This is a story I tend to reference repeatedly. If you are new here or confused and followed a link to this page, this is probably the context you’re looking for:  

When I was five, my right knee dislocated while I was playing tag. To this day, doctors don’t really understand why it happened, but over the next twenty years my knees dislocated over and over. Sometimes when I was walking down stairs or jumping rope or even sleeping in bed one of my kneecaps would slip to the side and stay there.

At my worst, my knees dislocated several times a week. Physical therapy did nothing, so when I turned twelve I went in for surgery. Between 1997 and 2004 I had five knee reconstructions. Surgery gave me some relief, and in 2004 it seemed like I had finally been cured. For five years I was dislocation-free, and by 2007 I’d gone from barely having the ability to drive to living in Boston and walking as much as a mile a day.

In January 2009 I had a particularly bad dislocation and after another reconstruction my medical team told me to leave New England and escape the snow. The last surgery had left my right knee unable to bend more than 90 degrees. (Normal is 130 degrees.) And after years of tearing tendons and cartilage with every dislocation, my knees just couldn’t take another one. The instability of walking on ice had become the leading cause of dislocations, and no amount of physical therapy would prevent me from encountering ice on the streets of Boston, so my best chance of healing was living in a place without snow.

In September 2009 I packed up and moved to Berkeley, and I have been dislocation-free ever since.

As of 2014, there was still damage that never really healed, but I was starting to get back the strength and flexibility I had in 2007, so I hope that the saga has finally come to an end.

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