At Michele's small party yesterday I became a pool casualty, a statistic on the terrible consequences of leaping into freezing water with one's mental acuity diminished by beer and overheated lightheadedness. To wit, I aimed my jump left instead of right, landed in about five feet of water, and smacked my left knee on the pool bottom with staggering force. I don't appear to have broken, sprained or dislocated anything, but I have an impressive bruise over pretty much my entire kneecap as well as a very interesting twinge that suggests to me it would really be a better idea to learn to walk stiff-legged than to bend my knee with any weight on it.
Jacob's remark last night was that I had been "surprisingly stoic about it". My only explanation is that I was so shocked by how much it actually hurt that my reflexive pouting and attention-seeking were temporarily short-circuited. As you can see, they're now on-line and functioning within normal parameters.
I'm working on a harebrained, but plausible, theory about the workings of the knee (harebrained but plausible being a major specialty of mine) and would like input from anyone with more anatomical knowledge than I. From my brief Google work this morning I've found that the kneecap (patella) is held in place in a saddle of cartilage (which keeps it from moving side to side) by vertical ligaments (which keep it from moving up and down). Bending the knee pulls the ligaments tight and holds the kneecap close to the cartilage saddle where it can't move sideways. Straightening the knee relaxes the ligaments and holds the kneecap less tightly in the cartilage saddle, so that between the stretchiness of the ligaments and the slight separation from the cartilage saddle it has slightly more wiggle room. Ergo, if a knee is smashed at an oblique angle into a hard surface, the likelihood of it being laterally dislocated is less in a bent position than in a straight position, but if a knee is going to be dislocated no matter what then a straight position gives the ligaments more room to stretch without tearing.
Now someone please tell me if that's right? And no, this doesn't bear on my personal knee, which is merely bruised. I just, you know, want to know.
Hey! Look over there! Ancient evil is funny.Posted by dianna at October 2, 2005 04:32 PM