Two years ago I was in more pain than anyone my age should have been in. At the time I was a 20-year-old who had spent my entire life playing sports; an active lifestyle was all I knew. Then I tore my meniscus multiple times and had constant pain. Everyday I would wake up and that first step out of bed would determine how my day would go. If I was lucky the pain would be manageable, and I would try and work through it before resorting to Advil or Tylenol. Most days it was unbearable and by around noon I would need to take breaks to massage my knee.
I went to see Dr. Cole after hearing he was one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country to see if there were any options I had not considered yet. This is when I first heard of the osteochondral allograft transplant and meniscus allograft transplant procedures. This seemed terrifying; they were going to take out part of my femur, and what remained of my meniscus, and replace it with donor tissue. There were going to be eight weeks of no walking and months of physical therapy. How could I do that to myself? I was just starting college and I did not want to miss anything. I had already given up on ever playing sports again so why even attempt this surgery? Well I am here to tell you that it was the best decision I could have ever made. At 22 years of age I can tell you that my absolute worst days are not even comparable to the best days I had before the surgery. I am more active than I have been in years and I would not change what I did for the world. Yes, the recovery was tough, but it was all worth it. I am finally a regular 22-year-old college kid again.