Surgery is set for this Thursday.
Flashback to November 5. My wife had been out of the immobilizer for a couple of weeks, making nice progress, faithfully doing her exercises and gaining a bit of strength. She was even starting to walk some. At first, walking required the therapist's help but she soon progressed to making it around the therapy room with the therapist nearby and a husband moving the wheelchair close behind. (I'm not sure if pushing the wheelchair really did anything for my wife, but it did give me something to do, like those toy car dashboards parents put on their young children's strollers, and for all I know that may have been the real purpose.)
With victory near, my wife was determined to overcome whatever residual fears remained about walking with no one's help. Waiting for me to get home to take her to physical therapy, she decided to try some unmonitored practice and surprise me. It went well up until the last attempt before I got home; a small turn didn't work and she went down.
I'd called a few minutes from home to tell her I would be there shortly - no answer. I was a little concerned about that, but there are many reasons that could happen and almost all of them are not problematic. When I got to the house and saw the back window was dark, my spidey-sense was tingling - it's funny how you can sometimes sense when something's not right before you actually know anything for sure. My first words yelled across the house to wherever she was: "Are you ok?" Her response: "Not really." She was on the floor, in a good deal of pain. Her efforts to surprise me worked, just not as planned.
By then, of course, we knew the drill; this time we even had an immobilizer for the trip to the Emergency Room. (And, of course, we had my really cool leg support wheelchair attachment.) X-rays there, follow-up orthopedist visit, MRI to follow up the follow-up visit, orthopedist visit to follow-up the MRI that followed-up the orthopedist visit that followed up the trip to the ER, and countless follow-up phone calls from well-meaning family and friends who each know the best doctor/hospital/procedure for us to follow-up with, and it comes down to this: the knee isn't refractured, but the tendon that connects the quadricep muscle to the knee cap snapped. (Normally - pardon the high-level technical medical terminology - the thigh bone's connected to the knee bone, and the knee bone's connected to the shin bone. Well, right now, they're not.)
The plan now - after follow-up visits to our regular doctors to clear my wife for surgery - is for the orthopedist (the one from the second orthopedic follow-up) to go in with a large, sterile sewing machine and give the tendon a basting stitch. The surgeon is very optimistic.
Not to worry - as things progress, I'll follow up.