Tendons reattached in kneecap surgery

RESTING UP: After an operation to reattach ligaments to his left kneecap, Dudley Meadows recuperates at home, with crutches and a book he thought had an apt title. Picture by Paul Rickard

Dudley Meadows won’t be at work at Tairawhiti Museum for the next four to six weeks, and he won’t be playing football for a lot longer.

Tendons holding his left kneecap (patella) in place sheared when he was tackled during an Eastern League Division 2 game at the Rectory ground on Saturday.

The tendons were reattached to the patella in an hour-long operation at Gisborne Hospital the following day.

“I was lucky in that Professor Jean-Claude Theis, an orthopaedic surgeon who teaches at the Dunedin School of Medicine, was a locum surgeon at Gisborne Hospital,” Meadows said.

“He performed the operation.”

Meadows, 56, player-coach of the Thistle Vintage team playing Gisborne Boys’ High School seconds, had gone on in central midfield for the second half of the game on Saturday. With eight minutes to go he was setting off with the ball when he went down in a tackle that took him by surprise.

“My kneecap was at a funny angle and I thought it must be dislocated, so I tried to push it back into place while I was warm,” Meadows said.

“I realised pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen.”

He went home from hospital on Tuesday and has been told to lie flat for two weeks with his left leg straight. A brace is fitted to the leg, in case he forgets.

After two weeks, he will have a brace that allows up to 30 degrees of movement in the leg. Two weeks later, he will be allowed more movement, and so on.

He has been told that even after he is able to return to work, he will face a long recovery and rehabilitation before he is anywhere near the level of fitness he had before the injury.

Meadows is curator of photography at the museum and had planned to change the photographic exhibition this week.

“That will have to go on hold,” he said.

In the meantime, he has been lent some art books by teammate Bryan Notting. Meadows felt that the title of one, Before I Die, resonated with the way he felt following his injury.

Dudley Meadows won’t be at work at Tairawhiti Museum for the next four to six weeks, and he won’t be playing football for a lot longer.

Tendons holding his left kneecap (patella) in place sheared when he was tackled during an Eastern League Division 2 game at the Rectory ground on Saturday.

The tendons were reattached to the patella in an hour-long operation at Gisborne Hospital the following day.

“I was lucky in that Professor Jean-Claude Theis, an orthopaedic surgeon who teaches at the Dunedin School of Medicine, was a locum surgeon at Gisborne Hospital,” Meadows said.

“He performed the operation.”

Meadows, 56, player-coach of the Thistle Vintage team playing Gisborne Boys’ High School seconds, had gone on in central midfield for the second half of the game on Saturday. With eight minutes to go he was setting off with the ball when he went down in a tackle that took him by surprise.

“My kneecap was at a funny angle and I thought it must be dislocated, so I tried to push it back into place while I was warm,” Meadows said.

“I realised pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen.”

He went home from hospital on Tuesday and has been told to lie flat for two weeks with his left leg straight. A brace is fitted to the leg, in case he forgets.

After two weeks, he will have a brace that allows up to 30 degrees of movement in the leg. Two weeks later, he will be allowed more movement, and so on.

He has been told that even after he is able to return to work, he will face a long recovery and rehabilitation before he is anywhere near the level of fitness he had before the injury.

Meadows is curator of photography at the museum and had planned to change the photographic exhibition this week.

“That will have to go on hold,” he said.

In the meantime, he has been lent some art books by teammate Bryan Notting. Meadows felt that the title of one, Before I Die, resonated with the way he felt following his injury.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​Do you support nurses in their rejection of pay and working condition offers, and their plan to strike twice next month?