Monday, June 16, 2014

Bionic Knee Adventures

Knee surgery has come and gone and of course, there's lots to tell. I've been doing almost daily updates on my Facebook page, but not all my readers here are following me on FB, so I owe you all a long update.

The surgery itself went very well. This, in itself, was such a relief. I had a total hip replacement 11 years ago that had to be revised only 8 months later, so I went into this surgery with a great deal of trepidation. Of course, this time I had a different surgeon at a different hospital and the surgery was on a different joint, but it was difficult not to be scared. Long story short: everything was fine and I am flooded with relief.

My surgery was on June 5 and I was already home on the afternoon of June 8. They had me up and walking the day after surgery on a walker and I left the hospital on two canes. I never even went through the crutch phase. Again, this was a huge difference between this surgery and my hip surgery, where complications were such that I wasn't even allowed to put my foot on the ground, much less weight bear for several months...twice, due to the two surgeries. Today, with my new knee, I'm already walking a little bit around the house without a cane AT ALL! I am taking showers on my own with the help of a tub transfer bench (though I could probably do it without the bench at all) and I am easily navigating the stairs both inside and outside the house.

Now, all of these wonderful things don't mean that a knee replacement is a walk in the park. Far from it. In fact, a normal hip replacement is vastly easier to recover from than a knee replacement.  My knee is very swollen and it feels like it's being held in a vice grip. I'm still sleeping half the night in a rather uncomfortable leg splint to make sure I don't leave my knee bent for too long.

And the exercises I have to do twice a day! If you hear someone screaming, it may very well be me! It's absolutely normal to feel intense pain while doing the exercises. You are instructed to faithfully take your painkillers 40 minutes before exercising no matter what. The painkillers are morphine based. This is serious stuff. Fortunately, I know that I am not developing any addiction to the pills. When I don't need them, I feel no need to take them. Hopefully, the exercise pain will lighten sufficiently within the next 5 weeks or so and I will be able to rely on Tylenol Extra Strength alone.

So that's the update. I'm back, pretty happy and working super hard.


  1. You have incredible strength. I can't imagine how painful this experience has been all the way around. Your attitude and perspective is fantastic to read about. Your determination and focus on recovery is inspiring. Thank you.

  2. I'm so happy & relieved to hear that surgery went well.
    Hang tough, my friend (sounds as if you're doing so quite handily ;-)

  3. Thanks a million, Val and Sean!

  4. I'm an irregular FB person. I'm so happy to read your updates when I'm on. I was in the Holy Land when you had your surgery. Wish I had thought to leave your name on the Wailing Wall. Sigh. I a day-late-dollar-short-friend, I guess. Sigh. Glad you are recovering so remarkably! Gutting through the pain. You go girl!