It never ceases to amaze me what the combination of TCM and physical exercise can do for injury rehabilitation.
I recently underwent total knee replacement of my right knee. As you can see from the x-rays, my tibiofemoral joint on the right was bone-on-bone and the MRI report stated that the medial and lateral meniscus had “severe articular thinning and damage.”
Figure 1. Frontal view of both knees. The image on the left is of the right knee. Compare to the opposite knee.
The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the transverse meniscal ligament were completely gone. There was significant osteophytic spurring.
The amount of knee instability I suffered from over three decades was apparent when I walked. Those of you that know me, or saw me walk during seminars, could see the amount of excessive varus movement the knee joint fell into with every weight-bearing step.
Figure 2. Lateral view of right knee. Osteophytic spurring can be seen under the patella and osteoblastic activity is seen posteriorly within the soft tissues of the posterior knee, especially on the lateral side.
I could not walk more than half a mile without severe pain in the knee joint and posterior-lateral knee. Because ligamentous stability was absent, the posterior capsule and upper fibers of the lateral gastrocnemius became infiltrated with osteoblastic activity and thin layers of calcification as seen in the lateral view of the x-ray, This is represented by the white cloudy image observed posteriorly.
Using the theory and applications of Sports Medicine Acupuncture, that is, the combination of sports medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, and to my surgeon’s and physical therapist’s disbelief, I was miraculously able to go back to the sport that inspires me the most.