My gift for the New Year… a lateral meniscus tear

My Christmas holiday this year did not go as planned.

So. Today…. #me

A post shared by Sean P Dent (@seanpdent) on

While on vacation in Cancun, Mexico we went on a tour of the Mayan ruins on Christmas day. During the tour we visited the cenote Ik Kil, a natural spring sinkhole. You had the opportunity to jump into the spring as well as swim in the fresh water. Along with the kids of the family, I jumped off the ledge (left hand side) you see in the pic below.

Cenote en Chichén Itzá. Quintana Roo. México-1” by Luis Miguel Bugallo SánchezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.


Cenote-ik-kil” by DmadeoOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

When I surfaced from the dive ( jumped in feet first) I knew immediately something was wrong. I felt a searing jolt of pain to my right knee when I was surfacing. I couldn’t kick my right knee without severe mind-numbing pain, and had to swim with my left leg to exit the spring.

Upon exiting, there was obvious swelling. I couldn’t bear weight, and the pain was borderline unbearable. I hobbled back up the 90 steps, struggled to change my clothes, hobbled the long walk back to the bus and then endured a 2.5hr drive back to our resort before I could rest. Mind you, I couldn’t perform full extension or flexion in my knee. It was stuck in about 30 degrees flexion.

I spent the next two days hobbling around on our vacation with family. I iced and rested my knee, trying to keep the immense swelling and edema under control. I then made the long trip back to the states, hobbling and traversing the multiple airport pit stops (not fun let me tell you).

I finally made it home, and scheduled an appointment with my PCP. We both suspected a meniscal injury due to the mechanism of injury, symptoms and positive clinical exam findings during my visit. An MRI would tell us if we were right.

An MRI the next day confirmed a significant lateral meniscus tear along with some bone fragments and obvious joint effusion.

I’m down for the count. The next step is to see an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my options.

I might get away without surgery, but my gut tells me I’m looking at an arthroscopic procedure at the very least.

I was really hoping I was wrong. I was really hoping it was just a severe sprain. But I knew differently. I was a Certified  Athletic Trainer for over a decade before I became a Nurse and eventual Nurse Practitioner. I knew what tests to perform, I knew the signs and symptoms. I had them all. And then when my PCP tested my knee and I almost jumped off the exam table… I knew.


I guess this is my year to focus on appreciating my health just a little bit more. Prior to my injury, I was a lil’ down in the dumps that my level of fitness had dropped. I wasn’t “as fit as I used to be”. Karma’s a bitch.

Along with my health, I get to focus dedicated time to my Media venture hustle (slightly letting the cat out of the bag.. stay tuned).

Alright 2016, bring it.