I'm Having Surgery...Again. Here's What The Doctor Is Going To Do.

I'm having my 4th knee surgery this Tuesday thanks to Dr. Wendell Heard at Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine and the staff at Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children.

I'm often asked if I played sports or if I had a sports injury. The answer is simply that I was born with it. 

I've been dealing with knee dislocations since I was 11 and it's resulted in a lot of apprehension in physical activity because of the amount of times I've landed on my face or the other end.

I had realignment procedures done on both of my knees about five years ago. I've had less falls but my pain and discomfort have grown progressively worse.

You see, when any part of your body is out of alignment, it puts pressure on other places. I'm still young yet I have pops and creaks that make me feel like I should be collecting a social security check.

After moving to New Orleans, I walked into the doors of Tulane with hopes of getting straightened out. Dr. Heard heard me out and had some suggestions, including a relatively new procedure - a cartilage implant.

Earlier this year, Dr. Heard harvested some of my healthy cartilage (he also cleaned out the bad cartilage and took out some other nasty stuff that was floating around). He sent the good cartilage to a lab where they used it to grow new cartilage that will go back into my knee this week.

 

In addition to the cartilage implant, Dr. Heard will also be doing a reconstruction of my tendon with cadaver tissue (thank you organ and tissue donors!) and here comes the whammy - he's breaking my leg. Well, kind of.

This is where things get a little gross. He'll be sawing off the front of my tibia where the tendon meets the bone and screwing it back in where the alignment makes more sense.

I'm trying not to get too anxious about my surgery, but admittedly, I've been watching all the YouTube videos I can find about it. This is probably the closest representation to what my surgery will be.

BEWARE.

STOP SCROLLING NOW if you don't want to see blood and bones!

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Please send some good vibes into the universe for me because this week is going to be hard. Thankfully I have an amazing man in my life to help out, dogs to cuddle with, and plenty of Netflix to watch and books to read.

I'll be on crutches for six weeks and fully anticipate I'll be in physical therapy the rest of the year, but I'll be back at in a few days. I even have a sweet wheelchair my buddy Ty let me borrow for the harder moments. 

 

I was born with challenges and the ride isn't always easy, but I've been able to make a pretty decent life for myself despite all of it. I am very blessed, even if I wasn't blessed with a perfect body.

 
Ashley

Ashley

Ashley Read more

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