I was standing on a file cabinet in Nov of 2007, drilling new holes to install blinds. I pulled the drill out of the wall and went back catching myself on my right foot. My knee bent in the wrong direction and I heard a pop. I had always been an athlete, so I thought it was just another injury and it would heal. It started feeling a little better, but then one day, I hyper-extended it and bent the knee back again, and heard another pop. I went to Dr. Shubin Stein soon after and she let me know that my ACL was all but snapped in two. It looked like a rubber band that was cut almost all the way through and then stretched. She told me that I could wear a brace and could continue to do all activities, but probably not 100 percent. She explained surgery, and the difference between taking my tissue to repair the ACL, or using that of a donor. When I heard the word “donor,” I wasn’t sure what she meant. No doctor had ever said that to me. She explained, “A donor, an Achilles tendon from a cadaver.” I got tears in my eyes and asked her the difference from using my own tissue, and that of a cadaver. She said that my recovery time would be 30-40% as long if I used donor tissue – meaning I would be ready to hit the bicycle in 3 months using donor tissue rather than 8 months using my own. She explained that it is basically a piece of rope by the time it goes into my body, and it is 99% successful. Don’t quote my figures – it was 7 years ago that I had the operation. So, she replaced my ACL on 4-4-2008; I did the rehab vigorously as instructed, and 3 months later exactly, I took a subway down to bicycle habitat in SoHo and bought a bike. I rode it 14 miles home. My right knee is as strong as my left knee now, and I don’t have knee problems. I can say I am deeply appreciative of Dr Shubin Stein’s treatment of me, her office, and her outstanding skills with me. She is the best.
February 26, 2018