Saturday, February 23, 2013

Post-Surgery Knee Revision (02/23/13)

Hello Folks,

I made it through another successful surgical procedure to revise my knee replacement that was originally done back on July 26, 2011. I was admitted into the Lancaster Regional Hospital on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7:30 am. My knee revision surgery was scheduled for 10:30 am.

Everything went well during the surgery and I was taken to Room 539 where I spent the next four days recovering.

The second day post-op was pretty rough. I've been on the pain medication, Dilaudid, since July, 2011. Dilaudid is a "very potent centrally acting analgesic drug of the opioid class" (Wiki). I have been dependent on this pain medication due to the constant pain I have had related to my previous knee surgery. I have been unable to straighten my knee since the original surgery back in 2011. Because of this situation, I have had ongoing pain, not only in my left knee, but also in my calf and ankle.

The surgeon and hospital staff were aware of my use of Dilaudid for pain management before I entered this knee revision. Despite this knowledge, they actually placed me on a pain med drip that equaled 6 mg less than what I was taking at home prior to the surgery. Therefore... There was not enough to cover the dependency and the pain of my new surgery. Yes,  Day 2 was rough!

The in-house physician made a decision to send me to radiology to have an ultrasound done of both legs to see if I had developed any blood clots due to the amount of pain I was experiencing and post-op bleeding. I was away from my room for nearly two hours and my pain drip was not working. The drip's portable unit battery failed and I spent the next two hours during the ultrasound without any pain medication. Ouch!

When I returned to my hospital room, the anesthesiologist was waiting to see me... Good! He understood my medical need and gave me 1 mg bolus through my I.V. to ease the stress I was placed under. He also prescribed 2 mg orally every 4 hours on top of my pain drip.

It was his plan to determine how much pain medication I would need by seeing how much "drip" medication I was demanding on top of the 2 mg of Dilaudid every four hours. However, the day that they discharged me, the anesthesiologist was not on duty and those who were writing out my discharge papers were not aware of his plans. So, my nurse called on another anesthesiologist to come see me. After explaining the situation to her, she called the other doctor to determine what I needed as pain management.

Here are several pictures of my knee post-op... Not for queasy stomachs!

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As you can see, it's a pretty gnarly looking knee!

I had a hematoma after the surgery and that is where a lot of the black and blue came from. A hematoma is when a blood vessel leaks under the repaired site and the blood has to settle. Although I had a drain in my thigh, the blood from the hematoma was pushing out through the incision and being soaked up by my gauze and external bandages. This continued for three straight days... Nice!

I am moving along quite well with my Physical Therapy (PT). My visiting PT, Frank, has been working me hard and we have the knee bent at 80 degrees already! This is fantastic since I still have my staples in. The staples will be removed this coming Tuesday when I see the PA at the surgeon's office.

While I was laying at home recuperating, my good friends, Jeff and Penny, were out fishing on Lake Clarke. It was a nice day to be on the water and both were able to bring fish to hand...

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Check out this nice 19.5" smallies that they landed...

Thanks for the dedication, Jeff and Penny!

I hope to be back on the blog and give andother entry real soon.

Take Care and Be Safe!