“It was a big surf day in mid-January 2014 and some friends and I paddled out down at sunset cliffs. I’m not sure if it was lazy surfing, or just a freakish stoke of bad luck, but on my fourth or fifth wave of the day, I misjudged a large breaking section of wave that just so happened to crash right on my knee. It happened so quick and with so much force that my knee buckled in half…inward. Though I made it back to my car ok, and was able to go back to work as a firefighter a few days later, there was a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right with my knee. I need my knees in top shape, not only to keep food on my table, but also to keep me sane. I realized very quickly that a huge part of my mental well being relied on staying active. Not being able to run down at the beach on my days off or surf with confidence really started getting me down. I was heartbroken when I had to bow out of a trip to lead a mountaineering expedition on Mt. Hood. At the age of 26, I was teetering on the edge of accepting that my hard charging surfing, climbing, and running days were coming to a close. I went to the doctors a few times and dabbled in some physical therapy, with no real changes. After a few months, my insurance finally approved an MRI and I was diagnosed with a lateral meniscus tear. My doctor then referred me to Dr. Hacker.
When I first met Dr. Hacker, I felt as though I was talking to a distant relative or friend. He took the time to listen to my story and frustrations of not being able to do the things I love. Even though my physical exam revealed little to no instability in my knee, he took my discomfort seriously. He left the treatment options in my hands, basically saying in very easy to understand terms, that my injury was probably going to stay the same. It wasn’t going to kill me, but if I wanted to return to confident surfing, running, firefighting, and climbing, I might as well go under the knife. Again, I can’t stress how awesome he treated me through the whole decision making process. I felt as though I was sitting in a garage talking to a friend about how we were going to dial in a hot rod, rather than sitting in a surgeons office talking about the virtues of meniscectomy vs. meniscal repairs on my knee. With a laid back, yet confident demeanor, he made what should be a nerve-wracking consultation very painless.
Other than a minor scheduling conflict, surgery day was probably one of the easiest days at the doctors I’ve ever had. Everything went flawless. Dr. Hacker was punctual, attentive to every question my finance and I had, and though I don’t remember, he was very efficient in surgery. I was only in the operating room for twenty minutes. Though his bedside manner was off the charts superb (something that seems rare these days in a busy healthcare system) I have to say the real testament to Dr. Hacker’s work was in my recovery. Within two days, I went from two to one crutch. After a week, I was walking with a slight limp. A few days later, I was walking normal. I can barely see my three little scars on my knee from surgery. I wasn’t on any disability from work, burning vacation days, and in need of income, so two and a half weeks later, I was confidently back riding on a fire engine. I say confidently for my knee feeling better, and not for my self esteem as my wonderful crew howled with laughter after seeing my half shaved leg! It’s been almost six weeks after surgery, and I write this testimonial after running seven miles on the beach. My knee couldn’t feel better and I owe it all to Dr. Hacker. If you are looking for a stress free, professional, and diligent surgeon, Dr. Hacker is hands down one of the best San Diego has to offer.”
Again, thank you so much! We had a pretty labor intensive fire last night in Spring Valley. I had to climb up and down a ladder, crawl around an attic with a heavy hose and work like crazy. Most of my body is sore this morning, and looking in the mirror I have a ton of scrapes and bruises, but the one thing that doesn’t hurt and feels better than ever is my knee! I’ll post this testimonial to the other sites, but if you need anything else at all, don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you!,
Tanner B.