Sunday, October 14, 2007

Total Knee Replacement - Surgery Minus 3 Days

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Total Knee Replacement

So I’ve had to make time for a host of other visits and activities leading up to the surgery. Meet with home care, to get the residence assessed for post surgery use. Found out which rugs would have to go (hall runners mostly), which walker I would need, and sorted out the need for a toilet seat lifter. Apparently most home toilet seats are so low that post surgery knee replacement patients, who have some difficulty bending the knee, are happier with a booster. Not sure how I feel about that, but hey, these people are experts. If they recommend it, it’s pretty hard to say no. We also go through the list of exercises I will have to do, both in the hospital and after I get home.

The period right after surgery, it’s important to quickly start working on strength and flexibility or you run the risk of having the leg more or less heal with a diminished range of motion. And freeze into a less then optimum resting position. Well, I already had that, as a result of the high school football injury that started me down this path, years ago. This would be my chance to start fresh. Nice to get a second chance.

The pre-surgery trip to the hospital isn’t any more exciting. I meet with the rehab unit in the hospital, meet with the home care rehab people, meet with the total knee replacement education unit who goes over what to expect in the hospital, make you watch a video and explain about self administered pain control. I like the sounds of that.

How to use a walker; how to use a cane; how to go up and down stairs, I guess they have to cover all that. I get one very specific warning from the physiotherapist. “Don’t fall.” Makes sense to me, and definitely one of the things I already had on my list of things not to do after knee replacement surgery.

Oddly enough, since I made my initial visit to Dr. Blastorah, I’ve started suffering with knee problems. I mean, it had been a bit of an issue before. I had to give up basketball a year ago, part way through the season. And sometimes after a lot of walking and stair climbing in the plant I’ll get some swelling, but I don’t wake up in the morning hating the idea of getting out of bed and putting weight on it, or anything like that.

My knee is pretty grotesque looking, with an obvious misalignment. No cartilage on one side means that the joint has started slipping. There is quite the protrusion on the outside of the knee joint. But it hasn’t affected my daily life until now. Now it’s almost as if the knee is saying, “ I’ve done the job all these years, I can finally start letting go.”

Stiffness, soreness, limping, swelling all are becoming part of my daily routine. I guess this is what most other people put up with before getting theirs done. I’m lucky. I’ve only had about three months of it.

Total Knee Replacement

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