A Knee Surgery Two Decades in the Making

Alright, the photo for this week's blog isn't Brian's knee. It is of another surgically repaired knee though. Brian didn't happen to have any photos of his injured knee laying around. 

As Brian tells it, "When I was twenty, I was just horsing around with some friends on the ice in Alaska and I slipped and my knee hurt."

He didn't go to the doctor because doctors are expensive without health insurance and, like many 20 year olds, he was invincible. He had always been more of a weight lifter than a runner anyway. His knee seemed to heal up in a few months-until he tried running again. 

Brian said that over the years, he has tried running here and there-with the same result. A mile or so in, the run turns to a walk because of the pain in his knee. Post attempted run, the knee would swell. Running was never that important to him so he put up with this for almost two decades. 

So, what changed? Not surprisingly, the answer ties back to his family. 

After his son was born, Brian was on the floor playing with him. One wrong move aggravated his knee, making what should be a supremely enjoyable experience painful and unpleasant. His wife suggested that it might be time to get the knee looked at; the injury was getting in the way of more than just running. 

With his family's support, Brian found himself at Orthopedic Trauma Care under the practice of Dr. Bret Mason. Not surprisingly, testing revealed that the joint was destroyed; a loose body and resulting shredded meniscus were to blame. Brian had three options: Try a new stem cell treatment, total knee replacement, or leave it as is (which would ultimately lead to option 1 or 2). When faced with those options, Brian chose the first and scheduled a surgery.

During surgery, Dr. Mason removed a half dollar size foreign body from Brian's knee. By foreign body, I mean a chunk of his femur that had broken off from the rest of the bone. Two weeks after surgery, Brian received a shot of stem cells that would help repair the damage. A week after that, he received a follow up shot. Then, he waited for his knee to regrow. After 6 weeks of being non-weight bearing on his knee, he was ready to start his rehabilitation and path to the Lost Lake Run. 

When I asked Brian how he thinks the recovery is going, he said that his knee is probably 105% what it was pre-surgery, and 90% of what he imagines it would have been pre-injury. The real test? He says he has run 8 miles with no pain or swelling since surgery; clearly things are improving. 

Next Week: Learn about Brian's recovery, rehabilitation, and race training schedule!


What you need to know:

The Lost Lake Run is a fund raiser to benefit those with Cystic Fibrosis. Brian has set a lofty fundraising goal of $4000 (he has also set lofty personal goals for the race, but more on that later). If met, he will have exceeded last year's top fundraiser of $3925. 

What you can do:

Donate directly to Brian.

If you don't want to donate but want some awesome Snow Beast swag, Snow Beast Reviews will be donating all profits from the month of June to Brian's cause. Visit our shop, get some swag, and help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis at once!

If you don't feel like donating to this cause, that's ok, just follow along as I tell his story. If you like what you read, share on your preferred social media platform.