After upgrading from a sports doctor to a radiologist to an orthopedic surgeon, I sure am glad there's nothing seriously wrong with my knees
. This experience has been painful enough as it is.
I expected an orthopedic surgeon to play a full-court press for orthopedic surgery, but this guy just wasn't interested. I don't really care for him, but his advice is so blunt and shorn of artifice or tact that it's refreshing. His attitude was "Surgery isn't really necessary. You're moving without pain and you can do what you need to do without your ACLs. If you wanted your ACLs rebuilt for tae kwon do, you'd just tear them again so it's not worth the surgical risk my time." Gee, thanks. Same thing with the meniscus damage-- I have full range of motion so they're not a problem worth the surgery.
He was more interested in avoiding future injuries. (He was so rushed that he could barely get the words out of his mouth fast enough, but we agreed that I'd let go of his ankles if he'd answer the rest of my questions). He recommended a metal-hinge knee brace that limits the knee's lateral motion (what an ACL normally stabilizes) while allowing full flexion. They'll get me through the TKD workouts & forms, although I can't wear metal braces for tournament sparring. So I guess my sparring days are over but I may still be able to find a partner for Friday-night sparring.
I'll be dosing 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day to bring the swelling down and working physical therapy for the next couple weeks to strengthen my quads & hamstrings. I'll also be trying on various braces next week, priced from $50-$400. "What are you saving it for?" indeed.
Anyone using metal-hinged knee braces? Any recommendations?