Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Update On My Replacement Knee (11/16/11)

Hello Folks,

I'm looking forward to this coming Monday when our 2011 basketball season tryouts begin. We will have three days to decide which thirty-nine boys will make the three thirteen man rosters (7, 8, and 9th grade) for the Penn Manor Junior High School level.

We have had over 45 boys attending "open gym" these past two weeks. Many of whom have been attending for the past couple of months. We may get a few more boys attending once we start tryouts this coming Monday.

All four Jr. High level coaches have been attending "open gym" and we have a pretty good idea of the core team members. The toughest part of our selection isn't the first ten team members, it's always the last three or so. These last few boys tend to have very similar skill levels. Therefore, we have to make our final decisions based on related views such as attitude and desire. These can be seen as either positive or negative during the three days of tryouts.

We are also fully aware that there is the potential for growth. Many boys at this age level have a long ways to go when it comes to physical and emotional maturation.

Today was a very important day for me. It started out by my attending aqua-therapy at 7:45 am. I had a very good talk with my current PT about last night's "Land" PT's measurements and the lack of overall improvement in my range of motion (ROM). My flexion remained at 75 degrees and my extension actually fell from -15 degrees to -30 degrees. Either way one looks at it, I made no improvement in my ROM since moving from "Land" PT to "Water" PT two weeks ago.

Both my PT and I felt that very little was being accomplished by attending the softer mode of therapy, aqua-therapy. I had mentioned to my PT that I had moved my December 7th orthopedic surgeon's appointment up to today. She was very pleased to hear that.

After aqua-therapy, my wife and I headed immediately to the orthopedic surgeon's office for my 9:15 am. appointment. Upon arrival, I was taken back into the examination room rather quickly. My surgeon ordered a new set x-rays to be taken. This is done within the office.

The x-rays showed that no physical damage occurred by the manipulation process back in September. The new replacement knee looked in excellent condition. That was the good news.

My surgeon called in a second orthopedic surgeon who had assisted him during my knee manipulation back in September. Together, they consulted over the best options for me. Neither felt that the new knee was faulty. Neither of them felt another manipulation or surgical procedure would be beneficial.

What was decided upon was for me to stop the "water" therapy and return to once a week "Land" therapy. They asked me if I felt I could take control of my recovery, exercise, etc. because they felt we were at a recovery standstill.

I agreed 100%! I will now only see my PT once a week for therapy and measurements. My next surgeon's appointment will be in one month.

Everything I have read regarding the recovery process from knee replacements mentions that it will take up to a complete year. I am currently in my four month of recovery.

There is a chance that I may not improve the ROM and if that is the case, we will discuss further options to assist in my mobility.

I am certainly not pleased with this, but I am much in agreement with both surgeons about my future. I told them that I emotionally could not handle another round of surgery at this point in my life. I am only now starting to feel free of the 24 hours a day pain. I have been succeeding at reducing the dosage and usage of my pain medication... which, for me, is a big positive. I am also able to sleep for longer periods of time. The lack of sleep was driving me nuts.

There is a high probability that I will be using a cane or walker for quite some time. Because I will be in charge of my recovery, I will most likely be joining the local YMCA where I can exercise with light weights and swim.

I have been in a similar position thirty years ago when I had the same knee reconstructed from an injury I sustained during a Judo tournament. I even had the knee manipulated afterward, as I did for this surgery, due to excessive scar tissue growth. I worked hard to recover. The help I received from others also helped me get through that period of my life. I do understand that I was much younger then, but I still have the same desire to recover.

Take Care and Be Safe!