It was one of those texts
that you never want to receive. As the Rangers played the A’s last September, my son’s football team was playing in Fort Worth. The text from my wife read, “Kal is down!”
I replied, “What did he hurt?” She said it looked like a left leg injury. I reminded her that he had rolled his ankle in practice and would probably be able to fight through. She said nothing, I texted again …. nothing! I waited, the Rangers scored, I waited, I texted again. Nothing!
As it turns out, she couldn’t text back immediately because she was in the middle of the field. This was one of those injuries where the parent gets called out of the stands and onto the field. A mother’s worst nightmare. Kal was able to leave the field under his own power, but his knee was really hurting and swollen.
He used a wheelchair some that weekend but by Monday was limping around. I was taking no chances – my first call on Monday was to Dr. Keith Meister.
I had seen him work magic before – in fact, in that game I was covering on Sept. 18, Josh Hamilton pinch hit just days after a knee procedure done by Dr. Meister.
Kal would not be so lucky. At our first consultation the good doctor said we would need an MRI. The ensuing news was not good – Kal had a complete tear of the ACL – that is, the anterior cruciate ligament.
That meant that this 6-foot, 6-inch basketball player, who was playing football just to stay in shape, would be out for the season. The basketball season! That was a dad’s worst nightmare.
Early one Monday morning in October we loaded Kal in the truck and went to see Dr. Meister again. This time he was in scrubs, and very soon Kal was in “la la land.” It was a very straightforward procedure for Keith, ACL replacement surgery. They borrow tissue from elsewhere in the knee and built a new ligament, which is attached with screws.
After the operation,
Dr. Meister plugged in a DVD and showed us a horror film. It was the surgery – there was a microscopic camera used to show us every step of the process. It revealed something that the MRI did not, Kal’s ligament had been torn completely off the bone. It was actually amazing to see how the old ligament was removed and the newly constructed one replaced it.
Watching a loved one have surgery is never easy, but Dr. Meister and his staff make it as pleasant as possible. Just a day or two after the knee replacement we were back at TMI Sports Medicine for the beginning of six months of rehab. This is a long process and it is supposed to be “hellish,” but Kal is enjoying it. He has made friends with his physical therapists, and he loves how hard they push him. They know how hard they can push because so many of their clients are athletes. Kal often sees Rangers players working out next to him.
I checked with Kal’s therapist, Regan, the other day, and he assured me that my son is doing just the right amount of work and is ahead of schedule. That doesn’t mean he will get to play basketball this year, but he will play again. His knee will be as good as new, thanks to the caring professionals at TMI Sports Medicine.
TMI does more than surgery. For my 50th birthday I got chronic shoulder pain. I figured it was just something I had to endure. Dr. Meister said, “no.” He diagnosed my problem (a misalignment in my neck) and gave me some simple exercises to do, and the pain is gone.
So if you are hurting, or in need a surgery, go see my friend Dr. Meister and the great staff at TMI. You will be glad you did.