6 Jul 2008

This location of the neigh

"Throw... quick quick... oh NO"... POP! CRACK!! CRACKLE!!! THUD!!!
"Can you walk?", they asked.

"Yes." I said, clenching my teeth.

I had scored enough to save the team from the blushes, but as I ran for that last run, I could hear my right knee snap under the pad and I landed with a thud in the crease and just missed from being run-out. I straightened my leg as I sat in the mud and the cracking-popping orchestra replayed. I limped back to the pavilion with support from 2 team mates. As I sat down on the chair, I realised that I could not straighten the knee anymore. There was a lot of pain. I took off the gloves and the pads and asked for some water. Someone passed me an ice pack, too. .. thankfully.

Later that night, the pain aggravated and the knee was swollen and tender. An injury in the foreign land is always scary business. A crocin put me back to sleep. But when I woke up the pain woke up with me. I googled the symptoms and was convinced that this is a dislocated knee.

Knee dislocation is different from fracture. But people normally tend to diagonise for a fracture to begin with. The swelling is not as severe as a fracture and the pain is bearable. One can touch the tender soreness on the knee without feeling much pain. I had a swelling on the inner side of the leg on the left side of the knee cap and a bit of pain behind the knee. A knee dislocation could cause a cartilage and a ligament pull. An internal clot can cause an immediate swelling and if there is internal bleeding it has to be taken care-of immediately because there is a risk that the clot might travel to the lungs.

I ordered a cab in the morning which dropped drop me at the 'accident and emergency' department (A&E) of the local hospital. After a quick record entry, I was asked to wait for the doctor to call me. I was first sent to get an x-ray done. The x-ray can only see the bones, which turned out to be normal (no fracture) and that meant that the dislocation had reset itself.

The doctor asked me to drop the pants (I was still wearing yesterday's underpants) and flex the knee. I showed her that I could not bend or completely straighten my knee. It was as-if the knee was locked and there was considerable pain when I tried to force the bending/ straightening. A normal knee should bend to an angle of at least 100 degrees. My knee angle was hardly 45 degrees and that too, slowly and painfully.

Tying the knee only increases the swelling, so crepe bandages are a strict no. Hot or ice massage only soothes the pain, it is not going to heal anything. Ibrufen is a recommended anti-inflammatory capsule and not really a pain killer. 400mg of capsules should work for a stretch of 12 hours. Keeping the leg in the same position for too long can worsen the swelling, I don't know why!
It has been a week and I am feeling much better. The pain only stings at night... mid-way during a deep sleep. I cannot completely straighten my leg yet. I am on a no cycling and no running order from the doctor. This means I will miss the cricket season. :(

People come and ask how it happened and I narrate the episode to them in the most gruesome way and end it by saying it is not as scary as it sounds, there is no pain. I still don't get a free lift home.

5 Jul 2008

Bums on the Saddle

My email to the admin at http://blog.bumsonthesaddle.com
Damn the knee!!

Hi guys,

I dropped at your site from the article on rediff.com and I was so glad to learn that there are cycle-to-work-enthusiasts in India, too. I have been cycling to work since the last 2 years in London. If I ignore the dislocated knee last week, my overall experience has been very good. I have been off the cycle for 6 days now and I am missing it already.

The cycle I use is an old mountain bike with 18 gear combinations. It saves me time and money in addition to giving me the flexibility of not relying on the bus or train timings. Most trains in London have facilities for carrying a bike in a separate compartment. There are regular camps for cycles, where they have a health check and lots of freebies. The roads here have dedicated lanes for cycles to ensure safety and to encourage cycling. At the signals and roads, cycles are definitely treated with a lot of respect.

I have managed to get a handful of colleagues to cycle to work as well. I have managed to get bikes for them too. The public transport and fuel in UK is much more expensive than that in Mumbai, so it is only wise to invest in a bike. I would have to cycle 90 mins in the sultry, dusty and dangerous Mumbai roads and that thought gives me a shudder. I think I would prefer traveling to work in Mumbai by the company bus that takes 50 mins to reach office in the mornings and 90 mins to take me home in the evenings.