you just have to laugh through the pain. And if you can't do that, laugh over here. You can't lose, really.

06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005


Thursday, June 30, 2005


Beautiful friend, the end. Yes, now that it's been a year, I'm officially bringing the Rockwood ACL Repair Fun Page to a close. For all intents and purposes, my life and my knee are pretty much back to normal. Pretty much. Here are the details...

The Bad:

1. My left leg is still slightly atrophied. I will confess this probably has to do with me not staying on the weight training. I'm still running, but that doesn't work the same muscles as lifting weights. It's like the difference between running on flat ground and running up stairs. It's coming back slowly, but I think it would be coming back more quickly if I was still lifting.

2. Stiffness in the joint. If I sit with my knee bent for a long time, it's hard to straighten my leg when I stand up. This goes away after about 20 seconds, but it's still annoying. This, too, is getting better, but it sure is taking its sweet time about it.

3. Decreased range-of-motion. Think about how a catcher crouches behind home plate. I can't do that. My right leg can take it, but the bad leg stops about two inches short. And that two inches makes a biiiiiig difference. It's close, but no cigar.

The Good:

1. I'm back in taekwondo. Slowly. Right now, I'm not practicing for power, I'm practicing for technique. In a way, I suppose that's a good thing. Over years of training, you tend to pick up some bad habits. This is my chance to work on them. All while wearing the brace, of course.

2. If I didn't tell you I'd had knee surgery, you'd never know. My walking gait is perfectly normal, I can climb stairs without trouble (even two at a time!), and I walk on uneven ground without worrying about buckling my knee. At this time last year, all of these things were strictly fantasy.

The Ugly:

How much does ACL reconstruction surgery cost? If you try to find an answer for this on the web, any doctor's web site will hem and haw about the actual cost, saying that each case is different. Legally, I suppose, this is true. However, there are some costs that are never going to change, and I personally think it would be a lot more honest of them to tell you what they were.

Whatever. Since they won't, I will. Here's a breakdown of my perfectly average ACL reconstruction surgery costs:

$5,225.00Arthro, Aided ACL Repair Knee
$1,522.63Surgical Supplies
$250.00Anesthesic Agents
$395.00Blue Artic Continuous Cold Therapy Unit
$90.00Doctor visits
$3,150.00Scope Knee, ACL Reconstruction
$225.00Scope Knee, Chondro Loose Body 2nd
$1,055.00Fascia Lata Graft by Stripper
$80.00X-Ray Knee, One or Two views
$600.24Physical Therapy

Now, just because that's the retail cost, it doesn't mean I actually paid that much. My insurance happens to be pretty good. And even if your insurance isn't, you could still probably get out for a lot less than that. For instance, even though my doctor charged $1,000 for that brace (most of it paid by my insurance), a quick Google search turns up a price that's about 40 percent cheaper. I suspect (although I have no proof) that doctor's prices are much like sticker prices at car lots. No one pays that much, except for the insurance companies.

On the other hand, even at 40 percent off, you'd still be talking about a good chunk of change ($8,697.80 to be exact) if you had to pay retail. My advice: Get some insurance before you blow your knee out.

So anyway, that's about it. I'm out of any more interesting things to say about my damaged-but-healing knee. If you've found any of this useful, please feel free to stop by my Mailbag page and drop me a line. After all, I'd hate to think I'd gone through all of this for nothing! Ha! See you in the funny papers!

Updated at 12:07 AM


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