Thursday, 3 March 2016

Knee Surgey in Dubai (Menisectomy)

Since Sep 2013, I have been learning kathak as a way to channel my inner creativity in Dubai. Life is just work and home if not for a tiny spark of a creative hobby. In this life at least, my husband and I wish we could pursue and dedicate ourselves to an art but alas we are too mainstream for that :)

Coming back to the point though, I was preparing for a performance for the 21st of Jan. During the rehersal on 18th Jan, I took a characteristic kathak chakkar (reference video of the mesmerising Vidha Lal here) and heard a loud, dreaded click in my knee.

It was different to any usual clicks that we all experience in our joints all the time. I couldn't support my weight for a few minutes after and had to sit down immediately. I knew that something was wrong but didn't expect it to escalate to the levels it did.

I went to see an Orthopedic suregon at Mediclinic Knowledge Village (Dr Dapindar Pal Singh). He examined my knee and diagnosed it to be a minor injury. He told me to rest and see how I felt, gave me painkillers and hope to be able to perform still the following Friday.

There was no MRI mentioned at this stage, which should have been done in retrospect. I rested for two days and the day before the performance, I attended a practice class though being cautious. In the morning, I prepared to rehearse and twisted the knee in the same fashion, once again. Now I think the damage was done.

I knew I could definitely not perform, it was before my workday on a weekday and it was Mr. Singh's weekly off so we went to a GP at Mediclinic Ibn Batuta. He mentioned it could be a Meniscus related injury and gave me a sick note for 5 days plus more painkillers.

This was uptil the 26th of Jan after which, with rest I began to feel better. On 10th Feb, I travelled to Delhi for a wedding. The combination of the travel plus Indian wedding (including all the dancing) was lethal for my knee I think and I had to rush to a local hospital in Delhi as well. The flight back was hell and we went straight from the airport to Saudi German Hospital Emergency ward. They did some basic examinations but called me back to see a surgeon and schedule an MRI.

The MRI was scheduled for 4 days later which brought us upto 17th Feb. All this time spent before even fully diagnosing the problem fully.

I saw a Finnish surgeon with the reports at SGH and he was the first doctor to mention that surgery is the only solution. I was really scared by the mention of surgery/blood/hospital so this was a big set back. The doctor did not provide any emotional support, which a mortified patient like me needs to feel reassured.

I spoke to a few more people and went for 2nd opinion to Dr Gus at Up and Running Dubai - great clinic but no insurance direct billing (be ready to burn a hole in your pocket) and then 3rd opinion with Dr Abhay Dandawate at JTS Medical Clinic.

Dr Dandawate was the most reassuring and convincing of the lot as he had more than 25 years of experience. He was also on  the approval board for ortho surgeries for insurance companies meaning if he prescribed surgery, it was really necessary.

The date was given as 3rd March at Medcare Ortho Hospital (SZR). Luckily my mom booked tickets to help out here. The only missing link was my mental state, I was still mortified by the thought of two large metal pipes in my knee and so much could go wrong. This was thanks to my 'research' on the internet. I really worked hard on getting over the fear by meditating 3 times a day and focussed on feeling really stable and grounded.

The day came and I just concentrated on my breathing, I entered the OT with my eyes closed much to the amusement of the nursing staff. I was out on the general anaesthetic (best thing ever) in a matter of seconds). I woke up to a bandaged leg and numbed pain with the nursing staff around me. The surgery was a success and they gave me leave to go home the same day.

After this, it was all about rest and recovery. I was off work for 3-4 days after which I could even get back to driving since the surgery was on my left knee. The follow up appointments with the doctor went smoothly. I was doing simple leg raising exercises in and out of water. I was able to go back to yoga and light physical exercise early April. The pain still persisted though so the doctor prescribed physiotherapy at Medcare Physiotherapy Centre (near the Ortho hospital on SZR). Though this was helpful, the effects were very temporary. What helped me more was my own exercises and focus with the personal trainer/yoga teacher.

If you ever have to go through such an experience in Dubai, please rest assured that with some search and recommendations you can definitely find a doctor you trust. As for the mind, it is only upto you how you train it :)

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