Friday, July 30, 2010

Knee Surgery Update 2

It has now been over seven weeks since my knee replacement surgery. And I still hurt quite a bit. But most of the pain is not from the knee, it's from my entire leg, mostly the thigh and calf areas. So my surgeon referred me to a pain management doctor. He quickly determined that something was amiss. He changed my pain medication from Hydrocodone (It never really worked very well anyway) to a less potent drug. But he added another drug that addresses the tingling/burning/freezing/numbness in my leg. Then he scheduled me for a bone density scan. I do it about nine hours from now.
If that isn't enough he will use some kind of device to help locate circulatory problems. And if that doesn't work he will schedule me for an MRI. He's determined to find out why my leg hurts so much.

Meanwhile, I finished my therapy. Or I should say my therapy benefits ran out and now my surgeon wants to schedule me for another month of treatments. That's good because I missed a lot during the first two weeks when I was anemic. I would always arrive on time but as soon as the therapist saw me looking pale, or struggling to do an exercise, she would stop the treatment. Most of the time when that happened I was so dizzy that I was close to passing out. I've got my strength back and really need to work on the areas that are still stiff and swollen.

My surgeon told me earlier today that I have good circulation in my legs. He also said the knee surgery and my range of motion is right on target except for about 5° to get my leg straight.
At least I'm recovering from the surgery.

I made a video of my experience and posted it on YouTube if you care to see it:

I'll report again soon.

Knee Surgery Update

Knee Surgery Update

It is now 7/24/10 and I'm still in recovery mode from my knee surgery on 7/9/10, and apparently, I will be for at least another six weeks up to a year. Yes it still hurts but getting to hurt less. There are periods when the pain level reaches 8, as it did on Friday during my last day of therapy. Actually, it wasn't the therapy itself that caused the spike in pain but cramps and inflammation, compounded by stiffness. The combination made me nauseous and light-headed. I needed to come right home so that I could at least try to rest. Saturday was better and I actually felt pretty good for a few hours.

I see Dr Fitzgerald, my knee surgeon, this Tuesday and I'm curious as to what he will do. I think I'm behind where I should be as for range of movement and ability to function around the house. I'm already wearing a knee brace designed to straighten my leg but I can't get enough bend in it to make a full revolution on a bicycle. Deep knee bends and squatting is out of the question. But the therapy folks tell me everyone is different and one day I will be back to normal. Meanwhile, drink plenty of clear liquids, eat lots of vegetables and do the exercises as directed, some of them as frequently as possible.

At least I'm now able to put my own shoes and socks on, a significant milestone for me, and doing Number Two in the restroom is no longer a 45-minute ordeal, prepped by suppositories, vocalized by grunts and groans and a final 'aaaaaaaa,' and then soothed by gentle baby wipes. Precious moments indeed.

In an effort to keep my mind off the constant pain I've decided to do a full recovery of my computer. It was doing things that it should not have been doing, most likely because of my recent installation of Windows 7. I'm slowly getting it put back together.

Another update will follow soon...