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Robert Gusek


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Well everything is still going well with my cancer, nothing is showing up yet.

I finally was able to get to the point with the VA where they exhausted all the tests and physical therapy they wanted, well almost. I went in during April and the doctor then said that I didn't have any issues with my knee based on the MRI and a knee replacement was not needed, and that actually all my problems are related to weak muscles in my leg and hip. He wanted me to undergo 'intense' physical therapy' and he said that the issues with my knee would go away.

After I explained that when my knee started to get worse, giving out 2 or three times a week I was riding my mountain bike 30 minutes a day, and that any weakness in my leg has occurred because I'm slowly having more and more problems walking without falling down. I also told him that when I first injured my knee I was told the same thing and that it took 7 months before the doctors then accepted that I might have something else wrong. And of course I did, and all physical therapy they had put me through then made it much worse and required the two sets of operations.

When I told him the Physical Therapist in High Point said he thought I just needed an arthroscopy to clean out my joint again, his exact words were 'Well we need to get you a different therapist then'.

Finally he relented and agreed to schedule me for a procedure I had before where they drill into the back of my kneecap to get it to create scar tissue to cushion it. And they would also see if there was anything else that needed cleaning up.

Well when I was in pre-op and the anesthesiologist came in and looked at my knee she went and talked to the surgeon, he came in and looked at it, and asked what all had been done. After I explained they decided to not give me local anesthetic like they normally do and they would just put me completely under for the entire procedure.

It had been scheduled to last an hour and a half and actually took three hours instead. The surgeon told my Mom and Brother that the procedure of drilling into my kneecap couldn't be done and that I had so much arthritis and damage that even with what he did do I'm going to need a full knee replacement in probably around 5 years.

Such is the VA, and for me it's not a super critical health issue, so I worry about all the other vets that are getting the same kind of run-around for more serious conditions. It's very sad.

I did well and was able to come home Friday, and I've slowly been doing my range of motion exercises and walking three times a day. I was able to walk down to the end of the court and back today and I'm able to put a bit of weight on my knee (yes, this is in my post op instructions to put weight on it as much as I can tolerate) I'm only taking one oxycodone pill in the morning and one in the evening so I'm not having a lot of pain.

I was able to take the bandages off today, and the swelling has gone down even since this morning. I've got a little AC unit that circulates chilled water through a pad on my knee for 30 minutes, then room temperature for 30 minutes that I'm supposed to use until the swelling goes down.

I'm hoping the surgery helped with my knee giving out, and that I won't have as much trouble getting the full knee replacement scheduled now that a surgeon has said that's what I needed next.

Hope everyone is doing well.

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