Friday, November 9, 2007

Total Knee Replacement – Surgery Plus Twelve Days

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Total Knee Replacement

The satellite guy finally gets here on Tuesday, and finds and fixes the problem in 5 minutes. I was completely shocked. I had thought it might take him 7 or 8 minutes. Is it just me, or does there seem to be something wrong when a 5 minute fix takes a week to happen in our “information and service oriented” society. Or maybe I misunderstood the service part.

Having knee surgery has really slowed me down. I’m certainly no where near ready to drive a car yet so am feeling a little isolated. But with internet access again I will feel a little more in touch. But the thing is, it will really make Lynn happy, the little internet addict. Not having access to the internet and the online horse sites, and email has been driving her nuts in the midst of her search for a new horse.

Well it’s 12 days since the knee replacement and I’m not doing too badly. The walker really helps and I am right into the swing of things using it. I can’t get too cavalier with it, because it does get caught on the little step from living room to the main hallway. Somehow taking a tumble over my walker is probably not on the list of exercises my physiotherapist wants me to do.

Speaking of physiotherapists, she is not particularly pleased with this post knee replacement client. My flexibility is still not where she would like it to be. There is still a lot of swelling at the joint. That makes it difficult to bend. But I just have to persist. Also I have not been keeping it elevated enough. Now I am spending an hour at a time, a couple of times a day , on the couch, with my leg propped up by three bed pillows, and the rest of my lying flat, with my head propped up enough to watch TV or read. I am going to let gravity help drain the excess fluids away, at her suggestion. I should have been doing this right from the start.

Speaking of swelling, here’s a picture of the knee from the end of last week; you can see where I shaved the hairs off. I can tell you, changing bandages was a lot easier after that.

I'm getting the staples out in a few days. I wonder what that will be like?

A good time to prop the leg up is right after exercising. Then I can get out the bag of frozen beans or peas and ice down the joint while it is in the air, so to speak. Reduce the tendency to swell with a two pronged attack.

I have started to use the cane a little, at least at night. I think I mentioned that Lynn and I had pulled up the white carpet in the bedroom when we moved in. The hardwood to finish the floor is now in the basement and will wait on increased mobility on my part for installation. So it is bare plywood in the bedroom right now. So in the middle of the night, when I get up for my trip to the can, grab the walker and start moving, it sounds like a can full of gravel rolling across a concrete driveway. I don’t have one of those deluxe models with pneumatic tires or anything like that. Solid plastic wheels, lightweight aluminum construction. I might as well just reach across to Lynn and give her a shake and say “Honey, I’m going to the can now.”

I could have started using the cane for the few steps to the john a few days ago if I’d thought of it. Interrupted sleep might explain Lynn’s grumpiness since I got home. I thought it was emotional turmoil from worrying about me. (grin)

I get the sense that the first few weeks of therapy and exercise after knee surgery will have a significant impact on how the recovery goes. My surgeon told me I would be off work a minimum of 8 weeks. I can believe it. But I wonder what makes the difference? He actually gave me a range of 8 – 12 weeks. What can I do that would get me there at 8 weeks instead of 12 weeks? Now that I have internet again, I can do some cruising on google using keywords like "healing from surgery" and see what I get.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Hello! you wonderd about having the staples removed? Just think about it for a sec. The skin has had a bit of time to heal around each staple, you have at lest 20 or more? I don`t want to scare you but the device they use to remove them straightens them out first and then there pulled out, if your screamish about blood now`s the time to turn away.