Friday, March 16, 2012

Second Manipulation Of My Left Knee (03/16/12)

Hello Folks,

This past Tuesday, I was admitted to the Lancaster General Health Hospital (LGH) for my second manipulation of my total replaced left knee. I had the replacement surgery back in July of 2011 and adhesions (scar tissue) grew around the new joint. This prevented me from fully bending and extending my leg... I was not a happy camper about it. :(

In September 2011, my surgeon, Dr. Tymon, and I made the decision to manipulate my left knee while I was under anesthesia. Afterward, I spent three days in LGH and with the help of a PT Assistant Instructor and a PT Assistant in training, we were able to bend my knee to 90 degrees. Keep in mind that it took two trained professionals assisting me to get it to that point.

When I left the hospital, my leg was so dang sore that I could barely stand any weight on it. I spent the entire weekend at home trying my best to keep the knee bent at the 90 degrees we had obtained in the hospital. On Monday, I went back to my regular PT and my knee would only bend to 78 degrees and -20 degrees extended! I had lost 12 full degrees of flexion over the weekend.

That was six months ago and I have been walking with a cane ever since. I questioned my surgeon about a second manipulation, and he told me that he had never performed a second manipulation on any of his past patients. Folks, my surgeon is 62 years old! That's a lot of knee replacements in his career without ever doing a second manipulation.

Around the holiday season, I had asked my surgeon if there was any specialists or hospitals in the general area that work on hard cases like mine. It was at this time that he said he would consider doing his very first "second manipulation".

I had a Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) treatment by Dr. West that failed to increase my mobility in February 2012. I was now prepared to return to Dr. Tymon and request that second manipulation.

This past Tuesday, I arrived at the LGH at 6:00 am for the 7:30 am procedure. The anesthesiologist placed a nerve block in my left thigh and I headed into the OR. Within minutes, I was asleep and the surgeon did his thing. My wife said that I was only in the OR for about 30 minutes.

When I awoke, the aides took me to Room #8 in the "Short Stay" wing of LGH. My leg was placed, once again, into a  Continuous Passive Motion machine (CPM). The CPM was set for a 90 degree bend and I remained in the CPM until they took me to Physical Therapy that afternoon.

At PT, I was able to bend my knee to 90 degrees with assistance... Okay, that's the same angle we had it bent after the first manipulation back in September 2011. It was hard for me to tell if the knee was feeling any better that first day because the nerve block prevented me from feeling much of anything. There was only slight swelling that first evening on the interior side of the knee.

The second day brought better results. My leg was in the CPM machine the entire evening and it felt pretty good. I went to PT around 2:00 pm and worked with an ex-student of mine from the Penn Manor School District. Jenelle was my second PT of mine that was a student during my middle school counseling career. It's really nice to come across ex-students who are in successful careers.

When Jenelle and I worked the knee, we were able to bend it to 100 degrees... Say What!? It hasn't bent to 100 degrees since before my knee replacement.

Now I'm feeling really good. By 4:00 pm, I was dressed and packed. I got home, shaved, and took a nice hot shower before heading to bed for the evening.

When I had been in the hospital, I had to deal with a stomach virus that was going around. My back was just killing me on Tuesday night and being strapped into the CPM machine was not helping the situation.

My first "outside" PT visit happened yesterday. When I met my PT, Kim, she reviewed my PT history and my current health. She explained to me that she would like to work on the soft tissue of my leg by using massage and ultrasound to bend my knee even further. Sounds like a plan to me.

After my very first 45 minute therapy session, we were able to bend my knee to 105 degrees or 5 additional degrees from the day before. Fantastic!

As you can tell, I'm feeling really good about the success so far of my second manipulation. During the procedure, the surgeon told us that he had my knee bent to 130 degrees while I was under anesthesia. We know the new joint works well. Now all we need is for my body to cooperate and not produce further adhesions.

I will be fishing tomorrow with Jeff and Penny. This will be my first trip in Jeff's jet rig with Penny aboard. I'm looking forward to a great time and some good pictures for you all to see... So stay tune, folks!

Take Care and Be Safe!

p.s. The missing kayaker, 24-year-old Nicholas Herr, was found this past week on the Conowingo Pond. I was glad to hear that he was located knowing that his family may now find closure. My prayers go out to his family and friends.