Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter and Joint Pain

It's cold out which means pain in the knees for me. (Though I get the pain when it's humid out or when it's about to rain). For the past decade, people have been asking me why I have an arthritic knee. It's strange because I am under 30. Arthritis is usually for the old bunch that scream with shaking joints, "Get off my lawn!" I'd like to tell them something obtuse like alien abduction or that it's a gov't experiment gone awry. But I just say the unadorned truth - that I had a torn ACL and that I had it done several years back.

It sucks to tear your ligaments. It really does.

So what is an ACL? For the uninitiated in sports or medicine, it stands for the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, also called...dadadada...the ACL. It is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. It prevents excessive motion of the knee joint--patients who sustain an injury to their ACL may complain of symptoms of the knee "giving out."

Apparently, women have a higher risk for ACL tears than men. I even read an article years ago that the incident happens usually before the menstrual period. Strange but true in my case.

I didn't know it at the time but when your ACL tears, there is a popping sound - a loud, discernable popping sound. Anyway, I got the surgery and there are times when I wonder if I shouldn't have had it. I met a Muay Thai guy who kicks blocks of wood for a living with his naked shins who tore his ACL and opted not to get the surgery.

I'm jealous. I bet he doesn't have a weather barometer on his knee.

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