The knee was patched up but evidently it was kind of a hatchet job on the surgeon's part. I spent the next ten years of my life suffering from knee pain and swelling whenever I did anything instead of the three months he promised. Fortunately, I had a bike wreck on a mountain bike that re-tore the cartilage in the same knee ten years later. It was fortunate because the second surgery was miles apart in difference from the first one and after about six months, most of my symptoms went away. When I quit work five years back, even the remaining symptoms have disappeared and it feels better today than it has in the last twenty five years.
Still habits die hard and I tend to favor it when doing anything strenuous. So when my daughters were playing around on an old steam locomotive outside of a local museum, I decided to climb up there with them and used my good knee first in climbing the steps. I used that knee to successfully lift me up but as I was throwing my other leg with the "bad" knee onto the platform, I was hit with a crushing pain in my "good" knee and the realization that my lower leg appeared to be adjacent to my upper leg.
After about passing out a couple times, I managed to lower myself to the ground and hobble over to a nearby bench where I caught up on blood flow to the brain region and things cleared up. I quickly realized that I had dislocated my kneecap, which had snapped right back into place after the initial bolt of pain. It turns out to be a fairly common injury when you are putting pressure and twisting on the joint, both of which I had been doing. After a few minutes it felt fine enough that I could walk back to the car and get home without further incident.
Later I would go to the doctor and get a steroid injection to take down the swelling and found out that I probably tore one of the muscles that hold the kneecap in place judging from the blood in the joint. Modern medicine dictates just to allow it to heal for six weeks, rehabilitate it and go on with life. At this point a little over a week later, it is still a bit stiff and swollen but I can walk around without limping with a knee brace for support. I was able to do a little hiking during our recent trip down to the Ozark mountains of NW Arkansas but I kept to flat smooth trails and limited myself to less than a mile each day.
So now I have a new "bad" knee and an old "bad" knee which is feeling the best it has in 25 years. I'm hoping with a brace for future strenuous activities and strengthening exercises, life will go on with only minor inconvenience for the foreseeable future. The joys of aging!