Today, my knee is all swole up like a balloon

Except that it’s kind of firm and fluid filled. And it hurts. And it wobbles when I walk on it.

[Doctor shouts from stage left: “Then don’t walk on it!”]

OK, imaginary doctor, if you say so.

[Futurist shouts from stage right: “Would you like robot limbs, and a jetpack?”]

Yes, imaginary futurist, sign me up! Can you get me those before this sloppy aching mess heals up?

[Futurist whispers: “no.“]

Shut the fuck up, stupid futurist.


  1. imback says

    You don’t need a futurist to get an artificial knee; they’re quite common already. I’ve had two clean-out knee surgeries on the same knee and am missing a ligament in there, so I see an artificial knee in my future, though a jetpack could also reduce the wear and tear on it, as long as landings are smooth.

  2. davidnangle says

    The thing that always bothered me about jet packs and hang gliders and big flappy wings is the vulnerability of the landing gear.

  3. madtom1999 says

    #2 The thing that always bothered me about jet packs and hang gliders and big flappy wings is the realisation other people would have them too.

  4. kestrel says

    We have a friend who got both knees replaced and says it’s the best thing that ever happened to him… He was walking again in less than a week and healed up very fast. My mother, too, had both knees replaced, but one at a time. She was not as quick to heal but still thinks it was the best thing to do and is very happy about it.

    We have the technology. Take advantage!

  5. davidc1 says

    I blame that evilution for your dodgy knee ,if our ancestors had only stayed in the trees and moved on four legs ,your knee would be fine .

  6. Ed Seedhouse says

    Actually we already have jet packs. Just incredibly unstable and dangerous ones – not to mention expensive!

  7. willj says

    Are you forgetting that this world is cursed? Apparently some guy ate a piece of fruit that he wasn’t supposed to.

  8. twarren1111 says

    It’s your cats…you gotta get rid of the cats…then your knees will be fine

  9. says

    I kinda know what caused it.

    12 years old: my first job. Shoveling rocks. Heaved up a heavy load into a dump truck, and my knee just buckled and snapped.

    14 years old: I had the gall to punch a bully in the face. I got caught. Asshole teacher put me out in the hall and made me do squats. For an hour. And he came out every few minutes to yell at me. I couldn’t walk after he let me go, spent a couple of weeks hobbling in pain.

    16 years old: PE class. Playing basketball. The coach put all his favorites, the football players, on one team, and the nerds (me) on another. Football assholes decided to take me out by tackling me at the knees (Is that a legal basketball move?) I was in a cast for 3 months.

    Ever since, my left knee has been a fragile little thing, wont to surprise me at odd times with painful disability. I don’t blame it, actually.

    I blame capitalism.

  10. starfleetdude says

    You definitely sound like you’re at the point where it makes sense to get an artificial knee. I don’t know what your health insurance covers or where, but I know a very good surgeon in the Cities who did my wife’s artificial knee and she did a great job.

  11. says

    You know, one day after Partner got her new knee, as I was sitting in a circle with my ancient cycling friends I realised that many of them had that selfsame telltale scar running down the fronts of their legs. Some techy things just work.

    Knee Tree

  12. Joe says

    I had a similar condition about 15 years ago, I went to a rheumatologist who did an MRI and informed me that I should be OK for a few years. He also told me that you only have knee replacements when you can’t walk because one in seven regret ever having it done! Think about it. You can’t walk, you have an operation costing thousands of dollars to regain your mobility, and after the op, you are worse off!!?
    Your physiotherapist will be able to set you up with exercises to strengthen your leg muscles, worked well for me, I’m not thinking of having knee replacements.

  13. gijoel says

    Clearly you don’t appreciate power. You will be punished for your sins when the AI takes over. That or a simulation of you.

  14. jrkrideau says

    Asshole teacher put me out in the hall and made me do squats. For an hour.
    I came from a very small Catholic high school where reason reigned. I remember in the big new public high school in Gr. 12, the phys ed teacher decided that I was “going to the showers”. What was this crap?

    Thirty second stare and he changed his mind. I am not an intimidating character, I just made it clear that there was no way I was putting up with his bullshit. Or, as the military says, “Never give an order you know will not be obeyed”.

  15. lymie says

    I had early athletic injuries to one knee and had it replaced at 53, just had the other done 10 years later. Great success. Improve recovery time by going to the gym for a few months before hand so the rest of the bod helps out.

    I was in the OR at 7:30 am and eating pizza in my living room at 6:30 that evening. It can be done!

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dog save us from knee replacement evangelicals. I know they have been a life-changer for many, but I’m sick of people telling me I should get one, cuz amazeballs! One of the benefits of getting old was supposed to be being able to moan about yer aches and pains without advice about surgery, etc.

  17. ColonelZen says

    Bi-lat. For about 2 years the doc said “whenever you say so” …. Cortizone no longer worked. By then he was telling me there was nothing of my cartilege left. Then anuric acid no longer did much … Doc said “that’s all I got” … a few months later when walking it started to displace at more or less random times… (ACL streeettttccchhed) Um that HURTS. A lot. It was time.

    My head is weird. It adjusts to pain. I can tell its there. but except for jolts of sharp pain my brain kind of writes it off after a little bit. (My body knows…. My normal BP is on the lower side. It shot way, way up, dangerously … during those few years … back to the low side now). But the pain even if it “didn’t bother me” was real, and there. And Bad. The dislocation is pure jolt pain (well after very carefully popping the knee back where it belongs it becomes just more background pain even if very intense for a half hour or so) … and it started happening several times a day. First only the right…. then bare weeks later it could be either. It was time.

    (Big hint. I was an idiot to wait that long. Raised with “toxic masculinity” that said you play – or more pointedly, work – through pain. Stupid, as it might have killed me with heart attack or stroke – it might yet, while there are other factors including just age, but some degradation of my CVS might be from those years of high BP. Y’all want to be smarter than me for your own health and sanity)

    Woke up in post op. most of the pain was gone. Moved the legs around a bit. pain that changed with how far I moved, and could include jolts depending on how/where I moved. But overall, felt good. Went for a walk (walker with PT holding my arm … but everyone seemed rather astonished) Soon got tired and wanted to sleep. I STRETCHED….it felt good … and I REALLY stretched my legs out for the first time in more than five years…. Damn, I swear just that once, that one good stretch was better than sex. Went to sleep … Woke up with the doctor shaking me “Are you OK”, in a few seconds I was awake enough to say “yes, sure, why?” He said “you’re on your side”… I said yes, I was always more comfortable that way so must have rolled over. “You shouldn’t be able to do that” he said. I looked at him, rolled (slowly and gingerly but without doubt showed I could) to the other side, looked over my shoulder at him, shrugged again, “Good night!” and went back to sleep. Sure it did hurt, but not to where it stopped me.

    Went to rehab hostpital. Painful. Sure. But again, compared to what I had gone through before surgery, cakewalk. I had chosen an older surgeon who had been in the biz for decades with a rep for a no nonsense manner and some negs for poor patient relations.. It was was fairly obvious he had started to decline in his mental faculties… but his teamwork with his head nurse was re-assuring … he clearly relied upon her to cover for the slowing parts of his mind and gave her the authority, even over himself, to make it work.

    I was gambling that the skill in his hands was more important than being kept up on the latest available bells and whistles. From rehab I’d say the gamble paid off. It sounded like a torture chamber. Literally. Weeping, crying, wimpering, occasionally real screams. Almost all day despite the staff being some of the most skilled, patient, professional, dedicated, helpful and very obviously each and every one of them among the most empathic and caring people I could ever hope to meet (Kudo’s to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. You folks were great). It was gruelling and MANY people were obviously in the deepest distress they had ever encountered. For me there was pain … but it was mostly just work.

    Went to PT …. they dangled my legs and put a timer in front of me saying “ten minutes” … It dinged. I lifted up … waved. and one of the therapists came over and said “how long”? I said “you said 10 minutes. What now?” He was shocked. He said weakly ” You were supposed to work up to being able to hold it for 10 minutes”. I said. “Oh. Ok. I did. Now what?”. He put me on a bike and had be do some exercises with a towel but seemed not to know what to do with me…. Just as well. It was the end of PT….

    Because I burst open on one leg. The legs were fluid filled and looked like stacks of watermelons. Pain was never an issue at all for me. Just something to work through. But the itching over the staples very nearly drove me insane. It was just shy of two weeks and it the itching had been growing worse. Just after that first PT session was the worst. Doc said he’d take the stapels out in two days and prescribed something I forget now.. But it didn’t matter, I burst one leg. I wrapped it in a clean bandage and had my wife drive me over. It was grim. He didn’t say so, but the way he and nurse looked I could tell they thought there was a good chance I’d lose the leg. But he prescribed some particular anti-biotic wash, a huge supply of bandages and anti-biotics, told me to very carefully clean it twice daily and change bandages and come back twice a week (and call and to to ER if I got nauseous, light headed of feverish, or saw any redness or sense of throbbing heat around the wound. ANd he took staples out of the other, steri-stripped it …. it wept copiously for the next couple weeks but itching swelling was less by that night and less then on. The burst one wept even more copiously out the wound (huge amounts of yellowish liquid … and kept weepng for weeks).

    But I undersood the stakes. I was very careful and very diligent in cleaning the wound. In the first week Doc had said something about some high pressure wound cleaning equipment in the hospital and set up a schedule to use it a week later. That week came and he was surprised that he didn’t need to use it. Aside from some peripheral redness I wasn’t getting any infection. The nurse said they’d never seen anyone keep an open wound that clean. Slowly, that twice a day about 10-15 minute routine worked. (I was the kid who ran around barefoot in a field with lots of old rusty nails, broken glass and other detritus, broken glass and lots of dog, cat, and who knows what doo. I’ve been very resistant to bacterial infection all my life). I healed bottom up, inside out … could slowly see it day by day. Then one fine day after about two months there was just a scab and the bandage was completely dry.

    I was DONE. Able to walk, get around… Do pretty much any everyday thing. One hard order from the doctor “DON’T FALL”, and one serious recommendation to keep the knees as long as possible, avoid high impact activities. So I do exercise bike and elliptical at the gym (I could do treadmill I suppose, so long as it wasn’t a run) But I’m minorly frustrated that now that I am doing fairly extensive exercise regularly I can’t go back to the karate I did in my twenties (those kicks may have been contributory to my knee issues, but I seriously think it was a mass of bee stings on my legs once when I ran over their nest with my mower, no knee pain that year or ever before that – other than those kicks- but the next summer, I was walking and all at once one knee locked up…. wouldn’t move… after about 10 minutes I moved it a little, it went POP, and I could move again, but with pain. After that for years it kept getting worse. No way to prove but I think it was the bee stings, or some bacteria, virus, or parasite from the stings).

    But today, I walk, do exercise, pretty much everything “normal”, pain free. I rebuilt my garage roof last summer spending about two months going up and down a ladder several times a day. I’m not able to do marital arts, and won’t be doing skydiving. I gave up my motorcycle when knees started to go bad. Er, when your knees can buckle under you, you don’t want them to be splayed out at an intersection the only thing holding up a five hundred pound bike. Now they wouldn’t buckle, but an accident that would just be hobbling for a few weeks for a youngster could cost me a leg.

    But for the pain I had before surgery was much worse than all the pain in recovery. I’ve heard many people say they’d never go through it again. It probably is just the way I am with pain, but I think they’re nuts. We can’t remember pain they say, but I remember clearly that the “pain” in recovery was a relief compared to what had gone before. Given the same choices I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. This time I wouldn’t wait so long. Remember that the pain after surgery, however terrible it is, is better than the pain to come without it.

    — TWZ

  18. wzrd1 says

    Ended up the very same way, on our daughter’s spring break, as Captain of her college fencing team.

    So, obviously, we’d compete in the hilly driveway, I taking the downward position.
    Totally won, was left with a left knee the size of Texas.
    She tried to apologize, cut her off, as it was my choice.
    And hers.
    Long story short, I took that Captain of the fencing team and schooled her, hard.

    Hint, in fencing, the jacket protects you, somewhat, you’ll get bruised at strike points…..
    Daughter scored one touche, zero after.
    Nailed her to hell and gone, based upon, edge of weapon always faces the victim.
    Long and short, I always won, despite methods or strategy.
    That, via foil, epee or saber.

    They end up the very same way, ignoring the mechanics.

  19. wzrd1 says

    Bollocks, tried to enter a two phase response.
    Point always presented to subject. If I have to scratch my balls, even then, point toward subject.
    Worked always, even when the latter was impossible.

    We call it “Chess with muscles. I call it chess with reality.

  20. ColonelZen says

    Chuckle. It’s martial arts I regretfully need to avoid. I’m slowing down with age, with the knees working and the weight I’ve lost being active and exercising regularly, I’m probably doing better at “marital” arts than ever since my twenties.

    — TWZ