Blog | Admin | Archives

Meeting The Surgeon

Today at 10:00, I left for the UW Sports Medicine Clinic (not to be confused with Hall Health Sports Medicine, where I initially went after my injury). There, I filled out some paperwork and then met Dr. Chris Wahl, whom Dr. Jonathan Drezner at Hall Health Sports Medicine referred me to. After another short exam and looking at MRIs, Dr. Wahl shared his conclusion that I have a ruptured (nearly to completely torn) ACL and a sprained LCL. The LCL he thinks has a good chance of healing on its own because it is outside of the middle of the knee. The ACL, on the other hand, has no chance of healing on its own, and will need ligament reconstructive surgery to restore stability to my knee.

My parents were kind enough to attend with me, and we each asked a number of questions about the surgery, the recovery period, timing, and so forth. The end result is that I am headed in for surgery on the 9th of November. I think of it as a sort of early birthday present from Dr. Wahl. The surgery will involve harvesting two of the five hamstring tendons from my right leg and using these to replace the ruptured ACL. Also at the time of the surgery, the state of my LCL will be reassessed, and if it is determined to not be healing tightly enough, I will receive an allograft (cadaver tissue) reinforcement to the outside of the right knee.

The hamstring autograft procedure ends up being stronger than the original ACL, and out of hundreds of reconstruction procedures that Dr. Wahl has performed, no one has ever had any problems with their hamstrings afterwards. If the LCL reinforcement is necessary, I will end up with a much bigger scar on the outside of my right knee. This is because of a nerve that runs near where the surgery must take place; they must move this nerve during the surgery to avoid cutting it, which would prevent me from feeling or controlling the muscles at the top of my foot. The ACL procedure, on the other hand, involves only three small holes around the right knee.

My confidence in Dr. Wahl is high; it was further supported by the following exchange between myself and a UW EE professor:

Me: I wanted to write you to thank you for showing us the cleanroom and lab areas during Albert’s Neural Engineering class. I’m also the student who hurt his knee, and you had mentioned a knee specialist that I might want to talk to. If you can easily find his name, that would be great, but even if not, don’t worry; I think I’m in good hands already.

EE Prof: The name of the doctor is Christopher Wahl, he is probably still and assistant professor in UW Medicine.

Me: Amazing! Dr. Wahl is the surgeon who I met with today and am going to have reconstruct my ACL in about three weeks. When I said I thought I was in good hands, I guess I was right!

EE Prof: That’s great! My friend had a very good experience with him, and he was recommended to her from others who said very good things of him.


One Response to “Meeting The Surgeon”

  1. Stickman Says:

    Yay, good news! I hope your recovery is swift.

Leave a Reply