Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Highlights of My Total Knee Replacement (08/23/11)

Hello Folks,

This blog entry will highlight some of my experiences since my total left knee replacement on July 26, 2011.

I was apprehensive about going into this surgery knowing that the last time I had a major joint replacement, I was in severe pain for quite some time. Well, as chance would have it, I am experiencing a very similar situation with this surgery.

I was told by several professionals, including my own surgeon, that as a past athlete, I had experienced a major injury that required my knee to be reconstructed. As the reconstructive surgery healed, adhesions grew in and around the wound. I couldn't bend my knee.

I participated in PT for approximately two months after that surgery until the surgeon finally decided to "manipulate" my knee and break the connective scar tissue. Manipulation is a much better technique than surgery for removing scar tissue. Manipulation is done manually by the surgeon and the adhesions are less likely to return.

I arrived at the LGH Orthopedic Center around 9:30 am. on July 26, 2011, and filled out a few insurance forms. After completing the forms, a nurse took me into the pre-op area for me to get undressed and be prepped for surgery.

An IV was placed in my arm... "Ugh!". I don't necessarily enjoy IVs. But it all went well which made me feel a whole lot better.

I had a male nurse prep my leg by shaving it and washing it with a disinfectant soap. Once I was prepped, my wife was allowed to join me as I waited my turn for the operating room.

The anesthesiologist was very good with me. I had told him that I get quite agitated as I anticipate surgery. He gave me a relaxant to sooth my anxiety. It worked quite well. :)

I was in surgery and recovery for about 3.5 hours. After coming to, the staff took me to a private room to begin the healing process.

It was rather difficult relaxing and resting in the first room they placed me in. The wing I was on was for orthopedic patients, but there were also some surgical patients scattered among us. My next door neighbor was a woman who screamed and moaned 24/7! I was being somewhat neglected due to her obnoxious behavior. In fact, the staff was falling behind giving me my pain medication prior to me going into PT.

Why? Well, every time my neighbor would begin her screaming and moaning, the nurses would leave what they were doing and tend to her needs. Thus, neglecting my needs for meds, etc.

By the third day, I refused to attend PT until I had my pain medication in me at least 20 minutes before hand. Now I got their attention!

The nurse administrator visited me an my wife. We didn't mix words as we expressed our concern about the lack of care I had received the past three days. She mentioned that others had also been complaining. She agreed to move me to a quieter area of the wing. "Thank you!"

I ended up having arrhythmia and had to be placed on a heart monitor. I left the hospital with a new medication for that... Great! Just what I needed - Another medication.

Iced Down Knee After Surgery


My oldest son, Chris, visits me after the surgery.


Always thinking of basketball... Penn Manor Bball Shirt From 2011 Summer Camp


Total Knee Replacement With Bandages


One of my six IV Spots... Nice Bruise, Huh!?


You can see a second IV mark to the left of the bruise.

My guardian at home... Missy! She never leaves my side... Such A Good Dog!



Resting at home in my own bed... Relief!


After the 20+ metal staples were removed...


Standing by the mirror this morning... Quite Swollen and Bruised Left Knee


Each day brings slow improvements. A normal recovery period requires four days in the hospital and walking with a cane by the second or third week. I am already 30 days out from surgery and still walking with a walker... Argghhhh!

Take Care and Be Safe