I know I haven't really kept readers abreast of Mrs. Austin's knee situation as much as I could have, but really where's the time? No pictures of swollen knees in a brace, no pictures of Mrs. A reclining ever so gently in her rehab knee bending machine.

However, you folks are in for a treat. Mrs. A just got back from a doctor visit during which time they removed her stitches. Not only does she not have to wear dressings and bandages anymore, but she can take a shower without having to treat her leg like a leftover sandwich AND she can start weaning herself off her crutches. It's a momentous day.

The doctor also sent home her photos from the surgery. These were the arthroscopic photos, so while they may look vaguely internal, there's really nothing recognizable about them. Mrs. A gave me the info on each pic and I will do the same for you fine readers.

Again, they are internal images, but not bloody or gory. They look more like if you were preparing a turkey. Dad, just stop here, you'll pass out and Grandma Brighton will have to cart your ass off to the hospital.

These are the images taken before surgery. In the image on the right we're looking past the femur (top) as the dark object/tool is pulling away the meniscus. The reddish pinkish area is the ACL or what's left of it. The 2nd image is the ACL from the front. Yeah, it's hard to tell if that's really what's supposed to be there or not. I don't know medicine, so I have no frame of reference. When you see the reconstruction, you'll appreciate the damage better. It's not supposed to look like someone took a shotgun to a gooseberry pie. The third image is the damage from the back. That little white sausage thing is what's left of the ligament.

Here's the newly inserted cadaver ligament. We found out today it was from a 30 year old, no mention of sex or athletic ability. Donor could have been a 400 lbs. accountant or a 110 lbs. aerobic instructor, we can only guess. The image on the left, the big band of what looks like hair, is the front of the replacement ACL. The image on the right is the rear view. Now go back and look at the first few pictures. Pretty horrendous trauma, wouldn't you say?

These last two are what's known as collateral damage. I guess in this case it's Lateral Damage? (heh, damn that was funny.) Anyway, in these two you can see small tears in the medial and lateral collateral ligament. These heal on their own and don't usually require replacements.

So she's on the road to recovery. It'll be several months of PT and wearing a large Robo-brace. Then a smaller brace, then now brace unless she wants to run somewhere or jump on the trampoline...or go skiing. That's right. In 2 years she'll be able to go skiing again and man if I'm not going to make sure she only skiis when it's sunny and wearing goggles.

Or maybe we'll just buy and inner tube and find a large hill.

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